Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Redemmer - Isaiah 53:4

Isaiah 53:4 "Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows, yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted."

I cannot do this chapter justice. It is a prophecy of Christ's suffering and his nature. He would come, not as a mighty king but, as a lowly citizen of Israel yielding to the sorrows and grief of man. Yet, He was God manifested in the flesh. It is a difficult concept if you are not a Christian. Even then, it requires that we reach deep within our hearts to try to understand this kind of love.

v2 "For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him."

I believe this speaks of Jesus being formed in the womb and his birth as the shepherds saw him. He would be conceived of God 'made of a woman'. It was indeed a miracle but not hard for God. He did after all take clay and form man then made woman from a rib of man. Without belief there will be no acceptance of such miracles.

Doesn't this sound like the life of Jesus? v3"He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief : and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not."

In the previous chapter, we were told to Hearken, Awake, sit up straight and learn that a redeemer is coming and Zion will shine again. Jesus was the vehicle of this recovery.

His suffering: v5"But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed."

We have long concluded that man cannot save himself from his rebellion against God. Better known as sin against God. It is like a man caught in quicksand, beyond the reach of a limb or a vine. He is sinking without hope of help from man or himself. Then God reaches down with a way to reconcile man to God. He provides a hand to reach out to and it is a strong hand that can pull him out of his situation if man will but reach up and take it.

He could say the hand is not there and die but that would not be the sensible thing to do.

v9 "And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth." Matt.27:57 also.

What follows is the 'mystery' of the will of God and the character of God. I cannot fully understand nor explain it but this is how I see it.

God is righteous and cannot stand nor will he tolerate sin. He is like the judge who has a law that he must go by. This is the crime and this is the required punishment. But God is also full of love and compassion for man. So how does he reconcile his demand for not sinning with his love. He sends His son to pay the penalty for man's sin. He came as a man but lived a perfect life so that he would be a pure sacrifice acceptable to God. See the epistles. Hebrews would help.

v10 "Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; (I believe because it was a way to redeem man, not because he found pleasure in 'bruising' his son.) he hath put him to grief; when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. (speaking of the resurrection - that Jesus would suffer but when the price was paid he would live to see the results of his sacrifice - many children.)

v12 "Therefore (because Jesus was willing and able to reconcile God with man and was obedient to the Father's will) will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death; and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors." See Phil 2:9, Col. 2:15

There lies the story of Jesus as told by Isaiah. We now know the conclusion of the matter. It is up to the individual to reach up and accept the hand that paid such a great price for redemption.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Zion Awake - Isaiah 52

v14Isaiah 52:1 "Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city: for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean."

Israel is in a sad state at this time. They are captive and it would seem there was no hope. Here the Lord is telling them to get all cleaned up and put on your best for the Lord is going to restore them to greatness.

v2 "Shake thyself from the dust; arise, and sit down, O Jerusalem: loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion."

Can you see the picture? A slave with a collar around their neck being beaten, dragged and walked on. Then comes a voice that tells them to shake off these symbols of bondage for they are coming home.

v3 "For thus saith the LORD, Ye have sold yourselves for nought; and ye shall be redeemed without money."

Here we can jump over to Zechariah and spot some beautiful verses:

Zechariah 2:8 "For thus saith the LORD of hosts; After the glory hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you; for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye." Joshua seems to represent the nation and we see him in dirty garments but is cleaned up by the Lord. v3 "Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments and stood before the angel. v4 And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment." So he will do for Israel. Although they are helpless to redeem themselves, He will redeem them because he loves them.

v9 "Break forth into joy, sing together, ye waste places of Jerusalem; for the LORD hath comforted his people, he hath redeemed Jerusalem."

As a Christian, I recognize that this redemption comes through Jesus. Israel, as a nation, still waits for the Messiah and this redemption. Here is the verse that I believe refers to Jesus as do many others:

v13 "Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high."

Further we see the crucifixion mentioned, although, not understood at the time. See also Psalm 22.

v14 "As many were astonished at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men;"

So we see the mystery that many wished to understand.

v15 "So shall he sprinkle many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at him; for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider."

See also Luke 22-23.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Hearken to Me - Isaiah 51

Isaiah 51:1 "Hearken to me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the LORD; look unto the rock whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence ye are digged."

Here the Lord is telling Israel to listen. Those who follow righteousness, that is. They would know who they are. He is reminding them of Abraham and how a great nation was brought forth from one man whom the Lord trusted.

v3 For the LORD shall comfort Zion: he will comfort all her waste places; and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the LORD; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving and the voice of melody."

You will sing again in the promised land. The Lord has not cast you off forever. It was a time of judgment but judgment will end and the nation will again blossom.

v7 "Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my law; fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings."

In the midst of captivity, this seems to come for it appears that the Lord is encouraging his people to persevere.

v9 "Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the LORD; awake as in the ancient days, in the generations of old, Art thou not it that hath cut Rahab, and wounded the dragon?"

I can almost see Isaiah standing before a crowd delivering a soul stirring message from the Lord.

v11 "Therefore the redeemed of the LORD shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head: they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and morning shall flee away."

Then we see the mercy of the Lord. He will remove the fear from his people and give it to their enemy.

v22 "Thus saith the Lord the LORD, and thy God that pleadeth the cause of his people, Behold I have taken out of thine hand the cup of trembling, even the dregs of the cup of my fury; thou shalt no more drink it again: v23 But I will put it into the hand of them that afflict thee;"

The message to Israel is that those of you who know the Lord should listen (hearken) build up your strength and get ready for something good.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Trust - Isaiah 50

Isaiah 50:1 "Thus saith the LORD, Where is the bill of your mother's divorcement, whom I have put away? or which of my creditors is it to whom I have sold you? Behold, for your iniquities have ye sold yourselves, and for your transgressions is your mother put away."

It is immediately established by the Lord that he himself did not put Israel away but they had only themselves and their transgressions to blame. But He still loves them and is well able to help them.

v2 "Wherefore, when I came, was there no man? when I called, was there none to answer? Is my hand shortened at all, that it cannot redeem? or have I no power to deliver? behold, at my rebuke I dry up the sea, I make the rivers a wilderness; their fish stinketh, because there is no water, and dieth for thirst."

The same God who made the earth and all that is it it still has dominion over it and can do with it as he wills. He has not lost any of his ability to save his people.

v4 "The Lord God hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary; he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned."

Here we look forward to Jesus in his earthly body and he speaks of the fellowship he has with the Father and the wisdom that is imparted to Him.

Luke 4:22 "And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. And they said, Is not this Joseph's son? v32 And they were astonished at his doctrine: for his word was with power."

Next we look forward to the relationship of son and father as it pertains to God the Father and Jesus the Son. Jesus takes his place in his earthly body as the son and is in subjection, willing to be obedient although the Bible says he learned obedience. For example, He showed us how to honor authority.

v5 "The Lord God hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back."

That is a much bigger statement than it seems at first, for Jesus knew he was destined for the cross and that he would be a sacrifice for the sins of the world. Yet he "neither turned away back."

Then we look toward his suffering and humiliation. I know this was a mystery when it was written but we can look back to it now.

v6 "I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair; I hid not my face from shame and spitting."

Accept for a moment that Jesus is the God of the universe. He is in human form and allows the very creation he created to put him to shame - for a reason - to save them.

v7 "For the Lord God will help me, therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed."

