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Logos - Getting to Grips with the Prophecy of Isaiah

INTRODUCTION

The Prophecy of Isaiah is one of the largest and most significant books of the Bible.  Some have called it: “The Bible In Miniature”.  Because it splits into two halves – just as the OT has 39 books and the NT has 27 books - likewise Isaiah ch.1-39 addresses Israel’s sin, threatens judgement and being sent away into exile; and ch.40-66 looks to the future with the promise of God bringing His people home from exile, and forgiving their sins through the work of His Servant.

The book begins with God calling the heavens and earth to be witnesses as He puts His people (Israel) on trial for their unfaithfulness; but the book ends with God creating a new heavens and new earth filled with people (from all nations) saved by His faithful Servant.

Isaiah’s name means “The LORD is Salvation” – which points us to Jesus whose name also means “The LORD Saves”.  Although Isaiah lived 700 years before Jesus, Jesus says in John 12 that “Isaiah saw my glory”.  The New Testament quotes from Isaiah at least 20 times and refers to it countless more times.  So this is an important book for Christians to drink deeply from to appreciate more of who Jesus is!

Tonight I want to share with you some tools to help you get the most out of reading Bible prophecy generally – and help you start to get to grips with Isaiah specifically.

HOOK

Whenever we open up the Bible we are going on a journey: from “OUR TOWN” to “BIBLE TOWN”.  Our Town and Bible Town are separated by a river which represents the fact that we’re going back to a time long ago, a country far away, a culture different to our own, reading a book written in a foreign language, given to people under the Old Covenant.  That means that we’ve got some work to do if we’re to get the most out of our visit to Bible Town.  Think of tonight as a kind of Guide Book for your time in Isaiah town, to help you ask the right questions and find answers that will help you see clearly what is going on in Isaiah. 

Here are the five questions which you can use for ANY Bible Study!

  • GENRE: What type of writing is it?
  • CONTEXT: When and where is it set?
  • OBSERVATION: What does it say?
  • MEANING: What is the message? [For THEM/THEN]
  • APPLICATION: So what difference does this make? [For US/NOW]

Let’s work through them together…

BOOK

(1) GENRE: WHAT TYPE OF WRITING IS IT?

You don’t have to be an English literature student to know something about genres – or different types of writing. 

Q: Shout out some examples of genres?

There are different genres in the Bible, which you need to recognise and read accordingly.  Some are easier to read than others – for example: narratives are easy to read because we love story, poems take a bit of imagination, and the prophets require us to work hard!

  1. When you hear the word prophet/prophecy – what associations come to mind?

There were two types of prophecy: Prophets weren’t just people who were given visions and messages about the FUTURE by God (fore-telling) – most of their sermons were “forth telling”.  They have been called “covenant enforcers” – their job was to speak to God’s people in the PRESENT – calling them to take seriously what it means to live as God’s people in covenant relationship with Him.  Almost like a best-man is there to tell a married man: Remember to take seriously your vows to your wife.  The prophets’ had two basic themes:

  • God’s warnings: God’s judgement is coming against the people for their sins of idolatry, immorality, inhumanity and indifference.
  • God’s promises: there is hope of deliverance from and restoration beyond judgement for those who faithfully trust God.

(2) CONTEXT: WHEN/WHERE IS IT SET?

If you read something out of context, then it can mean that you miss its true significance.  For example, let me read you an extract from a famous book – out of context… Listen and then tell me how interesting it seems…

 “In the 21 months we’ve lived here, we’ve been through a good man ‘food cycles’ – you’ll understand what I mean in a moment.  A ‘food cycle’ is a period in which we have only one particular dish or type of vegetable to eat.  For a long time we ate nothing but endive.  Endive with sand, endive with mashed potatoes, endive and mashed potato casserole.  It’s not much fun when you have to eat it every day for lunch and dinner, but when you’re hungry enough, you do a lot of things”

Does your perception of the passage change if I tell you that this is from Anne Frank’s Diary?  When put in context, what seems quite a boring piece of text, suddenly comes alive with new significance when you know that this is the account of a young Jewish girl, hiding from the Nazis. 

 

Likewise, when you put Isaiah into its Biblical Context and Historical Context, then you can begin to see its significance then and now!

