Captivating Day 10 Streams: Digging Deeper

Digging Deeper Days

Finding the original intent of Scripture and making good application to our everyday lives as we become equipped to correctly handle the Word of Truth!

Today is 2-for-1 Friday!
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The Questions

1) How can I recognize when God wants to do a new thing in my life?

2) What does it look like for God to make rivers in the desert?

3)  What does this passage tell me about the nature of God?

Isaiah 43:19-20

Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.  20 The wild
beasts will honor me, the jackals and the ostriches, for I give water
in the wilderness, rivers in the desert, to give drink to my chosen people,

Original Intent

1) How can I recognize when God wants to do a new thing in my life?
In chapter 43:19-20, Isaiah prophesied through God’s Spirit to the Israelites that the Lord was going to do a new thing. He was going to lead them out of exile. Author David Guzik points out how important and celebratory this was for the Hebrews.  Israel had been exiled to Babylon for their continued disobedience and idolatry, but now the Lord was bringing them home back to their own Jerusalem! Guzik asserts that “Staying stuck in the past can keep us from the new thing God wants to do. If Israel stayed stuck in the discouragement and seduction of Babylon, they would never look for the new thing of release from exile.”  The publication the Pulpit Commentary even suggests that “It is, of course, quite possible that the novelty is not merely in the circumstances of the deliverance, but extends to all its results, among which is the Messianic kingdom – verily, a ‘new thing’”. The Lord is so good to His people that He uses His prophets and His Word to alert them to His plans so they will have their hands and hearts open to His coming provision.

2) What does it look like for God to make rivers in the desert?
When Isaiah wrote the words of chapter 43, verses 19-20, he was prophesying about the Israelites finally being freed from exile in Babylon and making their way back to their own land.  They would have a long way to travel, but, as author David Guzik points out, “God’s people didn’t need to be afraid, because God would make a road in the wilderness, provide rivers in the desert, and even protect His people from animals, because the beasts of the field will honor me, the LORD says.”  This was a literal, practical promise of provision and protection from God for His people. Guzik further suggests that this passage also prophesies the coming Messiah and His eventual, eternal deliverance for God’s people. It is a message of physical deliverance from Babylon as well as coming spiritual deliverance from the bonds of sin through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross.

3) What does this passage tell me about the nature of God?
We can see in Isaiah 43:19-20 that God is a God of hope and love. Isaiah speaks to a people who have broken covenant with God and who will face the consequences of their poor choices, but God emphasizes His plan for redemption even when confronting the sin of His people. The book of Isaiah “unveils the full dimensions of God’s judgment and salvation.” ( God reveals through Isaiah that there will be a servant, Immanuel, who will redeem His people and save them from their sins.  According to author Chuck Swindoll, “The book of Isaiah provides us with the most comprehensive prophetic picture of Jesus Christ in the entire Old Testament.” ( God reveals He is a just God and there must be judgment for sins, but also that He is loving and has provided a way of salvation in the coming Messiah.

Everyday Application

1) How can I recognize when God wants to do a new thing in my life?
There is a saying from Heraclitus of Ephesus that “the only thing constant is change.”  I am not a big fan of change!  I like pattern, procedure, and predictability.  But growth and maturity require change of some form, so I try to be alert to the new things God brings to me.  In Isaiah 43:19, God gives His people the message, “Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?” Sometimes God provides a little heads up to a new thing coming by highlighting a word or phrase over and over to help me understand that it is from Him.  For a while it was the word blessing.  He was impressing on me how I was blessed by Him to be a blessing to others. I saw and heard that word everywhere….in articles, books, songs, Scripture, and in conversation.  I understood the emphasis on blessing as His confirmation of a new path for me to walk. Even when I don’t know or understand God’s new plans for me, I know I can trust Him. When tragedy strikes and disaster ensues, I know the Lord is a redeeming God who uses all things for His purposes. Because He is faithful to His own good character, I can trust His ways, even when I don’t understand.  Jeremiah 29:11 reveals that God’s plans are “plans for your well-being, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”  Whether I recognize I am heading into a new thing, or I just look up and find myself there, I know that I can trust in His plans.

 2) What does it look like for God to make rivers in the desert? 
When I hesitate to obey God, it is often because I fear the unknown.  But God asks me to relinquish my plan and trust His plan.  He rarely provides all the details initially, but He promises some “rivers in the desert” to give me hope along the way.  When I started my family, I planned to resume teaching when my firstborn started Kindergarten. But as that time neared, I started considering homeschooling (something I swore I would never do!) and  I received a job offer from a Christian school, which included discounted tuition. This was my perfect solution, and I figured the homeschool issue was settled.  However, the call to homeschooling was still on my heart, even though my perfect plans were falling into place. I came to recognize the job offer as a “river in the desert,” an affirmation that God was calling us into the adventure of home education. The fact that I could have the job I wanted, yet still felt drawn to homeschooling confirmed to me that it was God’s plan for us.  In Proverbs 3: 5-6, God admonishes, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; in all your ways know him, and he will make your paths straight.”  I am so thankful for God’s assurances in Scripture and within the Body of Christ that He is leading us, even when we can’t see exactly where that pathway goes.

3) What does this passage tell me about the nature of God?
Sometimes I focus so much on my situation and my lack that I forget God is all I need. This passage reminds me that God is my Provider. He is not counting on me for the win or impaired by my failures. When I am walking in the wilderness, He makes a way for me.  When I am languishing in the desert, He provides rivers to give me a drink. He doesn’t need me, but He wants me to be a part of His great plan. He even provides everything I need to join Him on the journey.  All He wants is my obedience, my “yes” to His call of “follow Me.” Jesus says in John 12:26, “If anyone serves me, he must follow me. Where I am, there my servant also will be. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.” He also promises to “supply all your needs according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19)  If I provide the “yes,” He supplies the rest. He is my source for all things!

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Digging Deeper is for Everyone!

1) Take this passage (or any other passage).
2) Read it, and the verses around it,
several times
3) Write down your questions
as you think of them.
4) Ask specific culture related questions and be ready to dig around for your answers. Google them, use, or look them up in a study Bible and read the footnotes (click on the little letters next to a word and it will show you
other related verses!). (
5) Check your applications with other trusted Christians that you are in community with and embrace the fullness of God
in your everyday!

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Why Dig Deeper?

Finding the original meaning is a huge deal when we study Scripture and can make all the difference in our understanding as we apply God’s truths to our everyday lives.

In our modern-day relationships, we want people to understand our original intention as we communicate; how much more so between God and humanity?!

Here’s a little bit more on why we take Digging Deeper so seriously.

Study Tools

We love getting help while we study and is one of many excellent resources, providing the original Hebrew (Old Testament) or Greek (New Testament) with an English translation.

Want to know more about a specific word in a verse? Click on “Strong’s Interlinear Bible” then click the word you’d like to study. Discover “origin”, “definition” and hear the original pronunciation – That Is Awesome!

Want more background? Click “Study Tools”, then pick a few commentaries to read their scholarly approach, keeping in mind that just because a commentary says it, doesn’t mean it’s true. (just like the internet :-))

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