‘Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,’ says the Lord, who has compassion on you.
Isaiah 54:10 (NIV)
Read: Isaiah 54:1-17
Consider: William Carey (1761 – 1834) spent over 40 years in India (1793 until his death in 1834), sharing the good news of the gospel with the people there. He was particularly moved by these words in Isaiah 54: Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes. For you will spread out to the right and to the left; your descendants will dispossess nations and settle in their desolate cities (Isaiah 54:2-3). William Carey was so moved by these verses that he encouraged the church to reach out with the good news to the unevangelised nations of the world. His missionary work in India also led to the establishment of Serampore College (established 1818) and it was the first college in India to be granted degree awarding powers.
Although Isaiah was written sometime between 740 and 700BC, its message resonated with this Baptist missionary almost 2,500 years later. Can you see how the Bible spoke into the lives of the people of Israel, but also had a major impact on William Carey and the future direction of his live and service. This gives meaning to what is said in Hebrews: For the word of God is alive and active (Hebrews 4:12a). People who see the Bible as an old dusty history book, of little relevance to life today, have not experienced the ‘alive and active’ nature of the Bible for themselves.
As you read through Isaiah 54 what resonated with you? Perhaps it was Isaiah 54:5 where it says: For your Maker is your husband – the Lord Almighty is his name – the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth. Does the analogy of the ‘husband’ remind you that the church is ‘the bride of Christ’? Perhaps you were struck by Isaiah 54:10 where it says: ‘Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,’ says the Lord, who has compassion on you. While we may be unsettled by world events and personal circumstances, God remains faithful to all his promises. His love and compassion do not diminish over time, but remain constant.
Pray: Father, we thank you that your Word reminds us of great Biblical truths. We see the constancy of your love and compassion and your patience towards mankind, when the good news of the gospel is proclaimed throughout the world. Amen
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