Daily Devotional

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Saturday (12/14/19)

Wednesday we looked at the first stanza of our song. We focused the questions on the now of their experience: captivity, loneliness and exile. But can you see the now and the not yet?

The first verse says:

O come, O come, Emmanuel,
and ransom captive Israel,
that mourns in lonely exile here,
until the Son of God appear.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel, Shall come to thee, O Israel.

“O Come, O Come Emmanuel” LATIN HYMN 1710 TRANSLATED NEALE

Despite their current circumstances, they (and we),  are called to rejoice. Last month we read in Philippians 4 the command to rejoice always in the Lord.

Keith gave us a definition of contentment a few weeks ago: learning to not be determined by my external circumstances. 

Contentment in the now,  joy in the now, as we look towards the not yet.

Spend some time listening to your favorite worship song. Ask the Holy Spirit to bring a spirit of praise to your soul.

Friday (12/13/19)

Read Isaiah 8

  • Write out verse 17.
  • What is your heart waiting on the Lord for today?
  • How hard has it been to put your trust in Him as you wait?
  • Have you spoken to Him in specifics about what you are waiting for?
  • Spend some time right now being very specific with Him about what you are waiting for and asking Him to help you grow in trust of Him.

Thursday (12/12/19)

Read 2 Chronicles 28 and 2 Kings 16

  • What do you learn about Ahaz from these chapters, what kind of man/king was he?
  • What do you learn about God from these chapters?
  • What does it say about God’s character that despite Ahaz’s response, He proclaims, “I will give you my own sign”?

It’s always been interesting to me that the books of Kings & Chronicles are so similar! Why have two different books? (Originally 1 and 2 Kings was one large book – the same with Chronicles and Samuel). Here are some reasons that I have found:

  • Samuel and Kings was written during the Babylonian Exile (a great thing to web search if you’ve never read about it).
  • Chronicles was written after the exile was over, about 100 years later.
  • Samuel and Kings addresses primarily the hard hearted state of the Israelites, explaining that their exile was a result of their own sinful abandonment of God.
  • Chronicles works to inspire hope to the Israelites following this devastating experience, and turn them back to worship of God.
  • Chronicles focuses heavily on David and Solomon and often has a more positive view of even the most wicked kings.
  • Chronicles also focuses mostly on the kings of Judah, the house of David, rather than the kings of Israel. (More interesting reading is on how the Kingdom divided after the reign of Solomon!)

Wednesday (12/11/19)

Read Isaiah 7

Today we see the first stanza of O Come, O Come, Emmanuel from Isaiah 7:14.

O come, O come, Emmanuel,
and ransom captive Israel,
that mourns in lonely exile here,
until the Son of God appear.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel, Shall come to thee, O Israel.

“O Come, O Come Emmanuel” LATIN HYMN 1710 TRANSLATED NEALE

  • What are the areas of captivity you see in your life?
  • Can you relate to being lonely and mourning? Write out how that looks and feels in your daily experience:
  • Take those experiences to the Lord today.

EMMANUEL OR IMMANUEL?

The King James Version of the Bible uses the spelling Emmanuel. The English Standard Version and others (e.g., NASB, NLT, NKJV, HCSB, NIV) use the spelling Immanuel. The New English Translation employs both spellings, Immanuel (Isaiah 7:14) and Emmanuel (Matthew 1:23).So, which spelling is correct? Well, to be fair, there really is no “right” way to transliterate words from one alphabet to another. 

The process of transliteration is all about getting the sounds into the other language, and both spellings, Immanuel and Emmanuel, allow us to pronounce the original word correctly. But still, why the difference in spelling? And why would the NET Bible use both spellings? The answer lies in the languages behind the English translations. 

The Old Testament is written in Hebrew (and some Aramaic), and the New Testament is written in Greek. The Hebrew for Immanuel looks like this: עִמָּנוּ אֵל. Reading right-to-left, the first letter “עִ” (Ayin) is silent (with a vowel point beneath it) and typically gets transliterated as an “I.” So, the English transliteration of the Hebrew word usually looks like Immanuel.

The Greek transliteration of עִמָּנוּ אֵל looks like this: Ἐμμανουήλ. Do you see the “E” (Epsilon) in there? The Gospel of Matthew has Ἐμμανουήλ present in Matthew 1:23. Epsilons often come over to English as “E’s.” Now, knowing the Greek and Hebrew background, we have our answer.

Quoted from a sermon at Immanuel Church

Tuesday (12/10/19)

Read Isaiah 5:8-30

  • What exactly is bringing “woe” and exile to the people? What have they done?
  • As you reflect on these verses, combined with the words spoken Sunday, what kinds of feelings are being stirred up in you? 
  • Spend some time writing some reflections on how you are feeling today.