Wednesday's Word

Wednesday’s Word ~ Isaiah 64

is 64

Isaiah 64

Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down,
    that the mountains might quake at your presence—
as when fire kindles brushwood
    and the fire causes water to boil—
to make your name known to your adversaries,
    and that the nations might tremble at your presence!
When you did awesome things that we did not look for,
    you came down, the mountains quaked at your presence.
From of old no one has heard
    or perceived by the ear,
no eye has seen a God besides you,
    who acts for those who wait for him.
You meet him who joyfully works righteousness,
    those who remember you in your ways.
Behold, you were angry, and we sinned;
    in our sins we have been a long time, and shall we be saved?
We have all become like one who is unclean,
    and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment.
We all fade like a leaf,
    and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.
There is no one who calls upon your name,
    who rouses himself to take hold of you;
for you have hidden your face from us,
    and have made us melt in the hand of our iniquities.

But now, O Lord, you are our Father;
    we are the clay, and you are our potter;
    we are all the work of your hand.
Be not so terribly angry, O Lord,
    and remember not iniquity forever.
    Behold, please look, we are all your people.
10 Your holy cities have become a wilderness;
    Zion has become a wilderness,
    Jerusalem a desolation.
11 Our holy and beautiful house,
    where our fathers praised you,
has been burned by fire,
    and all our pleasant places have become ruins.
12 Will you restrain yourself at these things, O Lord?
    Will you keep silent, and afflict us so terribly?

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.

Questions to Consider:

1. Who is speaking, and who is being spoken to in this chapter? Summarize in a sentence or two the thrust of what is being said.

2. What type of discourse is this chapter? Is it a historical narrative? A hymn of praise? A prayer? A genealogy? A lament?

3. What is the reason, given in verses 5 & 9, that God is angry?

4. What are some of the things verses 10-12 say that Israel has suffered as a result of her sin? What is God’s ultimate goal in allowing Israel to suffer?

5. Is God still angered over sin today? (Romans 1:18) What solution to God’s wrath over our sin does He offer us? (John 3:36, Romans 5:9, 1 John 1:9)

Top 10

Top Ten: Favorite Passages from Isaiah

Top 10 Isaiah


1. Isaiah 53:2-5
2 For he grew up before him like a young plant,
    and like a root out of dry ground;
he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
    and no beauty that we should desire him.
3 He was despised and rejected by men;
    a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces
    he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
4 Surely he has borne our griefs
    and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
    smitten by God, and afflicted.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions;
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
    and with his wounds we are healed.

2. Isaiah 40:8 
The grass withers, the flower fades,
    but the word of our God will stand forever.

3. Isaiah 9:6 
For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
    and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

4. Isaiah 64:6 
We have all become like one who is unclean,
    and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment.
We all fade like a leaf,
    and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.

5. Isaiah 55:6-9
“Seek the Lord while he may be found;
    call upon him while he is near;
7 let the wicked forsake his way,
    and the unrighteous man his thoughts;
let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him,
    and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
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.

6. Isaiah 53:6 
All we like sheep have gone astray;
    we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him    the iniquity of us all.

7. Isaiah 30:18 
Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you,
    and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you.
For the Lord is a God of justice;
    blessed are all those who wait for him.

8. Isaiah 49:13
Sing for joy, O heavens, and exult, O earth; break forth, O mountains, into singing! For the Lord has comforted his people and will have compassion on his afflicted.

9. Isaiah 44:22
I have blotted out your transgressions like a cloud and your sins like mist; return to me, for I have redeemed you.

10. Isaiah 7:14
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. 

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.

Those are some of my favorites.
Do you have a favorite verse from Isaiah?

Book Reviews, Entertainment, Faith

Book Report: Chronicles of The Kings

9934I don’t write book reviews by request, but when I happen across a book (or in this case a series) I really like, I enjoy recommending it and giving the author kudos.

Such is the case with Chronicles of the Kings, a biblical history novel series by Lynn Austin. The five books in the series are:

Gods and Kings
Song of Redemption
The Strength of His Hand
Faith of my Fathers
Among the Gods

I originally picked up Gods and Kings because the blurb I had read about the series said it was about Hezekiah, who is tied for first place with Josiah as my favorite Old Testament king. Gods and Kings begins with the story of the evil, Molech-worshiping king of Judah, Ahaz. As the series progresses, we also walk through the reigns of Ahaz’s righteous son Hezekiah, who sets out to restore Judah both materially and spiritually after Ahaz’s idolatry, and its consequences, have ravaged the land. Hezekiah’s son Manasseh then takes the throne, bringing new meaning to the words polytheism and debauchery. Along the way, we meet with the kings’ contemporaries, Isaiah, Eliakim, Micah, and other biblical as well as fictional characters.

I could insert the obligatory gushing here about how well crafted the stories were and how Ms. Austin’s writing turned me into the literary equivalent of a chain smoker, but there were two things about this series that eclipsed how artfully it was written.

First, Ms. Austin did her homework. And she did it extremely well. As someone who had to research biblical culture, geography, customs, etc., myself for my own book, it is blindingly obvious that the books in the Chronicles of the Kings series were well and thoroughly researched. I can only imagine the hours Ms. Austin must have spent in the biblical text, commentaries, and extrabiblical historical sources. From details about dress to architecture to meals, Ms. Austin was attentive to the minor tidbits that helped me “see” what was happening and feel like I was part of the story.

On a more “macro” level, Ms. Austin’s description of Assyrian warfare, atrocities, and sweep to tyrannical domination over the Middle East gave me a clearer picture of the way events transpired that supported and even clarified the biblical text for me. If you have ever wondered why God used the Assyrians as an arm of judgment against Judah and Israel, or if you have ever wondered why God commanded that nations similar to Assyria be wiped off the face of the earth, you’ll understand after reading Chronicles of the Kings. Normally, I would never recommend that people go to a novel for clarity on details in God’s word, but Ms. Austin’s research is that good.

Finally, and most importantly, Ms. Austin gets the theology right, and in a way that is applicable to believers on this side of the cross. Her characters come to the realization that salvation is through grace, not through the works of empty ritual. That anything we put before God, even our own ideas of who God is, is an idol. That any sinner, no matter how despicable, can repent and experience God’s forgiveness. And on, and on, and on. I rarely read Christian fiction because I have found so much poor and even heretical theology in so many books in this genre. But somewhere around the middle of this series, I nearly came to tears as I realized that Ms. Austin was going to stay true to God’s word and not let me down by stooping to ear tickling or apostasy. And for that, I sincerely thank her.

All of the books in the series are available through, Barnes&, and CBD. The Kindle, Nook, and e-version of the first book in the series, Gods and Kings, is currently free at these sites. You may also, as I did, be able to find Chronicles of the Kings at your local library.

I highly recommend the Chronicles of the Kings series. I can’t say enough good things about it.