This is part of the 66 in 52 Bible Journaling Challenge. Over the course of the 52 weeks in 2018, I am focusing in on one verse from each book of the Bible with many others who have signed up to join me. Each week I will post a summary page with some thoughts about that week’s book(s) of the Bible along with some links that may help our reflection. Click here to sign up if you want to join us at any point along the journey! Click here to see where we’ve been so far!
The Big Picture of Isaiah:
Isaiah is a book of prophecy. He was called to speak to God’s people and his message was one both of judgment and of hope. Many chapters of this book call the people to repent and return to God’s plan for their lives, and tell of the challenges they will face when they don’t. Ultimately, God tries to woo his people back with his kindness and grace, but when that doesn’t work, He’ll do whatever it takes to get his people back, even if that means letting them suffer at the hands of others for a while. Thankfully Isaiah’s prophecy isn’t all doom and gloom we also get beautiful and hopeful pictures throughout of the ultimate redemption that will come through a Savior. God keeps his covenant promises whether the people do or not and that is also clear in this book. While these themes are both throughout the whole book, we especially see the prophecies of the hard times in chapters 1-39, and the prophesies of the Messiah and hope in 40-66.
Timeline of Isaiah:
739/740 B.C. – Isaiah called as a Prophet (Isaiah 6)
722 B.C. – Israel invaded by Assyria, end of northern kingdom
715-686 B.C. – King Hezekiah in Judah
712 B.C. – Hezekiah’s illness and healing (2 Kings 20, Isaiah 38)
701 B.C. – Sennacherib threatens Jerusalem (2 Kings 18, Isaiah 36)
696-642 B.C. – King Manasseh in Judah
681 B.C. – Isaiah’s Death
A Few Key Verses and Possible Reflection Questions/Prayers:
Some of us are planning to read through the whole book each week, while others are just focusing in on one verse. This section of the weekly intro post might help you narrow down a verse to reflect on for the week, but you do not have to choose one of these verse, pick any section of the book you want! These are just some ideas.
- “Come now, let’s settle this,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them white as wool.” (Isaiah 2:18)
REFLECTION: Spend some time in confession this week admitting the ways that sin has infiltrated your life. Then picture all those sins, red like scarlet, being turned bright white, clean, forgiven!
- “…Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give brith to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God with us’).” (Isaiah 7:14b)
REFLECTION: Where do you need God to be Immanuel, God With Us, in this week? Where have you seen His presence recently?
- “And so the Lord says, ‘These people say they are mine. They honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. And their worship of me is nothing but man-made rules learned by rote.'” (Isaiah 29:13)
REFLECTION: Have you ever found yourself in a season where you were saying all the right words but when you really stopped to think about your heart was far from God? Are there areas of your life where that is true right now? What helped you in the past, or might help you not to refocus your heart on Jesus?
God’s Grace in Isaiah:
In a long book like this filled with some hard things to hear, it’s easy to focus our attention on some of the more well-known sections looking forward to the hope of the Messiah. However reading the full book gives us an even clearer view of how much we need a Savior and how Jesus really does fulfill each and every prophecy made about Him. We see in Isaiah that reality that sin keeps us from God, but that He was not okay with that reality and enacted a mission to save and redeem us all through Jesus!
Some Other Resources:
- The Bible Project summary video of Isaiah 1-39
- The Bible Project summary video of Isaiah 40-66
- A Pinterest board with resources and pictures for Isaiah
- The 66 in 52 Schedule and Tracking Sheet
So now it’s your turn! Pick a verse and settle in this week, or read through the whole book. If you post any picture or blogs on social media, tag them with #66in52challenge so we can all share in this journey together!