Monthly Archives: July, 2013

Isaiah 5-8

Isaiah 5-8

Click here for today’s reading http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah%205-8&version=NIV

CHAPTER 5 — When Isaiah wrote this he was writing God’s Words for HIS Nation, HIS CHOSEN people. TODAY… we live on “this side of the cross.” We KNOW Jesus the Messiah our Lord and Savior has come FOR US. WE are HIS NATION because of all that happened on the cross!!! ALL of US are God’s Nation!! Some of us have CHOSEN to have a forever personal relationship with HIM….some of us are still thinking about it.

Last year my mentor suggested reading Chapter 5 OUT LOUD with CNN playing in the background……WHOA!!! The theme of this chapter is modern day greed, injustice, and drunkenness!!! I know I must sound like a broken record….but the Words of Isaiah were warnings for God’s people WAY BACK then ….they are warnings for us TODAY. Makes you think deep doesn’t it??

Woe’s and Judgments — Woe means HOW HORRIBLE or WARNING! So as we sit here and read His Words and say “Lord, I want to please you, show me what you think is Horrible:. Well…they are spelled out before our very eyes…..so our heart may digest them.

Chapter 5:5 — “I will take away the hedge and it will be destroyed…..” This stood out LOUDLY to me today. When God made a covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and then with David ….. this covenant was a hedge of protection for HIS people. However, the CHOICES of HIS PEOPLE to rebel, resist HIM, ignore HIM, worship other gods, have idols, sacrifice their own children to these other gods, etc…….have now resulted in God warning them…..the hedge of protection is taken down and the NATION will be destroyed (but He does promise to keep a remanent.)

CHAPTER 6 — Isaiah’s commission — Reread 6:1-11. WHY was Isaiah chosen for this prophecy? Isaiah sees God as God ALMIGHTY. He sees him as HOLY. When he sees God for all HE really is he ALSO saw what man REALLY IS…ruined, unclean, and in the company of unclean people.

“Holy Holy Holy” stated three times like this in Isaiah 6 occurs ONLY twice in the Bible. The other occurrence is in Rev 4:8. Through commentaries, I found that “Holy, Holy, Holy” is stated three times because it IS WHO God is. It is not merely another of His attributes such as loving, kindness, grace, mercy, compassion, etc…things we can strive for … but this is about all of that and MORE.. all knowing.. all powerful.. ever present everywhere…things we can NEVER be. SUCH an awesome God who loves us soooo much & who wants to spend eternity with us.

Can you imagine Isaiah getting up one morning, preparing for another day on the job ..”oye…my aching bones…I need to get to the Temple to pray for our next leader, and pray as to how God wants to use me.” Then as he is walking he sees the seraphim, hears them say “Holy Holy Holy”, feels the foundations of the earth shaken, sees the house filled with “Holy Smoke” (serious). And what does Isaiah do….he most likely fell to his knees (my assumption), but he did say (my words) I am a complete and total sinner… I am in trouble NOW…could be toast. And the seraphim takes tongs from the alter grabs a red hot coal and tells him: vs7 ”your iniquity and guilt are TAKEN AWAY, and your sin is completely ATONED for and forgiven.” Now THAT would be an AWESOME day…. much like the day I was born again — know what I mean???
Then God gives the verdict as in a court case. GUILTY!!! HE has had ENOUGH!! God is a fair God…HE has WARNED Israel and Judah OVER AND OVER AGAIN. He has sent them messengers, angels, prophets to tell them (2 Chronicles 7:14)
“if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” BUT not only did HIS people NOT return to HIM…..they rebelled, refused to acknowledge HIM, refused to live for HIM, refused to be HIS people. Can you see where God has been very patient with HIS people for hundreds of years? Can you see how HE has given them a CHOICE to follow HIM or not? Can you see where HIS people’s ways and choices are about to have HUGE CONSEQUENCES……THEIR CHOICES will result in destruction of both the Northern Kingdom and Southern Kingdoms? Can you see where each Nations’ leaders set the pace for the people? Can you see how the leader of a nation can cause consequences for the entire nation?? Can you see how things had become SO bad that God had to discipline/correct/warn/strip away what they had to get their attention? BUT…. and this is a HUGE BUT….. in 6:13 it says “a tenth will remain in the land.” Why?? This judgement is in Judah. There is a Covenant to remember. 2 Sam 7, the Davidic Covenant…The Lord will come from the Line of David, Judah. So he will leave a remnant.

