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Forty Days of Peace: Day 23

September 16, 2020

Peace Within

 

Knowing and believing God’s word brings peace

 

Knowing and believing God’s word brings peace

 

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6

 

So far this week, we have introduced the techniques of looking at different translations and memorization as ways to help us know and believe God's word. Today’s tactic is: looking at the context of the suggested verse.This technique helps protect the original meaning of the verse. All too often, scripture can be taken out of context and given a false meaning, which leads to a false hope to the reader. On a positive note, when observing the context of a verse, we then can gain additional insight into the depth of the meaning.

 

For example, take a moment to reread our header verse above, Isaiah 9:6. When I looked at the surrounding verses in this chapter, I asked questions like: Who is speaking? What is he saying? When and where were these words spoken? And why? By answering these questions, I found out that in this chapter, Israel was experiencing a very dark time in their history due to their waywardness; God’s pre-warned judgement had come on them through attacks and defeats of the enemy. They were without hope. But, it is in THIS state of despair (context), the prophet Isaiah brings good news from their gracious and merciful God: The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned. (Isaiah 9:2)

 

Knowing this context helps us to see just how good this news of a Savior was to God’s people. In their hopelessness, a promise was made to them: For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Where these particular Israelites could cling to the future hope of a Messiah who would bear each of these great names described in this verse, we can look back to this same Savior who was indeed born...to us and for us! Knowing their dark times and God’s message to them, helps us to realize God will not leave us without hope either. No matter how dark it gets around us, we have in us the Light that has dawned! This gives us peace within.

 

As you go forward in reading God's word, remember to ask the context questions (Who? What? When? Where? Why? How?). If you are one that likes to underline, circle, and highlight in your Bible, go for it when looking for the answers! Make it colorful! Allow God to speak in new and deeper ways as you seek and find these treasures. His ancient words are just as peace-filled and power-full today. Choose to receive his mercies that are new every morning.

 

Dear Lord,

I pray that you will continually "open our minds to understand the Scriptures" (Luke 24:45). May we be fully and accurately filled with encouragement from your divine word that was written long ago, but intended for us today. You have something personal to say to each one of us! Give us hearts to dig deep so we can be richly blessed by these living words of truth. Amen.

 

 

 

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