Posts Tagged ‘Isaiah 62’

Isaiah 12:4 brings to mind Four for Twelve on 4-4-12

April 4, 2012

Isaiah 12--4a

In January, 2012, I posted a blog in Dr. J’s Apothecary Shoppe based on my theme and scriptural focal point for that year. In this case, I had selected Isaiah 62, a passage that most providentially contained twelve verses. In studying the chapter, I decided to write a series of poems, as I personalized each of the twelve verses, calling the collection “Twelve for Twelve for 2012.”

The Verse of the Day for July 5, 2014 is taken from Isaiah 12:4:

And in that day shall ye say, Praise the Lord, call upon his name, declare his doings among the people, make mention that his name is exalted.

The verse from Isaiah brought to mind the fourth installment “Four for Twelve,” one of a series of poems based on a personalized poetic rendering of Isaiah 62:4, which was posted on April 4, 2012. I am re-blogging that entry which opens with Isaiah 62:4 in the New Living Testament:

Isaiah 62 with its 12 verses comprises the theme for the New Year: “Twelve for Twelve in 2012.”

Isaiah 62 with its 12 verses comprises the theme for the New Year: “Twelve for Twelve in 2012.”

Never again will you be called “The Forsaken City”
or “The Desolate Land.”
Your new name will be “The City of God’s Delight”
and “The Bride of God,”
for the Lord delights in you
and will claim you as his bride.

Four for Twelve

Isaiah 62:4

Never again to be called “The Forsaken   City”

Nor will they say that you are “The Desolate Land,”

But God smiles and says, “You show are pretty,

And He will uphold you with His righteous right hand.”

Your new name will be “The City of God’s Delight”

You shall be called the “The Bride of God,” just as He said.

He promised to love you and always do you right.

He takes your sorrow and turns it to joy instead.

He keeps on telling you the Lord delights in you;

He will not leave you but will always walk by your side.

You can count on Him, for He said He will be true:

The Lord redeemed you and will claim you as his bride.

In reflecting on Isaiah 62:4 and the poem inspired by that verse, I thought of other poetry and music related to the bride. “Enoch’s Song,” a poetic expression of my heart’s desire, makes reference to “the bride”:

 Enoch’s Song

By faith Enoch was taken away so that he should not see death;

“and was not found, because God had taken him”,

 for before he was taken he had this testimony,

that he pleased God.

Hebrews 11:5

My heart’s song is to so sing like Enoch,

With all that lies within me, with each breath,

That I too may walk with God and please Him,

That one day when they seek me, I shall not

Be found, for I will have been gathered, caught

Up to meet the Lord in the clouds forever,

Never to taste the bitter root of death

But savor the sweetness of His favor.

That to do His will was my sole desire–

May I leave behind this testimony

Written on the pages of pure a heart

Prepared for the marriage ceremony,

Blameless in His presence with nothing to hide,

So transformed and fashioned to be the bride.

Each time we attend a wedding or see a marriage ceremony in a movie or in some other media, or look at a wedding album, we see with our eyes reflections of the highest expression of unity, whereby Ephesians 5:31   is displayed:

For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.

This photo from the wedding ceremony of my sister, Cheryl, a widow, who experienced the reality of God’s provision of “another chance” when she met, Thomas, a widower, as they both were serving in ministry at their church.

Cheryl and Thomas Williams, radiant display of God’s love for the bride and groom.

Here is another poem that makes reference to “the bride.”

At My Own Well

“Every man of significance [in the Bible]

found his bride at a well.”

    Apostle Lyrica Smith

As I pass through this parched landscape, this barren place,

Transform my Valley of Baca into a well

Where I can rest and be refreshed for the journey.

As I draw from these rivers of living waters,

Flood my soul with your very presence, sustain me,

For you never fail to feed all those who trust you.

You alone can satisfy this thirsting for more,

“More love and more power, more of you in my life.”

“Spring up, O well, within my soul. Spring up, O well.”

I abide in hope, that I may be found worthy

To stand blameless before you with nothing to hide,

Persevering in peace, without spot or wrinkle,

Adorned in splendor, glorified to be the bride,

Watching, waiting for the bridegroom at my own well.

