Isaiah’s School of Prayer

Reading Time: 5 Minutes Isaiah was a man of great faith and prayer. His encounter with God that is recorded in the sixth chapter shaped his relationship with God and his understanding of the world. More than anyone else of his generation he understand God’s deep desire for the world to know him correctly. He […]

Prayer When God Seems Far Away

Reading Time: 6 Minutes One religious saint described an especially painful time in his life as “the dark night of the soul.” The Psalm writer cried out, when God seemed absent in words that were repeated by Jesus on the cross. My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?Why are you so far from […]

The Most Important Thing

Reading Time: 5 Minutes John Oswalt writes in his commentary on Isaiah, “When Gentile readers look at the Old Testament and see a God of wrath, the Old Testament writers say to us in astonishment, ‘Oh no, it’s not surprising that God should have gotten angry with us. “‘What is surprising is that he ever […]

The Destruction of Evil

Reading Time: 6 Minutes Isaiah 63 begins with these perplexing words. They are presented in a question and answer format. [Question] “Who is this that comes from Edom,from Bozrah in garments stained crimson?Who is this so splendidly robed,marching in his great might?” [Answer] “It is I, announcing vindication,mighty to save.” [Question] “Why are your robes […]

Our Response to God’s Promises

Reading Time: 5 Minutes God told the Israelites that he would give them the promised land, but they to cooperate with him and drive the inhabitants of Canaan out of the area. Jesus promised humans salvation that was an act of God’s love and grace, but we have to receive his gift for it to […]

Forsaken No More

Reading Time: 5 Minutes Throughout the study of Isaiah, I have relied on two books by John Oswalt. One of the blessings of writing a daily blog article is that it gives me an excuse to study books like those of Dr. Oswalt. Today’s article contains insights that I have obtained from reading Oswalt. This […]

Response to God’s Grace

Reading Time: 6 Minutes God’s grace is both a gift and a power. It is a gift in that no one can earn favorable treatment from God. He gives freely it to us out of love. God’s grace can also refer to his power which accomplishes his purposes in human’s lives. Isaiah 61.4-11 tells the […]

Good News for the Oppressed

Reading Time: 6 Minutes You will recognize the first verses of Isaiah 61 because Jesus quoted them when he went to his hometown in Nazareth (Luke 4.16-21). The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,because the Lord has anointed me;he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed,to bind up the brokenhearted,to […]

Light in the Darkness

Reading Time: 5 Minutes Isaiah began chapter 60 with these hopeful words. Arise, shine; for your light has come,and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. For darkness shall cover the earth,and thick darkness the peoples;but the Lord will arise upon you,and his glory will appear over you. Nations shall come to your […]

The Human Problem – God’s Solution

Reading Time: 5 Minutes The 1962 musical, “The Music Man,” contains these lyrics: Well, either you’re closing your eyesTo a situation you do not wish to acknowledgeOr you are not aware of the caliber of disaster indicatedBy the presence of a pool table in your community.Ya got trouble, my friend, right here,I say, trouble right […]

God, Have Mercy!

Reading Time: 6 Minutes The prophet Amos interceded for the nation with these words: “O Lord God, forgive, I beg you!How can Jacob stand?He is so small!” (Amos 7.2 and 5) An arrogant, rebellious nation was under the punishment of God and Amos feared for the future. With great love for God’s people, he appealed […]

How Did I Get So Far Away From God?

Reading Time: 7 Minutes Will there ever come a time in a person’s or nation’s life when God refuses to help? Is there anything that will cause God to not hear the prayers of his people? Isaiah wrote about the circumstances where God would turn a deaf ear to the prayers of his people. When […]

Healing, Vindication, and Answered Prayer

Reading Time: 6 Minutes Isaiah wrote about the kind of behavior God asks from his followers. Rather than the simple observance of religious rites, he called for action on behalf of fellow humans. Is not this the fast that I choose:to loose the bonds of injustice,to undo the thongs of the yoke,to let the oppressed […]

When Religion is Wrong

Reading Time: 7 Minutes Like me, you may enjoy some religious activities. Bible reading and prayer reduce my anxiety and give me a sense of peace. Other people have a similar feeling about worship music. We could add to a list of religious actions that are beneficial: informative sermons, small group discussions, Christian friends, and […]

A Super Highway for the Lord

Reading Time: 6 Minutes “If you build it, they will come,” is a well-known quote from the movie “Field of Dreams.” The movie portrayed long-dead famous baseball players coming to a baseball field that was built in a cornfield. It was a touching if fantastical story. What made for a good movie is an actual […]

God’s House Of Prayer

Reading Time: 5 Minutes Isaiah 56.7 will sound familiar to you because Jesus quoted it on the day he cleansed the Temple. Isaiah prophesied God’s loving activity for his people. These I will bring to my holy mountain,and make them joyful in my house of prayer;their burnt offerings and their sacrificeswill be accepted on my […]

Seek the Lord while He may be found.

