Learning from Pain

Monday of the Fourth Week in Epiphany
Isaiah 48

Nick reads the one-minute introduction.


Fire can either destroy or purify. “I have tested you in the furnace of affliction,” says the Lord. God does not send pain our way; the sin of the world and the consequences of our personal sins result in our being afflicted. However, the Lord promises to be there to purify and transform suffering, with outcomes better than ever.

The action of the Lord teaches us how to grow from pain. The Hebrew word for teaching used in verse 17 is lamad. The root of the word is “to goad.” Likely, it comes from the way an animal learns by being prodded. Our sufferings goad us to learn from them, to be transformed by them. One way is to offer your suffering for others who are not doing so well in theirs. Teach others by the example of your enduring faith in the Lord’s fidelity and mercy to God’s people as Isaiah declares today.


Mondays are dedicated to the Prophets
In the seasons of Advent to Epiphany this year, we read Isaiah chapters 40 to 55.


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Version for Children and Families

Violation of Virgin Babylon

Monday of the Third Week in Epiphany
Isaiah 47

Nick reads the one-minute introduction.


As a deposed queen, the Lord confronts Babylon. She will be a virgin no longer; King Cyrus will violate her. In 539 BCE, he would come and almost destroy the entire city. The Lord gives words of justice to Isaiah about what will happen to Babylon for all her arrogance and abuse of God’s people. Pray with Isaiah; feel the power of the poetry in the vivid description of victory.

The victory of the Lord in your life also needs to be real, invading areas where evil may have a stronghold. This chapter will give you confidence and trust in the Lord’s entry into areas of your life where you need to yield to the Lord. Allow the Lord to crush those strongholds and throw them out of your life. Pray to know what they are and how you need deliverance—lest you get used to slavery.


Mondays are dedicated to the Prophets
In the seasons of Advent to Epiphany this year, we read Isaiah chapters 40 to 55.


Daily Bible Breaths


Version for Children and Families

Carrying You in Total Care

Monday of the Second Week in Epiphany
Isaiah 46

Nick reads the one-minute introduction.


The image or the statue of a false god has to be carried about. Not so with our God, says Isaiah. Our God carries us, sustaining us throughout our lifetime.

The arc of a rainbow is as the span of life, as we might say, “From the womb to the tomb.” God has total care of you. Today’s passage invites you to be in touch by faith with this protective, assertive, energetic and total care of the Lord, carrying you from one end of your life to the other.

When Jesus descended into the waters of the Jordan, he took all your sins upon his shoulders. He carries you through those waters to dry land, just as God covenanted with Noah with the rainbow after the flood and as God opened the Red Sea in the Exodus. He carried the cross, which is your cross and mine, so that the weight of our sins would not have to be borne by us. Praise Him!


Mondays are dedicated to the Prophets
In the seasons of Advent to Epiphany this year, we read Isaiah chapters 40 to 55.


Daily Bible Breaths


Version for Children and Families

The Heavens Rain Salvation

Monday of Epiphany Week
Isaiah 45

Nick reads the one-minute introduction.


It is Epiphany, time of God’s manifestation—the meaning of the word. Today we read about God revealing himself to a pagan King, Cyrus, who would allow Israel to go back to their homeland from Exile in 538 BCE. The ancient historian Josephus relates that King Cyrus decided to let Israel go when he read this passage about himself.

Verse 8 deserves a special focus: “Rain down, you heavens, from above…” It has happened. The Lord has come down. He desires to enter your soul as the sweetest of rains that soak the earth.

Isaiah is a poet whose images will carry your prayer along. He unfolds God as a powerful, all-encompassing presence in every aspect of creation. Exult in the Lord, as you by faith, experience God’s power and presence in the world.


Mondays are dedicated to the Prophets
In the seasons of Advent to Epiphany this year, we read Isaiah chapters 40 to 55.


Daily Bible Breaths


Version for Children and Families

The Fullness of Life and Joy

Monday of Christmas Week
Isaiah 44

Nick reads the one-minute introduction.


The theme of blessing continues strongly in this chapter filled with God’s loving move upon God’s people. The blessing is the stronger as we celebrate Christmas. Look at the extent to which the Lord goes to redeem us and to have divine life present in us.

The cry of the Lord rises in verses 21 ff. after God has described the emptiness of idolatry in detail. Your Creator is also your most loving parent who wants to share everything with you, the beloved. God will forget all your sins; just return to the Lord with all your heart. Nothing less than the whole heart of God is focused upon you; God wants nothing less in return.

We have anything but a boring, distant God! Let the fresh loving joy of the Lord in this chapter quicken the fullness of life and joy in your own heart.


Mondays are dedicated to the Prophets
In the seasons of Advent to Epiphany this year, we read Isaiah chapters 40 to 55.


Daily Bible Breaths


Version for Children and Families

God’s Preferential Love

Monday of the Fourth Week in Advent
Isaiah 43

Nick reads the one-minute introduction.


The Lord of all creation speaks tenderly and lovingly to the Chosen People. God longs that there be a loving union with God and the people. There need be no fear of anything, for the Lord will protect. God’s only interest is that the people respond to the preferential love that God has for them. Why this preference? This would be to know the mind of God—something that escapes us, and needs to escape us.

Jesus came to save all. God loves everyone, yet with a love that makes it seem as though each person is the only one loved. The Lord of the universe longs that you love God in return. Accept this with faith. Let yourself be loved by God and with this grace, love God in return through loving the poor. God has a preferential love for them.


Mondays are dedicated to the Prophets
In the seasons of Advent to Epiphany this year, we read Isaiah chapters 40 to 55.


Daily Bible Breaths


Version for Children and Families

Something New Is Coming

Monday of the Third Week in Advent
Isaiah 42

Nick reads the one-minute introduction.

Does this gnawing sense make your life dull: that the future is only going to be a continuation of a boring past? If this is the case, then Isaiah is just for you. In verse 9 he cries out: “Look: the things of the past are over: new things I declare.”

Something that is very new is the absence of violence as the Lord announces the future. The warriors in Judges contrast with the gentle movement and images of this chapter. As you read, prepare for a day that will be different from any day you ever experienced. Look to the Lord who is ever old and ever new to bring life to you today.

The problem with God’s people of the past was those carved images. Now if there is anything that is predictable and unchangeable, it is a carved image! Our God is surprising. Wait with expectancy and see what God is up to with you today.


Mondays are dedicated to the Prophets
In the seasons of Advent to Epiphany this year, we read Isaiah chapters 40 to 55.


Daily Bible Breaths


Version for Children and Families