Daily Bible Reading
Today's reading: Isaiah 7-9
Look for the promises in God’s word. As you read and find them, write them in your journal along with the scripture reference.
Ahaz Receives a Sign
1. During the reign of Ahaz son of Jotham, son of Uzziah, king of Judah, King Rezin of Syria and King Pekah son of Remaliah of Israel marched up to Jerusalem to do battle, but they were unable to prevail against it.
2. It was reported to the family of David, “Syria has allied with Ephraim.” They and their people were emotionally shaken, just as the trees of the forest shake before the wind.
3. So the Lord told Isaiah, “Go out with your son Shear-jashub and meet Ahaz at the end of the conduit of the upper pool which is located on the road to the field where they wash and dry cloth.
4. Tell him, ‘Make sure you stay calm! Don’t be afraid! Don’t be intimidated by these two stubs of smoking logs, or by the raging anger of Rezin, Syria, and the son of Remaliah.
5. Syria has plotted with Ephraim and the son of Remaliah to bring about your demise.
6. They say, “Let’s attack Judah, terrorize it, and conquer it. Then we’ll set up the son of Tabeel as its king.”
7. For this reason the sovereign master, the Lord, says: “It will not take place; it will not happen.
8. For Syria’s leader is Damascus, and the leader of Damascus is Rezin. Within sixty-five years Ephraim will no longer exist as a nation.
9. Ephraim’s leader is Samaria, and Samaria’s leader is the son of Remaliah. If your faith does not remain firm, then you will not remain secure.”
10. The Lord again spoke to Ahaz:
11. “Ask for a confirming sign from the Lord your God. You can even ask for something miraculous.”
12. But Ahaz responded, “I don’t want to ask; I don’t want to put the Lord to a test.”
13. So Isaiah replied, “Pay attention, family of David. Do you consider it too insignificant to try the patience of men? Is that why you are also trying the patience of my God?
14. For this reason the sovereign master himself will give you a confirming sign. Look, this young woman is about to conceive and will give birth to a son. You, young woman, will name him Immanuel.
15. He will eat sour milk and honey, which will help him know how to reject evil and choose what is right.
16. Here is why this will be so: Before the child knows how to reject evil and choose what is right, the land whose two kings you fear will be desolate.
17. The Lord will bring on you, your people, and your father’s family a time unlike any since Ephraim departed from Judah – the king of Assyria!”
18. At that time the Lord will whistle for flies from the distant streams of Egypt and for bees from the land of Assyria.
19. All of them will come and make their home in the ravines between the cliffs, and in the crevices of the cliffs, in all the thorn bushes, and in all the watering holes.
20. At that time the sovereign master will use a razor hired from the banks of the Euphrates River, the king of Assyria, to shave the head and the pubic hair; it will also shave off the beard.
21. At that time a man will keep alive a young cow from the herd and a couple of goats.
22. From the abundance of milk they produce, he will have sour milk for his meals. Indeed, everyone left in the heart of the land will eat sour milk and honey.
23. At that time every place where there had been a thousand vines worth a thousand shekels will be overrun with thorns and briers.
24. With bow and arrow men will hunt there, for the whole land will be covered with thorns and briers.
25. They will stay away from all the hills that were cultivated, for fear of the thorns and briers. Cattle will graze there and sheep will trample on them.
A Sign-Child is Born
1. The Lord told me, “Take a large tablet and inscribe these words on it with an ordinary stylus: ‘Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz.’
2. Then I will summon as my reliable witnesses Uriah the priest and Zechariah son of Jeberekiah.”
3. I then had sexual relations with the prophetess; she conceived and gave birth to a son. The Lord told me, “Name him Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz,
4. for before the child knows how to cry out, ‘My father’ or ‘My mother,’ the wealth of Damascus and the plunder of Samaria will be carried off by the king of Assyria.”
5. The Lord spoke to me again:
6. “These people have rejected the gently flowing waters of Shiloah and melt in fear over Rezin and the son of Remaliah.
7. So look, the sovereign master is bringing up against them the turbulent and mighty waters of the Euphrates River – the king of Assyria and all his majestic power. It will reach flood stage and overflow its banks.
8. It will spill into Judah, flooding and engulfing, as it reaches to the necks of its victims. He will spread his wings out over your entire land, O Immanuel.”
9. You will be broken, O nations; you will be shattered! Pay attention, all you distant lands of the earth! Get ready for battle, and you will be shattered! Get ready for battle, and you will be shattered!
