Category Archives: Isaiah

scripture memory #11


Isaiah 66:2b

But this is the one to whom I will look:
he who is humble and contrite in spirit
and trembles at my word.


the One to whom God looks

Even though my weekly, formal study in Isaiah is over, thankfully I never have to move on from God’s amazing words in this book … the Gospel of the Old Testament.  And thankfully He promises to keep doing a work in my heart as I humble myself before him.
Our church family at Grace Evangelical Free Church in LaMirada, California just concluded their studies in Isaiah as well.  My dear friend and brother in Christ, Erik Thoennes, delivers a power message on the final chapter of this book.
Isaiah 66

The Humble and Contrite in Spirit

66 Thus says the Lord:

“Heaven is my throne,

and the earth is my footstool;

what is the house that you would build for me,

and what is the place of my rest?

2 All these things my hand has made,

and so all these things came to be,

declares the Lord.

But this is the one to whom I will look:

he who is humble and contrite in spirit

and trembles at my word.

3 “He who slaughters an ox is like one who kills a man;

he who sacrifices a lamb, like one who breaks a dog’s neck;

he who presents a grain offering, like one who offers fpig’s blood;

he who makes a memorial offering of frankincense, like one who blesses an idol.

These have chosen their own ways,

and their soul delights in their abominations;

4 I also will choose harsh treatment for them

and bring itheir fears upon them,

because when I called, no one answered,

when I spoke, they did not listen;

but they did what was evil in my eyes

and chose that in which I did not delight.”

5 Hear the word of the Lord,

you who tremble at his word:

“Your brothers who hate you

and cast you out for my name’s sake

have said, l‘Let the Lord be glorified,

that we may see your joy’;

but it is they who shall be put to shame.

6 “The sound of an uproar from the city!

A sound from the temple!

The sound of the Lord,

rendering recompense to his enemies!

Rejoice with Jerusalem

7 “Before she was in labor

she gave birth;

before her pain came upon her

she delivered a son.

8 Who has heard such a thing?

Who has seen such things?

Shall a land be born in one day?

Shall a nation be brought forth in one moment?

For as soon as Zion was in labor

she brought forth her children.

9 Shall I bring to the point of birth and not cause to bring forth?”

says the Lord;

“shall I, who cause to bring forth, shut the womb?”

says your God.

10 “Rejoice with Jerusalem, and be glad for her,

all you who love her;

rejoice with her in joy,

all you who mourn over her;

11 that you may nurse and be satisfied

from her consoling breast;

that you may drink deeply with delight

from her glorious abundance.”

12 For thus says the Lord:

“Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river,

and the glory of the nations like an overflowing stream;

and you shall nurse, you shall be carried upon her hip,

and bounced upon her knees.

13 As one whom his mother comforts,

so I will comfort you;

you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.

14 You shall see, and your heart shall rejoice;

your bones shall flourish like the grass;

and tthe hand of the Lord shall be known to his servants,

and he shall show his indignation against his enemies.

Final Judgment and Glory of the Lord

15 “For behold, the Lord will come in fire,

and his chariots like the whirlwind,

to render his anger in fury,

and his rebuke with flames of fire.

16 For by fire will the Lord enter into judgment,

and by his sword, with all flesh;

and those slain by the Lord shall be many.

17 “Those who sanctify and purify themselves to go into the gardens, following one in the midst, zeating pig’s flesh and the abomination and mice, shall come to an end together, declares the Lord.

18 “For I know their works and their thoughts, and the time is coming<a id=”fb3-1″ title=”Hebrew and it is coming” to gather all nations and tongues. And they shall come and shall see my glory, 19 and I will set a sign among them. And from them I will send survivors to the nations, to Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, who draw the bow, to Tubal and Javan, to the coastlands far away, that have not heard my fame or seen my glory. And they shall declare my glory among the nations. 20 And they shall bring all your brothers from all the nations as an offering to the Lord, on horses and in chariots and in litters and on mules and on dromedaries, to my holy mountain Jerusalem, says the Lord, just as the Israelites bring their grain offering in a clean vessel to the house of the Lord. 21 And some of them also I will take for priests and for Levites, says the Lord.

