One of my goals this year is to finish up my first run through of Isaiah. I’m currently on chapter 41, so I only have 15 more chapters to go. Sounds simple enough, but when you consider that sometimes Isaiah can only be digested a verse at a time, it might just take me the rest of the year to finish! Maybe not though, I started my study in September, so I’m averaging about 10 chapters per month which would put me finishing near the end of February. Maybe I’ll make it a goal to finish by my birthday.
I remember when I started my study. I was at a spiritual low and was casting about in my mind what I should study. Should I read the Book of Mormon again? Should I try to catch up on the Sunday school study (being in Primary I never was very good at keeping up when I’m not there to discuss)? Maybe I’d go with the Old Testament, since that would be the Seminary course of study. As I sat there trying to decide, the thought came, “study Isaiah”. Hmmm, I’d tried that before, in fact I had even gotten as far as chapter 2…
I started my study, or rather; I resumed my study with chapter three. I stumbled through, getting my feet wet with the language, asking lots of questions, getting few answers, but a couple of gems came through. Then I came to chapter five. I read through it the first time…fuzz…I started in again, this time taking it slowly, picking it apart. And that’s when I had my Eureka moment; my whole attitude and understanding of how to study Isaiah changed. I was so excited about what I had learned that I wanted to share it with the whole world!
Isaiah saved me. I mentioned a couple of posts ago that I have been going through a mid-life crisis. Right around that time I was in the thick of it, (although I didn’t recognize that that was what I was going through) and Isaiah pulled me out of it. I have been given many answers through my study. I still don’t know anything about Isaiah really, but I know a heck of a lot more about me!
I got a book for Christmas that I’m very excited about. It’s called Verse by Verse, The Four Gospels. It’s a small, little book (only a measly 856 pages). It’s a commentary on the Matthew, Mark, Luke and John and gives an understanding of the history, geography, archeology and language of the New Testament era. In the beginning of the book the authors give suggestions for getting the most from your scripture study. They say, “It has been suggested that when we want to talk with God, we pray; when we want him to talk to us, we study the scriptures. Write down your impressions while studying his words. Occasionally when you are deeply involved in reading and pondering the scriptures, the Lord will reveal something to your mind, maybe even unrelated to what you are reading on the page, but something that will improve your life, enhance some relationship, or resolve some problem or conflict.”
A couple of years ago I had started writing down my thoughts while studying the scriptures and I can’t tell you how many times during my study sessions I have been given something unrelated to what I am reading. Of course, my mind tends to wander to a lot of unrelated things as I have studied Isaiah, because, well, Isaiah tends to wander himself. But it has been a beautiful way of learning how the Lord speaks to me.
Well, this post actually started out being an introduction to Isaiah 5 so that I could share it with you, but seeing as how this post has gone on too long, you will just have to come back tomorrow...or rather, when you see on your blog feed that I have posted something!
Also, since I did mention goals in the beginning of this post I might as well tell you that I plan on putting my goals out here for all the world to see, but I’m still working on them, trying to hone them down to something that I will actually do! One is to finish Isaiah, and another will be to get to bed at a decent time every night…oops, too late to start today!
Well, Good Night and Happy New Year!