artigiana artizanne artisanne

Leave a comment

He will not break a bruised reed / and HE won’t put out a dimly burning light

He will not break a bruised reed / and HE won’t put out a dimly burning light
May 15, 2010 at 1:22am
“A bruised reed He will not break, and smoking flax He will not quench; He will bring forth justice for truth.”

Matthew 12
1AT THAT particular time Jesus went through the fields of standing grain on the Sabbath; and His disciples were hungry, and they began to pick off the spikes of grain and to eat.
2And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to Him, See there! Your disciples are doing what is unlawful and not permitted on the Sabbath.
3He said to them, Have you not even read what David did when he was hungry, and those who accompanied him–
4How he went into the house of God and ate the loaves of the showbread–which was not lawful for him to eat, nor for the men who accompanied him, but for the priests only?
5Or have you never read in the Law that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple violate the sanctity of the Sabbath [breaking it] and yet are guiltless?
6But I tell you, Something greater and more exalted and more majestic than the temple is here!
7And if you had only known what this saying means, I desire mercy [readiness to help, to spare, to forgive] rather than sacrifice and sacrificial victims, you would not have condemned the guiltless.
8For the Son of Man is Lord [even] of the Sabbath.
9And going on from there, He went into their synagogue.
10And behold, a man was there with one withered hand. And they said to Him, Is it lawful or allowable to cure people on the Sabbath days?–that they might accuse Him.
11But He said to them, What man is there among you, if he has only one sheep and it falls into a pit or ditch on the Sabbath, will not take hold of it and lift it out?
12How much better and of more value is a man than a sheep! So it is lawful and allowable to do good on the Sabbath days.
13Then He said to the man, Reach out your hand. And the man reached it out and it was restored, as sound as the other one.
14But the Pharisees went out and held a consultation against Him, how they might do away with Him.
15But being aware of this, Jesus went away from there. And many people joined and accompanied Him, and He cured all of them,
16And strictly charged them and sharply warned them not to make Him publicly known.
17This was in fulfillment of what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah,
18Behold, My Servant Whom I have chosen, My Beloved in and with Whom My soul is well pleased and has found its delight. I will put My Spirit upon Him, and He shall proclaim and show forth justice to the nations.
19He will not strive or wrangle or cry out loudly; nor will anyone hear His voice in the streets;
20A bruised reed He will not break, and a smoldering (dimly burning) wick He will not quench, till He brings justice and a just cause to victory.
21And in and on His name will the Gentiles (the peoples outside of Israel) set their hopes.
22Then a blind and dumb man under the power of a demon was brought to Jesus, and He cured him, so that the blind and dumb man both spoke and saw.
23And all the [crowds of] people were stunned with bewildered wonder and said, This cannot be the Son of David, can it?
24But the Pharisees, hearing it, said, This Man drives out demons only by and with the help of Beelzebub, the prince of demons.
25And knowing their thoughts, He said to them, Any kingdom that is divided against itself is being brought to desolation and laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will last or continue to stand.
26And if Satan drives out Satan, he has become divided against himself and disunified; how then will his kingdom last or continue to stand?
27And if I drive out the demons by [help of] Beelzebub, by whose [help] do your sons drive them out? For this reason they shall be your judges.
28But if it is by the Spirit of God that I drive out the demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you [before you expected it].
29Or how can a person go into a strong man’s house and carry off his goods (the entire equipment of his house) without first binding the strong man? Then indeed he may plunder his house.
30He who is not with Me [definitely on My side] is against Me, and he who does not [definitely] gather with Me and for My side scatters.
31Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy (every evil, abusive, injurious speaking, or indignity against sacred things) can be forgiven men, but blasphemy against the [Holy] Spirit shall not and cannot be forgiven.
32And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Spirit, the Holy One, will not be forgiven, either in this world and age or in the world and age to come.
33Either make the tree sound (healthy and good), and its fruit sound (healthy and good), or make the tree rotten (diseased and bad), and its fruit rotten (diseased and bad); for the tree is known and recognized and judged by its fruit.
34You offspring of vipers! How can you speak good things when you are evil (wicked)? For out of the fullness (the overflow, the superabundance) of the heart the mouth speaks.
35The good man from his inner good treasure flings forth good things, and the evil man out of his inner evil storehouse flings forth evil things.
36But I tell you, on the day of judgment men will have to give account for every idle (inoperative, nonworking) word they speak.
37For by your words you will be justified and acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned and sentenced.
38Then some of the scribes and Pharisees said to Him, Teacher, we desire to see a sign or miracle from You [proving that You are what You claim to be].
39But He replied to them, An evil and adulterous generation (a generation morally unfaithful to God) seeks and demands a sign; but no sign shall be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.
40For even as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
41The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, Someone more and greater than Jonah is here!
42The queen of the South will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to the wisdom of Solomon, and behold, Someone more and greater than Solomon is here. [I Kings 10:1; II Chron. 9:1.]
43But when the unclean spirit has gone out of a man, it roams through dry [arid] places in search of rest, but it does not find any.
44Then it says, I will go back to my house from which I came out. And when it arrives, it finds the place unoccupied, swept, put in order, and decorated.
45Then it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and make their home there. And the last condition of that man becomes worse than the first. So also shall it be with this wicked generation.
46Jesus was still speaking to the people when behold, His mother and brothers stood outside, seeking to speak to Him.
47Someone said to Him, Listen! Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, seeking to speak to You.
48But He replied to the man who told Him, Who is My mother, and who are My brothers?
49And stretching out His hand toward [not only the twelve disciples but all] His adherents, He said, Here are My mother and My brothers.
50For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother!

