Posts Tagged ‘Isaiah’

The 12 Verses of Christmas #6

And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:  And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD:

Isaiah 11:1-2

And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:

Matthew 3:16

The prophecies of the birth of Jesus Christ are so detailed and their fulfillments so perfect that there can be no doubt as to the accuracy of the Bible.  There can also be no doubt as to the fact that Jesus is indeed the Christ.  In this prophecy from the book of Isaiah, we are told that the rod out of the stem of Jesse, a “Branch” would grow out of his roots.  Sure enough, Jesus was born into the house of David, which was “of the stem of Jesse.”

In the second part of the prophecy, it is foretold that “the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him…”  That prophecy was also clearly fulfilled in Matthew 3.  Notice again the perfection of the fulfillment of this prophecy.  It is said that the spirit of the LORD would rest upon Him.  In Matthew 3:16, the spirit of God descends and rests upon Him.  And the spirit of the Lord is the spirit of wisdom and understanding.  It is the spirit of counsel and might.  And it is the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord.  The Spirit is all of those things.

That Branch that grew out of the roots of Jesse would soon become our Saviour!  What a wonderful verse prophesying our wonderful Saviour!

The 12 Verses of Christmas #5

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.  Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever.  The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

Isaiah 9:6-7

In these verses of prophecy, we are given a glimpse into the nature of the Christ child that would be born of a virgin in the little town of Bethlehem.  Verse six is one of my favorite verses in the entire Bible.  “Unto us a child is born.”  And “unto us a son is given.”  He came to us and for us.  What a wonderful Saviour!

Speaking of His being a wonderful Saviour, the first name given here is the name “Wonderful.”  He is Wonderful.  So much more than just an attribute of the Lord, it is His very nature.  He is both wonderful and Wonderful.

His name is Counsellor.  He helps us and teaches us.  He is our Counsellor.  His name is The mighty God.  At the time, He may have looked like a helpless baby.  But He was and is The mighty God.  His name is The everlasting Father.  Think of that.  Think of the tiny baby in the manger being the everlasting Father.  But He was.  His name is the Prince of Peace.  He is not only the source of peace, He is peace incarnate.  He is the very definition of peace.  He is at peace with the Father.  He made the way for us to be at peace with the Father.  He helps us to be at peace with each other.  He gives us peace in the storms of life.  He is the Prince of Peace.

Truly, unto us a child is born and unto us a son is given!

The 12 Verses of Christmas #4

Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

Isaiah 7:14

Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

Matthew 1:23

Yesterday we looked at the prophecy and fulfillment of the place of the Saviour’s birth.  Today, we see the mode of His birth.  Jesus was not just any man.  He was different from every other man who had ever been born in the history of the world.  So His entrance into the world would be different than that of every other man in the history of the world.  He was perfect and His entrance into the world was perfect.

Man’s seed had been defiled by sin with Adam.  Every human born since the fall of man has been born with Adam’s fallen sinful nature.  That is our heritage from our “father” Adam.  With the birth of Jesus, God circumvented man.  He bypassed the man and He bypassed the man’s fallen, sinful nature.  It never ceases to amaze me just how perfect God’s plan is.  Everything fits together perfectly, just as you would expect with a plan directly from God.

The virgin birth is at once a perfect sign and a simple test of faith.  It is a perfect sign because it happened only once in the history of mankind.  There could be no mistaking this sign.  It is an utter impossibility, which would indicate a miracle from God if it happened.  At the same time, it is a test of faith.  Humanly, we would not believe this story.  A virgin could not conceive – it is humanly impossible.  Who would believe that?  Me.  And every other Bible believer in the world.  Thus the sign is also a test of faith.

The prophecy was there, and a virgin did conceive and did bring forth a Son, and did call His name Immanuel, for at that time, God truly was with us.

Which Are You?

The diseased have ye not strengthened neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye hound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was lost; but with force and with cruelty have ye ruled them.

Ezekiel 34:4

Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees.  Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; he will come and save you.