(a) BIBLE STORY CONTEXT:

The kingdom that they can see with their eyes around them is failing, but the prophets call the people to have faith in the kingdom of God that is promised to come in the future.

(b) HISTORICAL CONTEXT:

Isaiah begins his book locating himself in history: The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah”.  Isaiah ministered under a succession of kings, who appear in a spiritual Hall of Shame: two-faced “Uzziah, half-hearted “Jotham, and wicked “Ahaz”.  The exception was faithful “Hezekiah”, but his son, Manasseh, turned out to be the worst of all the kings and had Isaiah murdered.  His ministry started in the year Uzziah died – 740BC.  His death marked the beginning of a period of grave uncertainty and instability for the people of God in the nation of Judah.

Discuss: In what ways can knowing these historical contexts help us appreciate the relevance of Isaiah for our situation today?

  • Spiritually: The nation of Judah was in spiritual decline – the believing community in Judah had become a minority.
  • Economically & Socially: The prosperous reign of King Uzziah had seen rising injustice and inequality growing between rich and poor – and was followed by severe recession.
  • Internationally: The peaceful reign of Uzziah was followed by uncertainty with Judah caught between two warring superpowers: a new aggressive and expansionist Assyria (to the north) and old defensive Egypt (to the south)
  • Nationally: The union between the nations of Judah and Israel remained broken and there was rising hostility between them
  • Politically: The kings of Judah had to decide how they would face these threats: through trust in God’s promises or trust in Human policies/politics?

We too live in days of tremendous upheaval and instability – no one knows what the future holds: socially, economically, politically – nationally or internationally.  So in today’s uncertain times, we need to be reminded of the greatness of God, who rules the nations and whose kingdom will prevail on the earth.

 

Also, like Isaiah, we live in days of national spiritual decline.  In Scotland, the church no longer enjoys social privilege nor cultural influence, instead we are increasingly marginalised and maligned.  Pundits confidently predict that the church is in terminal decline.  Christians and churches look like nothing in the eyes of the elites of this world.  Isaiah faced similar discouragements, but saw them from the infallible perspective of God’s purpose for history: through this small insignificant nation God was going to bring His salvation to the whole world.  Today, we need to hear what God has to say about our significant role in His plans for the world!

 

(3) OBSERVATION: WHAT DOES THE TEXT SAY?

&

(4) MEANING: WHAT DOES IT MEAN? (FOR THEM/THEN)

What makes prophets like Isaiah strange to read is that they are recording sermons, which were preached or wrote in poetry!  Poetry doesn’t just state a point or idea – rather it develops it over multiple lines and forces you to slow down to consider: what is the prophet saying here? 

Also Hebrew poetry works a lot differently to English poetry.  We like our poems to have rhyme and meter – however, the key feature of Hebrew poetry is technically called “parallelism”.  That means it repeats IDEAS not sounds across its lines!

Let’s practice reading some Hebrew poetry.  I’ll give you some examples of the three different types of parallelism – your task is to read it and tell me what is the point being made?

(a) Antithetical parallelism (contrasts ideas)

“The ox knows its owner,

And the donkey its master’s crib

But Israel does not know,

My people do not understand” (1:3)

(b) Synonymous parallelism (restates ideas)

“Ah, sinful nation,

A people laiden with iniquity

Offspring of evildoers

Children who deal corruptly” (1:4)

(c) Synthetic parallelism (develops idea)

“Your country lies desolate

Your cities are burned with fire

If the LORD of hosts had not left us a few survivors

We should have become like Sodom

And become like Gomorrah” (1:7-8)

(5) APPLICATION: SO WHAT? (FOR US/NOW)

We have to remember that we are only ever tourists in Bible Town – we don’t actually live there and we have to return home to live our lives in Our Town.  But we aren’t meant to return empty handed – our experiences in Bible Town are meant to have impacted us and are meant to change how we live here upon our return.  There will be all sorts of things we’ll learn that are timeless, never change, and we can directly transfer to ourselves e.g.

