Bible Book: Isaiah

Calling the Sabbath a Delight

Sometimes we think of sabbath keeping as a burden, as something demanded of people by a demanding God. Through the prophet Isaiah, God offers a different perspective. The sabbath is not meant to be a burden, but a delight. When we learn to delight in sabbath, we are able also to delight in the Lord.

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God’s Call and Promise to All People

Biblical passages like Isaiah 56 show us that the gift of sabbath is not something God intends only for the Jewish people. Though it is central to their particular covenant with the Lord, sabbath is something God intends for all human beings. Moreover, Isaiah 56 adds something that we have not seen before, the connection between sabbath-keeping and happiness or joy (56:2, 7).

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When God Hates Our Sabbaths

Sabbath matters to God, to be sure. But it is only part of what it means for us to live in right relationship with God and people. For God to be honored in our resting, we must also seek God’s kingdom and justice in all that we do.

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A neon sign reading "wait"

Waiting for the LORD

Do you feel weary today? Weary from the burdens of work, leadership, and life in general? If so, Isaiah 40 would encourage you to wait for the Lord. As you put your hope in God and lean upon God’s strength, you will be renewed and energized for resilience.

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The Power and Tenderness of a God-Inspired Leader

Isaiah 40 portrays both the power of God and the tenderness of God. This portrait encourages us to consider our own leadership. When we exercise our power or authority, do we do it with tenderness? With compassion? With grace?

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A father tenderly holding a newborn

The Power and Tenderness of God

God is powerful beyond our comprehension. Nothing in the universe matches the might of God. Yet God’s powerful arm does not smash us down. Rather, it reaches down to gather us and to embrace us.

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An open Bible with a pink rose lying on top of it

The Word of God Will Stand Forever

In a culture permeated by cynicism, it’s hard to trust anyone or anything. So often that in which we put our confidence fails like withering grass. According to Isaiah 40, however, “the word of our God will stand forever.” We can put our trust in God’s truth, allowing it to guide all that we do in life.

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A black and white photo of two children walking down a dirt road; the taller one has their arm around the shorter one

The Gift of Comfort

God continues to comfort us today in a variety of ways. When we take our worries to the Lord in prayer, God gives us the gift of supernatural peace. When we remember God’s faithfulness in the past, we are calmed in the present. Often God’s comfort comes through people who care for us, suffer with us, pray for us, and share God’s love with us in tangible ways.

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A black and white photo of a person standing alone in a room with harsh lights behind them

Pay Attention to Your Weaknesses

We all have weaknesses, and these weaknesses can be a real problem in our lives, especially in our exercise of leadership. We see a striking example of this truth in Isaiah 39, in the life of King Hezekiah. His pride contributed, not only to his personal downfall, but also the downfall of his nation. If we pay attention to our weaknesses, if we bring them honestly before God, we can structure our lives so as to minimize their negative impact. 

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A jumbled pile of colorful puzzle pieces

The Pleasure and the Puzzle of Prayer

We will never fully understand why God answers our prayers in the way God does, this side of Heaven, at any rate. Yet we continue to pray, trusting that God knows what is best even if we can’t figure out God’s ways.

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The Power of Praise

When we face overwhelming challenges to our faith, we can certainly be honest with God, asking for divine help. But the example of Hezekiah in Isaiah 37 encourages us to do something else. When we feel dwarfed by what’s hard in life and fearful of where things seem to be going, we should pause to praise the Lord, remembering the Lord’s greatness, goodness, and grace.

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A small child standing at the foot of very large, steep stairs

How Can We Remain Faithful in the Face of Tough Challenges?

Centuries ago, the faith of God’s people was challenged by the logical taunts of the Assyrians. Though the challenges we face today are quite different in content, they are similar in effect. How can we remain faithful to God when tough challenges threaten to dismantle our faith? 

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A metal border fence with a light shining on the other side

Living Today in Light of God’s Future

Centuries ago, the exiled Israelites were inspired by a vision of the day when God would set them free and bring them home. A similar vision inspires us today, even if we are not actual exiles. We look forward to the future when God’s shalom will cover the earth. This confident hope empowers us to live for God’s purposes today.

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A river flowing through a valley in the Sierra Nevadas

Healing: Then and Now

Isaiah 35 envisions a time when God’s healing will touch all people and all things. Jesus began to fulfill this vision through his ministry of healing, which demonstrated the presence and power of the kingdom of God. If we live as citizens of God’s kingdom, healing is possible, though incompletely in this age. We long for the pervasive and perfect healing that is yet to come.

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A statue of justice (a blindfolded woman with a scales) sitting on a table

The God of Justice and Love

Isaiah 34 points to God’s vengeance, reminding us of just how much God detests sin and loves justice. As people loved by God, we will seek to love what God loves, and this includes justice.

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