This was the toughest book for me to get through so far. I just had so much trouble following/understanding it! BUT, God is faithful and rewards our faithfulness. I just finished this book last night. This is definitely one that I’d like to revisit after the year of reading is over and try to dig into more deeply, slowly, and with the help of a commentary or some other explanatory text.
Despite my confusion, there were moments of clarify while reading Isaiah. One chapter, in particular, stuck out to me. Isaiah 58–what a picture of what God desires of us, of what God expects of us. TRUE fasting is acting justly and generously. This is something I must continue working towards daily.
“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?
7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe them,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?”
I also found it interesting how God emphasizes for so many chapters how he has destroyed these numerous unworthy kingdoms. God’s wrath is a huge theme and focus for a large part of Isaiah. Francis Chan, in a podcast about part of the first half of Isaiah, challenges us to meditate on God’s wrath and think about what it means for his character, his power, our position in comparison to him. Meditating on God’s wrath isn’t my idea of a fun day’s devotional time, but I do think that God wants us to understand him. And just like we seek to know everything about those we love here on earth, we should seek to know as much as we can about our beloved Lord and Savior, even if there are parts we’d rather not hear about.
I wish I could say more about Isaiah, but for now these are a few of my takeaways. I hope to dive into this prophetic text more deeply in the future.