Rivers in the Desert

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The Book of Isaiah was a prophecy written to the nation of Israel, warning them of their impending exile because they disobeyed God. Despite His anger, chapters 40-66 reveal God’s compassion for them as He comforted and consoled them through Isaiah’s prophecy. During this seven-day devotional, we will discover God’s unfailing love and promises of Messianic redemption, which were fulfilled through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Day 1

  • Isaiah 43:16-20

GOD IS OUR PROVIDER

“Thus said Hashem, He Who made a way through the Sea and a path amid the mighty waters, Who brought out chariot and horse, army and force, which all lie together, never to rise, extinguished and snuffed out like a piece of burning flax: Do not recall former occurrences and do not contemplate earlier events. [For] behold, I am bringing forth a new [miracle]! Now It will sprout, you will surely know it: I will make a road in the desert and in the wilderness rivers. The beasts of the field will honor me – the jackals and the ostriches – for I have put water in the desert and rivers in the wilderness to provide drink for My chosen people. ” Isaiah 43:19-20 (Tanach, Stone Edition)

The Lord God promised Israel, His chosen people, that He would provide for them in their most destitute and dry places. In verses 16-18, the Lord of Hosts reminds Israel of how He commanded the waters of the Red Sea and defeated their enemy. The Lord God declared to Israel that what He is about to do will surpass His past actions; God will create a path in a hard place and provide rivers in the desert. In the wilderness of this world, the Word of God reminds us that our God can surmount all opposition. He is the God of the impossible, and He will provide a place of rest, safety, and renewal for His chosen ones.

“But you are a chosen people, the King’s cohanim [priests], a holy nation, a people for God to possess! Why? In order for you to declare the praises of the One who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” 1 Peter 2:9 (Jewish New Testament)

PRAYER: God of Glory, we bless your Name. You are Jehovah Jireh, the God who provides for His people. Thank You, Lord God, for always making ways for us in the most challenging moments of our lives. Our trust is in You. Amen.

Day 2

  • Isaiah 65:24
  • Daniel 10

GOD HEARS US

“It will be that before they call I will answer; while they yet speak I will hear.” Isaiah 65:24 (Tanach, Stone Edition)

Our God has declared that He will hear us when we call (cry out, proclaim) to Him. The word “hear” in Hebrew means to understand and to respond. Our Heavenly Father hears us and takes action to answer our cries before we call upon Him. We must never forget that God’s response may not come forth in our deserved timing, but He hears us before we ask and will answer.

In chapter 10 of Daniel’s prophecy book, he had been praying for 21 days. Afterward, an angel of the Lord appeared to him and told Daniel that God had heard his prayer on the first day and sent His angel to respond to Daniel and give him understanding.

“For Adonai keeps his eyes on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayers, but the face of Adonai is against those who do evil things. 1 Peter 3:12(Jewish New Testament)

PRAYER: Thank You, Adonai Yishma, for being a God who hears and answers our prayers. You know what we need before we ask of You. You respond to our cries and take action to aid us before we lift our voices for Your help. You are a Good Father and Faithful in all of Your ways. We bless Your Name. Amen.

Day 3

  • Isaiah 55:1-3
  • John 4:13-14

GOD SATISFIES US

“Ho, everyone who is thirsty, go to the water, even one with no money, go, buy and eat; go and buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you weigh out money without getting bread and [exert] your efforts for that which does not satisfy? Listen well to Me and you will eat well, and your soul will delight in rich food. Incline your ear and come to Me; listen, and your soul will be rejuvenated; I will make an eternal covenant with you, the enduring kindnesses [promised to] David.” Isaiah 55:1-3 (Tanach, Stone Edition)

Believers in Christ often turn to the world and material possessions in their quest for fulfillment and satisfaction, which sometimes comes at a great price. The flesh is insatiable, and it will never be satisfied. According to Rabbinic commentary, water, wine, and milk are metaphors for the Word of God. Our God offers us complete satisfaction at no cost if we study and obey His Word.

Our God offers us the opportunity to be satisfied and fulfilled in Him. Jesus told the Samaritan Woman, “Whosever drinks of this water shall thirst again, but whosoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst. But the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life (John 4:13-14).

“Yeshua answered, ‘I am the bread which is life! Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever trusts in me will never be thirsty.” John 6:35 (Jewish New Testament)

PRAYER: Eternal God, our Father, thank You for opening our eyes that we may receive Your Truth and be made whole and for giving us your Scripture and an understanding of Your Word that our souls may be satisfied and flourish in You. Amen.

