Isaiah

Christian Virtues

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Galatians 5:22-23

Seven is a holy number in the Bible. The prophet Isaiah refers to the seven gifts of the Spirit (Isaiah 11:2-3). Wisdom is said to have seven pillars (Proverbs 9:1). The writer of Proverbs lists seven sins that the Lord detests (Proverbs 6:16-19). These references may have been the basis for the medieval church's distinction between the seven vices and seven virtues. 

When God Blesses Cities

Your country is desolate, your cities burned with fire. Isaiah 1:7

The play "Brigadoon," by Lerner and Loewe, is pure fantasy. It is about two New Yorkers on vacation who come to a most strange Scottish city. In the 18th century it vanished under a religious spell. But every 100 years it allegedly comes to life for a day, shows itself as it was then, and disappears again. 

Everlasting Joy

Isaiah 61:7 "Instead of their shame My people will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace they will rejoice ... everlasting joy will be theirs."

Do you have everlasting joy? Now before you start feeling guilty about a lack of joy, you should remember this: Happiness is a surface emotion, dependent upon circumstances. Joy is a deep sense of serenity that endures, whatever the circumstances. 

Jesus, Our Saviour

[The LORD] said, “Surely they are My people, sons who will not be false to Me”; and so He became their Saviour. Isaiah 63:8

You don’t have to read very far into the first books of the Bible to learn that the people of Israel did not live up to God’s expectations. The Lord Himself says as much just a couple sentences later in Isaiah 63. But that is one of the wonderful lessons of the Old Testament – God does not choose His people because they are any better or worse than others. God chooses them because they need a Saviour. 

Real Comfort

What if you believed that this Christmas you would receive “double for all your sins.” Would you find that comforting? You might say, “That depends … double what?” If it were double the punishment, then you would surely not take comfort. However, as God proclaims the coming of the Saviour of the world through the words of Isaiah, He brings comfort indeed.