Lent 2017: You Are Mine: Day 15

The Lord Will Make Himself Known

by

Today's Text: Isaiah 18:1-7, Isaiah 19:1-25, Isaiah 20:1-6, Matthew 10:16-23, Romans 9:14-18

Text: Isaiah 18:1-7, Isaiah 19:1-25, Isaiah 20:1-6, Matthew 10:16-23, Romans 9:14-18

When my kids were younger, they would sometimes hide. I’m not talking about hiding in the peek-a-boo or hide-n-seek sense—though those were games we all loved to play together. No, they hid because they didn’t want to be found. If you’ve been around kids at all, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Kids often try to hide, however poorly, what they don’t want others to see.

I’ve been tempted to do the same in the face of being found out, when the Lord reveals my sin to me. But as today’s readings remind me, God is a righteous judge who will not be mocked. One day, we will all give account for what we’ve done (Romans 14:12), but it won’t be a time to impart information to the Lord—He already knows all things (Psalm 139). Rather than send us into hiding, these truths should lead us to confession, repentance, and ultimately worship.

The good news for you and me—for all who believe—is that though God is just, He is also merciful. He knows judgment is coming, and so it’s His kindness that leads us to repentance (Romans 2:4). In His extravagant mercy, He seeks us out to make Himself known, even if we refuse to acknowledge Him (Romans 1:20). But when we do turn to Him and pray to receive His mercy, we recognize, as Paul did, that our righteousness is completely in the hands of the Lord:

What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means! For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”
- Romans 9:14-15

Redemption depends not on our human will or exertion, but on our kind and merciful God. In His redeeming us He displays His power in us, so that His name might be proclaimed in all the earth, to those who have yet to turn to Him (Romans 9:17).

The Lord is active and present, working in so many ways and in so many places (John 5:17). But we can easily miss Him. We can drown Him out with distractions and busyness. We can tune Him out like Adam and Eve did, then run and hide from Him in our sin, instead of running into His arms for forgiveness. Even so, He pursues us—working both broadly in the world and intimately in our hearts—to bring us back to where we belong: in His presence. Though we were once far off and lost, the blood of Jesus has brought us close (Ephesians 2:13).

We were made to be found. So look for Him. Listen. Pay attention. Count the ways you see the Lord’s hand at work. Draw near to Him. Seek Him with all your heart, and rest assured, He will be found by you (Jeremiah 29:12-14).

This is the Lord’s mercy to you and me—not by our might, but by His.

SRT-LENT2017-Instagram15s

Trillia Newbell is the author of Enjoy: Finding the Freedom to Delight Daily in God’s Good GiftsFear and Faith: Finding the Peace Your Heart Craves (2015) and United: Captured by God’s Vision for Diversity (2014). Trillia is married to her best friend, Thern, they reside with their two children near Nashville, TN. You can find her at trillianewbell.com and follow her on twitter at @trillianewbell

  • ed sheera

    This is a surely extensive blog your have here but I had some questions about advertising on your website. So if you could reply to this post with a contact email, that would be stupendous.

    http://www.edsheeran.co.uk

  • So, I’m definitely late in posting this, but I have been slowly going through Isaiah and soaking up its richness! As I studied through today’s readings (the commentaries on biblegateway.com–especially the Reformation Study Bible by R.C. Sproul–offer incredible insight into context and symbolism), one central theme kept coming to mind: We can find NOTHING or NOONE in this world who can satisfy, protect, fulfill us, or provide like the Lord can (19:3, 20:5). Though Egypt and Cush look to diviners, idols, and other nations for their deliverance, God demonstrates that no earthly power can stand eternally. Though it is painful when God strips away the false security we cling to (whatever it may be for us), we can find comfort and hope in the fact that He can always be found in the brokenness!

