Thursday, January 28, 2010

Submission - Isaiah 64

Isaiah 64:8 "But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand."

See also Jeremiah 18:6

Previously, we have see a confession of sin and the need seen for a redeemer. Here we see acknowledgement that God is God and we are his creation. I think many people have the mistaken idea that man has an option when it comes to recognizing that God exist and that we are obliged to honor him as our creator. We must submit to his position of authority over us. It can be voluntary with substantial rewards or in the judgment day with substantial penalties.

The potter and the clay is a good illustration when we consider the creation of man and how the Lord made us from the clay of the earth.

v6 "But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousness are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away."

Here is what might be called a paradox. We are so much below God in position that we are as but a leaf that falls from a tree and gradually fades away. Yet, we find that God, in his great love, is mindful of us and cared enough for us to send his Son to die for our iniquity. Not His iniquity but our iniquity. That is true love.

Then there is the need. In this case, they acknowledge that they are in disrepair, destroyed and desolate. Now, they can get some help.

v10 "Thy holy cities are a wilderness, Zion is a wilderness, Jerusalem a desolation."

We have claimed it as our own and swelled with pride but it is all yours Lord.

v12 "Wilt thou refrain thyself for these things, O LORD? wilt thou hold thy peace, and afflict us very sore?"

"Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee?" Psalm 85:6

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Salvation - Isaiah 63

v9 "In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: In his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old."

The chapter talks of the fury of the Lord over the sin of his people then of the salvation he brought to them, not because they were good but because he loved them.

v3 "I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury, and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments; and I will stain all my raiment."

Here we are made aware of the tremendous capability of an angry God. It is said in scripture that it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. Hebrews 10:31

Psalm 7:11 "God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day."

Humankind faces judgment for sin. It seems there is no way out. The good part is that along with judgment, there is grace right now. People can find that grace by seeking the Lord. There will be a day when the time of grace is over and the world will be judged for wickedness.

v8 "For he said, Surely they are my people, children that will not lie; so he was their Savior."

Have you ever been disappointed in someone? It is bad when a stranger or someone at work disappoints you. When it comes to family, those who say the love you, those you have given your life to protect, when they lie to you and do those things that break your heart, it is almost to much to bear. So did Israel to the Lord and so do we Christians at times.

v10 "But they rebelled, and vexed his holy Spirit; therefore he was turned to be their enemy, and he fought against them."

You love that child who has been disobedient, perhaps a spanking is in the works. Then, they cry those tears and you take them in your arms.

v11 "Then he remembered the days of old, Moses and his people, saying Where is he that brought them up out of the sea with the shepherd of his flock? where is he that put his holy Spirit within him?"

A desperate prayer, everyone has forgotten us but surely Lord you remember.

v16 "doubtless thou art our father, though Abraham be ignorant of us, and Israel acknowledge us not; thou, O LORD, art our Father, our redeemer; thy name is from everlasting."

They are seeking God in their distress. Sometimes it takes extreme measures to turn people back to God. Seeking the Lord is the first step toward salvation. We will only seek him when we are able to see that we are sinful and need his salvation.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Beulah and Hephziabah - Isaiah 62

Isaiah 62:4 "Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate: but thou shalt be called Hephzibah, and thy land Beulah: for the LORD delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married."

Beulah: married Hephzibah : my delight restored

Israel like Gomer in the book of Hosea is here restored to intimate relationship with the Lord. There is no denying that Israel is the apple of God's eye. If you read Hosea, you will see the sad condition of Israel of this day. They had left the Lord and gone after idols. In the comparison to marriage here, they had committed adultery.

v12 "And they shall call them, The holy people, The redeemed of the LORD; and thou shalt be called, Sought out, a city not forsaken."

We are, of course, speaking of Zion and Jerusalem.

v1 "For Zion's sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth."

The enemy will be cast out and God's people will again reap and eat the fruit of the crops they labored for. No longer will people pass through Israel and wag their heads at the desolation. In the marriage illustration, it would be the same as someone making fun of a man's wife, the husband would become very angry if he loved her as God loves Israel.

v6 "I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that make mention of the LORD, keep not silence,"

Monday, January 25, 2010

Preacher - Isaiah 61

Isaiah 1:1 "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; v2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD; and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;"

Jesus quoted this passage in Luke 4:18-19 and followed it with the following words: "...This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears." And he truly did all those things.

It is a message of hope for those of Zion who are under heavy burdens and are cast down to the lowest point.

v3 "To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified."

As much of Isaiah is, this chapter is about redemption and their can be no redemption without the Redeemer. We can see a foretaste of these things in the gospel and when the time of grace is fulfilled and judgment is rendered, the full impact of these promises will be completed.

v11 "For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations."

In verse ten it says " a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels." This refers also to Revelation 21:2. "And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband."

We live somewhere between creation and the conclusion of time. We can but be amazed at what is to come. Perhaps, we can grasp a part of how it will be. I doubt our imagination can touch the totality of what is to come. I expect it will be wondrous.

II Peter 1:4 "And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away."

I Thessalonians 4:16-17 "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first; Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we ever be with the Lord."

