Where are you at today? What do you believe? Where do you stand? What guides your steps? Where does your hope come from? What would it take to turn you to God? Where would you have to go to make things clear to you? What is it going to take for you to receive the gift of God? Will you believe and be saved? Will you believe after it is too late? Is today your day? If not today, then when? If not you, then who?
Today’s reading begins in Isaiah…
Ode of Ethiopia
1Oy ! The land of whirring wings, which is beyond the rivers of Ethiopia, 2that sends ambassadors by sea, in papyrus vessels upon the water. Go, swift messengers, to a nation tall and smooth-skinned, to a people feared far and wide, a nation powerful and oppressive, whose land the rivers divide. 3All you inhabitants of the world, and dwellers on earth, when a banner is raised on the mountains, look! when a shofar is blown, listen! 4For so Adonai has said to me: “I will remain quiet, and look from My dwelling place, like shimmering heat in sunshine, like a cloud of dew in harvest heat.” 5For before the harvest, as soon as blossoming is over and flower becomes ripening grape, He will cut off the shoots with pruning knives, He will cut back and remove the twigs. 6They will be left together for the mountain birds of prey and the beasts of the land. The birds of prey will summer on them, and all the beasts of the land will winter upon them. 7At that time tribute will be brought to Adonai-Tzva’ot from a nation tall and smooth-skinned, from a people feared far and wide, a nation powerful and oppressive, whose land the rivers divide— to the place of the Name of Adonai-Tzva’ot—Mount Zion!
–from Isaiah 18
Don’t walk away anymore, come back to God, the one and only God, the one who loves you so much that He sent His son to come and provide a way to be reconciled to Himself! God is Love! In Him there is no darkness! Come back to Him!
Egypt Will Know Adonai
1The burden of Egypt: Behold, Adonai rides upon a swift cloud and comes to Egypt. Egypt’s idols tremble before Him and Egypt’s heart melts within them. 2I will stir up Egyptian against Egyptian. Everyone will fight against his brother, and everyone against his neighbor— city against city, kingdom against kingdom. 3The spirit of Egypt will drain within it, and I will confuse its counsel. So they will resort to idols, charmers, mediums and familiar spirits. 4I will give the Egyptians into the hand of a cruel master—a fierce king will rule over them. It is a declaration of Adonai-Tzva’ot. 5The waters from the sea will dry up, and the river will be drained dry. 6Then the channels will stink. The streams of Egypt will dwindle and dry up. Reeds and rushes will rot. 7The bulrushes by the Nile, by the mouth of the Nile, and everything sown by the Nile will wither, blow away and be no more. 8Then the fishermen will lament. All who cast hooks in the Nile will mourn, and those who spread nets on the waters will languish. 9Moreover the workers of fine flax, and the weavers of white cloth will be ashamed. 10Her pillars will be crushed, All hired workers will be grieved in soul. 11The princes of Zoan are utter fools. Pharaoh’s wisest counselors are stupid. How can you say to Pharaoh, “I am the son of the wise, a son of ancient kings”? 12Where then are your wise men? Let them tell you now! Let them know what Adonai-Tzva’ot has purposed against Egypt. 13The princes of Zoan are fools. the princes of Noph are deceived. The cornerstone of her tribes have led Egypt astray. 14Adonai has mixed within her a spirit of dizziness. They make Egypt stagger in every work, as a drunkard staggers in his vomit. 15There will be no work for Egypt to do, for head or tail, palm branch or rush. 16In that day Egypt will be like women trembling with fear, because of the shaking hand of Adonai-Tzva’ot, which He is about to wave over it. 17The land of Judah will terrify Egypt. Anyone who mentions it will be afraid, because of what Adonai-Tzva’ot has surely purposed against it. 18In that day five cities in the land of Egypt will speak the language of Canaan, swearing allegiance to Adonai-Tzva’ot. One used to be called the City of the Sun. 19In that day there will be an altar to Adonai in the middle of the land of Egypt, and next to the border a pillar to Adonai. 20It will be as a sign and a witness to Adonai-Tzva’ot in the land of Egypt. For they will cry to Adonai because of oppressors, and He will send them a savior and defender—and he will deliver them. 21So Adonai will make Himself known to Egypt, and the Egyptians will know Adonai in that day. They will worship with sacrifice and offering. They will vow to Adonai, and fulfill it. 22So Adonai will strike Egypt—striking yet healing—so they will return to Adonai, and He will respond to them and heal them. 23In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrians will come to Egypt, and the Egyptians to Assyria, and the Egyptians will worship with the Assyrians. 24In that day Israel will be the third, along with Egypt and Assyria—a blessing in the midst of the earth. 25For Adonai-Tzva’ot has blessed, saying: “Blessed is Egypt My people, and Assyria My handiwork, and Israel My inheritance.”
–from Isaiah 19
God will provide! God has provided a way when there didn’t seem to be a way! God is good! All the time! What have you need of? Where are you looking for answers? If we will give even the little we have, God can take it, multiply it, and provide for all our needs! Don’t worry! Give it over to Jesus and trust in Him! It goes beyond just feeding your body, it’s about feeding the soul!
