Daily Devotionals

Text Week 1 Wednesday

All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God's paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on Him the sins of us all. Isaiah 53:6

A good story often has a theme. For example, the book "A Tale of Two Cities," which is one of my personal favorite books, follows the themes of duality, redemption, and sacrificial love, to name a few. The story of Scripture also has themes woven throughout it, even though it is made up of 66 individual books. One of the themes that can be found throughout the Old Testament is the people of God wandering from Him and the promise of a Savior to redeem them.

When reading and studying the Bible, it is helpful to remember this theme of people wandering from God and His faithfulness to continue to pursue them. This begins in Genesis, the very first book of the Bible. In the third chapter, Adam and Eve, the first people ever created, directly disobeyed God and invited sin into the world. They were tempted by Satan, who came to them as a serpent, to eat from a tree that God specifically directed them not to eat from. As a result, God declared punishment for Adam, Eve, and the serpent. As God talked to the serpent, He said, "Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all animals, domestic and wild. You will crawl on your belly, groveling in the dust as long as you live. And I will cause hostility between you and the woman and between your offspring and her offspring. He will strike your head, and you will strike his heel." In other words, there was going to be tension on this earth where humans would struggle with sin. Throughout the rest of the Old Testament, we watch the Israelites struggle against sin. They fall into idol worship; they complain, discontent with God's provision, they want to be more like the world rather than like the kingdom of God. All the while, God constantly pursues them, chastising them for sin but never giving up on them.

One of the pieces of evidence that God never gave up on the people of Israel was a promise of a coming Messiah, Jesus, who would rescue His people from sin. One of the most well-known passages about a coming Messiah is found in Isaiah 53. In this chapter, Isaiah talks about the fact that although humanity battled and still battles with sin, a Savor was coming. Here is what he wrote, "All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God's paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on Him the sins of us all" (verse 6). Although humans are prone to wander, Isaiah prophesied that Jesus was coming to take on the sin of the world. This was true for Israel. It is true for us. We have a Savior. Will we turn to Him?


As you consider the theme of wandering and the need for redemption that can be found in the Old Testament, take a few moments to think about your own life. Pull out your journal and write about any comparisons you see between yourself and Israel. Is there an area where you see yourself wandering from God or simply dissatisfied with His provision for you? If so, write about it. Then, thank God for His patience as you seek to follow Him.


Read Isaiah 53:1-12(NLT)

Who has believed our message?
To whom has the Lord revealed his powerful arm?
My servant grew up in the Lord’s presence like a tender green shoot,
like a root in dry ground.
There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance,
nothing to attract us to him.
He was despised and rejected—
a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief.
We turned our backs on him and looked the other way.
He was despised, and we did not care.

Yet it was our weaknesses he carried;
it was our sorrows that weighed him down.
And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God,
a punishment for his own sins!
But he was pierced for our rebellion,
crushed for our sins.
He was beaten so we could be whole.
He was whipped so we could be healed.
All of us, like sheep, have strayed away.
We have left God’s paths to follow our own.
Yet the Lord laid on him
the sins of us all.

He was oppressed and treated harshly,
yet he never said a word.
He was led like a lamb to the slaughter.
And as a sheep is silent before the shearers,
he did not open his mouth.
Unjustly condemned,
he was led away.
No one cared that he died without descendants,
that his life was cut short in midstream.
But he was struck down
for the rebellion of my people.
He had done no wrong
and had never deceived anyone.
But he was buried like a criminal;
he was put in a rich man’s grave.

But it was the Lord’s good plan to crush him
and cause him grief.
Yet when his life is made an offering for sin,
he will have many descendants.
He will enjoy a long life,
and the Lord’s good plan will prosper in his hands.
When he sees all that is accomplished by his anguish,
he will be satisfied.
And because of his experience,
my righteous servant will make it possible
for many to be counted righteous,
for he will bear all their sins.
I will give him the honors of a victorious soldier,
because he exposed himself to death.
He was counted among the rebels.
He bore the sins of many and interceded for rebels.