Monday, January 6, 2014

Daily Old Testament: Isaiah 53 and New Testament Inspired Words of James Nayler - Nayler Sonnet 2 by K. Boulding

Isaiah 53 – Continuing the prophecy begun in the previous chapter, again in the past tense, but “past” in God’s eyes only.

“My servant grew up in the Lord’s presence like a tender green shoot, like a root in dry ground. There was noting beautiful or majestic about his appearance, nothing to attract us to him. He was despised and rejected—a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief” (53:2-3).

We despised him and did not care about his sufferings. “Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down” (53:4). We thought he was being punished by God for his wrong-doing, but NO, “he was pierced for OUR rebellion, crushed for OUR sins. He was beaten so we could be whole” (53:5).

WE are the sheep who have strayed, not HIM. “We have left God’s paths to follow our own” (53:6).

Like a lamb, he “was led to the slaughter . . . Unjustly condemned, he was led away. No one cared that he died without descendants” (53:8).

He had done nothing wrong, yet “he was buried like a criminal; he was put in a rich man’s grave” (53:9). Yet ALL of this was part of a larger plan the Lord had. “When he [the suffering servant] sees all that is accomplished by his anguish, he will be satisfied . . . my righteous servant will make it possible for many to be counted righteous, for he will bear all their sins” (53:11).

New Testament Inspired:
Beautiful Quaker Words: James Nayler’s Deathbed Testimony

There is a spirit which I feel that delights to do no evil, nor to revenge any wrong, but delights to endure all things, in hope to enjoy its own in the end. Its hope is to outlive all wrath and contention, and to weary out all exaltation and cruelty, or whatever is of a nature contrary to itself. It sees to the end of all temptations. As it bears no evil in itself, so it conceives none in thought to any other. If it be betrayed, it bears it, for its ground and spring is the mercies and forgiveness of God. Its crown is meekness, its life is everlasting love unfeigned; it takes its kingdom with entreaty and not with contention, and keeps it by lowliness of mind. In God alone it can rejoice, though none else regard it, or can own its life. It is conceived in sorrow, and brought forth without any to pity it; nor doth it murmur at grief and oppression. It never rejoiceth but through sufferings; for with the world's joy it is murdered. I found it alone, being forsaken. I have fellowship therein with them who lived in dens and desolate places of the earth, who through death obtained this resurrection and eternal holy life.

Thou wast with me when I fled from the face of mine enemies: then didst Thou warn me in the night: Thou carriedst me in Thy power into the hiding-place Thou hadst prepared for me: there Thou coveredst me with Thy Hand that in time Thou mightst bring me forth a rock before all the world. When I was weak Thou stayedst me with Thy Hand, that in Thy time Thou mightst present me to the world in Thy strength in which I stand, and cannot be moved. Praise the Lord, O my soul. Let this be written for those that come after. Praise the Lord.

Kenneth Boulding’s Nayler Sonnets:

2. That delights to do no evil

Shall I be good because of some reward,
Because the virtuous act pays dividends
In candy bars, the approving nods of friends,
In many tongues to praise, and hands to applaud,
In riches, honors, lavishly outpoured?
Or, since to ruin all things earthly tend,
Shall I be good to gain the greatest end,
The crown of bliss that Heaven may afford?
Ask the sweet spring upon the mountain top
What makes his sinless water flow so free:
Is it the call of some far-distant sea,
Or the deep pressure that no crust can stop?
No conscious end can drag us out of sin,
Unless clear goodness wells up from within.

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