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.

Monday (12/9/19)

Yesterday we heard Adam and Keith share about joy on the backside of redemption, joy tested by the real junk in life. This week we will look at more of that tension through the lens of the book of Isaiah. If you didn’t get a chance last week to watch The Bible Project’s summary of the book, we have included it at the bottom of this post/email.

As we consider our ways this week let’s sit long and deep exploring with Jesus our hurts, disappointments, and grief and trust Him for joy on the backside.

Read Isaiah 5: 1-7

  • How do these verses describe God’s relationship with His people, the Israelites, from your understanding?
  • When God is looking for good fruit in our lives, what is He looking for? (See Galatians 5:22-26.)

Read James 3:9-12 and Matthew 12:33-37

  • What can  be an indicator for us of the kind of fruit we are producing according to these verses?
  • Spend some time asking the Holy Spirit to show you fruit in your life- good and bad.

Sunday (12/8/19)

Read Micah 5 & 6. 

There is sorrow and promise here. The now and the not yet.

  • Sit quietly and spend some time meditating, reflecting, pondering the verses that spoke to you or popped out to you. 
  • Ask the Lord to speak to you through all the portions of the service upcoming today.

Saturday (12/7/19)

Look back over the reading from this week.

  • Why was there mourning in Israel?
  • Why was God mourning yet also executing judgment?
  • Where is there mourning in your life right now?
  • What does it look like to lament and grieve the people or situations that you listed above?

Spend some time crying out to the Lord for the pain that is there in your heart. Allow the Holy Spirit to be your comforter.

Friday (12/6/19)

Read Isaiah 4:2-6

  • In light of chapter 3, what emotions come up in you as you read this short section?
  • Despite the Lord’s just anger, what does this say about how the Lord really feels about His people?
  • He promises that His glory will be like a canopy creating a refuge and hiding place for His people. Sit for a while picturing yourself under this shade, experiencing His hiding place, experiencing His refuge. If you are a visual person, draw the images that have come through your mind as you have sat quietly.

All throughout Isaiah there are verses about the coming Messiah that have inspired many songs. During the next five weeks together in this devotional, we are going to listen to several renditions of the song O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

Many of the lyrics come directly from chapters that we will read. Despite all the sins of the Israelites that were going to result in captivity, He offered them hope. Their longing for Messiah is reflected poignantly throughout this song. Take a listen:

Thursday (12/5/19)

Remember to sit quietly before reading and ask the Holy Spirit to teach you and lead you.

Read Isaiah 3:1-4:1

  • Explain the situation facing the people of Judah and Jerusalem.
  • In verse 12, Isaiah tells them that their guides have led them astray. This is a theme in both Isaiah and Jeremiah. Who is your “guide”?
  • How can you ensure that you have a guide who is leading you towards the Lord and not a “blind guide” that Jesus condemns in Matthew 15 and 23.