22 “For as the new heavens and the new earth

that I make

shall remain before me, says the Lord,

so shall your offspring and your name remain.

23 From new moon to new moon,

and from Sabbath to Sabbath,

all flesh shall come to worship before me,

declares the Lord.

24 “And they shall go out and look on the dead bodies of the men who have rebelled against me. For their worm shall not die, their fire shall not be quenched, and they shall be an abhorrence to all flesh.”

Final BSF of the year … tear


Yes, it has come and gone … the final BSF meeting of the year.  The final meeting is a time of sharing with all the participants, including the children’s leaders.  The purpose of the sharing time is to share how God used this study of Isaiah in our lives this year and to give testimony to His great work in our lives through His word.  What an encouraging time.

For as far back as I can remember in this study, I knew I would be compelled to share on this day as God began a powerful work in my life through this study from the very first words of Isaiah.

Chapter 1:18

“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 like crimson,

they shall become like wool.

19 If you are willing and obedient,

you shall eat the good of the land;

20 but if you refuse and rebel,

you shall be eaten by the sword;

for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

Little did I know back in September how much it would mean to me to understand these words or how I would come to understand them in a new way … as if hearing them for the first time.  My sins were as scarlet, I saw that this year, I am also seeing the ways in which God sees me now as white as snow.  I also know in new ways the difference between obedience and rebellion.  God opened my eyes to this in ways only He could do.

So, I knew I would need to give testimony to His work in my life this year through this amazing study.  We were fairly warned that we would have 3 minutes to share … soooo short, but I understand the importance of giving everyone an opportunity to share.  I really had to zero in on what this study had meant to me.  So, with tears in my eyes and a huge lump in my throat, this is what I shared …

“BSF and Isaiah have meant the world to me this year.  I am new to BSF this year.  I have known the Lord all my life and have attended and even lead countless bible studies.  But this year, I encountered God and the gospel in the book of Isaiah, as if for the very first time.  God showed me my pride and arrogance.  He showed me the idols in my life, and pried my fingers off of them one by one.  But, He didn’t leave me there, He showed me His comfort, His love, His grace … again, in ways I have never known before.

So many verses from this book have meant so much to me this year, but these  two meant the most to me …

Isaiah 42:16

And I will lead the blind

in a way that they do not know,

in paths that they have not known

I will guide them.

I will turn the darkness before them into light,

the rough places into level ground.

These are the things I do,

and I do not forsake them.


Isaiah 43:1-2

But now thus says the Lord,

he who created you, O Jacob,

he who formed you, O Israel:

“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;

I have called you by name, you are mine.

2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;

and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;

when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,

and the flame shall not consume you.”

It was a sweet time.

Our dear teaching leader is ‘retiring’ and so this was her last year.  She took a few moments at the end to share as well.  I’m so glad she did … I couldn’t write fast enough to capture all of her wise words … here are a few.

In summarizing our study….

There is nothing God cannot or will not do according to His will.

We desperately need God each morning.

We are constantly coming to grip with our own human failure.

-our sin that keeps us blind to God’s will

God’s primary intent for me is for me to become like Jesus.

-it’s not to be popular, comfortable or successful

-it IS to build my character to make me more like Jesus.

-I could never do this without God’s help.

Our God ALWAYS guides us

-we have to listen, ask for his guidance and pray

-and do it with JOY!

It’s in the daily choices that God shows us how good He is.

-we NEED His word, don’t even try to live without it.

He will do more than we could ever as or imagine.

We don’t know what He is doing or will do …

-Isaiah 42:16  He will lead the blind in ways they don’t know …. He will turn our darkness into light …. He will make those hard places in our life smooth.

He is sovereign over ALL these things.

He says, “these things I will do, I will not forsake them …”

-there is no where we can go that God is not with us!

She concluded with

Psalm 139:7-12

Where shall I go from your Spirit?

Or where shall I flee from your presence?

8 If I ascend to heaven, you are there!

If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!

9 If I take the wings of the morning

and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,

10 even there your hand shall lead me,

and your right hand shall hold me.

