Saturday, December 06, 2008

November with Isaiah

I spent 33 days reading the book of Isaiah, planned so as to conclude on the last day of the PKV Camp (27 Nov). It was Isaiah that saw me through the entire exam season and helped give me focus during one of the most haphazard phases of the semester that was. Praise God.

What follows is a selection of some of the verses and passages that stood out to me in the first half of Isaiah. My reflections and thoughts on the second half are strewn over random pieces of paper, including the photocopied pages of Lonely Planet which I took to Penang, and pages of the PKV Camp booklet.

One of the themes that echoed most throughout all the readings was that of idolatry and how God himself will rid us of the idols we make to replace the Almighty God. I have also quoted Micah below, for in reading and cross-referencing, I found the Micah passage an apt complement and encouragement even as I battle the forces of idolatry in my life.

All are quoted from the NIV.

* * * * *

You built a reservoir between the two walls
for the water of the Old Pool,
but you did not look to the One who made it,
or have regard for the One who planned it long ago.


LORD, you establish peace for us;
all that we have accomplished you have done for us.


This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says:
"In repentance and rest is your salvation,
in quietness and trust is your strength,
but you would have none of it.


Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it." Then you will defile your idols overlaid with silver and your images covered with gold; you will throw them away like a menstrual cloth and say to them, "Away with you!"


But the Egyptians are men and not God;
their horses are flesh and not spirit.
When the LORD stretches out his hand,
he who helps will stumble,
he who is helped will fall;
both will perish together.


Return to him you have so greatly revolted against, O Israelites. For in that day every one of you will reject the idols of silver and gold your sinful hands have made.


"In that day," declares the LORD,
"I will destroy your horses from among you
and demolish your chariots.

I will destroy the cities of your land
and tear down all your strongholds.

I will destroy your witchcraft
and you will no longer cast spells.

I will destroy your carved images
and your sacred stones from among you;
you will no longer bow down
to the work of your hands.

--Micah 5:10-13

O LORD, be gracious to us;
we long for you.
Be our strength every morning,
our salvation in time of distress.


He will be the sure foundation for your times,
a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge;
the fear of the LORD is the key to this treasure.


The sinners in Zion are terrified;
trembling grips the godless:
"Who of us can dwell with the consuming fire?
Who of us can dwell with everlasting burning?"

He who walks righteously
and speaks what is right,
who rejects gain from extortion
and keeps his hand from accepting bribes,
who stops his ears against plots of murder
and shuts his eyes against contemplating evil


You will see those arrogant people no more,
those people of an obscure speech,
with their strange, incomprehensible tongue.


No one living in Zion will say, "I am ill";
and the sins of those who dwell there will be forgiven.


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