Here are some of my favorite verses from the book of Isaiah:
Isaiah 25:1-3: O LORD, You are my God; I will exalt You, I will give thanks to Your name; For You have worked wonders, Plans formed long ago, with perfect faithfulness. 2 For You have made a city into a heap, A fortified city into a ruin; A palace of strangers is a city no more, It will never be rebuilt. 3 Therefore a strong people will glorify You; Cities of ruthless nations will revere You.
Strength is not commonly associated with “religious” people. A construction worker told me recently that Christians do not have a reputation as being “strong” in the construction workplace. I like this verse because it affirms godliness as a strong characteristic. That is why Paul says that bodily discipline is “only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things…”
Isaiah 30:21: Your ears will hear a word behind you, “This is the way, walk in it,” whenever you turn to the right or to the left.
What an apt description of the working together of the Holy Spirit and our conscience. You know what is right, you do. The issue isn’t what is right and what is wrong, the issue is: Are you going to heed the voice? Decide to obey. Choose the right path.
Isaiah 37:31 “The surviving remnant of the house of Judah will again take root downward and bear fruit upward.
There is a marvelous principle of growth embedded in this verse. The fruit that is produced by the tree is a by-product of two things: The internal structure of the tree (identity) and the strength and vitality of the root structure (mindset). If you want to produce the fruit, you must have the appropriate identity. The Bible calls that being born of God, born from above. Christ has made believers a new creation. Secondly, that must be the new soil in which the mind lives. If you plant an apricot tree in rich soil, it will produce fruit. It will not have to try to produce it, it will simply produce it. If you are not producing the fruit, one of two things is wrong. You have not been made into a new creation by Christ, or you are not sending your roots down into the soil of God’s revealed truth.
Take care of your garden.
Isaiah 49:16 “Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; Your walls are continually before Me.
This verse has stuck with me for weeks now. I can’t get over this picture of God loving me so much that He writes my name on His hand. To be honest, I don’t know if I really believe this verse. It is beyond my imagining that God would love me that much to perform this silly adolescent act. This is what I did as a kid when I was so in love with Laura what’s her name in 4th grade. That is what a lot of drunken sailors do when they get a tattoo with their girl’s name on their bicep, and then get it crossed out in the next port and replaced with a new one. The picture here is one of sonship, God has adopted me as His son, and I can call Him Father.
Remember who you are!