CHAPTER 7: Reminder time —

Year 743bc. Ahaz king of Judah is about to get attacked by Israel and Aram (Syria). (But Isaiah predicts Judah will not end at this time)
House of David means Judah (Southern Kingdom…..David’s line)
Ephraim is referring to the Northern Kingdom, Israel.
The name Shear-Jashub (Isaiah’s son’s name) means a “remnant will return” in Hebrew
When Ahaz is told to ask God, he doesn’t because He does not want to hear it….ummmmmm…..been there…done that….didn’t work!!
Isaiah is clearly speaking of Jesus, Immanuel means God with Us. Look at Mt 1:23 LOOK at the prophecy in 7:14
Ephraim vs 8. Falls to Assyria exactly 65 years later
Flies and Bees is a time of Judgement, and shaving hair is symbolic for humiliation.
Verses 13-17 –“Hear now, you house of David! Is it not enough to try the patience of humans? Will you try the patience of my God also? 14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a SIGN: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. 15 He will be eating curds and honey when he knows enough to reject the wrong and choose the right, 16 for before the boy knows enough to reject the wrong and choose the right, the land of the two kings you dread will be laid waste. 17 The Lord will bring on you and on your people and on the house of your father a time unlike any since Ephraim broke away from Judah—he will bring the king of Assyria.”
The word SIGN REALLY struck me today — WHAT IS THE SIGN???? The SIGN is JESUS!!!!

CHAPTER 8 — Assyria will be the Lord’s Instrument. In a nutshell, the people will reject the flowing waters of Shiloh (the waters of Jerusalem….the Southern Kingdom….Judah…the Lord.) Isaiah POSTS a PUBLIC document warning them that JUDGEMENT IS COMING. Israel (the Northern Kingdom, where Samaria is located) and Aram (aka: Syria where Damascus is located) have an alliance so the prediction is that they will both fall to Assyria. History tells us that Aram (aka: Syria) falls in 732 BC and Israel “bit the dust” 10 years later at 722 BC.

I have a book titled “Then & Now Bible Maps Book” by Rose Publishing which shows Assyria (then) is (NOW) Iraq … talk about fighting going on over there TODAY!!!… whew!! Also… a few tidbits I found interesting were that Nineveh is today the name of one of the provinces in Northern Iraq and the today city of Mosul is close to where the ancient city of Nineveh was. Interesting to know–eh??

IMHO, the ONLY thing different today from the day this Scripture was written 2500+ years ago is that I believe our civilization is witnessing the beginning of “birth pangs” that are a WARNING to help us focus on keeping (or making) Him first in our lives. Who knows the date, or time He will come again or when the Rapture will be .. only GOD does (Jesus made it clear that HE did not even know the date of HIS 2nd return and the end times… ONLY HIS FATHER KNEW.) A day is like a thousand years and a thousand years like a day in God’s timing. So what’s the take away from today’s reading??? KNOW HIS Word, LISTEN to God, OBEY HIM and simply be the best person God made me to be FOR HIM and go ye therefore and teach others how to have a personal relationship with Him. Could we be preparing for a time of a Third Great Awakening/revival???? I pray so. Revive us Lord… kind of exciting

There is SO much here today…. SO much that is for us in our era!! I’d love to hear what God had to say to you today, what did God show you?

