Today’s Tasting: Isaiah 54–58 (NIV Bible)
Chapter 54 speaks of the once barren and desolate land of Israel that God has redeemed. He was once angry but promises never to rebuke them again. He brings fruitfulness to the desert and rebuilds their cities. He teaches their children His ways. They will have nothing to fear, for the Lord is with them to protect and provide for them.
Chapter 55 is an invitation for everyone (including us) to come to know God, to know that He is wise and never changing. He accomplishes His word in the earth and we can count on Him to be our righteous God.
Chapter 56 is God’s invitation for us to come to His Holy house and worship. He teaches that He has declared a Sabbath Day and that it is holy unto Him. He will bless those who keep the Sabbath holy, even if they are foreigners who come to seek and worship Him.
Chapter 57 compares the evil deeds of the wicked people with the righteous people of the land. The wicked do not fear God. They continue to worship idols and rage against God. But the righteous people seek God. They are contrite in heart and they take refuge in the Lord. He blesses His children because of their relationship with Him. They earnestly seek Him out. The wicked are cursed and will perish in the land.
Chapter 58 describes fasting that is pleasing to God. In Isaiah’s day, the people were fasting but their motives weren’t right. They went without food, but their hearts were not turned to seek Him. He contrasts their improper ways with the type of fast He requires and He tells of the blessing and joy that will result when their hearts and their motives are right toward Him.
Today’s Nourishment: These chapters are so very rich in wonderful words from God to His children! If you are a born-again believer in Christ Jesus, you too are one of His spiritual children, and these promises belong to you as well. Here are just a few of the wonderful words of the Lord to us, His precious ones:
“‘Do not be afraid’ … ‘Do not fear’ … ‘I will have compassion on you,’ says the Lord your Redeemer … ‘no weapon formed against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and this is their vindication from me,’ says the Lord” (see Isaiah 54:4, 8, 17).
“Seek the Lord while He may be found; call to Him while He is near … ‘for my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord. ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts’ … ‘so is my word that goes out from my mouth; it will not return to me empty but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it’” (see Isaiah 55:6, 8, 9, 11).
“Is this not the kind of fasting I have chosen: to lose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? … If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk, and if you spend yourselves on behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness and your night will become like the noonday. The Lord will guide you always; He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail” (Isaiah 58:6, 9–11).
Will you take these words of God deep into your thoughts? Meditate on them and allow them to sink deep into your heart and soul. Drink them in, feast on them. They are good food for your soul and will nourish your life.
Tomorrow’s Delight: Isaiah 59–63
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