11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,

and the light about me be night,”

12 even the darkness is not dark to you;

the night is bright as the day,

for darkness is as light with you.

The Bible Study Fellowship study of Isaiah for this year is officially over.  Thankfully the impact it had on my life is not.  God’s work in my heart is not over either, thankfully.

isaiah 65-66


Last BSF lecture of the year.  Those sitting near me this week were likely wondering if someone in my family had died based on the tears dripping from my eyes.  I was just so aware of how sad I was that this was the last BSF lecture.  I even had one of the leaders tell me she will make a point NOT to sit near me during the sharing time for the final week .. who would’ve thought I, of all people, would be tagged ‘too emotional’!

Isaiah and BSF has really meant the the world to me this year.  I can’t begin to share .. I likely will in another post, forthcoming.

Either way, here are the notes from this week:

Isaiah 65

God is saying, “I have reveled myself!”

He wants us to find Him!

They loved the praise from man more than the praise from God.

-God addresses their unbelief.

-Those with the most exposure did it their own way and rejected Christ.

v. 8-10

Encourages our authenticity with God

-God honors our faith, if it’s there.

-God could tell the difference between good fruit and bad fruit.

v. 11

The wicked would know destruction

v. 13 and following talk of the contrast between those who know the Lord and those who oppose Him.

Principle:  to reject God is an infinitely outrageous crime.

She talks about Hell as a ‘Gospel Problem’

-God saves sinners through Christ.

-we either believe it or we don’t

-when we are open to His word and delight in His pleasures, we are open to begin the process of belief.

-when we don’t believe, we are headed towards hell.

We are saved ONE way by the ONE God through grace

-His gift of love for the undeserving

Do we come to the God of Truth?

Are we authentic in our faith?

God takes the initiative to reveal Himself to all who will come.

How does God view you?

-are you believing?

-what reward can you expect?

v. 17-25

Filled with HOPE for God’s people.

God will delight and rejoice in His people.

God Himself will live with His people forever.

Heaven:  eternal souls longing for God, getting what they want.

The HOPE for the believer, is the Gospel.

God is saying, we can enjoy God now.

Principle:  to receive God is to inherit and infinitely glorious future.

How do we come to God with what we need?

-He has promised to forgive us and recreate us.

Do we struggle to hope?

-we are temped daily by the enemy to give up hope

-we believe the lie that we can’t change

God says, “no eye has seen, no ear has heard what God has prepared for those who love Him”

What can we do?

Go to Him!

Our teaching leader challenged us to go back through Isaiah and record all the promises…

-Do not be afraid, I am with you

-I long to be gracious to you

-My word will accomplish my purpose

-God will keep in perfect peace who’s mind is stayed on Him

-We are all sheep who have gone astray and the Lord laid on Him the iniquity of us all

Our HOPE is the power of God’s living word.

-His word will cause us to be recreated.

-He will intervene

-His words have the power to transform, to awaken, to encourage

Isaiah 66

We enter into true worship of God

-God will be honored forever

66:1  God transcends

God honors those who are humble and  contrite in spirit

-those who tremble at His word

We respond with great anticipation

-the only way we enter his presence is through the righteousness of Christ.

v. 7-14

When you see the Truth, your heart will rejoice.

Those who reject God are rejecting Heaven.

Those who reject Heaven, cannot end up there.

What do we do?

Turn to God.  What is our response to God’s grace?
Are we willfully rejecting Jesus and the gospel?

We have all gone our own way and turned away from God in unbelief.

We ask God to help us live a life before those who don’t know Him with a pure heart.

-to receive His grace we cannot add or subtract to God’s word.

When we begin to see what our sin really is, we recognize His grace.

To know and love God is to understand that He sent His son to die for our sins.

What could be greater?

May we see to it that we know Jesus!

Isaiah 61-64


Today we look at how God is going to fulfill the vision Isaiah has given to his people.

(this weeks’ lecture notes . . . )

The Sovereign Lord has a vision to redeem the whole world and His people.

Our expectations in our culture are ‘instant’ … for everything.  We approach God the same way.

