From the Beginning
Years ago, when I wanted a broader view of God, I read the Bible, beginning in Genesis, looking for treasures of truth. Throughout my youth, my reading and Bible study had been in the New Testament, so I assumed the Old Testament no longer applied. After all, it was written before the time of Jesus. Assumption wrong. Genesis 1:1 begins, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” Now that I am a more seasoned Christian, I understand that wherever God is, we find His Son, Jesus, and His Spirit. Jesus is present throughout all of scripture – both old and new testaments. But that’s not the point of this blog.
A Broader View
Reading through scripture gave me a broader view of God’s character and the way He loves and leads His people. Even when we sin, act out in rebellion, and disown Him. The Old Testament helps us understand more of why Jesus came and the preparation that went into the timing of His birth, death, and resurrection. But that’s not the point of this blog either.
Mining for Treasures
Here’s the point. When I reached the book of Isaiah, about half-way through the Bible, my spirit awakened as I read the scripture. I have been mining the book of Isaiah ever since. Let me give a bit of insight.
- Chapters 1-39 were written to the people of Israel during the time of Isaiah, calling them to repent of their sins.
- 40-55 are prophetic words about the birth, death, and resurrection of the Messiah.
- 56-64 are written to us, the generation between the birth of Christ and the second coming of Christ, calling us to Christ. The last 2 chapters are the prophecy of the second coming of Christ.
My focused digging in Isaiah is almost always between chapters 40 and 66. There is a wealth of encouragement and instruction in these chapters. When these words are read from a spiritual perspective of God’s guidance in emotional, physical, spiritual, and mental capacities, you are able to glean deeper understanding. Open your spirit and breathe in these words as you read:
Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. Isaiah 43:1-3
Comfort and Freedom
These three verses surround my spirit with words of comfort and freedom:
- You have no need to fear for your life, because God bought your life from the devil, using His divine currency, the blood of Christ.
- God knows your name; He calls you by your name. He summons you to come to Him. You belong to Him. You am His and He is yours.
- He is with you when you pass through the difficult seasons of life, the hard circumstances, the brokenness, the challenges. God never leaves your side; in fact, He sometimes carries you through the hard times.
- When you pass through the rivers, no matter how high the current, no matter how strong the undercurrent, the waters will not sweep over you because He is with you. He holds onto you so the emotional waters, the physical currents, the mental undercurrents, the spiritual doubts, will not overtake you. You need only hold onto Him for safe passage.
- When you walk through the fire, He is your protective outer garment and will not allow the fire to scorch you or even leave the scent of smoke on you. The flames sent to destroy you will only make you stronger as you lean into Him.
No Smell of Smoke
When I walked through a time of brokenness and fear, my daughter, Aubrey, spoke words from these verses in Isaiah as an encouragement. She said, “Mom, you will come through the fire, but you will not smell like smoke.” We find these same words in Daniel 3 through the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego who were placed into a fiery furnace as a punishment for worshiping God. The devil intended to destroy these three Hebrew men, but God entered the fiery furnace with them, protected and delivered them. When they came out of the fire, scripture says, “The fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them.” Daniel 3:27
Treasures of Gold
God has amazing things in store for His children. When we walk in His ways, He delivers us from adversity, affliction, and trouble. Mining scripture is a treasure chest of gold that teaches about God, His ways, attributes, and characteristics. As you read, put yourself into the story and see how God opens your heart and mind to understand more of who HE is. You will never regret any time spent with God and in His word. That is a promise, dear friend.