Isaiah 42 The Lord’s Special Servant

1 “Here is my servant, the one I support.
He is the one I chose, and I am pleased with him.
I have put my Spirit upon him,
and he will bring justice to all nations.
2 He will not cry out or yell
or speak loudly in the streets.
3 He will not break a crushed blade of grass
or put out even a weak flame.
He will truly bring justice;
4 he will not lose hope or give up
until he brings justice to the world.
And people far away will trust his teachings.”
5 God, the Lord, said these things.
He created the skies and stretched them out.
He spread out the earth and everything on it.
He gives life to all people on earth,
to everyone who walks on the earth.
6 The Lord says, “I, the Lord, called you to do right,
and I will hold your hand
and protect you.
You will be the sign of my agreement with the people,
a light to shine for all people.
7 You will help the blind to see.
You will free those who are in prison,
and you will lead those who live in darkness out of their prison.
8 “I am the Lord. That is my name.
I will not give my glory to another;
I will not let idols take the praise that should be mine.
9 The things I said would happen have happened,
and now I tell you about new things.
Before those things happen,
I tell you about them.”
A Song of Praise to the Lord
10 Sing a new song to the Lord;
sing his praise everywhere on the earth.
Praise him, you people who sail on the seas and you animals who live in them.
Praise him, you people living in faraway places.
11 The deserts and their cities should praise him.
The settlements of Kedar should praise him.
The people living in Sela should sing for joy;
they should shout from the mountaintops.
12 They should give glory to the Lord.
People in faraway lands should praise him.
13 The Lord will march out like a strong soldier;
he will be excited like a man ready to fight a war.
He will shout out the battle cry
and defeat his enemies.
14 The Lord says, “For a long time I have said nothing;
I have been quiet and held myself back.
But now I will cry out
and strain like a woman giving birth to a child.
15 I will destroy the hills and mountains
and dry up all their plants.
I will make the rivers become dry land
and dry up the pools of water.
16 Then I will lead the blind along a way they never knew;
I will guide them along paths they have not known.
I will make the darkness become light for them,
and the rough ground smooth.
These are the things I will do;
I will not leave my people.
17 But those who trust in idols,
who say to their statues,
‘You are our gods’
will be rejected in disgrace.
Israel Refused to Listen to the Lord
18 “You who are deaf, hear me.
You who are blind, look and see.
19 No one is more blind than my servant Israel
or more deaf than the messenger I send.
No one is more blind than the person I own
or more blind than the servant of the Lord.
20 Israel, you have seen much, but you have not obeyed.
You hear, but you refuse to listen.”
21 The Lord made his teachings wonderful,
because he is good.
22 These people have been defeated and robbed.
They are trapped in pits
or locked up in prison.
Like robbers, enemies have taken them away,
and there is no one to save them.
Enemies carried them off,
and no one said, “Bring them back.”
23 Will any of you listen to this?
Will you listen carefully in the future?
24 Who let the people of Jacob be carried off?
Who let robbers take Israel away?
The Lord allowed this to happen,
because we sinned against him.
We did not live the way he wanted us to live
and did not obey his teaching.
25 So he became very angry with us
and brought terrible wars against us.
It was as if the people of Israel had fire all around them,
but they didn’t know what was happening.
It was as if they were burning,
but they didn’t pay any attention.

Something Andrew and I were kinda talking about a few weeks ago:

This was one of the later-bloomer tulips just drinking in the dew ~ “late bloomers” ~ they have been so beautiful. I haven’t taken pictures because my picture-taker-Allysia has been so busy, but we’ve been enjoying them for awhile … this is our photoThis was one of the later-bloomer tulips just drinking in the dew ~ “late bloomers” ~ they have been so beautiful. I haven’t taken pictures because my picture-taker-Allysia has been so busy, but we’ve been enjoying them for awhile … this is our photo(not my photo)(not my photo)just a beautiful picture entitled “prayer”
not my photojust a beautiful picture entitled “prayer” not my photonot my photonot my photomade of reeds
(not my photo)made of reeds (not my photo)there’s a whole study on reeds I did years ago, it was really neat – something the Lord ministered to me years ago has ministered to me again throughout this season
(not my photo)there’s a whole study on reeds I did years ago, it was really neat – something the Lord ministered to me years ago has ministered to me again throughout this season (not my photo)’been reminded of the “Eternal Flame” at the Holocaust Memorial Museum in DC we visited years back. “You are my Witnesses” … an eternal “vigil”–God will not forget.

There was a bomb threat while we were there and the kids and I were separated—I was so worried–Yet Anthony & Allysia were safely in the Kids’ exhibit: “Daniel’s Story” …
Engraved in the wall outside the museum: “We who did not go their way owe them this. We must make sure that their deaths have posthumous meaning. We must make sure that from now until the end of days all humankind stares this evil in the face…and only then can we be sure it will never arise again”.

