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    • July 6, 2016 3:28 AM EDT
    • ISAIAH: THE PROPHET: THE SON OF AMOZ

      Since so many have had questions concerning this wondrous man of Almighty God, I decided to strive to answer ALL questions concerning him & the modern challenges/debates that have arisen concerning his prophecies & what was going on historically during his ministry, so that we can better understand Isaiah, & his word from Almighty God.

      As always, I draw from THE HOLY BIBLE as well as from mankind’s historical documentations of the times, so that we can better understand and see what ISAIAH SAW, FACED, & what ALMIGHTY GOD commanded him to say.

      AND as always, you will see the OLD TESTAMENT and NEW TESTAMENT affirmations & confirmations that YEA AND AMEN that Isaiah WAS hearing from ALMIGHTY GOD.

      Isaiah 1 - Indictment and Invitation: Almighty God states HIS case and offers a cure.

      Verse 1...tells us ISAIAH introduces himself & his vision.

      “The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.”

      From the very beginning…we are told CLEAR AS CRYSTAL who authored this book. ISAIAH, THE SON OF AMOZ.

      This is the book of the prophesies of Isaiah, the son of Amoz, who ministered from about 740 to 680 b.c. For about 20 years, he spoke to both the northern kingdom of Israel and the southern kingdom of Judah. After Israel’s fall to the Assyrians in 722 b.c., Isaiah continued to prophesy to Judah.

      This period of Israel’s history is ALSO told in 2 Kings 15 through 21 and 2 Chronicles 26 through 33. Isaiah was a contemporary of the prophets Hosea and Micah. By the time of Isaiah, the prophets Elijah, Elisha, Obadiah, Joel, Jonah, and Amos had ALREADY COMPLETED their ministry.

      AND historically, by the time of ISAIAH, Israel had been in the Promised Land for almost 700 years. The first 400 years in Canaan, Israel was ruled by judges, spiritual, military, and political leaders God raised up as the occasion demanded. Then, for about 120 years, three kings reigned over all Israel: Saul, David, and Solomon. But in 917 b.c. Israel had a civil war, and remained divided into two nations, Israel (to the north) and Judah (to the south) up until the time of Isaiah.

      AND…Up until the time of Isaiah, the northern nation of Israel had some 18 kings - ALL OF THEM BAD, and rebellious against the Lord. The southern nation of Judah had some 11 kings before Isaiah’s ministry, SOME GOOD AND SOME BAD.

      AND…In the time of Isaiah, Israel was a LITTLE NATION often caught in the middle of the wars between THREE superpowers: Egypt, Assyria, and Babylon.

      INTERESTINGLY ENOUGH…As Isaiah’s ministry BEGAN, there was a national CRISIS in the northern nation of Israel. The superpower of Assyria was about to ENGULF the nation of Israel. During the span of ISAIAH’S ministry as a prophet, the SOUTHERN nation of Judah was faced with REPEATED threats from the larger surrounding nations.

      AND AS ALWAYS, WHEN ALMIGHTY GOD SPEAKS, ESPECIALLY THROUGH HIS CHOSEN MAN, satan ALWAYS SEEKS, PAST AND PRESENT, TO BRING CONFUSION, DOUBT, AND A QUESTIONING OVER HIS CHOSEN PROPHETS.
      WHAT DO I MEAN BY THIS?

      Many MODERN self-proclaimed Biblical “scholars” debate and think that there was MORE THAN ONE AUTHOR to the book of Isaiah.

      THESE “MODERN BRAIN-TRUSTS”, THESE MORE INTELLIGENT/ENLIGHTENED THAN THE BIBLE MEN & ALMIGHTY GOD HIMSELF, use terms like “Deutero-Isaiah” and “Trito-Isaiah” or the “Isaianic School” to STRIVE to sound KNOWLEDGEABLE…when all they, or you and I NEED TO DO IS SEEK OUT THE TRUTH IN THE HOLY BIBLE…FOR AFFIRMATION AND CONFIRMATION.

      JUST AS THOSE WHO CHALLENGED DANIEL, DENY HE WROTE IT, OR THAT IT WAS WRITTEN LONG AFTER HE DIED, OR THAT IT WAS A COMPILATION OF JOURNALING RANDOMLY COMPILED…

      The New Testament ONCE AGAIN, STEPS IN, AND QUOTES Isaiah by name more than all the other writing prophets combined.

      WHERE?

      In John 12:37-41, John quotes from both the “FIRST” part of Isaiah and the “SECOND” part of Isaiah - the parts these INTELLIGENT AND SUPREMELY SELF-PROCLAIMED Biblical scholars CLAIM WERE supposedly written by two or more DIFFERENT Isaiahs - and specifically says it is the same Isaiah.

      THE NEW TESTAMENT…TELLS US THAT THERE WAS ONLY ONE ISAIAH AND HE WROTE/PROPHESIED ONLYYYYY WHAT ALMIGHTY GOD TOLD HIM TO, AMEN?

      AND DID YOU KNOW….THE NAME ISAIAH MEANS SALVATION OF THE LORD?

      AND TO BE PERFECTLY CLEAR, there are SEVEN MEN BY THE NAME OF ISAIAH IN THE BIBLE….BUT ONLYYYYYYY ONE ISAIAH, THE SON OF AMOZ.

      AND WE KNOW MORE ABOUT ISAIAH than we do MANY other of the prophets OF ALMIGHTY GOD.

      THE BIBLE TELLS US THAT Isaiah WAS married and WAS the father of at least TWO SONS in Isaiah 7:3 and Isaiah 8:3.

      THE BIBLE TELLS US THAT Isaiah DID live in Jerusalem, in Isaiah 7:3; 22:1; 37:2; 38:5, and 39:3.

      There is “a strong Judeo-Christian tradition that holds that Isaiah also OUTLIVED Hezekiah and was sawn asunder by his successor Manasseh with a wooden saw after the prophet had hidden himself in a hollow tree from the angry king.”

      AND MOST BELIEVE Hebrews 11:37, REFERENCE TO (they were sawn in two) is a reference to the MARTYRDOM OF ISAIAH.

      The prophecy of this chapter took place in the time of AHAZ, KING OD JUDAH told to us also in 2 Kings 16 and 2 Chronicles 28. And we KNOW from those Biblical scriptures that Ahaz was AN EVIL KING who was invaded many times by surrounding nations.

      Verses 2-4 tells us the complaint of THE LORD AGAINST JUDAH!

      “Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth! For the Lord has spoken: “I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against Me; the ox knows its owner and the donkey its master’s crib; but Israel does not know, My people do not consider.” Alas, sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a brood of evildoers, children who are corrupters! They have forsaken the Lord, they have provoked to anger the Holy One of Israel, they have turned away backward.”

      Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth…means ALMIGHTY GOD HIMSELF is calling heaven and earth as witnesses against Judah. The leaders and people of Judah have RESISTED His will, and God will state His case against them. We might think of heaven and earth as a “jury” God will present the case before.

      AND THIS BELIEF IS ONCE AGAIN CONFIRMED IN THE NEW TESTAMENT….

      WHERE?

      Romans 8:22 says, “For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.” Creation WAITS. THEN AND NOW, for the deliverance that will come when the Messiah rules directly over all creation. AMEN?

      When God’s people disobey, we might say there is a sense in which they “delay” that resolution of all things. So, heaven and earth have an interest in our obedience TOO!

      I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against Me…The leaders and people of Judah are like rebellious children, who NEVER appreciate NOR ARE THEY EVER THANKFUL FOR ALL that their parents have done for them.

      AND AS A PARENT, NOW GRANDPARENT MYSELF, we can ALL appreciate how frustrating and galling it is for our children to disregard and disobey us. It fills us with righteous indignation, and we think, “After all I have done for them, they treat me like this?” But we have treated God EVEN WORSE than ANY child has treated their parents, AMEN?

      The ox knows its owner and the donkey its master's crib; but Israel does not know: The leaders and people of Judah are not like dumb animals, such as the ox or the donkey. They are dumber than dumb animals. The ox at least knows its owner, but Judah doesn’t know who owns them. The donkey knows who takes care of him, but Judah doesn’t know who takes care of them.

      No animal has ever offended or resisted or rejected or disobeyed God the way every human being has. Any animal is a more faithful servant of God than the best human, AMEN?

      Alas, sinful nation….RIGHT HERE, God clearly and strongly exposes their sin. They are laden with iniquity, a brood of evildoers, and they have provoked the Lord to anger.

      Verses 5-9 tells us the desperate condition of Judah.

      “Why should you be stricken again? You will revolt more and more. The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faints. From the sole of the foot even to the head, there is no soundness in it, but wounds and bruises and putrefying sores; they have not been closed or bound up, or soothed with ointment. Your country is desolate, your cities are burned with fire; strangers devour your land in your presence; and it is desolate, as overthrown by strangers. So the daughter of Zion is left as a booth in a vineyard, as a hut in a garden of cucumbers, as a besieged city. Unless the Lord of hosts had left to us a very small remnant, we would have become like Sodom, we would have been made like Gomorrah.”

      Do you HEAR AS I DO…A FAMILIAR PLEA HERE FROM ALMIGHTY GOD?

      Despite their sin, God does NOT wish evil upon Judah. Instead, He LONGS FOR them to repent and make it easy on themselves: Why should you be stricken again? God has been chastising Judah, and they have NOT responded. They will continue to be stricken as long as they rebel.

      Sick . . . the whole heart faints . . . no soundness . . . wounds and bruises and putrefying sores: Because of their rebellion against God, Judah was in a bad place. This is where their disobedience and lack of submission has brought them. THEY HAVE CHOSEN THIS…ALMIGHTY GOD DID NOT BRING THIS UPON THEM, THEY CHOSE DISOBEDIENCE, THEY CHOSE THE WORLD, THEY FORGOT THEIR CREATOR, THEIR ALMIGHTY GOD…AND THIS IS WHAT THEIR OWN CHOICES HAVE BROUGHT TO THEM, AMEN?!

      Your country is desolate, your cities burned with fire; strangers devour your land in your presence…DID YOU KNOW, during the reign of Ahaz, king of Judah, they WERE attacked and pillaged by Israel, Syria, Edom, the Philistines, and Assyria told to us in 2 Chronicles 28. It was written of this period, For the Lord brought Judah low because of Ahaz king of Israel, for he HAD ENCOURAGED MORAL DECLINE in Judah and had been CONTINUALLY UNFAITHFUL to the Lord, confirmed in 2 Chronicles 28:19.

      IN SPITE OF ALL OF THIS…Judah would NOT repent. Their sin brought them great trouble, but they still preferred their sin, with all of its trouble, than submitting to the Lord God.

      In fact, 2 Chronicles 28:22 confirms this, which says, “Now in the time of his distress King Ahaz became increasingly unfaithful to the Lord.”

      Unless the Lord of hosts had left to us a very small remnant, we would have become like Sodom, we would have been made like Gomorrah… As BAD as Judah’s state was because of their sin, it could have been FAR worse. It was only by the mercy of God that they survived at all. Sodom and Gomorrah were both TOTALLY destroyed, with not even a very small remnant to carry on. Even in the midst of judgment, God SHOWED HIS MERCY to Judah, AMEN.

      Verses 10-15 tell us…God hates their EMPTY RELIGIOUS RITUALS & CEREMONIES.

      “Hear the word of the Lord, you rulers of Sodom; give ear to the law of our God, you people of Gomorrah: “To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices to Me?” Says the Lord. “I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams and the fat of fed cattle. I do not delight in the blood of bulls, or of lambs or goats. When you come to appear before Me, who has required this from your hand, to trample My courts? Bring no more futile sacrifices; incense is an abomination to Me. The New Moons, the Sabbaths, and the calling of assemblies; I cannot endure iniquity and the sacred meeting. Your New Moons and your appointed feasts My soul hates; they are a trouble to Me, I am weary of bearing them. When you spread out your hands, I will hide My eyes from you; even though you make many prayers, I will not hear. Your hands are full of blood.”

      WHY DOES GOD SPEAK TO DESTROYED PLACES AND PEOPLES? SODOM & GOMORRAH ARE COMPLETELY GONE. RIGHT?

      JUST AS HITLER & HIS CONCENTRATION TORTURE CAMPS ARE GONE…BUT NO ONE, SAVED OR LOST HAS FORGOTTEN THE HORRIFICS OF IT…SO TO, DO HIS PEOPLE REMEMBER FIRE FROM HEAVEN DESTROYING SODOM AND GOMORRAH, AMEN?

      God is obviously trying to get the attention of the leaders and people of Judah, by associating them with two cities synonymous with sin and judgment.
      To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices to Me?…

      DO YOU HEAR THE DISGUST HERE IN GOD’S WORDS? AND THE FACT THAT HE IS NOTTTTT PLEASED NORRRRRR MOVED…BY THEIR RELIGIOUS RITES, RULES, AND RITUALS?

      THEY DISOBEYED HIM…BUT KEPT THE POMP AND CIRCUMSTANCE OF THEIR “DEVOUT AND HOLY FEASTS AND RITES AND RITUALS…

      WHY?

      BECAUSE TO THE WORLD & THEIR RELIGIOUS ICONS, PRIESTS/LEADERS…THEY ALLLLL LOOKEDDDDDDD HOLY, DEVOUT.

      I HAVE READ MY BIBLE…CHECK!
      I HAVE PRAYED A LIST OF ROTE PRAYERS…(EVEN THOUGH, ALMIGHTY GOD CALLS RAMBLINGS AND MUTTERINGS)….CHECK!
      I HAVE ATTENDED EVERY FEAST…EVERY RELIGIOUS GATHERING…CHECK!
      I HAVE SAT ON THE FRONT ROW…PARTAKEN OF THE RITUALS/COMMUNIONS…
      EVERY ONE HAS SEEEEEEEN I HAVE A GOLD STAR FOR PERFECT ATTENDANCE.
      I SING EVERY SONG.
      I KNOW THE PRAYERS BY HEART!
      WHAT A DEVOUT AND RELIGIOUS PERSON I AM!…CHECK CHECK!

      ALMIGHTY GOD THEN AND NOW SAYS…I AM sick of them all!

      See how the Lord describes HIS REACTION is reaction to these religious rituals?

      I have had ENOUGH . . . bring NO MORE futile sacrifices . . . an ABOMINATION to Me . . . I CAN NOT endure . . . My soul HATES . . . they are A TROUBLE to Me . . . I am WEARY of bearing them.

      A CLEAR AS CRYSTAL SOBERING THOUGHT, RIGHT?

      We can offer God all kinds of religious rituals and ceremonies, all kinds of religious service, and He may hate it and consider it an abomination!

      Perhaps, in the midst of all their calamity (described in Isaiah 1:5-9), Judah thought the answer was in religious ceremonies, in their ancient version of “church attendance” and a few dollars in the offering.

      ALMIGHTY GOD WAS NOT MOVED BY THEIR I, I, I, I.
      HE WAS NOT MOVED BY THEIR PIETY NOR THEIR POMPOSITY.
      HE DID NOT WANT THEIR SHOW-BOATING.
      HE DID NOT WANT THEIR MONEY.

      THE GOD WHO SEES EVERY HEART….WANTED TO SEE A REPENTANT, CHANGED, HUMBLE HEART THAT SURRENDERED ITSELF TOTALLY TO HIM.

      AN UNCHANGING WORD FROM ALMIGHTY GOD THEN AND NOW…Without the right heart, a humble heart, God HATED their religious ceremony and service!

      When you spread out your hands…what does GOD mean?

      THIS WAS the posture of prayer in that ancient culture. Instead of praying with heads bowed and hands folded, they would pray with the face turned towards heaven and the hands spread out to heaven. So, when they prayed, the Lord says, “I will hide my eyes from you . . . I will not hear.”
      ALMIGHTY GOD WILL NOT BE MOCKED.
      ALMIGHTY GOD IS NOT FOOLED.

      We may be certain, that in the midst of all this religious ceremony, there were many fine prayers offered. Many eloquent, stirring, and emotional prayers were said. But ALMIGHTY GOD SAYS THEY WERE USELESS (EMPTY/HOLLOW/USELESS MUTTERING) prayers, because God looked at Judah and said, “Your hands are full of blood.”

      Verses 16-20 tells us…The Lord offers A CURE.

      “Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes. Cease to do evil, learn to do good; seek justice, rebuke the oppressor; defend the fatherless, plead for the widow.” “Come now, and let us reason together,” says the Lord, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool. If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land; but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be devoured by the sword”; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

      Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean . . . Learn to do good, seek justice, rebuke the oppressor, defend the fatherless, plead for the widow: The corruption of Judah’s leaders and people was SHOWN IN THEIR BAD TREATMENT of one another.

      AND REMEMBER….MANYYYYYYY CENTURIES later, the apostle John would repeat Isaiah’s message:

      1 John 4:20 says…“If someone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?”

      The leaders and people of Judah wanted to SAY they loved God by their POMP & CIRCUMSTANCE religious ceremonies, but the Lord cared more about how they treated other people, especially the weak (the fatherless . . . the widow).

      “Come now, let us reason together,” says the Lord: The Lord God invites His people to come reason with Him. What He offers us isn’t just offered because He is “bigger” than us and has the right to dictate whatever terms please Him. God’s direction for us is reasonable. It is smart. It is the best way to live.

      What madness it is TO REJECT & RESIST a God of infinite wisdom, infinite love, infinite grace, and infinite power! True reason will drive any honest man to the most humble adoration and submission towards God.

      AND REMEMBER WHAT REVELATION 4:6-8 which tells us that EVEN THE ANGELS surrounding the throne of God are covered with eyes, which speaks of their great ability to perceive and know.

      These are perhaps the most intelligent, rational beings God ever created IN HEAVEN, and THE BIBLE TELLS US THAT THEY spend every moment of their existence lost in total praise, total adoration, and total surrender to God.

      AND FACE IT….IT IS SIMPLE REASONABLE LOGIC to follow & obey OUR TRIUNE GOD. WE ARE HUMAN, FLAWED, LIMITED IN THOUGHT, PHYSICALITY, AND MIND….JESUS CHRIST IS NOT, AMEN?

      Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool….The Lord offers a repentant, humbled Judah true and complete cleansing from sin. Their condition of sin CAN BE transformed from deeply stained to completely white.
      In this passage, Isaiah says nothing about how this cleansing comes. But we know that it comes because Jesus took upon Himself our stain of sin, and God judged sin perfectly and completely in Jesus, so we can be accounted white as snow and as white as wool because of JESUS, AMEN?

      WHAT A PRECIOUS AND PRICELESS PROMISE.

      We CAN BE CLEAN from the stain of sin.

      Our good works CAN’T clean the stain.
      Our best intentions or promises CAN’T clean the stain.
      Our suffering or pain CAN’T clean the stain.
      Time CAN’T clean the stain.
      Death CAN’T clean the stain.

      ONLY THE WORK OF OUR JESUS CHRIST ON THE CROSS CAN, AMEN?
      We really can have a break with the past, and a new beginning in Jesus Christ. The power of sin, the shame of sin, the guilt of sin, the domination of sin, and terror of sin, and the pain of sin CAN ALL be taken away in Jesus, AMEN?

      DO YOU NOTICE…The Lord does NOT DENY THE TRUTH OF WHAT THE SINNER HAS DONE AND HAS CONFESSED.

      I LOVE WHAT CHARLES SPURGEON HAS TO SAY OF THESE VERSES….

      “BUT GOD says to him, ‘Though your sins be as scarlet, I meet you on that ground. You need not try to diminish the extent of your sin, or seek to make it appear to be less than it really is. No; whatever you say it is, it is all that, and probably far more. Your deepest sense of your sinfulness does not come up to the truth concerning your real condition; certainly, you do not exaggerate in the least. Your sins are scarlet, and crimson; it seems as though you have put on the imperial robe of sin, and made yourself a monarch of the realm of evil.’ That is how a man’s guilt appears before the searching eye of God.”

      CHARLES SPURGEON ALSO SAYS…“You may be “a wicked old wretch who has taken his degrees in Satan’s college, has become a Master of Belial, a prince and chief of sinners - a Goliath amongst the Philistines - yet, to such a man, is this word sent today. Your hands are bloody with the souls of the young, you have kept a hellhouse; you have grit up public entertainments which have debauched and depraved the young; you have gold in your pocket to-day, which you have earned by the blood of souls; you have the fool’s pence, and the drunkard’s shillings, which have really come into your hands from the hearts of poor women, you have heard the cries of the starving children, and you have tempted their husbands to take the drink, and ruined their bodies and their souls. You have kept a place where the entertainment was so low, so grovelling, that you awoke the slumbering passions of evil in the minds of either young or old, and so you shall sink to hell with the blood of others on your head, as well as your own damnation, not with one millstone about your neck, but with many. Yet you can still be white as snow!”

      When we consider the greatness of God’s cleansing and pardon, it is all the more reason for us to come now. God wants the separation between you and He to be gone now. He doesn’t want you to continue in your destructive path another moment. He wants the best for us now AMEN?