The music video “Wedding Day—Christ and His Bride” by the Rochesters offers a glimpse of the ultimate expression of the fulfillment of God’s promise that the Bridegroom will return for his bride:

Three for Twelve for 2012: God’s Crowning Achievement

March 12, 2012

Isaiah 62 with its 12 verses comprises the theme for the New Year: "Twelve for Twelve in 2012."

At the beginning of the New Year, I posted a blog in Dr. J’s Apothecary Shoppe based on my theme and scriptural focal point for 2012. In this case, I had selected Isaiah 62, a passage that most providentially contains twelve verses. In studying the chapter, I decided to write a series of poems, as I personalized each of the twelve verses, calling the collection “Twelve for Twelve for 2012.” Here is the link to the first installment, published in two parts, inspired by Isaiah 62:1: “One for Twelve”:

I continue the series with the third installment “Three for Twelve,” a personalized poetic rendering of Isaiah 62:3, posted on March 12, 2012.  Here is the verse from the New Living Testament:

The LORD will hold you in his hand for all to see— 

a splendid crown in the hand of God.

Three for Twelve

Isaiah 62:3

 

Three for Twelve

 Isaiah 62:3

 

The Lord will hold you in his hand for all to see—                                                                                                                                                                               Crowning display of power, glory and victory.                                                                                                                                                                                       This one-of-a-kind crown overlaid with pure gold,                                                                                                                                                                                His crowning achievement whose worth cannot be told:                                                                                                                                                                    Beyond all the wealth of riches that crown the wise                                                                                                                                                                                 Is the crown of glory that shines before our eyes:                                                                                                                                                                                  Ever-increasing splendor never fades away;                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             A royal diadem shines brighter in the light of day.                                                                                                                                                                               The love that crowns us, not even death can destroy,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        For nothing can ever tarnish our crown of joy.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  We shall behold the fullness of all that God planned:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           We are the crown of life that He holds in His hand.                                                                                     

 

In reflecting on Isaiah 62:3 and the poem inspired by that verse, I thought of another poem related to the aspect of crowns, as indicated in the phrase “Finishing touch on His crowning achievement” in the following reflective piece:

On My Journey

 May we see clearly where our paths have led

 And be strengthened for the journey ahead.

           Strengthened for the Journey

 

Sometime I feel like I’m on my journey home.

Traditional Folk Song

 

I am steadfast– my soul remains anchored in hope,

Eagerly watching and waiting, looking above.

Feeling during dark times that I can barely cope,

But seasons swiftly change, for I have come to know

Nothing can ever separate me from your love.

Despite appearances, you have the last say so.

Once more I seek to serve, to go where I am sent          

That my life should reflect the praise of your glory,

The finishing touch on your crowning achievement:

The surprise happy ending of this love story

When all creation finally gets back to being one,

Even as with Holy Spirit, Father, and Son.                                                     

The perfect will of God unfolds for all to see,

As I begin this new day on my journey.

                                                                

“I Am on My Journey Home”–this a capella hymn is a recording from the 2009 Western Massachusetts Sacred Harp Singing Convention. Harp singing or shape note singing dates back to the colonial period and continues to enjoy popularity in the rural South and elsewhere.

The phrase “crowning achievement” evokes a number of synonyms: crowning accomplishment, crowning glory, masterpiece or masterwork, showpiece, smash hit, work of a master; crowning achievement, great work or magnum opus. The essence of the verse three in Isaiah 62 is magnified and reinforced in a broader context in the New Testament with reference to the Church or the Body of Christ. As born-again believers, we are all new creations in Christ, and we praise God that He has given us all things richly to enjoy. Indeed, Ephesians 2:10 declares that “. . . we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” 

The word “workmanship” is translated from the Greek word poiema, which means “masterpiece, a glorious creation, a centerpiece of attention, as the French would say, le piece de resistance, or showpiece.” Of course, the Greek word poiema is transliterated into our English word poem, which in the minds of many people, present company included, is always a “masterpiece” or glorious creation. Mike Riley has posted a most enlightening Bible Study Article “Christians Are God’s Workmanship” related to this topic.

The Church is designed to be the Crowning Achievement of God's creative wisdom.

