[QTVOTD] The new Jerusalem…

“And it shall be that before they call I will answer; and while they are yet speaking I will hear. The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the ox; and dust shall be the serpent’s food. They shall not hurt or destroy in all My holy Mount [Zion], says the Lord.” Isaiah 65:24-25 ->me: The thought in these verses is oneness. 1) Oneness with the Lord, as he anticipates their needs and because they are in such harmony with His will, the words they use join themselves to Him for immediate action. 2) Harmony prevails throughout creation, as Eden is brought back, old opposing foes are gone (wolf), fears removed (lamb), and natures changed (lion … eat straw). There is a point in the new creation where nothing changes: the curse upon sin still stands…The Lord is still the Holy God.   These pictures in Isaiah of the new Jerusalem and the experience it will be for its inhabitants gives so much hope. Lord, can you just take me there now? I am so done with the evil and wicked world we live in…but my purpose is clear -> build His kingdom while I am here on earth and don’t stop until He takes me home.

[QTVOTD] The God of Amen…

“So [it shall be] that he who invokes a blessing on himself in the land shall do so by saying, May the God of truth and fidelity [the Amen] bless me; and he who takes an oath in the land shall swear by the God of truth and faithfulness to His promises [the Amen], because the former troubles are forgotten and because they are hidden from My eyes.” Isaiah 65:16 ->me: Yesterday was all about being given a new name much greater than our old name. Now see the effect of having a new name, given by our Lord -> we have new potentialities and prospects! The idea of the blessing discussed in this verse is entering into the blessing appropriate to one’s needs. Could be said “invokes on himself the blessing he needs”. The God of Truth is both the source of the blessing and the great object of devotion. The God of Truth is literally “The God of (the) Amen”. 2 Corinthians 1:20 says “For as many as are the promises of God, they all find their Yes [answer] in Him [Christ]. For this reason we also utter the Amen (so be it) to God through Him [in His Person and by His agency] to the glory of God.” I believe in the God Who says ‘Amen’ to all His promises, affirming their reality and His trustworthiness to keep them. Finally -> Forgotten…Hidden from My eyes: What no longer has a place in God’s mind (forgotten) or presence (eyes) no longer has any ground of being – THANK GOODNESS!!

[QTVOTD] A new name…

“Therefore thus says the Lord God: Behold, My servants shall eat, but you shall be hungry; behold, My servants shall drink, but you shall be thirsty; behold, My servants shall rejoice, but you shall be put to shame; Behold, My servants shall sing for joy of heart, but you shall cry out for pain and sorrow of heart and shall wail and howl for anguish, vexation, and breaking of spirit and you will leave your name to My chosen [to those who will use it] for a curse; and the Lord God will slay you, but He will call His servants by another name [as much greater than the former name as the name Israel was greater than the name Jacob].” Isaiah 65:15 This passage is talking to the ones discussed in my QT yesterday – Those who forsake the Lord, who forget and ignore who God is; those who serve idols. However, what jumped out at me is the contrast God is making to those who do follow Him -> they eat, they drink, they rejoice, and they sing for joy of heart…essentially God provides everything for those who cling to Him. Lastly He says that He will give them a new name, and I like how the AMPLIFIED version calls out that this name will be greater than the former name just like the name Israel [Triumphant with God] is greater than the name Jacob [Trickster]. Is this new name Christian? What name God is talking about here we don’t know…however, how awesome to know that not only has God forgotten my sin but He has given me a new name so that the old name and nature can truly be left behind.

[QTVOTD] An Easter prayer…

“I will destine you [says the Lord] for the sword, and you shall all bow down to the slaughter, because when I called, you did not answer; when I spoke, you did not listen or obey. But you did what was evil in My eyes, and you chose that in which I did not delight.” Isaiah 65:12 ->me: Today is the day before Easter, the day before our Savior is risen from the dead by the Almighty Father and given the inheritance of the Kingdom of God. Additionally we are GIVEN to Jesus by the Father. This verse is motivation for me to spend the rest of the day in prayerful petition for the souls that will be attending church services across the area tonight and tomorrow – praying for those who only really come to church on special occasions like Easter. Praying that if they hear the call of the Lord through worship services that they will answer, that theirs ears would be opened to hear God’s spoken word, that they would obey the word that they hear. That they would leave church tonight or tomorrow thinking of only delighting the Lord by seeking Him and fleeing the evil distractions and signals that come from the wicked ruler of this world. God, please hear me and the rest of Your saints today as we petition for You to call our love ones, friends, and strangers to Yourself.

[QTVOTD] Seek, Inquire, and Require..

“And [the plain of] Sharon shall be a pasture and fold for flocks, and the Valley of Achor a place for herds to lie down, for My people who seek Me, inquire of Me, and require Me [by right of their necessity and by right of My invitation].” Isaiah 65:10 ->me: The Plain of Sharon – speaks of deterioration and renewal. The Valley of Achor – speaks of a bright beginning marred by disobedience. Achan sinned against the Lord by taking spoil (which was forbidden) from the enemies the Israelites had conquered. In order to keep the Lord from punishing the nation Joshua gathered up Achan and his entire family as well as belongings and dropped them into the Valley of Achor. This verse says that the herds will lie down in Valley reclaiming peace and the people will reap forgiveness and God’s rest. What is the requirement? To run after God (seek), to pray to Him (inquire), and lean on the Lord for everything (require)…for I have been invited by Him and I accept! Marianne’s quiet time was on the meek inheriting the earth and her conclusion is that meekness is gained by seeing yourself against the greatness, glory, and majesty that is our God. I must pursue this meekness by putting into practice the seeking, inquiring, and requiring mentioned in this verse. [Valley of Achor pictured in header]

