God’s Word of Wisdom
Isaiah 8:1-20: Isaiah’s wife bears him a son, and the LORD tells the prophet Isaiah to give his newborn son a name that symbolizes that the kings of Israel and Syria will be destroyed quickly by their Assyrian foes (verse 3). But because Ahaz still prefers to seek an alliance with Assyria rather than relying on God, Isaiah warns that the Assyrians will attack Judah.
Isaiah’s Son as a Sign to the People
8 The Lord said to me, “Take a large piece of writing material and write on it in large letters:[a] ‘Quick Loot, Fast Plunder.’ 2 Get two reliable men, the priest Uriah and Zechariah son of Jeberechiah, to serve as witnesses.”
3 Some time later my wife became pregnant. When our son was born, the Lord said to me, “Name him ‘Quick-Loot-Fast-Plunder.’ 4 Before the boy is old enough to say ‘Mamma’ and ‘Daddy,’ all the wealth of Damascus and all the loot of Samaria will be carried off by the king of Assyria.”
The Emperor of Assyria Is Coming
5 The Lord spoke to me again. 6 He said, “Because these people have rejected the quiet waters of Shiloah Brook and tremble before King Rezin and King Pekah, 7 I, the Lord, will bring the emperor of Assyria and all his forces to attack Judah. They will advance like the flood waters of the Euphrates River, overflowing all its banks. 8 They will sweep through Judah in a flood, rising shoulder high and covering everything.”
God is with us! His outspread wings protect the land.
9 Gather together in fear, you nations! Listen, you distant parts of the earth. Get ready to fight, but be afraid! Yes, get ready, but be afraid! 10 Make your plans! But they will never succeed. Talk all you want to! But it is all useless, because God is with us.
The Lord Warns the Prophet
11 With his great power the Lord warned me not to follow the road which the people were following. He said, 12 “Do not join in the schemes of the people and do not be afraid of the things that they fear. 13 Remember that I, the Lord Almighty, am holy; I am the one you must fear. 14 Because of my awesome holiness I am like a stone that people stumble over; I am like a trap that will catch the people of the kingdoms of Judah and Israel and the people of Jerusalem. 15 Many will stumble; they will fall and be crushed. They will be caught in a trap.”
Warning against Consulting the Dead
16 You, my disciples, are to guard and preserve the messages that God has given me. 17 The Lord has hidden himself from his people, but I trust him and place my hope in him.
18 Here I am with the children the Lord has given me. The Lord Almighty, whose throne is on Mount Zion, has sent us as living messages to the people of Israel.
19 But people will tell you to ask for messages from fortunetellers and mediums, who chirp and mutter. They will say, “After all, people should ask for messages from the spirits and consult the dead on behalf of the living.”
20 You are to answer them, “Listen to what the Lord is teaching you! Don’t listen to mediums—what they tell you cannot keep trouble away.”
Today’s Key Verse: Isaiah 8:13
“Remember that I, the LORD Almighty, am holy; I am the one you must fear.”
The references to Damascus and Samaria in verse 4 pertain to the wealth of Syria and Israel to be taken by their Assyrian foes. How does the name of Isaiah’s son relate to what is to take place? What warning does the LORD give to Isaiah (verses 11, 12)? What does Isaiah tell his disciples (verses 16-20)? Reread verse 20. What is the LORD teaching you today?
Almighty God, may the plans I make this day be in accord with your will. Give me an obedient and humble heart, and teach me to follow you. Amen.
And now, join us in praising God for the joy that the Swahili Braille Bible has brought to believers in Tanzania. We thank and praise you, Lord God, that over 300 people gathered in Tanzania to celebrate the dedication of the Swahili Braille Bible. With local partners, the Bible Society recently opened a Braille Scripture library to increase accessibility of the Braille Bible and to create a space for people to discuss Scripture together. Praise to you, Lord God, that this increased accessibility is empowering more local believers who are blind to participate in readings and listening groups. With help from the generosity of donors, the Bible Society hopes to establish even more Braille Bible libraries to bring your Word to yet more people. Amen.
Isaiah 8:21—9:7: The prophet Isaiah brings words of hope about a future king.