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.