A few facts about Isaiah, the man, and the book
Isaiah was a prophet who lived in the 8th century and wrote his name-sake book between 740-680 BC (about 700 years before the birth of Christ.)
By the time his prophetic visions started, he was already married with two sons. Little is known of what he did before he became a prophet, only about his family life.
The name Isaiah translates from Hebrew “Yahweh is Salvation.”
Why is this interesting?
His name LITERALLY is the entire theme of the book he is writing. Of the 66 chapters, the first 39 are seen as “prophetic judgment” (aka…keep doing what you’re doing, and this is what is going to happen) while the last 27 are filled with hope and the prophecy of the coming Messiah.
In fact, he is the only prophet to prophesy both the virgin birth of Christ as well as the duality of the Messiah (the idea that he would be both God and Man.) And furthermore, Isaiah uses the word salvation 26 times in his book compared to the 7 times of all the other prophets combined.
Isaiah spent 60 years telling the world that despite all the bad things they had done… there was the hope of salvation.
One of the first verses that drew me to the book of Isaiah was in Chapter 55:13.
In the New International Version, it says “Instead of the thornbush will grow the juniper and instead of the briers, the myrtle will grow. This will be for the Lord’s renown, for an everlasting sign that will endure forever.”
I journaled this verse over two years ago because I was fascinated by the imagery Isaiah chose to use in the way of the different kinds of plants.
Plants in the Bible are always symbolic of prosperity… sometimes positive. Sometimes negative.
In this case, Isaiah is literally repeating the same message twice because:
- Thornbush/briers = the idea of distance & hurt
- Junipers/myrtles = shelter & love
So if we substitute in their symbolic meaning, the verse would read something like this:
Instead of distance, you will have shelter and instead of hurt, you will have love.
Isaiah…all those years ago…700 years before the word “Christ” was spoken to a young girl… he had faith that someday through salvation we would be able to trade all of our negatives for positives.
Our distance would become shelter.
Our hurt would become love.
Why is this verse so important to me?
Isaiah 55:13 tells us that no matter how far we’ve gone… we can come back. That no matter how hurt we have been, we can find love.
And the same goes for you.
There is no distance or hurt that God can’t bring you back from.
Just look at the book of Isaiah itself. Isaiah spends the first 39 chapters of that book railing against all the bad things Israel has done and what consequences those will bring. But for the last 27 chapters, he shifts gears and basically says “but despite ALL that… salvation is here and is available to you.”
Here are a few questions to ask yourself in your quiet and journaling time. Maybe you can even integrate the answer into your next Bible journaling page.
- First and foremost, do you understand Salvation, and have you asked Christ into your heart?
- When it comes to the idea of distance and hurt, do you apply earthly hurts to your heavenly father and allow there to be the distance between you because of it?
- Do you honestly believe that the concept of shelter and love IS meant for you while you are here on earth?
- What “thorns and briers” are going on in your life that you need God to trade for “junipers and myrtles?”
Dear Heavenly Father,
First and foremost, thank you for being there. When I feel alone in a crowd of people. When I feel even more alone all by myself. Thank you that you spoke to a man over 2,000 years ago and had him write down a reminder to me that your desire for me is love and shelter.
Help me to see that daily. Help me to clean out any earthly filters in my mind and soul that would tell me otherwise. Help me to layout heart in word and in art, to remind myself of your continued love and grace.
In Jesus Name,
Let’s apply this idea to a bible journaling page.
Gel Press 8×10 Plates
Gel Press Brayer
5 Colors of Acrylic Paint (Teal, Yellow, Lime Green, Light Blue & Black)
Gel Press Texture Combs (or q-tips or similar soft stick to add texture)
Archival Ink- Jet Black
Any Texture Stamps you like
Black Letter Stickers or Letter Stamps
Journaling Bible or Art Journal
Step 1 – Create Your Background
Using Your favorite texture stamps and Archival Ink, stamp your images onto your Gel Press plate.
Choosing your favorite yellow and lime green and apply to your Gel Press plate with your Gel Press Brayer. Once applied, use your texture combs or q-tips to create swirls and lines in your wet paint.
Allow color to dry slightly (but it doesn’t need to be completely dried.) Choose a darker color in the same color family (I used teal) and brayer it over your pattern.
Use your Joggles Acrylic plate or your hands to flip your plate over onto your surface. Give it a good press and then gently remove it.
Using whatever tools you would like, add more paints and textures. I used a gift card to apply a lighter blue and the Gel Press texture comb to add stripes.
Step 2 – Create Your Title
Next, decide how you want to do your title. I decided to use the idea from the devotional and made my title “you will have shelter and love.”
I used Tim Holtz foam letter stamps but letter stickers or another kind of stamp would work just as well. Make sure to do a pencil sketch of where you letter will go to make sure you have enough room.
Finish up your letters by adding a white highlight to make it POP!
Step 3 – Finishing Touches
To finish up this entry, add a small amount of watered-down yellow paint to highlight your verse on the opposite page.
Lastly…. Just have fun! I wanted to keep the two pages cohesive, so I used the different tools I used throughout this tutorial to add a cover to the opposite page, without completely covering the words.
Here is the finished page again!
Thank you for joining me today!!
Be sure to join us in the Gel Press Faith Impressions Group for more Gel Press inspirational fun!