A Covenant of Peace: Isaiah 54, 55 (5)
Pray Psalm 19.12-14.
Who can understand hiserrors?
Cleanse me from secret faults.
Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins;
Let them not have dominion over me.
Then I shall be blameless,
And I shall be innocent of great transgression.
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
Be acceptable in Your sight,
O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer.
Read Isaiah 55.8-11.
1. Why is it important to know that God’s thoughts are higher than ours?
2. To what does the Lord compare His Word? How is that comparison apt?
Let’s review Isaiah’s career as a prophet: God had spoken many things through him from the last days of King Uzziah all the way into the reign of Hezekiah. Kings had come and gone, and everything Isaiah had spoken – about Syria, Israel, and Assyria – had come to pass.
Now he had spoken more of God’s Word – about Nebuchadnezzar, the neighboring nations, Judah’s captivity, and Cyrus, and beyond that, about a coming Servant and a great salvation that would embrace the nations and bring a Kingdom of righteousness and peace to the world.
This must have been difficult for the people of Judah and Jerusalem to process, much less to believe. But God continued to remind them of His greatness and the reliability of all His Word; not to mock them, but that they might turn from their sinful ways and look to Him in hope.
“Don’t try to figure it out,” God said to them. “My thoughts and ways are higher than yours” (vv. 8, 9). The people had to trust God, had to bank on His Word and follow it in their every next step. We can know things, even things that pertain to the world and our place in it, as well as to our salvation. But we cannot know to the extent God knows (Eccl. 3.11), so we’d better learn to trust.
And as for His Word? It’s as reliable and effectual as the rain (vv. 10, 11). He sends the rain, He gives His Word. The rain does its job, and so does the Word of God – just exactly as He says. Isaiah’s ministry was proof positive of the reliability of God’s Word. Here God is simply putting an exclamation point to Isaiah’s preaching, to encourage His people to listen to the prophet and prepare for the future according to the Word of the Lord.
God has not changed; He still relates to His people through His Word, which He calls us to receive, be refreshed by, trust in, and obey.
1. What does it mean to trust the Lord? How can you recognize someone who trusts the Lord?
2. How is the Word of God like the rain in your life? Can you give an example?
3. How can our thoughts be more like God’s thoughts? What can you do today to realize more of the mind of Christ that is in you (1 Cor. 2.16)?
For the rain and the snow do not return to heaven but accomplish in the earth the will of him that sends them. So the word that he shall send through his Christ, who is himself the Word and the Message, shall return to him with great power. For when he shall come and bring it, he shall come down like rain and snow, and through him all that is sown shall spring up and bear righteous fruit, and the word shall return to his sender; but not in vain shall his going have been, but thus shall he say in the presence of his sender, “Behold, I and the children that the Lord has given me.” Aphrahat (270-350 AD), Demonstrations 8.15
Let Your mind, my Savior, be my guide today, Lord, so that I…
Pray Psalm 19.
Thank God for the many ways He reveals Himself in creation, and especially in His Law and all His Word. Call on Him to grant you the promised blessings of His Word as you confess your sins, and seek His guidance for the day ahead.
Sing to the Lord.
Psalm 19 (St. Christopher: Beneath the Cross of Jesus)
The heav’ns declare God’s glory, the skies His work proclaim!
From day to day and night by night they shout His glorious Name!
No speech, no words, no voice is heard, yet all across the earth
The lines of His all-present Word make known His holy worth.
Behold, the sun arises, a bridegroom strong and bright,
rejoicing as he runs his course from morning unto night.
From east to west across the skies his circuit he completes,
and none can hide their sinful eyes or shelter from his heat.
The Law of God is perfect, His testimony sure;
the simple man God’s wisdom learns, the soul receives its cure.
God’s Word is right, and His command is pure, and truth imparts;
He makes our eyes to understand; with joy He fills our hearts.
The fear of God is cleansing, forever shall it last.
His judgments all are true and just, by righteousness held fast.
O seek them more than gold most fine, than honey find them sweet;
Be warned by every word and line; be blessed with joy complete.
Who, Lord, can know his errors? O keep sin far from me!
Let evil rule not in my soul that I may blameless be.
O let my thoughts, let all my words, before Your glorious sight
Be pleasing to You, gracious Lord, acceptable and right!
T. M. Moore
Where do the prophets fit with the rest of Scripture? How can I be a better student of God’s Word? Our course, Introduction to Biblical Theology, can help you gain a better approach to and understanding of the Scriptures. Watch this brief preview video, then register at The Ailbe Seminary and enroll in this free online course.
Forward today’s lesson to some friends, and challenge them to study with you through this series on Isaiah. Each week’s lessons will be available as a free PDF download at the end of the week. Get a copy for yourself and send the link for the download to your friends. Plan to meet weekly to study Isaiah’s important message.
If you value Scriptorium as a free resource for your walk with the Lord, please consider supporting our work with your gifts and offerings. You can contribute to The Fellowship by clicking the Contribute button at the website or by sending your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 19 Tyler Drive, Essex Junction, VT 05452.