  • Keri McCue

    “Rather than send us into hiding, these truths should lead us to confession, repentance, and ultimately worship.” Oh how I love these words! It’s so stinkin true! There are times when I feel the guilt and shame and I want to hide. But the beautiful of the Gospel is the undeniable forgiveness and grace that our Father gives us. This thought always bring me to a place of worship!

    http://www.littlelightonahill.com

  • Recently, there were some opportunities I missed because of fear and passivity. Because of that, I started thinking that the Lord was very disappointed in me. And then somehow I got to this place of thinking that he was so angry with me, and was just barely keeping his full wrath from me. In addition to today’s reading, the Lord also reminded me of Psalm 103, where the Word says he is SLOW to anger. Now i’ve read that a thousand times, but today it became real rhema word to me! He’s not ‘this close’ from unleashing on me, he is very patient and kind with me, ready to lavish not rage, but his tender mercies on me! While obviously God is just, he is merciful to me! Thank you, SRT. I’m ready to come out of hiding in my fear of disappointment! Amen!

    • She Reads Truth

      Lauren, what a beautiful place to be in – praise God!! Grateful for you and your bravery in sharing this. Praying for the Lord to continue this good work in you!

      – Stormye

    • Candace Cook

      Beautiful, sweet Lauren. There isn’t an emoji big enough to show you how much the Lord smiles upon you!

  • I’m guilty of hiding from the Lord and this just brought it back to me, I can’t hide and need to be in the presence of the Lord.

  • Disappointed in today’s devotional as it did not reference Isaiah. And there are so many questions: buzzing insect wings, smooth skinned people, five cities in Egypt speaking the language of Canaan… whaaat?! When will Egypt know the Lord? Uggghhh

    • Lindsey

      I had some of the same questions!

    • April Heather

      I completely agree -and I struggle with this one

      • Rose

        I agree as well! Can anyone provide clarity? I’d love for the synopsis to reference back to our specific passages more.
        Still love this study so far.

    • Megan

      I am struggling with this series & understanding Isaiah. Usually, SRT is so good about walking you through the scriptures, but with what we are reading in Isaiah I feel like the scripture is so over my head but the devotionals aren’t explaining the text. Each day is covering 3 chapters, which is a ton, and not explaining it at all. Maybe it’s just me, but the devotions and the scripture readings don’t even seem connected. Maybe the study guide they sell has more of what I’m looking for? I bought the study guide for Hosea and it really didn’t have much additional information, it was basically just straight scripture. What am I missing?

      • Kelly

        I feel the exact same way!! We are reading tons of really difficult information in Isaiah without help. This study has been hard.

    • Kelly

      Yes!!

    • Betsy P.

      I’ve found that biblegateway.com has some great study tools that really help make the context of difficult passages like the ones we’ve been studying in Isaiah clearer–and they are all free! There is even a free app you can download on your phone, too. To find the commentaries on biblegateway, go to “Study” and then “More Resources.” From there, you’ll find dictionaries and concordances, commentaries, etc. I personally enjoy the Reformation Study Bible as it gives verse-by-verse insight. For the SRT studies, I will first read the passages on my own and mark areas of confusion/interest. Then, I will go through the commentaries and make notes on the history and context. Lastly, I will read the posted devotional here on SRT and personally reflect. I have found that this really helps me understand what I am reading and encourages me to ask questions and think about the passage on my own :)

  • So thankful we are pursued by someone so loving while we are so lost. He always brings us home. ❤

  • “It’s His kindness that leads us to repentance.” What a merciful God we serve!

    • truthseeker

      Thank you for sharing this.

      • Kacey

        Wow. That commentary was super helpful. Will continue to use the site alongside of this study. Thanks

    • Jessica

      Thank you for this! I was also wanting to go deeper than today’s commentary goes for this scripture. This is very helpful.

  • I really liked today’s reading, I will admit that last week was a major fail for me to take time for this devotional but Monday is a new week and a new beginning to try again, so I am beginng with this scripture and I just loved that it was saying to not hide from our sins. He isn’t going to be mad, He wants us to admit to our flaws, He wants us to keep coming back no matter how bad we think we’ve done because we are continuing to trust Him.

    • She Reads Truth

      So grateful for these words! They are such a sweet reminder for us all. Thankful for you!

