Isaiah

Sacrifice

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This verse is filled with the language of substitution.  The Servant suffered not for His own sin, since He was sinless (Hebrews 4:15; 7:26), but as the substitute for sinners.  The emphasis here is on Christ being the substitute recipient of God’s wrath on sinners (2 Corin 5:21; Galatians 1:3,4; Hebrews 10:9,10).  He suffered the chastisement of God in order to procure our peace with God.  The stripe that caused His death has brought salvation to those for whose sins He died.  Peter confirms this in 1 Peter 2:24.

Commentary from the MacArthur study Bible, notes for Isaiah 53:5.

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Highway of Holiness

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This refers to the way leading the redeemed back to Jerusalem, the throne of Messiah, literally and spiritually.  Christ Himself is to be the leader on that way, called in Isaiah 40:3, the “way of the Lord.”

Commentary from the MacArthur study Bible, notes for Isaiah 35:8.

God’s Ways

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In Isaiah 55:8, God declared, “My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways.”  And in fact, one of the biggest frustrations of the Christian life stems from a lack of understanding about God’s ways.  There are times when we could really use a miracle, but He does not come through for us the way we think He should.  Our unmet expectations lead to confusion, disappointment, and even anger.  We might think, Why did the Lord let me down?

Some people don’t believe God performs big miracles at all, while others are convinced that if He’s not doing the miraculous every day, then something is wrong with their faith.  Neither belief is true.  We need a balanced perspective, which we find in the Bible.

God works in both supernatural and ordinary ways, and He determines the method.  Elijah ate food miraculously delivered by ravens, but his water supply from a brook was completely natural.  When the water dried up, the Lord could have made more spring from the ground, but He didn’t.

Sometimes God uses ordinary means to move us in a new direction.  The curtailment of Elijah’s water supply opened the door for his next assignment.  When the Lord withholds miraculous intervention and lets your brook dry up, He has something else planned for you.

Seeing the work of God in the miraculous is easy.  But He’s just as involved in the everyday aspects of life as He is in any supernatural event.  Look for His fingerprint in the day’s mundane activities.  He is there, opening and closing doors, drying up one opportunity but initiating another.

Commentary from Charles Stanley’s In Touch Devotional, August 2, 2017.