A closer look at Isaiah 55:12
“You will go out in joy
and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and hills
will burst into song before you,
and all the trees of the field
will clap their hands (Isaiah 55:12.NIV).”
I love the way God can speak to us through Scripture.
The other day I decided to look at each scripture that talked about Going Forth. Go Forth is the word I heard from God for this year. My first scripture was Isaiah 55:12
S. — Say the Scripture Out Loud
When I study a passage of scripture I say the words aloud a few times. I read other versions of the same verse.
I look at the words that jump out at me.
For this scripture the words “joy” and “peace” were strong. And the visual of the mountains and hills singing and the trees clapping their hands. That sounded like an audience happy with results.
I. — Interpret the Scripture
But who were the verses first written for?
Looking at the background of this verse I found out that it was written about the Jewish people who were in bondage in Babylon and it is telling them about their rescue and return to Jerusalem by God. It is their trip home.
Then I look at commentaries.
What I found out is that it could mean our finding Jesus and acceptance of Him as Saviour.
It is our coming out of sin and the freedom we get from His forgiveness. From sadness we now walk in joy.
We are travelling home now along the beautiful roads with hills and mountains and trees. We are led by the Spirit of God.
M. — Make a List of My Thoughts
Then I write down my thoughts.
I can see myself when I came to know Jesus for the first time. The world did look brighter, the clouds more mysterious, the trees had different shades of green.
In my children’s story, The Kingdom of Thrim, the hero says: “colour covered everything”. That’s how I felt.
It was life changing.
But also, the worries, the stresses, the sore shoulders, knees and headaches all disappeared.
Accepting Jesus left me with a peace.
Now I can see those trees — they were the Believers clapping at my baptism and my entry into the church. I saw their beaming faces, my friends in Christ, rejoicing with me.
It reminded me of one of my favourite worship songs. Amazing Grace — These Chains are Gone
My chains are gone
I’ve been set free
My God, my Savior has ransomed me
And like a flood His mercy rains
Unending love, Amazing grace
I’m on that path homeward. I see more colour, more life, more joy.
P. — Pray
Next I have a time of prayer. This the best part of my Bible study. I say the verse over a couple of more times and then I am quiet. Completely quiet and listen for God’s voice. Sometimes He comes quietly. Sometimes He comes in a rush of words.
Today I heard Him speak this way:
I broke down the walls — of your inhibitions, and your fears.
I opened up wide your eyes to see opportunities for you to learn more about Me.
I set you free.
You said: “I am your God.”
I said: “Welcome home.”
I had been in bondage, like the Jewish people in Babylon. I have lived there, had my family there, and followed their customs.
But You, Lord, released me and took me on the path home — the path home to You.
I left behind the lifestyle and the acquaintances. I left behind the fear, the doubts and the insecurities. I found new friends, real friends who know me as I am.
I can say those words: I went out in joy and you led me forth in peace.
E. — Exit the study with a prayer
Then I exit my study with a prayer.
May I pray for you and me?
Lord Jesus, Your Word can stir memories. Your Word can help me reflect on my life. But it also allows me to stop and listen to Your voice. You do speak to me. Thank you. In your name, Jesus. Amen.