Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas favorites, part 1

It has been my tradition for years to read the book of Isaiah during the month of December, though I'm often behind and finish my reading on Christmas morning. Today, I've been re-reading my favorite parts and wanted to share them with you. As we celebrate the arrival of the Babe in the Manger, may we never forget that the ultimate purpose of the incarnation of God was not the manger but the cross. 

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In the year of King Uzziah's death I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple. Seraphim stood above Him, each having six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called out to another and said, "Holy, Holy, Holy, is the LORD of hosts, The whole earth is full of His glory."

Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, "Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?" Then I said, "Here am I. Send me!" (Isaiah 6:1-3, 8 NASB)

The people who walk in darkness Will see a great light; Those who live in a dark land, The light will shine on them.

For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, On the throne of David and over his kingdom, To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this. (Isaiah 9:2, 6-7 NASB)

Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse, And a branch from his roots will bear fruit. The Spirit of the LORD will rest on Him, The spirit of wisdom and understanding, The spirit of counsel and strength, The spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD. And He will delight in the fear of the LORD, And He will not judge by what His eyes see, Nor make a decision by what His ears hear; But with righteousness He will judge the poor, And decide with fairness for the afflicted of the earth; And He will strike the earth with the rod of His mouth, And with the breath of His lips He will slay the wicked. Also righteousness will be the belt about His loins, And faithfulness the belt about His waist. (Isaiah 11:1-5 NASB) 

"Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; For the LORD GOD is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation." (Isaiah 12:2 NASB)

For thus the Lord says to me, "Go, station the lookout, let him report what he sees. (Isaiah 21:6 NASB)

O LORD, You are my God; I will exalt You, I will give thanks to Your name; For You have worked wonders, Plans formed long ago, with perfect faithfulness.

For You have been a defense for the helpless, A defense for the needy in his distress, A refuge from the storm, a shade from the heat; For the breath of the ruthless Is like a rain storm against a wall. (Isaiah 25:1, 4 NASB)

"The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, Because he trusts in You. "Trust in the LORD forever, For in GOD the LORD, we have an everlasting Rock. (Isaiah 26:3-4 NASB)

Selah. Pause and consider. 

That's enough for this morning. This evening, part 2 of my favorite passages from Isaiah. 

Merry Christmas!