Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: For your sake I will send to Babylon and break down all the bars, and the shouting of the Chaldeans will be turned to lamentation. I am the LORD, your Holy One, the Creator of Israel, your King. Thus says the LORD,who makes a way in the sea, a path in the mighty waters, who brings out chariot and horse, army and warrior; they lie down, they cannot rise, they are extinguished, quenched like a wick: Do not remember the former things, or consider the things of old. I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.
God provided a “tent of meeting” in the Wilderness where anyone could go outside the camp to meet with God and inquire of Him. God desires to meet with us. The psalmist David made meeting with God the highest priority or “one thing” in his life: “One thing I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: to live in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in his temple” (Psalm 27:4).
One way that many people through the centuries have found helpful in meeting with God is to pray Scripture. Known as Lectio Divina, this is a way to go to God “outside the camp”, outside the day’s normal activities, in your own “tent of meeting”. Here are the four steps of Lectio Divina that will bring together in your life the power of Scripture and the power of prayer.
- Read a short Scripture passage, listening for the Holy Spirit to speak to you. Reread the passage another time or two listening for God’s voice in it.
- Reflect or meditate on what you have just read. Ponder the meanings, the connections, the images, listening for a word or phrase that sticks out to you.
- Respond to God in prayer by talking with Him about what you have just read and reflected on. Talk freely with Him about a word or phrase that shimmers.
- Rest in God’s presence for a few moments, just being still before Him. Some have called this “lap time with God”. This resting with God is often left out of our devotional practices, but is so important. There is no need to do anything or feel anything as you rest. Just be with God, allowing His words to settle and take root in you.
Like most things you do, you will get better with practice as you pray Scripture using these four steps. But done on a regular basis you will begin to find God’s power and presence real in your life.
I suggest that you begin today praying Scripture with today’s text. These are words of the prophet Isaiah, 700 years after the Exodus, that he rereads and applies to his day. The people of God are in the bondage of Babylon, but God says that He will do a “new thing” for them. He will set them free and make a way in the Wilderness. By praying this text you too can reread and apply God’s Word to your life. Why not take some moments now to pray the text using the four steps: Read, Reflect, Respond, Rest.
- Why do you think Isaiah says, “Do not remember the former things”? Does this in any way relate to the “new thing” God will do for those in the bondage of Babylon?
- Isaiah asks the people to “perceive” the new thing that God is doing. What “new thing” do you perceive God might be doing in your life?