Reading Time Isaiah exhorted people from 700 B.C. to the present to seek the Lord at a time when we can find him. Seek the Lord while he may be found,call upon him while he is near. (Isaiah 54.6) Isaiah gave people excellent reasons to seek the Lord and to call upon him for guidance. […]

Indescribable Love

Reading Time: 5 Minutes How can a person capture with words a love that is beyond description? Isaiah 55 pictures God’s love in action with breathtaking images. Free, But Not Without Cost As Missouri is inundated with rain and flash flooding that is occurring, it may seem strange to think of other parts of the […]

God’s Everlasting Love

Reading Time: 5 Minutes “God so loved the world that he gave . . .” (John 3.16) is quite rightly the theme of the entire Bible. Isaiah echoes the theme of love in chapter 54. “For the mountains shall departAnd the hills be removed,But My kindness shall not depart from you,Nor shall My covenant of […]

Fear, Discouragement, And Disgrace Banished

Reading Time: 5 Minutes How can the hopeful promises of Isaiah become a reality for God’s people? How can fear and discouragement be erased from life? How can disgrace be turned into a blessing? Only God can turn these painful experiences into gain and advantage for humans. Who is Our Helper? Isaiah layered one promise […]

Union with God

Reading Time: 5 Minutes In today’s video Rudy Ross gives the listener a vision of our future union with God. We are already united with God because of his Spirit within us. However, there is more to come. You can view our discussion on the Bob Spradling YouTube channel. Today’s article will focus on God’s […]

From Barren to Blessed

Reading Time: 5 Minutes I asked Rudy Ross to outline four ways Hebrew people have traditionally interpreted the Bible. Each of these correspond to four divisions of the Book of Isaiah. Please listen to our discussion on the Bob Spradling YouTube channel. Tomorrow’s video will begin our discussion of Isaiah 54. In today’s blog article […]

The Servant Who Is The Savior

Reading Time: 5 Minutes In today’s YouTube video on the Bob Spradling channel, Rudy Ross and I will end our discussion of Isaiah 53 and connect the message to Paul’s writings. Paul’s great hymn in Philippians 2 is a natural response to what God did through the Suffering Servant. Paul wrote, “Let the same mind […]

The Perfect Sacrifice for Sin

Reading Time: 5 Minutes In today’s YouTube video on the Bob Spradling channel, Rudy Ross and I talk about the scapegoat and the sinless nature of the Suffering Servant. Today’s blog article will explore Jesus’ trial and the accusations that were brought against him. A Perversion of Justice Isaiah stated that the Suffering Servant would […]

Our Inside Condition and the Suffering Servant

Reading Time: 5 Minutes Key words in Isaiah 53, such as iniquity and transgression, originate in the heart or the inside condition of a person. Rudy Ross talks about this in detail in today’s YouTube video on the Bob Spradling channel. This blog article explores the role of our inside condition or heart in Biblical […]

Jesus’ Sacrifice And Healing

Reading Time: 5 Minutes In today’s YouTube video on the Bob Spradling channel, Rudy Ross will discuss the Ashes of the Red Heifer and how it helps us understand the message of Isaiah 53. I think you will find the interview with Rudy a help to your overall understanding of this chapter. Today’s blog article […]

Isaiah 53 and the Sacrificial System

Reading Time: 5 Minutes Isaiah’s prophecy about the Suffering Servant is part of the sacrificial system that began with the construction of the Tabernacle. In today’s YouTube video on the Bob Spradling channel, Rudy Ross will outline important points about the sacrificial system that will increase your appreciation of Isaiah 53. Today’s blog article will […]

The Suffering Servant (Part 2)

Reading Time: 5 Minutes The message of Isaiah 53 is so central to the ministry of Jesus, that I will devote seven articles to the chapter. Rudy Ross has written extensively on Isaiah 53. I have interviewed Rudy on the Bob Spradling YouTube channel. He has insights about the sacrificial system and our inside condition […]

The Suffering Servant (Part 1)

Reading Time: 6 Minutes The Suffering Servant passages in Isaiah are some of the most important passages in the Bible. We discover in these words the heart of God, who loves people with an everlasting and robust love. God’s character is revealed in these verses and the world’s system is exposed for the small, corrupt […]

It Works If You Work It

Reading Time: 5 Minutes One of my favorite AA meetings ends with everyone repeating, “It works if you work it.” This truly applies to the program of Alcoholics Anonymous. It also applies to the way God works with his people. A thumbnail sketch of God’s activity is that God has done everything for his people. […]

Where Are You Lord?