      And once again SPURGEON says it best…“Come now, no season can be better. If ye tardy till you’re better, ye will never come at all. Come now; you may never have another warning; the heart may never be so tender as it is to-day. Come now; no other eyes may ever weep over you; no other heart may ever agonize for your salvation. Come now, now, now, for tomorrow you may never know in this world. Death may have sealed your fate, and the once filthy may remain filthy still. Come now; for to-morrow thy heart may become harder than stone, and God may give thee up. Come now; it is God’s time; to-morrow is the devil’s time. ‘To-day if ye will hear his voice harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, when your fathers tempted me and proved me in the wilderness and saw my works.’ Come now. Why delay to be happy? Would you put off your wedding-day? Will you postpone the hour when you are pardoned and delivered? Come now: the bowels of Jehovah yearn for you. The eye of your father sees you afar off, and he runs to meet you. Come now; the church is praying for you; these are revival times; ministers are more in earnest.”

      IF YOU ARE…willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land; but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be devoured by the sword”

      Here God offers Judah A CHOICE. They CAN FIND HOPE in the midst of their chastisement, relief from empty religious ritual, and cleansing from their sin. But they MUST SURRENDER their heart before God, and NOT refuse and rebel. Instead, they must be WILLING & OBEDIENT.

      IF WE ARE HONEST WITH OURSELVES AND WITH JESUS….we know than NONE OF US can perfectly match either phrase, but we CAN ASK OURSELVES…WHICH PHRASE BEST DESCRIBES OUR LIVES?

      ARE WE STRIVING TO BE WILLING & OBEDIENT TO JESUS?
      ORRRRR…
      ARE WE STRIVING TO REFUSE JESUS AND REBEL?

      RIGHT HERE ALMIGHTY GOD gives mankind, in advance a CHOICE OF CONSEQUENCES.

      Eat of the good of the land, or be devoured by the sword.
      No wonder the Lord said “Come now, let us reason together!”

      Verses 21-23 tells us about the UNJUST leaders of Judah.

      “How the faithful city has become a harlot! It was full of justice; righteousness lodged in it, but now murderers. Your silver has become dross, your wine mixed with water. Your princes are rebellious, and companions of thieves; everyone loves bribes, and follows after rewards. They do not defend the fatherless, nor does the cause of the widow come before them.”

      The faithful city has become a harlot…The faithful city IS Jerusalem, the city ONCE KNOWN for its faithfulness to the Lord. Now, Jerusalem has become a harlot - spiritually speaking, they have forsaken the their “marriage” to the Lord, and are committing spiritual adultery with their idolatry.

      It WAS full of justice…The days of justice and righteousness are long past in Jerusalem. Jerusalem was filled with murderers, political corruption (Your princes are rebellious), thieves, fraud (Your silver has become dross, your wine is mixed with water), bribes, and favoritism against the weak (They do not defend the fatherless, nor does the cause of the widow come before them).

      DO YOU NOTICE…The Lord’s accusation against Jerusalem shows, by contrast, what God VALUES among political and civil leaders. God expects them to KEEP THE PEACE (against murderers), HAVE INTEGRITY (instead of being rebellious and the companion of thieves), and to DEFEND THE WEAK (the fatherless and widows).

      Your wine mixed with water…DO YOU NOTICE THE CONTRAST HERE?

      MAN TURNED WINE INTO WATER…WHEREAS OUR JESUS made water into wine!

      The spiritual adultery of Judah showed itself in this kind of sin. In a sense, the corruption among the leaders of Judah was a symptom of an even deeper spiritual problem.

      Verses 24-31 tells us the Lord’s plan of redemption with justice

      “Therefore the Lord says, the Lord of hosts, the Mighty One of Israel, “Ah, I will rid Myself of My adversaries, and take vengeance on My enemies. I will turn My hand against you, and thoroughly purge away your dross, and take away all your alloy. I will restore your judges as at the first, and your counselors as at the beginning. Afterward you shall be called the city of righteousness, the faithful city.” Zion shall be redeemed with justice, and her penitents with righteousness. The destruction of transgressors and of sinners shall be together, and those who forsake the Lord shall be consumed. For they shall be ashamed of the terebinth trees which you have desired; and you shall be embarrassed because of the gardens which you have chosen. For you shall be as a terebinth whose leaf fades, and as a garden that has no water. The strong shall be as tinder, and the work of it as a spark; both will burn together, and no one shall quench them.”

      The Lord of hosts, the Mighty One of Israel: God now addresses Judah, introducing Himself with titles showing His power and majesty. He is the Lord of hosts, “hosts” referring to the armies of heaven. He is the Mighty One of Israel, whom it is futile to oppose. The title itself is a wake-up call.

      THE LORD OF HOSTS, THE MIGHTY ONE OF ISRAEL…DESCRIBES A LEADER, A WARRIOR, WHO LEADS A MIGHTY HOST OF SOLDIER ANGELS…INTO BATTLE AGAINST ALL COMERS.

      I will rid Myself of My adversaries: The problem with the leaders and people of Judah was that they had set themselves as adversaries of the Lord. They were acting like His enemies. They were putting themselves in the path of judgment. They would find the hand of the Lord against them, instead of for them.

      And thoroughly purge away your dross, and take away all your alloy: dross and alloy are impurities in metal. God promises to “turn up the heat” and refine Judah, taking away their impurities. His goal is not to destroy; instead He says, “I will restore.” God will purify Jerusalem, to the point where Afterward you shall be called the city of righteousness, the faithful city.

      Zion shall be redeemed with justice: God’s redemption and restoration are always done with justice and righteousness. He never saves or redeems at the expense of His justice and righteousness.

      They shall be ashamed of the terebinth trees which you have desired: terebinth trees were sites of pagan worship which idol-loving Judah kept among them. When Zion is redeemed with justice, they will be ashamed of their former idolatries.

      It is good to be ashamed and embarrassed over sin. There is something wrong with us when we are shameless or beyond embarrassment. God promised He would give Judah the gift of shame and embarrassment over sin again.

      Did you know…Sacred trees played an important part in the Canaanite fertility cult . . . for deciduous trees like the oak or terebinth symbolized the death and rebirth of their PAGAN gods.

      As a terebinth tree whose leaf fades . . . as a garden that has no water . . . the strong shall be as tinder . . . both will burn together: The Lord here speaks of the spiritual dryness of Judah. Though they continued their religious ritual and ceremony, they were still spiritually dry. And as DRY trees, DRY gardens, and DRY tinder are ready to burn, so is an unrepentant Judah ready to feel the fires of God’s refining judgment.

      ISAIAH 1 SHOWS US THAT THE GOD WHO SEES, THE GOD WHO READS OUR HEARTS AND MINDS, IS READY WILLING AND ABLE TO FORGIVE THE HUMBLE HEART. THE EARNEST REPENTANT HEART. THE HUMBLE ONE WHO CONFESSES WITHOUT EXCUSE, WITHOUT EXPLANATION, BUT SIMPLY SAYS I HAVE SINNED AGAINST YOU…FORGIVE ME LORD JESUS. I WILL TRUST IN YOU, NOT IN MAN OR THE WORLD I WILL TRUST IN YOU…

    • July 6, 2016 3:26 AM EDT
    • ISAIAH 2

      Hope And Fear
      FIRST the hope of the Messiah's reign.

      Verse 1 tells us a word concerning Judah and Jerusalem.

      “The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.”

      The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw…tells us this was revealed to Isaiah in some kind of vision, because this was a word that HE SAW.

      WE KNOW NOW THAT THIS PROPHECY (continues on through Isaiah 4) is directed towards the SOUTHERN kingdom Judah and its capital Jerusalem.

      INTERESTINGLY ENOUGH…Isaiah 2:1-3 is REPEATED in Micah 4:1-3. Since Isaiah and Micah WERE contemporary prophets, it isn't surprising that the same Spirit of the LORD could give these two prophets the SAME WORD, to establish and emphasize His word.

      Verses 2-3 tells us the exaltation of Judah and Jerusalem

      “Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow to it. Many people shall come and say, "Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths." For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of THE LORD from Jerusalem.”

      In the latter days…In context of THIS prophecy, the term LATTER DAYS refers to the "time of the Messiah," when the Anointed of the LORD reigns over the earth. This speaks of the time MANY TODAY REFER TO AS THE MILLENNIUM, the thousand-year reign of Jesus on this earth spoken of and confirmed in (Psalm 72, Isaiah 11:4-9, Jeremiah 23:5-6, Luke 1:32-33 and 19:12-27, Matthew 5:18).

      The mountain of the LORD's house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow to it…SINCE WE HAVE ALREADY STUDIED REVELATION, we KNOW during the millennium, Israel will be the "SUPERPOWER" of the world. It will be THE LEADING NATION in ALL the earth, and the CENTER OF ISRAEL will be the mountain of the LORD's house - the temple mount, which will be the "capital" of the government of the Messiah. All nations shall flow TO the "capital" of the government of Jesus, AMEN?

      Come, let us go to the mountain of the LORD … He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths…During the millennium, the citizens of earth, SAVED AND LOST, WILL ACKNOWLEDGE AND WILL SUBMIT to the Lordship of Jesus. It will be a time of PERFECTLY administrated & PERFECTLY enforced righteousness on this earth.

      Verse 4 tells us the peaceful nature of the Messiah's reign

      “He shall judge between the nations, and rebuke many people; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.”

      They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks…THE VISION ISAIAH SAW, TELLS MORE DETAILS OF THE 1000 YEAR REIGN OF JESUS ON EARTH.

      There will be NO MORE war. That is NOT TO SAY THERE WILL NOT BE CONFLICTS BETWEEN NATIONS & INDIVIDUALS, but they will be justly and decisively resolved by the Messiah INSTANTLY & BEFORE THEY CAN ACCELERATE and those who reign with Him (He shall judge between the nations, and shall rebuke many people).

      It isn't the reign of the Messiah itself that will change the heart of man.

      WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?

      Citizens of earth, THE LOST AND UNSAVED, will STILL NEED TO REPENT AND INVITE JESUS INTO THEIR HEARTS AND LIVES AND THEY WILL NEED to trust in Jesus and His work on their behalf for their personal salvation during the millennium. BEING ABLE TO SEE OR TOUCH OR BE IN PROXIMITY TO JESUS WILL NOT SAVE IN THE MILLENIUM, ANY MORE SIGHT, TOUCH, NOR PROXIMITY SAVED PEOPLE IN THE NEW TESTAMENT.

      LOST MANKIND MUST STILL CHOOSE.
      THAT WILL NEVER CHANGE.

      But war and armed conflict will NOT be tolerated.

      Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore…It is important to see that this is NOT THE PEACE of capitulation.

      This is the peace of ENFORCED RIGHTEOUSNESS. There is NO MORE WAR, and NO MORE NEED OF SWORDS AND SPEARS, so why not make them into plowshares and pruning hooks, AMEN?

      But there is no more war because there is a NEW RULER on earth, Jesus Christ.

      Psalm 2:9 tells us what the Messiah WILL DO TO the disobedient in that day: “You shall break them with a rod of iron; You shall dash them to pieces like a potter's vessel.”

      We long for the day when there is NO MORE NEED for a military budget, when the money that goes for weapons and armies can go to schools and parks and towns and peoples needs. But we are only safe doing that when the Messiah reigns among us, AMEN?

      MARTIN SAYS OF THIS VERSE…"Men yearn for peace, but they will not acknowledge the hopelessness of their own efforts to achieve it. It is only when the word of the Lord goes forth from Jerusalem, when He Himself is reigning over the nations, that lasting peace will come."


      Verse 5 tells us a plea to walk in the light of the LORD.

      “O house of Jacob, come and let us walk In the light of the LORD.”

      You notice, Isaiah AFTER painting the picture of the glory of the Messiah's reign, Isaiah then challenges Judah (house of Jacob) to live in the Messiah's reign RIGHT now.

      To walk in the light of the LORD means to order your life after God's truth and God's ways. The ultimate reign of the Messiah may be many years away, but Jesus CAN REIGN in our lives, in our minds, and in our hearts RIGHT NOW.

      We don't have to wait for the enforced righteousness of the millennium to have the blessing of Jesus' righteousness in our lives right now, AMEN?

      ALSO…to walk in the light of the LORD means you ENJOY the blessings of the Messiah's reign right now. You don't have to live a dark, depressing, discouraged Christian life. You can walk in the light of the LORD NOW!

      What is it that gets you down, that brings darkness into your life? What can it compare to the light of the LORD? Is the darkness of spiritual attack, of unfaithful friends, of bad circumstances, of shame, of guilt, of anything greater than the light of the LORD? We think not!

      CHARLES SPURGEON SAYS IT WELL…"You know that, if you were to go to Australia in a good sound ship, you would get there even if you were always to lie down in the hold among the luggage and the rats; but I should like to go in a first-class cabin, and I do not see why you and I, if we are going to heaven, should not go first-class."


      Verses 6-9 tells us the sins that prevent Judah from walking in the light of the LORD.

      “For You have forsaken Your people, the house of Jacob, because they are filled with eastern ways; they are soothsayers like the Philistines, and they are pleased with the children of foreigners. Their land is also full of silver and gold, and there is no end to their treasures; their land is also full of horses, and there is no end to their chariots. Their land is also full of idols; they worship the work of their own hands, that which their own fingers have made. People bow down, and each man humbles himself; therefore do not forgive them.”

      They are filled with eastern ways … they are soothsayers like the Philistines … they are pleased with the children of foreigners…Judah had allowed the false gods, false cultures, false morals/mores of foreigners TO CAPTIVATE their attention.

      CONTRARY TO WHAT SOME BIBLE CRITICS SAY…This was NOT an anti-immigrant statement. God is NOT against the cultures and customs of other peoples, except where those customs and cultures honor and worship FALSE GODS & FALSE TEACHERS & FALSE UNGODLY MORALS/VALUES/MORES.

      IN the name of SOCIAL AND RELIGIOUS "diversity," the leaders and people of Judah were ALLOWING AND BEING TOLERANT OF the worship of false gods, false social norms WITHIN THEIR OWN PEOPLE.

      Their land is also full of silver and gold…Judah had allowed the false gods of wealth and materialism to ALSO CAPTIVATE their attention.

      ANDDDDDD…because Judah was in a time of economic prosperity (full of silver and gold … no end to their treasures … full of horses … no end to their chariots), they were far more prone to economic idolatry.

      The love & worship of MONEY!

      AND NO, CONTRARY TO WHAT SOME BIBLE CRITICS SAY OF THIS VERSE…This was NOT an anti-wealth statement. God is NOT against wealth and riches, and may choose to bless some with significant resources.

      This is GOD’S rebuke of the LOVE & WORSHIP of riches, and any trust in wealth TO MEET THEIR NEEDS & DESIRES…INSTEAD OF LOOKING TO AND DEPENDING ON JESUS.

      Their land is also full of idols…Judah had allowed idols to captivate their attention. Because everyone has an innate tendency to worship themselves (the work of their own hands, that which their own fingers have made), we are tempted to worship what we have made and accomplished instead of worshipping ALMIGHTY GOD, the One who made us, gave us the skills, the talents, the abilities, and the blessings, TO ACHIEVE THEM, AMEN?

      AND AGAIN, CONTRARY TO BIBLE CRITICS…This was NOT an anti-work statement. God WANTS us to work hard, and show forth the work of our own hands, and to see the accomplishments that our own fingers have made.

      This is GOD’S rebuke of the WORSHIP of what we have made and what we have done. AS IF ALL WE ARE, ALL WE HAVE, COME FROM OUR OWN EFFORTS AND NOT THE FAVOR AND BLESSING OF JESUS.

      People bow down, and each man humbles himself…There was plenty of worship (bow down) in Judah, and plenty of people humbling themselves. They were simply worshipping the WRONG THINGS, and humbling themselves before the WRONG THINGS!

      We KNOW how to BOW down, we KNOW how to HUMBLE ourselves; we just don't find it EASY to direct it properly towards THE LORD. We are more than happy to bow down and humble ourselves for something of OUR PREFERRED choosing, but often find it difficult to do it FOR THE LORD.

      The application is sobering…Therefore DO NOT forgive them. Their worship of foreign gods, of riches, and of idols WAS sincere. It may have been ennobling or helpful to society.

      BUT THE PROBLEM?

      ALL THIS SINCERE WORSHIP COMPLETELY REJECTED THE LORD GOD, & WAS THEREFORE UNFORGIVEABLE.

      Verses 10-22 tells us a description of the Day of Judgment.

      “Enter into the rock, and hide in the dust, from the terror of the LORD and the glory of His majesty. The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day. For the day of the LORD of hosts shall come upon everything proud and lofty, upon everything lifted up; and it shall be brought low; upon all the cedars of Lebanon that are high and lifted up, and upon all the oaks of Bashan; upon all the high mountains, and upon all the hills that are lifted up; upon every high tower, and upon every fortified wall; upon all the ships of Tarshish, and upon all the beautiful sloops. The loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be brought low; the LORD alone will be exalted in that day, but the idols He shall utterly abolish. They shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, from the terror of the LORD and the glory of His majesty, when He arises to shake the earth mightily. In that day a man will cast away his idols of silver and his idols of gold, which they made, each for himself to worship, to the moles and bats, to go into the clefts of the rocks, and into the crags of the rugged rocks, from the terror of the LORD and the glory of His majesty, when He arises to shake the earth mightily. Sever yourselves from such a man, whose breath is in his nostrils; for of what account is he?”

      ISAIAH’S VISION IS GRAPHIC…IS IT NOT?

      We notice that the BEGINNING of the chapter described THE GLORY of the Messiah's reign (Isaiah 2:1-4).

      The second part of the chapter described the CURRENT CORRUPTION of Judah (Isaiah 2:6-9).

      How will the earth be transformed from its current corruption to the glory of the Messiah's reign? It will happen by THE VICTORY of the Messiah in the day of the LORD of hosts.

      DID YOU KNOW…the term DAY OF THE LORD (used more than 25 times in the Bible) does NOT necessarily refer to JUST ONE specific day.
      It speaks MORE of GOD‘S TIME! The idea is that now is the day of man, but the day of man will NOT last forever. One day, the Messiah will end the day of man and bring forth the day of THE LORD that shall NEVER END.

      In the day of THE LORD, men will be TERRIFIED…Enter into the rock, and hide in the dust, from the terror of THE LORD and the glory of HIS MAJESTY.

      In the day of THE LORD, men will be HUMBLED…The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and THE LORD ALONE shall be EXALTED in that day.

      In THAT DAY, there will be NO MORE idolatry; THE LORD alone shall be exalted.

      In THAT DAY, God WILL BE GLORIFIED, and all will see the terror of THE LORD and the glory of HIS MAJESTY.

      The high tower, the fortified wall, the ships of Tarshish and the beautiful sloops all ARE EXPRESSIONS OF THE LOFTINESS OF MEN & WOMEN and THE HAUGHTINESS OF MEN & WOMEN. In the day of the LORD, every proud, arrogant achievement of MEN & WOMEN will be humbled, and the LORD alone will be exalted in that day.

      I EMPHASIZE MEN AND WOMEN HERE, BECAUSE WHEN THE BIBLE AND PROPHETS SAY MAN, & SPEAKS GENERALLY OF “MAN” ….IT MEANS MANKIND, USUALLY LOST & UNSAVED & REJECTING MANKIND…AND THAT INCLUDES WOMEN TOO.

      CHARLES SPURGEON SAYS OF THESE VERSES…"Man in all matters of religion, and in all his dealings with God, is proud. It is wonderful how apparently humble men will be when they worship false gods. They will cut themselves with knives, and roll themselves in the mire. We have known some votaries to kneel before the representation of the Virgin Mary and lick the very pavement with their tongues by way of penance, and perform the most degrading rites in honor of their false gods. Man seems to be humble enough in his dealings with a false deity, but as soon as ever he comes to deal with the true God, the first things that have to be got out of him are his pride, his high looks, his haughtiness."

      Sever yourselves from such a man…Because the days of idols and human pride are numbered, WHY DARE ASSOCIATE with those who cling to what will certainly be defeated? We should see that such men are of NO account, and walk in the light of THE LORD instead.

      What strange sin WITHIN us, MAKES US WILLING TO give more account to men who can only hold as much breath as their nostrils will contain - who depend on every breath for life - than to THE LORD GOD who will shake the earth mightily! It simply makes sense for us to honor and obey God than to follow men into sin.

      For of what account is he? If men are only men, why do we give so MUCH attention to the opinions of men? Why rise so high on the praise of men, and get so low at their disapproval? We have something - Someone - FAR BETTER to live for IN OUR PRECIOUS JESUS CHRIST, AMEN?