That is jsut the start of the rest of eternity.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Jesus and New Jerusalem - Isaiah 60

Isaiah 60:1 "Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee."

I cannot begin to get all this chapter has to offer. It talks of the coming Christ, the New Jerusalem and the coming together of the nations at the feet of the Messiah. Of course, for this time of writing, it is shrouded in mystery not to be revealed until a child is born in a little town in Israel.

v2 "For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people; but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee."

I think all people hunger for true words of wisdom that will show the way to peace and happiness. Perhaps, and most likely, that was why all the people were so hungry for those words when first John the Baptist and then Jesus came on the scene in Israel. They pointed the people back to their God.

v3 "And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising."

That is a glimpse of what happened in Bethlehem when the wise men came to present their gifts.

v6 "The multitude of camels shall cover thee, the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah; all they from Sheba shall come; they shall bring gold and incense; and they shall show forth the praises of the LORD. See also Genesis 25:4, Psalm 72:10

The redemption of Jerusalem.

v10 "And the sons of strangers shall build up thy walls, and their kings shall minister unto thee; for in my wrath I smote thee, but in my favor have I had mercy on thee."

We all need that mercy at times. It is not punishment we want for what we know we have done wrong but we fall under grace and mercy and trust in God's forgiveness.

v15 "Whereas thou hast been forsaken and hated, so that no man went through thee, I wil make thee an eternal excellency, a joy of many generations."

Then we glimpse what John saw in Revelation.

v19 "The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: but the LORD shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory." See also Revelation 21:23

The great prophecy yet to be fulfilled but it is to be a reality coming soon.

v21 "Thy people also shall be all righteous; they shall inherit the land forever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified."

This chapter is worthy of more study. It will take you to the life of Jesus and to the book of Revelation and probably Daniel. It will make you want to, once again, study the history of this great nation Israel.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Light - Isaiah 59

Isaiah 59:16 "And he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore his arm brought salvation unto him; and his righteousness, it sustained him."

The hopelessness of man seems evident when we get down to the facts. A doctor may be the best there is but when he is sick he needs another to treat his illness. We are in no way the best when compared to God's righteousness. We cannot measure up by ourselves. Therefore we need someone who can measure up, to stand for us and represent us. To treat us.

v1-2 Behold, the LORD's hand is not shortened that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear."

Here is the dilemma for man: We cannot approach God because we are sinful. How then can we defend ourselves before him. Just as Job became silent, so must we before his righteousness. We are guilty without a doubt. Then in came Jesus to our defense. He lived a perfect life and died in our place for our sin and rose again to present himself to his Father on our behalf. Thus the answer to sinful man's approach to God.

v8 "The way of peace they know not; and there is no judgment in their goings; they have made them crooked paths: whosoever goeth therein shall not know peace."

Isn't peace what we all seek?

This message to verse 8 seems to have touched the prophet deeply for the chapter turns into a prayer.

The confession: v9 "Therefore is judgment far from us, neither doth justice overtake us; we wait for light, but behold obscurity; for brightness, but we walk in darkness."

Hopelessness: v10 "We grope for the wall like the blind, and we grope as if we had no eyes; we stumble at noon day as in the night; we are in desolate places as dead men."

I have always said that you cannot teach someone who knows everything already. It is true also that a person who does not realize that they are lost will not take direction. One must see a need in their life before they will seek to fulfill that need. Such is salvation.

v12 "For our transgressions are multiplied before thee, and our sins testify against us; for our transgressions are with us; and as for our iniquities, we know them;"

There it is out in the open. We are lost and undone.

v20 "And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the LORD. Repentance is turning from.

Though this passage was to Israel in those days, there is the inclusion of the Gentiles. The Redeemer is for all who will come to him. So, we find application for our lives in these words. There is hope for those who stumble in the darkness. Let the light of the Redeemer guide to peace inside.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Acceptable Fast - Isaiah 58

Isaiah 58:6 "Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?" v7 "Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him, and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh"

Here is a time when ritual is carried out in fasting. They are declaring a fast while going about their pleasures, then asking why God does not hear them.

v4 "Behold ye fast for strife and debate, and to site with the fist of wickedness; ye shall not fast as ye do this day, to make your voice to be heard on high."

It is pointed out to them that they cannot expect to be heard by the Lord if they are going to observe fasting while still carrying on their wickedness and ignoring the needs of those around them, even their own people.

v10 "And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noon day:"

Jesus described fasting as a private thing that should be done in secret and with a cheerful appearance.

Matthew 6:16 "Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance; for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. verily I say unto you, They have their reward. v17 But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; v18 That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly."

So, we see that fasting is a private matter of the heart with God. It is not for a show to others to illustrate how religious we are or as would be said these days, how spiritual we are. You might find it difficult to carry out a fast without explaining yourself to family. They might think you sick or something. You might say "I'm just not eating for a day or two."

v13 "If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honorable; and shalt honor him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words; v14 Then shalt thou delight thy self in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father, for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it."

We are learning that worship of the Lord is a matter of the heart. There are still outward actions that signify that we are devoted to him, but they are overflow from true worship of the heart.

See Leviticus.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Troubled Sea - Isaiah 57

Isaiah 57:20-21 "But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked."

