I enjoy reading the Bible through from Genesis to Revelation. I have no idea how many times I have done this during my lifetime, but the interesting part is, I always find things I either didn’t know, or have forgotten and they are fresh and new.
I love the Old Testament. Being interested in history, I delve into the first several books of the Bible and enjoy reading about the early God-followers. I love their faith, their humanness, their willingness to commit to God’s leading.
Genealogies are a must for me. I know many people skip over them, but I read every name and ponder who these people might have been. Can you imagine seeing your name in the Bible; even in a list with your ancestors? God cared enough about them to leave their names for all generations to see and study. I wonder about each one and what their story might have been. I see possible future books where I can unlock their lives and shine light on who they were and what they did. They were all placed in families with parents, siblings, children. They lived out their lives just like we’re doing today.
And so I pass on through the books of History. Psalms and Proverbs are encouraging. Often when we’re down, feeling lost, the Psalms can lift us up.
But then I reach Isaiah; my first snag in my journey through the Bible. I must confess that when I was younger, I would read the chapters because they were there and didn’t take the time to search for the treasures in the verses. But not this time. This time I am determined to find a treasure in each chapter. Something to hold in my thoughts, something to keep when I have moved on into Jeremiah.
I have decided to share some of my findings with you, my loyal readers. I hope some of you will leave comments of your journey through Isaiah, and we can learn from each other as we look for God’s message to us.
So, chapter one. God is really fed up with the Israelites. They’ve done it again; they’re far from God, and He is not impressed. He lists their sins in no uncertain terms and his judgment on them. Where in this chapter will I find those encouraging words I seek?
Then I stumble upon verses 18 and 19. Verses long familiar to me, but out of context in my mind. In the midst of all the talk of judgment, God says to them, “Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord. Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool. If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the best from the land.”
Beautiful words of forgiveness if they will only accept them. They’re set in the midst of the angry words, which continue after these words of hope.
Isn’t God good? Even in the midst of our rebellion, He’s still waiting for us to submit to Him, leave our rebellion behind, and ‘eat the best from the land’.