Source: Ronald Reagan, 40th President of the United States, Remarks at the Site of the Future United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, October 5, 1988.’been reminded of the “Eternal Flame” at the Holocaust Memorial Museum in DC we visited years back. “You are my Witnesses” … an eternal “vigil”–God will not forget. There was a bomb threat while we were there and the kids and I were separated—I was so worried–Yet Anthony & Allysia were safely in the Kids’ exhibit: “Daniel’s Story” … *************** Engraved in the wall outside the museum: “We who did not go their way owe them this. We must make sure that their deaths have posthumous meaning. We must make sure that from now until the end of days all humankind stares this evil in the face…and only then can we be sure it will never arise again”. Source: Ronald Reagan, 40th President of the United States, Remarks at the Site of the Future United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, October 5, 1988.

Leave a comment

Bless you coming in & Bless you going out

Psalm 121:8 Bless you coming in & Bless you going out. Isaiah 55:11-14 ~ Joshua 1:9

Once again, I could not sleep.
I was anxious.
I am again overwhelmed with anxiety and emotion for my son’s soul.
I sought the Lord. He heard me.
I asked Him to comfort my heart, He knew what was causing me fear & anxiety.

He led me to His word and His peace again and spoke to my heart:

The LORD GUARDED Anthony’s soul when he passed from this life into his forever life with Christ.

Joshua 1:9
Be bold and be strong.
Banish fear and doubt.
For the promise of your God,
is to Bless you coming in
and to Bless you going out.

And this is a precept study on Psalm 121, I will find the author later…
Psalm 121:8 The LORD will guard (keep) your going out and your coming in From this time forth and forever *. (NASB: Lockman)

Septuagint (LXX): kurios phulaxei (3SFAI: guard, protect, watch over) ten eisodon (coming in, entrance) sou kai ten exodon (exodos: going out, departure, euphemistically can refer to the end of earthly life) sou apo tou nun kai eos tou aionos

The LORD will guard (Click Torrey’s topic “protection”)

Your going out and your coming in

From this time forth and forever The Divine Helper’s protection is promised not only for the ascent (whether that ascent was to the Temple in Jerusalem or elsewhere) but for the entire pilgrimage of one’s life.

Jesus Who has
all authority…in heaven and on earth” (that should take care of your home address, beloved) said “lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Mt 28:18,20)
Our personal Protector promises to perpetually preserve our passages from morning until evening, from infancy until old age and from old age throughout the ages to come!

Adoniram Judson said God
has not led me so tenderly thus far to forsake me at the very gate of heaven. (see Adoniram Judson: Missionary to Burma)
The going out and the coming in refer to all of the believer’s undertakings and occupations. Perhaps too these words refer specifically to the pilgrims journey to Jerusalem. The watch care of the believer’s guardian starts the moment he looks toward the hills of Zion, and it continues into the uncharted future.

This verse serves a figure of speech to encompass “everything you do.” God watches over the believer all the time, in every circumstance, and forever. In 1719 Isaac Watts expressed God’s ever present help this way…

Our God, Our Help in Ages Past
Our God, our help in ages past,
Our hope for years to come,
Our shelter from the stormy blast,
And our eternal home.

Our God, our help in ages past,
Our hope for years to come,
Be Thou our guard while troubles last,
And our eternal home.

Spurgeon comments that

“When we go out in the morning to labour, and come home at eventide to rest, Jehovah shall keep us. When we go out in youth to begin life, and come in at the end to die, we shall experience the same keeping. Our exits and our entrances are under one protection. Three times have we the phrase, “Jehovah shall keep”, as if the sacred Trinity thus sealed the word to make it sure: ought not all our fears to be slain by such a threefold flight of arrows? What anxiety can survive this triple promise? This keeping is eternal; continuing from this time forth, even for evermore…. everlasting security: the final perseverance of the saints is thus ensured, and the glorious immortality of believers is guaranteed. Under the aegis of such a promise we may go on pilgrimage without trembling, and venture into battle without dread.

None are so safe as those whom God keeps;
None so much in danger as the self secure.

To goings out and comings in belong peculiar dangers since every change of position turns a fresh quarter to the foe, and it is for these weak points that an especial security is provided: Jehovah will keep the door when it opens and closes, and this he will perseveringly continue to do so long as there is left a single man that trusteth in Him, as long as a danger survives, and, in fact, as long as time endures. Glory be unto the Keeper of Israel, Who is endeared to us under that title, since our growing sense of weakness makes us feel more deeply than ever our need of being kept. Over the reader we would breathe a benediction, couched in the verse of Keble.” (Treasury of David Psalm 121:8)

