Daily Bible Reading

December 6th, 2018

Isaiah 48:1-22 (GNT)

Growing with God’s Word in Love and Joy

Introduction

Isaiah 48:1-22: The Israelites are reminded of the consequences they experienced because they failed to obey God. But God rescues them from their captivity in Babylon and they are now free to return home.

Today's Scripture: Isaiah 48:17b

“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.”

Today's Reading

God Is Lord of the Future

1Listen 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.

2And 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.

3The Lord says to Israel,

“Long ago I predicted what would take place;

then suddenly I made it happen.

4I knew that you would prove to be stubborn,

as rigid as iron and unyielding as bronze.

5And 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.

6“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.

7Only 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.

8I 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.

9“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.

10I have tested you in the fire of suffering,

as silver is refined in a furnace.

But I have found that you are worthless.

11What 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.”

Cyrus, the Lord's Chosen Leader

12 The Lord says,

“Listen to me, Israel, the people I have called!

I am God, the first, the last, the only God!

13My 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.

15I 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.)

The Lord's Plan for His People

17The 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.

19Your 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!”

21When 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.

Reflect

Reread verses 17-19. How would the Israelites have fared if they had listened to God’s commands? Now that they have been set free, what are they told to do? Do you ever find it hard to listen to and follow God’s commands? Have you ever experienced consequences as a result of failing to listen to God?

Pray

Almighty God, teach me to listen for your voice and heed your commands. Teach me for my own good and direct me in the way I should go. I will “shout the news gladly” about your salvation and your steadfast love. Amen.

Prayer Concern

Those being released from prison today

Tomorrow's Reading

Isaiah 49:1-26: Israel is to be a light to the nations.

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