Monday, September 9, 2013

What I’m reading lately

By the end of August this year I had met my annual goal of reading through the Bible in a year. It’s the first time I had finished that early. Now I am rereading the book of Isaiah along with God Delivers: Isaiah Simply Explained (Welwyn Commentary Series), by Derek Thomas.

The reason I am reading through the Bible more quickly than usual is simple: the Kindle I bought in May 2012. 

That compact e-book goes with me just about everywhere, doesn’t get cover or pages bent or scraped from packing or handling during travel, allows me to enlarge the font to a comfortable size and makes turning pages and keeping my place a snap with my right hand, the hand unaffected by my 2011 stroke.

It did take me awhile to get into Thomas’ book, simply because of the physical challenges of handling  “real” books since my stroke. I ordered a paperback as I wanted a copy I could mark up. I have read only about a dozen chapters, and I’m glad that I stuck with it.

So far, Thomas doesn’t go verse by verse or even precisely chapter by chapter. He explains themes in  sections that may include one chapter or spill over into related verses in the next chapter. 

His approach is helping to clarify God’s personal message for me. His writing also helps me better understand God's message that Isaiah brought to God's rebellious people in the northern kingdom of Israel and the southern kingdom of Judah in Old Testament times.

Thomas’ Chapter 6, for example, includes a clear, simple and powerful discussion of the character of God. Even though I am far from finishing this 396-page book, I expect the remaining chapters will be equally engaging and enlightening.

My fascination with Isaiah began, I think, with a verse that was on a get well card after my stroke. I immediately added it to the collection of "healing verses" that had come my way. Here's the verse, from the New International Version:

Isaiah 58:8
Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.

At first I wasn't sure the promises applied to me. What righteousness? I wasn't in that category. But light did finally dawn. It is the righteousness of my Saviour Jesus Christ that is attributed to me through God's grace.

And even though the original audience was the Jewish people, as an "adopted" child of God, I am thankful for the gifts of comfort, encouragement and peace delivered through Isaiah 58:8.


  1. Ah linda...
    What a wonderful post.
    I'm not familiar with the book but Isaiah is so meaty.
    I think I have to dive in very soon.
    That is a beautiful verse of encouragement.
    I seem to go in spurts with my going through the Bible.
    Small Group Bible Study and my devotional book, Jesus Calling by Sarah Young keeps me pretty busy.
    On the 22nd of Sept. our Pastors are beginning a word by word study of II Timothy. I'm really looking forward to the indepth study.
    Have a wonderful week.
    You encourage me so much.

  2. Wonderful verse and I will look it up in my old battered Bible. (Somehow, I can't bring myself to part with it for something more technologically recent)

    Thanks for mentioning the very appropriate verse. Dianne