Bishop Coup describes a beautiful word picture writing that

“the word “shamar” (click note on the Hebrew verb shamar and the corresponding Greek verb phulasso) imports a most tender preservation; from it comes “shemurah” (once in Psalm 77:4-note), signifying the eyelids, because they are the keepers of the eye, as the LORD is called in the verse preceding — the keeper of Israel”. If the lids of the eye open, it is to let the eye see; if they close, it is to let it rest, at least to defend it; all their motion is for the good of the eye. O, what a comfort is here! The Lord calls (Israel) “the apple of his eye” (Ed note: God “found him [referring to Israel] in a desert land and in the waste howling wilderness; he led him about, he instructed him, he kept him as the apple of His eye.” Deut 32:10 He Who keeps Israel as the apple of His eye will likewise keep, guard, protect and watch over all who are His children by faith). O, how well are they kept whom “the keeper of Israel” keepeth! The LORD was a buckler to Abraham, none of his enemies could harm him; for his buckler covered him thoroughly. The LORD was a hedge unto Job; Satan himself confessed he could not get through it, howsoever many a time he assayed it, to have done evil unto Job… But seeing this same promise of preservation was made before (for from the third verse to the end of the Psalm, six sundry times, is the word of keeping or preserving repeated), why is it now made over again? …for a remedy of our ignorance. Men, if they be in any good estate, are ready to “sacrifice to their own net,” or “to cause their mouth to kiss their own hand,” as if their own hand had helped them: thus to impute their “deliverance” to their “calf,” and therefore often is this resounded, “The LORD,” “The LORD.” Is thy estate advanced? The LORD hath done it. Hast thou been preserved from desperate dangers? Look up to the LORD, thy help is from on high, and to Him let the praise be returned.” (From a Sermon by Bishop Couper, entitled “His Majesties Coming in”, 1623.)

Hills And Streets – Psalm 121:8 – Psalm 121 was a favorite of my father. Scottish people called it “The Traveler’s Psalm.” Whenever a family member, a guest, or a friend was leaving on a journey, this psalm was read–or more often sung–at family prayers. When my father left the “old country” as a teenager to sail alone to the United States, he was bidden farewell with this psalm.

Over the years, my father enjoyed many hearty days but endured others that were dark and grim. In World War I, he carried this psalm’s words with him into battle, and then out of it as he lay in a hospital for almost a year recovering from shrapnel wounds.

In verse 1, the psalmist looked beyond the hills to the God who made them. My father lived in the toughest section of New York City. Although he seldom saw hills, he held to the assurance that the God of the hills was also the God of the dangerous city streets.

In his 87 years, my father experienced many “goings out” and “comings in.” And when he went out for the last time, I believe he was singing Psalm 121 as he descended into the valley and traveled home to the other side.

How reassuring that the God of the hills and the streets goes with every believer in Christ! –H W Robinson (Our Daily Bread)

He will ever keep thy soul,
What would harm He will control;
In the home and by the way,
He will keep thee day by day. –Psalter

Keep your eyes on God
He never takes His eyes off you.

Isaiah 11. VS 55:8-9 – “8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Neither are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord. 9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.” – The Lord tells His people that it is understandable that they might not be able to conceive all that the Lord has promised nor understand how He will bring what He has promised to pass, for His ways and thoughts are so much higher than theirs

11.1. God’s people, the Israelites, were slow to learn and understand the ways of the Lord, as really most of us human beings are in this life. The glorious and grandiose plans that the Lord had for Israel, especially as she sat as a miniscule remnant captive and humbled in Babylon, must have been hard to imagine or comprehend. Only the eye of faith could see that what God had promised that He was able and could be trusted to fulfill. The people could only through faith trust in a God who is able to do abundantly beyond what they were able to ask or think, in restoring them as a nation and honoring and exalting them over all the nations for all of eternity.

11.2. The Lord is much better able to handle things. It is such a blessing for us as Christians when we finally do give our burdens over the Lord to shoulder. When we just give up being concerned over how we are going to eat, where we will sleep, what clothes we will wear, however we will pay our bills, etc., it is such a freeing kind of thing. As the hymn goes, “What a friend we have in Jesus, All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry Ev’rything to God in prayer! Oh, what peace we often forfeit,
Oh, what needless pain we bear, All because we do not carry Ev’rything to God in prayer!”

12. VS 55:10-11 – “10 “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, And do not return there without watering the earth, And making it bear and sprout, And furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater; 11 So shall My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.” – The Lord promises that His word will not return void without accomplishing what He sent it to perform

12.1. The Lord gives us a pictorial illustration concerning the surety that His word which He has spoken will come to pass. He says that, in the same way that when rain and snow fall that they are guaranteed to water the earth and cause it to bear a crop and sprout a seed so that people can be fed by those who harvest their crops, so also shall the word of the Lord not fail to accomplish the thing that the Lord desires it to accomplish.

12.2. God’s word succeeds in accomplishing what He sends it to accomplish, however that does not mean that men who hear His word will always respond in the way in which they should to that word. The response of man is a matter of their choice and free will. God is a gentleman and He does not force His will upon any man.

12.3. The prophetic word of God will always succeed in accomplishing what the Lord says will happen. God cannot lie or go back upon His word and likewise His promises can never fail.