Sharing HIS love,

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Isaiah 1-4

Isaiah 1-4

Click here for today’s reading http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah%201-4&version=NIV

WHOA BABY!!!! God sends the prophets to WARN HIS people, to try to get their ATTENTION, to try to get them to CALL ON HIS NAME, CONFESS their sins, REPENT, and have a ONE On ONE relationship with HIM, obey HIM, DO HIS will…. HOW often have we heard this since we started our reading????

At the time of Isaiah’s writing, the Northern Kingdom of Israel no longer exists. The Southern Kingdom of Judah is still hanging on….but barely. ISAIAH is TRYING to get them to LISTEN and OBEY the LORD. HE is trying to get them to WAKE UP!!!

What stood out to me is 3:9 “The look on their faces testifies against them, they parade their sin like Sodom; they do not hide it. Woe to them! THEY HAVE BROUGHT DISASTER UPON THEMSELVES.”

DID YOU CATCH THAT…. THEY HAVE BROUGHT DISASTER UPON THEMSELVES.

Unfortunately Judah will not listen and they will fall just like Israel and WHY…. because they refused to listen to The Lord. Judah and Israel USED to be ONE country. THEY BELIEVED in GOD. They still believe in God, they just don’t want to do life HIS way. It is important to understand that their CHOICES and CONSEQUENCES did not happen over night. Their moral descent was a gradual spiritual departure from God….. GRADUAL…..first there is complacency towards God…..then spiritual confusion…..then merging God with idols, and ultimately……total rebellion and rejection of God’s ways.

As you read these 4 chapters notice the things Judah was NOT doing.. they were not worshiping God, but idols and SACRIFICING their children to these idols…they had blood on their hands….they KNEW God’s ways but REFUSED to follow them….they HEARD the prophets but rebelled against their warnings….(OH NO … OUR GOD will NOT put us through bad things, there are NO consequences to our behavior, we are accepting of everyone and everything…we are good people.) Step by step they turned against God and when their hearts were hardened…..their rebellion and actions were out and out brazen….selfish…self centered…no care for the needy….for the widows….for the poor…ONLY for themselves!!

Does this sound familiar to anyone? Let me ask this a different way, does God EVER change? NO…. HE does NOT. HE IS the same yesterday, today, and for always. HIS WORD is the SAME yesterday, today, and always. And as bad as Judah had become….God STILL WANTED them to return to HIM. HE sent people to warn them, to bring them back to HIM, so they could each have that loving, personal, wonderful relationship with HIM.

So as you read Isaiah REMEMBER ABOVE ALL that it TRULY is a book of HOPE!!! It will take a hard look at some topics to help us examine our own lives, where we are, how we live for HIM, do we pray for our leaders, etc. As we are focused on Judah and what they are doing as well as what they are NOT doing…. think about our country. What things as a nation are we doing and what things are we not doing??? We as a people have become so tolerant that we have lost ourselves in our tolerance. I am NOT saying tolerance is a bad thing, after all part of love is tolerance. However, we are to live by the Word of the MOST HIS GOD and KNOW what is right and wrong in our living. We are taught as believers in Jesus Christ to love the sinner but not the sin, yet somehow we can’t tell the difference anymore between the sinner and the sin so we are tolerant of it all. Often our tolerance has given us another way to place God on the back burner in our lives. Following God DOES NOT MEAN we are the judge and the jury for things in life (like we are not supposed to go shoot someone because they are living life against God’s ways.) However, God expects us to lovingly, humbly, meekly ….. STAND UP for HIM, LIVE for HIM, OBEY HIM, LOVE like HE loves, and SHARE what HE has done in our lives with those around us.