Collectively the Church, the Body of Christ, has been designed to be a glorious masterpiece, God’s crowning achievement.  As with any magnificent work of art, there are various stages of development: Beginning with the preliminary design, we find intermediary stages with various alterations—multiple fittings—final fitting—put on finishing touches. Many times the artist will produce a prototype which is not the finished product but a replica in transition. I know first-hand that a literary work will generate numerous drafts on the way to being a masterpiece. The entire process from the initial concept to the finished product can take years until completion. Likewise, the Church is always a work in progress—always in transition, as Ephesians 4:13 reminds us of the direction we are moving in:

Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ:

The Church has been designed to display the infinitely variegated, wisdom of God, as Ephesians 3:10 in the Amplified Bible reveals:

[The purpose is] that through the church the complicated, many-sided wisdom of God in all its infinite variety and innumerable aspects might now be made known to the angelic rulers and authorities (principalities and powers) in the heavenly sphere.

Though we may not presently see the fullness of that revelation, we are ever moving in that direction. For we know that “When that which is perfect is come then that which is in part shall be done away.” The Church is always moving . . . from faith to faith . . . from glory to glory. . . from victory to victory. As we shall see to an even greater degree, the Church is God’s masterpiece, His “Crowning Achievement.”

Two for Twelve for 2012: A New Name

February 16, 2012
Isaiah 62 with its 12 verses comprises the theme for the New Year: “Twelve for Twelve in 2012.”
At the beginning of the New Year, I posted a blog in Dr. J’s Apothecary Shoppe based on my theme and scriptural focal point for 2012. In this case, I had selected Isaiah 62, a passage that most providentially contains twelve verses. In studying the chapter, I decided to write a series of poems, as I personalized each of the twelve verses, calling the collection “Twelve for Twelve for 2012.” Here is the link to the first installment, published in two parts, inspired by Isaiah 62:1: “One for Twelve”:
 

I continue the series with the second installment “Two for Twelve,” a personalized poetic rendering of Isaiah 62:2.  Here is the verse from the New Living Testament:

  The nations will see your righteousness.
      World leaders will be blinded by your glory.
   And you will be given a new name
      by the Lord’s own mouth.

                                         

Two for Twelve

       Isaiah 62:2

 

The nations across the globe will see your righteousness                                                                                                  

As I have blessed you with favor, so shall you bless                                                                                                       

And partake and share the sweetness of the goodness.                                                                                          

Of Him who crowns with mercies and lovingkindness.

Kings of the earth will be blinded by your glory,                                                                                                

For your presence astounds those who have eyes to see.                                                                                                

A lavish banquet table is set before me:                                                                                                                     

I thrive to disarm and defeat my enemy.

From this point you will now be called by a new name                                                                                                                        

For I have touched your life, and you are not the same.                                                                                            

I have crowned you with beauty and removed the shame,                                                                                                

For you are my beloved, and this I proclaim:

This I make known to all by the mouth of the Lord,                                                                     

Who upholds all things by the power of His Word,                                                                                      

The Lord provides and protects as shield and sword,

For we touch and agree and stand in one accord.

 

Often after a spiritual encounter of the most intimate nature, an individual is given a new name.

As I reflected upon the passage from Isaiah 62 and the poem based on the second verse, I thought of the phrase “a new name,” a concept that discussed in the blog entitled “My New Identity Kit.” One of the poems included in that discussion was “New Name”: 

New Name

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit

says unto the churches. To him that overcomes

I will give to eat of the hidden manna,

and will give him a white stone, and in the stone

a new name written, which no man knows

except him that receives it.

           Revelation 2:17

 

More than a moniker,

a sobriquet attached

to the bridal bouquet,

a new name to change

or not, hyphenate,

ignore, keep, or discard

like outdated his and her towels;

how to handle this essence of being,

my new identity.

 

Like the trickster,

who tried to run his game

and get over on Jehovah

when he wrestled out a blessing

from the evening till the break of day,

I woke up one morning

with a new name and a gimp leg

to remind me of that all-night-face-to-face encounter

when I sang

“I told Jesus, be all right if He changed my name.”

 

The closing line is also the title of a spiritual “I told Jesus be all right, if he changed my name,” accompanied by this moving rendition of the song by Jennifer Bynum:   

I close this blog entry with a most comforting selection by Israel and New Breed, “He Knows My Name.”

“One for Twelve”: Another Glimpse at Isaiah 62

January 3, 2012

Isaiah 62 with its 12 verses comprises the theme for the New Year: "Twelve for Twelve in 2012."

