I am using One Year Bible Online for my daily Bible study. For today, One Year Bible Online links here. I have found that by writing this daily blog of what I see when I read these scriptures, I get more out of them. I hope that by posting these ruminations others may get some benefit as well. In order to make that possible I read the passages and write my thoughts a day in advance. If you have any thoughts or comments regarding these verses or what I have written about them, please post them.
Today’s passage starts with Isaiah saying that God has placed watchman on Jerusalem’s walls who will pray day and night for the city and its people (this could also be read as saying that Isaiah has placed them there). He says that those who pray to the Lord should take no rest. Are we praying for our country day and night? Are we praying for the Spirit to move and bring revival? Let us prepare a highway for people to return to God, making it as easy as possible for people to come to Him. I will tell of God’s unfailing love and praise Him for all He has done. Then perhaps people will cry out to God for deliverance and turn to following His ways.
The prophet begs for God to once more burst forth upon the earth so that people may see His Spirit at work. Am I crying out for God to do that? Or am I afraid that He will do so? God is ready to respond when we ask for His help. He is ready to be found, if we but look for Him. Let us not be like those who the prophet wrote about in this passage who were defiled with their own sin, yet kept their distance so as not to be defiled by others sins. Let us turn to the Lord and call our neighbors to do the same. Let us give up our sins and spend our energies to serve the Lord.
Yet another passage that challenges me on my prayer life. I do not pray enough, and when I do pray, I do not pray intensely enough. God, fill me with your Spirit so that it is my desire to pray to you continually. This is the path that will keep me from sinning.
Paul wrote that he would soon send Timothy to see the church at Philippi because he knew that Timothy genuinely cared about them. Others only cared about their own interests. Timothy had proved himself willing to look out for the interests of Christ ahead of his own interests. In the same way, I need to strive to put the interests of the Church and Christ ahead of my personal interests. I wish to be one who is known for putting the God’s desires ahead of my desires. No, that is stated wrong. I wish to be one who puts God’s desires ahead of my own desires, whether others know me for that or not.
While Paul is delaying in sending Timothy until he knows how his own situation will be resolved, he is now sending back to them Epaphroditus, who had been sent by the Philippian Church to Paul. Epaphroditus had gotten very sick while with Paul and almost died, risking his life to help Paul. He was willing to risk his life to serve Christ. The final point Paul makes in this passage is that we should not get caught up in specific rituals. We cannot rely on what can be accomplished by human effort. We do not gain salvation by following rituals, but rather through our faith in Christ.
The psalmist tells us how easy it is to envy the wicked. They seem to have it all, health, wealth, everything their hearts desire. However, the psalmist reminds us that they are on a slippery path to destruction. Their lives are empty. If we let ourselves be envious of them our hearts will be bitter and we will suffer. It is better to remember the good things God has given us and focus on serving Him. God will hold us by the hand and guide us into His glory. I make this my vow:
My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak,
but God remains the strength of my heart;
he is mine forever.
The proverb writer tells us that in the same way that honey is sweet to the tongue wisdom is sweet to the soul. If we find wisdom it will give us hope for our future.