      CHARLES SPURGEON SAYS IT BEST….'But they say.' What do they say? Let them say. It will not hurt you if you can only gird up the loins of your mind, and cease from man. 'Oh, but they have accused me of this and that.' Is it true? 'No, sir, it is not true, and that is why it grieves me.' That is why it should not grieve you. If it were true it ought to trouble you; but if it is not true let it alone. If an enemy has said anything against your character it will not always be worth while to answer him. Silence has both dignity and argument in it."

      "Brethren in Christ, let us think more of God and less of man. Come, let the Lord our God fill the whole horizon of our thoughts. Let our love go forth to him; Let us delight ourselves in him. Let us trust in him that liveth for ever, in him whose promise never faileth, in him who will be with us in life, and in death, and through eternity. Oh that we lived more in the society of Jesus, more in the sight of God! Let man go behind our back, and Satan too. We cannot spend our lives in seeking the smiles of men, for pleasing God is the one object we pursue. Our hands, and our heads, and our hearts, and all that we have and are, find full occupation for the Lord, and therefore we must 'Cease from man.'"

      IN MY LIFE, I HAVE MET PEOPLE FROM ALL WALKS OF LIFE. AND WHAT GIVES ME THE FIRST CLUE TO THE STATE OF THEIR HEART, THEIR THOUGHTS, THEIR BELIEFS IN THE THINGS OF THIS WORLD AND THE THINGS OF JESUS CHRIST, IS THOSE WHO HAD THE MOST HUMBLE, APPROACHABLE, KIND, & CARING, OTHERS CENTERED. THEY WERE AND ARE, INTELLIGENT LIVES AND WEALTHY…BUT YOU WOULD NEVER BELIEVE THEM TO BE INTELLIGENT NOR WEALTHY BY APPEARANCE OR POSSESSIONS.

      THAT DOES NOT MEAN THAT THEY DID NOT LIVE COMFORTABLY WELL, BUT THEY DID NOT OWN EYE-CATCHING, BREATH-TAKING SYMBOLS MANKIND INSTANTLY VIEWS AS ELITEST, ICONIC, WEALTHY.

      JUST AS I HAVE SEEN AND BEEN INTRODUCED TO PEOPLE WHO SPOKE OF NOTHING ABOVE, WHO THEY KNEW, THE DESIGNERS THEY WORE, THE JEWELS, TRIPS, CARS, BOATS, PLANES AND TRIPS THEY HAD TAKEN…WHILE BORING ME TO TEARS…WITH THEIR SELF POSSESSED LOVE AFFAIR WITH THEMSELVES AND ALL THEY HAD DONE AND MADE AT THE EXPENSE OF ANYONE AND EVERYONE ELSE.

      GOD IS TELLING US THAT HE HAS NOTHING AGAINST WEALTH, HIS CHOSEN MEN ABRAHAM AND SOLOMON WERE TWO OF THE WEALTHIEST MEN TO EVER WALK THE FACE OF THE EARTH…BOTH OR EITHER MAKE THE TOP 5 WEALTHIEST IN THE WORLD TODAY:BILL GATES, CARLOS SLIM HEU, WARREN BUFFET, LAKSHMI MITAL, & MUKESH AMBANI LOOK LIKE CURB-STORE CLERKS.

      BUT AS WITH ABRAHAM…OVER AND OVER AND OVER IN HIS LIFE, HE LET ANYONE AND EVERYONE KNOW THAT ALL HE HAD WAS A GIFT AND BLESSING AND FAVOR FROM GOD….THAT IT WAS ALLLLLLLLL GOD’S.

      HOW MUCH BETTER THIS ENTIRE WORLD WOULD BE IF THEY BUT ACKNOWLEDGED EVERYTHING THEY HAD, DID, CREATED, EARNED….WAS BECAUSE OF THE BLESSINGS AND FAVOR OF GOD.

      ISAIAH 2 TEACHES US TO REMAIN EVER THANKFUL & AWARE THAT ALL WE ARE, ALL WE HAVE, COMES FROM THE PROTECTIONS, THE FAVORS, AND THE BLESSING OF JESUS CHRIST.

      ISAIAH TEACHES US TO REMAIN HUMBLE, EVER REPENTANT, AND EVER SEEKING TO BE WHAT JESUS WANTS AND CALLS US TO BE…

      AND THAT IS AS JESUS WAS DURING HIS ENTIRE WALK ON THIS EARTH….SELF-LESS, OTHERS CENTERED, HUMBLE, FORGIVING, PRAYERFUL, SEEKING AND CLINGING TO HIS FATHER’S WORD AND HIS PROMISES…

      SEEK JESUS FIRST IN ALL THINGS AND HE WILL HANDLE AND DEAL WITH AND PROTECT US AND OVERCOME FOR US ANYTHING THAT COMES AGAINST US IN THIS LIFE.

      TRUST IN JESUS CHRIST…AND JESUS CHRIST ALONE!

    • July 6, 2016 3:25 AM EDT
    • ISAIAH 3

      OPENS WITH THE VISION CONTINUED AND GOD SHOWING ISAIAH THE SINS OF JUDAH. IT IS A PROFILE OF A SOCIETY, A PEOPLE UNDER JUDGMENT FROM GOD.

      Verses 1-7 tells us of the shortages of food, water, and competent leaders.

      “For behold, the Lord, the LORD of hosts, takes away from Jerusalem and from Judah the stock and the store, the whole supply of bread and the whole supply of water; the mighty man and the man of war, the judge and the prophet, and the diviner and the elder; the captain of fifty and the honorable man, the counselor and the skillful artisan, and the expert enchanter. "I will give children to be their princes, and babes shall rule over them. The people will be oppressed, every one by another and every one by his neighbor; the child will be insolent toward the elder, and the base toward the honorable." When a man takes hold of his brother in the house of his father, saying, "You have clothing; you be our ruler, and let these ruins be under your power," In that day he will protest, saying, "I cannot cure your ills, for in my house is neither food nor clothing; do not make me a ruler of the people."

      For behold, the Lord, the LORD of hosts, takes away from Jerusalem and from Judah the stock and the store…God's judgment on Judah, at this point, includes taking away their food (stock and the store) and water.

      Isaiah 3:1 is a good example of the way two Hebrew words, each translated Lord may be used. In this verse, the first time Lord is used, it translates the Hebrew word adonai, which means "master, owner, sovereign." It is a broad word that can be applied to a human master as well as the Lord GOD, the ultimate Master. The second time LORD is used, and is printed in small capitals, it translates the Hebrew word Yahweh, which is the SACRED NAME of the Triune God. So, it may be that the Hebrew Bible could use the phrase adonai Yahweh, which could be translated into English as Lord LORD, but actually means "Master Yahweh." That phrase appears more than 300 times in the Old Testament. Most of the time, the phrase is translated Lord GOD in the New King James Version.

      DID YOU KNOW….The SPECIFIC phrase here - the Lord, the LORD of hosts - is used more than 15 times in the Old Testament, and often by Isaiah (Isaiah 1:24, 3:1, 3:15, 10:23-24, 10:33, 19:4, 22:5, 22:12, 22:14-15, and 28:22). It emphasizes the MAJESTY AND POWER of God, because the idea behind LORD of hosts is that God is "Commander in Chief" of heaven's armies.

      So when it is "The Master of All, Yahweh of Heaven's Armies" (the Lord, the LORD of hosts) who has taken food and water from Jerusalem and from Judah, they do well to repent and get right with Him.

      The judgment is WORSE than just taking away food and water. God also brought judgment on Jerusalem and Judah by DEPRIVING them of godly, competent leaders on EVERY level: the mighty man and the man of war, the judge and the prophet, and the diviner and the elder; the captain of fifty and the honorable man, the counselor and the skillful artisan, and the expert enchanter. Instead of wise, competent leaders, God will give children to be their princes, and babes shall rule over them.

      AND IT HAPPENED…

      WHERE?

      The eventual fulfillment of this prophecy is found in 2 Kings 24:14: “Also he carried into captivity all Jerusalem: all the captains and all the mighty men of valor, ten thousand captives, and all the craftsmen and smiths. None remained except the poorest people of the land.”

      But this principle of God's judgment ENDURES to this day.

      One way God may bring judgment on a nation is to curse them with incompetent, ungodly leaders.
      WE ARE SURELY SEEING THAT IN THIS DAY, AMEN?

      Often, this is the simplest avenue of judgment: giving people what their wicked hearts desire.

      This crisis of leadership can happen even in economically prosperous times (Isaiah 2:7 is part of this same prophecy). The terrible effect of this judgment of God, the granting of incompetent and ungodly leaders, may not be immediately seen, but it will be certainly seen, apart from the repentance of a nation and the mercy of God, AMEN?

      AND BECAUSE OF THIS UNGODLY, INCOMPETENT LEADERSHIP…the people will be oppressed, and there will be a breakdown of order in society (The child will be insolent toward the elder, and the base toward the honorable).
      WE ARE SEEING THAT IN THIS DAY TOO!


      CALVIN SAYS IT WISELY…"For there is hardly any conduct more offensive, or more fitted to disturb our minds, than when the worst examples of every sort are publicly exhibited by magistrates, while no man utters a syllable against them, but almost all give their approbation."

      Things will become so bad, that in the minds of the people, the smallest achievements will qualify a man for leadership: You have clothing, you be our ruler, and let these ruins be under your hand. Yet, even such a man will not want to lead: In that day, he will protest, saying, "I cannot cure your ills … do not make me a ruler of the people."
      KAISER REMINDS US…"It is astonishing how realistically the prophet is here able to describe the consequences of a total collapse of the state. Anyone who remembers the months that followed May 1945 in Germany will have the sensation in reading this passage of being carried right back to these days."

      Verses 8-12 tells us WHY Judah is ripe for judgment.

      “For Jerusalem stumbled, and Judah is fallen, because their tongue and their doings are against the LORD, to provoke the eyes of His glory. The look on their countenance witnesses against them, and they declare their sin as Sodom; they do not hide it. Woe to their soul! For they have brought evil upon themselves. "Say to the righteous that it shall be well with them, for they shall eat the fruit of their doings. Woe to the wicked! It shall be ill with him, for the reward of his hands shall be given him. As for My people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O My people! Those who lead you cause you to err, and destroy the way of your paths."

      Jerusalem and Judah have sinned in what they say and in what they do… their tongues and their doings are AGAINST the LORD. In fact, what they say and what they do provoke the eyes of His glory.

      It is much easier to think that what we do is offensive to God, than to think that what we say can provoke the eyes of His glory. But we are commanded to glorify God by what we say just as much as by what we do. IN OTHER WORDS…WE ARE TO WALK OUR TALK. IF WE PROCLAIM TO BE CHRISTIANS, WHO LOVE JESUS, AND READ AND STRIVE TO OBEY HIS WORD…WE BETTER LIVEEEEEE IT TOO.

      REMEMBER WHAT Jesus WARNED IN Matthew 12:36-37, “For every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”

      The look on their countenance witnesses against them…The very look on their faces is evidence of their guilt. Either they have THE SMIRK of the reprobate, or the downcast gaze of those under conviction.

      TURN THE TV ON FOR 2 MINUTES TODAY…AND WE ARE BOMBARDED BY THE SMIRKING, SUPERIOR AND/OR DISMISSIVE LOOKS, WORDS, ACTIONS, AND ATTITUDES OF ELECTED OFFICIALS.

      SURE WE ALL KNOW THE BANKING SYSTEM HAVE LIED, CHEATED AND STOLEN FROM PEOPLE SINCE 2007. YES WE KNOW THEY HAVE TAKEN HOMES ILLEGALLY, UNETHICALLY, AND HASTILY…BUT WE ARE BIGGER THAN THAT…WE ARE FORGIVING THEM…WE MUST MOVE ON…AND MEANWHILE, ALL YOU HARD-WORKING TAX-PAYERS OUT THERE…WE HAVE USED YOUR MONEY TO BAIL THEM OUT AND WE ARE NOT CHARGING THEM INTEREST AND MOST OF THEM WILL NEVER PAY A CENT OF IT BACK…BUT NO WORRIES…WE WILL MOVE FORWARD!

      YES, WE HAVE MILLIONS OF ILLEGAL ALIENS FLOODING OUR BOARDERS WITHOUT GOING THROUGH THE PROCESS…WE ARE BIGGER THAN THAT…WE ARE OPENING THE DOORS WIDE, THEY DO NOT HAVE TO WORK, GO THROUGH LEGAL CHANNELS, LEARN OUR LANGUAGE, PAY TAXES OR BUY HEALTH INSURANCE….WE ARE BIGGER THAN THAT…WE ARE GIVING THEM A FREE RIDE…AND YOU WONDERFUL AMERICAN CITIZENS ARE GOING TO PAY FOR IT…BUT NO WORRIES…WE WILL MOVE FORWARD.

      WE ARE A MORE INTELLIGENT AND ENLIGHTENED SOCIETY, WE HAVE TO CONSIDER THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD. THEY SHOULD BE ABLE TO CHOOSE, MAKE DECISIONS, DO WHAT THEY WISH, DISREGARD THEIR PARENTS AND THEIR RULES AND THEIR BIBLICAL TEACHINGS…IF IT FEELS GOOD…LET THEM DO IT…WE ARE TAKING PARENTS TO TASK. YOU HAVE NO RIGHTS…BUT NEVER FEAR WE WILL RAISE YOUR CHILDREN…NO WORRIES…MOVE FORWARD.

      WE MUST CONSIDER OUR WELL BEING, WE MUST ALLOW, SUPPORT, AND PAY FOR TEENS AND ADULTS WHO CHOOSE TO HAVE AT RISK SEX, WHO TKEN GET PREGNANT, TO HAVE THE OPTION OF ABORTION…IT IS NOT REALLY HUMAN…IT IS JUST TISSUE…LIKE A WART OR A MOLE…THAT NEEDS TO BE REMOVED…WE ARE BIGGER THAN THAT…NO NEED TO HOLD THE TEENS/ADULTS ACCOUNTABLE OR BURDEN THEM WITH A CHILD THEY CAN NOT AFFORD TO SUPPORT AND RAISE…AND SINCE WE ARE BIGGER THAN THAT…YOU MOTHERS WHO CHOOSE AT THE END OF YOUR PREGNANCY TO DECIDE TO ABORT YOUR BABY, NO WORRIES…WE WILL ALLOW YOU TO KILL IT AS IT SLIDS WIGGLING, ALIVE, AND WELL FROM THE BIRTH CANAL…BUT NO WORRIES….IT WILL BE HARVESTED NOW, NOT TOSSED IN THE GARBAGE…WE WILL USE YOUR CHILDS BODY AND DNA AND STEM CELLS TO DO RESEARCH…AND HELP THOSE LIVING….SO NO WORRIES NO FEAR….WE WILL MOVE FORWARD.

      AND YES, THIS NATION IS SADDENED BY THE MASS MURDERS IN OUR SCHOOLS, STREETS, AND COUNTRY, BUT WE ARE SMARTER MORE INTELLIGENT…WE NEED TO STUDY THEM, WE NEED TO UNDERSTAND THEM, AND BLESS THEIR HEARTS, WE HAVE FOUND THAT THE PARENTS DID NOT DISCIPLINE THEM, OR THEY HAD ONLY ONE PARENT, OR THE DOCTORS FED THEM MIND AND MOOD ALTERING DRUGS, INSTEAD OF SITTING THEM DOWN AND MAKING THEM ABIDE BY THE LAWS OF ALMIGHTY GOD. THEY ARE NOT MONSTERS…THEY ARE JUST UNLOVED, MISUNDERSTOOD. WE DO AND MAY CRY FOR AND WITH THE VICTIMS BUT WE MUST BE BIGGER THAN SUCH HEINOUS ACTS…WE MUST REACH OUT, UNDERSTAND, NOT PUNISH, BUT REHIBILITATE THEM, MAKE THEM A VIABLE CITIZEN. WE ARE MOVING FORWARD.

      WE ARE SHOCKED BY TERRORISTS AND THEIR ACTIONS, WE HAVE RETALIATED, NOW WE MUST REACH OUT, UNDERSTAND THEM, GIVE THEM A VOICE TO SPEAK OUT THEIR ISSUES, WE MUST LISTEN, WE MUST CONSIDER, AND WE MUST TURN THE OTHER CHEEK AND GIVE THEM THE MONEY AND SUPPORT AND TRAINING THEY NEED TO BECOME OUR BROTHERS…WHILE WE MOURN THE 100S OF THOUSANDS INNOCENTS AND OUR MEN AND WOMEN WE SENT IN TO PROTECT AND DEFEND THE WEAK AND THE INNOCENT AND THE HELPLESS WHO NEEDED US…WE MUST MOVE ON…WE MUST OFFER AN OLIVE BRANCH…WE ARE BIGGER THAN THAT…WE MUST MOVE ON IF WE HOPE TO ACHIEVE ONE WORLD HARMONY.

      YES, IT IS SHOCKING THAT HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF CHILDREN ARE SOLD INTO THE SEX SLAVE TRADE, MADE TO DO UNSPEAKABLE THINGS, BUT LOOK ON THE BRIGHT SIDE, THEY ARE NO LONGER IN THE STREETS. THOUGH ABUSED AND MISUSED AND THEIR HEARTS AND MINDS DEADENED WITH HOPELESSNESS AND DESPAIR…THEY ARE NOW BEING FED, CLOTHED, AND HOUSED TO AN EXTENT…WE MUST LOOK ON THE BRIGHT SIDE OF THINGS. WE MUST MOVE FORWARD.

      YES WE ARE SHOCKED THAT A MAN, WHOSE ONLY CRIME IS THAT HE STANDS FOR JESUS IS NOW IN A PRISON BEING TORTURED, SEXUALLY ABUSED, STARVING, THIRSTY, AND FILTHY….AND YES WE ARE SHOCKED THAT TERRORISTS ENTERED CHURCHES AND GUNNED DOWN, RAPED, AND CHOPPED UP EVERYONE THERE BECAUSE THEY BELIEVE IN JESUS…YES IT IS A SAD COMMENTARY…BUT THAT IS A RELIGIOUS THING…NOT A PEOPLE THING, NOT A GOVERNMENT PROBLEM….THAT IS WHY WE NEED TO JOIN HANDS…BECOME ONE WORLD BELIEF SYSTEM…AND THEN OUR ENEMIES WILL BECOME OUR BROTHERS AND THE SENSELESS KILLINGS WILL STOP.

      And they declare their sin as Sodom; they do not hide it…Their sin is openly displayed, and they have no sense of shame. The cultural dynamic in Isaiah's day was probably much the same as in our time. In the name of "frankness" and "honesty" and "let's not be hypocrites," all kinds of sin is approved, and no one is "allowed" to proclaim a standard unless they live up to it perfectly.

      YES…THIS MAN, THIS PRIEST, THIS PERSON HAS BEEN FOUND GUILTY OF SODOMY, YES THEY HAVE SEXUALLY ABUSED BABIES, YOUNG CHILDREN, THEIR OWN CHILDREN, THEIR NEIGHBORS CHILDREN…BUT WE MUST HAVE COMPASSION AND IF NOT SUPPORT, UNDERSTANDING OF THEIR OWN SEXUAL CHOICES, THEIR SEXUAL PARTNERS PREFERENCES. THEY CAN NOT HELP IT THAT THEY LIKE BABIES AND CHILDREN OR THE SAME SEX…WE MUST OFFER THEM THERAPIES, REHIBILITATION, AND WE MUST BE WILLING TO PAY FOR OUR DOCTORS, PENAL SYSTEMS, AND OUR PSYCHIATRISTS TO STUDY THEM, RESEARCH THEM, AND WORK WITH THEM TO HELP THEM GAIN CONTROL OF THEIR PREFERENCES. WE ARE BIGGER THAN THAT…WE MUST ACCEPT THEM AND MOVE ON…

      Outward decency is important. It is important to not talk about many sins, even though they exist, and sometimes touch the church. It is through these means that God's people declare a standard, even though they or the world do not perfectly measure up to a standard.

      Ephesians 5:12 matters here: “For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret.”

      BUT TURN ON THE MEDIA ANYYYYY DAY OF THE WEEK, AND THE SENSATIONALIST MEDIA AND TALKING HEADS CAN NOT WAIT TO TELL YOU WHO IS SLEEPING AROUND ON WHOM, WHEN, WHERE, AND WE HAVE THE PICTURES TO PROVE IT.

      OR HOW THEY CONNED THEIR SPOUSE OR SIGNIFIGANT OTHER OUT OF MONEY, THEIR MARRIAGE, THEIR NAME, THEIR HONOR, AND HAPPILY BROADCAST IT PROUDLY FOR ALL THE WORLD TO HEAR, SEE, AND KNOW.

      One of the most destructive lies of our time is that it is wrong or hypocritical to have a standard that we don't live up to. No one has always told the truth, yet it is right and good to teach our children, "Don't lie."

      BUT SOCIETY NOW CALLS IT LITTLE WHITE LIES…EVERYONE TELLS THEM…IT IS NO BIG DEAL.