      – Stormye

  • amyloukuo

    Like the other ladies above, I too wish the devotional reflection had tied in with even one of today’s readings. I was struggling to find a meaning of it all today and was disappointed that the reflection seemed off-topic and lacking depth. I love how these other readers have found their own interpretation and meanings in the readings, and I too would like to go back to the Scriptures and spend time in reflection on what God is revealing about Himself through these stories of Cush and Egypt.

  • Kristi Ann

    Amen!!

  • Diane Huntsman

    As Christians we have a radical responsibility to help one another live rightly before Him.. how we encourage, exemplify Christ like living and even correct one another is so vital in the living for Him grand scheme of things.. we’re more likely to fall and hide when we don’t have a good support system cheering us on and holding us accountable.. my support system is a bit on the weak side these days.. but I’m making strides to grow my circle with people of like mindedness.. we need each other for so many reasons.. it’s easy to abuse grace when we are on our own.. to have the mentality that He will forgive me anyways, it’s not that big a deal if I blow it.. the cross reminds us of how big a deal every sin is.. build your circle and invest in one another that we may honor God with our lives and hearts.. we need one another..

  • “Seek him with all your heart and rest assured he will be found by you.” Just what I needed to hear this morning.

  • So beautiful. I love how obvious the little kids are when they try to hide. Oh how obvious we are when we try to hide from our Father. I am so thankful that he sees us and comes to try and find us, even when we are hiding in darkness. Thank you Jesus for finding me!

    http://www.in-due-time.com

  • What a great message, as I have come to expect each day. Did anyone else see the timely and related message from Klove today?

    The Lord is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.
    –Psalm 103:8, NLT

    How lucky to not have our redemption relying on us and instead on the perfect One above us. We don’t need to and should not hide from Him. He knows even if we hide and forgives anyways.

  • Made to be found. Made to be found. Made to be found!

  • Christina

    “And the Lord will strike Egypt, striking and healing, and they will return to the Lord, and he will listen to their pleas for mercy and heal them.” Isaiah 19:22

    Isaiah 20:1-6~ The people of Egypt saw how vulnerable those in whom they trusted, their leadership, really were. The Egyptians realized that if those who seemed strongest and most capable were able to be humiliated the way Assyria humiliated their leaders, was there really any escape for them?

    “When they deliver you over, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say, for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour. For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. Brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death, and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.” Matthew 10:19-22

    “[God] knows judgment is coming, and so it’s His kindness that leads us to repentance (Romans 2:4). In His extravagant mercy, He seeks us out to make Himself known, even if we refuse to acknowledge Him (Romans 1:20). . . . Redemption depends not on our human will or exertion, but on our kind and merciful God.” (Romans 9:14-18)

    Our just and merciful Creator God is merciful enough to strike us down in order to heal us more wholly into His image. He is merciful enough to use the most barbarian, anti-Christ peoples (or simply the people that believe they are too far gone) to accomplish His will and cleansing and redemption. Our faithful God will place us in the difficult positions to show us the dross of earthly interests and His own great value. Maybe you don’t want to serve a God who loves with tough love. But if you are honest, you would rather hang out with the toughly loved child than the spoiled, undisciplined child. And just like we want to give our children the very best things for them (not always the things they want most), so God desires and accomplishes His very best for us.

  • I’ve mentioned this before. At times we get distracted by what we feel or the unfortunate circumstances we go through that we lose sight of God’s presence at work in our lives. We try to hide from our sins or from certain situations because for us, it might be easier to cope with then facing it head on. God doesn’t want that though. It’s strange because we should be seeking Him yet He, too, is constantly seeking for us, even when we turn away from Him. God is a perfect example of true love; what is lost will always find its way back to where it belongs.

  • I love that in what seems like God’s punishment (striking Egypt with a plague), there is also God’s healing. He works all things for good….And in Egypt’s case, their healing is a beautiful sign of the Gentiles being united with the Jews to be brothers and sisters in Christ. God’s healing brings enemies together (Egypt and Assyria), and these places that have caused so much trouble and pain for God’s chosen people are now also called blessed. How awesome! Who are we to say someone is too far gone for God to bring healing? Who are we to say if someone could/should/would be called blessed by God? He breaks through every wall and barrier and pursues us…both the Jew and the Gentile. May we not forget that there will be pain in the breaking of our walls….God did send a plague on Egypt. But in the breaking, we are broken open to receive the mercy and grace and blessing of our Father!

