Today’s Tasting: Isaiah 44-48
Idols are worthless and lead to destruction. Yet, God is a great God and will be glorified in Israel (see Isaiah 44).
Chapters 45-47: Cyrus, a bad king, is used as God’s instrument to captivate Israel.
“But Israel is saved by the Lord with everlasting salvation” (Isaiah 45:17 ESV).
Babylonian idols will be rendered powerless and Babylon will fall. God is the one true God and no other god is like Him. He formed the earth and everything and everyone in it.
“Draw near to me” says God to Israel in Isaiah 48:16. “Oh that you would have paid attention to my commandments (to me-emphasis mine)! Then your peace would have been like a river, and your righteousness like the waves of the sea (Isaiah 48:18 ESV).
Chapter 49: God will send the Redeemer and promised that Israel’s exile would end.
Today’s Nourishment: “Draw near to me” captivated my heart as I read these words. I sensed that the Lord is saying the same to us. “Draw near to God and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your heart, you double-minded” (James 4:8 ESV). “Draw near” means to offer a sacrifice and that is how we “draw near to God.” While Jesus Christ is our Sacrifice to redeem us from the penalty of sin, the New Testament speaks of five sacrifices for the Believer:
- Our sacrifice of our bodies (Romans 12:1)
- Our sacrifice of Praise and thanksgiving (Hebrews 13:15)
- Our sacrifice of Sharing (Hebrews 13:16)
- Our sacrifice of Monetary gifts (Philippians 4:18)
- Our sacrifice of Faith and Service: time and energies (Philippians 2:17)
How do I offer a sacrifice? Roll it over; cast our cares on Him. The altar remained constant and ready for sacrifice; the Priest always examined the sacrifice, not the one offering the sacrifice. Forgiveness occurred with the applied blood only.
A total of eight priests offered the sacrifice. After washing the animal parts, they dried the parts. The separate pieces were brought up by various priests – six carried a sheep, one carried the meat, one carried the drink offering. Eight represents “new beginning.”
Finally, the priests “blest” the one offering the sacrifice and the altar. The person’s stance deemed as atoned or “at-one with God.” Jesus offers us a new beginning. We live “at-one” because of Jesus’ blood sacrifice. We no longer need to offer such a sacrifice because His blood was the “Once and for all” sacrifice. Praise Him!
However, we are encouraged to live a life of sacrifice and “draw near to God.” As we offer such sacrifices of our bodies, praise and thanks, sharing, monetary gifts, and faith and service to God and others, God draws near to us. What is your sacrifice to “draw near to God” today?
Tomorrow’s Delight: 2 Kings 19; Psalms 46, 80, 135
Carolyn Marlowe, CCLC
Gigi to six adorable grandchildren