My family spent last week in Disneyland. We loved it. All Mickey Mouse, crazy rides, princess joy, cotton candy, 50 miles walked in 5 days of it. I'm exhausted but grinning. We are all now professional character greeters. We stood in lines to meet Mickey, Jasmine, Buzz Lightyear and hosts of other iconic friends. My ten-year-old hauled us into the line to meet the Star Wars characters. My four-year-old announced that Chewbacca was a big sad teddy bear. As we waited to meet Darth Vader the character hostess teasingly tried to talk the little one into joining the Dark Side. She told her they have unicorn cookies. Big sister stood in the gap and convinced her the cookies weren't worth it.
The prophet Isaiah has a similar message. Don't be drawn away from the truth. The consequences are harsh. And the savior is worth the loyalty of his people. The message still fits today. Don't be drawn into hate or slander or pride or self-indulgence. Run to the light. He'll save the day.
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40: 29-31 If you are exhausted and weary, rest in the power of hope in the Lord.
This is what God the Lord says - the Creator of the heavens, who stretches them out, who spreads out the earth with all that springs from it, who gives breath to its people, and life to those who walk on it. "I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles. Isaiah 42:5-6 Don't ever forget the plan was always to spread the light to everyone. Your neighbors, your family, the lost and scared and hungry and hopeless. The hope is for everyone.
But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. Isaiah 53:6 More hints of the promised coming savior. The amazing thing about Isaiah is it shows the beautiful balance of justice and grace. Without justice there is no peace. But its impossible to meet the holy demands. And so God made the perfect match in love and grace. He met the demand we could not.
Isaiah 57:14 And it will be said: "Build up, build up, prepare the road! Remove the obstacles out of the way of my people. How about we be a people about the business of building, preparing and removing obstacles? If you allow your soul to be saturated with the tearing down of other people, with ridicule and bitterness and hate, with blocking people's access to Jesus with hypocricy or pettiness or strife it will in fact drown your soul. Build up.
If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk, and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday. Isaiah 58:10
Take the time to read this gorgous book. Choose a verse. Write it on your mirror. Make some changes in your habits to match. Rely on the strength of the Lord. Trust Isaiah's message. The cookies are better on this side.
Here you go! Part two of The Bible Project's Read Scripture video on Isaiah.
I love Jesus. I think my two daughters can change the world. I think you can too.
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