Isaiah 35:3-4

There are two types of people contrasted in these verses.  Isaiah gives us the positive and Ezekiel gives us the negative.  The question for today is this: which are you?  Are one who “strengthens the weak, helps the feeble and encourages the fearful?”  Or are you one who has not done these things? 

These things are among the primary responsibilities of the Christian.  We have the greatest example of One who exemplified all of these ideals in the Lord Jesus Christ.  As the song says, “where He leads me, I will follow.” 

He wants us to strengthen the weak.  He wants us to encourage the fainthearted.  He wants us to help people.  Christians should be the most encouraging and helpful people in the world.  Jesus Christ came to “seek and to save that which was lost.”  He came to bind up the broken.  He came to help us.  We should take that help to others.

The contrast in these passages is very clear.  Either we are helping people or we are not.  We are encouraging people or we are putting them down.  Everyone needs something.  Some are weak and need strengthened.  Some are broken and need healing.  Some are discouraged or burdened and need encouraged.  Let us follow the example of our Lord in this matter.  Let’s live in Isaiah 35 and not in Ezekiel 34.

Nobody Else

I, even I, am the Lord; and beside me there is no saviour.

Isaiah 43:11

Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

Acts 4:12

There are so many verses in the Bible that we could look at that would tell us the exact same thing: Jesus Christ is the only way of salvation.  There is no other Saviour.  No one else can save us and we can not save ourselves.  It is Him, it is all Him, and it is only Him.

There are many people in the world who are trusting in one thing or another to save them.  But, sadly, unless that trust is in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross, they are trusting in something false.  It is difficult to write with enough force to truly convey the fact that Jesus is God, He is the Lord, and He is the only Saviour.  Fallen man has long attempted to get around this one Saviour, but it can not be done.  There is no other Saviour.  Period.

It has been my hope and prayer that this blog would be used to encourage people and magnify the Lord.  I think that some days, we just need to stop and think about this fact that there is only one Saviour, and that One Saviour is Jesus Christ.  If you know Him, thinking on these things will be a comfort and an encouragement to you.  If you do not know Him, He is the only Saviour and the only hope.  He is the only one Who can save us from our sins.  And He will save you if you will put your faith and trust in Him.  If you have any questions about this Saviour, feel free to contact me.  He died for us, He was buried and He rose again from the grave.  All for us. 

I will leave you think about our wonderful Saviour with one of the most famous verses in the Bible:

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

~John 3:16

Consider

I will plant in the wilderness the cedar, the shittah tree, and the myrtle, and the oil tree; I will set in the desert the fir tree, and the pine, and the box tree together:  That they may see, and know, and consider, and understand together, that the hand of the Lord hath done this, and the Holy One of Israel hath created it.

Isaiah 41:19-20

I’m not a botanical expert, but I do know enough to know that fir trees and pine trees general don’t grow in the desert.  If I was driving through a desert and came to a nice, beautiful pine tree, I would probably have to look at it twice just to make sure my eyes weren’t deceiving me.  But, pine trees and fir trees in the desert are just what God says that He is going to do.  And His purpose in doing that will be to make us stop and think.  His purpose will be to make us take the time to consider Him and His wonderful works.

How many times have we see a “fir tree in the desert” that made us stop what what we were doing and think about Him?  I think that the Lord puts things like in our lives just to help us.  The other day, I was delivering a stove to a house and I looked up and saw a small cross on the wall.  I’ve seen crosses like that a thousand times before, but this one stopped me in my tracks.  It made me start thinking about the cross and all that Jesus Christ had done for me there.  I started praying and thanking the Lord for His goodness and mercy to me.  All because of a small cross on some stranger’s kitchen wall.

The next time He puts a “fir tree” in your desert, stop and “consider, and understand… that the Lord hath done this.”

Opened Eyes and Loosed Prisoners

I the Lord have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles; To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.

Isaiah 42:6-7

There is so much great truth in these verses that I don’t even know where to begin.  I love the comfort found in verse six and the purpose found in verse seven.  But it all goes together.  As with everything else, all truth comes beautifully together in Christ Jesus.

