Isaiah 17-19, Acts 21:1-16
Isaiah 17:10 For you have forgotten the God of your salvation,
and you have failed to remember the rock of your strength…
The Lord is teaching me about “remembering” this year–focusing on His faithfulness, remembering all He’s done. Several of the passages we’ve read lately have had “remember” in it, and Ps 105:8 says “the Lord remembers His covenant forever, the Word He commanded, for a thousand generations…” The part about a highway between Egypt and Israel and Assyria–it hasn’t happened yet! So our God still has work to do to fulfill His promises.
When I fail to remember who He is, who my Source is (for peace, joy, strength, love, etc.), I get really dried up & desolate like the passages in Isaiah so poetically describe. As hard as life gets, as much as it hasn’t turned out like I always thought it would, I have to remember [daily] the character and promises of my Faithful Father. He doesn’t forget what He’s promised. He doesn’t lose sight of them in the face of financial, interpersonal, or resource limitations or challenges. He IS the author of life. Nothing is too difficult for Him. With God, all things are possible. He is unlimited!!
Too often [every day!!] I battle with this. I need to remember that I serve a limitless God. He will have His way, according to His promises [not according to how I want things to go!]. He is still working for His name to be known throughout the earth. We still therefore have work to do as His ambassadors. If my eyes are on my struggles and not on His goodness, I will not represent Him, and that really is our purpose here. Remember Him.
I really related to what you just said! Thank you for sharing! I think it is so important to realize through these passages that God plan will be accomplished, even if he needs to break me so that I can be made new in his grace. I pray that I can trust him entirely, letting go of the idols in my life and the control I so desperately want to hold on to. He is faithful!
I’ve struggled with the long Isaiah passages, but I try to think, what does God want me to know about Him through this? Or about my Salvation through this? God wants me to know He is so mighty, and powerful, and sovereign. What He says will come to pass, and that this destruction and turmoil is what my sin deserves, but how blessed I am to be free from this, to not even taste this because Jesus took it all on at the cross. And even in the darkest, sickest moments, whenever the Israelites cry to Him, He always delivers them, and Has mercy on them. I think sometimes we can focus too much on the loving God, so we forget He is also to be feared (respected). It’s so important to Get the balance of His character right, or like me sometimes we can take Him for granted and sin when we feel like it, as if the cross didn’t cost a lot. It cost all of Him. Everything.
I’ve had a hard time connecting to these long Isaiah passages about destruction. Today I began to think about them as someone living in Israel, because this could have been us. They were sinners as we all are, but we just have Jesus. It sounds terrifying to live during that time and it could have been us. And we have done nothing to deserve what we have now.
Isaiah 19:23-24, a highway from Egypt to Assyria!!!! I cannot wait for the day when God fully captures His people’s hearts again! It is already starting, and I am so excited! Many, many people have come to know Christ in the Middle East recently, let’s never forget to pray for them! Pray for their courage, boldness, and trust in Him as they are faced with persecution every day!
Brittany, I noticed this too
I think it’s really important we learn from Phillip here. He’s barely mentioned in the passage, yet even in other parts of Acts his influence in the early church is noted. Phillip’s family was also filled with the Spirit as we are told that his four daughters are able to prophesy. We should try to apply this in our daily lives as we share with our own family the blessings God has given us.
I noticed this most funnily enough, during this passage. I have many single friends, daughters of the King, who seem to count themselves unworthy because they have not been made to feel that way by a man. God used them to prophesy, their worth comes from the Lord. I want to make sure my future daughters and sons know this.
It is His will to be done: Acts 21:14 And since he would not be persuaded, we ceased and said, “Let the will of the Lord be done.” I’ve said to close friends before that I feel some towns there are tests in life – tests we feel are confusing and we’re afraid to let our control of a situation go. But when we do, and we snow God that we TRUST HIM to do his Will without our interference , our Faith is the only way to show Him and only Him we have that trust.
Why was the Spirit telling the disciples to tell Paul not to go to Jerusalem, when Paul knew it was God’s will for him to go there?
I don’t think the Spirit was telling them to say to Paul “don’t go” – I think they just didn’t want Paul to go to Jeruselem bc they knew it might be the last time they saw him alive.
10 While we were staying for many days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. 11 And coming to us, he took Paul’s belt and bound his own feet and hands and said, “Thus says the Holy Spirit, ‘This is how the Jews at Jerusalem will bind the man who owns this belt and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.’”
Agabus is telling everyone what the Holy Spirit has shown him. The vision was that Paul would be bound and taken prisoner. So Paul’s friends pleaded with him not to go. But Paul told them he was ready to be imprisoned and even die for Jesus.
I think it’s similar to Matthew 16:21-22 when jesus tells his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem to suffer, die and rise. Peter turns around and says to Jesus, “God forbid, Lord! No such thing shall ever happen to you.” Jesus then turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle to me. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.”
Often we think not as God does but as humans do. Even when the Holy Spirit makes it clear what Gods will is, our human emotions and fears get in our way.
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