Daily Readings Sample From DYNAMIS Orthodox Christian Bible Reading Commentary
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Isaiah 43:9-14 SAAS First Reading at Great Vespers: Great-Martyr and
Healer Panteleimon (7/27)
9 All the nations are gathered together, and the rulers shall be
assembled from among them.
Who will declare these things or tell us things from the beginning? Let
them bring forth their
witnesses, and be proven right; and let them speak the truth.
10 'You are My witnesses, and I am a witness,' says the Lord God, 'and
My Servant whom I
chose, that you may know and believe, and understand that I am He.
Before Me there was no
other God, nor shall there be after Me.
11 I am God, and besides Me there is no one who saves.
12 I proclaimed, and I saved. I denounced foreign gods so there were
none among you. You are
My witnesses, and I am a witness,'says the Lord God.
13 'Even from the beginning, there is no one who can deliver out of My
hands; I will work, and
who will reverse it?'
14 Thus says the Lord God who redeems you, the Holy One of Israel: 'For
you sake I will send to
Babylon and arouse all who flee, and the Chaldeans shall be bound in ships.'
Isaiah 43:8-14 (7/25-8/7)
First Vesperal Reading: Great Martyr and Healer Panteleimon
God Is The Lord: Isaiah 43:8-14, especially vs.10: "'You are My
witnesses, and I am a witness,' says the Lord God, 'and My Servant whom
I chose, that you may know and believe, and understand that I am He.
Before Me there was no other God, nor shall there be after Me.'"
In the first verse of this reading the Prophet Isaiah sketches the
active proceedings of a court in current session wherein "All the
nations are gathered together..." (vs. 9). Long after Isaiah, who
prepared for the coming of Christ, and well after the time that the Lord
Jesus walked among us, only one court ever has remotely approached the
status of a world judicial body for all nations and rulers - The
Permanent Court of International Justice now operating in the
Netherlands at the Hague. Yet, in terms of the criteria outlined in the
opening verse, even this legal body does not approach Isaiah's sketch of
the ultimate tribunal to be convened by God at the end of all time.
In the balance of the passage, God speaks for Himself, challenging us to
inquire, "Who is the God that Isaiah served as a court reporter? Who is
the ruling God that laid down the criteria for the last great
tribunal?" Isaiah spoke of rulers "...assembled from among them..."
(vs. 9), that is, rulers from the all the nations. The people of the
world have had a diversity of cultural, religious, or ideological
"gods," but God the Ruler speaks here to His people and calls them "My
witnesses" (vss. 10,12). He is the God of ancient Israel and the
Church, the only God (vs. 10).
Surely, the God we know in the Church chooses His own witnesses; for He
is "...the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by
Christ Jesus..." (1 Pt. 5:10). And He called us "...according to His
own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus..." (2 Ti. 1:9).
In addition, our God clearly separates Himself from any other ruler,
norm, teaching, or ideology (may we say gods?) that ever has had or may
ever claim supremacy over men's hearts, minds, and wills. "Before Me
there was no other God, nor shall there be after Me" (Is. 43:10).
Our God also names His prime witness - our Lord, God, and Savior Jesus
Christ: "...My Servant whom I chose, that you may know and believe, and
understand that I am He" (vs. 10). It is the dogma of the Church that
Isaiah's suffering Servant is this very Christ our God.
To underscore God's point concerning Christ, He also declares that "I am
God, and besides Me there is no one who saves" (vs. 11). The Divinity
of Christ Jesus - one, co-eternal, and consubstantial with the Father -
uniquely includes Him within the Godhead of the One God Who saves,
exactly as Saint John Chrysostom expresses it in the preface to his
anaphora: "...for thou art God ineffable, inconceivable, invisible,
incomprehensible, ever-existing and eternally the same, thou and thine
only-begotten Son and thy Holy Spirit." Christ is God our Savior!
In summation before the last, eternal, and ultimate court, God reminds
us of the record of history, substantiating His place as Savior and God:
"'I proclaimed, and I saved. I denounced foreign gods so there were
none among you. You are My witnesses, and I am a witness,' says the
Lord God" (vs. 12). The entire scope of history is covered, "Even from
the beginning..." (vs. 13).
Using the word 'redeems' (vs. 14), God identifies Himself as the Savior
Who obtained our release from the evil powers of sin and death. Hold
Christ in mind. He is the One Who, "...having forgiven you all
trespasses, [and] having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that
was against us, which was contrary to us...has taken it out of the way,
having nailed it to the cross" (Col. 2:13,14). Our God not only redeems
us 'from' slavery, but also gives complete redemption that provides us a
free opportunity 'for' becoming His own sons and daughters.
Shelter us, O God, in the shelter of Thy wings; drive away from us every
enemy and foe; make our life peaceful; have mercy on us and save our
souls, for Thou art a merciful God.
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