To further explore the sufferings of Christ one can read the four gospels or go to Psalm 22.

Jesus then lays down a challenge to his enemies. He so trust that he will reach the cross and be victorious that he invites his enemies to come forth.

v8 "He is near that justifieth me; who will contend with me? let us stand together: who is mine adversary? let him come near to me."

Even in these prophecies of suffering that is in the distant future then, Jesus looks beyond to victory.

v9 "Behold, the Lord God will help me; who is he that shall condemn me? lo, they all shall wax old as a garment; the moth shall eat them up. "

For a time Jesus walked as a man and felt pain as a man, but beyond this, he is still God and while man goes through the process of getting older, He remains the same in the end.

v10 "Who is among you that feareth the LORD, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the LORD, and stay upon his God."

It is sin that seperates mankind and God. God does not just walk away from us. He has proven his love with the ultimate sacrifice. May we not turn him away.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Jesus Matthew 1:18-25

"Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example was minded to put her away privily. But while he thought on these things behold the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto the Mary thy wife; for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost, And she shall bring forth a son and thou shalt call his name JESUS for he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken for the Lord by the prophet, saying Behold a virgin shall be with child and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife; And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son, and he called his name JESUS.

Luke 2:1-7 "And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee out of the city of Nazareth into Judea unto the city of David which is called Bethlehem; because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was that while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manager, because there was no room for them in the inn."

v8-16 "And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them and the glory of the Lord shone round about them and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them Fear not; for behold I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day int he city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you, Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manager. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, good will toward men."

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Gentiles Isaiah 49

Isaiah 49:6 "And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth."

Speaking as a Gentile, I am glad for that verse. See Matthew 22 in conjunction with this chapter.

One day, Israel will see their mistake. Jesus came to Israel but also to fulfill the law that condemned man so that he could offer himself for a sacrifice for all mankind. He came to Israel first but that his house might be filled and in grace and mercy, he also included the Gentiles in His invitation.

v8 "Thus saith the LORD, in an acceptable time have I heard thee, and in a day of salvation have I helped thee; and I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages; v9 That thou mayest say to the prisoners, Go forth, so them that are in darkness, Shew yourselves. They shall feed in the ways, and their pastures shall be in all high places."

In due time Christ came. No doubt, it was a great mystery at the time of the writing of Isaiah. Israel was dispersed among the nations and there appeared little hope that the nation would be established once more. But God knows the end before the beginning and so he tells of it here.

v13 "Sing, O heavens; and be joyful, O earth; and break forth into singing, O mountains; for the LORD hath comforted his people, and will have mercy upon his afflicted."

It goes on to speak of the feeling of Zion that the Lord had forgotten about them but the Lord explains that he could never forget his children and compares it to a mother's love.

v15 "Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. v16 Behold I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands, thy walls are continually before me."

There will be so many gathered together that there will be pleas for more room. v20 The mighty shall give up those they hold.

v26 "And I will feed them that oppress thee with their own flesh; and they shall be drunken with their own blood, as with sweet wind; and all flesh shall know that I the LORD am thy Savior, and thy Redeemer, the mighty one of Jacob.

Monday, December 14, 2009

First and Last Isaiah 48

"Isaiah 48:18 " O that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments! then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea;"

Isaiah looks beyond the captivity to the calling out of the remnant. Babylon and the Chaldeans are about to be destroyed and in a move of grace (for Israel is still rebellious) the Lord brings them out.

"from the time that it was, there am I"

The Lord speaks of Israel still claiming to be of the holy city but not acting like it.

v2""For they call themselves of the holy city, and stay themselves upon the God of Israel; The LORD of hosts is his name. but verse one declares "...but not in truth, nor in righteousness."

To further convince them, the Lord tells them that he has told them things that would happen before they happened. He says from the start I told you the truth and didn't hid things from you.

v6 "Thou hast heard, see all this; and will not ye declare it? I have showed thee new things from this time, even hidden things, and thou didst not know them."

Nevertheless, the Lord still loves Israel and will rescue them again. If he cannot do it for their obedience He will do it for his own name's sake.

v9-11 " For my name's sake will I defer mine anger, and for my praise will I refrain for thee, that I cut thee not off. Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction. For mine own sake, even for mine own sake, will I do it; for how should my name be polluted? and I will not give my glory unto another."

Israel could have followed the commandments told Moses and again David and Solomon, and flourished in their new land. They chose idols and suffered chastisement for it. Yet the Lord will still fulfill his promise (for His name's sake) and as He often said for his servant David's sake.

v20 "Go ye forth of Babylon, flee ye from the Chaldeans, with a voice of singing declare ye, tell this, utter it even to the end of the earth; say ye, The LORD hath redeemed his servant Jacob."

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Party's Over for Royalty

Isaiah 47:10 "For thou hast trusted in thy wickedness: thou hast said, None seeth me. Thy wisdom and thy knowledge, it hath perverted thee; and thou hast said in thine heart, I am, and none else beside me."

The royalty of Babylon, of the Chaldeans have basically taken the description of the LORD and applied it to themselves. They were but a tool to chasten Israel but they took it beyond mere chastisement to outright abuse.

v6 "I was wroth with my people, I have polluted mine inheritance, and given them into thine hand: thou didst show them no mercy, upon the ancient hast thou very heavily laid thy yoke."

We learn from this verse that the LORD is aware that we as people get old and are not able to withstand the demands of life as a young person would. These limitations should be respected and allowances made for them. Fact is if we survive, all are headed for old age.

Further, the royalty did not trust int he LORD but turned to enchantments and such.

v10 "For thou hast trusted in thy wickedness; thou hast said, None seeth me. Thy wisdom and thy knowledge, it hath perverted thee; and thou hast said in thine heart, I am, and none else beside me." Our text verse.

Also, it seems that in secret places, they carried on their parties and get togethers to study the elements to determine the future.

v13 "Thou art wearied in the multitude of thy counsels. Let now the astrologers, the stargazers, the monthly prognosticators, stand up, and save thee from these things that shall come upon thee."

It was not as if these people were unaware of the LORD. Israel is a chosen people but that does not mean that God just forgets the rest of the world. All men are aware of the LORD and the LORD cares about what happens to them.

v7 "And thou saidst, I shall be a lady forever; so that thou didst not lay these thins to thy heart, neither didst remember the latter end of it."

Here we have learned the destiny of Babylon and its inhabitants.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

God who carries You or a god who You carry Isaiah 46

Isaiah 46:1 "Bel boweth down, Nebo stoopeth, their idols were upon the beasts, and upon the cattle; your carriages were heavy laden, they are a burden to the weary beasts."

Bel: chief idol of Babylonians. (Baal)
Nebo - Assyrian god

We've just studied about Cyrus of the Persian empire who was used of God to defeat these other kingdoms. Israel has been among these people and no doubt have worshipped their idols as they are prone to do. We see here scripture that tells them just how silly it is to worship something that must be carried around. Idols are no help to their makers. ON the other hand the one true God is a help to his people.

v3 "Hearken unto me, O house of Jacob, and all the remnant of the house of Israel, which are borne by me from the belly, which are carried from the womb: v4 And even to your old age, I am he; and even to hoar hairs will I carry you; I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you."