    • DAH

      Thanks for this Audrey. Your words have resonated with me this morning.

    • Lara

      Yes! This stood out to me too! Not only Israel, but Egypt and Assyria are called a light to the nations. Israels enemies are included! I truly wonder what this means for all our ‘enemies’ today and all the groups we tend to exclude…
      Reminded me of an awesome quote by Scott Sauls:
      ‘The narrow path of Jesus always leads to a broad embrace’

  • Churchmouse

    “This is the declaration of the Lord God of Hosts…”. What is He declaring over me, my family, my church, my city, my country?

    “On that day…” What will occur? Am I ready? Is my family, my church, my city, my country?

    Confessing this morning.
    Repenting this morning.
    Worshipping this morning.
    Grateful for His justice coupled with His mercy.

    None need stay hidden. None need stay lost. All can be found.

    Praying that me, my family, my church, my city, my country would be looking for Him. Listening. Paying attention. Counting the ways He is at work. Right here. Drawing near. Seeking. Resting assured.

  • What a great reminder that the Lord’s mercy is by his might, not ours. “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” – Romans 9: 15.

    I grew up in a church that believed in predestination, and now I lean more towards free will. But I have always had trouble with verses like this. And maybe I’m drawing out an invisible negative of those that he decides to not have mercy and compassion on? I think maybe I was reading it wrong before. Maybe it’s not that he decides to not have mercy on certain people, but he is saying that he ultimately has the decision of whom receives mercy, and it can still be available to everyone who seeks it, even though he is in control. Any thoughts?

    • Emily

      Caitie, yes I have the exact same thought! Sisters, can you help me understand why God has compassion on others and chooses to harden others hearts? I’ve struggled with this for years with some of my friends that are not believers. I’ve continually asked God, why did you choose me to follow Jesus and yet my neighbor has no clue and couldn’t care less to know you …her hardened heart. Maybe I too am interpreting verse 18 wrong?

    • Nesta Griffiths

      Hey Caitie,
      This may turn into an essay – sorry! I know what you mean by that. Free choice and predestination are things that, growing up in Northern Ireland, have been constantly used against each other. People – i.e. sinners, a.k.a. me – will always use one to cop out the other: free choice becomes an excuse to make mistakes on purpose because God’s grace will always cover repentant hearts that love Him, meanwhile predestination means that we just get angry when God’s plans don’t match up with ours.
      Before Christmas I heard a really great talk on this subject by Tim Keller on youtube. I l o v e d it so much that immediately sat down an wrote a blog post on it (https://nestagriffiths.wordpress.com/).
      The main point was that God is Sovereign over our lives. That means that this Western ideology of free-will or predestination is void. We have both free-will and predestination. As it’s the mind of God, my brain kinda imploded on itself with that thought. However, the more I read and the more I prayed and the live that God has had me living over the past few months, the more I have experienced that truth.
      We are allowed to make our own choices — without them we would be static people not dynamic worshippers.
      We have predestination as a comfort that what lies in the future is set and planned.
      He knows all things and we only know our experiences – Romans 8:28.

      I hope that was sort of helpful, and sorry for the cheeky wee plug mindway!
      God bless,
      Nesta xxx

      • RondaGale

        ❤️

      • Caitie

        I will definitely check out your post and Keller’s talk! I think that is an idea (free will and predestination categories falling short) that I’ve had floating around in my mind for awhile, but haven’t looked into on my own. This is an awesome first step, and I love that God is so big that our categories and ideas can never contain him. Thanks so much for sharing and explaining!!

    • Lana

      I’ve struggled with this too. I believe in free will, but God can use the hardened hearts of people to bring the individual and others back on his divine path.

      One thing the Bible taught me in the past months is the concept of seasons. Everything has a season. Even hardened hearts. So a person might have a hard heart, God will use it, and then the person will receive an invitation (perhaps in the form of an experience), to soften their heart once more. But it’s up to them to accept the invitation.