We have all seen the pictures of the sea when it is tossed and slams against the beaches in rage. Such is the case for those who persist in wickedness even after they see the uselessness of the struggle to declare their righteousness.

v10 "Thou art wearied in the greatness of thy way; yet saidst thou not, There is no hope: thou hast found the life of thine hand; therefore thou wast not grieved."

By comparison the righteous have a hope of peace and rest.

v1-2 "The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart; and mericiful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come."

Although the righteous seem to be the ones punished it may be that they are taken to protect them from a greater trial ahead.

v2 "He shall enter into peace: they shall rest in their beds, each one walking in his uprightness."

The evil ones keep on in their deeds of evil:

v3 "But draw near hither, ye sons of the sorceress, the seed of the adulterer and the whore. v4 "Against whom do ye sport yourselves?..."

v5 "Enflaming yourselves with idols..."

v7 "Upon lofty and high mountain hast thou set thy bed..."

v8 "Behind the doors also and the posts ..."

Sometimes it seems evil is all around us and there is no stopping it. But judgment day will come when they will stand to account.

v13 "When thou criest, let thy companies deliver thee; but the wind shall carry them all away, vanity shall take them: but he that putteth his trust in me shall possess the land and shall inherit my holy mountain;"

As has been said before, the ways of God are much above our understanding but he tells us in his word that there is a day of reckoning (as the song says) in the by and by.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Watchman - Isaiah 56

Isaiah 56:10 "His watchmen are blind; they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber."

The mystery will be revealed and the time is drawing near. v1 "Thus saith the LORD, Keep ye judgment, and do justice; for my salvation is near to come, and my righteousness to be revealed."

In spite of the present trouble, they are encouraged to hang on, to keep doing the right thing for just a little while longer.

There is hope given to the stranger and the eunuchs as well.

v3 "Neither let the son of the stranger, that hath joined himself to the LORD, speak, saying The LORD hath utterly separated me from his people; neither let the eunuch say, Behold I am a dry tree."

For the stranger they will be gathered together and as for the faithful eunuch there will be a place in with an everlasting name.

Verse 7 tells the reward: "Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer; their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people." I think the key phrase here is 'for all people'.

What must they do to receive this reward? It is in the previous verse.

v6 "Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the LORD, to serve him, and to love the name of the LORD, to be his servants, every one that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant;"

It reminds me again of the story Jesus told about the wedding where those who were invited would not come so the king sent out to bring in those of the highways and byways. It is found in
Matthew 22:2-14.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Come to the Waters Isaiah 55

Isaiah 55:1 "Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, bu, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price."

There is no greater satisfaction than to get a cool drink of water when you are thirsty. I remember when we were on the farm, it was so hot we hat to bury the water jug in the sandy soil to keep it cool. It tasted so good when we worked our way to that jug of water.

Here thirst is not just the physical thirst but the thirst of the soul for that which is good and right. It is being out 'there' where evil reigns and finally struggling to that righteous water of forgiveness where it is given freely.

v7 "Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon."

Perhaps, one would wonder how God could forgive after people have turned from him and worshipped idols. How does a parent forgive and welcome home a wayward child? It is love.

v8 "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD."

Men often think that they have reached a pinnacle of some sort in their thinking. Perhaps thinking that they have climbed higher than any other in their intellect. Still, to their dismay, they are still man and think only with the God given capacity of a man.

v9 "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts."

As we explore space on our limited basis, we can see even clearer how small we are compared to God. His hand made the vastness than we can only imagine.

We should indeed respect and take the hand of God that reaches toward us.

Monday, January 11, 2010


It is hard to believe sometimes, this study has been going on since 2006. That will be four years this year sometime. It has been well worth the journey and I, personally, have learned a lot. I hope the silent followers of this blog have been helped in some way.

May God bless and guide you in this new year.

Barren - Isaiah 54

Isaiah 54:9 "For this is as the waters of Noah unto me: for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth; so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee."

A touching chapter. Israel has become barren and it was traditionally a cause for shame among married women. There is a solution given here for the barrenness of Israel. They would take in the Gentiles and room would have to be made for this blessing and the removal of their shame.

v1 "Sing, O barren, thou that didst not bear; break forth into singing, and cry aloud, thou that didst not travail with child: for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, saith the LORD."

Also, we have the statements from the LORD that although he was upset with Israel for a time, he would not and has not completely turned away from them.

v5 "For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called."

He here states without reservation that he, the LORD, claims Israel as his own.

v6 "For the LORD hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth when thou wast refused, saith thy God."

In Hosea there is a story of a prophet who married a woman of bad reputation but when she was to be sold at auction, he went and purchased her back.

His anger was short lived.

v7 "For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee."

v8 "In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the LORD thy Redeemer."

Then Israel's hurt is told:

v11 "O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted..." The Lord is touched by our problems and our pain. It is said that He took on himself our sin debt.

Again, the promise of a better and brighter day and also a promise:

v17 "No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD."

It is perhaps thought that Israel must play to the dictates of strong nations but I submit that Israel must indeed defer to a much higher authority that earthly nations. They are the beloved of the LORD.