There you have it. God made us and he will carry us thorough out our life. Then He tells them to look back beyond the recent captivity where they were surrounded by idols and idol worship to another time when they worshipped God.

v8-9 "Remember this, and show yourselves men: bring it again to mind, O ye transgressors. Remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is none else; I am God and there is none like me."

It would do our nation good as well to remember how God established our nation. ti would do our nation good to turn again to Him.

v12-13 "Hearken unto me, ye stouthearted, that are far from righteousness. I bring near my righteousness, it shall not be far off, and my salvation shall not tarry; and I will place salvation i Zion for Israel my glory."

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Cyrus Isaiah 45

Isaiah 45:1 "Thus saith the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have held, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut;"

Cyrus was the founder of the last great Persian empire. Daniel found favor in his eyes. (Daniel 6:28)

After he conquered Babylon, he allowed the Jews to go back to Jerusalem (Judah) and establish again a nation. It is foretold here in Isaiah.

v2 "I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron;"

We saw it when the Lord fought for Israel as they came into Canaan. Now, he is doing the same thing with Cyrus to bring them back home again after their captivity.

v3 "And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the LORD which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel."

Besides opening the way for Cyrus, the Lord also finances the war with treasures yet unseen.

Again, Isaiah tells of the folly of the worship of idols in this chapter. He discusses the utter, may I say silliness of making something then bowing down to worship it.

In the case of the only true God, he was not made but instead made all that we see and all the other things we wonder about that we cannot yet see.

v12 "I have made the earth, and created man upon it; I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded."

In the comparison between God and the graven images, there is no contest. (Only love for his people could explain why he bothered to explain.)

v18 "For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited; I am the LORD; and there is none else."

The amazing part of these words in Isaiah is that the LORD told what was going to happen in the order that it happened. He did it before hand so that Israel would know he was God.

v22 "Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is none else."

We still live in a world where many seek everything but God to worship. Perhaps it is rebellion against someone who has ultimate authority and the power to enforce it. It is much easier to worship something that can be covered or turned off than to worship someone who is in power over us. It will happen willingly or by force. Someday, the world will recognize that the LORD is in charge and rightfully so.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Folly of Idols Isaiah 44

Isaiah 44:9 "They that make a graven image are all of them vanity; and their delectable things shall not profit; and they are their own witnesses; they see not, nor know that they may be ashamed."

At first in the chapter, the LORD claims Israel for his own. Of course, it is not the first time he has claimed Israel but he says it again: 'You belong to me." Israel is not for idols or graven images.

v1 "Yet now hear, O Jacob my servant; and Israel, whom I have chosen;"

Israel has been prone to turn from the LORD but still he looks after them.

v3 "For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground; I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring; v4 And they shall spring up as among the grass, as willows by the water courses."

But as for idols, it is ridiculous to worship them. After all, you take the same material that you make a fire to cook with and do the everyday things with, then bow down to that same thing. It just does not make sense.

v15 "Then shall it be for a man to burn; for he will take thereof, and warm himself; yea, he kindleth it, and baketh bread; yea, he maketh a god, and worshipeth it; he maketh it a graven image, and falleth down thereto."

When you put it like that, it seems a little silly to worship a stick.

The alternative to worshipping such graven images makes a lot more sense and should be the logical thing to do. With graven images, the thing that is made is worshipped. With the LORD the thing that is made is the worshipper. Satan is always trying to turn things around and upside down.

v24 "Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself;"

It is a amazing act of love and grace for the LORD to explain all this over and over, but He does, as we often see in scripture. Children use to often say, "I didn't mind the whipping but it was the talking to that got me." That was when they got a thirty minute lecture from Mom or Dad before they got a 10 second whipping.

v28".... Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid."

Friday, December 04, 2009

Israel's Redeemer Isaiah 43

Isaiah 43:1 "But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine."

I call this the gentle chapter. The passage looks beyond the captivity and the punishment for disobedience to a time when a redeemer is come. Like when Moses went back to Egypt to bring out the children of Israel.

The chapter is filled with 'fear not'.

v2 "When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee."

I think most of us remember the three Hebrew children who were thrown into the fiery furnace because they would not bow to a false god. The came out untouched by the flames (See Daniel) even though those who tossed them in were killed. "When thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned."

v5-6 "Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west; I will say to the north, Give up, and to the south, Keep not back; bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth;"

We see this passage fulfilled in our lifetime. Israel is going home. They were also brought back to Israel for a time and were there under Roman rule when Jesus was born.

v14 "Thus saith the LORD, your redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; For your sake I have sent to Babylon, and have brought down all their nobles, and the Chaldeans, whose cry is in the ships. v15 "I am the LORD, your Holy One, the creator of Israel, your King."

Then, he tells Israel that it is time to forget the old things, to lay aside their past trouble, even their rebellion for it is a new day. If people would only accept forgiveness and leave the past behind.

v16-17 "Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert."

Here is a wonderful verse to think about. Imagine a clean slate to start over.

v25 "I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins."

Notice he says for 'mine own sake' not because of anything Israel did. They have been truly a stiff necked people (we all seem to be) and worshipped idols BUT he still loves them and will blot out their sins.

So, we end this chapter of promise that a redeemer is coming for Israel and forgiveness is to be freely given.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

He is Coming Isaiah 42

Isaiah 42:9 "Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare; before they spring forth I tell you of them."

As evidence that the Lord is able to tell what will come, He reminds us that he has done so before and those things did happen. Now, we learn a new thing, that there is coming to Israel someone to Restore them.

v5 "Thus saith God the LORD, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein:"

It is no different that when someone is introduced at one of our gatherings: "Ladies and Gentlemen, may I introduce?" You see there is no greater to introduce God than himself. So, he is making an announcement and he is telling us who he is.

Speaking of the mission of Jesus, the son of God on earth.
v6 "I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people for a light of the Gentiles;"

v7 "To open the blind eyes, ..."

At this time, the people did not understand the words of Isaiah, the Lord is telling them so that they will remember when it comes to pass.

v13 "The LORD shall go forth as a mighty man, he shall stir up jealousy like a man of war; he shall cry, yea roar; he shall prevail against his enemies."

When it dawns on Israel that Jesus is their Messiah, this verse will come to remembrance.

v17 "They shall be turned back, they shall be greatly ashamed, that trust in graven images, Ye are our gods."

It is not possible to study our Christian heritage without studying the heritage of Israel. Their physical and spiritual rebellion are examples to us of our own personal rebellion against God. For us now, there is salvation without the shedding of blood of animals. The reason is that Christ shed His blood for us and it was necessary that he be the sacrifice only once.

v21 "The LORD is well-pleased for his righteousness' sake; he will magnify the law, and make it honorable."

In the next two verses, we see the sum of the matter.

Verse 24: The problem: "Who gave Jacob for a spoil, and Israel to the robbers? did not the LORD, he against whom we have sinned? for they would not walk in his ways, neither were they obedient unto his law."

So, in the absence of obedience and in reluctance :
v25 "Therefore he hath poured upon him the fury of his anger, and the strength of battle; and it hath set him on fire round about, yet he knew not; and it burned him yet he laid it not to heart."

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Israel Isaiah 41

Isaiah 41:8 "But thou, Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend."

God has not cast Israel aside. There is a plan for their restoration beyond what is happening now. The promise to Israel goes back far beyond history as we remember it. It goes back to a day when a man named Abraham believed God.