  • Truths about God’s character, purposes, promises and love for His people
  • Truths about Human nature
  • Truths about the sins of injustice, immorality, inhumanity and idolatry which God hates

However, there will be some things that we only indirectly directly relate to ourselves. Remember that the Prophets were “covenant enforcers” of the Old Covenant.  They reminded the people that being in covenant with God involved enjoying blessings if they were obedient, and suffering curses if they were disobedient!  We are included in the New Covenant today, because the Old Covenant has been fulfilled in Christ.  It’s in the light of Christ that we need to listen to the warnings and promises of Isaiah.

  • In His life, Jesus has perfectly obeyed God His Father and so as the Messiah or King, He has won the promised blessings for His people to share with Him.
  • In His death, Jesus has suffered the curses for the sins and disobedience of Israel and the nations, so that His people might be saved by trusting in Him as their Saviour and King.

Isaiah’s message is full of the good news about Jesus, for us today!

Our final exercise tonight will be to look at some of the prophecies about the life and work of Jesus: How do these relate to Jesus and His work for us?

  • Jesus’ virgin birth (ch.7)
  • His three year gospel ministry (ch.42, 49, 61)
  • His crucifixion and resurrection to save His people (ch.52-53)
  • His gospel going out and converting the nations (ch.19, 55-56)
  • His kingdom reigning on earth (ch.9,11)
  • His new creation and the final judgement of evil (ch.65-66)

TOOK: PRAYER


Isaiah 12: The Song Of The Redeemed

I've enjoyed walking with Isaiah over these last two months - I hope you have been blessed by the Word ministry too!  To appreciate these final six verses, containing two songs, we have to remember two previous songs. 
Back in Isaiah 5 we heard Isaiah's broken-hearted song of unrequited love: God has loved His people but they have spurned Him and instead have cheated on Him with other gods.  Then in Isaiah 6 we hear the song of the angelic choirs in heaven singing God's praises "Holy, holy, holy" - but Isaiah was a man of unclean lips, a representative of a nation with unclean hearts, who dare not join in with the song lest he pollute it.  Isaiah and Judah/Israel cannot sing the song of heaven. 
However, after that we heard many prophecies about the coming of the Messiah, Immanuel - later Isaiah will tell us about the Servant who will make atonement for our sins. 
Because of the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ (who is truly 'God with us' and 'The LORD our Salvation'), Isaiah 12 finishes with the song of the redeemed of Israel and the song of the redeemed of the nations. 
It is wonderful to know today that we can join with the choirs of the redeemed in heaven, making these words our anthem: "Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb... Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honour and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen!" (Revelation 7:10-12)

Pray Today:

  • Give thanks for God's "never stopping, never giving up, unbreaking, always and forever love" that has pursued us in-spite of our sins and secures our identity now and future forever.
  • As we leave Isaiah behind and resume Colossians, pray for God to continue powerfully speaking into our lives through His Word.
  • Pray for the newly arriving students and our returning students at the start of a new academic year and a new year of gospel ministry.

Isaiah 11: Transforming Hope

On Sunday the penultimate message in Isaiah 11 showed us how HOPE is found in a PERSON (Jesus the Messiah) and a PLACE (the Kingdom of God).  The rays of light from this gloriously bright future shone in the darkness of Isaiah's present circumstances, bringing him and his followers hope.  Tim Keller told us that we are "hope shaped creatures" and Viktor Frankl taught us about the necessity of hope to help us keep going through the storms of life. 

Cut for time was this story: Towards the end of the Second World War, in one of the Stalag Luft POW camps in Germany, a group of captured American soldiers covertly built a crystal wireless radio.  Throughout the spring they heard regular updates on the progress of the advancing allied forces from the west and the soviet forces from the east.  They knew that the war was in its final stages, with the two sides racing towards Berlin.  On April 30th they heard the news that Hitler had committed suicide, and on May 7th they received news of the unconditional surrender of all German forces.  However, the German officials in charge of the camp did not receive word because their communication and supply lines had been cut-off.  So for several days the POWs continued to be under the lock and guard of these German soldiers, who unaware the war had ended.  Nevertheless, the guards were perplexed as they watched their prisoners: “For three days the prisoners were hardly recognisable. They sang, waved at guards, laughed at the German shepherd dogs, and shared jokes over meals. On the fourth day they awoke to find that all the Germans had fled, leaving the gates unlocked. The time of waiting had come to an end” (Philip Yancey).  While the prisoners circumstances had not yet changed, the news that victory had been won and liberation was coming, transformed how they waited - from gloom to joy.