Look at the things that have happened in our nation in the recent past….. we have stopped prayer in schools, at public events; we are allowing the 10 Commandments to be removed from public property; and most of us don’t know if “In God we Trust” will remain on our money because our politicians are allowed to keep things secret from us; we are allowing people to determine where a nativity scene can be placed; we are passing laws about abortion left and right (remember in Isaiah where it said they had blood on their hands…they sacrificed hundreds of their babies to Baal and other gods…..since abortion has become law THOUSANDS of babies lives have been ended.) Did anyone listen to the announcers discuss the pregnancy of Prince William and Princess Kate? The ENTIRE discussion was about the “Royal Baby”….not the “Royal Fetus!!” We have laws on our books that can convict a murderer for a double murder if both the mother and her baby were killed….but when it comes to abortion…..it is a fetus. The bottom line is our culture, our society, our nation is gradually taking its focus off of God. And, those who try to keep their focus on HIM are made out to be fools, incompetents, intolerants, troublemakers, etc, to the “main stream”.

Israel had many many idols with obvious statues built in honor of these idols/gods. You may be saying, but America doesn’t have idols…..but think about as a society, where most of our energy goes…..making money, watching TV shows and listening to music that may not be healthy, reading the wrong types of books, sex outside of marriage, pornography, drugs, alcohol, gambling, worrying what other people think of us and if we will fit in, wanting the latest everything, and the list just keeps on going.

My point in saying all of this is NOT to condemn. IN Jesus there is NO condemnation. My point in saying this is to help each of us see how much like Judah and Israel our country, our world has become. Look how much like Sodom and Gomorrah Israel and Judah became!!! Isaiah is as much a warning for us today as it was for the people 2500+ years ago. God corrects HIS people. The correction is may be through nature, through the attack by other nations upon us, through captivity, etc. HOW will He correct us? Who will HE let us fall captive to? Is HE allowing the enemy to sift us? Isaiah is much more than a historical book….it is a book of prophesy…and MOST important…even for us today….it is a book of HOPE (I know I’ve said that before…but I don’t want you to forget that.)

A few words in Chapter 1, verse 4 that you may want to make notes of from the original Hebrew are:
Sinful (chote) means breaking a personal relationship, not just a law
Guilt (won) means a lifestyle bent out of shape
Evildoers ( ra a) wicked in the most general ways, unbelievers
Corruption (mere im) destruction that eliminates the possibility for well-being
They had forsaken and spurned the Lord.

If you reread verses 11-17, God clearly, CLEARLY says HE DOES NOT WANT RELIGION. HE wants RELATIONSHIP. God does not want Religion without relationship, God does not care what denomination we are….. HE cares about whether we have a RELATIONSHIP, a PERSONAL relationship with Jesus Christ…. He does NOT want us in a Religion without relationship HE wants a relationship of real religion.

Let’s Open this book wide OPEN. Let’s dig deep. Use the comment section to ask or discuss any of the Scriptures. This will be the most CHALLENGING of books to read, it is poetry, historical, prophetical and at times mind boggling.

The Lord is concerned about our Holiness, not about our prosperity. Chapters 2-4 are a pre-vision for the Christian Faith. It is also a prophecy of the New Jerusalem, Zion, as it speaks in Revelation. One day Zion will be the center of the World and it will be the total conclusion of Peace on Earth.

These chapters are clearly mixed with scriptures of Jesus Christ. Any time you see the word ‘raised up’ take a moment to see if it is the moment of Jesus on the Cross. Often referred to as the Temple. For example,

In the last days
the mountain of the LORD’s temple will be established
as chief among the mountains;
it will be raised above the hills,
and all nations will stream to it. Many peoples will come and say,
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD,
to the house of the God of Jacob.
He will teach us his ways,
so that we may walk in his paths.”
The law will go out from Zion,
the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.

The reading today ended with the symbolism of the Branch of God (notice the capitalizing) , who is Jesus, and speaks of the cleansing power of the Spirit. The reading ended today with a wonderful verse referring to the Branch:

It will be a shelter and shade from the heat of the day, and a refuge and hiding place from the storm and rain.

The last verses in Chapter 4….made the today’s reading the HOPE for me. God’s peace fell over me when I was reading these last verses because of the HOPE.

Sharing HIS love,

 

MAP

Note the locations….

  • Assyria
  • Babylon
  • Egypt
  • And right in the middle….Jerusalem.