This week our class studied the book of Isaiah and it blew me out of the water.
After getting the basic idea of the book and getting a historical background on what was going on in the world at the time, we had to observe the text of the first 39 chapters and then make interpretations.
Doing this over and over for 39 chapters was daunting, especially since we had to do it in such a short period of time. But I don’t think I would have been impacted the way I was had I taken my time over several months studying because literally your mind gets so absorbed and saturated in the Word, and the results are amazing.
So obviously God was going to judge His people living in the southern kingdom of Judah and bring low everything that mankind had taken pride in. He was also going to do this to the other nations, though He promised His people that a remnant would be spared since they were still His chosen people.
Zion shall be redeemed by justice,
and those in her who repent, by righteousness.
But rebels and sinners shall be destroyed together,
and those who forsake the Lord shall be consumed.
But you, Israel, my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, the offspring of Abraham, my friend; you whom I took from the ends of the earth, and called from its farthest corners, saying to you, “You are my servant, I have chosen you and not cast you off”; do not fear, for I am with you, do not be afraid, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.”
The thing that struck me in a new way was God’s absolute sovereignty and worth. I don’t always show that I truly believe His worth since my mind can be occupied with all sorts of different things, usually about myself. But I know that this is exactly what God desires for all of the world. His judgment against His people and against the nations was always and only for that purpose, it wasn’t to punish for punishment’s sake. The people had rejected Him, that’s why their exile happened, but God was going to turn it for their good.
For you have made the city a heap, the fortified city a ruin; the palace of aliens is a city no more, it will never be rebuilt. Therefore strong peoples will glorify you; cities of ruthless nations will fear you
In days to come
the mountain of the Lord’s house
shall be established as the highest of the mountains,
and shall be raised above the hills;
all the nations shall stream to it.
Many peoples shall come and say,
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
to the house of the God of Jacob;
that he may teach us his ways
and that we may walk in his paths.”
For out of Zion shall go forth instruction,
and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
Pure worship has been and always is God’s will for all of us!
The night that I finished my assignment, I turned on my iPod to listen to worship songs and spend time with Him. Unexpectedly, I felt a fire in my heart I had never felt before and I couldn’t get enough of worshiping Him! I mean I’ve always loved worship but for the first time it was 100%-centered on Him upon having this fresh revelation of His sovereignty in my spirit. I have never felt that way before. It felt so amazing! I didn’t want to leave His presence!
And what happened next was incredible, too. I realized that for the first time I could honestly say that I wanted to serve Him no matter where He asked me to. I was, for the first time, willing to lay down my own dreams and serve Him out of love. It has become my passion to serve Him, an honest desire! I remember thinking at some point in 2012 that this was not my true heart’s desire, to serve God no matter what, and I felt sorry for that even though I knew God still loved me the same. I was sad because I wanted a servant’s heart and was fearful I’d never have one. So this is an exciting breakthrough for me.
This encounter with God made me realize why God wants us to worship Him and make Him our center – it doesn’t compare to anything else! And, being freed of the belief that you are the center of the universe is quite amazing. I can actually trust God with all of my needs like for love, encouragement, wisdom, and finances, and just fixate my eyes on Him. It makes me more free to love the way I always wanted to but never could without God’s help! It’s something that’s hard to express in words, but I’ve begun to finally relate to God as my lover who shows me His love for me every day in a new way, and my desire is to show Him my love for Him, too.
I’m not all the way there yet, but I believe studying Isaiah set me free in a new and unexpected way. I understand more deeply that God is sovereign, I’m not the center of the universe, and pure, spiritual worship is truly the best prize in the world.
Admittedly, studying Isaiah in such a short and concentrated period of time proved to be very very challenging because of the seemingly repetitiveness of the book’s theme, and I had to be okay with not understanding every single detail, but the reward was SO worth it. The book was beautiful and so satisfying to my soul despite the challenges.
I’m such a believer in bible study after this school, and I’m so thankful, because I don’t think I would have ever made time for bible study in my life if I hadn’t experienced the rewards I’m experiencing now. There’s nothing like the taste of freedom and peace that comes from knowing the truth!