      It IS SOOOOOOO WRONG, and destructive, for someone to answer, "You can't tell your child not to lie. You have lied in the past. You are a hypocrite."

      This attitude in our society OF LIVE AND LET LIVE, BE A FREE SPIRIT, DO WHATEVER YOU WANT, REGARDLESS WHO IT HURTS…THEIR HURTS, SHAMES ARE THEIRRRRRRRRR PROBLEM NOT YOURS.

      COMMENTARY LIKE THAT translates into a certain result: a wholesale lowering of standards. Also, the charge of hypocrisy is FALSE THEN.

      It is NOT HYPOCRITICAL to promote a standard you don't perfectly meet.

      ALTHOUGH, SATAN, MANKIND, AND THE WORLD WANT TO RE-CREATE AND RE-DEFINE IT.

      TRUE HYPOCRISY WAS/IS/EVER SHALL BE when you pretend to keep the standard when you do not, or think it is fine for you to not keep the standard, when you think others should.

      Woe to their soul! For they have brought evil upon themselves…YOU NOTICE God did NOT have TO DO ANYTHING unique or special to bring this judgment on Jerusalem and Judah. All He had to do was leave them alone, LIFT HIS HAND OF PROTECTION, and allow them to bring evil upon themselves.

      When the LORD gives a nation the leadership they desire and deserve, it is either a blessing or a curse. In Judah's case in the time of Isaiah, it was a curse. In the United States at the end of the 20th Century, IT IS A CURSE.

      Say to the righteous that it shall be well with them, for they shall eat the fruit of their doings…WHAT THIS REMINDS US, CHRISTIANS, WHO LOVE JESUS CHRIST & ARE STRIVING TO LIVE AS JESUS EXPECTS…CAN KNOW AND BE REASSURED THAT GOD KNOWS HOW TO BLESS AND PROTECT US, HIS CHILDREN, EVEN IN THE MIDST OF CITY, STATE, COUNTRY, AND GLOBAL JUDGMENT.

      Sometimes this is only seen in the perspective of eternity, but God assures us that the righteous WILL NEVER SHARE the same fate as the wicked.

      ALL THE WAY BACK IN GENESIS 18:25, Abraham KNEW THIS PRINCIPLE well when he said to the LORD, "Far be it from You to do such a thing as this, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous should be as the wicked; far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?"

      They shall eat the fruit of their doings … for the reward of his hands shall be given him…THIS MEANS THAT GOD WILL GIVE BOTH THE RIGHTEOUS AND THE WICKED the reward they deserve.

      For the righteous, THOSE THAT LOVE JESUS CHRIST, this is a GREAT COMFORT, BUTTTTTTTTT….for the wicked, it is a curse.

      CHARLES SPURGEON SAYS OF THIS “WOE TO THE WICKED…“It shall be ill with the wicked, and let no present appearance lead you to doubt it … The eyes that never weep for sin here will weep in awful anguish for ever … It will be a profitable thing for thee to feel the wrath of God heavy on thy spirit now, for if not, it will crush thee, crush thee down and down without hope, world without end. It shall be ill with you."

      As for My people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them…Again, the LORD both declares and bemoans His judgment on Judah, that they have been given incompetent and ungodly leadership. Those who lead you cause you err, and destroy the way of your paths.

      Women rule over them…this was seen as a curse, not a blessing.

      WHY?
      Certainly, God may raise up particular women at particular times to be leaders in different spheres. Deborah (Judges 4-5) and Esther are examples of this. But this entirely different than a society where, in general, women rule over them. Such a society is cursed, not blessed.
      AND IT IS BECAUSE WOMEN HAVE HAD TO RESORT TO STEPPING UP TO THE PLATE TO BE THE PARENT, THE PROVIDER, THE DEFENDER, AND PROTECTOR IN THEIR HOMES….WHEN ALMIGHTY GOD COMMANDED THE MAN TO LOVE, CARE FOR, PROTECT, PROVIDE, AND LEAD THE FAMILY.

      SOCIETY WORLDWIDE TODAY SEES MORE AND MORE WOMEN BEING LEFT OR EXPECTED TO DO NOT ONLY WHAT ALMIGHTY GOD COMMANDED THEM TO DO AND BE…BUT THEY MUST NOW ALSOOOOOOOOO BE THE HEAD OF THE HOUSEHOLD.

      AND THAT INFURIATES ALMIGHTY GOD…THAT MEN ARE WALKING AWAY FROM, LEAVING, ABANDONING, OR LYING ABOUT AND EXPECTING AND DEMANDING THEIR WIVES TO DO IT ALL. AND IN GROWING NUMBERS OF CASES, WOMEN WALKING AWAY FROM THEIR CHILDREN, THEIR SPOUSES, THEIR HOMES…TO PLEASE THEMSELVES.



      Verses 13-15 tells us GOD’S CASE AGAINSTTTTT JUDAH…FIRST THEIR ILL TREATMENT OF THE POOR.

      “The LORD stands up to plead, and stands to judge the people. The LORD will enter into judgment with the elders of His people and His princes: "For you have eaten up the vineyard; the plunder of the poor is in your houses. What do you mean by crushing My people and grinding the faces of the poor?" says the Lord GOD of hosts.”

      DO YOU HEAR AS I DO, THE FURY IN ALMIGHTY GOD’S VOICE?

      The LORD stands up to plead, and stands to judge the people…

      WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?

      THE LORD is both a prosecutor (stands up to plead) and a judge against Judah. When you are in court, and the prosecutor and the judge are the same person, you KNOW you are going to be found guilty!

      The plunder of the poor is in your houses. What do you mean by crushing My people, and grinding the faces of the poor?….God's charge IS AGAINST THE ELDERS AND THE PRINCES of Israel is not that they have failed to help the poor. That would be bad in itself. But far worse than that, they have ROBBED THE POOR, and taken advantage of their poverty to enrich themselves.

      I IMMEDIATELY THOUGHT OF THE JESUS HAWKERS…SEND ME 25 DOLLARS, PLANT A SEED IN MY MINISTRY, AND I WILL SEND YOU AN ANOINTED PRAYER CLOTH, A PRAYER MAT, A SACRED IDOL, HOLY WATER/OILS, A HOLY PRAYER SHAWL I HAVE PERSONALLY BLESSED AND PRAYED OVER…AND ONCE YOU DO AS I INSTRUCT…YOU WILL GET THAT JOB, GOD WILL SEND YOU MONEY, YOU WILL BE HEALED, YOU WILL WALK, YOU WILL…YOU WILL…YOU WILL…

      AS WELL AS THOSE PRIESTS, PASTORS, RELIGIOUS LEADERS WHO SAY, OF COURSE I WILL PRAY THAT YOUR DEAD FAMILY MEMBER WILL GO TO HEAVEN. YOU WANT TO GET RE-MARRIED, I CAN PERFORM THE VIRGINITY RITES UPON YOU, YES, I CAN PRAY AND ANOINT YOUR SICK FAMILY MEMBER, FOR THE FEE OF, OR A DONATION OF, OR A RECURRING TITHE OF….

      YOU NEED PRAYER, HEALING…BUT YOU HAVE NO MONEY, GIVE ME YOUR CAR, YOUR HOME, YOUR CHILD, WORK FOR ME FOR FREE, COOK FOR ME FOR FREE, HAVE SEX WITH ME, OR COME BACK WHEN YOU HAVEEEEEEEE THE MONEY REQUIRED TO OFFER THE PRAYERS.

      THE BIBLE TELLS US THERE IS A SPECIAL PLACE IN THE WAITING PRISON OF HELL AND A SPECIAL PLACE IN THE LAKE OF FIRE FOR ANYYYYYYYYYYYYONE, ANYYYYY MAN OR WOMAN OR ANYONE WHO PROSTITUTES HIM, AND ROBS THE NAÏVE, THE INNOCENT, THE SEEKING, THE LOST, AND THE POOR FOR THEIR OWN GAIN IN HIS NAME…

      Verses 16-23 tells us of the sinful women of Judah, and the judgment of the LORD against them.

      “Moreover the LORD says: "Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, and walk with outstretched necks and wanton eyes, walking and mincing as they go, making a jingling with their feet, therefore the Lord will strike with a scab the crown of the head of the daughters of Zion, and the LORD will uncover their secret parts." In that day the Lord will take away the finery: The jingling anklets, the scarves, and the crescents; the pendants, the bracelets, and the veils; the headdresses, the leg ornaments, and the headbands; the perfume boxes, the charms, and the rings; the nose jewels, the festal apparel, and the mantles; the outer garments, the purses, and the mirrors; the fine linen, the turbans, and the robes.”

      THE LIST GIVES US AN IDEA OF WHAT WAS IMPORTANT TO THE WOMEN OF JUDAH…THINGSSSSSSSS….SOCIETAL STATUS, BEING SEENNNN WEARING POSSESSIONS…OPEN WANTONNESS, MARRIED OR SINGLE…

      The daughters of Zion are haughty, and walk with outstretched necks… THIS MEANS THE WOMEN OF JUDAH WERE SNOBS, SELF-IMPRESSED, SAW THEMSELVES BETTER THAN ANYONE ELSE AND THEY BRAGGED, SHOWED OFF IN PUBLIC, AND THEY LIKED WHAT THEY SAW IN THEIR OWN MIRRORS.

      IN OTHER WORDS….THEIR OUTWARD APPEARANCES MIRRORED THEIR SELFISH, SELF-CENTERED ME MYSELF, AND I CORRUPTED INNER SOULS/BEINGS.

      IN Philippians 2:3, IN CONTRAST..,“Women of God are called to in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself .”

      Wanton eyes…MEANS THE WOMEN OF JUDAH were sexually seductive, promiscuous, & shameless in their lust thoughts, looks, and actions. They wanted to behold and attract what was sexually impure.

      IN CONTRAST, TITUS 2:5 SAYS, “Women of God are called to be discreet and chaste.”

      Walking and mincing as they go, making a jingling with their feet…THIS MEANS THE WOMEN OF JUDAH WERE OBSESSED with finery, luxury, and "accessories." They devoted far too much of their lives to their appearance and their image.

      For emphasis, the prophet declares a list of the "accessories" and luxury items the women of Judah longed for and devoted too much of their lives to…SOUNDS LIKE THE WOMEN OF JUDAH…LOVED TO SHOP AND LIVED TO SHOP AND BUY…THEY WERE WHAT WE CALL TODAY….SHOPAHOLICS…AND THEY OBVIOUSLY HAD PLENTY OF STORES BUILT TO SPEND THEIR TIME DOING SO.

      This love of finery, luxury, and the obtaining of it all is NOT UNIQUE TO JUST WOMEN. Many men have a problem with it also. MEN AND WOMEN THEN AND NOW…ALLOW THINGS TO ANNOUNCE THEIR FINANCIAL STATUS, THEIR SOCIAL HIPNESS, & THEIR FAD/FASHION/TECHNOLOGY UP-TO-SPEEDNESS WITH THE NEWEST, THE BEST, AND THE MOST UNIQUE AND EXPENSIVE.

      AND AN INTERVIEW WITH A SCHOOL TEACHER ABOUT THIS TOPIC SAYS IT ALL…"Men just don't understand that shopping is our drug of choice," she joked, even while admitting that some months her salary goes exclusively to paying the minimum balance on her credit cards. "Walking through the door of South Coast Plaza is like walking though the gates of heaven. God made car trunks for women to hide shopping bags in."

      ANOTHER YOUNG PROFESSIONAL SAYS OF THIS…“Shopping is my recreation. It's my way of pampering myself. When you walk into [a mall] and you see all the stores, it's like something takes over and you get caught up in it."

      IN CONTRAST, I PETER 3:3-4, WOMEN OF GOD ARE COMMANDED… “Do not let your adornment be merely outward; arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel; rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.”

      Their obsession with their appearance, their love of luxury, and their promiscuity made the daughters of Zion ripe for judgment…Therefore the Lord will strike with a scab the crown of the head of the daughters of Zion, and the LORD will uncover their secret parts. Their "crown" will be a scab, and instead of being beautifully adorned, they will be exposed and humiliated. Also, the Lord will take away the finery.

      INTERESTINGLY ENOUGH…In Isaiah's time, these judgments WERE connected with the coming invasions. Because of scarcity and disease, the haughty daughters of Zion would be sick and diseased. They would be raped and humiliated. And all their wonderful "accessories" would be taken away...AND THEY WERE.

      AND REMEMBER…Because of their role in the nurture of children COMMANDED THEM BY GOD, it is important that women of God live and think like women of God.

      WHY?

      BECAUSE THEN AND NOW…WHEN THE WOMEN OF A CULTURE become degenerate, then the hope for the next generation is GONE. But when the women of a culture turn to the LORD and His ways, there is great hope for the future.

      Verses 24-26 tells us MORE of the judgment of the LORD on the sinful daughters of Zion.

      “And so it shall be: Instead of a sweet smell there will be a stench; instead of a sash, a rope; instead of well-set hair, baldness; instead of a rich robe, a girding of sackcloth; and branding instead of beauty. Your men shall fall by the sword, and your mighty in the war. Her gates shall lament and mourn, and she being desolate shall sit on the ground.”

      Instead of … Instead of … Instead of … Instead of … instead of…The LORD will replace their finery with the marks of captivity and humiliation. They will live the stench, the baldness, the branding and the general deprivation of captivity.

      Do we realize how quickly God can take it all away?
      HE WHO CONTROLS OUR EVERY BREATH, EVERY BEAT OF OUR HEARTS? How much more reason to honor God with what we have, instead of indulging ourselves.

      THE PEOPLE OF JUDAH…THOUGHT THEM BEING THE CHOSEN WIFE OF ALMIGHTY GOD…HIS CHOSEN PEOPLE…MADE THEM IMPERVIOUS TO THE ILLS, PESTILENCES, DANGERS OF THE REST OF THE WORLD.

      Your men shall fall by the sword, and your mighty in the war…without doubt, one reason the daughters of Zion loved all the luxury and finery was because it made them more attractive to men. They felt they could "get" men that way. But their ungodly love of luxury and finery resulted in the loss of their men TOO.

      She being desolate shall sit on the ground…AND THEY BECAME SO.

      THERE HAS BEEN PRESERVED A ROMAN MEDAL, struck after Jerusalem's fall, shows a Jewish woman being desolate, sitting under a palm tree next to a Roman soldier.

      THE LOST WORLD IS BEGINNING TO FEEL AND SEE THE FIRST TINY WARNINGS OF THE GREAT TRIBULATION TO COME…THE EARTH IS SHAKING…THE GOVERNMENTS ARE FALTERING/FAILING…ALL THINGS ARE BEING SHAKEN…

      THIS TELLS THE PEOPLE OF JESUS….TO KEEP A WATCH ON THE EASTERN SKIES…FOR WITH PROPHECY BEING FULFILLED BEFORE OUR EYES EACH DAY, IN SMALL AND LARGE WAYS,…AND ADDED TO THIS THE THREE IMPORTANT HEBREW FEASTS GOING ON RIGHT NOW….THE NEW MOON, WITH THE PLANETS COMING INTO A NEW ALIGNMENT RIGHT NOW FOR THE FIRST TIME IN HUNDREDS OF YEARS….OUR JESUS COULD APPEAR IN THE CLOUDS…AT ANY MOMENT.

      THE IMPORTANT THING FOR MANKIND…IS DO YOU KNOW JESUS. HAVE YOU CALLED UPON HIM, HAVE YOU REPENTED, HAVE YOU INVITED HIM INTO YOUR HEART AND LIFE TO BE YOUR LORD AND SAVIOR…IF NOT…CALL UPON THE LORD JESUS CHRIST RIGHT NOW….FOR TOMORROW IS PROMISED TO NONE!

    • July 6, 2016 3:23 AM EDT
    • ISAIAH 4....THE CONCLUSION OF THE FIRST PROPHECY GOD GAVE TO ISAIAH IN A VISION OPENS WITH...The Messiah's Community

      Judgment on the daughters of Zion and a glorious hope.

      Verse 1tells us the desperate condition of the daughters of Zion.
      "And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, "We will eat our own food and wear our own apparel; only let us be called by your name, to take away our reproach."

      As a RESULT OF THE JUDGMENTS of the LORD told us IN ISAIAH 3:16-26, the daughters of Zion will have FEW MEN LEFT to choose from as husbands.
      So many men shall fall by the sword told to us IN ISAIAH 3:25, that seven women would chase after one man. They would be SO desperate for marriage that will NOT expect their husbands to provide for them at all (We will eat our own food and wear our own apparel).

      Instead, it would be enough to simply take the name of a husband (only let us be called by your name), so that it would take away the reproach of being unmarried and childless.

      In a broader sense, this shows that it is NOT GOOD FOR WOMEN TO BE TOO DESPERATE for marriage. They MAY marry unwisely, and for the WRONG reasons. It is ALSO BAD when women DO NOT expect their husbands to PROVIDE for the household.

      Verse 2 tells us the glorious hope of the Branch of the LORD.
      "In that day the Branch of the LORD shall be beautiful and glorious; and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and appealing for those of Israel who have escaped."

      In that day the Branch of the LORD shall be beautiful and glorious: the Branch of the LORD is a Messianic title, speaking of Jesus Christ.

      THE TITLE "A BRANCH", A IS SINGULAR, WHICH MEANS ONLY ONE...ONLY ONE BRANCH OF THE LORD...IS FOUND ALL THROUGH THE BIBLE, AMEN?.

      ISAIAH 11:1 says, "There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots."

      JEREMIAH 23:5 says, "Behold, the days are coming," says the LORD, "That I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness; a King shall reign and prosper, and execute judgment and righteousness in the earth."

      JEREMIAH 33:15 says, "In those days and at that time I will cause to grow up to David a Branch of righteousness; He shall execute judgment and righteousness in the earth."

      ZECHARIAH 3:8 says, " For behold, I am bringing forth My Servant the BRANCH."

      The ideas behind the title Branch of the LORD are those of fruitfulness and life. Jesus used the same image when He said that He was the vine and we are the branches IN (JOHN 15:5).

      In that day does not mean that the Messiah would appear when these judgments were taking place on the daughters of Zion. It means that the PROMISE OF THE MESSIAH would be all the more beautiful and glorious to them in the MIDST of their suffering.

      And the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and appealing for those of Israel who have escaped: for THE REMNANT preserved through judgment, the promise of the Messiah would be all the more beautiful, dear, and life-giving. Fruit would come forth from the Branch of the LORD, even as they simply trusted in the promise of the Messiah before He came.

      Verse 3 tells us of Zion under the government of the Branch of the LORD & holiness marks the society where THE BRANCH OF THE LORD reigns.
      "Holiness marks the society where the Branch of the LORD reigns. And it shall come to pass that he who is left in Zion and remains in Jerusalem will be called holy; everyone who is recorded among the LIVING in Jerusalem."

      "LIVING IN JERUSALEM....THIS REFERS TO "THAT REMNANT" THAT SURVIVES INTO 1000 YEAR REIGN OF JESUS IN JERUSALEM..

      Shall be called holy...in the days of the sinful daughters of Zion, they were called beautiful, they were called delicate, they were called attractive, they were called fashionable, and they were called sexy. But they were NOT CALLED HOLY.

      Everyone who is recorded...but in the days when the Branch of the LORD reigns, (1000 YEAR REIGN OF JESUS ON THIS EARTH) the distinguishing mark of all, including the daughters of Zion, is that they shall be called holy.
      Holy does NOT mean "super-spiritual."

      It does NOT mean sinless perfection.

      It does NOT mean spiritually superior and obnoxious.

      It DOES MEAN...a life, a heart, a mind, and a body that is genuinely separated UNTO the LORD. It is a life lived apart from the thinking and heart of this world, this flesh, and the devil, and lived apart to the LORD, AMEN?

      ISAIAH IS NOT REFERRING TO THE CHURCH HERE, WHO WILL BE RAPTURED BEFORE THE TRIBULATION...BUT THOSE WHO DO ACCEPT JESUS CHRIST AS THEIR LORD AND SAVIOR DURING AND AFTER THE TRIBULATION & SURVIVE INTO THE 1000 YEAR REIGN OF JESUS ON THIS EARTH.

      JUST TO MAKE SURE WE UNDERSTAND AND ARE NOT MISLED...THE REMNANT & DAUGHTERS OF ZION ARE OLD & NEW TESTAMENT NAMES FOR ISRAEL, BUT ALL THOSE GENTILES WHO ARE SAVED DURING THE TRIBULATION AND SURVIVE IT...ARE ALSOOOOOOO INCLUDED...WHEN JESUS & ALL OF HEAVEN COME TO WATCH JESUS DESTROY THE ANTICHRIST, HIS FALSE PROPHET, PUT SATAN IN CHAINS...AS WELL...AMEN?