New Manna in the Wilderness
1Afterwards, Yeshua went away to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, also known as the Sea of Tiberias. 2A large crowd kept following Him, because they were watching the signs He was performing on the sick. 3Then Yeshua went up the mountainside and sat down there with His disciples. 4Passover, the Jewish feast, was near. 5Lifting up His eyes and seeing a large crowd coming to Him, Yeshua said to Philip, “Where will we buy bread so these may eat?” 6Now Yeshua was saying this to test him, for He knew what He was about to do. 7Philip answered Him, “Two hundred denarii isn’t enough to buy bread for each to get a little bit!” 8One of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to Him, 9“There’s a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish—but what’s that for so many?” 10Yeshua said, “Make the people recline.” There was much grass in the area. So the men reclined, about five thousand in number. 11Then Yeshua picked up the loaves. And having given thanks, He distributed bread to everyone who was reclining. He did the same with the fish, as much as they wanted. 12When the people were full, Yeshua said to His disciples, “Gather up the leftovers, so nothing is wasted.” 13So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with broken pieces from the five barley loaves, which were left over by those who had finished eating. 14When the people saw the sign that Yeshua performed, they began to say, “This is most certainly the Prophet who is to come into the world!” 15Realizing that they were about to come and seize Him by force to make Him king, Yeshua withdrew again to the mountain, Himself alone.
The Savior on the Sea
16Now when evening came, Yeshua’s disciples went down to the sea. 17Getting into a boat, they set out to cross the sea toward Capernaum. By now it had become dark, and still Yeshua had not come to them. 18A great wind began to blow, stirring up the sea. 19After they had rowed about twenty-five or thirty stadia, they catch sight of Yeshua walking on the sea, approaching the boat. They were terrified! 20But Yeshua says to them, “I am. Don’t be afraid.” 21Then they wanted to take Him into the boat, and right away the boat reached the shore where they were headed.
The Bread from Heaven
22The next day, the crowd remaining on the other side of the sea realized that no other boat had been there except the one, and that Yeshua hadn’t gone into the boat with His disciples, but that His disciples had gone away alone. 23Some other boats from Tiberias came close to the place where they had eaten the bread after the Master had given thanks. 24So when the crowd realized that neither Yeshua nor His disciples were there, they got into the boats and set off for Capernaum to find Him. 25When they found Him on the other side of the sea, they said, “Rabbi, when did You get here?” 26Yeshua responded to them, “Amen, amen I tell you, you seek Me not because you saw signs, but because you ate all the bread and were filled. 27Don’t work for food that spoils, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on Him, God the Father has put the seal of approval.” 28Then they said to Him, “What shall we do to perform the works of God?” 29Yeshua answered them, “This is the work of God, to trust in the One He sent.” 30So they said to Him, “Then what sign do You perform, so that we may see and believe You? What work do You do? 31Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘Out of heaven He gave them bread to eat.’” 32Yeshua answered them, “Amen, amen I tell you, it isn’t Moses who has given you bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. 33For the bread of God is the One coming down from heaven and giving life to the world.” 34So they said to Him, “Sir, give us this bread from now on!” 35Yeshua said to them, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to Me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in Me will never be thirsty. 36But I told you that you have seen Me, yet you do not believe. 37Everyone the Father gives Me will come to Me, and anyone coming to Me I will never reject. 38For I have come down from heaven not to do My own will but the will of the One who sent Me. 39“Now this is the will of the One who sent Me, that I lose not one of all He has given Me, but raise each one on the last day. 40For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who sees the Son and trusts in Him may have eternal life; and I will raise him up on the last day.” 41Some of the Judeans started to grumble about Him, because He said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” 42They were saying, “Isn’t this Yeshua the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can He now say, ‘I have come down from heaven’?” 43Yeshua answered, “Stop grumbling among yourselves! 44No one can come to Me unless My Father who sent Me draws him—and I will raise him up on the last day. 45It is written in the Prophets, ‘They will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has listened and learned from the Father comes to Me. 46Not that anyone has seen the Father except the One who is from God—He has seen the Father. 47“Amen, amen I tell you, he who believes has eternal life. 48I am the bread of life. 49Your fathers ate the manna in the desert, yet they died. 50This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat and not die. 51I am the living bread, which came down from heaven. If anyone eats this bread, he will live forever. This bread is My flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” 52Then the Jews began arguing with one another, “How can this man give us His flesh to eat?” 53So Yeshua said to them, “Amen, amen I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves. 54He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. 55“For My flesh is real food and My blood is real drink. 56He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. 57Just as the living Father sent Me and I live because of the Father, so the one who eats of Me will also live because of Me. 58This is the bread that came down from heaven—not like the bread your fathers ate and then died. He who eats this bread will live forever.” 59He said these things while teaching at the synagogue in Capernaum.
Fallout from a Hard Teaching
60So when many of His disciples heard this, they said, “This is a hard teaching. Who can listen to it?” 61But Yeshua knew His disciples were murmuring, so He said to them, “Does this offend you? 62Then what if you see the Son of Man going back up to the place where He was before? 63It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is of no benefit. The words I have spoken to you are Spirit and are life! 64Yet some of you do not trust.” Yeshua knew from the beginning who were the ones who did not trust, as well as which one would betray Him. 65Then He told them, “For this reason I’ve told you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by the Father.” 66From this time, many of His disciples left and quit walking with Him. 67So Yeshua said to the Twelve, “You don’t want to leave also, do you?” 68Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life! 69We have trusted and have come to know that you are the Holy One of God.” 70Yeshua answered them, “Didn’t I choose you, the Twelve? Yet one of you is the adversary!” 71Now He was speaking of Judah, the son of Simon of Kriot—for he, one of the Twelve, was about to betray Him.
–from John 6