Hebrews 11:17 "By faith Abraham when he was tried, offered up Isaac; and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, v18 Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called; v19 Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure."

The plan that included Isaac in the formation of the nation Israel, also included Jesus in the formation of that spiritual kingdom we call the church.

Concerning Israel, although it seems that in history, they have been cast aside, it was for their chastening that things went as they did. The promise, however, still stands.

v10 "Fear thou not; for I am with thee; be not dismayed; for I am thy God; I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness."

These words of encouragement came at a critical time for Israel. They were going off to captivity and their country was lost to them except for a very small remnant of poor who were left there to tend the vineyards. I don't know how that worked out. But there was to be a small number who came back to Jerusalem as you can read in the books we have covered already.

v14 "Fear not, thou worm Jacob, and ye en of Israel; I will help thee, saith the LORD, and thy redeemer, the Holy One of Israel."

One of the sins of Israel was that they took money to themselves in greed and did not help the poor and needy. No doubt there were many widows that needed help in those days because of the wars and subsequent loss of life.

v17 "When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst, I the LORD will hear them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them."

He goes on to say that he will make rivers where there were none and pools of water. It is not too hard for God.

A challenge is made for any who can provide any objections or to predict what will come in the future but there is none except God who can tell what will come.

v28 "For I beheld, and there was no man; even among them, and there was no counselor, that when I asked of them, could answer a word."

So, we see a mixture of encouragement for Israel and a promise that they will be cared for as well as predictions of the coming Messiah.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Voice in Wilderness Isaiah 40

Isaiah 40:3 "The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God." See also Matt. 3:3

It is appropriate, in this Christmas season, that we come to this chapter where the coming of the Christ is mentioned. Indeed, it would be a difficult thing to find a part of the Bible that is not about him. It is His story.

Verse 3 above is referring to John the Baptist who came a few months ahead of Jesus and baptized and told of his coming. John the Baptist was similar in appearance and character to Elijah.

v5 "And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together; for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it." See also Exodus 16:7 Luke 2:10

Perhaps, some of these passages are why Israel did not understand the coming of Jesus. I am sure they expected him to set up his kingdom, his fleshly kingdom, then and there. Jesus, though, had the whole world in mind and set up a different kingdom, one of the heart so that all could come. He will be back to set up an earthly kingdom and rule from Jerusalem.

v10 "Behold, the Lord God will come with strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him; behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him."

I am unsure how to explain this, let me try. Not the verse but the mission of Israel and that of the Savior.

I've said in previous studies (many times) that Israel was like a pregnant lady carrying the promise down through the ages so that Jesus could be born at the appropriate time. He was born of a virgin, yes, but the promise was established with Israel. For them firmly, but also for the whole world, As Abraham was told that in him all nations would be blessed.

v11 "He shall feed his flock like a shepherd; he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young."

Then we are told of his greatness. It would require God, that such a system of worship as was established with Moses on the mountain could be set up. It would require God, to fulfil such a worship system and bring a new and better system. As the original system required blood sacrifices, the new system would require a blood sacrifice but a pure one and greater than all those offered. A sacrifice that could be offered ONE time only and be sufficient. Jesus was that sacrifice.

v21 "Have ye not known? have ye not heard? hath it not been told you from the beginning? have ye not understood from the foundations of the earth?"

They should, by now, understand that there is but one God. But the mystery of salvation by the cross of Calvary was not understood. Isaiah left the explanation of this mystery off, although we can understand it now.

I Peter 2:9 "But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light;"

I Peter 2:24 "Who (speaking of Christ) his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed."

I think of this ministry of Jesus in the same vein as the ministry of Israel. Let me explain. Israel had a purpose and an ultimate destination. They were to honor one God amidst a world that worshipped many gods. Israel was on a journey to the time when Christ the Messiah would reign over them and they would again be great as with King David. Jesus was headed to that same destination, to glorify his Father and to set up his kingdom. He did it differently than was expected by Israel but being king, he can do things differently. The king does not have to tell all his plans to those he rules. Jesus went to the cross to fulfill the requirement of the law for a sacrifice. He made things better than under the law. He is still on his way to reigning in Jerusalem but he choose to include all of us under the offer of grace through faith in Him. Jesus was often on his way someplace but stopped along the way to help someone sick or blind or in need. It did not hinder his goal to stop and help.

I'm sure I did not explain myself well but I gave it a shot.

v31 "But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint."

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

God has been really good to me. I deserved no grace or mercy and he has covered me with both. I asked for a good wife and he gave me the best. I asked for a family and it continues to grow. I am blessed. I have been homeless and now have a nice warm home to sleep in at night and to shelter me when it rains or snows. I wanted good health and he has taught me to endure pain and appreciate each respite. I sought recognition and he has taught me to recognize good in others. I have known bitterness and failure and he has often softened and broken my heart. I dreamed a dream and he showed me reality which is far better. He has shown me the magnificence of hope and its substance. God has loved me through all my mistakes and blessed me for trying. I am thankful that Jesus, the captain of my salvation, made it possible for me and my family and you to have an open door to God Himself.

My other blog.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Hezekiah's Mistake Isaiah 39

Isaiah 39:6 "Behold, the days come, that all that is in thine house, and that which thy fathers have laid up in store until this day, shall be carried to Babylon: nothing shall be left,s aith the LORD."

Hezekiah has been sick and since he is king, the word gets around.

v1 "At that time Merodachbaladan, the son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent letters and a present to Hezekiah: for he had heard that he had been sick, and was recovered."

Merodachbaladam means Merodach, worshipper of Baal. Merodach means slaughter and was an idol of the Babylonians and often used as a surname.

Hezekiah liked the attention and did some showing off.

v2 "And Hezekiah was glad of them, and showed them the house of his precious things, the silver, and the gold, and the spices, and the precious ointment, and all the house of his armor, and all that was found in his treasures; there was nothing in his house, not in all his dominion, that Hezekiah showed them not."

That was like showing a bank robber around a bank. He could see that there was much more to steal besides what was in the registers. Isaiah found out about this and told the king what would happen.

v4 "Then said he, What have they seen in thine house? And Hezekiah answered, All that is in mine house have they seen; there is nothing among my treasures that I have not showed them."

Which leads us to the text verse. What they saw, they would take away.

Next is the part of the chapter that I find shocking for such a good king. Isaiah also told Hezekiah that his sons would be taken away. Hezekiah, himself, would be spared this even but his sons would suffer. Hezekiah's attitude was very selfish.

v7 "And of thy sons that shall issue from thee, which thou shalt beget, shall they take away, and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon."

Then the first that shocked me. It is as if Hezekiah cares only for himself.

v8 "Then said Hezekiah to Isaiah, Good is the word of the LORD which thou hast spoken, He said moreover, For there shall be peace and truth in my days."

Friday, November 20, 2009

Sun 10 Degrees Back Isaiah 38

Isaiah 38:8 "Behold, I will bring again the shadow of the degrees, which is gone down in the sun dial of Ahaz, ten degrees backward. So the sun returned ten degrees, by which degrees it was gone down."

It must have been a strange sight for the people living then, to see the sun going the other way.

The occasion was to give Hezekiah 15 more years of life.

v1 "In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. And Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came unto him and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Set thine house in order; for thou shalt die, and not live."