      THE OLD TESTAMENT SAINTS WHO DIED IN THE PROMISED HOPE OF JESUS, THE RAPTURED CHURCH, THE CHRISTIANS MURDERED DURING THE TRIBULATION (CALLED MARTYRED SAINTS IN REVELATION) HAVE ALREADY BEEN IN HEAVEN. THEY HAVE ALREADY RECEIVED THEIR ETERNAL, PERFECT IMMORTAL BODIES, MINDS THAT CO-HEIR WITH JESUS. ALL THESE WILL RETURN, FILL THE HEAVENS WORLDWIDE, WITH JESUS AT THE BATTLE OF ARMAGEDDON, TO SAVE ZION (THOSE REMAINING ALIVE SAVED CHRISTIANS & JEWS) FROM COMPLETE ANNIHILATION OF THE ANTICHRIST AND THE WORLD.

      Verses 4-6 tells us MORE More characteristics of the society where the Branch of the LORD reigns.
      "When the Lord has washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and purged the blood of Jerusalem from her midst, by the spirit of judgment and by the spirit of burning, then the LORD will create above every dwelling place of Mount Zion, and above her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day and the shining of a flaming fire by night. For over all the glory there will be a covering. And there will be a tabernacle for shade in the daytime from the heat, for a place of refuge, and for a shelter from storm and rain."

      The Lord has washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion...when the Branch of the LORD reigns, there will be cleansing. The cleansing will not come easily; it will come by the spirit of judgment and the spirit of burning. But it will be worth it."

      TRAPP SAYS..."Sin is the excrement of the soul, the superfluity or garbage of naughtiness, the devil's vomit. From this abominable filth Christ hath 'loved and washed his with his own blood, that he may make them kings and priests unto God and his Father."

      A cloud and smoke by day and the shining of a flaming fire by night: when the Branch of the LORD reigns, there will be the tangible presence of the LORD. Just as in the days of the Exodus, God will be as real as a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night TOLD TO US IN EXODUS 13:21-22.

      And there will be a tabernacle for shade … a place of refuge, and for a shelter from storm...when the Branch of the LORD reigns, there will be protection from the LORD. The LORD's people will be safe and secure, washed, and in the abiding presence of the LORD.

      CALVIN, A WONDERFUL BIBLE SCHOLAR, SAYS..."Nothing is more necessary than that we follow our calling, and perform our duty faithfully. It belongs equally to the condition of the good and of the bad that they suffer man incoveniencies; but bad men have no refuge, no place of concealment in which they may hide themselves, and they must be utterly overwhelmed. But blessed is the condition of the godly; for although they endure heat and cold, still they have a safe refuge in God."

      If we are really born again, we want to be washed, have the presence of the LORD, and enjoy His protection. Many people only want the LORD's constant presence and protection. But He doesn't grant those apart from His cleansing.

      WE CAN CALL ON JESUS 24/7/365...HE IS WAITING.
      HE IS READY, WILLING, AND ABLE TO SAVE TO CLEANSE, AND TO GIVE YOU A NEW REDEEMED LIFE IN HIM.

      CALL ON THE NAME ABOVE ALL NAMES AND YOU SHALL BE SAVED AND REDEEMED.....

      JUST CRY OUT TO OUR JESUS!

    • July 6, 2016 3:21 AM EDT
    • ISAIAH 5 OPENS WITH...

      The PARABLE OF THE Vineyard of the LORD

      Verses 1-2 tells us of the UNPRODUCTIVE vineyard

      "Now let me sing to my Well-beloved a song of my Beloved regarding His vineyard: my Well-beloved has a vineyard on a very fruitful hill. He dug it up and cleared out its stones, and planted it with the choicest vine. He built a tower in its midst, and also made a winepress in it; so He expected it to bring forth good grapes, but it brought forth wild grapes."
      For those of you who do not know...a PARABLE...is a story that gives and teaches a lesson, moral, warning, consequence, and/or judgment.
      The story is about a vineyard that had MANY advantages:
      1. It BELONGED to a LOVING person (my Well-beloved).
      2. It was PLANTED on a very FRUITFUL hill.
      3. The ground was CAREFULLY PREPARED (dug it up and cleared out its stones).
      4. It was planted with GOOD STOCK(planted it with the choicest vine).
      5. It was PROTECTED (a tower in its midst).
      6. PROVISION was made for the fruit to be PROCESSED (made a winepress in it).

      CHARLES SPURGEON says of this scripture: "I have been thinking of the advantages of my own position towards the Lord, and lamenting with great shamefacedness that I am not bringing forth such fruit to him as my position demands. Considering our privileges, advantages, and opportunities, I fear that many of us have need to feel great searchings of the heart."

      With ALL THESE ADVANTAGES, it is not surprising that He EXPECTED it to bring forth good grapes.
      What else would be expected?
      But instead it brought forth WILD GRAPES.

      SO WHAT DOES "WILD GRAPES" MEAN?

      Wild grapes ARE FAR WORSE...than UNFRUITFULNESS.
      The New Testament also speaks of a faith that brings forth fruit, but the fruit is DEAD WORKS, which pollute the air like a cadaver.

      The wolfsbane, or wild vine IN 2 Kings 4:39, TELLS US IT does bear beautiful berries, but they are bitter, foul-smelling and poisonous in nature.

      WILD GRAPES is a PRECISE BIBLICAL DESCRIPTION of the SELF-WILLED & FALSE RELIGION of the unfaithful covenant people.

      Wild grapes ALSO MEANS that the vineyard produced just what you would expect it to produce if NOTHING had been done to it. All the love, care, time, work, and investment resulted had NO GOOD RESULT.

      Verses 3-4 tells us God asks Jerusalem and Judah to CONSIDER the story of the vineyard.

      "And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem and men of Judah, judge, please, between Me and My vineyard. What more could have been done to My vineyard that I have not done in it? Why then, when I expected it to bring forth good grapes, did it bring forth wild grapes?"

      Judge, please, between Me and My vineyard...GOD'S QUESTION is simple. Who is TO BLAME for the harvest of only wild grapes?

      Is it the fault of the OWNER of the vineyard, or is it the fault of the VINEYARD itself?

      THEN AS NOW, WE KNOW THAT FARMING is a matter of cause and effect. Literally, one could NEVER "blame" a vineyard for lack of production IN THE NATURAL WORLD. IF THE VINEYARD FAILS..IT CAN BE WEATHER, PESTILENCE, AND/OR LACK OF CARE OF THE OWNER.

      BUTTTTTTTTTT...in the LORD's vineyard, the WILL OF MAN IS AN ADDED FACTOR.

      What more could have been done to My vineyard?
      In the story, there was NOTHING LEFT UNDONE by the owner of the vineyard.
      HE did ALL HE could do.
      In the same way, God CAN NOT BE BLAMED at all for the wild grapes Israel brought forth. God DID ALL HE COULD DO, apart from making men robots, acting apart from or against their wills, AMEN?

      CHARLES SPURGEON says of this scripture..."O you that profess to be his people, what more could Christ have done for you? What more could the Holy Spirit have done? What richer promises, what wiser precepts, what kinder providences, what more gracious patience?"

      IT IS POSSIBLE for God to do a work in His people, but for His people to receive that work IN VAIN.
      REMEMBER 2 CORINTHIANS 6:1, where Paul warns, "We then, as workers together with Him also plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain."

      Of course, a LITERAL vineyard doesn't "DO" anything.
      But we, as GOD'S VINEYARD, are called to work with the grace of God, so that grace is not received in vain. Grace IS NOT GIVEN because of ANY OF OUR WORKS, past, present or promised; yet IT IS GIVEN TO ENCOURAGE work, not to say work is unnecessary.
      IN OTHER WORDS, JESUS DOES NOT WANT US TO RECEIVE HIS GRACE AND BECOME PASSIVE.
      Paul knew that God gives His grace, SO WE CAN WORK HARD & SEE THE WORK OF GOD GETS DONE.

      REMEMBER MATTHEW 21:33-46...EVEN JESUS used this SAME IMAGERY in His parable of the wicked tenants and the vineyard.

      CHARLES SPURGEON ASKS THE QUESTION OF HIMSELF AND OF US..."Has it been so with us? Have we rewarded the Wellbeloved thus ungratefully for all his pains? Have we given him hardness of heart, instead of repentance; unbelief, instead of faith; indifference, instead of love; idleness, instead of holy industry; impurity, instead of holiness?"

      ANY OF US WHO ARE HONEST WITH OURSELVES AND WITH JESUS WILL PLEAD GUILTY TO ALL CHARGES...AT ONE TIME OR ANOTHER IN OUR LIVES, AMEN?

      Verses 5-7 tells us of God's JUDGMENT on the UNPRODUCTIVE vineyard.

      "And now, please let Me tell you what I WILL DO to My vineyard: I WILL take away its hedge, and it shall be burned; and break down its wall, and it shall be trampled down. I WILL lay it waste; it shall not be pruned or dug, but there shall come up briers and thorns. I WILL also command the clouds that they rain no rain on it." For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah are His pleasant plant. He looked for justice, but behold, oppression; for righteousness, but behold, a cry for help."

      I WILL take away ITS HEDGE...All the owner of the vineyard must do is STOP PROVIDING SPECIAL PROTECTION to the vineyard, and it shall be burned … it shall be trampled down.

      In a LIMITED SENSE, God has given the responsibility of "taking away hedges" TO THE CHURCH.

      WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?
      When a Christian is stubbornly unrepentant, it may be the job of the church to "turn them over" to Satan, so they will feel the pain of their sin and repent as told to us IN 1 Timothy 1:20 & 1 Corinthians 5:4-5.

      THE CHURCH DOES THIS by putting such ones OUTSIDE the spiritual protection found among God's people.

      I WILL lay it waste; it shall not be pruned or dug...The vineyard WILL receive NOTHING FROM the LORD.

      The vineyard RESISTED THE PRUNING AND DIGGING AND WATERING the owner did.
      So now, the owner says, OKAY...YOU DO NOT WANT NOR APPRECIATE NOR LIKE MY TENDER LOVING PROTECTIVE CARE? HERE YOU GO...No more pruning or digging or watering. You will see for yourself if that is better. HOW IS THAT WORKING OUT FOR YOU?

      MANY DISCOURAGED CHILDREN OF GOD wish the LORD would stop pruning, stop digging, stop watering. Those things may be hard, but it is even worse when the LORD stops doing them!

      He looked for justice, but behold oppression; for righteousness, but behold, weeping...ISAIAH plays on words here. GOD FOUND THE OPPOSITE OF EVERYTHING HE WAS LOOKING FOR IN JUDAH.

      ALMIGHTY GOD SAYS WOE TO THE NATION RIPE FOR JUDGMENT....AND HE SPEAKS TO THE LAND BARONS FIRST.

      Verses 8-10 tells us WOE TO THE LAND BARONS...

      "Woe to those who join house to house; they add field to field, till there is no place where they may dwell alone in the midst of the land! In my hearing the LORD of hosts said, "Truly, many houses shall be desolate, great and beautiful ones, without inhabitant. For ten acres of vineyard shall yield one bath, and a homer of seed shall yield one ephah."

      Woe to those who join house to house...THIS IS A TRUE PICTURE OF GREEDY REAL ESTATE BUYING & DEVELOPMENT.

      TRAPP SPEAKS VERY WELL OF THIS SCRIPTURE..."Covetous persons are of the dragon's temper, who, they say, is so thirsty, that no water can quench his thirst. Covetousness is a dry drunkenness, saith one, an insatiable dropsy, and like hell itself."

      Many houses SHALL BE desolate, great and beautiful ones, without inhabitant...In judgment, their real estate DEALS WILL NOT BE SUCCESSFUL, and they will have MANY vacant and unsold houses.

      CHARLES SPURGEON SAYS IT BEST..."When men are covetous after the THINGS OF THIS WORLD, God has a way of making them to be filled with disappointment and with bitterness."

      Verses 11-17 tells us...Woe to those who party endlessly, and celebrate everything BUT GOD.

      "Woe to those who rise early in the morning, that they may follow intoxicating drink; who continue until night, till wine inflames them! The harp and the strings, the tambourine and flute, and wine are in their feasts; but they do not regard the work of the LORD, nor consider the operation of His hands. Therefore my people have gone into captivity, because they have no knowledge; their honorable men are famished, and their multitude dried up with thirst. Therefore Sheol has enlarged itself and opened its mouth beyond measure; their glory and their multitude and their pomp, and he who is jubilant, shall descend into it. People SHALL BE brought down, each man SHALL BE humbled, and the eyes of the lofty SHALL BE humbled. But the LORD of hosts SHALL BE exalted in judgment, and God who is holy SHALL BE hallowed in righteousness. Then the lambs shall feed in their pasture, and in the waste places of the fat ones strangers shall eat."

      Woe to those who rise early in the morning, that they may follow intoxicating drink...THIS IS A VISUAL PICTURE OF THOSE WHO ...PARTY TIL THEY DROP...LIVE FOR PARTIES...of those who "work hard" to party and endlessly celebrate. Their lives are filled with substance abuse and music - But they DO NOT REGARD the work of the LORD, nor consider the operation of His hands.

      SO WHAT IS SOOOOOO WRONG ABOUT the partying and addicted to entertainment lifestyle?
      IT FORGETS ABOUT GOD WHO GAVE THEM ALL THEY HAVE AND ENJOY.
      Though SOME MAY CLAIM TO REMEMBER JESUS...AND GIVE HIM LIP SERVICE FOR ALL THEY HAVE, JESUS CHRIST IS NOT FOOLED NOR BLIND.
      HE KNOWS AND READS THE HEART...& HE KNOWS WHO DOES AND WHO DOES NOT regard the work of the LORD, nor consider the operation of His hands.
      Anyone who really does regard the work of the LORD, and really does consider the operation of His hands, will live AS IF JESUS IS REAL AND IN THEIR CONSTANT DAY TO DAY MIDST & WILL KNOW there is much more to life than partying and entertainment AMEN?

      Therefore My people have gone into captivity...those who forget about God because of their partying and entertainment WILL BE judged by a captivity that will end the laughs (he who is jubilant, shall descend into it), exalt the LORD (the LORD of hosts shall be exalted in judgment), and reward the meek (the lambs shall feed in their pasture).

      AS A PARENT, AND NOW A GRANDMOTHER, I DO NOT THINK THERE IS MUCH THAT CAN BREAK THE HEART FASTER, CRUELER, AND WITH MORE SURGEON'S PRECISION SKILL...THAN A THANKLESS, SELF-CENTERED CHILD.

      AND AS A CHILD OF THE MOST HIGH GOD, I KNOW IN MY LIFETIME, I HAVE BROKEN THE HEART OF MY LOVING FATHER TOO MANY TIMES TO COUNT....HOW ABOUT YOU? AND AS PAUL SAID OF HIMSELF...CHIEF AMONG SINNERS, AMEN?

      Verses 18-21 tells us...Woe to those who confuse moral issues, who think that they know better than God does.

      "Woe to those who draw iniquity with cords of vanity, and sin as if with a cart rope; that say, "Let Him make speed and hasten His work, that we may see it; and let the counsel of the Holy One of Israel draw near and come, that we may know it." Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!"

      Woe to those who draw iniquity with cords of vanity...THIS MEANS THEY PULL THEIR SIN TO THEMSELVES WITH ROPES OF EMPTINESS!

      POOLE, A WONDERFUL BIBLE SCHOLAR says of this scripture..."They are not only drawn to sin by the allurements of the world, or by the persuasions of wicked men, being surprised and overtaken by sin, as sometimes good men are … but are active and industrious in drawing sin to themselves, or themselves to sin; that greedily and steadily pursue sin, and the occasions of it, and are not at rest until they have overtaken it; that sin wilfully, and resolvedly, and industriously."

      They say, "Let the counsel of the Holy One of Israel draw near and come, that we may know it....In saying these HOLIER THAN THOU, PUFFED UP ON SELF EMPTY WORDS, they show their arrogant CONTEMPT of the LORD. It is as if they are saying, "Go ahead, God. DO YOUR JUDGING...DO YOUR WORST. We are ready for your judgment."

      ONCE AGAIN POOLE says it all...."He (ALMIGHTY GOD) either cannot or will not do us any harm: we do not fear him, let him do his worst; let him begin as soon as he pleaseth. Not that any of the Israelites were so impudent as to use these expressions; but this was the plain language of their actions; they LIVED AS IF THEY WERE of this opinion; their presumption and security showing their desperate contempt of God, and of all his judgments."

      Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil...JUST AS SATAN WAS CLEVER IN THE GARDEN OF EDEN WITH EVE, CLEVERLY TWISTING & USING DECEPTIVE WORDS AND REASONINGS...they do so now to BLUR MORAL ISSUES & EXCUSE THEIR SIN. They look at their own evil and call it good, and they look at the good of others and call it evil. Isaiah is describing a deep state of moral confusion & intentional blindness.

      Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes...They are full of pride, and reject the wisdom and standards of God.

      WE HAVE HEARD THE CRITICS SPOUT SUCH THINGS AS: "The Bible? It's so judgmental. Judge not lest you be judged. It's all how you interpret it. You have your interpretation and I have mine."

      ALL THIS THINKING exalts the wisdom of man over the Word of Almighty God, the Triune God, the CREATOR of us all, AMEN?

      Verses 22-23 tells us of the woe to the corrupt, who place greater value on drinking than on fairness and justice.

      "Woe to men mighty at drinking wine, woe to men valiant for mixing intoxicating drink, who justify the wicked for a bribe, and take away justice from the righteous man!"

      Woe to the men mighty at drinking..this means THESE MEN ARE MEN OF accomplishment, of high achievement - IN SIN!

      TRAPP...A GREAT BIBLE SCHOLAR/HISTORIAN says of this scripture..."The prophet inveighth against this vice a second time, because it was grown so common. Drunkards also are a sottish kind of creatures, and had therefore more than need to be double dealt with … Many of these sots take it for a great glory that they are mighty to drink wine."

      AND DID YOU KNOW....KING ALPHONUS SAID..."When one was commended to King Alphonsus for a great drinker, and able to bear it, he answered that that was a good praise in a sponge, but not in a prince."

      Who justify the wicked for a bribe, and take away justice from the righteous man...These are men who care ONLY for their own pleasure and entertainment, and care nothing for others.

      Verses 24-30 tells us The LORD promises a sure and complete judgment.

      "Therefore, as the fire devours the stubble, and the flame consumes the chaff, so their root will be as rottenness, and their blossom will ascend like dust; because they have rejected the law of the LORD of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel. Therefore the anger of the LORD is aroused against His people; He has stretched out His hand against them and stricken them, and the hills trembled. Their carcasses were as refuse in the midst of the streets. For all this His anger is not turned away, but His hand is stretched out still. He will lift up a banner to the nations from afar, and will whistle to them from the end of the earth; surely they shall come with speed, swiftly. No one will be weary or stumble among them, no one will slumber or sleep; nor will the belt on their loins be loosed, nor the strap of their sandals be broken; whose arrows are sharp, and all their bows bent; their horses' hooves will seem like flint, and their wheels like a whirlwind. Their roaring will be like a lion, they will roar like young lions; yes, they will roar and lay hold of the prey; they will carry it away safely, and no one will deliver. In that day they will roar against them like the roaring of the sea. And if one looks to the land, behold, darkness and sorrow; and the light is darkened by the clouds."

      As the fire devours the stubble, as the flame consumes the chaff... Stubble and chaff are both VERY AND EASILY FLAMMABLE. God is warning of sudden, complete, and severe judgment.

      Because they have rejected the law of the LORD of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel...Every one of Judah's sins could be TRACED BACK to a rejection and despising of what God says.
      Man's opinion was FAR MORE IMPORTANT to them than God's word.

      He will lift up a banner to the nations from afar, and will whistle to them from the end of the earth...God will call foreign nations to come and invade Judah, making them instruments of His judgment upon them.

      They shall come with speed, swiftly … No one will be weary or stumble among them … Nor will the belt on their loins be loosed … Whose arrows are sharp, and all their bows bent...the armies God will call against Judah are ALL BUSINESS. They are totally focused, prepared, and readied - while the strong men of Judah use their strength for drinking contests! This would be a great mismatch, and a soft, drunk, and flabby Judah will certainly fall against such DEDICATED, HIGHLY TRAINED & DISCIPLINED enemies.

      If we will not be strong for our own sakes, or even for the sake of the LORD, should we not at least be strong for the sake of our enemies? If they are strong and focused against us, should we not be strong in the LORD, and focused on the LORD, to overcome such strong enemies?

      Behold, darkness and sorrow; and the light is darkened by the clouds... This is a DISTRESSING place to be in.

      WHYYYYYYYYY would the LORD put Judah in such a place? Because He loves them. These words are harsh, but merciful; the words are a slap in the face to prevent total and eternal destruction. The only question is, "Will we listen to God's warning?"

      AND CHARLES SPURGEON REMINDER SAYS IT BEST..."God's woes ARE FAR BETTER than the devil's welcomes."