      But that’s why for me I feel like we must love our neighbors – because we have no idea how God might be delivering them and others – even through nasty attitudes. We cannot see the whole picture, therefore it would be arrogant for us to judge. And we all know what happens when we’re arrogant (see all this destruction in Isaiah!). All we can do is shine our light and love on the people who need to experience it the most.

      But I actually pray the hardened heart prayer A LOT. Especially with guys I’m dating. I pray that God turns his heart hard against me if he’s not the one. It’s kind of funny because I did that with one guy and he literally stopped talking to me the next day. 6 months later, he texts and says he didn’t know what had come over him. I sure did!!!! Thank you, Holy Spirit!!!

      • Caitie

        I love this! Thanks for sharing. I love the concept that every single person receives an invitation, regardless of how hard their heart is. That helps a lot! <3

    • Kathy

      Caitie, my Sunday school class is slowly working our way through the book of Romans. Romans 9-11 are all about this. Hardest bunch of verses I’ve ever tried to work through, but what we finally came to understand is that yes, God is sovereign and in His sovereignty He chooses who He will have mercy on and whom He will harden. This is such a hard thing because we have a hard time wrapping our heads around a God who would choose to harden someone’s heart. All of that is in chapter 9. Chapter 10 is easier because in this chapter Paul talks about the truth that we choose – free will.
      It is a paradox that I can’t even begin to explain and so I don’t even try. What I can say is that bottom line my grace and salvation is totally up to God. If there was anything in me that caused God to choose me then I would be able to take credit for my salvation, but I can’t. It is all about God. Those who are His are His because He choose them. Those who aren’t His aren’t His because they refused to believe.
      I know this probably doesn’t clarify a thing but there’s an old song called “Trust His Heart”, Babbie Mason sang it. The chorus says:
      God is too wise to be mistaken
      God is too good to be unkind
      So when you don’t understand
      When you don’t see His plan
      When you can’t trace His hand
      Trust His heart.”

      • She Reads Truth

        Kathy, thank you for sharing this. Encouraged by your words this morning!

        – Stormye

      • Jen Downs

        I loved this explanation. We can know Gods heart, but there is a reason He is God … and we are not. ❤

      • Caitie

        I’m going to check out Romans 9-11 and dig into that a bit. I like how you explained that “those who aren’t His aren’t His because they refused to believe.” Love the chorus of that song as well – beautiful words. Thanks so much for sharing, Kathy!

    • Elle

      I think your current interpretation is spot on. I tried looking up some interpretations on this by people more well read on this and found some similar ideas. I like this explanation below in particular. The underlying idea being that we do have free will, but it’s God’s love and mercy that determines his response and he is willing change his mind about countries and people when they come to faith. I think this may also be a counterpoint to more legalistic understandings of salvation where we would earn our own salvation from works. Rather, God decides the criteria and love, chooses to forgive.

      “He gives mercy in response to faith and he hardens in response to unbelief. It’s not the other way around. People don’t have faith as a result of God having mercy on them, and people don’t have unbelief as a result of God hardening them. – See more at: http://reknew.org/2008/01/how-do-you-respond-to-romans-9/#sthash.dxYYjkJH.dpuf

      • Caitie

        Yes, awesome! Thank you for the explanation of mercy responding to faith, and hardening responding to unbelief. Checking out that link today. Thankful for your post and explanation!!

    • ~Amy F.~

      I think we get confused by predestination vs free will partly because we try to explain the mind of God in human terms, forgetting that His thoughts are infinitely more vast than we will ever be able to comprehend (Isaiah 55:8-9). Man says, “God is sovereign; God has always known who will be saved and who will be condemned; therefore, God has chosen to save some and condemn others.” I don’t believe Scripture supports this view. Part of God’s sovereignty is the fact that He has chosen to give us free will. It is His will that we have the right to choose Him, or to reject Him, and although He desires that we choose Him, it is His will that the choice be ours. How can He want us to be saved and still want us to be able to choose otherwise? I think we have to accept that we cannot explain nor understand everything about God. What seem paradoxical to us is just a part of His nature that we are too finite to understand.