Hezekiah was a special person, a king and the son of David but he still had an appointment with death. So do we. Hezekiah was very sad over this and pleaded with the Lord recounting his faithfulness.

v3 "And said, Remember now, O LORD, I beseech thee how I have walked before thee in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in thy sight. And Hezekiah wept sore."

With compassion, the Lord gave Hezekiah an extension of life but those years were perhaps the darkest time of his life.

I say that because it was during these years that he showed the representatives of the king of Babylon all his treasures. Those treasures would be taken. It also led to the captivity of his two sons who would serve in the king of Babylon's house.

The balance of the chapter is Hezekiah's song about his sickness and restoration.

v21 "For Isaiah had said, Let them take a lump of figs, and lay it for a plaster upon the boil, and he shall recover. v22 Hezekiah also had said, What is the sign that I shall g up to the house of the LORD?"

It is not unlike us that Hezekiah would seek a sign even after the Lord had sent Isaiah to tell him his life was extended. The story is told in previous studies.

v16 "O Lord, by these things men live, and in all these things is the life of my spirit; so wilt thou recover me, and make me to live."

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Rabshakeh Part2 Isaiah 37

Isaiah 37:10 "Thus shall ye speak to Hezekiah king of Judah, saying Let not thy God, in whom thou trustest, deceive thee, saying Jerusalem shall not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria."

Rabshakeh has increased his blasphemy. In the last chapter, he told the people to not let Hezekiah deceive them (v14), now he is telling them to not let God deceive them.

v1 "And it came to pass, when king Hezekiah heard it, that he rent his clothes and covered himself with sackcloth and went into the house of the LORD."

Here is Hezekiah strength. He has told the people to not be afraid. Now, he goes before the LORD to plead for Judah and Jerusalem. He has said that the LORD would take care of them and now he prays that he would be so.

Hezekiah sent to Isaiah that he would call upon the LORD and received an answer. He himself also goes in to pray.

v16 "O LORD of hosts, God of Israel, that dwellest between the cherubim, thou art the God, even thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; thou hast made heaven and earth. v17 Incline thine ear, O LORD, and hear; open thine eyes, O LORD, and see; and hear all the words of Sennacherib, which hath sent to reproach the living God."

Although Sennacherib was not there in person, he was responsible in that he sent Rabshakeh to do his work. It reads like that at some point Sennacherib did come at least near to where Rabshakeh was because he 'returned' to Nineveh.

Hezekiah's prayer was answered and it happened as the LORD told him.

v36 "Then the angel of the LORD went forth, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians a hundred and fourscore and five thousand; and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses."

As for Sennacherib, he lost his kingdom to his son.

v38 "And it came to pass as he was worshiping in the house of Nisroch his god, that Adrammelech and Sharezer his sons smote him with the sword; and they escaped into the land of Armenia and Esarhaddon his son reigned in his stead."

They learned that the One true God is not like the gods made by man. Also, that He protects Jerusalem.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Rabshakeh Isaiah 36

Isaiah 36:1 "Now it came to pass in the fourteenth year of king Hezekiah, that Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the defensed cities of Judah, and took them."

He is closing in on Jerusalem and things look pretty bad. The story is also told in II Chronicles 32:1.

Rebshakeh is the representative of Sennacherib. Rebshakeh uses some strong words to discourage the men guarding the city. He made his mistake when he blasphemed the LORD and put him in the same bunch as the idols worshipped by other nations.

v7 "But if thou say to me, We trust in the LORD our God; is it not he, whose high places and whose altars Hezekiah hath taken away, and said to Judah and to Jerusalem, Ye shall worship before this altar?"

Rebshakeh had his facts all wrong. Hezekiah had done some housecleaning by getting rid of the idols.

v18 "Beware lest Hezekiah persuade you, saying The LORD will deliver us. Hath any of the gods of the nations delivered his land out of the hand of the king of Assyria?"

What was it that Hezekiah told the people?

II Chronicles 32:7 "Be strong and courageous, be not afraid nor dismayed for the king of Assyria, nor for all the multitude that is with him; for there be more with us than with him: v8 With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the LORD our God to help us, and to fight our battles. And the people rested themselves upon the words of Hezekiah king of Judah."

We will have to wait until the next chapter for the rest of the story.

We can go back to a story of Elisha in II Kings 6 where the king of Syria sent people to fetch Elisha but it did not work. That is also where the swimming ax story is.

v15 "And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto, Alas, my master! how shall we do? v16 And he answered, Fear not; for they that be with us are more than they that be with them."

The servants eyes were opened and he saw a host protecting the prophet.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Highway and a Way Isaiah 35

Isaiah 35:8 "And an highway shall be there; and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein."

Almost all this chapter refers to the coming of Messiah. You can see the ministry of Jesus throughout. As the first says, in this highway even a fool can walk without erring.

So, look out for those that are weaker, a better day is coming.

v3 "Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees."

v4 "Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not; behold your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompense; he will come and save you."

The verse says 'your God will come' then he repeats it 'he will come'. And Christians know that he did come. Whether everyone believes in Jesus or not, next month the world will acknowledge in one way or another his birth.

v5 "Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped."

Luke 11:14 "And he was casting out a devil, and it was dumb. And it came to pass, when the devil was gone out, the dumb spake; and the people wondered."

Luke 18:42 "And Jesus said unto him, Receive thy sight: thy faith hath saved thee."

Luke 8:50 "But when Jesus heard it, he answered him, saying Fear not; believe only, and she shall be made whole."

These are a few examples of the fulfilling of this chapter in Isaiah. Jesus often said 'Fear not'.

v10 "And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away."

These words are being spoken to give hope in the face of suffering. A time of trouble is ahead as we will see in the next chapter but joy is promised. We are much in the same boat today, we live in a troubled world. There is no escaping to Egypt for us, we live in a time of global trouble and we can see it on the news. But we have a hope that joy will come.

Joel 3:17 "So shall ye know that I am the LORD your God dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain; then shall Jerusalem be holy, and there shall no strangers pass through her any more."

Revelation 21:27 "And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie; but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life."

Do you remember the story of the great supper where the guest did not show and the master sent his servants out into the highways and byways to find people for guest. Although many have rejected Jesus, he will fill the house.

Luke 14:16 "Then said he unto him A certain man made a great supper, and bade many. And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready. And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it; I pray thee have me excused. And another said I have bought five yoke of oxen...And another said, I have married a wife... when the master heard this he sent out his servants again v23 "And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. v24 "For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper."

As it was said "I turn to the Gentiles."

Jesus waits for anyone to come to him for salvation. We will be one with him.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Indignation of the Lord Isaiah 34

Isaiah 34:1 "Come near, ye nations, to hear; and hearken, ye people; let the earth hear, and all that is therein; the world, and all things that come forth of it."

Indignation is a very strong word. It means anger aroused by something unjust. While Assyria and others were used to execute judgment on Israel, there was instance of nations going beyond this chastisement and abusing Israel. I do not totally understand all that is involved here but I think of parents and their children. A parent may do something that seems extreme prompted by a single event but is actually a result of cumulative infractions of parental rules. It was like the straw that broke the camel's back. But one thing for sure, no stranger should think they will get away with stepping in and correcting the child. So, it is with Israel.

v2 "For the indignation of the LORD is upon all nations, and his fury upon all nations, and his duty upon all their armies; he hath utterly destroyed them, he hath delivered them to the slaughter."

