isaiah-54

Deuteronomy 27, Isaiah 54

Today, read Deuteronomy 27 and Isaiah 54.

This devotional is about Isaiah 54:9-10.

God made so many promises to Israel and, though he fulfilled many of them, many others were not fulfilled due to Israel’s unbelief and disobedience. After Jesus came and was rejected by most of Israel, God turned his attention to saving Gentiles. Although some Jewish people find eternal life in Christ by God’s grace, most are locked in unbelief, a judgment of God for rejecting their Messiah.

While God is busy saving Gentiles, does that men he is done with Israel? No. Most of God’s chosen people are unbelievers in this age, but God is not finished with his nation. Instead, this chapter re-affirms God’s plans to regather his people Israel from all over the earth and establish his kingdom among them, in Jerusalem, just as he promised.

Verse 9 of Isaiah 54 told us that, when God re-gathers his people Israel, that he will make a promise to them. This promise is like the one he made to Noah and his descendants (v. 9). Just as he promised never again to destroy the earth with water, he promised his people that, “‘I have sworn not to be angry with you, never to rebuke you again. Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,’ says the Lord, who has compassion on you.” So does God have a future for the nation of Israel? Yes. he will gather them up, give them new life to believe in him, and then never cut them off in anger or judgment again. But verse 10e describes God as “... the Lord, who has compassion on you.” This is why Israel was not permanently cut off or rejected. God is compassionate and patient and gave them many opportunities to turn to him. Someday they will turn to him in faith and all will be right with the world.

Just as Israel struggled with unbelief, we too fail the Lord and need his compassion. God’s faithfulness to Israel and the way he repeated his promises to them should give us hope. None of us lives obediently to the Lord like we should. Sometimes that causes us to receive his discipline but it never causes him to withdraw his promises. If you feel defeated by your own struggles and failures, take hope. We are accepted and forgiven in Christ; therefore, God can say to us, “‘my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,’ says the Lord, who has compassion on you.”

May this promise fill you with peace and hope today.

Deuteronomy 27:1–28:19, Psalm 119:1–24, Isaiah 54, Matthew 2

After we began this journey through the Bible in 2016, it was pointed out to me that the M’Cheyne reading plan we’ve been following actually has us read through the New Testament and Psalms twice. Somehow I missed that detail until after I had published the reading list, but at least I’m telling you about it now. And, as of Sunday, we have finished the New Testament. So, if you’ve kept up with the daily readings, you have the option of skipping all the New Testament readings and you can skip the Psalms, too, once we finish all of them on July 13. I will continue to publish all 4 readings here, in case you want to read through the NT and Psalms again or if you missed some and want to make sure you complete the whole Bible this year. But my devotionals will only be on the Old Testament passages that we have not yet read this year. So, if you’re following the schedule, you should read these chapters today: Deuteronomy 27:1–28:19, Psalm 119:1–24, Isaiah 54. Click on any of those references to see all the passages in one long page on BibleGateway. If you can't do all the readings today, read Isaiah 54.

Yesterday we read Isaiah’s important and beautiful prophecy about Christ. At the end of that chapter, God declared that Christ would receive “a portion with the great… because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors” (Isa 53:12). In today’s chapter from Isaiah 54, the results of Christ’s death are described. Verse 1 tells us that the emotional response from Israel will be joy. That joy is described further in verses 2-3 because the nation will grow and expand her territory. Verse 4 offers comfort to Israel, telling her not to be afraid of shame or disgrace; both “the same of your youth” and “the reproach of your widowhood” will be forgotten. Verses 5-8 explain why. First, God promises to be Israel’s “husband” and “redeemer.” Although God separated from Israel, in a sense, during their time in captivity (v. 7a), he “will call you back   as if you were a wife deserted…” (v. 6a). Verse 8b explains, “‘In a surge of anger I hid my face from you for a moment, but with everlasting kindness I will have compassion on you,’ says the Lord your Redeemer.” Although this prophecy is for Israel and is still future to us in the Millennium, God is the devoted, compassionate God to all his people that he told Israel he was in this passage. While we sin and fail God constantly, he is compassionate and forgiving toward us in Christ. So don’t let sin keep you from the love and fellowship God wants to give you; when you sin, turn to him in repentance and claim the promises he made in this passage and others like it to find forgiveness in him.

Now for your thoughts: What stood out in your Bible reading for today? What questions do you have about what you read? What are your thoughts about what I wrote above? Post them in the comments below or on our Facebook page. And, feel free to answer and interact with the questions and comments of others. Have a great day; we'll talk scripture again tomorrow.