      There are a couple of verses I think it’s crucial to remember when we’re thinking about predestination:

      2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord is … not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” In other words, it is NEVER God’s will that someone be condemned. He is not willing that ANY should perish; no one gets their heart hardened “just because.” Along the same line, 1 Timothy 2:4 says He “desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

      So if it’s not God’s will that any be condemned, why are some hearts hardened? Here’s where free will comes into play: in Romans 1, we read that people choose to ignore God: “they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him…their foolish hearts were darkened… Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity… God gave them up to a debased mind…” (Romans 1:20-21, 24, 28). What I understand from this passage is that God hardens the hearts of those who have first hardened their own hearts against Him. He is only finishing what they have started.

      When we read passages like Romans 9, we have to look at them in the light of all the other Scriptures that tell us about God’s will concerning salvation. Based on the passages I’ve listed above (and more I don’t have room to mention), I interpret Romans 9:18 this way: “He has mercy on whomever He wills [and He wills to have mercy on those who trust in Christ, not through their own merits but through Christ’s (Ephesians 2:8-9, Titus 3:5, etc.)], and He hardens whomever He wills [and He wills to harden those who reject the work of Christ, who have already chosen to turn their backs on Him].” His sovereign will is that we choose between life and death (Deuteronomy 30:19), and the mind-boggling thing is that He chooses to accept our choice.

      That said, we do not know if someone has rejected God and had their heart hardened by Him, or if they are hardening their heart but He is still calling to them. Our responsibility is to live the truth of the gospel consistently, to pray for the unsaved, and to be faithful witnesses of Christ.

      There are so many more verses that have helped me to understand this topic. I do not have all the answers, obviously, but if anyone would like to talk more about this topic I would be happy to discuss it further!
      [email protected]

      • Jen Downs

        Yes! Yes! Yes! Hard topic but really is it because we simply trying to fit God into a box that makes sense in our earthly way of thinking? His ways are so much better than our own, than anything we could ever imagine.

      • Lisa Dawn

        This was really well written, Amy. Thanks for sharing these passages and your thoughts. They put into words what I often struggle to communicate in a concise way.

      • Caitie

        Amy, thank you so much. Your thoughts were explained so well and weaved into scripture, and it really helped me. What a great point – we don’t know if God has hardened their heart as the result of rejection, or if they are doing it, but God is always calling to everyone. I’m thankful to have a God whose ways are infinitely larger than what our minds can conceive. How awesome.

    • Caitie

      I came back today to see if anyone replied to my post, and I was blown away by the awesome, thoughtful, scripture-woven responses I received. I am so thankful for each of you that took the time to respond. Each one of them truly helped me better understand this concept, and I’m excited to dive deeper into the resources some of you provided!

  • I like the call to see Him in all things. I pray I see His handiwork and presence today and more fully in my life.

  • A song that was on my heart as I read today’s study was “Jesus I Come” by Elevation Worship. The words in that song really speak to my prayer for those weak and broken places in my heart, one of which being running away from Him instead of running to Him when He shows me where I have sinned. I am very much enjoying this study. It’s come for me at a perfect time.

  • Perfect reminder for me today

  • Maybe it was the “buzzing insect wings” that tipped me off or the “powerful nation with a strange language.” (HCSB) I read Isaiah 18 and thought, “I know that place!” I am serving in the land of buzzing insect wings and strange languages! I am currently learning 2 of them! How beautiful to wake up this morning and read how God has made himself known in this land way back when Isaiah lived and even now with those I am interacting with.

    This realization led me to Isaiah 11:10,
    On that day the root of Jesse will stand as a banner for all peoples. The nations will seek Him, and His resting place will be glorious.

    The nations are not forgotten, what encouragement that brings to all who work among them! Also, YOU are not forgotten! He has made a way for all to draw near (Eph. 2:13).

    I must confess that this life overseas can be very hard sometimes. It is so encouraging to meditate on the reality that God is drawing me, you, the nations to himself! I am so thankful that God found me and it is my life purpose to labor so that more can go from being lost to found. What a great lesson!