God says He will do what He says He will do, when He’s ready.

Isaiah is teaching God’s people to wait.

-we are not there yet!

-but look at how God helped those in exile and how He will help us today!

The strategy that Isaiah gives God’s people is to wait in Faith and Hope.

Isaiah 61:1

Jesus, appointed by the Holy Spirit, will preach the good news and carry out God’s plan.

The servant of the Lord, Jesus, would redeem God’s people.

Only God could restore what sin had ruined in their lives.

-God’s grace and extravagant love should make you rejoice.

Principle:   those who experience God’s transforming grace, delight in God.

-when we ‘get it’, we are delighted.

-are your days filled with praise?

-are you feeling guilty about the past?

-are you dreading and fearful of what’s ahead?

Grace:  underserving

-God justifies and reconciles us to God

-by faith we believe, we’re saved on the basis of God’s unmerited favor

-when we experience God’s grace, we praise Him.

In your circumstances, have you praised God for His undeserved favor towards you?

-fill your mind with God’s words, the gospel.

Extravagant favor

-focus on the good news of Jesus

-if you do, you will enliven HOPE, no matter what you endure as you wait.

Isaiah 62:  the strategy here is prayer.

PRAYER:  asking  God to accomplish His divine plan.

-HOW we wait, as God’s people for his promises … we should be vigilant, depending on God.

-when we stop praying, we lose that living connection to God.

PRINCIPLE:  Only God offers grace to change you into who He has always wanted you to be.

-surrendering to Christ

-entrusting our character to God to be refined.

-God has plans for us – prayer keeps us connected to these promises.

Intercession glorifies God because it admits dependence on God.

-we are all in hard places

-every believer struggles with sin

-God hears the cries of His people

Only God can change, help and renew His people.

Isaiah says, ‘it’s hard to wait, but you can depend on God and trust Him!’

HOPE . . . always in God!

Isaiah 60

[60:1] Arise, shine, for your light has come,
		and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you.
	[2] For behold, darkness shall cover the earth,
		and thick darkness the peoples;
	but the LORD will arise upon you,
		and his glory will be seen upon you.
	[3] And nations shall come to your light,
		and kings to the brightness of your rising.
(Isaiah 60:1-3 ESV)

Isaiah is saying, “Stand up and shine!”

-“Cheer up and be expectant!”

-“The display of God’s character will shine on you!”

When Jesus comes He turns darkness into light.

Principle:  God’s people reflect God’s light.

-the glory of God shines through His people.

-Do you reflect the light and glory of Jesus?

-Where do you need the glory of God to transform your life?

Isaiah is saying, “Stand up!”

-use God’s word

-know His promises

-claim them

-live, pouring out His radiance

-His glory turns darkness into light

How does God display His glory through you?

[4] Lift up your eyes all around, and see;
		they all gather together, they come to you;
	your sons shall come from afar,
		and your daughters shall be carried on the hip.
	[5] Then you shall see and be radiant;
		your heart shall thrill and exult,
	because the abundance of the sea shall be turned to you,
		the wealth of the nations shall come to you.
(Isaiah 60:4-5 ESV)

Look and be radiant as you see God managing all things.

I had to really stop and ponder that …

I spend much of my time managing things  AND people in my life.  How reassuring to me to remember that God alone manages all things.

My work is to be transformed and radiate the glory of God.

When God transforms us, it shows how great God is!

God’s glorious light showed His people he was WITH them.  He is WITH us too!

We have this light in His word.

Jesus is the light of the world.

He works in our hearts.

He is personal.

He reveals Himself to His people.

Some great questions to consider in light of this rich 60th Chapter of Isaiah:

Have we asked God to give us a greater desire for him?

Have we asked Him to take us from focusing on our daily details to focusing on Him?

He does all things well.

Isaiah is telling us to look UP to Him and ask Him for the HOPE and JOY that comes from trusting Him when we cannot see.

God’s people are for the everlasting display of His splendor.

Are we planted and  nourished by the Lord Himself?

Do we believe that God can change and transform us?

The presence of the Lord restores and transforms His people for His glory.