Welcome to BibleBum where we are exploring the entire Bible in one year to better learn how to follow God’s instructions and discover the purpose for our lives. The BibleBum blog uses The One Year Chronological Bible, the New Living Translation version. At the end of each day’s reading, Rob, a cultural history aficionado and seminary graduate, answers questions from Leigh An, the blogger host, about the daily scripture. To start from the beginning, click on “Index” and select Day 1.
Questions & Observations
Q. (Isaiah 1:23): Dare I say that this sounds like our country. I can’t stand seeing so much government waste, so much corruption and our tax money being tangled up and not going to the places that truly need help. Is this a fair comparison to back in the OT?
A. What caught my eye was the portion that talked about not seeking justice for the poor and widowers. I think there are certain comparisons, but don’t forget we live in a very different world than they did, and not everyone in our society can be expected to be held to Judeo-Christian values. Part of the reason the light of the gospel is so important to share is that until people see this light, they are often unaware of how dark their world really was.
Q. (1:27): What does Zion mean? We’ll see more of it?
A. Zion is a term that God and others use to describe Jerusalem, and also the hill/mountain within the city itself, which in turn came to be seen as the Mountain of God (or one of them, along with Sinai/Horeb). It is a shorthand way to refer to both the city and the Kingdom of God. And yes, it will be seen over and over again.
Q. (2:1-5): God foretells stories whether it’s destruction or rebuilding. And the way He talks is that — what I get from it anyway — the next phase whether good or bad will be the last and final. He talks of how the people will act here, how they would worship. But, He can’t force them too, right? He’s just giving them a picture of what their lives could be if they followed Him?
A. I think that’s correct. I do not believe that God overrides human will, so if we chose not to follow Him and go our own way, we reap the consequences.
Q. (3:1-1-5): God is making a situation where the leadership is already wicked to one that would be pure chaos. How does this help them to get better? Or, is it just punishment?
A. He’s warning them right now to stop it and repent. If they don’t repent, then it becomes a just punishment. But as we have seen — and these verses talk about — even the punishment serves His purposes: it forces the people to see the error of their ways that they saw no other way. When the people are ready to repent, God will restore them.
O. (3:16-4:1): I must say that Isaiah is a very good writer! What pictures he paints with God’s words. I guess we could say that it was God who is the great writer. I was looking at our landscape today in Florida, admiring the trees and the blue skies. But, it was marred with utility lines. I’m not saying we should do without them, just that humans do a good job of messing up God’s artistry. But, here, Isaiah did Him justice!
Q. (4:5): With the cloud and smoke covering, we see a reminder of God guiding the Israelites in the desert for 40 years.
A. It is certainly shades of the Exodus, but the point of this verse is the shelter that God provides His children. It’s a cool image to me.