Here is the second in a series of entries related to Isaiah 62 and the theme for 2012: “Twelve for Twelve in 2012.” Below readers will also find Isaiah 62 in the New Living Translation, along with “One for Twelve,”the first poem in a series inspired by examining each verse in the chapter.

Biblical Significance of 12

According to Biblical scholar, E.W. Bullinger, Twelve is a perfect number, signifying perfection of government, or of governmental perfection. It is found as a multiple in all that has to do with rule. The sun which “rules” the day, and the moon and stars which “govern” the night, do so by their passage through the twelve signs of the Zodiac which completes the great circle of the heavens of 360 (12 x 30) degrees or divisions, and thus govern the year.

We note a number of “12s” in the Bible:

Twelve Patriarchs:  from Seth to Noah and his family, and twelve from Shem to Jacob.

Twelve tribes of Israel

In Solomon’s Temple, Bullinger notes, “[T]he number twelve as the predominating factor, in contrast with the Tabernacle, which had the number five. This agrees with the grace which shines in the Tabernacle, and with the glory of the kingdom which is displayed in the Temple.”

When we come to the New Testament we find that 12 represents Apostolic, governmental order as we see in  

  • The twelve Apostles.
  • The twelve foundations in the heavenly Jerusalem.
  • The twelve gates.
  • The twelve pearls.
  • The twelve angels.

Twelve is most evident in the measurement of the New Jerusalem that will be 12,000 furlongs square, while the wall will be 144 (12 x 12) cubits (Revelation 21:16,17).

The number of the sealed in Revelation 7:4 will be 144,000, and there will be stones in the in High Priest’s breastplate representing each of the Twelve Tribes. All this reveals that 12 is a number of great significance in the Bible. 

Isaiah 62:  “Twelve for Twelve for 2012”

Below is Isaiah 62 as rendered in the New Living Translation.

Isaiah 62

Isaiah’s Prayer for Jerusalem

 1 Because I love Zion,
      I will not keep still.
   Because my heart yearns for Jerusalem,
      I cannot remain silent.
   I will not stop praying for her
      until her righteousness shines like the dawn,
      and her salvation blazes like a burning torch.
 2 The nations will see your righteousness.
      World leaders will be blinded by your glory.
   And you will be given a new name
      by the Lord’s own mouth.
 3 The Lord will hold you in his hand for all to see—
      a splendid crown in the hand of God.
 4 Never again will you be called “The Forsaken City”[a]
      or “The Desolate Land.”[b]
   Your new name will be “The City of God’s Delight”[c]
      and “The Bride of God,”[d]
   for the Lord delights in you
      and will claim you as his bride.
 5 Your children will commit themselves to you, O Jerusalem,
      just as a young man commits himself to his bride.
   Then God will rejoice over you
      as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride.

 6 O Jerusalem, I have posted watchmen on your walls;
      they will pray day and night, continually.
      Take no rest, all you who pray to the Lord.
 7 Give the Lord no rest until he completes his work,
      until he makes Jerusalem the pride of the earth.
 8 The Lord has sworn to Jerusalem by his own strength:
      “I will never again hand you over to your enemies.
   Never again will foreign warriors come
      and take away your grain and new wine.
 9 You raised the grain, and you will eat it,
      praising the Lord.
   Within the courtyards of the Temple,
      you yourselves will drink the wine you have pressed.”

 10 Go out through the gates!
      Prepare the highway for my people to return!
   Smooth out the road; pull out the boulders;
      raise a flag for all the nations to see.
 11 The Lord has sent this message to every land:
      “Tell the people of Israel,[e]
   ‘Look, your Savior is coming.
      See, he brings his reward with him as he comes.’”
 12 They will be called “The Holy People”
      and “The People Redeemed by the Lord.”
   And Jerusalem will be known as “The Desirable Place”
      and “The City No Longer Forsaken.”

Footnotes:

  1. Isaiah 62:4 Hebrew Azubah, which means “forsaken.”
  2. Isaiah 62:4 Hebrew Shemamah, which means “desolate.”
  3. Isaiah 62:4 Hebrew Hephzibah, which means “my delight is in her.”
  4. Isaiah 62:4 Hebrew Beulah, which means “married.”
  5. Isaiah 62:11 Hebrew Tell the daughter of Zion.