13. VS 55:12-13 – “12 “For you will go out with joy, And be led forth with peace; The mountains and the hills will break forth into shouts of joy before you, And all the trees of the field will clap their hands. 13 “Instead of the thorn bush the cypress will come up; And instead of the nettle the myrtle will come up; And it will be a memorial to the Lord, For an everlasting sign which will not be cut off.”” – The Lord tells His people that they will go out with joy and be led forth with peace and that the mountains and the hills will break forth in to shouts of joy before them, and the trees of the feed will clap their hands

13.1. As happens many times in the scriptures there is a dual fulfillment in these verses.

13.1.1.Going back to the continuing theme began in chapter 42, the captive Judeans in Babylon have been encouraged over and over again to go out from Babylon on that day when the Lord freed them to return to their land and rebuild their temple, city, and city wall. As we have seen in chapter 44 and 45 the Lord told His people ahead of time that the man through whom this deliverance would occur would be named Cyrus. History then records that in fact Cyrus the Persian did conquer Babylon and allow all of the peoples taken captive by the Babylonians to return to their homelands, including Judea. 536 B.C., the captive Judeans began returning from Babylon to their homeland, and there was great joy, and the nation eventually was restored during the era of Ezra the Scribe and Joshua the High Priest and their reading and teaching of God’s law to the people. The land was rebuilt and to a degree the curse on their land was for a time only reversed.

13.1.2.When the Lord returns His people to their own land during the 7 Year Tribulation period of the book of Revelation as He is establishing His Millennial Reign, these verses will be fulfilled in much greater proportions. The people will be filled with utter joy and the peace of the Lord as they realize that the Lord is establishing His kingdom which will be undisturbed for perpetuity. Jesus Christ, the Messiah of God, shall reign and rule from Jerusalem and all of the earth shall be blessed through Him. the Lord is establishing His kingdom at this time, the curse of the earth that occurred at the fall in the garden of Eden will be being reversed, and thus thorns and thistles will be dying off to be replaced by Cypress and Myrtle.


14.1. The Lord has made the way of salvation open to mankind through Jesus Christ, who was God’s ‘ideal servant’ prophesied of by Isaiah. Jesus has made everything ready for mankind to know God and to come to salvation. The table is set, the food placed for eating, and the drink put before us, and the Lord is beckoning each of us to come to Him and be saved

14.2. The debt has been paid and the gift is ready to be received and all that we need to do is to answer the call and repent of our sin of turning away from the Lord and disobeying His law and commandments and ask the Lord Jesus to come into our lives, forgive our sins, and make us the person He wants us to be.

14.3. Let’s be wise and seek the Lord while He may be found and call upon Him while He is near, for if we do not do this today a day will come when it will be too late to do so.

:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways…

thoughts – machashabah – thought, device; plan, purpose; invention

ways – derek – way, road, distance, journey, manner; path; direction; habit

This is referring to God’s abundant pardon, His wonderful mercy. He is not like us.

His thoughts aren’t like ours – We are quick to hold grudges against people.

His ways aren’t like ours – We are quick to take revenge against people.


Don’t base God’s forgiveness on what you think He ought to do.

You may think, “If I were God, I would never forgive a person like me”. I’ve got good news for you. You’re not God.

When God described Himself to Moses, He said,

(Ex 34:6-7) And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, {7} Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.

Yes, God will judge sin one day. But before He does, we will know that He is overflowing in mercy and patience.

We may look at the Israelites and see how God promised to judge them if they were disobedient. But keep in mind that He warned them (Lev. 26) around 1440 BC, and the final judgment (Jer. 39) didn’t come until 586 BC. That’s 854 years of patience!!!

You may have a problem with God forgiving you, but God doesn’t. Don’t let your own stubbornness keep you from receiving God’s mercy.

:11 … it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

void – reyqam – in vain, without effect, vainly

accomplish – ‘asah – to do, fashion, accomplish, make

please – chaphets – to delight in, take pleasure in, desire, be pleased with

prosper – tsalach – (Hiphil); to make prosperous, bring to successful issue, cause to prosper

Ultimately, this refers to the restoration of the nation of Israel under the rule of the Messiah, Jesus. God has promised that it would happen, and it will, as seen in the next verse.

But I think this can also be a picture of what God’s Word can do in our own lives.

God’s Word produces a work in our lives.

(2 Tim 3:16-17 NLT) All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It straightens us out and teaches us to do what is right. {17} It is God’s way of preparing us in every way, fully equipped for every good thing God wants us to do.

:12 For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills …

When Messiah comes back, the Jews will “go out” of the countries they’ve been living in, and they will be “led forth” by the Messiah.

joy – simchah – joy, mirth, gladness

peace – shalowm – completeness, soundness, welfare, peace

I am looking forward to the day when life will be totally characterized by joy and peace.

mountains … hills … trees – the Scripture often talks of creation itself being alive.

(Rom 8:19-22 NLT) For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are. {20} Against its will, everything on earth was subjected to God’s curse. {21} All creation anticipates the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay. {22} For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.

(Luke 19:40 KJV) And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.

:13 Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree …

fir – b@rowsh – cypress, fir, juniper, pine

When Messiah returns, there will no longer be any curse on earth, which includes thorns. Instead, the earth will be as the Garden of Eden.

:9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

The heavens are pretty high above the earth. Like infinitely higher than the earth.

God’s ways and thoughts are on a different level than ours. Light years away.