Verse six starts of by telling us that He has called us in righteousness.  Sometimes I think God made a mistake when He saved me.  I have failed Him over and over and I can not imagine why He would choose to save a sinner like myself.  But He has and I can only thank Him for it.  He has also promised in this verse to “hold our hand and keep us.”  If that doesn’t comfort and encourage you, I don’t know what will.  The image I get from reading this is that of a father holding the hand of his small child.  The child stumbles along, tripping and bumbling the whole way.  But the entire time, the father has a firm hold on his hand.  That sounds like us as Christians.  We often trip and stumble, but He continues to hold our hand and keep us.

Verse seven tells us why He came and it tells us just what He has done for us: He has opened our blind eyes and has freed us from the prison of sin.  Without Him, we would be blind and a slave to sin.  With Him, we are alive in Him, able to see clearly and free. 

Some days it is good just to stop for a second and think about all that Jesus has done for us and all that He is to us.  Some days (or maybe every day) it’s good to just be thankful for our Saviour!

Seeking the Living Water

When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst, I the Lord will hear them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them.  I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in the midst of the valleys: I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water.

Isaiah 41:17-18

He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

John 7:38

There are so many places in the Bible in which salvation is offered not to the strong and able, but to the poor and needy.  I am always thankful for this, because that means that “whosover will” really does mean “whosoever will.”  We are not excluded because of our weakness.  Think about the imagery in this verse:

“When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst…”  Here is a person who is poor and needy to begin with.  They start out with nothing and they don’t even have the most basic of life essentials: water.  They are literally on the verge of death.  They have nothing and they have no hope in themselves.  It is then that He says “I the Lord will hear them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them.” 

Not only will He hear them and answer their prayer for water, He will answer it abundantly.  “I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in the midst of the valleys: I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water.”  There will be water everywhere!  There will be water on the mountains, in the valleys, in the wilderness and in the desert.  You can’t get much more water than that! 

When the people realized their hopeless condition and their thirst, He heard their cry and gave them “rivers of water.”  He has done the same for us.  When we were thirsting for something, He gave us living water.  What a beautiful image He has given us!

One Voice

The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.

Isaiah 40:3

John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh before me: for he was before me…   The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

John 1:15, 29

As I have said before, I enjoy reading in the Old Testament and finding a prophecy that was then fulfilled in the New Testament.  I love seeing Jesus where you don’t expect to find Him.  Here He is, right in the middle of the book of Isaiah.  After 39 chapters of judgment and chastening, chapter 40 begins with the words “comfort ye…”  And then we find Jesus.  Or at least a prophecy about John the Baptist talking about Jesus.

I have always liked the image of John the Baptist being a “voice crying in the wilderness.”  Maybe it’s because I love Jesus and I love the wilderness, I don’t know.  But I have always liked that image of one man using his voice to speak of the “Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”

I believe that I have written this before, but it bears repeating: that should describe every one of us as Christians.  We should all be one voice crying in the wilderness of the world, lifting up our voices to magnify the King.  We should be telling everyone about the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world.  Each of us has only “one voice.”  How are we using it?

Not Forgotten

Remember these, O Jacob, and Israel; for thou art my servant: I have formed thee; thou art my servant: O Israel, thou shalt not be forgotten of me.  I have blotted out , as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee.

Isaiah 44:21-22

This chapter in Isaiah deals mostly with the complete silliness of false gods and idols.  God points out that the idols they have made with their own hands and worshipped are made out of the same tree and the same wood that they use for firewood and cook their food on.  After mocking their hand-made idols, the chapter gives the children of Israel these verses.

God tells them that, although they have often rejected Him and served other “gods”, they are still His “servant.”  He tells them that He formed them.  And He tells them that they “shalt not be forgotten of me.”

The Bible then gives them some encouraging words: “I have blotted out , as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee.”  I am very glad that those words are in the Bible.  I am glad that the Lord is merciful.  We have all failed the Lord at one point or another.  We have all let things come between ourselves and the Saviour.  None of us has been perfect.  But, even in those times in which we have strayed from our God, He has not forgotten us.  He has not abandoned or rejected us.  We are still His.

And that is a comforting thought.  We should thank the Lord that, though we have failed Him, He will never fail us!