10. Devise your strategy, but it will be thwarted! Issue your orders, but they will not be executed! For God is with us!
The Lord Encourages Isaiah
11. Indeed this is what the Lord told me. He took hold of me firmly and warned me not to act like these people:
12. “Do not say, ‘Conspiracy,’ every time these people say the word. Don’t be afraid of what scares them; don’t be terrified.
13. You must recognize the authority of the Lord who commands armies. He is the one you must respect; he is the one you must fear.
14. He will become a sanctuary, but a stone that makes a person trip, and a rock that makes one stumble – to the two houses of Israel. He will become a trap and a snare to the residents of Jerusalem.
15. Many will stumble over the stone and the rock, and will fall and be seriously injured, and will be ensnared and captured.”
16. Tie up the scroll as legal evidence, seal the official record of God’s instructions and give it to my followers.
17. I will wait patiently for the Lord, who has rejected the family of Jacob; I will wait for him.
18. Look, I and the sons whom the Lord has given me are reminders and object lessons in Israel, sent from the Lord who commands armies, who lives on Mount Zion.
Darkness Turns to Light as an Ideal King Arrives
19. They will say to you, “Seek oracles at the pits used to conjure up underworld spirits, from the magicians who chirp and mutter incantations. Should people not seek oracles from their gods, by asking the dead about the destiny of the living?”
20. Then you must recall the Lord’s instructions and the prophetic testimony of what would happen. Certainly they say such things because their minds are spiritually darkened.
21. They will pass through the land destitute and starving. Their hunger will make them angry, and they will curse their king and their God as they look upward.
22. When one looks out over the land, he sees distress and darkness, gloom and anxiety, darkness and people forced from the land.
1. The gloom will be dispelled for those who were anxious. In earlier times he humiliated the land of Zebulun, and the land of Naphtali; but now he brings honor to the way of the sea, the region beyond the Jordan, and Galilee of the nations.
2. The people walking in darkness see a bright light; light shines on those who live in a land of deep darkness.
3. You have enlarged the nation; you give them great joy. They rejoice in your presence as harvesters rejoice; as warriors celebrate when they divide up the plunder.
4. For their oppressive yoke and the club that strikes their shoulders, the cudgel the oppressor uses on them, you have shattered, as in the day of Midian’s defeat.
5. Indeed every boot that marches and shakes the earth and every garment dragged through blood is used as fuel for the fire.
6. For a child has been born to us, a son has been given to us. He shoulders responsibility and is called: Extraordinary Strategist, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7. His dominion will be vast and he will bring immeasurable prosperity. He will rule on David’s throne and over David’s kingdom, establishing it and strengthening it by promoting justice and fairness, from this time forward and forevermore. The Lord’s intense devotion to his people will accomplish this.
God’s Judgment Intensifies
8. The sovereign master decreed judgment on Jacob, and it fell on Israel.
9. All the people were aware of it, the people of Ephraim and those living in Samaria. Yet with pride and an arrogant attitude, they said,
10. “The bricks have fallen, but we will rebuild with chiseled stone; the sycamore fig trees have been cut down, but we will replace them with cedars.”
11. Then the Lord provoked their adversaries to attack them, he stirred up their enemies –
12. Syria from the east, and the Philistines from the west, they gobbled up Israelite territory. Despite all this, his anger does not subside, and his hand is ready to strike again.
13. The people did not return to the one who struck them, they did not seek reconciliation with the Lord who commands armies.
14. So the Lord cut off Israel’s head and tail, both the shoots and stalk in one day.
15. The leaders and the highly respected people are the head, the prophets who teach lies are the tail.
16. The leaders of this nation were misleading people, and the people being led were destroyed.
17. So the sovereign master was not pleased with their young men, he took no pity on their orphans and widows; for the whole nation was godless and did wicked things, every mouth was speaking disgraceful words. Despite all this, his anger does not subside, and his hand is ready to strike again.
18. For evil burned like a fire, it consumed thorns and briers; it burned up the thickets of the forest, and they went up in smoke.
19. Because of the anger of the Lord who commands armies, the land was scorched, and the people became fuel for the fire. People had no compassion on one another.
20. They devoured on the right, but were still hungry, they ate on the left, but were not satisfied. People even ate the flesh of their own arm!
21. Manasseh fought against Ephraim, and Ephraim against Manasseh; together they fought against Judah. Despite all this, his anger does not subside, and his hand is ready to strike again.