Sunday Devotional: Isaiah 52:13-15

“See, My Servant will act wisely;
He will be raised and lifted up and greatly exalted.
Just as many were appalled at You—
His appearance was so disfigured
that He did not look like a man,
and His form did not resemble a human being—
so He will sprinkle many nations.
Kings will shut their mouths because of Him,
For they will see what had not been told them,
and they will understand what they had not heard.” (Isaiah 52:13-15)

These are the words from the prophet Isaiah.  He wrote these words hundreds of years before the One who would come to fulfill this prophesy.  That One was Jesus.  Isaiah wrote about how Jesus would be lifted up and exalted.  He wrote that he would be disfigured which Jesus was as He was beaten and flogged to the point of death before His crucifixion.  But this was done so that all nations could be reconciled unto God.

These verses are prior to the “Suffering Servant” chapter.  Though these verses are not as well known, they as well portray how Jesus suffered for us so that “they will see what had not been told them, and they will understand what they had not heard.”  Jesus came as the ultimate sacrifice for our sins and has been raised up and greatly exalted in His rightful place as the Son of God.  This week let us remember and be thankful that Jesus did that for us.

Sunday Devotional: Isaiah 53:6-12

“All we like sheep have gone astray;
    we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
    the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
    yet he opened not his mouth;
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
    and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
    so he opened not his mouth.
By oppression and judgment he was taken away;
    and as for his generation, who considered
that he was cut off out of the land of the living,
    stricken for the transgression of my people?
And they made his grave with the wicked
    and with a rich man in his death,
although he had done no violence,
    and there was no deceit in his mouth.

Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him;
    he has put him to grief;
when his soul makes an offering for guilt,
    he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days;
the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.
Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied;
by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,
    make many to be accounted righteous,
    and he shall bear their iniquities.
Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many,
    and he shall divide the spoil with the strong,
because he poured out his soul to death
    and was numbered with the transgressors;
yet he bore the sin of many,
    and makes intercession for the transgressors.” (Isaiah 53:6-12)

These verses are a part of the chapter in the book of Isaiah known as the “Suffering Servant” chapter.  It is a prophesy by Isaiah about the coming messiah who would suffer and die for the people.  That coming messiah was Jesus.  He was the lamb that was led to slaughter.  He went willingly to die for our sins.  He had done no wrong but yet he suffered and died.  He bore our sins and paid the price for them so that we don’t have to do so.

These verses are a reminder that no matter where we are or what we’re going through, Jesus understand and knows.  He knows what it’s like to be rejected.  He knows what it’s like to be hurt by those who are strangers and those who are friends.  He knows what it’s like to be alone.  He loves us so much and wants us to know that we’re not alone and that He went through all He went through for us.

This week, let us trust in that.  Let us hope in that.  Let us share that with others.  Jesus suffered and died for us.  He also was resurrected so that we can have hope and new life.  He was a “man of sorrows” but he brings joy.

Sunday Devotional: Isaiah 53:1-5

“Who has believed what he has heard from us?
    And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
For he grew up before him like a young plant,
    and like a root out of dry ground;
he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
    and no beauty that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by men;
    a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces
    he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Surely he has borne our griefs
    and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
    smitten by God, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions;
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
    and with his wounds we are healed.”  (Isaiah 53:1-5)

This has been a really tough week in so many ways.  A lot of pain and hurt has been felt in some way shape or form.  And sometimes it feels we are alone in our pain and suffering.  It is times like these that I’m reminded of these verses from the book of Isaiah.

Here in these verses Isaiah was foretelling the coming of Jesus and what Jesus would go through on our behalf.  Isaiah said that Jesus would be “a man of sorrows”.  He would know what it’s like to be rejected.  He would know what grief and pain is like.  He would take it on so that we could be reconciled with God.  He would do it so that we could be healed.

There is a lot of suffering in this world.  There is a lot of sorrow and grief.  There is a lot of pain and rejection.  We all experience it.  But we can be assured that Jesus understands.  He knows what we’re going through because He experienced it first hand.  He did so willingly because He loves us.

This week, let us remember and share the hope of Jesus.  In the midst of our own sorrows and griefs, let us remember that we are not alone in it.  We have one with us who understands and who loves us.  We have one with us who can give us hope when it feels like we have no hope left.

Sunday Devotional: Isaiah 9:6-7

“For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
    and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and of peace
    there will be no end,
on the throne of David and over his kingdom,
    to establish it and to uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
    from this time forth and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.” (Isaiah 9:6-7)

These verses are a prophesy to the birth of Jesus.  The prophet Isaiah wrote these words hundreds of years in advance.  These words brought hope.  These words brought a longing for the coming Messiah.  We see these words as a fulfillment and as a promise.

We have the fulfillment in the birth of Jesus.  We have the promise that when He returns again that His kingdom will forever rule.  During this Christmas season, let us remember the hope we have in the one who is the Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace.  And let us remember that He is in control and we can count on Him from this time forth and forevermore.

Sunday Devotional: Isaiah 30:19-20

“For a people shall dwell in Zion, in Jerusalem; you shall weep no more.  He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry. As soon as he hears it, he answers you.  And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide himself anymore, but your eyes shall see your Teacher. ”  Isaiah 30:19-20

As I was going through my devotions this week, I came across these verses and were encouraged.  Here, the prophet Isaiah was speaking to the people of Judah.  He had previously mentioned about what would take place and how the people would suffer (foreshadowing the future for the people) but here he reminds them of encouragement.  Even in the midst of struggle and adversity, He is there.  He hears their cries and is there for them.

The same is true for us today.  When we go through adversity, He is there.  If we look to Him we will find Him.  If we cry out to Him, He will hear us.  This week, just know that whatever adversity you may be going through, God is there.  Call out to Him.  Turn towards Him.  Trust in Him and you’ll be comforted.

Sunday Devotional: 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 42:16

I first read this verse when I was a teenager and it is one that has stuck with me ever since.  God is telling Isaiah to tell the people of Israel some words of encouragement in the midst of discouraging times.  The cool things are what God says he will do.

First, God says that He will lead and guide.  Even when the path is one we cannot see or that we know, He will always be there to lead and guide us.  He will bring light into our lives and help smooth out the rough spots.  And He says that he will not forsake us.  He won’t leave us.  He’ll always be there.

When things are tough, when the path doesn’t seem clear, when you feel alone, just remember that God is right there to lead and guide, to shine light into the darkness and that He doesn’t leave or forsake us.  That is an encouraging word to remember.