Reading Time: 5 Minutes Someone could say, “God, you did glorious things in the past and you have made glorious promises about the future, but where are you now?” These are the words of a faithful person, who is struggling with their faith. God encourages the faith of the suffering with the remaining verses of […]

Why Study Prophecy

Reading Time: 5 Minutes Why study a book that is 2700 years old? Isaiah’s message is filled with names and places that are difficult to pronounce. Some of his writing is as understandable as is in a foreign language. So, why study such an old and difficult book? Isaiah 51 explains why it is worth […]

When in the Dark . . . Listen

Reading Time: 6 Minutes Imagine a walk through a forest in the dead of night. Your flashlight allows you to see 50 feet ahead of where you are stepping. Once you have walked 50 feet, you have another 50 feet of illumination. There is no escaping the darkness as we journey through life. Some think […]

God’s Cure For Guilt

Reading Time: 5 Minutes Suppose I were to ask, “Who will declare me guilty?” I could answer this question in several ways. — I am aware of the guilt of my life. I know God’s teaching quite well, but have turned from his guidance and followed my selfish instincts. — Other people are aware of […]

The Listening and Obedient Servant

Reading Time: 6 Minutes God rules the universe as a loving Father and gracious Servant. Isaiah 50-53 reveals this fact as clearly as in any other place in the Old Testament. Each collection of verses will reveal another aspect of God’s character. Today’s passage will show the listening and obedient character of Servant Jesus. The […]

“Rock Bottom” People Get Blessed

Reading Time: 5 Minutes What is “rock bottom”? “Alcohol use disorder does not stay in one place. The disorder doesn’t hit a certain stage and then level off. It keeps deepening, affecting the person physically, mentally, morally, and spiritually. “No matter where a person is in the progression of the disorder, things continue to decline […]

Experiencing God

Reading Time: 6 Minutes Dr. Henry Blackaby in his highly respected book, “Experiencing God,” makes the point that God is at work in the world. As God is at work, he invites people to join him in the work. When we join God in what he is doing, we will profoundly experience God. God called […]

The Calling of God’s Servant

Reading Time: 5 Minutes A new section of Isaiah’s prophecy begins with chapter 49. It details the ministry of God’s Servant. The only way to interpret the Servant of the Lord is to see the Servant as a person, who is best identified with the life and ministry of Jesus. In a lesser way, the […]

Learning to Listen

Reading Time: 6 Minutes Moses gave God’s people a prayer that is known by the first word of the prayer, “Shema.” The prayer is the centerpiece of the daily morning and evening prayer services and is considered by some the most essential prayer in all of Judaism. Worshipers pray, “Hear, O Israel: The Lord is […]

The Obedience of Faith

Reading Time: 6 Minutes Jeremiah’s evaluation of the human inside condition is quite revealing. The heart is devious above all else;it is perverse—who can understand it? (Jeremiah 17.9) Like Jeremiah, Isaiah revealed the inner workings of the mind of his audience. They believed that they trusted God, but did they have faith or did they […]

Accountable Before God

Reading Time: 6 minutes Abraham pleaded for the fate of Sodom and asked a compelling question of God. He said, “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?” (Genesis 18.25). More than any other prophet, Isaiah identified God’s nature with the words “righteousness and justice.” If Isaiah were to answer Abraham’s […]

Babylonian Behavior

Reading Time: 7 Minutes The Hebrew people were exiled to Babylon. Isaiah prophesied both the exile and the return from exile of God’s people. Babylon is also mentioned in the Book of Revelation. The nation is a symbol of a way of living that everyone should avoid. Babylon Behavior in Revelation Before we turn to […]

The Potter and the Clay

Reading Time: 5 Minutes God does not expect us to suffer in silence, during the tough times of life. Many of the Psalms, along with the Book of Job are filled with examples of complaints to God about human suffering. When we are confused about what God is doing in the world, we can ask […]

Cyrus and Christian Nationalism

Reading Time: 7 Minutes Isaiah 45 describes how the Persian king, Cyrus, was used by God to deliver the Hebrews from exile in Babylon. In recent years the picture of Cyrus has been applied to political figures in America with the belief that governmental leaders will restore American Christians to an advantageous place in culture. […]

Memories and Future Plans

Reading Time: 5 Minutes “You can’t make your mind forget what your heart won’t, good memories may fade from the mind but great memories live on through the heart.” These thoughts by Rashida Rowe capture the role of why remembering is important to people. The Command to Remember God commanded his people to remember the […]

Another Message About Idols

Reading Time: 7 Minutes Rudy Ross and I produce a daily video that corresponds to these blog articles. It can be found on the Bob Spradling YouTube channel. When we came to Isaiah 44.9-20, Rudy wondered why there are so many references to the futility of idols in Isaiah’s book. I told Rudy about one […]

The Gift of the Holy Spirit

Reading Time: 5 Minutes John the Baptist preached, “I baptize you with water for repentance, but one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire” (Matthew 3.11). Isaiah is one of several Old Testament authors […]

Salvation by Grace

Reading Time: 5 Minutes The great English preacher, Charles Spurgeon wrote a book with the title, “All of Grace.” The title summarizes an enormous truth about God’s love that all we receive from God is grace. Like Spurgeon, Isaiah was a preacher of grace. He spoke for God and revealed God’s heart of love and […]

Four Truths About God

Reading Time: 5 Minutes Old Testament Theology in a Verse If we read Isaiah like a novel or a school assignment, we will miss the way the prophet compressed vital information into small spaces. Verses 14 and 15 are prime examples of powerful truths of his communication skills. Thus says the Lord,your Redeemer, the Holy […]