[QTVOTD] A prized grape…

“Thus says the Lord: As the juice [of the grape] is found in the cluster, and one says, Do not destroy it, for there is a blessing in it, so will I do for My servants’ sake, that I may not destroy them all.” Isaiah 65:8 ->me: Juice is the wine made from the first drippings of the juice before the press was trodden. ‘Found’ suggests that the grapes were oozing as they were picked and that this was especially prized. Therefore, ‘there is some good’ or ‘there is a blessing’. How awesome then that the Lord finds His people a blessing, and He prizes and guards them. All merit the winepress of my QTVOTD from the 17th of this month – “I have trodden the winepress alone, and of the peoples there was no one with Me. I trod them in My anger and trampled them in My wrath; and their lifeblood is sprinkled upon My garments, and I stained all My raiment.” Isaiah 63:3. Thank goodness some are chosen and saved —-> ME being one of them!!!

[QTVOTD] Grafted in…

“I have stretched out My hands all day long to a rebellious people, Who walk in a way that is not good, According to their own thoughts; A people who provoke Me to anger continually to My face; Who sacrifice in gardens, And burn incense on altars of brick; Who sit among the graves, And spend the night in the tombs; Who eat swine’s flesh, And the broth of abominable things is in their vessels; Who say, ‘Keep to yourself, Do not come near me, For I am holier than you!’ These are smoke in My nostrils, A fire that burns all the day.” Isaiah 65:2-5 ->me: This is God talking about His frustration with His chosen people. In the verse before this (vs 1) God is talking about opening Himself up to the Gentiles and that they would come to Him even though He does not call…yet the people whom He not only called but rescued from Egypt and revealed many miracles to in the wilderness would not heed Him. Now I better understand Paul’s passage in Romans 11:11-24 talking about being grafted into the vine because the children of Israel transgressed…I am sure that the letter to the Romans was a well researched sermon taken right out of Isaiah 65. Thank you again God for allowing me a place at your family table; being made an heir through the cleansing blood of Your Son.

[QTVOTD] Stay true and do not fall…

“Our holy and our beautiful house, [the temple] where our fathers praised You, is burned with fire, and all our pleasant and desirable places are in ruins. Considering these [calamities], will You restrain Yourself, O Lord [and not come to our aid]? Will You keep silent and not command our deliverance but humble and afflict us exceedingly?” Isaiah 64:11-12 This heartfelt prayer of God’s people is moving. All of their comforts are gone and the places they relaxed are destroyed. The temple is burned to the ground. With one word the Lord could put a stop to their suffering and deliver them but is His intent to humble, afflict, and punish them exceedingly? They are hard pressed, asking the Lord for mercy. They are not telling God not to rebuke them but to just relent in His displeasure. How few of us call upon the Lord with our whole hearts , or stir ourselves to lay hold upon Him! God may delay for a time to answer our prayers, but He will, in the end, answer those who call on His name and hope in mercy. I think that God allows trial in our lives to teach us humility and that ultimately He is in control. Lord help me to remember to pray for your wisdom and understanding to know what you are trying to teach me in my times of trial; help me to lean entirely on You. Help me to remember what I have learned in Isaiah about the belligerence of Your people and allow your Holy Spirit to give me the conscience to see when I am walking the wrong way…the way to displeasing You.

[QTVOTD] The other side of the coin…

“For we have all become like one who is unclean [ceremonially, like a leper], and all our righteousness (our best deeds of rightness and justice) is like filthy rags or a polluted garment; we all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away [far from God’s favor, hurrying us toward destruction], and no one calls on Your name and awakens and bestirs himself to take and keep hold of You; for You have hidden Your face from us and have delivered us into the [consuming] power of our iniquities.” Isaiah 64:6-7 ->me: My good works through faith are only pure and acceptable when my heart is right and I have confessed my sin to the Lord; even then it is only by the grace of God that He credits Christ’s righteousness to me. When I have been lulled by continued sin, it stifles my desire and willingness to call on Him. My sin is a powerful consuming smoke caused by my disobedience; obscuring the face of my Father from me and mine from Him. The opposite of this passage must also be true – if my sin is forgiven then I am clean, the righteousness of Jesus is credited to me; when I am free from sin I will stand steadfast in His truth. I will call upon His name in prayer and I will take hold of His word to know Him for all He is. He will then not hide His face from me and will deliver me from the evil power that sin used to have over me.

[QTVOTD] The GREAT I AM…

“For from of old no one has heard nor perceived by the ear, nor has the eye seen a God besides You, Who works and shows Himself active on behalf of him who [earnestly] waits for Him. You meet and spare him who joyfully works righteousness (uprightness and justice), [earnestly] remembering You in Your ways. Behold, You were angry, for we sinned; we have long continued in our sins [prolonging Your anger]. And shall we be saved?” Isaiah 64:4-5 ->me: No other God has done what You have done; you have made it clear that You are the GREAT I AM. You are God. ‘Who works and shows Himself active on behalf of him who [earnestly] WAITS for Him” – WAITS -> refers to patient, confident, expectant faith, a faith truly ‘simple’ in its unwavering trust in the divine promises. God indeed could deal with any problem with consummate ease but why should such a God intervene for such as me…but he has been faithful to countless times. He has given me so much.