Don’t worry about trying to figure God out.

You won’t be able to.


On Wednesday night we were looking at the birth of Jesus and looking at how odd it must have seemed to the angels to watch the King of all Creation being born in a animal’s feeding trough because there wasn’t any room for them even in an inn. And after having been jostled for a seventy mile donkey ride from Nazareth to Bethlehem. And then being sent to declare this incredible birth, not to heads of state, but to lowly shepherds.

Does this make any sense?

It may not have made sense to Joseph and Mary, but for people like us, I’m certainly glad that from the very beginning, Jesus was accessible to common, lowly people, like me. I am sure glad that God cares for people like me.


Another interesting story in the Bible is that of Joseph. I’m sure that during Joseph’s life, he must have wondered what was going on when his brothers sold him into slavery, or when his master’s wife falsely accused him of trying to rape her, or even as he labored in prison, why it seemed that everybody forgot about him. Yet when we get to the end of the story, we see that Joseph had learned that God was working through his difficult circumstances. As Joseph was eventually elevated to being second in all Egypt, and then God used Joseph to end up rescuing his entire family from the destruction of a famine, he could say,

(Gen 50:20 KJV) But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.

You too may have had some difficult things happen to you in your life, and you can’t figure out why God allowed them to happen.

Be careful about trying to figure them all out with your limited human understanding.

There is a place of rest we can get to when we get to the point where we can say, “You’re God, and You know what You’re doing.”

Paul writes,
(Rom 12:1-2 KJV) I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. {2} And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

When you give yourself completely to God and you don’t allow yourself to be shaped by the world, but you allow your mind to be renewed, you will begin to see that God’s will for your life is good, acceptable, and perfect.

Help to seek the Lord (55:10-11)

In this section, the Lord explains that he himself helps us to seek him.

In the previous section, the Lord said his thoughts and ways were higher than ours as the heavens are higher than the earth. Although we are arrested by the difference, the Lord arrests us only to show us the need for returning to him. He wants to be found. Once again, heaven and earth are used in an illustration. But this time, heaven is coming to earth. The Lord, with thoughts and ways as high as the heavens, comes down to earth. He may be found. He is near.

Rain and snow come from heaven to water the earth, causing growth that produces bread for food and seed for more food. The Lord says that his word is like precipitation. It comes not from the sky but from his mouth, and it accomplishes what he desires; it succeeds.

Two questions jump out from these verses. 1) What constitutes the Lord’s word? 2) What does he accomplish with his word?

What has the Lord been saying, either directly or through Isaiah, in this chapter? In verses 1 through 5 he told Israel to stop eating what does not satisfy and instead feast on him. Four times he says “come,” which means “come to me” (verse 3). In this passage, he tells us to seek him, forsaking our thoughts and ways, and to return to him, where we’ll receive compassion and forgiveness. The word of the Lord is the message calling us to turn from our sinful ways and turn toward him. That’s what the word is, and that’s what it accomplishes. The Lord desires that men and women come to him. His word beckons them, and it succeeds. They come.

What is it that the Lord “desires”? He desires you. Isn’t that what we really want? We want to be desired. The Lord himself desires us. We are the dry ground that is thirsty for the rain of a good word. We’re thirsty for someone to desire us, to truly want us, with all our flaws, idiosyncrasies and doubts. We’re thirsty for compassion and forgiveness. The word comes from the Lord himself: “Come to me. I desire you. I love you. I forgive you.” We’ve been waiting all our lives for this word. No wonder it accomplishes what he desires! No wonder it succeeds in the matter for which he sent it!

You may not think you have it in you to truly come to him, to truly seek him with all your heart, to truly return to him. You’re right. It’s the Lord himself who enables you to return to him. He helps us. He sends his word—the call to turn to him. It brings with it the power to enable us to turn to the Lord.

The Lord is so serious about this that he sends not only prophets but his own Son, whom John calls “the Word.” “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14). The Word made a journey from heaven to earth. What did he say? He told Israel to “repent and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:15)—and he tells us to do so as well. The Word came from God to call the world back to God. Jesus suffered for that message and died for that message. And as his arms are spread apart on that piece of wood, what is God saying to us? This: “Please come home. My arms are open wide.” That’s the word that has the power to bring you to God. God came near that he might be found.

Jesus came forth from God, and he did not return to God empty, without accomplishing what God desired, without succeeding in the matter for which he sent him. The word, then, as it calls us to the Lord, turns the parched ground of our hearts into a garden of the Lord. We bear and sprout, and furnish seed to the sower and bread to the eater. Desired people are fruitful people. We become a blessing to others.

In so many ways, the word is about Jesus, and Jesus is calling us to God. Read the word looking for Jesus and listening for the voice of God calling you back to him. And here is the word, coming from the mouth of God, through the pages of the prophet, calling you to return to the Lord.

Incentive to seek the Lord (55:12-13)

In these verses, the Lord gives us incentive for seeking him.

