With the Bible in 90 days reading I am now in Isaiah. It is not the easiest of reading, but through the muck of things that don't seem to make sense or if I am honest, aren't interesting, there are all these stanzas that are amazing, they are like diamonds, and they stand out on the page. They make me stop and read them twice, write them down, really think. They are verses that give me encouragement and I want to remember them, memorize them, and know and believe them to be truth.
The week started out with Proverbs. I have read Proverbs several times so nothing really jumped out at me as something new and profound except for the verse that appears more than once, "Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife." I will admit, I can be that quarrelsome wife and I need the reminder that I am partly to blame for the relationship not necessarily being ideal. I finished up Proverbs with Proverbs 31, the ideal woman, and each time I read it I want to be a little more like her and a little less like me, "Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: 'Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all,'" (v 28-29) how amazing for that to happen, especially when I feel invisible at times. Ecclesiatestes was next, nothing really stuck with me, I guess it was all meaningless, ha, ha, bad joke. Song of Solomon was very entertaining, the compliments I am sure where very complimentary then, but now if someone told me that my "teeth are like a flock of sheep coming up from the washing, each has its twin, and not one of them is alone," (v 6) I would probably think they were making fun of me.
And then there was Isaiah. Isaiah had so much I could read it over and over and still not get everything out of it. I found it interesting how Isaiah would be speaking about something relevant to his contemporaries and then would prophesize about the messiah/Jesus. I didn't realize how many references there were to Jesus in Isaiah and I was amazed at how Jesus fit them all. What else stuck out to me was several references to how the Messiah was going to accept the Gentiles (Isaiah 42:6, 49:6, 49:22). I had learned previously that the Jews' rejection of Jesus opened up salvation to the Gentiles, but though I can't explain it well, I always kind of thought salvation for all people (Gentiles) was a after thought (I know this isn't truth), but now I see from these passages that Jesus really came for EVERYONE and it was always part of the plan, we weren't the consolation prize. Does that make any sense? Knowing New Testament fairly well has opened my eyes to the amazing things Isaiah has to say, it is so deep and I don't understand half of it.
So through the reading of Isaiah there is a lot of it doesn't make sense, here are my diamonds:
"The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary
and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint." (Isaiah 40:28-31)
"If only you had paid attention of my commands, your peace would have been like a river, your righteousness like the waves of the sea." (Isaiah 48:18)
and my favorite verses that I memorized awhile ago and claim them for myself, for me that have power and bring peace and are my all time favorite:
"The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
because the LORD has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
and provide for those who grieve in Zion-
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair."
I have read 22 books of the Bible. I am still completed humbled that I am still on this journey, though I say it every week, I am amazed I have made it this far! These past few days of reading has revealed more than any of the past weeks, though there are muddled sections, there is wisdom that is jumping off the page, diamonds in the rough.