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Salve for Sorrow

For I have satiated the weary soul, and I have replenished every sorrowful soul.
        Jeremiah 31:25

With God everything is done to perfection. Thus, in the Amplified Version, this verse reads, “I fully satisfy the weary soul” reminding us of that complete work God does in our souls when we allow Him.

The Amplified Version also adds “languishing” to the second phrase, so it reads, “I have replenished every languishing and sorrowful soul.” This word languishing carries the meaning of wasting away from sorrow.”

This is my testimony. As I was languishing in my sorrow over my loss, betrayal and humiliation at the hands of one close to me, God gave me satisfaction and healing in my soul, in my innermost being–the place that only God can touch, but which desperately needs touching. My situation remained unchanged, but my soul was replenished and restored.

So remember, when you are languishing in sorrow, you need only wait in helplessness for God for just a short while with an openness to Him, and you shall experience what God promised through the prophet Jeremiah.

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Isaiah 62 to 63

Read Isaiah 62 – Jerusalem
1. What things does God promise will be true about Jerusalem in this chapter?

2. Copy Isaiah 62:11-12 here. Meditate on these verses. What do you observe? How does this encourage you?

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Read Isaiah 63 – Edom
1. Where is Edom? Where did the nation of Edom come from? (Hint: Genesis 36:1) What is their relationship to Israel?

2. Who is Isaiah 63:1-6 speaking of? How do you know?

3. Read Revelation 14:19-20 and Revelation 19:13, 15. How does this passage compare to Isaiah 63:1-6? Are both passages speaking of the same person/events? Explain.

4. What does the Prophet say about the people of God in Isaiah 63:7-14?

5. In Isaiah 63:15-19, Isaiah seems to be speaking directly to God the Father. What does he speak to God about?

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Read Isaiah 61
1. Re-read Isaiah 61:1. Read Luke 4:15-21. Re-tell the story in your own words. Why was this significant?

2. What other promises are made about Messiah in Isaiah 60:2-3?

3. What promises are being made to the Jews in Isaiah 61:4-9?

4. Copy Isaiah 61:10 here. Meditate on this. Do you see your self in this verse? Explain.

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What can we learn about the eternal nature of God and the fleeting nature of man from Psalm 90?

In the opening verses, we learn that God is outside of time and so time is nothing to Him. In verse 2, the Psalmist says, “before the mountains were born . . .” and “from everlasting to everlasting.” In verse 4, we read, “a thousand years in Your sight are like yesterday when it is past, or as a watch in the night (4-6 hours).”

We, on the other hand are so consumed with and by time. In verses 5 to 6, man is compared to grass which “in the morning . . . flourishes and springs up,” but by evening “it wilts and withers away.”

After considering that so much, if not all, of our lives are wasted doing that which angers God and brings His wrath against us, the Psalmist prays for clarity–to understand God as He is and to understand ourselves and our limitations. He prays in verse 12, “teach us to number our days, that we may cultivate and bring to You a heart of wisdom.”

May that be our prayer as well. Teach us, O God, to understand how short the time is for each of us and teach us to use our time well, for Your glory, for Kingdom business.

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Isaiah 60 – Jerusalem!

Read Isaiah Chapter 60
1. Who is the prophet speaking of in Isaiah 60:1-3? How do you know?

2. What promise is given to non-Jews in Isaiah 60:3? Why is this important?

3. What do the following scripture passages teach us about the light?
□ Genesis 1:3

□ Exodus 13:21

□ Psalm 18:28

□ Psalm 119:105, 130

□ John 1:4-9

4. What promises are given in Isaiah 60:4-7?

5. What promises are found in Isaiah 60:8-18?

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Read Isaiah 59
1. What is the indictment in Isaiah 59:1-3? What separates us from God? Take some time and confess and repent of anything God brings to mind as you are reading and meditating on these scriptures.

2. Record some of the statements about justice the prophet makes in this chapter. Do they seem relevant to our society? The church? Give examples.

3. Record some of the statements about truth. Do they apply today? To us? Give examples?

4. How did God respond according to Isaiah 59:15-17?

5. What does God promise for the future in Isaiah 59:18-20? How does that impact you?

6. Copy Isaiah 59:21 here. Respond to this promise from God.

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One of many benefits of reading through the Bible each year is that once a year, I must ready the book of Job, 37 chapters of man’s wisdom followed by 5 chapters of God’s.

When I read the book of Job, I learn:

▸ I am like Job’s friends. I spend for too much time, energy and words trying to figure out why friends and loved ones severe or repeated suffering and trial. I search for hidden sin in their lives. I usually fail to consider the universal truth, “God’s ways are far past finding out.” How can finite man understand an infinite and almighty God?

▸ I am like Job. I tend to think God is dealing unjustly with me when He tests me or allows trials in my life. I accuse God of being far from me, not remembering me, or forsaking me. I am prone to think of God as a mere man, like me, capable of error, neglect, and thoughtlessness. I imagine at times that God might need my insight, vision, or my plans.

▸ I am so relieved to hear from God. After 37 chapters of rambling by those not much brighter than me, and I read the words, “The LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind,” and my heart quickens. His truth washes over me, verse after verse confronting me with my impotency and insignificance in stark contrast to His omnipotence, omniscience and omnipresence.

Like Job, my only response to the awesome power and knowledge of God is to mumble with my face in the dirt, I am vile . . . I have nothing to say.”