    • Jenn

      Lynn, thank you so much for sharing this! I can relate so much to what you are experiencing; living in the land of buzzing insect wings and strange languages! Our family recently relocated to Spain for my Husband’s job and the bees are active and about and we are not fluent in Spanish, yet are learning! I especially love what you said about meditating on the reality that God is drawing all of the nations to Him. I know I am guilty having never left the States until we moved here, not really understanding that there really are other Nations out there! It’s one thing to learn about them on a map but to actually live in one is another thing. I really feel like God is showing me that He loves ALL people, and at the same time has stripped me of many of my distractions and things I tend to rely on before I rely on Him and teaching me to come and rest and rely in Him. Again, thank you so much for sharing Lynn! It encouraged me very much! :)

  • It is a good thing to be able to read this scriptures together. I love the images and the choice of daily scripture but was I was hoping for, was more explanation of the history in Isaiah. What happened to Moab and Damas, and the other places Isaiah talks about? I know many of these prophecies have been fulfilled and I would love to hear more about that in the commentaries.

    • Sarah Joy

      I agree! I decided finally to dig out a study bible we have to get some verse by verse commentary on the history and how these prophesies have been fulfilled or perhaps predict a future fulfillment. I found it to be somewhat helpful as some of the history still confuses me.

    • Joyleanne

      I agree. I am struggling today to see how the scripture readings in Isaiah and the reflection/commentary relate. Wonderful lesson in the devotional, but it doesn’t feel at all related to the readings.

      • Summer

        Yes, I am coming from the same place. Hoping learning more of the history will make this more meaningful.

    • Lana

      Hey guys! This might not be super helpful, but Cush refers to the Nubian empire. It consisted of what’s considered today’s southern Egypt and Northern Sudan. I lived in Egypt for a year a little while ago, and the Nubians still have that fabulous skin!

      Again, I know this is probably not the bits you’re really interested in. But when I read that it made me smile. When I got back from Egypt, I remember telling others how incredible their skin was (color and smoothness), and it’s funny that it’s also mentioned in the Bible. Talk about strong and noteworthy skin genes! Anyway, my fun two cents for the day.

      In terms of the devotional, anyone else think it was really interesting how God turned Egypt against itself? How many times has that happened to us? Sometimes we don’t require a foreign army (or another person) to devastate us. God can convict us from within.

      And I also thought it was interesting how God used everyone in the story for their own greater good. How the destruction redeemed Egypt, Assyria, and Israel. Didn’t we read about this in earlier chapters of Isaiah? How the foreigner would unite with Israel?

      I too like how the devotionals seem to be centered around modern day life. But sometimes I don’t know if baby stories are always the best route to go in. It would be cool to hear from women with other experiences relate to the chapters we’re reading. I could see how this chapter could relate to a woman in business – perhaps feeling conflicted like Egypt.

    • She Reads Truth

      Hi friends! We’re so glad that you want to dig deeper into the passage. The written responses given are simply a peek into one woman’s engagement with scripture – they are not at all meant to be an exhaustive interpretation. We encourage you to keep reading, praying through, and studying the passage on your own – that’s wonderful!

      • Becca Huff

        Hi! Are there any specific books or commentaries you could recommend for those looking to dig deeper into the text of Isaiah? I know it was such an important book during the time of Jesus and would really like to understand some of it better. Thank you!

        • Lindsey

          Hi Becca! I’ve found the NET Bible to be an amazing online resource that goes really deep! There are lots of wonderful commentaries out there as well, but NET is free & free is always good for me. ;)

          • Lindsey

            Also, I really love John Sailhamer’s Compact NIV commentary. It gives a canonical approach (reading scripture in light of the rest of scripture), & is also bite size & accessible. I’m in school receiving a Bachelor’s in Bible & Theology, & I have used that commentary countless times in my studies. Blessings to you as you press in to studying the Word with intentionality! :)

          • Becca Huff

            Thank you!!!!!

  • We were made to be found. So look for Him. Listen. Pay attention. Count the ways you see the Lord’s hand at work. Draw near to Him. Seek Him with all your heart, and rest assured, He will be found by you (Jeremiah 29:12-14)……..