If you’re a Christian, then you know that the victory has already been won, you know how the story is going to end - you are on the right side of history. This is why Paul exhorts us to be those who: "wait for the blessed hope – the appearing of the glory of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good" (Titus 2:13-14)As we wait for Jesus to return, bringing His kingdom and new creation; we wait in hope and in joy, actively seeking to bless others with this same contagious hope and joy we have found in Christ.

Pray Today:
  • Give thanks for the hope that we have found in Christ.
  • Pray for the many hundreds of festival visitors over the last two weeks who have heard about the Hope of Jesus - that they would go on to find out more and receive this gift of hope for themselves.
  • Pray for the Youth Weekend Away (The Fyalls and leaders; the teens attending; David Nixon preaching) to be a significant time for these young lives this weekend.

Isaiah 7-8: In The Storms Of Life "God Is With Us"

On Sunday we watched as King Ahaz made the colossal error of placing his faith in "Assyria is with us," (7:1-13; 2 Kings 16:7-8) rather than in "God is with us" (7:14-25).  He did not heed Isaiah's messages of reassurance: "don't fear Israel-Syria's threats," (8:1-4) and of warning: "don't trust Assyria's promises" (8:5-10).  In application we considered how each of us is faced with the same choice when the going gets tough: will we seek rescue and refuge in human plans or in divine promises?  Christian cousellor Paul Tripp writes:
“In the middle of trouble, when you are in the heart of the battle, you will run somewhere for refuge.  You will run somewhere for rest, comfort, peace, encouragement, wisdom, healing and strength.  Perhaps in trouble you run to other people, hoping they can be your personal messiah.  Perhaps you run to entertainment, hoping to numb your troubles away.  Maybe you run to a substance hoping trying your best to turn off the pain.  Maybe you are tempted to run to food or sex, fighting pain with pleasure.  Since none of these things can provide the refuge that you seek, putting your hope there tends only to add disappointment to the trouble you’re already experiencing”.
We all want to find a safe place where we can find an escape from the storms and stresses of life - but so often we are seduced into seeking refuge in things that are not God and that cannot truly satisfy - that betray us, just as Assyria betrayed Judah.  But it didn't need to be this way: "O what peace did Ahaz forfeit, O what needless pain did Judah bear, all because they did not carry all their fears to the LORD in prayer".

Nevertheless, I love how the story ends 34 years later in 701BC.  As prophesied, a new Assyrian king, Sennacherib, has invaded Judah and beseiged Jerusalem.  Ahaz's son, Hezekiah, is on the throne.  Once again the nation is gripped in fear and terror.  But this time, at the same place where his father rejected the word and sign of the LORD, Hezekiah received God's promise and trusted Him.  When a letter demanding 'unconditional surrender' was delivered to Hezekiah we read what he did next:
"Hezekiah went up to the house of the LORD, and spread it before the LORD.  And Hezekiah prayed to the LORD: O LORD of Hosts, God of Israel, entrhoned above the cherubim, you are the God, you alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; you have made heaven and earth... O LORD our God, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you alone are the LORD" (Isaiah 37:14-20). 
That's a wonderful example in prayer for us to follow - for the God of Hezekiah is still our God today!  Our song, amid the strains and strife of life can be: "What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear, what a privilege to carry, everything to God in prayer".

Pray Today:

  • For the nations of the earth to learn about Jesus (God Saves; Immanuel: "God With Us") as they visit Edinburgh in the next few weeks.  Pray for all the efforts of "There Is Hope" in the evenings to engage with people on the street, invite them into the building, listen to the music, and hear the good news about the hope we have in Christ!
  • For the ministry to children taking place at the Buckstone Holiday Club and Word Alive Puppets Show each day this week.  For them to hear, understand and long to find out more about Jesus.
  • For those in your circle of our church family who you know are heavy laiden and burdened in life - pray for them to know the reality of "God is with us"

Isaiah 6: Don't Wish To Be An Angel

On Sunday morning, we saw through Isaiah's eyes the glories of heaven's throne room.  The high king of heaven is high upon His eternal throne, decked out in royal robes.  Basking in His radiant glory, the shining seraphim are flying around, delighting to sing His praises: "Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of Hosts, the whole earth is filled with His glory".  They never get bored of declaring the praises of the One they love - we find them at the end of the Bible in Revelation still singing with the choir of heaven.  But Isaiah tells us that the seraphim shield their eyes in God's presence - they dare not look directly upon His person.  They enjoy His presence but they cannot look upon His face.

