SPOKEN PRAYER: Out loud, pray for God to speak to you through your reading. Praise God for giving us His word. Ask the Spirit to help you read with faith, and to live out what you hear from God through the passage.
For more help use this Bible Study method
by Dave Mann
Have you ever been shocked by what you read in the Bible? We should be. An article I recently read stated that one of the important reasons that we read the Old Testament (3/4 of the Bible) is so that we can be appropriately shocked by the New Testament.
A key message of the Old Testament is that Yahweh is one, and there is no other. In our English translations, wherever the name of God – Yahweh – appears in the original Hebrew, our English translations render it as “the LORD” (in caps). The ancient Greek translation of the Old Testament (the Septuagint) uses the word kyrios to translate Yahweh. This word we render as “Lord” in the English New Testament.
In Isaiah 45, there are repeated declarations of the Lord’s uniqueness.
V. 14 – Surely, God is with you, and there is none else, no other God.
V. 18 – I am the Lord and there is none else.
V. 21 – And there is no other God besides Me.
V. 21 – There is none except Me.
V. 22 – For I am God and there is no other.
This repeated litany appears earlier in the chapter as well.
Now put yourself in the position of a devout 1st century Jew who studied under a leading rabbinical scholar, Gamaliel. Isaiah 45 is no obscure chapter. It was no doubt ingrained in the young Saul’s psyche. For him to call Jesus “Lord” was outside the norm, truly shocking.
In Isaiah 45:23 the Lord declares, Before me every knee will bow; by me every tongue will swear. It is no accident that the apostle Paul writes in Philippians 2:9-11, Therefore, God has given him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow..., and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.
Jesus turned Paul’s world upside down. Paul’s entire understanding of God was shaken into a redefinition of the character of God. May Jesus also shock us into new understandings of who God is.
Lord Jesus, you who have the name that is above every name, you alone are Christ the Lord, the Savior of the world. Displace any idol that I have erected in my heart that would contend for your rightful place. Amen