Day 4

  • Isaiah 6:8
  • Romans 8:30
  • Ephesians 1:3-6
  • Ephesians 2:10

GOD HAS CALLED US

“I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who shall go for us?’ And I said, ‘Here I am! Send me!'” Isaiah 6:8 (Tanach, Stone Edition)

Isaiah received the call of God to go forth and prophesy to Israel and the nations. The calling of God is not unique. We all have the call of God in our life. Every believer is called to sanctification (holiness), sonship (relationship with God), and service (to meet the needs of others).

God’s call challenges us to leave that which is familiar and comfortable. Yet, we must have a readiness to respond. In our response, we will see God’s Mighty Hand at work in our lives and the lives of others.

“…and those whom he thus determined in advance, he also called; and those whom he called, he also caused to be considered righteous; and those whom he caused to be considered righteous, he also glorified.” Romans 8:30 (Jewish New Testament)

PRAYER: King of Glory, You are the All-Powerful and All-Wise God. Thank You for calling us to walk alongside You. We are finite beings who depend on You for our life and sustenance. But You have called us to be co-laborers with Christ in what You are doing on the earth. For this, we are humbled and grateful. Amen.

Day 5

  • Isaiah 60:1-2
  • Matthew 5:14-16

GOD’S GLORY IS UPON US

“Arise! Shine! for your light has arrived, and the glory of Hashem shines upon you. For behold, darkness may cover the earth and a thick cloud [may cover] the kingdoms, but upon you, Hashem will shine, and His glory will be seen upon you.” Isaiah 60:1-2 (Tanach, Stone Edition)

God’s word to His people is that His glory will be upon them in the world’s darkest hour. We will be the light that the nations will see as we bear the glory of God. We are carriers of God’s glory. When we say we honor God, we are saying we recognize and respect the totality of His Awesomeness, and we live our lives accordingly. Believers in Christ are intentional to walk in the light and glory of God for the entire world to see and honor Him.

“Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16 (Jewish New Testament)

PRAYER: Thank You, Almighty God, for blessing us to be bearers of Your glory. Our human comprehension cannot fathom the weight of Your greatness or why You have chosen us to show forth Your splendor. We are humbled and grateful to be Your chosen vessels of honor. Amen.

Day 6

  • Isaiah 49:14-15
  • 2 Corinthians 4:8-9

GOD REMEMBERS US

“Zion said, ‘Hashem has forsaken me; my Lord has forgotten me.’ Can a woman forget her baby or not feel compassion for the child of her womb? Even these may forget, but I would not forget you.” Isaiah 49:14-15

Our God is Omnipotent (All-Powerful), Omnipresent (in every place of existence), and Omniscient (All-Knowing). It is impossible for Him not to remember or to forget anything. When the Word of God says He will not remember our sins, He chooses not to remember or recall them to hold against us.

Sometimes the human experience causes us to feel we have been forgotten or forsaken by God. When we find ourselves having moments of despair and desperation, we must trust and believe that our God will never fail us and that He will be present with us in every place and situation.

“We have all kinds of troubles, but we are not crushed; we are perplexed, yet not in despair, persecuted, yet not abandoned; knocked down, yet not destroyed.” 2 Corinthians 4:8-9

PRAYER: Jehovah Shammah, You are always with us. We are fragile humans who sometimes fail to recognize Your presence in our dark moments. Please help us always to know that You have not forgotten or forsaken us. Amen.

Day 7

  • Isaiah 46:3-4
  • 1 Peter 1:7

GOD CARRIES US

“Listen to Me, O House of Jacob, and all the remnant of the House of Israel, who are borne [by Me] from birth, who are carried from the womb. Until (your) old age I am unchanged, and until [your] hoary years I will carry [you]; I made [you] and I will bear [you], I will carry [you], and I will rescue [you].” Isaiah 46:3-4 (Tanach, Stone Edition)

God is with us in every moment and stage of life. When we become overwhelmed by the troubles of this world and the enemy’s attacks, He carries us. Our Father has carried us in our grief and despair like a shepherd carries a precious lamb in his arms.

As we mature and begin to face the challenges of aging, we experience the loss of those we love, our physical and financial decline, and sometimes we may lose our sense of relevance or self-value. However, the Lord God reminds us that He created us, has carried us from birth, and will carry us to the end.

“Throw all your anxieties upon him, because he cares about you.” 1 Peter 1:7 (Jewish New Testament)

PRAYER: Loving Father, You are our Consolation. You have carried us and are concerned with all things that concern us. May we never forget to release to You those cares which are too heavy for us to handle and to rest in knowing You will continue to carry us until we rest eternally in You. Amen.

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