Daily Bible Reading

April 24, 2024

Isaiah 48:1–22(GNT)

God’s Guiding Word: Hope


Isaiah 48:1–22: In today’s reading, the people of Israel are accused of failing to act righteously. This is why they were “tested … in the fire of suffering.” Verses 14 and 15 refer to the Persian ruler, Cyrus, who was chosen by God to attack and defeat the Babylonians and allow the exiled Israelites to return home (see Isaiah 45:1–4 from yesterday’s reading). The reading concludes with the Israelites being told to leave Babylon. Their departure is compared to the way God saved the Israelites when they left Egypt and provided for them in the desert (Exodus 15:22–27; 17:1–7).

Today’s Key Verse: Isaiah 48:12b

The LORD says, … “I am God, the first, the last, the only God!”


48 Listen to this, people of Israel,
    you that are descended from Judah:
You swear by the name of the LORD
    and claim to worship the God of Israel—
    but you don’t mean a word you say.
And yet you are proud to say
    that you are citizens of the holy city
    and that you depend on Israel’s God,
    whose name is the LORD Almighty.

The LORD says to Israel,

“Long ago I predicted what would take place;
    then suddenly I made it happen.
I knew that you would prove to be stubborn,
    as rigid as iron and unyielding as bronze.
And so I predicted your future long ago,
    announcing events before they took place,
    to keep you from claiming
    that your idols and images made them happen.

“All I foretold has now taken place;
    you have to admit my predictions were right.
Now I will tell you of new things to come,
    events that I did not reveal before.
Only now am I making them happen;
    nothing like this took place in the past.
If it had, you would claim that you knew all about it.
I knew that you couldn’t be trusted,
    that you have always been known as a rebel.
That is why you never heard of this at all,
    why no word of it ever came to your ears.

“In order that people will praise my name,
    I am holding my anger in check;
    I am keeping it back and will not destroy you.
10 I have tested you in the fire of suffering,
    as silver is refined in a furnace.
But I have found that you are worthless.
11 What I do is done for my own sake—
    I will not let my name be dishonored
    or let anyone else share the glory
    that should be mine and mine alone.”

12 The LORD says,

“Listen to me, Israel, the people I have called!
I am God, the first, the last, the only God!
13 My hands made the earth’s foundations
    and spread the heavens out.
When I summon earth and sky,
    they come at once and present themselves.

14 “Assemble and listen, all of you!
None of the gods could predict
    that the man I have chosen would attack Babylon;
    he will do what I want him to do.
15 I am the one who spoke and called him;
    I led him out and gave him success.

16 “Now come close to me and hear what I say.
    From the beginning I have spoken openly
    and have always made my words come true.”

(Now the Sovereign LORD has given me his power and sent me.)

17 The holy God of Israel,
    the LORD who saves you, says:
“I am the LORD your God,
    the one who wants to teach you for your own good
    and direct you in the way you should go.

18 “If only you had listened to my commands!
Then blessings would have flowed for you
    like a stream that never goes dry.
Victory would have come to you
    like the waves that roll on the shore.
19 Your descendants would be as numerous as grains of sand,
    and I would have made sure they were never destroyed.”

20 Go out from Babylon, go free!
Shout the news gladly; make it known everywhere:
    “The LORD has saved his servant Israel!”
21 When the LORD led his people through a hot, dry desert,
    they did not suffer from thirst.
He made water come from a rock for them;
    he split the rock open, and water flowed out.

22 “There is no safety for sinners,” says the LORD.


According to verses 9–11, what reason is given for the LORD’s “holding [his] anger in check?” What “new things” are to come (verse 6)? Reread verses 17–19. What is God’s message to the people? In what ways have you experienced God teaching you “for your own good” and directing you “in the way you should go” (verse 17)?


Lord God Almighty, you are God, the first, the last, the only God! Teach me to listen for your voice and heed your commands so that I honor your name and bring glory to you. Direct me each day in the way I should go and empower me to proclaim the news of your salvation. Amen.

Tomorrow’s Reading

Isaiah 51:1–16: Isaiah offers words of comfort to Jerusalem.

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