However, get this: you have greater privileges than the angels.  Because of the work of Jesus: His becoming like us - His dying to reconcile us to God - His rising to bring us to new life with God - His pouring the Spirit into our hearts to make us increasingly holy like God...  One day you will walk where angels fear to tread, you will see what angels can never see.  This is why the apostle Peter writes about these "things into which angels long to look" - they spend eternity scratching their heads, trying to comprehend the immensity of what God has done for us in love (1 Peter 1:12).  Consider these astounding promises and remember that whatever discouragements or difficulties or depressions come your way this week, that you have incredible privileges as a child of God!

  • "Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God" (Matthew 5:8)
  • "For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face" (1 Corinthians 13:12)
  • "Behold what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! ...  Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure." (1 John 3:1-3)

Praise God Today: "Endless Hallelujah"

Pray Today:

  • In thankfulness for the fact that the high king of heaven is our loving heavenly Father!
  • For the upcoming mission of "There is Hope", Puppets Outreach, and Buckstone Holiday Club - for many people to hear the good news of Christ and take the next step of faith to be saved.
  • "Here am I - use me"

Isaiah 5: Love Divine

Think of the dearest person in your life: perhaps a parent, a friend, a spouse, a child.  How many years have you known them? 5 years?  10? 20? 30?  More?  Now try to amplify those feelings of love and affection from God's perspective.  He made you.  He has planned and known you from eternity past and on to eternity future.  You are never off His mind.  Not only you, but billions of other people - past, present and future.  My heart feels like it's going to burst just trying to grasp something of how wide, deep, long and high is the loving heart of God.  Yet it is said: "the bigger they are, the harder the fall" - oh how the sin and rejection of the human race against God must grieve and disappoint His heart!

On Sunday, we listened as Isaiah sang a love song about God's unrequited love for His people.  We listened as God sighed "What more was there to do for my vineyard that I have not done in it?" (5:4) and as God cried six times: "woe [alas]" because of their sin.  When Jesus walked on the earth, He was full of love for broken people  - and yet  at every turn He met rejection, hatred and betrayal - climaxing in the ultimate rejection of the Cross.  He endured the rejection of the human race and enduring the divine rejection (the judgement of exile and death) that the sins of Israel and the nations deserved.  He chose this path, that no other could bear or dare walk, because He loved us.  Today, in Christ, you can stand safe, secure, assured of God's "never-stopping, never-giving up, un-breaking, always and forever love" (Sally Lloyd Jones).  Warm your heart and affections on these beautiful scriptures:
  • "For God demonstrates his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8).
  • "Behold, what manner of love is this, that we should be called the children of God - and so we are" (1 John 3:1-2).
  • "For God so loved the world that He gave us His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16).
  • "For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8:38-39).
  • "[I pray you] may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God" (Ephesians 3:18-19).
Praise God Today: "Your Love Never Fails, It Never Gives Up, it Never Runs Out On Me"

Pray Today:

  • Give thanks for God's love that reaches down to embrace you just as you are, and transforms you, lifting you up to be the person God most wants you to be.
  • Pray for opportunities to channel God's love to your neighbours in word and action: "Let your light shine before men, so that they see your good works and glorify your Father in Heaven" (Matthew 5)
  • Pray for Alistar and Karen Frater, as he prepares to undergo treatment for cancer.  Specifically, you can pray that the side-effects of treatment will not hamper his ability to enjoy playing his favourite instrument: the trombone!

