Isaiah the prophet lived during the reign of Kings Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, and brought a message of judgement and salvation .
ISAIAH THE PROPHET
When we read the book of Isaiah, we might think, What a wonderful guy—this holy man telling everyone about a coming Savior!
The reality is Isaiah probably didn’t have a lot of friends. Isaiah was a bit of a downer.
Sometimes I catch myself wanting to sugar-coat things, to pretend like the Bible is only Good News. Of course, the Bible is good news, but only because the state of things are so bad!
The Garden of Eden was a place of perfection, but once sin entered the equation, perfection no longer existed—except for God. Throughout the entire Old Testament, you see God drawing his people back time and time again. Isaiah tells us like it is—we are sinful, deserving punishment, needing repentance and a perfect Savior.
ISAIAH’S WARNINGS AND PROPHECIES
Isaiah was a prophet to the people of Judah (the southern, smaller kingdom after the split). During his life, four kings reigned over Judah:
Isaiah tells the Israelites that they will go into exile and later be redeemed and eventually return to their homeland. He speaks simultaneously of hope and punishment—judgement and salvation. He also predicts that the evil nations who worship false gods will eventually be punished, and that a perfect Messiah is coming!
The Jews of the time expected an earthly king to be this Messiah (aka Christ). But when the time came (500 years later!), Jesus came in the form of a suffering servant. Born in a barn, working as a carpenter and killed as a criminal–this was not what they had in mind.
God seldom works in ways we’d expect, and his wisdom is beyond what we can comprehend. Isaiah is reminder of God’s authority, power, wisdom and gentleness all at the same time.
THE BOOK OF ISAIAH PRINTABLES
Open up your Bible, read through the book of Isaiah and print out these visual notes to guide you as you read.
Join me in this 31 day August scripture study as we learn what the Bible teaches us about our need for worship versus God’s desire for it.
WORSHIP IN SUFFERING
Everything changes when your life is threatened. You start to see what’s important and what’s not.
I was pregnant with my first child when my mother-in-law died from brain cancer. It was a horrible year for all of us. I had no idea the horrors that cancer could do to someone, and in her last few months, she couldn’t even speak.
But I remember in the months leading up to those, she would sit in her chair and quietly sing the songs from her church hymnal. She needed that worship. She craved it.
I didn’t join in on singing with her. I don’t know why. Maybe I was embarrassed, but frankly I didn’t get it.
It was more of a “that’s nice” kind of thought, rather than what it really was: a suffering woman being faithful to her God.
What a lesson I missed in that moment.
WORSHIP IS FOR US?
It wasn’t until I was dealt my own hardship that I realized what she was doing in that moment. On my own nights of pain and suffering, I held onto all I had left: worship.
No one had answers, no one had the cure. I cried out to God and even then I felt abandoned. If I wasn’t healing, what was he doing? I didn’t have the strength to study my Bible, but I could worship.
It was a gut-wrenching, soul-cleansing time. A chance for me to connect with the God I felt so far from. An opportunity to remind myself of his goodness even among the horribleness.
Maybe you need reminding that worship is for YOU. God didn’t create us to worship because he needed it, he knew we would! Worship allows us to gain perspective. It opens our eyes to who God is even when we can’t hear him, see him or feel him. He wants us to experience him.
Take this month to dig into what it means to truly worship God, and learn why he created worship for our benefit, not his.
We serve a God who loves and cares for us! Let’s worship him!
AUGUST SCRIPTURE STUDY ON WORSHIP
The directions are simple:
Print the scripture page and make copies of the journaling pages.
Write a scripture each day in the space on the left and reflect on it in the space on the right.
In addition to this August Study, memorizing scripture is another great way to stay in the Word each day. Choose a new verse each month with this Bible Verse Coloring Book I created just for you! You can find it in my shop here:
Why isn’t there one English version of the Bible? How did we get so many different Bible translations and which one is the most accurate?
*This post contains affiliate links. Please see my full disclosure for details.
WHY ARE THERE SO MANY DIFFERENT BIBLES?
In elementary school, I had a Children’s Bible with a picture of Jesus playing with kids on his lap. The words were big, and the language was simple. As a teenager, I used a Student Bible, which had footnotes and commentary on what was happening throughout. In college, I bought a Women’s Study Bible, where there were devotionals relating to women every several pages.
Each of these Bibles were modified versions of the same Bible translation—the NIV or New International Version. But as I got older and met more Christians from different backgrounds, I realized we weren’t all memorizing the same versions of the verses in Sunday School.
You might have heard John 3:16 go something like this:
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." (NIV)
…or maybe it went a little bit like this:
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (KJV)
Neither one is wrong (at least in my opinion), just a different style of interpreting the Bible. Even more recently, you may have heard something like this:
"For here is the way God loved the world—he gave his only, unique Son as a gift. So now everyone who believes in him will never perish but experience everlasting life." (TPT)
"This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life." (MSG)
HOW CAN THE BIBLE BE INTERPRETED DIFFERENTLY?
Ok so there are 4 main ways the Bible has been interpreted over the years:
Word-for-word: as close as possible to the actual Greek or Hebrew word translation
Thought-for-thought: translation of the meaning of the text rather than exact word for word
Balance: a mix of word-for-word and thought-for-thought
Paraphrase: a newer type of translation using modern wording for clarity
If you’ve been in church for any amount of time, you may have noticed that your church leans to using a specific version. If your church is more on the “conservative side”, you may use The King James Version (KJV), one of the oldest translations available. It is a word-for-word translation written in 1611!
If your church is more on the “liberal side”, you may be familiar with The Message (MSG) or The Passion Translation (TPT). These just were released in the past few years as a more modern approach to translating the Bible as a paraphrase for new believers.
The version I grew up on falls in the “balance” category and the New International Version (NIV) is currently the world’s best-selling Bible because it uses a mix of word-for-word and thought-for-thought translations. It came out in 1978.
SO WHAT’S THE BEST ONE?
I’m not going to tell you which one is the right one to use, because honestly none of them are perfect translations of the original text that was written. The Bible wasn’t written in English—it was written in Hebrew and Greek. Not only that, but the context of these passages are completely removed from the modern world we live in. It’s truly difficult to relate to life back thousands of years ago when we live in such a technological, instant-gratification, down-to-the-minute-news world!
If you want an answer from me on the best version to use, I currently use (and prefer) something called a Parallel Bible. I love using the Bible version that I grew up on, but would also like to have a modern take on the verses just to challenge my thinking.
You can actually buy Bibles that have all four types of translations in one! While that may seem overwhelming (and a giant book to bring to church), choosing one version to focus on is ok, as long as you realize that there is room for interpretation on either side of the pendulum. If you really want to get serious about your Bible study, I suggest buying a Parallel Bible or have multiple versions to compare your main one to. Here’s a good one:
I would not recommend using only a paraphrase Bible because so much of the modern language loses the ancient translation and context. If you use these (which I do!), compare them alongside a more traditional version for deeper insight.
PRINT THIS LIST OF BIBLE TRANSLATIONS
I am a very visual person, so I like to see everything in front of me in the most organized and simplified way. I’ve created this free printable you can refer to when choosing the Bible you want to read. Print it and add it to your Bible Timelines Notebook for further study!