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Messages, Prophecies & Revelation

We’ll be reading only two books throughout the month of December – Isaiah and Revelation. They are books that I pray will give us a Christ-centered perspective during the Christmas season. We’ll read both Isaiah and Revelation.

Isaiah – A Timely Message and Abundant Prophecies About Jesus
I often read various commentaries before writing my monthly Resting at the River’s Edge reading schedule article. I take bits and pieces from each and hopefully provide something that draws you into that month’s reading. Well, maybe I’m tired this morning (which is quite possible) but the following narrative from The Believer’s Study Bible seems so compelling that I’m including large portions of it. Read what the authors have to say about the book of Isaiah:

[Isaiah’s] message is presented against the background of Israel’s greatest period of prosperity after the “Golden Age of Israel” under David and Solomon. Prosperity, the promotion of agriculture, the enlargement of the kingdom, the strengthening of the fortifications of Judah, the reorganization of the army, and the commercial activities in Arabia and elsewhere precipitated immorality, excessive drinking, display of wealth, ritualism, idolatry, perversion of justice, oppression of the poor, false prophets, immoral priests, greed, hunger, and a great chasm between rich and poor. Therefore, Isaiah stressed (1) salvation by faith, (2) the holiness of God and ethical living, (3) the offense of man’s sins, (4) the certainty of judgment, and (5) the assurance of redemption for a repentant remnant.

Does that sound like a message we in America need to hear today? Yes, the economy has been difficult for many of us over the past couple of years. Still, we live in a prosperous and strong nation, and many (all?) of the sins described as prevalent in Isaiah’s time are prevalent in today’s American culture. Isaiah’s message to the Israelites is clearly a message we need to hear as well.

The Believer’s Study Bible continues:

Of all the books in the Old Testament, only the Psalms contain a larger number of messianic predictions than Isaiah. Isaiah sets forth every aspect of the glory and ministry of Christ: (1) His incarnation, (2) His youth, (3) His mild manner, (4) His obedience, (5) His message, (6) His miracles, (7) His sufferings, (8) His rejection, (9) His shame, (10) His vicarious death, and (11) His resurrection and ascension.

Sounds like great reading for the month of December!

Revelation – “The revelation of Jesus Christ”
Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary
defines “revelation” as an act of revealing or communicating divine truth, something that is revealed by God to humans, and an act of making known.

The Apostle Paul writes in the first verse of the book of Revelation that it is “The revelation of Jesus Christ.” It’s such a significant verse! First, we are being given a revelation – God is revealing something to us. He is communicating something to us. He is making some thing(s) known to us. That’s pretty exciting. I love it when God reveals something to me. Even when it is revealed to me by reading His Word (which thousands and thousands of other people also read), I often feel like it is something He has whispered in my ear and it’s a secret between Him and me. The book of Revelation is just that – a revelation. Who wouldn’t want to read it?

Interestingly, it is a revelation of Jesus Christ. That little word “of” can mean two different things – about or from. So, is the book of Revelation revealing things about Christ or is the revelation come from Christ? The answer is both! As you read the book, you’ll see Christ reveal Himself as He addresses the seven churches, gives us glimpses of the throne room of heaven, and then begins to unveil things which are still to come. The month of December is a great time to receive a greater revelation of Jesus Christ.

Caution: Don’t get bogged down in trying to figure out the things that are still to come. God will give revelation when He sees fit. Without that revelation, we are only wasting time speculating about things we cannot yet understand.

The third verse in the book of Revelation gives us another reason to read it: Multiplied blessings.

Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.

To receive the multiplied blessings, don’t just read the book, take it to heart! (You might even consider reading it aloud so you can hear it as well – or read it to a partner or friend so that you’ll both have multiplied blessings).

Enjoy Resting at the River’s Edge during the month of December – it’ll be a daily fifteen or twenty minute respite from the busyness of the season, and I believe it’ll enhance your joy of Christmas.

Blessings, Sandy

The recommended reading schedule is below.

To download a PDF of December’s recommended reading plan, click here.

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