The journey back to the Lord will be cause for so much celebration that it will be, metaphorically, accompanied by joy and led by peace. Joy and peace are markers of the new age. It’s as if joy will take us by the hand and peace will show us the way. We’ll “go out of” the wicked ways and unrighteous thoughts that held us captive. Being released from sin and returning to the Lord is joyous. The presence of the Lord is where we find peace. The Lord himself, here seen as peace, leads us back to him, just as he led Israel in the wilderness. When we return to the Lord, joy and peace join us for the journey. There is no lasting joy or peace in sin. When we make those first steps back to the Lord, they may be fearful ones, but the longing for joy and peace that are real and that last pulls us along. Jesus gives us joy that will not be taken from us (John 16:22) and peace that transcends circumstances (John 16:33).

Once again, Isaiah uses exodus language. The Lord will release Israel from bondage in Babylon, just as he released her from bondage to Egypt, and will lead her through the wilderness. The Lord releases us from bondage to sin and leads us to his presence (Romans 6:5-11).

In verses 12 and 13, the Lord once again uses illustrations from nature. The mountains and hills, which would normally be obstacles in the way of the exiles’ return, will instead break forth into shouts of joy. The trees of the field will join in with applause. Creation takes note of our return to the Lord and celebrates. Creation, longing to be ruled over wisely by God’s people, awaits its own release into joy and peace (Romans 8:19-22). Even creation itself is waiting for us to return to the Lord. When we do, it rejoices.

The obstacles in our way may seem as insurmountable as hills and mountains, but they move aside and even break forth into shouts of joy as we pass. If you hear the Lord calling you back to him, and you really want to return, nothing can stand in your way. The Lord turns barriers into bridges. But he doesn’t do so until you move forward.

Deep in our hearts, we want someone to applaud for us. As you seek the Lord, picture the hills and mountains breaking forth into shouts of joy and the trees of the field clapping their hands. I’ve noticed that when I slow down, when I seek the Lord and when I’m in nature, my senses become tuned to creation. I’m sensitive to sights and sounds and smells that I’m normally ignorant of. There’s an enormous party going on around us all the time. Has it ever occurred to you that perhaps they’re singing and dancing and beaming and clapping for you?

Once the exiles return to the land, they will find cypresses instead of thorn bushes and myrtles instead of nettles. The land will be a garden, not a wasteland. This again is reminiscent of the exodus. The Lord led the people out of Egypt and into the promised land, which is described as a garden. Humanity was exiled from the garden in Eden. The Lord is committed to bringing humanity back to the garden—a garden that’s bigger and better than the one in Eden. The Lord led Israel into the garden, but like Adam before her, she was exiled.

The return of the exiles after 70 years in Babylon was not marked by the miraculous events described by Isaiah, not even metaphorically. The language, once again, speaks of a greater and grander return from exile—the true return to the Lord accomplished by the Servant of the Lord, Jesus Christ. In this new exodus, the Lord leads us back, by a miraculously transformed way, to the new and better garden.

Because of Adam’s sin, the ground was cursed, and it grew thorns (Genesis 3:17-18). Isaiah envisions a reversal of the cruse, when nature will be completely cooperative and men will no longer toil by the sweat of their brow. The new Jerusalem, which will cover the entire earth, is described as a garden by John (Revelation 21:1-22:5). This will happen because Jesus bore the curse. It is no accident that the crown that Jesus wore was composed of thorns. He visited a garden, but he knew he couldn’t stay there (John 18:1, Mark 14:32-42). Unlike Adam and Israel, he obeyed God in the garden. He left voluntarily and bore the cross. He wore the crown of thorns so that we could sit under the cypress.

So we are on our way back to the new and better and bigger garden. But like the Israelites in the wilderness, we have tasted the fruit of the promised land (Deuteronomy 1:25). The Holy Spirit is given to us now as a pledge, or down payment, of our eternal inheritance (Ephesians 1:14). In the present, we experience something of what it will be like to be with the Lord in the new garden. When we return to the Lord, the future comes forward into the present, and we taste the fruit of the garden.

All this will be a memorial to the Lord. Conquerors in the ancient world would set up monuments to tell of their victories and preserve their names. The Lord’s monument is what he does for those he loves. The Lord makes himself known by what he does in our lives, by how he rescues us from sin and leads us to freedom and causes us to live in his garden forever. These things are what the Lord wants to be known for—the things he does for us. People want to be known for what is most meaningful to them. The Lord is no different. What’s most meaningful to the Lord is you. And he wants to be forever known for his commitment to your welfare.

All this is what awaits you if you seek the Lord with all your heart.

Songs of the garden

What’s keeping you from returning to the Lord, from seeking him with all your heart? Is it sin you don’t want to part with? Is it a dream you think God would take from you if you gave your heart fully to him? Do you think he won’t give you what you really want? Is it fear of what he might ask you to do? Fear of what others would think? Fear of losing control? Are you afraid he won’t accept you? Are you afraid you won’t be disciplined enough to continue seeking him once you return? Is it pride?

Whatever it is, God is calling you to seek him. You need to seek him, because your sinful ways are not his holy ways. He helps you seek him through the power of his word that calls you back to him. You have incentive to seek him—the joy and peace and applause and garden and significance that await your return.