    • July 6, 2016 3:19 AM EDT
    • ISAIAH 6

      OPENS WITH ISAIAH'S CONVICTION, CLEANSING, & CALL.

      Verses 1-2 tell us what the PROPHET ISAIAH SAW.)

      "In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple. Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew."

      King Uzziah of Judah had a LONG & DISTINGUISHED REIGN, described in 2 Chronicles 26 and in 2 Kings 15:1-7 (AND REMEMBER THIS Uzziah is called Azariah in 2 Kings 15).

      DID YOU KNOW...Uzziah BEGAN HIS REIGN when he was only 16 years old, and he reigned 52 years.
      OVERALL, HE WAS A GOOD KING.
      2 Kings 15:3 TELLS US, "He did what was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father Amaziah had done."
      AND 2 Chronicles 28:5 says, "He sought God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the visions of God; and as long as he sought the LORD, God made him prosper."

      AND DID YOU KNOW...Uzziah also LED Israel in MILITARY victories over the Philistines and other neighboring nations, and he was a strong king.

      ALSO....Uzziah was a energetic builder, planner, and general TOO!
      2 Chronicles 26:8 TELLS US, "His fame spread as far as the entrance of Egypt, for he strengthened himself exceedingly."

      But THE BIBLE TELLS US Uzziah's life ended TRAGICALLY.
      WHERE?
      2 Chronicles 26:16 TELLS US, "But when he was strong his heart was lifted up, to his destruction, for he transgressed against the LORD his God by entering the temple of the LORD to burn incense on the altar of incense. In response, God struck Uzziah with leprosy, and he was an isolated leper until his death."

      So, FOR ISAIAH TO SAY....IN THE YEAR KING UZZIAH DIED...IS to say A LOT.
      WHY?
      It is to say, "In the year a great and wise king died." But it is also to say, "In the year a great and wise king who had a tragic end died."
      Isaiah HAD GREAT REASON to be discouraged and disillusioned at the death of King Uzziah, because a great king had passed away, and because his life ended tragically. ISAIAH BASICALLY IS SAYING WHAT WE HAVE ALL SAID IN OUR HEART AND MIND DURING TRAGEDY....WHERE ARE YOU LORD IN ALL THIS???
      BUT OUR JESUS ANSWERED ISAIAH'S THOUGHT WITH HIS VISION...ALMOST BEFORE THE THOUGHT LEFT HIS HEART AND HIS MIND...
      I SAW the LORD sitting on a throne...Where was the LORD in all this? The LORD was sitting on a throne! God was still enthroned in heaven, and was STILL IN TOTAL COMPLETE CHARGE of all creation, AMEN?

      NEVER DOUBT, THEN OR NOW THAT THERE ISSSSS A THRONE IN HEAVEN, and the LORD God sits upon it as the sovereign ruler of the universe! This is central fact of heaven; that there is an occupied throne in heaven.

      ALMIGHTY GOD DOES NOT SIT ON A CHAIR...OR HOVER AROUND UP THERE SOMEWHERE.
      ANYONE CAN SIT ON A CHAIR...BUT THE SOVEREIGN KING OF ALL KINGS, LORD OF ALL LORDS SITS ON THE THRONE.
      JUDGES MAY SIT ON THRONES, KINGS MAY SIT ON THRONES, BUT ONLYYYYYYYYY those with proper authority and sovereignty sit on thrones, AMEN?

      Isaiah was not alone in seeing God's throne.
      Almost EVERYONE IN THE BIBLE who had a vision of heaven, was taken to heaven, or wrote about heaven SPOKE OF GOD'S THRONE.
      The prophet MICHANIAH saw God's throne IN 1 Kings 22:19.
      Job saw God's throne IN Job 26:9.
      David saw God's throne IN Psalm 9:4 & 7, 11:4.
      The Sons of Korah saw God's throne IN Psalm 45:6, & 47:8.
      Ethan the Ezrahite saw God's throne IN Psalm 89:14.
      Jeremiah saw God's throne IN Lamentations 5:19
      Ezekiel saw God's throne IN Ezekiel 1:26, 10:1
      Daniel saw God's throne IN Daniel 7:9
      The Apostle John saw God's throne IN Revelation 4:1-11.

      In fact, the book of Revelation may as well be called "the book of God's throne," because God's throne is specifically mentioned more than 35 times in that book!

      AND WE KNOW, THEN AND NOW....THAT THE BOTTOM LINE OF ATHEISM, NEW AGE, & MATERIALISM IS THAT THERE IS NOOOOOOOOOO THRONE.
      NO SEAT OF AUTHORTIY.
      NO POWER OVER ALL THE UNIVERSE....NOTHING THAT MAN WILL EVER HAVE TO ANSWER TOO.

      THE BOTTOM LINE OF HUMANISM IS THAT THERE IS A THRONE...BUT MAN SITS UPON IT.

      But the Bible makes it clear that there is a throne in heaven, and no fallen man sits on the throne, but the Lord GOD is enthroned in heaven.

      Isaiah may have been depressed or discouraged because a great leader of Judah was no longer on the throne. God in heaven now shows Isaiah, "Don't worry about it, Isaiah. Uzziah may not be on his throne, but I am on My throne."

      High and lifted up...The throne was exalted and majestic. The throne set its Occupant in a superior position.

      The train of His robe filled the temple...
      DID YOU KNOW, IN THAT DAY, Kings of that time would wear robes with long trains, because they were difficult to maneuver and work in. Wearing a long train meant, "I am important enough that I don't have to work. I am a person of honor and dignity. Others must serve me and wait upon me." Essentially, the same is said when a bride wears a dress with a long train today.

      God is so honored, so important, so dignified, that the train of His robe filled the temple. That's a long train, AMEN?!

      Above it stood SERAPHIM...Surrounding the throne of God are angels known here as seraphim.
      In many other passages, these angels are known as cherubim (Psalm 80:1; Isaiah 37:16; Ezekiel 10:3) or as the living creatures of Revelation 4:6-11. This is the ONLY CHAPTER in the Bible where these creatures are named seraphim.

      SOME BIBLE CRITICS & MENTAL ELITIST DEBATE ENDLESSLY IN THEIR STANCE THAT DENY that cherubim and seraphim refer to the SAME BEINGS.

      But the name seraphim means, "burning ones."
      AND IN Ezekiel 1:13 & Ezekiel 10:15 describes cherubim this SAME WAY... "Their appearance was like burning coals of fire, like the appearance of torches going back and forth among the living creatures. The fire was bright, and out of the fire went lightning."

      SO NOW I, TOO LEARNED SOMETHING NEW TODAY...SERAPHIM AND CHERUBIM ARE TWO NAMES FOR THE SAME BURNING ONE CREATURES IN HEAVEN!

      HOW COOL IS THAT?

      ISAIAH SEES AND COUNTS SIX WINGS HERE AND AS ALWAYS, WE HAVE CONFIRMATION OF THAT IN THE NEW TESTAMENT IN REVELATION 4:8, JOHN ALSO MENTIONS THEIR SIX WINGS.
      WHY THE SIX WINGS?
      They NEED the six wings, so each can cover HIS FACE face (to show they are too lowly to look upon the LORD), so each can cover HIS FEET (to hide this "humble" area of the body, so nothing even possibly deficient is seen in the LORD's presence), and so each CAN FLY.

      AND HERE IS ANOTHER TRUTH...OLD TESTAMENT AND NEW TESTAMENT CONFIRMATION...THE SERAPHIM & CHERUBIM ARE NOT SEXLESS...THEY ARE ALLLLLLL MALE, JUST AS THE ANGELS IN HEAVEN ARE ALL MALE.

      HOW COOL IS THAT?

      AND REMEMBER TOO....The LORD said to Moses, "You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live" IN Exodus 33:20.
      Apparently the same is true even for angels, so the seraphim cover their faces.

      AND YOU NOTICE...The seraphim used four of their wings to express their humility, and used two of their wings to express their willingness and ability to serve God. This is the proper balance.

      CHARLES SPURGEON SAYS OF THIS SCRIPTURE..."Thus they have four wings for adoration and two for active energy; four to conceal themselves, and two with which to occupy themselves in service; and we may learn from them that we shall serve God best when we are most deeply reverend and humbled in his presence. Veneration must be in larger proportion than vigor, adoration must exceed activity. As Mary at Jesus' feet was preferred to Martha and her much serving, so must sacred reverence take the first place, and energetic service follow in due course."

      Verses 3-4 tells us WHAT ISAIAH HEARD...

      "And one cried to another and said: "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory!" And the posts of the door were shaken by the voice of him who cried out, and the house was filled with smoke."

      One cried to another and said...The seraphim are NOT even directly addressing the LORD God here. They are proclaiming His glorious nature and character to one another, in the presence of the LORD.

      Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts...

      MANY HAVE ASKED...Why do they repeat "holy" three times? Wasn't it enough to simply say that the LORD was "holy" once?

      THINK ABOUT IT....IT WAS NOT ENOUGH....BECAUSE OUR GOD IS A TRIUNE GOD....THREE PERSONS IN ONE....THEY WERE IN ESSENCE AND REALITY SAYING...
      HOLY IS ALMIGHTY GOD.
      HOLY IS JESUS CHRIST.
      HOLY IS THE HOLY SPIRIT.
      ALSO DID YOU KNOW...IN THE HEBREW LANGUAGE, INTENSITY IS COMMUNICATED BY REPETITION.
      To say the LORD is holy says something. To say the LORD is holy, holy, says far more. To say, holy, holy, holy is the LORD is to declare His holiness in the HIGHEST POSSIBLE DEGREE.

      SO WHAT does it mean that God is holy, and holy in the highest possible sense? Holiness, at its root, has the IDEA OF APARTNESS.
      It describes someone, or something, which is SET APART from other people or things.
      An object can be holy if it is SET APART for sacred service.
      A person is holy if they are SET APART for God's will and purpose.

      SOO WAITAAAAAMINNIT...What is the LORD set apart from?
      He is SET APART from creation, in that the Lord GOD is not a creature, and He exists outside of all creation. If all creation were to dissolve, the Lord GOD would remain, AMEN?
      He is SET APART from humanity, in that His "nature" or "essence" is Divine, not human. God is not a super-man or the ultimate man. God is not merely smarter than any man, stronger than any man, older than any man, or better than any man. You can't measure God on man's chart at all.

      He is DIVINE, PERFECT, PURE, & SINLESS and we are WICKED, FLAWED, SINFUL, MORTAL humans, AMEN?

      Yet, because we are made IN THE IMAGE of God TOLD TO US IN Genesis 1:26-27), humanity is compatible with Divinity.
      They ARE different, but they DO NOT automatically oppose each other.
      This is HOW Jesus, the Second Person of the Trinity, could add humanity to His deity when He became a man. Unfallen humanity is not deity, but it is compatible with it, AMEN?

      MANKIND NEEDED A BRIDGE, A WAY TO GOD....JESUS CHRIST BECAME THAT BRIDGE, THAT WAY, AMEN?

      God's holiness is a part of everything He is and does.
      WHAT DOES IT MEAN BY THAT?
      God's power is a holy power.
      God's love is a holy love.
      God's wisdom is a holy wisdom.
      Holiness is not an aspect of God's personality; it is one characteristic of His ENTIRE Being.

      The whole earth is full of His glory...The seraphim surrounding the throne of God could see this probably more clearly than Isaiah could. We are often blind to the obvious glory of God all around us. We overlook the sunrise painted by HOLY HANDS FOR US.
      WE OVERLOOK RAINBOWS...WE OVERLOOK CHILDREN'S LAUGHTER...THE BIRTH OF A BABY...OR NEW LIFE IN NATURE. THE BEAUTY OF THE FLOWERS AND FIELDS. THE MAJESTY OF MOUNTAINS...THE BREATH-TAKING VIEW OF WATER FALLS...THE RAIN ON OUR FACE...THE GENTLE BREEZE THAT COOLS...THE SUN THAT WARMS US..AND RARELY STOP TO THINK MUCH LESS THANK JESUS FOR THEM...AND REALIZE ALL OF THEM...AS WELL THE NIGHT DARK SKIES LITTERED WITH DIAMOND BRIGHT STARS AND THE MOON TO LIT OUR WAY...IS JESUS SAYING...I AM HERE...I KNOW WHAT YOU NEED...WHAT YOU LIKE...WHAT TOUCHES YOU...AND I HAVE PROVIDED...I KNOW YOU...I AM HERE...I AM THE GREAT I AM...YOU ARE NOT ALONE....I LOVE YOU.

      The posts of the door were shaken by the voice of him who cried out... The seraphim are majestic beings, and their voice carries weight. When they speak, the door posts of God's throne room shake! The idea may be that Isaiah was watching from the door way, and when the seraphim cried out, he could feel the door posts shake.

      Yet these high, majestic beings -perhaps the highest beings in all of God's creation - have ONE PURPOSE...ONE AND ONLY ONE occupation. Their existence is given over to the praise and worship and honor of the LORD God who is enthroned in heaven.
      NOW DO WE BEGIN TO SEE HOW POWERFUL PRAISE IS? WHAT IT DOES IN THE HEAVENLY THRONE ROOM....CAN BE BROUGHT AND DONE IN THE EARTH AND OUR LIVES AS WELL.
      What could we possibly do that is a higher calling than that?
      They sang so powerfully, the door posts were shaken! Shouldn't we sing with the same passion, the same heart, the same intensity? Do those angels have more to thank and praise God for than we do?

      The house was filled with smoke...This smoke reminds us of the pillar of cloud that represented the presence of God IN Exodus 13:21-22.
      The smoke on Mount Sinai IN Exodus 19:18.
      The cloud of God's Shekinah glory that filled the temple IN 1 Kings 8:10-12.

      THE BIBLE TEACHES US THAT A cloud of glory often marks the PRESENCE of the LORD.

      Verse 5 tells us WHAT ISAIAH FELT!
      "So I said: "Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts."

      Woe is me, for I am undone...What made Isaiah feel like he was coming apart?
      Two things.
      First, the sight and sound of the seraphim.
      Second, the vision of the Lord GOD.

      When Isaiah saw the LORD, he knew what kind of man he was. As poorly as he compared to the seraphim, that was nothing in relation to how he compared to the LORD. This vision/actual experience of the throne of God did NOT immediately make Isaiah feel good. The more clearly he saw the LORD, the more clearly he saw how bad his state was.

      JUST AS THE BIBLE TELLS US...THAT WHILE DEMONS TREMBLED IN FEAR, HID, AND FLED FROM THE FACE OF JESUS CHRIST...THOSE HE LOOKED AT FACE TO FACE, WEPT IN WONDER, AWE, AND SHAME...FOR THEY SAW THEMSELVES FOR WHO AND WHAT THEY REALLY WERE COMPARED TO THE PRECIOUS PURE PRICELESS FACE OF LIGHT OF JESUS CHRIST, AMEN?

      HERE TOO...Isaiah's deep sense of depravity is consistent with the experience of other godly men in the presence of the LORD.
      REMEMBER Job IN Job 42:5-6.
      Daniel IN Daniel 10:15-17.
      Peter IN Luke 5:8.
      John IN Revelation 1:7 EACH HAD SIMILAR experiences.

      Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips...Isaiah SAW his sinfulness, and the sinfulness of his people, mainly in terms of sinful SPEECH.

      By nature, our lips are full of flattery and false intent:
      Psalm 12:2 SAYS,"With flattering lips and a double heart they speak."
      By nature, our lips lie and are proud:
      Psalm 31:18 SAYS, "Let the lying lips be put to silence, which speak insolent things proudly and contemptuously against the righteous."
      By nature, our lips deceive:
      Psalm 34:13 SAYS, "Keep your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking deceit."
      By nature, our lips are violent:
      Psalm 59:7 SAYS, "Swords are in their lips."
      By nature, our lips bring death to others:
      Psalm 140:3 SAYS, "The poison of asps is under their lips."

      Isaiah did NOT think for a moment that this was his ONLY sin, but he saw that this was an example of the great and incurable disease of sin in him and his people.

      For my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts...Isaiah was a righteous, godly man by all outward appearance. Yet when he saw the enthroned King, the LORD of hosts, he saw how sinful he was in comparison.

      Isaiah's life may have been as brilliant as a diamond. But when you lay a diamond against a perfectly black background, and have the right light upon it, you can see every flaw and imperfection - flaws that were invisible before. Even so, when Isaiah's righteous life lay against the background of God's perfection, it looked different.

      Verse 6 tells us THE CLEANSING OF THE PROPHET, when a seraphim brings a coal from the altar.

      "Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a live coal which he had taken with the tongs from the altar."

      One of the seraphim flew to me...These angelic beings, surrounding the throne of God, ministered TO Isaiah. One flew to Isaiah with a live coal - which means the coal was still hot and burning. It was so hot that even an angel had to use the tongs from the altar.

      The altar...This must be heaven's version of the altar of incense that was set before the holy of holies in the tabernacle of God TOLD TO US IN Exodus 30:1-10. We know that the earthly tabernacle God instructed Moses to build was made after the pattern of a heavenly reality IN Exodus 25:9, AMEN?

      The throne is for God; that is where He rules and reigns. The altar is for us; that is where we find cleansing and purging from sin. We should never confuse the two!

      Verse 7 tells us A coal from the altar cleanses Isaiah's lips.

      "And he touched my mouth with it, and said: "Behold, this has touched your lips; your iniquity is taken away, and your sin purged."

      And he touched my mouth with it...This must have been painful; a burning hot coal applied to the lips, one of the more sensitive areas of the body. Yet, nothing is written that Isaiah reacted in pain. Either there was no pain, because of a special blessing by God, or the pain did not matter because of the majesty of the surroundings and the goodness of the cleansing, AMEN?

      CHARLES SPURGEON SAYS OF THIS SCRIPTURE, "Isaiah knew he did not serve the LORD like these seraphim, the burning ones. So God said, "I will light a fire in you, also!" That is why a burning coal was used to purify Isaiah. "Jehovah, who is a consuming fire, can only fitly be served by those who are on fire, whether they be angels or men."

      Your iniquity is taken away, and your sin purged...Isaiah's sin had to be burned away; the fire of judgment was applied to his place of sin.

      This WAS a spiritual transaction.
      WHY?
      If one has a sinful mouth, it will do NOTHING to place a burning hot coal on their lips. That will NOT take away or purge their sin.

      Yet, the same principle works on our behalf in regard to Jesus' work on Calvary. Our sin was placed UPON JESUS, and He WAS BURNED with the fire of God's JUDGMENT/WRATH. Yet because He was holy and righteous Himself, the fire of God's judgment did NOT harm Him; it ONLY BURNED AWAY THE SIN COVERING HIM...our sin.

      Once Isaiah had met with the LORD, been convicted of his sin, and cleansed from its guilt, then he WAS READY, EQUIPPED to serve God.

      Verse 8 tells us GOD CALLS, THE COMMISSION OF THE PROPHET & ISAIAH RESPONDS.
      "Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: "Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?" Then I said, "Here am I! Send me."

      Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?...God looked for someone to send. He wanted someone to go.
      SOME HAVE SAID...WHY DID GOD HAVE TO ASK? HE ALREADY KNEW WHO TO SEND AND WHO WOULD GO, RIGHT?
      FREEWILL CHOICE STEPS IN HERE.
      God WANTS TO REACH THE ENTIRE WORLD, AND HE NEEDS TO REACH IT THROUGH WILLING PEOPLE. WHAT GOD WAS AND IS ASKING AND WAITING FOR THEN AND NOW...WHO IS WILLING...WHO IS READY....WHO WILL GO OF THEIR OWN FREEWILL CHOICE AND LOVE OF ME?

      How strange it is that this God of majesty, sovereignty, and power asks for volunteers! He could easily create robots to do His work, or command angels to carry out His will. But God wants willing, surrendered servants. Have you been waiting for God to force you to serve Him? IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN.
      JESUS WANTS VOLUNTEERS, AMEN?

      Whom shall I send means that the missionary, the Christian worker, the witness of Jesus Christ, IS CALLED AND IS SENT.
      This is a DIVINE commission. Who will go for Us means that the missionary, the Christian worker, the witness of Jesus Christ, has decided to go. Here we see a cooperation of the divine sent and the human will go.

      AND DID YOU NOTICE...ONCE AGAIN...HERE IS ANOTHER REFERENCE TO OUR TRIUNE GOD....THE TRINITY.
      WHO IS ASKING I or Us? It seems to be the same Person speaking in both the singular and the plural.
      It is THE SAME Person!
      Here am I! Send me...Isaiah emphatically answered God's call. He did NOT hesitate. Isaiah WANTED to be the answer to God's question.

      SO WHAT CREATED this kind of heart in Isaiah?
      FIRST, he had a heart that had been IN the presence of God.
      SECOND, he had a heart that KNEW its own sinfulness.
      THIRD, he had a heart that knew THE NEED among the people, the need for God's word.
      FOURTH, he had a heart that had been TOUCHED by God's cleansing fire.
      FIFTH, he had a heart that HEARD God's heart to reach the nations.

