Isaiah Part Three Dive
IF YOU’RE HAPPY WHERE YOU ARE, DON’T READ ISAIAH
If you are reading this post with the TYB schedule, you’ll be finishing the year with the Book of Isaiah and we have designed the schedule with that purpose. We want you to finish on a book that lifts your head – Isaiah will encourage you to arise, to think bigger about God and His plans, to stir yourself again that the future is great and is safely and securely in the hands of our awesome God. So if you want to stay where you are, don’t read Isaiah. That is the thing about the prophetic books in the Bible, they will declare good things into bad situations, cause you to change the way you think about your circumstances and God, cause you to have faith when things haven’t changed, and cause you to arise and see a big future even when you don’t feel like it.
No matter what you are facing, no matter what this year has been like, no matter what the future looks like right now, Isaiah will call you to look above and beyond your earthly circumstances to a God that is calling you to arise and shine (cue Newsboys’ Shine song!)
ISAIAH CALLS YOU TO RESPOND
The language and writings of Isaiah demand a response, they motivate us to move toward God; to worship, to a new declaration of the bigness and cosmic perspective of our God. The Book of Isaiah will call you to action over and over again, so highlight every time you see an action word. It will call you to lift your head, forget the former things, awake and rise up, to enlarge the place of your tent, to sing when you don’t want to (Sing oh barren woman!), to shout aloud, lift up your eyes and not keep silent. But I hear you ask, how can I do these things when life is hard, or I don’t feel like it, or things are too tough right now? Great question – Isaiah has the answer.
Is 51:6 Lift up your eyes to the heavens, look at the earth beneath; the heavens will vanish like smoke, the earth will wear out like a garment.
Is 55:8 As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts that your thoughts.
The point of Isaiah is to lift you up to God’s perspective, to show you your world from where He sits! You can arise and shine when you see your hard moment from God’s perspective, when you are seeing it from above the mountains, above the universe looking down. And that doesn’t mean that God is literally situated above the universe, like some distant or uncaring god but it does mean that in light of His greatness, power and authority, He sees your mess in light of His greatness and says, ‘I can fix that’. He sees the darkness in Isaiah 60 and says ‘Arise and shine, for your light has come and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.’ He knows your reality, which He mentions throughout the book, but He knows His promises.
Check out Isaiah 54; He doesn’t miss the fact that this woman is barren – He calls her barren but He tells her to sing. She probably feels rejected by God, rejected by her situation, scorned, cursed, humiliated, with this unfixable issue but from God’s perspective, He calls her to sing, shout for joy, burst into song. Why? Because ‘more are the children of the desolate woman than of her who has a husband’. He reminds her of His perspective!
ISAIAH CALLS US TO ACTION
Time and time again Isaiah calls us to action and declaration, no matter what your circumstances. But seeing His perspective does take action on your part. It does take you lifting up your head, arising, awakening, shouting, singing! Remember, you serve the God whose footstool is the mountains, whose playing ground is the heavens. The nations are in His control and He has chosen you. From this perspective you will get the strength to lift your head, to worship Him in the midst of the mess and see your life in a new way!
The next thing I want you to notice in Isaiah is that God repeatedly says ‘I have chosen you’: Isaiah 41:8, 41:9, 43:10 and 44:2, ‘This is what the Lord says— he who made you, who formed you in the womb, and who will help you: Do not be afraid, Jacob, my servant, Jeshurun, whom I have chosen’. You are chosen by God and He is in control, no matter what our earthly humanity tells us, no matter what your circumstances scream at you, you are chosen and that never changes!
ISAIAH CALLS YOU TO HOPE
The last thing I want you to notice when you read Isaiah is the end of the journey. After going through the first 35 chapters in ‘judgement’, then the history of the nation going into exile, we have a glimmer of hope in Isaiah 40 with the declaration of ‘comfort’. It’s all uphill from there. God speaks of a ‘redeemer’, talks about a ‘remnant’ and the coming glory of Zion, the mountain of the Lord, which is the climax to all of this, just like in Revelation; Isaiah is shown the pinnacle of all restoration moments: New Heaven and New Earth (Isaiah 65-66).
Is 65:17 See, I will create new heavens and new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in what I will create, for I will create Jerusalem to be a delight and its people a joy.
You are going to love reading this declaration of future hope. Get the declaration of Isaiah in your mouth, arise, shine, declare and sing today! No matter what your circumstances are telling you right now, take hold of the words of Isaiah, get God’s perspective – His grandeur, His greatness over your life, circumstances, family because He knows that this is going to work out, He is going to make it alright in the end!
No matter what you have faced this year, let Isaiah remind you that God loves you, you are chosen, He will redeem any circumstance, He will lift your eyes, He will change your circumstances, He will cause you to sing, He will cause you to arise. Hear the cry of the prophet Isaiah declaring the new over you today; new strength, new faith, new hope, new life over everything you are and do! Have a great time finishing this incredible book!