For decades, Kay Arthur has devoted herself to mining the riches of the Word and guiding countless others to do the same. She’s championed the truth that every Christian can study the Bible for themselves, regardless of their background. The ministry she founded with her husband, Precept, proclaims that you can “Know God deeply. Live differently,” and she’s devoted her life to teaching inductive Bible study.
We asked Kay to write an article for Word by Word, and she graciously accepted, despite how difficult it would be to do with Parkinson’s disease. In fact, this is the first blog post she’s ever written! The result is a heartfelt call to return to Scriptures that we invite you to share. To honor her on her 89th birthday, we’ve chosen to publish it today.
Title and headings have been added by the editor.
Isaiah 5 & the world today
I wake up and stretch, turn on my side, look at my watch, and think. It is Saturday, October 15, 2022. On November 11, I will be 89 years old. I’ve lived almost a whole century!
Then I think, “What is happening to America, this country that prints ‘In God We Trust’ on our currency? Where evil is now called good and good evil!”
But God says, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil; who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness” (Isa 5:20).
Listening to the news and reading Isaiah concurrently is an interesting exercise. Isaiah wrote to a “sinful nation, people weighed down with iniquity, offspring of evildoers, sons who act corruptly! They have abandoned the Lord. … They have turned away from Him” (1:4). That’s how the prophet begins.
Isaiah 59: “Truth has stumbled in the streets”
This morning as I think about the state of affairs in our nation, words from Isaiah 59 come to mind: “truth has stumbled in the street … he who turns aside from evil makes himself a prey … justice is turned back … uprightness stands far away” (14, 15). To me, it sounds like today’s news. What do you think?
Still reflecting, I make a cup of coffee and come to my computer. It’s a chore for me to type. I have Parkinson’s, and believe me, it’s not for sissies. Sometimes I forget what I was saying or thinking, so I try to get everything down as soon as possible.
Returning to the Word
In his commentary on Isaiah, J. Alex Motyer writes, “No society can recover except by returning to the Word of God.”1
Thus the admonition, the warning in Isaiah 8:20, “To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because they have no dawn.” In other words, they are in the dark—but not without hope.
Read these verses aloud and listen carefully:
The people who walk in darkness will see a great light; those who live in a dark land, the light will shine on them. … For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, on the throne of David and over his kingdom to establish it and to uphold with justice and righteousness, from then on and forever more. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this.Isaiah 9:2, 6–7; emphasis added
O beloved, do you realize the answer to everything is ultimately Jesus, our beloved Savior, in Whom we live and have our being?
Why don’t we read it again and ponder these God-breathed words:
For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government (rule) will rest on His shoulders.Isaiah 9:6–7
God’s Word is your life (Deut 32:47). And you, chosen of God (John 15:16), are to live on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God (Matt 4:4)! According to Jesus, the Word of God is the “bread” by which the believer lives—day by day, day after day.
A call to live in the Word
Can you say, beloved, “The Word of God is my refuge. It’s what and where I run to as I navigate life with all its twists and turns, believing what Moses said—‘It is not an idle word for you, indeed it is your life.’ (Deut. 32:47). It is telling me, showing me, teaching me how to recover from sin, failure, hopelessness”?
Do you know where to run in those sixty-six books?
Do you know how to search out its truths, how to handle the text, interpret it accurately, and mine its gold?
To learn how to study the Word inductively, follow Kay Arthur’s Precept Chapter Study Workflow in Logos. Even if you only have the free version, you’ll be able to complete each step on the desktop app or app.logos.com.
To see more of how Precept International can help you grow in your study of Scriptures, explore their site or browse a list of Kay Arthur ebooks, Logos editions, and audiobooks.
Kay Arthur’s Precept Chapter Study Workflow
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Lord, Teach Me to Study the Bible in 28 Days
The Basic Steps of Bible Study: Getting Started
Experiencing the Power of Life-Changing Faith: Romans
God’s Answers for Today’s Problems: Proverbs
Free from Bondage God’s Way: Galatians/Ephesians
Lord, Teach Me to Pray in 28 Days
The Call to Follow Jesus: Luke