      WE NEED TO REMEMBER....ISAIAH didn't say, "Here I am, I will go." Isaiah would NOT go at all unless he KNEW he was sent BY the LORD. Many are quick to say, "Here I am, I will go" but NEVER WAIT for the LORD to send them.

      Verses 9-10 tells is ISAIAH'S MISSION DESCRIBED BY GOD.
      "And He said, "Go, and tell this people: 'Keep on hearing, but do not understand; keep on seeing, but do not perceive.' Make the heart of this people dull, and their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and return and be healed."

      And He said, "Go": When we say, "Here am I! Send me" to the LORD, we should expect that He will say "Go." He may say, "Go and serve Me here" or "Go and serve me there" or "Go and be prepared for future service," but God always has a "Go" for us!

      AND FOR THE FEMINISTS OUT THERE, AND PAGANS OUT THERE WHO SAY GOD IS A SHE...HEAR YOU GO...ONCE AGAIN...."HEEEEEEEEE SAID, GO!"

      WHAT DOES THIS PASSAGE MEAN....?
      GOD told Isaiah to go and preach to a people who WOULD NOT SEE, WOULD NOT HEAR, WOULD NOT UNDERSTAND AND WOULD NOT RESPOND, so that their guilt would be certain.

      Trapp wrote, GOD TOLD ISAIAH...HE WOULD "Preach them to hell."

      AND THIS VERSE RIGHT HERE BRINGS TO MIND THE LOST AND REJECTING AND UNSAVED...STANDING BEFORE JESUS AT THE GREAT WHITE THRONE JUDGMENT AND AS JESUS SAYS IN MATTHEW 7:21-23..."LORD LORD..." AND JESUS RESPONSE...IN VERSE 23..."And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity."

      IN OTHER WORDS, JUST AS WOULD BE IN THE DAYS OF ISAIAH WHEN HE PREACHED THE WORD, THE WARNINGS, THE OFFERING OF REPENTANCE, TURNING BACK TO GOD...THEY IGNORED HIM, MOCKED HIM, RIDICULED HIM...BUT EVERY EAR THAT HEARD AND REJECTED AND DISMISSED THE PROPHET ISAIAH...CHOSE THE WAITING PRISON OF HELL AND AND AN ETERNITY IN THE LAKE OF FIRE.

      AND THINK ABOUT THIS..ISAIAH WAS CALLED, HE RESPONDED AND THEN GOD BASICALLY TOLD HIM THAT HE WOULD PREACH TO AN INTENTIONAL/WILLING DEAF DUMB, BLIND PEOPLE...

      WE KNOW NOAH COULD HAVE SYMPATHIZED WITH ISAIAH. THERE WERE ESTIMATED 7 BILLION ON THE FACE OF THE EARTH AT THE TIME OF THE FLOOD & NOAH PREACHED GOD'S WORD FOR WHAT....120 YEARS...AND NOT ONE PERSON...NOT ONE, SAVE THE 8 PEOPLE IN NOAH'S FAMILY WERE SAVED AND SPARED THE FLOOD THAT DESTROYED ALL MANKIND.
      THOSE WHO ARE CALLED...ARE EXCITED....THEIR BIBLE STUDIES SHOW IT, THEIR SERMONS SHOW IT, THEIR WITNESSING SHOWS IT....THEIR WALK SHOWS IT...AND YET NO ONE HEARS...NO ONE COMES FORWARD....NO ONE IS TOUCHED...NO ONE REPENTS...NO ONE ACCEPTS THE SALVATION GIFT JESUS PAID FOR... HOW HEAR BREAKING IS THAT FOR A CHRISTIAN WHO LOVES JESUS?

      BUT RIGHT HERE....GOD TOLD ISAIAH IN ADVANCE...IT WILL BE SAD FOR YOU...IT WILL BE FRUSTRATING FOR YOU...THE PEOPLE DO NOT WANT TO HEAR IT....BUT YOU ISAIAH ARE MY WITNESS...YOUR LIFE, YOUR PREACHING WILL TESTIFY AGAINST THEM AT THE GREAT WHITE THRONE JUDGMENT.

      YOU ARE DOING WHAT I CALLED YOU TO DO. I HAVE OFFERED ALL THAT I CAN...IT IS UP TO THEM. AND THEY WILLLLLLLLLL REJECT ME....BUT THEY CAN NEVER SAY...AS JESUS SAID....LORD LORD..." BECAUSE IN THAT MOMENT, JESUS CHRIST WILL REPLAY ISAIAH'S WITNESSING, PREACHING THAT THEY SAW, THEY HEARD, THEY UNDERSTOOD BUT REJECTED...

      NONE WILL HAVE AN EXCUSE BEFORE ME!

      And understand with their heart, and return and be healed...This shows what the word of God CAN ACCOMPLISH when it is received with open eyes, ears, and heart. It brings understanding to our heart, it makes us return, and it brings healing to our lives. If you are under the word of God and these things aren't happening to you, ask God to work with your eyes, ears, and heart, AMEN?

      Verses 11-13 tells us Isaiah is told how long he must prophecy this way.
      "Then I said, "Lord, how long?" And He answered: "Until the cities are laid waste and without inhabitant, the houses are without a man, the land is utterly desolate, the LORD has removed men far away, and the forsaken places are many in the midst of the land. But yet a tenth will be in it, and will return and be for consuming, as a terebinth tree or as an oak, whose stump remains when it is cut down. So the holy seed shall be its stump."

      Lord, how long?...This is a logical question from anyone who is given such a difficult commission. "I have to preach to those who won't hear, and their rejection of my message will ultimately seal their doom? How long will I have to serve in that kind of ministry?"

      GOD'S answer...Preach until destruction comes (Until the cities are laid waste and without inhabitant). Preach in hope of the restoration of a remnant (yet a tenth will be in it, and will return). Even though Isaiah's ministry was difficult, it was not without hope.

      And be for consuming...The remnant will indeed return, but even the remnant will eventually be judged. Israel was not done being disobedient when they returned from the Babylonian captivity, and God was not done bringing His judgment on a disobedient Israel.

      We would expect this dramatic call of Isaiah to open the book. But the Bible clearly states that the message is more important that the messenger. Isaiah's message was more important than Isaiah the messenger.

      AND ONCE AGAIN...IN ISAIAH 6, JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF MAKES AN APPEARANCE IN THE OLD TESTAMENT, BECAUSE WE KNOW WHEN ISAIAH SAWWWWWW THE LORD, he SAW God in the Second Person of the Trinity, he saw Jesus before He added humanity to His deity.
      AND AS ALWAYS THE NEW TESTAMENT AFFIRMS AND CONFIRMS THE OLD TESTAMENT, AMEN?
      We know this because the Apostle John quotes Isaiah 6:10, and under inspiration of the Holy Spirit, adds: "These things Isaiah said when he saw His glory and spoke of Him" IN John 12:41.

    • July 6, 2016 3:17 AM EDT
    • ISAIAH 7:

      OPENS WITH INTRODUCING US TO Shear-Jashub and Immanuel

      FIRST...IS THE SIGN OF SHER-JASHUB...

      Verses 1-2 tells us of the northern nation of Israel and Syria COMBINE to attack Judah.

      "Now it came to pass in the days of Ahaz the son of Jotham, the son of Uzziah, king of Judah, that Rezin king of Syria and Pekah the son of Remaliah, king of Israel, went up to Jerusalem to make war against it, but could not prevail against it. And it was told to the house of David, saying, "Syria's forces are deployed in Ephraim." So his heart and the heart of his people were moved as the trees of the woods are moved with the wind."

      In the days of Ahaz the son of Jotham...Ahaz was a VERY WICKED king of Judah, worshipping OTHER gods and EVEN SACRIFICING HIS SON to Molech (2 Kings 16:1-4). The ONLY GOOD THING Ahaz seemed to do was father Hezekiah, who DID BECOME A GOOD KING of Judah.

      REZIN king of Syria and Pekah … king of Israel...The ALLIANCE between these two nations and their UNSUCCESSFUL attack on Jerusalem is described in 2 Kings 16.

      The attack on Jerusalem was ultimately unsuccessful, but the war against Judah took a GREAT TOLL against the southern kingdom.
      AND 2 Chronicles 28:6 DOCUMENTS THE EXTENT OF THE DAMAGE, WHICH SAYS, "For Pekah the son of Remaliah killed 120,000 in Judah in one day, all valiant men, because they had forsaken the LORD God of their fathers."
      AND....2 Chronicles 28:5 says that the Syrian army CARRIED AWAY a great multitude of them as captives. The king of Israel also captured 200,000 men, women and children as CAPTIVES, but sent them back to Judah at the command of the prophet Oded told to us IN 2 Chronicles 28:8-15.

      All in all, when the events of this chapter unfold, the nation of Judah had faced terrible calamity, and was devastated. As the combined armies of Israel and Syria approached Jerusalem, it looked like everything would be lost. Ahaz was challenged to trust God when things were bad, and it looked like soon, all would be lost.

      Went up to Jerusalem to make war against it, but could not prevail against it...How WAS Ahaz saved from this attack?
      SADLY, because he entered into an UNGODLY ALLIANCE with Tiglath-Pileser king of Assyria, and even gave Tiglath-Pileser silver and gold that was FOUND in the house of the LORD as a PRESENT to win his favor and protection told to us IN 2 Kings 16:7-9.

      2 Kings 16:10-18 tell us, "When Ahaz went to meet Tiglath-Pileser, his new master, in Damascus, he saw the pagan altars and places of sacrifice. He copied these designs and remodeled the temple of the LORD in Jerusalem after the pattern of the pagan temple and altars in Damascus."
      Ahaz is a powerful, extreme example of someone who enters into an ungodly alliance for "good" reasons, and is thoroughly corrupted thereby.

      It is important to REMEMBER that the events of this chapter happened BEFORE Ahaz made his FINAL DECISION to put his trust in Tiglath-Pileser, king of Assyria.
      Though we are told the END RESULT of the attack in Isaiah 7:2 (could not prevail against it), Isaiah is telling us the end result BEFORE he describes his prophecy TO Ahaz. This disregard for chronological order may be frustrating to us, but is completely natural to the ancient Hebrew mind.

      Syria's forces are deployed in Ephraim...Ephraim is ANOTHER TITLE for the northern nation of Israel. King Ahaz heard that Syria and Israel had joined together to make war against Judah.

      So his heart and the heart of his people were moved as the trees of the woods are moved with the wind...THIS MEANS King Ahaz and his people REACT WITH FEAR instead of WITH TRUST IN ALMIGHTY GOD. They are shaken and unstable in their hearts.

      In this, the people of Judah really are the people of Ahaz (his people), not the people of the LORD. God was NOT SHAKEN NOR UNSETTLED by this threat. If the king of Judah and the people of Judah had put their trust in the LORD, they would have had THE PEACE OF GOD in this conflict, AMEN?

      Verses 3-9 tells us the word of the LORD to Ahaz through Isaiah.

      "Then the LORD said to Isaiah, "Go out now to meet Ahaz, you and Shear-Jashub your son, at the end of the aqueduct from the upper pool, on the highway to the Fuller's Field, and say to him: 'Take heed, and be quiet; do not fear or be fainthearted for these two stubs of smoking firebrands, for the fierce anger of Rezin and Syria, and the son of Remaliah. Because Syria, Ephraim, and the son of Remaliah have plotted evil against you, saying, "Let us go up against Judah and trouble it, and let us make a gap in its wall for ourselves, and set a king over them, the son of Tabel"; thus says the Lord GOD: "It shall not stand, nor shall it come to pass. For the head of Syria is Damascus, and the head of Damascus is Rezin. Within sixty-five years Ephraim will be broken, so that it will not be a people. The head of Ephraim is Samaria, and the head of Samaria is Remaliah's son. If you will not believe, surely you shall not be established."

      You and Shear-Jashub your son...Isaiah was told to take HIS SON, named Shear-Jashub, and bring a word from the LORD to Ahaz. He brought his son as a walking object lesson, because the name Shear-Jashub means, "A Remnant Shall Return."

      At the end of the aqueduct from the upper pool, on the highway to the Fuller's Field...These seemingly irrelevant details make AN IMPORTANT POINT.
      WHY?
      Because all this happened TO REAL people at A REAL TIME and in REA; PLACES. This isn't make believe or fairy tales. This is real.

      Take heed, and be quiet...Seemingly, Ahaz needed to pay attention (take heed) and stop his talking about the problem (be quiet). He needed to trust God, and take courage in the LORD (do not fear or be fainthearted).

      Perhaps also, the calamity and devastation that had wracked Judah thus far had made Ahaz stop trusting in God. "If God loves me, why am I in this mess at all? Trust Him now, after all He has allowed to happen? Are you crazy?"

      SO WHY WAS IT SOOO HARD FOR Ahaz to do this?
      Because he DID NOT SEE AND DID NOT LOOK at the situation the way the LORD did. Ahaz looked at Israel and Syria and saw a TERRIBLE THREAT.
      God looked at Israel and Syria and saw TWO STUBS of smoking firebrands. To the LORD, they were all smoke and no fire!

      It shall not stand, nor shall it come to pass...Certainly, the king of Israel and the king of Syria HAD THEIR PLOTS AND PLANS - they HAVE TAKEN EVIL counsel against you. They wanted to attack Jerusalem, defeat the capital of Judah (make a gap in its wall), then depose Ahaz and set up their own king.
      But God KNEW THEIR PLOTS AND PLANS AND WAS NOT THE LEAST BIT WORRIED ABOUT THEM.

      They MAY HAVE LOOKED LIKE A BIG FLAMING THREAT to Ahaz, but God looked and saw two stubs of smoking firebrands, and simply said, "It shall not stand, nor shall it come to pass."

      Their plans WILL NOT succeed because the nations are led by ungodly men (Rezin and Remaliah's son), and not by the LORD. This is God's promise, and Isaiah calls Ahaz TO TRUST IN THE LORD AND IN HIS PROMISE.

      If you will not believe, surely you shall not be established...Here is the CHALLENGE to Ahaz. God HAS promised, now the king of Judah MUST believe.
      If he will NOT believe, it will not affect the outcome of the attack against Jerusalem. God has already decreed that their attack would not succeed. But it WOULD AFFECT the course of Ahaz's life and reign as king (surely you shall not be established).

      As it happened, Ahaz did NOT believe. He DID NOT put his trust in the LORD. He put HIS TRUST IN CARNAL methods and the king of Assyria.
      Jerusalem WAS spared, and Ahaz no doubt believed HE WAS successful, and HIS PLAN NOT GOD'S HAD WORKED. But if he would have just trusted in the LORD, Jerusalem would have been spared, and Ahaz would have been blessed.

      Why did Isaiah bring his son Shear-Jashub? FIRST BECAUSE GOD TOLD HIM TOO... AND SECOND because his name meant A Remnant Shall Return, and God wanted Ahaz to know that because of the kind of ungodly trust he put in the king of Assyria, Judah would eventually be taken into captivity, and only a remnant would return.

      Verses 10-12 tells us of the sign of Immanuel & Ahaz will not ask for a sign.

      "Moreover the LORD spoke again to Ahaz, saying, "Ask a sign for yourself from the LORD your God; ask it either in the depth or in the height above." But Ahaz said, "I will not ask, nor will I test the LORD!"

      Ask a sign for yourself...Through the prophet Isaiah, God INVITES Ahaz to ASK FOR a sign. God has just challenged Ahaz to believe and be blessed, and now God offers to give Ahaz a basis for belief - a sign for yourself.

      But Ahaz said, "I will not ask, nor will I test the LORD!"...This MAY, AT FIRST, SOUND very spiritual from Ahaz. He almost seems to say what Jesus said in Matthew 4:7: "You shall not tempt the LORD your God."
      Though the words are similar, the hearts are FAR apart.
      WHY?
      Ahaz refused to ask for a sign, because when God fulfilled the sign, he would be "OBLIGATED THEN TO BELIEVE."

      AND JUST SO THERE IS NO CONFUSION HERE...This was NOT TEMPTING NOR TESTING God in wrong way. It is never testing God to do as He says, and if the LORD invites us to test Him, we should.

      AND MOST OF US KNOW....GOD ASKING US TO TEST HIM..TO PROVE HIM IN Malachi 3:10, the LORD invited Israel to give as He commanded, and thereby to prove Me now in this.

      Again, perhaps Ahaz was bitter against the LORD, because of all the disaster Judah had already been through at the hands of Israel and Syria. Perhaps SATAN WAS QUICK TO WHISPER INTO HIS HEART AND MIND, "Do you REALLY want anything, or can you TRUST anything to do with the God who allowed it to get this bad???"

      AND TO BE HONEST, haven't we, in some way, to some degree, been where Ahaz was? Haven't we rejected the gracious, free gifts of God for silly and strange reasons?

      Verses 13-16 tells us The LORD's sign to Ahaz: the sign of Immanuel.

      "Then he said, "Hear now, O house of David! Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will you weary my God also? Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel. Curds and honey He shall eat, that He may know to refuse the evil and choose the good. For before the Child shall know to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land that you dread will be forsaken by both her kings."

      Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will you weary my God also?... The rulers of Judah treated other people POORLY, but they treated the LORD even MORE POORLY. If many of us expressed the same distrust we have towards the LORD towards other people, we might get a punch in the nose, AMEN?!

      CHARLES SPURGEON SAYS IT PERFECTLY..."Did I not hear some one say, 'Ah, sir, I have been trying to believe for years.' Terrible words! They make the case still worse. Imagine that after I had made a statement, a man should declare that he did not believe me, in fact, he could not believe me though he would like to do so. I should feel aggrieved certainly; but it would make matters worse if he added, 'In fact I have been for years trying to believe you, and I cannot do it.' What does he mean by that? What can he mean but that I am so incorrigibly false, and such a confirmed liar, that though he would like to give me some credit, he really cannot do it? With all the effort he can make in my favour, he finds it quite beyond his power to believe me? Now, a man who says, 'I have been trying to believe in God,' in reality says just that with regard to the Most High."

      AND RIGHT HERE IN THE OLD TESTAMENT, IS A PRECIOUS PROPHECY AND PROMISE OF IMMANUEL....ISAIAH PROPHECIES THE BIRTH OF OUR SWEET LORD JESUS RIGHT HERE...

      THOSE WHO BELIEVE THE OLD TESTAMENT, BUT NOT THE NEW TESTAMENT, SEE GOD'S PROMISE OF JESUS CHRIST RIGHT HERE IN THE OLD TESTAMENT...WHICH IS CONFIRMED IN THE NEW TESTAMENT...

      Therefore the Lord Himself will give you as sign...Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel. This is one of the most famous prophecies regarding the birth of Jesus the Messiah in the Bible.

      THIS ALSO illustrates a principle of prophecy, that prophecy MAY have BOTH a NEAR FULFILLMENT AND A FAR FULFILLMENT.

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      The NEAR fulfillment of this prophecy CENTERED AROUND Ahaz, Jerusalem, and the attack from Israel and Syria.
      For Ahaz, the sign centered around a time span (For before the Child shall know to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land that you dread will be forsaken by both her kings). Simply put, God would give Ahaz a sign that within a few years, both Israel and Syria would be crushed. This was a sign of deliverance to Ahaz.

      "The name 'Immanuel' means GOD IS WITH US, this was ALSO A REBUKE TO Ahaz. IN OTHER WORDS, ALMIGHTY GOD WAS ALSO SAYING TO KING AHAZ....If 'God is with us,' then why should YOU FEAR ANYYYYYYY ENEMY?"

      AND WE NOW KNOW....the FAR & ULTIMATE FULFILLMENT of this prophecy goes far beyond Ahaz, to announce the miraculous virgin birth of Jesus Christ.

      We know this passage speaks of Jesus because the Holy Spirit says so IN Matthew 1:23, WHICH SAYS, "Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel," which is translated, "God with us."

      We know this passage speaks of Jesus because the prophecy is addressed not only to Ahaz, but also to David's entire house (O house of David!)

      We know this passage speaks of Jesus because it says the virgin shall conceive, and that conception would be a sign to David's entire house. Those who deny the virgin birth of Jesus like to point out that the Hebrew word translated virgin (almah) can also be translated as "young woman."
      The idea is that Isaiah was simply saying that a "young woman" wouldgive birth, not a virgin. We KNOW the ULTIMATE fulfillment clearly points to a woman miraculously conceiving and giving birth.

      AND DID YOU KNOW....This is especially clear because the Old Testament NEVER uses the word in a context other than virgin and because the Septuagint translates it categorically virgin (parthenos).

      We know this passage speaks of Jesus because it says He will be known as Immanuel, meaning "God with Us." This was true of Jesus in fact, not only as a title. Immanuel speaks both of the deity of Jesus (God with us) and His identification and nearness to man (God with us), AMEN?

