If I had a gift such as Handel, I would place these passages in Isaiah in a musical setting, and listen to them sitting in front of a lighted Christmas tree with a cup of hot chocolate:
Sanctify the LORD of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread. And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And many among them shall stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken. Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples. And I will wait upon the LORD, that hideth his face from the house of Jacob, and I will look for him. (Isa 8:13-17)
This scripture reminds me that religion can often be a stone of stumbling for me, but if I will look for Christ, he can be a sanctuary and a place of saftey.
Therefore is judgment far from us, neither doth justice overtake us: we wait for light, but behold obscurity; for brightness, but we walk in darkness. We grope for the wall like the blind, and we grope as if we had no eyes: we stumble at noonday as in the night; we are in desolate places as dead men. And the LORD saw it, and it displeased him that there was no judgment. And he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore his arm brought SALVATION unto him; And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the LORD. (Isa 59:9,16,20)
Christ was sent into the world to dispell the darkness that often overcomes me. I relate with these verses that describe my searchings as groping for the wall as if blind. I've also felt the darkness of the soul that Isaiah describes.
Yea, in the way of thy judgments, O LORD, have we waited for thee; the desire of our soul is to thy name, and to the remembrance of thee. With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early: for when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness. Lord, thou wilt ordain peace for us: for thou also hast wrought all thy works in us. (Isa 26:8,9,12)
This scripture is for those who yearn for something in the night which they cannot name--may the Lord ordain peace to us in this season.
In that day shall this song be sung in the land of Judah; We have a strong city; SALVATION will God appoint for walls and bulwarks. Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength. (Isa 26:1,3,4)
This is the song I have in my heart when my faith and confidence are strong and whole. Though I stray and I complain and fret, deep inside there is a conviction that Jehovah is everlasting strength!
Neither let the son of the stranger, that hath joined himself to the LORD, speak, saying, The LORD hath utterly separated me from his people: neither let the eunuch say, Behold, I am a dry tree. For thus saith the LORD unto the eunuchs that keep my sabbaths, and choose the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant; Even unto them will I give in mine house and within my walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off. Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people. The Lord GOD which gathereth the outcasts of Israel saith, Yet will I gather others to him, beside those that are gathered unto him. (Isa 56:4,5,7,8)
I would love to make this the most beautiful song of all. It is to all those who feel they are different, who are outcasts, who need the love that God has to offer. He reaches out to us and gathers us into his holy presence.
For the people shall dwell in Zion at Jerusalem: thou shalt weep no more: he will be very gracious unto thee at the voice of thy cry; when he shall hear it, he will answer thee. And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction, yet shall not thy Teacher be removed into a corner any more, but thine eyes shall see thy Teacher: And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left. Moreover the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold, as the light of seven days, in the day that the LORD bindeth up the breach of his people, and healeth the stroke of their wound. Ye shall have a song, as in the night when a holy solemnity is kept; and gladness of heart, as when one goeth with a pipe to come into the mountain of the LORD, to the mighty One of Israel.
I pray that in this season my eyes will be opened to see the great Teacher. I wish for the light of the sun to come into my soul. I want it to heal, to bind the breach, to bring peace and the song of gladness. Happy Christmas, my bloggy friends.