“One for Twelve”

Most providentially, the passage from Isaiah 62 selected as my theme for the New Year contains twelve verses. I studying the chapter, I decided to write a poem, as I personalized each of the twelve verses, calling the collection “Twelve for Twelve for 2012.” Here is the first installment inspired by Isaiah 62:1:                                                          

One for Twelve

Isaiah 62:1 

Because I so love Zion, I will not keep still.
Because my heart deeply yearns for Jerusalem,
I cannot remain silent but will pray for them.
I will not stop praying for her to do His will.
Until her righteousness radiates like the dawn,                                                                                                                                                                                         So will I display her salvation as a flame,                                                                                                                                                                                                     As an ever-burning torch blazes to proclaim.
Like a brilliant landscape on a canvas is drawn,                                                                                                                                                                                           I will make known all the glory of God’s intent.                                                                                                                                                                                             I will not hold my peace but will pray and not cease                                                                                                                                                                               To intercede in prayer for the City of Peace                                                                                                                                                                                               And petition the Lord to the fullest extent.

Word for the Day: Daily Dose of Good Medicine.

January 2, 2012

During the first week of the first month of the New Year 2012, as I prepare a blog entry for Dr. J’s Apothecary Shoppe, I recall the early days of my first profession as a registered pharmacist. For more than 25 years I was a practicing pharmacist, but now as a writer and minister, I use my skills in poetry and prose while incorporating music and visual arts to “fill prescriptions” designed to minister to the heart and soul in this blog.

To become more faithful in blogging, I plan to post “Word for the Day: Daily Dose of Good Medicine.” I invite you to stop by and see what remedies I have been working on recently, as I continue to compound “After the Art of the Apothecary.”

To learn more about “Good Medicine” from Dr. J. click here.

Isaiah 62: New Theme for the New Year:

At the beginning of each year I select a theme and a theme verse(s) that become focal points for my Biblical study and spiritual exploration during that year. My first entry for 2012 relates to the theme restoration and redemption as revealed in Isaiah 62. This section from the Old Testament speaks of God’s covenant with His people. Though Israel is in captivity at the time of the writing of this passage, God promises to keep speaking and working until His purposes for Jerusalem are fulfilled.

Rob Philipps in his blog OnceDelivered.net, comments on this passage:

Isaiah likens Jerusalem’s future relationship with Yahweh to a marriage. Rather than being called Deserted or Desolate – names that accurately describe the city in the depths of judgment – Jerusalem will be named Hephzibah (“My Delight is in Her”) and Beulah (“Married One”). When a bride marries, she receives a new name. Even though Israel already is married to Yahweh, He will give her new names that describe her spiritual renewal and depict the Lord’s profound joy in her. Verse 5b reads: “… as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so your God will rejoice over you.” This description of Yahweh’s special relationship with the redeemed of Israel complements the relationship Christ, the bridegroom, has with His bride, the church. Together, Jew and Gentile believers will share in a glorious and everlasting relationship with God.

The context of the Isaiah 62 relates to the marriage relationship, whereby bridegroom and bride will ultimately be re-united in a magnificent manner.

A Living Illustration of Love:

Last week, my daughter, Melissa sent me an email with a link to a YouTube video of the wedding of a friend of hers whom she had recently contacted. The groom was Christopher Draft, former NFL player, who had married Keasha Rutledge in Atlanta on November 27 of last year. Unfortunately Keasha, who had been diagnosed with cancer a year ago, died three months after their wedding. As I watched the wedding ceremony, I was moved to tears.

Upon thinking about the New Year and my selected verses from Isaiah 62, I thought of the wedding of Christopher and Keasha and noted a parallel between Christ and his bride, the Church.  In literature there is term called a “Christ Figure.” The term refers to a person or figure that represents Christ allegorically or symbolically with qualities generally reminiscent of Christ, one of the most notable of which “self sacrifice.” Chris Draft is reminiscent of Christ, who so loved that he selflessly sacrificed his life for his bride . . . “while we were yet sinners, Christ died for the ungodly.”  Christopher, true to the name from which his is derived, certainly demonstrates unconditional love for his bride.

Here is the video trailer to Chris and Keasha’s wedding: 

http://vimeo.com/33307371

This is my first blog entry in the New Year, as Dr. J’s Apothecary Shoppe is now open and offering a “Daily Dose of Good Medicine.”