It is a scary thing to be on the wrong side of the Lord's anger. It will happen to the unsaved when judgment day finally comes. There will be those looks of 'why me' and I've done so much for everyone and given to charity. The problem is we will not be judged by how we followed our plan of salvation but by how we followed God's plan of salvation. It will be an awesome day. Even as a child of God, I dread facing him.

v6 "The sword of the LORD is filled with blood, it is made fat with fatness, and with the blood of lambs and goats, with the fat of the kidneys of rams; for the LORD hath a sacrifice in Bozrah, and a great slaughter in the land of Idumea."

That verse escapes me for meaning but my thoughts, as I read it, were two fold: one of the word of God which is said to be sharper than a two edged sword, and of all the sacrifices Israel made even while they were turning away from the Lord. Sacrifices were an indication of their belief in God but without loyalty they meant nothing.

Then we see a description of a great nation and city which I think refers to Babylon.

v13 "And thorns shall come up in her palaces, nettles and brambles in the fortresses thereof; and it shall be an habitation of dragons, and a court of owls."

Finally, we are told as was Israel, to search through the book of records to see if things did not happen as the Lord said they would.

v16 "Seek ye out of the book of the Lord, and read; no one of these shall fail, none shall want her mate; for my mouth it hath commanded, and his spirit it hath gathered them." Speaking of the owls and vultures. See also Psalm 56:8 and Malachi 3:16

So Isaiah, is going about preaching of the coming days of trial and the judgment that follows. Also, he speaks of a future day when the people will be gathered and there will be joy with their true worship of the Lord.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sunday Morning

Good Sunday Morning. My health won't let me go to church in the traditional sense so I tune in to an online service and set aside that time most every Sunday. On the side you will see a link to 'A country church' which is where I go. it is Eleventh Avenue Baptist Church. Just click on their webcast and pick a Sunday. Also, you might like to go to their music section and hear a few songs.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Land that is Very Far Off Isaiah 33

Isaiah 33:17 "Thine eyes shall see the king in his beauty: they shall behold the land that is very far off."

For those scattered and in captivity, this verse must have been a promise they kept in their hearts. At least some of them, those who came back to rebuild the wall for sure.

Those who have taken advantage of the weak will have their judgment day.

v2 "Woe to thee that spoilest, and thou wast not spoiled; and dealest treacherously, and they dealt not treacherously with thee! when thou shalt cease to spoil, thou shalt be spoiled; and when thou shalt make an end to deal treacherously, they shall deal treacherously with thee."

Israel was rare (and is so now), they worshipped the one true God and there was a time when they exalted Him. For a time, this was not the case and trouble has come to the nation.

v5 "The Lord is exalted; for he dwelleth on high: he hath filled Zion with judgment and righteousness."

He is high and lifted up but people need to acknowledge it. Our belief or non belief does not change his position but it certainly changes ours.

v9 "The earth mourneth and lanquisheth: Lebanon is ashamed and hewn down: Sharon is like a wilderness; and Bashan and Carmel shake off their fruits."

But there is hope in the Lord. Once the hearts of the people are changed. After judgment has turned the people from idols, then the good times come.

v10 "Now will I rise, saith the LORD; now will I be exalted, now will I lift up myself."

Imagine being taken from your homeland by people who do not understand your pleas for mercy. You tell them of your child who is lost in the crowd but they ignore you. They have no mercy or feelings and even if they did they did not understand your words.

v19 "Thou shalt not see a fierce people, a people of a deeper speech than thou canst perceive; of a stammering tongue, that thou canst not understand."

After judgment, then a new day.

v21 "But there the glorious LORD will be unto us a place of broad rivers and streams wherein shall go no galley with oars, neither shall gallant ship pass thereby. v21 For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver, the LORD is our king; he will save us."

Trouble now but joy is to follow.

Zephaniah 3:8 "Therefore wait ye upon me, saith the LORD, until the day that I rise up to the prey; for my determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them mine indignation, even all my fierce anger for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy."

Monday, November 09, 2009

A King, A Man, A Hiding Place Isaiah 32

Isaiah 32:1-2 "Behold a king shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgment. And a man shall be as an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land."

Sounds like Jesus to me. He will be king. For now, he is our hiding place in a troubled world. He was called the Son of man while here as well as God with us. This chapter starts with the mystery that we now know to be the coming of Jesus as a virgin bringing salvation to us all.

It goes on to tell of the trouble that is to come and ends in hope.

v10 "Many days and years shall ye be troubled, ye careless women; for the vintage shall fall, the gathering shall not come."

We are still dealing with the judgment or chastisement of Israel. Remember Isaiah is going around telling the nation of things to come. The women are accustomed to plenty and of the harvest coming on time, as are the men. These verses tell them that there is coming a time when things will not be so.

v13 "Upon the land of my people shall come up thorns and briers; yea, upon all the houses of joy in the joyous city."

I noticed in this verse that the Lord still calls Israel 'my people'. He is not deserting them, only chastening them to bring them back to Him. He is by no means disowning them.

This verse tells of the time after.

v18 "And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places;"

So, Isaiah tells them, trouble is just ahead but beyond that there is salvation.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Egypt Isaiah 31

Isaiah 31:1 "Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help; and stay on horses, and trust in chariots, because they are many;and in horsemen, because they are very strong; but they look not unto the Holy One of Israel, neither seek the LORD!"

Doesn't Israel sound a lot like all of us in our Christian life? We look every where for help when the Lord is standing there with outstretched hands.

Egypt is often used in a spiritual sense, in addition to the physical where the children of Israel fled to for protection.

Spiritually, Egypt is the place Christians often head for when things go wrong at church or in their life generally. Like Israel, they remember the food and good times but not the idols and slavery. Once we have crossed Jordan in our spiritual life, we have no business back in Egypt. The Lord is our protector now, even when things are bad.

v3 "Now the Egyptians are men, and not God; and their horses flesh and not spirit, When the LORD shall stretch out his hand, both he that helpeth shall fall, and he that is helped shall fall down, and they all shall fail together."

What do people go back to? For some it is drugs or the bottle. They remember the friends that gathered round them and the feeling they got when all their problems seemed to disappear. Problems and troubles do not disappear just because they are forgotten in a drug or alcohol state. Someone still has to deal with them. It is only when their life comes crashing down that those returning to Egypt remember why they sought the Lord. Best to stay with what works even when times are bad.

v5 "As birds flying, so will the LORD of hosts defend Jerusalem, defending also he will deliver it; and passing over he will preserve it."

The Lord loves Jerusalem and loves us no less. He will defend us and preserve us if we let him.

Better days are ahead.

v7 "For in that day every man shall cast away his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which your own hands have made unto you for a sin."

So we see that it was not the best thing for Israel to flee chastisement by going down to Egypt and trusting in Egypt's horses and chariots. Those horses and chariots would be fine in a physical battle but Israel's problem is a spiritual one. They have forsaken the Lord for idols. Payday is here and there is no escape.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Be Quiet, Be Still Isaiah 30

Isaiah 30:15 "For thus saith the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength; and ye would not."

