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Exclamation Points
Monday, August 20, 2018 by Cathy Everitt

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Overusing the exclamation point is discouraged by all the writing teachers I've met or read. The Bible uses them with restraint, too. So, when I see one in there, it gets my attention.  I wonder, Why the emphasis?

One place I've meditated on recently is in Isaiah chapter 8, especially because this punctuation mark is used in all the several translations I checked. A Bible app in my phone makes this cross-checking easy.

The context is that Isaiah is telling of the futility and dangers of consulting psychics and mediums. He sounds appalled that people would not seek knowledge and guidance from the one Source of all wisdom and of all creation. 

“Look to God’s instructions and teachings!” (Isaiah 8:20, NLT). He warns that contradiction of God’s words comes from “having no dawn,” or being “completely in the dark.” It reminds me of a paraphrase of the words of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., “darkness can never drive out darkness, only the light [of love] can drive out darkness.” May we all be increasingly hungry for more light from the words of Jesus in our hearts.

I love to read His powerful Word, but not only for knowledge. I find in it wisdom, loving guidance, encouragement, transformational power to love more, and to love and serve better. I gain more intimacy with Him when I read it for the purpose of knowing the Author better. The more I know Him, the more I want to obey and serve Him.

Lord Jesus, You are my dawn, the only true Source of Light and Love. Draw me today into the words of life in Your Word. You tell us we don't live by food alone, but by every word that proceeds out of Your mouth. Cause me to echo Jeremiah: “Your words were found, Lord, and I ate them and Your words became for me the joy and the delight of my heart."

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Comments

Johnna Hyde From Florida At 8/20/2018 12:03:15 PM

Thank you for bringing to my attention back to those exclamation points...now they will stand out even more during my Bible reading. Lord, fill my heart with a passionate thirst for your word and help me to seek you first in all things!

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