The garden is our home. We left it long ago, because we didn’t want anything to do with the one who resided there: God. We’ve been away a long time. Our memories are faint. We’re not sure what home is anymore, where it is, or how to find our way back there. Every so often, though, we hear music that reminds us of home, and desire surges within us. God, the ageless musician, keeps playing the songs of the garden, hoping that we will hear them and return to him. Do you hear the music? Follow it home.

~Scott Grant

another study:
…B. The glorious ways of the LORD.

1. (8-9) A reminder of the difference and distance between God and man.

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.”

a. For My thoughts are not your thoughts: God doesn’t think the way we do. We get into a lot of trouble when we expect that He should think as we do. Because we are made in the image of God, we can relate to God’s thoughts, but we cannot master them.

b. Nor are your ways My ways: God doesn’t act the way we do. He does things His way, and His ways are often not our ways. We get into a lot of trouble when we expect that God should act the way we do.

c. How far is the distance between God’s thoughts and ours? How far is the distance between His ways and ours? The distance is a great as the heavens are higher than the earth.

i. Gloriously, in Jesus Christ, heaven has come down to earth, and we can have our thoughts and ways transformed to be more like God’s thoughts and ways. This is what it means to be conformed to the image of His Son (Romans 8:29). The distance will never be closed; God will always be God, and we will always be human. But when our salvation is complete, and we are united with the LORD in glory, the distance will be as close as is possible.

ii. The difference and distance between God and man is revealed, not to discourage us from seeking Him, but to keep us humble as we seek. “You may conclude that it is not intended that you should understand the infinite, for you are told that his thoughts and ways are far above you; but you are required to seek him while he may be found, and call upon him while he is near.” (Spurgeon)

2. (10-11) The glorious operation of the Word of God.

For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and do not return there, but water the earth, and make it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.

a. For as the rain comes down: Using the figure of the water cycle, the LORD illustrates the essential principle that His word shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please. Rain and snow come down from heaven, and do not return before serving their purpose on earth (they water the earth, and make it bring forth and bud). The rain and snow eventually do return to heaven, but not before accomplishing their purpose on earth. Even so, God’s Word, when He sends it down from heaven, does not return to Him void. Instead, it always fulfills His purpose on earth.

i. This means that God is not just “all talk.” When He talks, His words accomplish His intended purpose. The word of the LORD has power, and it never fails in His intended purpose.

b. Make it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater: The use of these pictures to illustrate the operation of God’s Word shows that God’s Word brings forth fruit. It also shows that the fruit has many different applications. The same grain that gives seed to the sower also gives bread to the eater.

c. It shall accomplish what I please: God’s Word has something to accomplish. God doesn’t just speak to hear Himself talk. His Word is not empty, or lacking in power. This also means that God’s Word has a purpose. He didn’t speak in unfathomable mysteries just to blow our minds, or confuse us, or leave things up to any possible interpretation. When God speaks, He speaks to accomplish a purpose.

d. It shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it: God’s Word doesn’t “barely” get the job done. It shall prosper in the purpose God has for it. It is rich and full of life. God’s Word always succeeds, and always fulfills God’s purpose.

i. This doesn’t mean that it doesn’t matter how God’s Word is presented. Sometimes a terrible sermon has been excused by saying, “God’s Word doesn’t return void.” The principle is clear and true from this passage of Isaiah, but by the preacher’s poor preparation or preaching, there has been little of God’s Word put forth. The preacher can ignore, dilute, or obscure God’s Word so that little goes forth. When little goes forth, that little will succeed – but how much better if more of the whole counsel of God went forth to succeed!

3. (12-13) The joy and blessing of restoration.

For you shall go out with joy, and be led out with peace; the mountains and the hills shall break forth into singing before you, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree; and it shall be to the LORD for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.

a. For you shall go out with joy, and be led out with peace: When God’s people turn to Him, listen to Him, and His Word does His work in them, joy and peace are always the result. The joy is so great, that even the mountains and the hills, and the trees of the field join in!

b. Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress tree: Where before there was barrenness and reminders of the curse (the thorn), now there will be beautiful and useful trees. The picture is clear; in His glorious work of restoration, God takes away the barren and the cursed, and brings forth beauty and fruit.

c. It shall be to the LORD for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off: When the LORD restores, all the work is done for His name, and for His glory. When the LORD restores, the work is secure; it is an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.
Chapter 121

1 A song of ascents. 2 I raise my eyes toward the mountains. From where will my help come?
My help comes from the LORD, the maker of heaven and earth.
God will not allow your foot to slip; your guardian does not sleep.
Truly, the guardian of Israel never slumbers nor sleeps.
3 The LORD is your guardian; the LORD is your shade at your righthand.
By day the sun cannot harm you, nor the moon by night. {this means 24/7}
The LORD will guard you from all evil, will always guard your life.
The LORD will guard your coming and going both now and forever.


The LORD will keep you from all harm—he will watch over your life; the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.
– Psalm 121:7-8

Joshua 1:9
Be bold and be strong.
Banish fear and doubt.
For the promise of your God,
is to Bless you coming in
and to Bless you going out.

C. S. Lewis
"Good and evil both increase at compound interest. That is why the little decisions you and I make every day are of such infinite importance."
--C. S. Lewis


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.