God’s Word Goes Forth: Rejoice in Hope
Isaiah 51:1-16: The prophet lifts up Abraham as an example of how to live in obedience to the Lord. He says that God’s teaching will bring justice for all people, and promises that the Lord will rescue everyone from the power of fear and death.
Today's Scripture: Isaiah 51:4
“Listen to me, my people, listen to what I say: I give my teaching to the nations; my laws will bring them light.”
1 The LORD says, “Listen to me, you that want to be saved, you that come to me for help. Think of the rock from which you came, the quarry from which you were cut. 2 Think of your ancestor, Abraham, and of Sarah, from whom you are descended. When I called Abraham, he was childless, but I blessed him and gave him children; I made his descendants numerous. 3 I will show compassion to Jerusalem, to all who live in her ruins. Though her land is a desert, I will make it a garden, like the garden I planted in Eden. Joy and gladness will be there, and songs of praise and thanks to me. 4 Listen to me, my people, listen to what I say: I give my teaching to the nations; my laws will bring them light. 5 I will come quickly and save them; the time of my victory is near. I myself will rule over the nations. Distant lands wait for me to come; they wait with hope for me to save them. 6 Look up at the heavens; look at the earth! The heavens will disappear like smoke; the earth will wear out like old clothing, and all its people will die like flies. But the deliverance I bring will last forever; my victory will be final. 7 Listen to me, you that know what is right, who have my teaching fixed in your hearts. Do not be afraid when people taunt and insult you; 8 they will vanish like moth-eaten clothing! But the deliverance I bring will last forever; my victory will endure for all time.” 9 Wake up, LORD, and help us! Use your power and save us; use it as you did in ancient times. It was you that cut the sea monster Rahab to pieces. 10 It was you also who dried up the sea and made a path through the water, so that those you were saving could cross. 11 Those whom you have rescued will reach Jerusalem with gladness, singing and shouting for joy. They will be happy forever, forever free from sorrow and grief. 12 The LORD says, “I am the one who strengthens you. Why should you fear mortals, who are no more enduring than grass? 13 Have you forgotten the LORD who made you, who stretched out the heavens and laid the earth's foundations? Why should you live in constant fear of the fury of those who oppress you, of those who are ready to destroy you? Their fury can no longer touch you. 14 Those who are prisoners will soon be set free; they will live a long life and have all the food they need. 15 I am the LORD your God; I stir up the sea and make its waves roar. My name is the LORD Almighty! 16 I stretched out the heavens and laid the earth's foundations; I say to Jerusalem, ‘You are my people! I have given you my teaching, and I protect you with my hand.’”
Why does the prophet remind the people to remember their ancestors, Abraham and Sarah? What do you know about your ancestors? Have any of them had a significant influence on your life? What words of comfort are given in this passage? For what do the people pray, and with what does the Lord respond?
God of Abraham and Sarah, you are my God and I trust in your promises. You are my comfort in times of sorrow, you crown me with your love, and you are my ever-present source of strength and joy. Amen.
Those learning about their family histories