We have said several times that Israel is going under the judgment of God for their idol worship and rejection of the one true God. Now instead of taking their chastisement like children should, they are running to find shelter someplace else.

v1 "Woe to the rebellious children, saith the LORD, that take counsel, but not of me; and that cover with a covering, but not of my spirit, that they may add sin to sin."

We've heard it said to people in trouble that refuse help from those who love them, 'You are just making it worse.' Israel by not seeking the Lord but rather returning to the land they were delivered from, is just making things worse.

v2 "That walk to go down into Egypt, and have not asked at my mouth, to strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh, and to trust in the shadow of Egypt."

Egypt is not the help Israel needs. Egypt gave Israel shelter once because of Joseph but later made them slaves. Israel departed slaves and were turned into a great nation by the Lord. It is shameful for Israel to now return to the land that enslaved them.

v3 "Therefore shall the strength of Pharaoh, be your shame, and the trust in the shadow of Egypt your confusion."

So, if running is not the answer, what is the answer?

v7 "For the Egyptians shall help in vain, and to no purpose; therefore have I cried concerning this, Their strength is to sit still."

v16 "But ye said, No; for we will flee upon horses; therefore shall ye flee, and We will ride upon the swift; therefore shall they that pursue you be swift."

So, we see Israel trying to avoid facing their chastisement but there will come a day when they seek the Lord for help and he will be there.

v18 "And therefore will the LORD wait, that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you; for the LORD is a God of judgment; blessed are all they that wait for him."

When the day comes that Israel can admit that they have been wrong to worship idols, then the Lord can help them. No one can really be helped until they admit to themselves that they need help.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Ariel Isaiah 29

Isaiah 29:13 "Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honor me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men v14 Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a wonder; for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid."

It happened in the Jewish community and has happened in churches down through the have taken it upon themselves to try to improve on what God has said. It results in rule books put out by leaders. These rule books end up being heeded to more than the word of God.

v16 "Surely your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter's clay: for shall the work say of him that made it, He made me not? or shall the thing framed say of him that framed it, He had no understanding?"

Ariel was where David dwelt but even that area was not exempt from the judgment because they had turned from God. You'd think people would learn that just because they are friends with someone special or that they belong to a certain organization, that it does not deliver them from obeying what thus saith the Lord. When it comes time to stand before God, it will be one to one, not as one having another to speak for them or having someone to blame for mistakes. When it is time to answer God, each individual will have to answer.

v6 "Thou shalt be visited of the LORD of hosts with thunder, and with earthquake, and great noise, with storm and tempest, and the flame of devouring fire."

There is one exception to what I said above. Jesus came to die for our sins. He alone can stand before God and represent us to his Father. That is what the plan of salvation is all about. We need someone who knows the judge and Jesus knows him well. He gave his life so that he could stand in for man. All we have to do is accept his salvation. He will do the rest.

After that stern beginning to the chapter, we are again given hope.

v18 "And in that day, shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness. v19 The meek also shall increase their joy in the LORD, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel."

We have seen this in our day. While it is not impossible for rich men to go to heaven, even Jesus said it was difficult as in his picture of a camel and the eye of a needle. But people get distracted by things and the rich have a lot of things. Often if we go to church, we will see the poor and needy making up most of the congregation.

Now there is some warning about people putting down other people for some error and shutting them out.

v21 "That make a man an offender for a word, and lay a snare for him that reproveth in the gate, and turn aside the just for a thing of nought."

We must be forgiving of people. Even the most devoted can make a mistake.

v24 "They also that erred in spirit shall come to understanding, and they that murmured shall learn doctrine.

I think it is saying to Israel that a better day is coming. We also can learn from the verses.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Ephraim Isaiah 28

Isaiah 28:3 "The crown of pride, the drunkards of Ephraim, shall be trodden under feet; ..."

While Ephraim is mentioned starting off, strong drink is the theme. It has drawn away even the priests from their duty and clouded their judgment.

v7 "But they also have erred through wine, and through strong drink are out of the way; the priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink, they are swallowed up of wine, they are out of the way through strong drink; they err in vision; they stumble in judgment. See also Hosea 4:13

A vivid picture is painted of the drunken state of the people.

v8 "For all tables are full of vomit and filthiness, so that there is no place clean."

A sharp reprimand is made to those who are suppose to be teaching the people but are in no state to teach anyone.

v14 "Wherefore hear the word of the LORD, ye scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem."

They think they have made a covenant or agreement with death and hell but their arrogance is revealed here:

v15 "Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us; for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves;"

I had a friend once who told me (I had been witnessing to him) that he and God had a agreement and he felt it was alright to go ahead as he was going.

v16 "Therefore thus saith the LORD God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation; he that believeth shall not make haste."

v18 "And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it."

The only agreement we have with God is to agree that our will is not important and that His will is all important. Jesus desired that the cup pass from him but he said 'nevertheless not my will but thy will be done'. We must learn to give up our own will to fulfill the will of God. It is a tough lesson to learn.

v29 "This also cometh forth from the LORD of hosts, which is wonderful in counsel, and excellent in working." See also Psalm 40:5, Romans 11:33

Monday, October 26, 2009

Leviathan mentioned again Isaiah 27

Isaiah 27:1 "In that day the LORD with his sore and great and strong sword shall punish leviathan the piercing serpent, even leviathan that crooked serpent; and he shall slay the dragon that is in the sea."

There is a vivid description of the serpent or dragon in Job. This chapter does not make a big deal of it. It is presented as a simple act. If this is a reference to Satan, and it seems to be, then as in the New Testament, it is not a difficult task for the LORD. Satan is of great strength compared to us but of insignificant strength compared to the LORD.

Revelation 20:2 "And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years." This was done by a strong angel.

In the New Testament, Jesus had sent his disciples out to preach and they found that the spirits were subject to them and even "...power to tread on serpents and scorpions..." but this was not what they were to be happy about. The most important thing is in this verse:

Luke 10:20 "Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven."

Before that Jesus had (seemed almost a casual mention to me) said that: v18 "And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightening fall from heaven." also Isaiah 14

So while Satan is difficult to ignore because of the wrong he does, he will be dealt with by the LORD when the time is full.

Further on the chapter talks about the purging of Jacob's sin and the bringing back to the promised land.

v13 "And it shall come to pass in that day, that the great trumpet shall be blown, and they shall come which were ready to perish in the land of Assyria, and the outcasts in the land of Egypt and shall worship the LORD in the holy mount at Jerusalem."

All this must have seemed impossible for those in captivity, but it did take place for they were there when Christ as born.

I look for another day when the trumpet will sound and we will be out of here.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Peace - Isaiah 26

Isaiah 26:3 "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee; because he trusteth in thee."

After the judgment, after the chastening, after the return to the one true God, there is a song to be sung.

v1 "In that day shall this song be sung in the land of Judah, We have a strong city; salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks."

We are getting hints of a new and better way for God's people. When Jesus comes, and redemption plan is complete, the law of God will be in the heart of those who trust in Him. Instead of walls of stone, we have the peace of God in our hearts. We have our faith which is better than walls of stone. The poor and needy can now come in.

v4 "Trust ye in the LORD forever, for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength."

There will be a longing to do righteousness because the love of God is in our hearts and not just on the paper of the law. There will be a desire to please because of love for His grace toward us.

v9 "With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early; for when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness."

