A stomach bug from the pits of hell is raging at my house.  I succumb to it on Monday and I don’t mean to be overdramatic, but I was begging Jesus to take me home in the wee hours of the morning.  We are now it that fun game of “Who Goes Down Next?”  Brock and Jesse are the last ones standing……make your bets.  Sorry I missed yesterday’s post; I was asleep all day.  In fact, when I picked up my Bible this morning, I was shocked to find out it was Wednesday!

Isaiah 8:1—9:21

Let’s remember this book is our color commentary for what was going on during the rule of Uzziah.  The kingdom’s have split.  Israel turned away from God completely and Judah had a hand in God’s hat and a hand in the world.  The first part of the reading today is the prediction of Israel being wiped out by Assyria.  God always authenticates his message by giving near and far predictions.  The near prediction is the name of the baby Isaiah will have and that before that baby can say mama or dada the war will start.  He writes the name down in front of witnesses.  Check out what the babies name means:

The name Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz, the longest personal name in the Bible, means “quick to the plunder, swift to the spoil.” Soldiers would shout these words to their comrades as they defeated and plundered their foes. Isaiah’s listeners, remembering his prophecy of the fall of the Aram-Israel alliance (7:4–17), would have understood the significance of his son’s name as they continued to listen to his prediction of impending doom for Aram and Israel.[1]

So that’s clear then.  Yikes!

Then Isaiah turns to Judah and tells them they will not escape the flood, but they will not be fully defeated.  He also tells them to fear the Lord and not their circumstances.  Because here is the truly beautiful thing, in the midst of the judgement for their sin, Our Loving God also promises the Deliverer that will save us all.  9: 6-7 is about Jesus.  And this is good news because even after they are disciplined to the point of total destruction, 9: 8-21 tell us how God’s chosen people still reject him.  This proves to us that humans, need to be saved from sin.  There is no hope for us without a Savior. 

2 Corinthians 12: 1-10*Sarah’s favorite verse of all-time alert*

Imagine baby Christian Sarah; newly saved at the ripe ol’ age of 33, still struggling with being an overachieving perfectionist, reading Paul’s words seeking the key to becoming a perfect super Christian with all the powers of Christ flowing through her; stumbling upon these verses.  Paul has been caught up to the third heaven and yet only wants to boast about his weakness?  Paul who just got done telling us in the previous verses about all the beatings wants to just boast in his weakness.  Paul who was stoned, got back up and walked back into town to preach another day wants to boast in his weakness?  My mind spun, “Wait, are we allowed as Christians to admit we have weaknesses?”  Is it possible that after 33 years of convincing everyone in the world that I am perfect and have no flaws, I can actually admit that I am weak?  That I need a Savior?  That left to my own devices I am a stressed-out mess trying to achieve some unreachable goal I have made for myself.  Are you telling me Jesus, that the way you work in me is through my weakness?  Are you telling me that your power is displayed through my weakness?  And so, I can stop trying to be perfect and let You, who really is perfect, work though me?  That it’s on You to be Perfect and on me to boast of my weakness?

And that my friends was the day that the chains of perfectionism and being an overachiever to earn my approval from Jesus and the world started to fall off.  Now, some 7 years later I still have to battle this, but I am winning ground every day.  Because I am weak, and when I know I am weak then I am strong.  That is what Jesus does friends, He shines through the weakness. 

Psalm 55: 1-23

Proverbs 23: 4-5

[1] Martin, John A. “Isaiah.” The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures. Ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck. Vol. 1. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985. 1049. Print.

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