Scripture Reading: Isaiah 46
Take some time to read Isaiah 46 and make a note of what stands out to you. What does the reading tell you about God the Father, Son and Spirit? What does it tell you about people and/or yourself?
The book of Isaiah provides a tremendous vision of God and the glory in store for God’s people. Isaiah lived through a pivotal but tumultuous period in Jerusalem in the 8th century BC. He prophesied for over 40 years during the reigns of a number of kings whose stories are recorded in the books of Kings and Chronicles. While many kings ignored Isaiah’s words, he faithfully preached God’s righteousness, the judgement of sin, and the comfort of God’s love and forgiveness. In chapter 46, Isaiah overtly contrasts the uselessness of the Babylonian gods with the sovereign position and eternal promises of the one true living God.
At the beginning of a new year we often spend time reflecting on what has been while setting goals and resolutions for the year to come. The resting space provided by our Sabbath Month allows us to engage in this process all the more as we intentionally take the time to abide with God and seek His direction for the new year. For many, however, this year has begun in a shroud of fear and uncertainty amidst the devastating fires taking place across our country. Whatever state of mind the start of this year finds us in, we can stand firm in the knowledge that God is the same yesterday, today and forever. The God that Isaiah proclaimed is the same God we worship today.
In Isaiah 46 verse 4 God promises: ‘I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you’. Some of us will interpret this within a practical or tangible context, while others will see that it also refers to the promise that God will carry, sustain and rescue our hearts and our minds. In comparison any idols we have, things that we place our faith in other than God, ultimately become burdens and can neither save us from our troubles (verses 1-2 and 7) nor direct our pathways into the future.
Further, in verses 10 and 11 God assures us that He will bring about His plans and purposes (even if not in the way we expect). God invites us to be a part of this and we can respond in obedience by aligning our attitudes, dreams and desires – and our new year’s goals and resolutions – with His.
So as we begin a new year, let us centre ourselves on God: for there is no other and there is none like Him (verse 9). Our God will bring His righteousness near and His salvation will not be delayed (verse 13) – for our good and for His glory.
What truth or promise of God can you inscribe on your heart as the year begins? How might you respond in obedience to this truth or promise?
Ask God to reveal himself to you all the more as you spend time in His presence.
 For example, see Jeremiah 29:11-13 and Ephesians 2:10.