I’m still reading (well, re-reading) and studying the Book of Isaiah in the Old Testament (King James Version, for the reference geeks). I already finished my preliminary run-through of coloring the verses, and now I’m just going through it again trying to see if I missed anything or can understand the scriptures better. This is the part I really don’t like.
It’s difficult to do a secular study sometimes, because it’s so easy to look beyond the mark. I was reading a favorite commentary on the Old Testament the other day called The Fourth Thousand Years (by Cleon Skousen), and while I was reading, it occurred to me that I was studying the secular history of the people, the promises and the events that were to happen. It kind of bothered me a little bit — not the text, but the discovery of what I was doing. This is a difficult point to make, so I’m going to try and carefully explain it. I believe there is great worth in studying the history, background, and relationships of the history in general surrounding the scriptures, but I do not believe that studying the gospel should be an academic exercise only.
One scripture that can help illustrate my point is Isaiah 6:8. In this chapter, the prophet accounts his calling from the Lord. It reads:
Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.
I’m finding it hard to think of any real commentary that I can add to that. One thing I like, that Skousen pointed out in his book, is that Isaiah didn’t know or ask what it was the Lord wanted him to go and do … and it didn’t matter to him. He volunteered, and asked the Lord to put him to use. I can testify that when we ask the Lord to use us in His service, He will.
Okay, well, I can’t think of a good ending to write up to that, and I have a *really* hard time writing up these posts. I feel okay about the first part, but can’t come up with anything else, and in my experience it’s better in those cases to say nothing. :)
Edit: It occurs to me after walking away for a few moments that my sense of high expectations of self will only serve to keep me from writing any more similar posts in the future, so I think I’m going to go back to my usual mix of stream of consciousness mixed with an overall sense of not trying to offend anyone. :)