Today we’re joined by Gena McCown, a new friend I made through Twitter. Isn’t it fun that we can connect with women who love Jesus through these little screens in front of us? Such a gift of grace!
Okay, take a deep breath because today’s reading is heavy, but we often have to walk through the valley of darkness to get to the light. As I was working through the text myself, I felt the weight of this passage in my own life. But as I neared the end, the pivot was shocking and humbling and brought me to my knees. You won’t want to skip today. Brew a good cup of coffee and settle in.
Fun Breakfast Idea
If you’re looking to mix-up your breakfast rotation, here’s an idea from our guest to fill you up.
One of my favorite breakfasts is fresh sliced strawberries, gluten free chocolate granola, and a dollop of fresh made whipped cream.
Snack on the Go
In a rush? The short devotional from our guest is a “spiritual snack” to keep you going until you find time to sit down and feast on Scripture.
Recently, Isaiah 1:17 has been rooting in my heart as I consider how the body of believers respond to events world wide.
Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.
(Asheritah’s note: I wonder what our world would look like if each of us would do this exactly where we are?)
FEAST at the Table
If you have more time to linger at the breakfast table, open your Bible with me and let’s dig into God’s Word using the FEAST method.
Focus on God: Begin by asking God to quiet your heart and mind in Him.
Engage the text: Read Isaiah 1:1-20. Underline words or phrases that jump out at you. Write down your observations as you’re reading through the text. Describe the comparison does Isaiah make in verses 3-4. What does this say about the condition of the hearts of the people? Look at verses 6-8 again; how does Isaiah describe the current state of Israel? According to verses 2 and 5, what led to this situation? To further understand exactly what Israel was doing that was so displeasing to God, read the related passage in 2 Chronicles 28:1-4 and list the sins of the Israelites. (Don’t skip this—it really helps you understand the gravity of the situation Isaiah is preaching against.) What did God to because of their sin (see 2 Chronicles 28:5 and Isaiah 1:7-8)? Despite the Israelites’ rebellion against God, they still continued with their religious activities, but God has harsh words for them. In 2-3 sentences, describe what God thought of their religious activities, according to verses 10-15. In light of the context of this passage, what does verse 15 say about God’s holiness? (See Isaiah 6:1-7 for a deeper look into this question.) God would have been justified in wiping out the entire population, but what does He do in verse 9? What does that say about God’s character? List the 8 commands God gives them in verses 16-17, then contrast them with the religious activities you looked at in verses 11-13. What do these things reveal about what’s important to God? This passage pivots in verse 18. Write it down in your journal. What is shocking about the tone of this verse? What other attribute of God does it reveal? How do verses 19-20 set the tone for the rest of the book?
Assess the main idea: That’s a lot of ground we just covered. Summarize the main idea of this passage in 1 sentence.
Spark transformation: What did God want from the Israelites? What does He want from us? According to Romans 12:1, what sacrifice does God want from us? How does this relate to Isaiah 1:16-17 in your own life?
Turn to God in worship: Read Isaiah 53:4-5, where Isaiah describes the Suffering Servant (i.e., Jesus); what similarities do you see between this passage and Isaiah 1:5-6? How does Isaiah 53 relate to the forgiveness spoken of in Isaiah 1:18? What does this say about the love of God and the mission of Jesus? Today, take ample time now and throughout your day to thank God for the sweet gift of salvation and forgiveness in Jesus Christ.
As we wrap up this week, reflect on the following questions and write the answers in your journal:
- What did you learn about God this past week?
- What did you learn about yourself?
- What did you learn about spending daily time with God in His presence?
- Write an honest prayer to the Lord.