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October 2015

November 2015

Isaiah 8



Isaiah 8:10

   Devise your strategy, but it will be thwarted;
    propose your plan, but it will not stand,
    for God is with us.

Observation - What does it say?

Often times in the Old Testament, prophets would not only speak their messages but they would act them out. And here, God asked Isaiah to embed his message into the name of his child. His name Maher-shalal-hash-baz means swift-the-spoils-of-war-and-speedy-comes-the-attacker. God’s message through Isaiah to Ahaz was this: “The two countries currently threatening you will soon be conquered by Assyria. Assyria will attack quickly, defeat them and carry off the spoils of war from Damascus and Samaria. So there is no need to fear them. Instead, trust in your God.”

Then God spoke to Isaiah again, and this second message was directed toward the nations who would threaten his people. God tells the nations that they can prepare for battle but it will be a waste of time. No matter what strategy they could devise or plan they could come up with to defeat God's people, it’s wouldn't succeed because God would be with his people.

Understanding - What does it mean?

God is with those who trust in him, providing safety and security.

What’s amazing about this verse is that it doesn’t just say the enemy’s plans wont stand because “God’s plan is superior” or because “God will come to fight for us,” but because “God is with us”! God with his people would make all the difference in the outcome. The power of presence...

I wouldn’t say I’m afraid of the dark. I just, uh… I just prefer the light. As a kid, I hated taking the trash cans out to the street after dark. My parents would send me out there and I’d be pulling trash cans behind me while scanning the bushes and continually looking behind me. Any slight noise and I’d almost pee. As soon as I would get the trash cans to the street I would sprint for the front door of the house, slam the door behind me and breath a deep sigh of relief. But, if someone came with me it was a different story. If my dad helped me and was next to me as I walked down the driveway I was completely different. No fear, no worry, no running, no panic. I'd take my time, joking and talking with my dad, and I almost wished something would come out of the bushes so I could watch my dad whoop it. My dad's presence with me made all the difference in my ability to to face the dark without fear.

How much more amazing to think that the One who is with us always is the God of the universe?! It doesn’t matter the size of the enemy or how great the danger, God is greater. As we read a few days ago in Isaiah 6, God’s throne is high and exalted. There is none above him, none more powerful, none even close to equal with him. And this God, although he dwells on high, also chooses to dwell within each believer.

Matthew 28:20 And surely I am with you, even to the end of the age.

Romans 8:31 If God is for us, who can be against us?

Isaiah 54:17 No weapon forged against you will prevail… This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord…

Life Application

Trust in God! Whether or not I can feel or see him, God is always with me! He is present to protect and guide me.

God, thank you for your constant presence with us. Please cause that truth to sink in and to wash away any fear or anxiety we might be carrying. We give it all to you. We look to you and put our trust in you this morning. Amen.

Isaiah 7



Isaiah 7:9b

If you do not stand firm in your faith,
    you will not stand at all.

Observation - What does it say?

The kingdom was divided into Israel (the 10 tribes making up the northern kingdom) and Judah (the 2 tribes making up the southern kingdom). Ahaz, the king of Judah got word that the northern kingdom of Israel and Syria were coming to attack him. God has Isaiah bring his son and meet Ahaz in a public place to declare to him the promise that God will deliver Judah. And at the end of this declaration, Isaiah makes the statement that if Ahaz doesn’t stand firm in his faith in God, he wouldn’t stand at all.

Understanding - What does it mean?

Our faith in God is the only sure ground we have to stand on.

Anyone who fails to trust God or who looks to trust something or someone else instead will absolutely fall. All throughout the prophetic books in scripture, kings are confronted by God for putting their trust in other kings for help instead of God. Relying on them is likened to leaning on a splintered reed.

Isaiah 36:6

Look, I know you are depending on Egypt, that splintered reed of a staff, which pierces the hand of anyone who leans on it! Such is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all who depend on him.

Jesus told a parable of two builders. Those who heard God’s words and put them into practice were like the wise builder who built his house upon a rock. Those who didn’t were like the foolish builder who built his house on the sand. The storm came and washed the foolish man’s house away while the wise man’s house stood firm because of it's solid foundation. The storms and problems and trials will come, but only those who stand firm in their faith in God and his word will stand firm. God and his word is not one rock of many that could provide a sure foundation. He is the only sure foundation, the only rock firm enough to build our lives upon.

Life Application

Evaluate my faith. Am I standing firm in my faith or am I wavering in doubt regarding God or his promises? Am I standing firm in my faith or am I leaning on my own understanding or something or someone else?

God, fill us with faith! Ahaz was confronted with what appeared to be a huge problem threatening his kingdom and his very life, and his faith in you was the only sure thing he had to stand on. As we are confronted with life’s challenges, may we seek your face first! May we have the kind of faith in you that results in us carrying the deepest peace and causes us to rejoice and overflow with love regardless of our circumstances.

Isaiah 6


Isaiah 6:3

And they were calling to one another:

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty;
    the whole earth is full of his glory.”

Observation - What does it say?

Recorded in this passage, Isaiah has one of the most incredible visions in all of scripture. John writes about Jesus in John 12:41 when he said, “These things Isaiah said because he saw His glory, and he spoke of Him.” Because of this, most scholars agree that the One Isaiah saw on the throne was Jesus, in his glory, long before he entered the world as a man. And this heavenly vision of Jesus is an amazing scene! A huge throne above all others, our Lord and Savior sitting upon it clothed in glory with his robe filling the temple, surrounded by seraphs (literally translated “burning ones”) who lift their voices in fiery chorus, declaring the unmatched holiness of God so loud that the doorposts of the temple shake and fill the temple with smoke. Wow!

Understanding - What does it mean?

Jesus is holy and to be revered. According to Vine Commentary, the triplicate is the strongest way the Hebrew language can express something. This emphatic triplet declared by the seraphim, “holy, holy, holy” underscores God's extreme and unsurpassed level of holiness, an infinite degree of holiness.


The amazing picture of Jesus in Isaiah 6 is vastly different than the picture of Jesus above. According to scripture Jesus has called us friends (John 15:15) and we have been brought into relationship with him (1 Corinthians 1:9). But, this passage is a reminder that Jesus is holy.  Jesus is not my homeboy. He is not down on my level. Jesus isn't just “one of the guys.” Jesus is my friend, my best friend, but he is also the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, seated high upon a throne, clothed in glory and surrounded by powerful fiery creatures who day and night declare his holiness. We have unlimited access to him, but that doesn't mean we should approach him without reverence.

Life Application

Approach Jesus not only as a friend but as a holy God, with reverence and awe.

Jesus, you are holy. You are God. You are enthroned on high and I worship you as Lord over all! Thank you for calling me friend. Thank you for the intimate relationship with you that I’ve been invited into. As I approach you though, may I never come without respect and reverence for your holiness. Amen.