I do not think the children of Israel understood what Isaiah was saying. It was still a mystery then. Even in Jesus' day on earth, he spoke in parables to the people for he was not yet crucified and had not arose from the dead to complete salvation's plan. Such is not the case in our day, we are without excuse for not believing.

v19 "Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead."

I Corinthians 6:14 "And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by this own power."

Trouble is coming but it will pass. Such is the assurance and cause for peace.

v20 "Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee; hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast."

It is a reminder of the Exodus and the blood on the doorposts.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Result of Chastening Isaiah 25

Isaiah 25:9 "And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us; this is the LORD; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation."

Discipline is never welcome and easy for a child. It is tough on the parent as well. I do not find that God found any joy in what had to be done to bring Israel back to him. It was simply necessary.

v1 "O LORD, thou art my God; I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things; thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth."

Well, of course, parents do not fall into the praise and exalted worthiness but you can see how the principle still applies. Once a child is brought to maturity and they realize where they went wrong, they will often remember and appreciate the actions it took to divert them from trouble. I've often heard the phrase "Mom and Dad were right."

v4 "For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength tot he needy in h is distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall."

One thing Israel had neglected to do was remember the poor. The LORD, however, never does neglect those who are the most needy. It is for the proud and haughty that severe action must be taken to direct their respect properly.

v11 "And he shall spread forth his hands in the midst of them, as he that swimmeth spreadeth forth his hands to swim; and he shall bring down their pride together with the spoils of their hands."

The final victory sounds so sweet in this verse:

v8 "He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth; for the LORD hath spoken it."

Monday, October 19, 2009

Apocalyptic Isaiah 24

Isaiah 24:1 "Behold, The LORD maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof."

This chapter refers to the known world of the day but also has far reaching implications. Again, there are teachers of prophecy who can do a better job with this than I. The known world to Israel was, of course, the immediate area of Jerusalem, the priesthood, the kings and the promised land that they were loosing.

v2 "And it shall be, as with the people, so with the priest; as with the servant, so with his master; as with the maid, so with her mistress; as with the buyer, so with the seller; as with the lender, so with the borrower; as with the taker of usury, so with the giver of usury to him."

No escape, is the term that comes to my mind. The Jews were not suppose to charge their brethren usury but they could charge other nations. Both were under this judgment. All this seems very severe so we have to remember that Israel had turned their back on God and worshipped idols. Israel was a nation founded by God and increased by God to be a separate people and a worshipper of one God. They had left their purpose.

v5 "The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof, because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant."

That verse tells us the justification behind this judgment. All this after the LORD begged for his people to "come let us reason together". All this after warning after warning.

But this passage also refers to a future time just prior to the LORD's reign in Zion and Jerusalem.

I Thessalonians 1:10 "And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come."

There is no escape of these events except through Jesus Christ, the Messiah of Israel and our salvation.

In the next chapter, we are told of the return to God that will take place as a result of these events.

It is truly a dreadful passage followed by this great and wonderful promise.

v23 "Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the LORD of hosts shall reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously."

Thursday, October 15, 2009


I heard this in a song this morning and thought it was a thought worth remembering. I think the name of the song was Grace but can't remember the author or singer.

"Grace keeps giving me the things I don't deserve
And mercy keeps withholding the things I do..."

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Tyre - Sidon Isaiah 23

Isaiah 23:1 "The burden of Tyre, Howl, ye ships of Tarshish; for it is laid waste, so that there is no house, no entering in: from the land of Chittim it is revealed to them."

Tyre, also Tyrus, was a rich seaport city on the Mediterranean coast. It was where Hiram of King David and Solomon's time reigned. It was later destroyed by Alexander the Great. It flourished in New Testament times but is now a small town under Turkish rule.

Although friendly to David and Solomon, Tyre became hostile toward Israel and was guilty of idolatry.

v2 "Be still, ye inhabitants of the isle; thou whom the merchants of Sidon, that pass over the sea, have replenished."

Tyre was colonized from Sidon. Here we see the connection broken in commerce. The isle are told to be still. There is no need to send loads of cargo to Tyre for it is gone.

v7 "Is this your joyous city, whose antiquity is of ancient days? her own feet shall carry her afar off to sojourn."

And so it was that when the city was destroyed, the people were marched off to a foreign land.

v11 "He stretched out his hand over the sea, he shook the kingdoms; the LORD hath given a commandment against the merchant city, to destroy the strongholds thereof."

For seventy years Tyre is forgotten but then comes back for a time. Trade resumed but it appears that there was no profit retained.

v18 "And her merchandise and her hire shall be holiness to the LORD: it shall not be treasured nor laid up; for her merchandise shall be for them that dwell before the LORD, to eat sufficiently, and for durable clothing."

One of the great sins of the time was that the poor had been forgotten. That which should have gone to the poor was hoarded up by the rich. So, that has changed in the above verse.

We have seen the pronouncement of judgment on many areas of what is often called the Bible land. For a good summary of what has been happening, Jeremiah chapter 25 would be a good read.

Jeremiah 25:11 "And this whole land shall be a desolation, and an astonishment; and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years."

Monday, October 12, 2009


Isaiah 22:5 "For it is a day of trouble, and of treading down, and of perplexity by the Lord God of hosts in the valley of vision, breaking down the walls, and of crying to the mountains."

During the time Hezekiah, a great army came up against Jerusalem to take it. Hezekiah had shown the great treasure they held, to them already. Shebna was the treasurer and secretary to Hezekiah. In part, this chapter is about Shebna loosing his post.

v8 "And he discovered the covering of Judah, and thou didst look in that day to the armor of the house of the forest." See I Kings 7:2

There is a lot of emotion in this chapter. It seems the prophet is broken hearted by the message he must deliver.

v13 "And behold joy and gladness, slaying oxen, and killing sheep, eating flesh, and drinking wine; let us eat and drink; for tomorrow we shall die."

This was apparently the attitude of the people for it was called iniquity in verse 14: "And it was revealed in mine ears by the Lord of hosts, Surely this iniquity shall not be purged from you till ye die, saith the Lord God of hosts."

Also Ezek 24:13 I Samuel 3:14

In Isaiah, the scripture often tells of the things that are to happen in the near future, i.e. the captivity, but also refers to distant events (for those of that day) i.e. the coming of Christ and the redemption of Israel.

v17 "Behold the LORD will carry thee away with a mighty captivity, and will surely cover thee." Referring to Shebna.

Shebna was replaced by the Lord with Eliakim, telling Shebna that the place he had established for himself would be taken away and that he would not even get to use the grave he had dug for himself.

v16 "What hast thou here? and whom hast thou here, that thou hast hewed thee out a sepulcher here, as he that heweth him out a sepulcher on high, and that graveth an habitation for himself in a rock?"

You could say that Shebna was a bureaucrat who like so many in our day are in government. Elected officials may come and go but they are there and are part of the establishment. In Shebna's case he had built himself a little kingdom of his own in the big kingdom of Judah.

Eliakim replaced Shebna and his projected attitude toward his job is revealed in this verse. Also there are hints of the mystery of Christ in the balance of the chapter. We can see those hints now but they were a great mystery when Isaiah was written.

v21 "And I will clothe him with thy robe, and strengthen him with thy girdle, and I will commit thy government into his hand; and he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the hosue of Judah."

Those who held office were not placed there to profit themselves but were suppose to be servants for the people.