Isaiah 2-4: The Bitter Sandwich

On Sunday morning we were trying to digest the Isaiah sandwich of HOPE (2v1-5), JUDGEMENT (2v6-4v1), HOPE (4v2-6).  It wasn't the best tasting filling as God denounced the pride of humanity (in refusing to let God be God) and pronounced His judgement to humble us.  We also watched as the nation, under the weight of divine judgement, began to collapse like a house of cards.  Isaiah comments: "They have brought disaster upon themselves" (3v9)
There's a similar passage in the NT:
"The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrigtheousness suppress the truth.  For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them.  For his invisible attributes, namely his eternal power and divine nature have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made.  So they are without exuse.  For although they knew God, they did not honour him as God or give thanks to Him... Therefore God gave them up... For this reason God gave them up... And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.  They are filled with all manner of unrighteousness..." (Romans 1:18-32).

Notice how the dominos fall: peoples' rejection of deity, leads to a confusion about human identity; this leads to the perversion of human sexuality; and to the degeneration of society.  If you read the verses in full then you'll notice unmistakeable parallels with our own 21st century situation - it's like Paul has taken his examples straight out of today's newspaper or news broadcast!  I can only conclude that our secular, self-obsorbed society is experiencing manifestations of divine judgement.

We need to recognise this fact, not so we can throw stones at others, but so that we can configure our responses appropriately.  We need to resist the temptation to think that the solution to our problems will come through politics (which party is in government, or whether we remain or leave the EU) or through econmics (whether we stick with or abandon austerity), or through better education, more social action, or through a back to morals campaign.  None of these things reach to the heart of the problem.  The problem of Romans is that humans have "exchanged the truth about God for a lie" (1:25); the solution is also one of exchange: Jesus taking upon Himself our guilt, suffering our judgement, dying our death, to make us right with God again.  It is the gospel that is the greatest hope for our nation, our families, our friends, our colleagues.  Our history books record how lives, cities and nations have been transformed by gospel reformation, revival and renewal.  We can only pray that God will do it again in our generation and be pleased to use us at this time in our nation.

Pray Today:
  • In thanksgiving for the good news of the rescue that God has provided in Jesus - that it is enough for all our sins and for all our society's needs
  • Ask God for mercy for those you know and love, who are experiencing the disastrous consequences of sin (both their own and others) and judgement.  Pray for grace to intervene in their lives!
  • Pray for revival in our churches and a new breakthrough of the gospel in our post-Christian nation.

Isaiah 1: Never Run Dry

On Sunday morning we missed the final verses of Isaiah's opening message.  Did you see on television the huge bush fires that raged across Portugal during the heat wave a few weeks ago?  If so, keep those images in mind as you read these words, warning Judah about the iminent danger of judgement for its rebellion against God:
“You will be ashamed because of the sacred oaks
    in which you have delighted;
you will be disgraced because of the gardens
    that you have chosen.
You will be like an oak with fading leaves,
    like a garden without water.
The mighty man will become tinder
    and his work a spark;
Both will burn together,
    with no one to quench the fire" (Isaiah 1:29-31)
 
In forskaing God's Word to live for themselves and indulge in idolatry, they have not found life in its fullness; instead Isaiah sees them as fading, dying plants; drying out in the hot middle eastern sun; readying themselves being set ablaze by the slightest spark.  But this death and destruction isn't what God wants for His people.  Listen to Psalm 1's description of the blessed (literally: happy) disciple, who listens and devotes themselves to God's Word:
"Blessed is the man...
    whose delight is in the law of the Lord...
He is like a tree planted by streams of water,
    which yields its fruit in its season,
    and whose leaf does not wither" (Psalm 1:1-4)
As you open up your Bible today to read, as you reflect back on Sunday's preaching, this is what God intends for you.  He wants you to never run dry, to grow and to thrive, as you drink deeply and feed on His Spirit-given Words.  Today through faith you are united with Christ. His life flows within you: bringing you into fullness of life and drawing you deeper into intimate knowledge of God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

 

Praise God Today: "Thrive" (by Casting Crowns)
Pray today:

  • Give thanks for our partner churches with gospel hearts in Edinburgh (EoSGP).  Pray that together God will use us to reach our city and nation for Christ! 
  • Pray for the renewal, reformation and revival of the churches in our land under the Word of God.

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