    I had dreaded visiting my mum this past weekend. She has Vascular Dementia…. an illness slowly robbing me of my wonderful mother… We, as a family are now at the stage of carers and caring for our mummy. There are seven of us, one for each day of the week.. lol, but in reality, not so.. mum hears and understands what we are saying, but does not respond as expected in understandable words, but rather, gobbledegook….
    So three weks ago, when I was on duty, Friday -Sunday, as I live 100 miles away from home, our days were filled with chatter,on my part, smiles, a lot of nodding, tea drinking and hugs and love…. but night time, mum would not settle so would be up 5,6,7 times in different states of dress, switching every appliance on, to running water to have a bath…. two days of this, and you can imagine, I was not looking forward to the broken sleep, let alone the depravation on this visit…

    But God…

    He found and met me in my moany, anxious state… I prayed for a better visit, that I would SEE mum, not a cause for my lack of sleep, that we would have a happy visit, and that yes please there would be better sleep…
    Can I tell you, mum and I had a lovely weekend, in the kitchen cooking with her giving her chef daughter instruction, through her gobbledegook and wagging finger, which was quite comical, we listened to Neil Diamond, and moved our hips, she tried to sing along, whilst smiling and clapped with glee, to her touching of my face and looking into my eyes, stroking in love, my mothers love…
    always needed, always welcome.
    During the night mum woke up once, and was soon settled to leep a further couple of hours… praise God..x
    God absolutely found a lost me, in the dread of the anticipated events of the visit, and took me totally reversed that dread to joy filled…
    Thank you Lord God , thank you so much, that you were with us, you found us and brought us to a place of connection, a place of joy, love and hope…. thank you Lord, that your pursuit of us is always home coming… thank you… Amen.. Amen… Amen.

    Love and hugs to you Sisters this fine Monday morning….xxx

    • Lo

      Thank you so much for sharing this..
      I’m going to call my mom
      X

    • MamaCrazy

      Tina, bless your heart, this brought tears to me this early morning. My mother in law is in the hospital and not able to communicate. My husband is very resentful and quiet to it all, as his childhood and history with her hasn’t been the best. But, your words gave me hope for him. I pray he looks to God, listens and pays attention

    • Ann

      Thank you for sharing…I am dreading a meeting today at work, and I am praying that God meets me there and softens hearts…your words give me hope!

      • She Reads Truth

        Ann, praying for you in this! Thank you for sharing. Grateful for you.

        – Stormye

        • Ann

          The meeting didn’t go as well as I had hoped, but God has a plan and will see me through! Thank you for your prayers!

    • Caitie

      Thank you for sharing this. What an awesome story! I often get up at night with a baby (that should be sleeping through the night by now- he’s 1 year old this week) and a 3-year-old pushing the limits of rule following each day. I love them so so much, but sometimes I dread when I have to wake up from my sleep to attend to the baby, or try to diffuse an emotional toddler. Your experience reminds me to pray for these times and give it to the Lord, and he will do his will, which is far better than what I could plan! Praying for you, your family, and your mother in this difficult time, and that you would have many more positive experiences like this again!

    • Sarah Joy

      Tina – thank you for sharing glimpses into your life. God is so good! I’m thankful for you that your visit was so nice. Loss hurts regardless of how long it takes. Your authenticity gives us freedom to be vulnerable to our realities too.

    • candacejo

      How precious! ♥

    • ~B ~

      I smile at the image and you and your dear Mom in the kitchen T! What a beautiful memory. I am so thankful you were able to experience this with her. Love to you!

    • Lori

      Thank you for this Tina. I too am anxious today with family health crisis and hospice decisions. I’m praying that I will place my trust in God to meet me (as He does!!).

    • Emily

      My grandma has dementia, too, and it’s been hard on all of us to see her illness progress. It’s been especially hard on my mom, who goes to see her the most. Your comment reminded me that there is still good to be found, because God is good! I’m going to share your words with my mom.

    • She Reads Truth

      Tina, this was beautiful. Thank you for sharing. We’re praying for you, your family and your mother in this time. Grateful to have you in our community.

      – Stormye

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