      Verses 17-25 tells us Assyria, the nation Ahaz trusted, will also bring ruin to Judah.

      "The LORD will bring the king of Assyria upon you and your people and your father's house; days that have not come since the day that Ephraim departed from Judah." And it shall come to pass in that day that the LORD will whistle for the fly that is in the farthest part of the rivers of Egypt, and for the bee that is in the land of Assyria. They will come, and all of them will rest in the desolate valleys and in the clefts of the rocks, and on all thorns and in all pastures. In the same day the Lord will shave with a hired razor, with those from beyond the River, with the king of Assyria, the head and the hair of the legs, and will also remove the beard. It shall be in that day that a man will keep alive a young cow and two sheep; so it shall be, from the abundance of milk they give, that he will eat curds; for curds and honey everyone will eat who is left in the land. It shall happen in that day, that wherever there could be a thousand vines worth a thousand shekels of silver, it will be for briers and thorns. With arrows and bows men will come there, because all the land will become briers and thorns. And to any hill which could be dug with the hoe, you will not go there for fear of briers and thorns; but it will become a range for oxen and a place for sheep to roam."

      a. The LORD will bring the king of Assyria upon you...This was BAD NEWS to Ahaz, who had been foolishly trusting in Assyria instead of the LORD. It is as if the LORD is saying, "It will seem to you like trusting in Assyria is a clever move, because the armies of Syria and Israel will be defeated. But the Assyrians will end up defeating you also."

      AND HISTORY CONFIRMS THIS....If Ahaz HAD UNDERSTOOD AND BELIEVED THE LORD...it would have terrified him.
      WHY?
      HISTORY TELLS US THE ASSYRIANS WERE WELL KNOWN FOR THEIR SHEER CRUELTY, ESPECIALLY OVER THE NATIONS THEY CONQUERED. The Assyrians DELIGHTED in the torture and humiliation (shave with a hired razor … the head and the hair of the legs).

      AND DID YOU KNOW....To shave off the beard of an Oriental was an unbearable shame to him and was a sign of great sadness and mourning as well as despicable slavery. And to cut off their pigtail meant they could never return to their homeland.

      The LORD will whistle for the fly that is the farthest part of the rivers of Egypt, and for the bee that in the land of Assyria. They will come...Judah will not only be attacked by the Assyrians, they would also be invaded by the Egyptians. God would pinch Judah between these mighty nations to the north and south.

      These invasions would bring Judah low, so that they could not farm as normally, and instead curds and honey everyone will eat who is left in the land. Normal agriculture would be devastated (wherever there could be a thousand vines … it will be for briars and thorns). Former farms will be suitable only for grazing (it will become a range for oxen and place for sheep to roam...just as God forewarned through the Prophet Isaiah.

      ISAIAH 7 SHOWS US THAT WE CAN TRUST GOD AT HIS WORD.
      HE DOES NOT LIE.
      HE DOES NOT CHANGE.
      WHAT HE DID IN THE PAST...HE CAN DO NOW!
      OUR TRIUNE GOD IS A PROMISE KEEPER.
      EVERY PROPHECY HE HAS SPOKEN....HAS COME TRUE!

      TRUST IN JESUS...JUST JESUS!

    • July 6, 2016 3:15 AM EDT
    • ISAIAH 8

      ISAIAH 8 OPENS WITH THE CONTINUED PROPHECY FROM GOD TO ISAIAH AND THE PEOPLE OF ISRAEL...

      The Sign of Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz & the coming Assyrian invasion against Syria and Israel.

      Verses 1-4 tells us the invasion is announced by the naming of Isaiah's son.

      "Moreover the LORD said to me, "Take a large scroll, and write on it with a man's pen concerning Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz. And I will take for Myself faithful witnesses to record, Uriah the priest and Zechariah the son of Jeberechiah." Then I went to the prophetess, and she conceived and bore a son. Then the LORD said to me, "Call his name Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz; for before the child shall have knowledge to cry 'My father' and 'My mother,' the riches of Damascus and the spoil of Samaria will be taken away before the king of Assyria."

      This prophecy continues from Isaiah 7, where God assured Ahaz, king of Judah, that he would NOT BE OVERTHROWN by the combined forces of Syria and Israel. God announced judgment against Syria and Israel, saying of their attack against Judah: It shall NOT STAND, nor shall it come to pass … Within sixty-five years Ephraim will be broken, so that it will not be a people. Here, God gives Isaiah A SIGN to explain more about how soon the defeat of Syria and Israel will come.

      Take a large scroll...It isn't often that the prophets are commanded to write, but here is ONE instance. Isaiah will write concerning Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz, which means SPEED TO THE SPOIL, HURRY TO THE PLUNDER.

      ALSO GOD WANTED ISAIAH'S MESSAGE TO BE MADE PUBLIC, AND WRITTEN AT A LEVEL THAT ANYYYY MAN COULD READ AND UNDERSTAND IT.

      I will take for Myself faithful witnesses to record...The LORD appointed TWO WITNESSES, so the validity of this word would be established.
      JUST AS GOD SAID IN DEUTERONOMY 19:15..."By the mouth of two or three witnesses the matter shall be established."

      Then I went to the prophetess...This "PROPHETESS" refers to Isaiah's wife. She is called a prophetess, by God, because SHE IS AN HONORABLE WIFE OF A GOD'S CHOSEN AND TRUSTED PROPHET, ISAIAH.

      However, she clearly BROUGHT FORTH & FULFILLED THIS PROPHECY OF GOD, BY GIVING BIRTH TO AND NAMING HER & ISAIAH'S SON Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz, AMEN?

      There are many examples of prophetesses in the Bible:
      Miriam (Exodus 15:20)
      Deborah (Judges 4:4)
      Huldah (2 Kings 22:14)
      Noadiah (Nehemiah 6:14)
      Anna (Luke 2:36)
      Philip's four daughters (Acts 21:8-9).
      So, it may be that the wife of Isaiah had a prophetic ministry in her own right FROM GOD. But it may also be that she was simply the HONORED wife of the prophet, and her "prophecy" was giving birth to Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz.

      AND YOU NOTICE....GOD CALLS THEM PROPHETESS. THESE WOMEN DID NOT CLAIM NOR CALL THEMSELVES NOR LABEL THEMSELVES NOR GIVE THEMSELVES THE TITLE PROPHETESS....THERE IS THE MAJOR DIFFERENCE, AMEN?

      For before the child shall have knowledge to cry "My father" and "My mother"...Through the birth and naming of Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz, the LORD gives a TIME FRAME for the invasion of Assyria that will punish Syria and Israel.

      Verses 5-10 tells us Judah will be afflicted also.

      "The LORD also spoke to me again, saying: "Inasmuch as these people refused the waters of Shiloah that flow softly, and rejoice in Rezin and in Remaliah's son; now therefore, behold, the Lord brings up over them the waters of the River, strong and mighty; the king of Assyria and all his glory; he will go up over all his channels and go over all his banks. He will pass through Judah, he will overflow and pass over, he will reach up to the neck; and the stretching out of his wings will fill the breadth of Your land, O Immanuel. Be shattered, O you peoples, and be broken in pieces! Give ear, all you from far countries. Gird yourselves, but be broken in pieces; gird yourselves, but be broken in pieces. Take counsel together, but it will come to nothing; Speak the word, but it will not stand, for God is with us."

      These people refused the waters of Shiloah that flow softly...
      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
      The people of northern kingdom of Israel did NOT appreciate their humble streams (the waters of Shiloah). Instead, they rejoiced in wicked leaders (in Rezin and Remaliah's son). So, God will give them a different kind of river - the waters of the River, strong and mighty.

      AND DID YOU KNOW...The little stream of Shiloah sprung from Mount Zion on the southwesterly side of Jerusalem. It flowed as softly as oil without any murmur. THOUGH Jerusalem's existence and continuation DEPENDED on it.

      AND HISTORY TELLS US ALSO...The capital of the Assyrian Empire was NINEVEH, and the city of Nineveh was founded on a great river: THE TIGRIS. The Assyrian Empire was also centered across another mighty river: THE EUPHRATES.

      The whole land of Israel simply DID NOT have a river like the Euphrates or the Tigris. God is using the difference between the small, humble, yet adequate waters of Israel and the mighty, yet uncontrolled rivers of Assyria to make a point.

      BASICALLY GOD IS SAYING..."You don't like what I have given you? This humble stream that is constant always....provides always though it is humble and quiet without FIERCESOME FAN FAIR? You persist in rejecting what I give you? Then I will give you something different, I will GIVE YOU FIERCE, but you won't like it either."

      He WILL GO UP over all his channels and GO OVER all his banks...Like a large river in a flood, the Assyrian army WILL NOT stay confined to its "banks." Instead, they will "FLOW OVER" their attack on Israel and Syria, and "flood" Judah with violence and destruction.

      He WILL REACH UP to the neck...

      WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?
      Assyria would COMPLETELY CONQUER the northern nation of Israel. The 10 NORTHERN TRIBES would cease to be a nation after the Assyrians conquered them. But the Assyrians WOULD NOT conquer the southern nation of Judah. They would "flood" them (fill the breadth of Your land), and reach up to the neck, but NOT over their heads. Judah WOULD SURVIVE the Assyrian invasion, but suffer MUCH DESTRUCTION from the Assyrians.

      AND 2 Kings 18:13 describes the extent of the Assyrian invasion against Judah, which says, "And in the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities of Judah and took them. Yet, Hezekiah was able to keep the king of Assyria away from Jerusalem, and barely able to survive, by buying his favor with riches from the temple - even stripping gold from the temple doors to appease the pagan king!"

      AND THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENED...for the Assyrians, whom the Jews called to their assistance, INSTEAD OF TRUSTING & BELIEVING AND RELYING ON ALMIGHTY GOD, their CHOICE IN TRUSTING MAN INSTEAD OF GOD saw them destroyed.

      Your land, O Immanuel...This refers back to the "Immanuel" prophecy of Isaiah 7:14. The land the Assyrians will overrun, does not belong to them or to the Jews, it BELONGS TO JESUS CHRIST, AMEN?

      Gird yourselves, but be broken in pieces … speak the word, but it will not stand, for God is with us...The victims of this Assyrian invasion (Syria, Israel, and Judah) could prepare for the invasion all they wanted (gird yourselves). But all their preparation would NOT protect them (but be broken in pieces). They could take counsel together, but it will come to NOTHING. All their plans and words and ideas WILL NOT stand, for God is with us. God's WILL WAS GOING TO BE DONE, despite all the plans and preparations Syria, Israel, and Judah might make against it.

      SO WHO IS "THE US OF GOD" that is with us?
      In one sense THE US is the Assyrian army, because they were the instruments of God's judgment against Syria, Israel, and Judah. Nothing could stop the Assyrian army, because even if they did not know it, or even if their own hearts were wrong in the matter, God was using them.
      But THE US is also the prophet himself. As a messenger of God, his word would come to pass no matter what the three nations did to prepare against it.

      God is with us ALSO REMINDS THEM OF the Immanuel prophecy, because Immanuel means "God is with us."

      Verses 11-15 tell us HOW Judah CAN PREPARE for this invasion IS BY FEARING GOD, NOT ASSYRIA!

      "For the LORD spoke thus to me with a strong hand, and instructed me that I should not walk in the way of this people, saying: "Do not say, 'A conspiracy,' concerning all that this people call a conspiracy, nor be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled. The LORD of hosts, Him you shall hallow; let Him be your fear, and let Him be your dread. He will be as a sanctuary, but a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense to both the houses of Israel, as a trap and a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And many among them shall stumble; they shall fall and be broken, be snared and taken."

      Do not say, "A conspiracy" … nor be afraid of their threats...
      GOD KNEW Isaiah, and ALL the people of Judah, WERE TEMPTED to GIVE INTO fear and panic, knowing the dangerous place they were in.
      WHY?
      At the time of THIS prophecy, the combined armies of Israel and Syria had destroyed MUCH of Judah. Their armies either encircled Jerusalem or were on the way. They planned to depose King Ahaz of Judah and set their own man on the throne as told to us in ISAIAH 7:6.

      NOW, Isaiah's prophecy declared the armies of Syria and Israel would NOT succeed in conquering Judah, but the Assyrians (who JUDAH HAD trusted to help them INSTEAD OF TRUSTING GOD) would attack them and do much damage. In the midst of all this, it would be easy to let your heart or mind settle on conspiracies and threats. But God tells them not to.

      The LORD of hosts, Him you shall hallow; let Him be your fear... Instead of fearing conspiracies and threats, FEAR GOD. Don't see yourself at the mercy of opposing armies; YOU ARE IN God's hands. Worry about your place with the LORD instead of your enemies!

      He will be as a sanctuary...The LORD will be our sacred place, and our place of protection. He will keep us safe from our enemies.

      But a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense...

      WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?
      For those who trust Him, the LORD will be as a sanctuary. But for those who DO NOT TRUST GOD, He will be a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense. Instead of finding protection from the LORD, they will "trip" over Him, falling to destruction. Indeed, many among them shall stumble; they shall fall and be broken.

      1 PETER 2:6-8 tells us...that Jesus is this stone of stumbling and a rock of offense.
      This is a STRONG AFFIRMATION AND CONFIRMATION of the deity of Jesus, because clearly in Isaiah 8:13-14, the LORD of hosts is the stone, and clearly in 1 Peter 2:6-8, Jesus Christ is the stone.

      This is the SAME IDEA behind the statement of Simeon when he held the child Jesus, as recorded in Luke 2:34, which says, "Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against."

      Verses 16-18 tells us prepare by waiting on the LORD.

      "Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples. And I will wait on the LORD, who hides His face from the house of Jacob; and I will hope in Him. Here am I and the children whom the LORD has given me! We are for signs and wonders in Israel from the LORD of hosts, who dwells in Mount Zion."

      And I will wait on the LORD...Waiting on the LORD is NOT PASSIVE inactivity.

      It MEANS to wait on the LORD as a waiter would wait on a table.

      It MEANS to be totally ATTENTIVE to the LORD, FOCUSED on His every move, and RESPONSIVE to His every desire.

      At CERTAIN times it CAN means inactivity, AS when we STAND STILL before the LORD, totally focused on Him, waiting for what He wants next.

      AND HISTORY TELLS US THIS TIME WHEN ISAIAH SPOKE, the leaders and the people of Judah were waiting on the armies of Israel and Syria, because they were under attack. As they heard of the danger from the Assyrians, they would be tempted to put their focus on them. But their focus was ON these armies, not on the LORD. Isaiah says, "Battle against Syria and Israel by setting your focus on the LORD. Prepare for the coming attack from Assyria by waiting on the LORD instead of your enemies."

      Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples...Waiting on the LORD is connected with His word. We can wait on the LORD by waiting on His word.

      Here am I and the children whom the LORD has given me! We are for signs and wonders in Israel....THIS MEANS ISAIAH HAD BEEN CALLED TO PROPHESY, & TO USE HIS OWN CHILDREN in his prophetic messages (Isaiah 7:3, 8:3). So he declares, Here am I and the children whom the LORD has given me! It is as if he is saying, "Look at us! We are the message!"

      AS SAID BEFORE...the name OF ISAIAH'S SON...Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz means, "Speed to the spoil, hurry to the plunder." This spoke of the coming attack on Syria, Israel, and Judah by Assyria.

      JUST AS THE NAME OF ISAIAH'S OTHER SON, Shear-Jashub means, "A Remnant Shall Return."
      This spoke of the restoration God would EVENTUALLY bring. The name Isaiah means, "Salvation is of the LORD." This spoke of the attitude and hope Judah needed to have.

      We, who love JESUS CHRIST AND CALL HIM LORD, SAVIOR, AND FRIEND...ARE ALSO CALLED CHILDREN OF GOD. AND AS SUCH, WE ARE OUR TRIUNE GOD MESSAGE.

      HEBREWS 2:11-13 quotes this passage to communicate this truth, which says, "For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying … "Here am I and the children whom God has given Me."

      AND SO THAT WE WILL NOT BE CONFUSED BY MAN...THE BIBLE SAYS THAT ALL MANKIND WAS CREATED IN OUR TRIUNE GOD'S IMAGE.

      THE BIBLE CLEARLY TELLS US....ONLY THOSE IN THE OLD TESTAMENT WHO DIED IN THE "HOPED FOR MESSIAH, THE SALVATION PROMISE" TO COME, AND THOSE OF US WHO HAVE REPENTED, ASKED JESUS CHRIST INTO OUR HEARTS AND LIVES TO BE OUR LORD, SAVIOR, AND FRIEND...ARE CALLED & CONSIDERED...CHILDREN OF GOD.

      SO WHEN YOU HEAR ANYONE, BE THEY MAN/WOMAN ON THE STREET, PREACHER, TEACHER...WHATEVER SAY..."WE ARE ALL GOD'S CHILDREN"....know the subtle twisting lie from Satan that it is & the twisting deception of those words.

      ONLY JESUS CHRIST FAMILY...ARE CALLED CHILDREN OF GOD TO ALMIGHTY GOD, AMEN?

      AND JUST AS MUCH AS Isaiah's children & THEIR GOD GIVEN NAMES were living witnesses of the truth of God's word, so are we JESUS CHRIST WITNESSES...HIS LIGHTS, AMEN?

      Verses 19-22 tells us prepare by seeking His light and word, not the darkness of the occult.

      "And when they say to you, "Seek those who are mediums and wizards, who whisper and mutter," should not a people seek their God? Should they seek the dead on behalf of the living? To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them. They will pass through it hard pressed and hungry; and it shall happen, when they are hungry, that they will be enraged and curse their king and their God, and look upward. Then they will look to the earth, and see trouble and darkness, gloom of anguish; and they will be driven into darkness."

      Seek those who are mediums and wizards...
      THEN AND NOW, DOES NOT THE WORLD AND SATAN SEEK OUT PSYCHICS, MEDIUMS, & WIZARDS...WHO SAY THEY COMMUNE WITH THE DEAD, GAIN WISDOM & DISCERNMENT, OR HAVE A SPIRIT GUIDE, OR HAVE THE GIFT OF PROPHESY....INSTEAD OF HITTING OUR KNEES & TURNING TO OUR JESUS CHRIST?

      THEN AND NOW....JESUS IS TELLING US....STAY AWAY FROM ANYYYY OF THESE PEOPLE...WHETHER THEY KNOW IT OR NOT....THEY ARE COMMUNING WITH DEMONS AND SATAN HIMSELF...BECAUSE ONCE A PERSON DIES, THEY ARE BEYOND ALL THINGS OF THIS EARTH AND THE SUPERNATURAL....AS THE BIBLE SAYS, WE ARE APPOINTED ONCE TO DIE, THEN TO JUDGMENT.
      SATAN AND HIS DEMONS ARE DECEIVERS...THEY CAN ILLUSION THEMSELVES TO LOOK LIKE YOUR GREAT AUNT FANNY, BUT IT IS NOTTTTTT YOUR GREAT AUNT...IT IS A DEMON WEARING A MASK....SO STAY AWAY FROM ALL THINGS OCCULT, AMEN?

      HOROSCOPES, PSYCHICS, MEDIUMS...ARE ALL OCCULTIC AND COME STRAIGHT FROM SATAN HIMSELF...NOT JESUS!

      AND SO GOD, THE GOD WHO SEES ALL...KNEW in the present danger from Syria and Israel, and in the coming danger from Assyria, Judah WOULD BE tempted to seek guidance and comfort from those who are mediums and wizards. Isaiah exposes the foolishness of this, when he says, "Should not a people seek their God? Should they seek the dead on behalf of the living?"

      When you are in trouble, shouldn't you seek JESUS CHRIST? If you can't OR WILL NOT RELY ON THE KING OF ALL KINGS, THE LORD OF ALL LORDS, THE GOD WHO SEES ALL, KNOWS ALL, UNDERSTANDS ALL...but instead RING SOME GONG, LIGHT INCENSE, DIAL 1-900-PSYCHIS ARE US, PRAY TO AN IDOL, A CROSS, THE VIRGIN MARY, ALL OF WHICH ARE MADE BY HUMAN HANDS AND RECREATED IN THE IMAGINATIONS OF LIMITED MAN...WHO DOES NOT SEE, HEAR, KNOW, FEEL, OR UNDERSTAND...then what good is your god/idol?

      What sense does it make to seek the dead on behalf of the living?

      THIS IS A GREAT QUESTION...A VERY RELEVANT QUESTION, THEN AND NOW.

      The dead ARE the dead, the living ARE the living. The living God speaks through His living Word and His living people to guide us. AS CHRISTIANS, MEANING THOSE WHO KNOW, LOVE, AND CALL JESUS CHRIST LORD, SAVIOR, AND FRIEND AND HAVE HIS HOLY SPIRIT LIVING WITHIN OUR HEARTS...there is NO reason & CERTAINLY NO NEED to seek the dead, AMEN?

      This passage also EXPOSES the foolishness of praying TO BIBLICAL SAINTS AS WELL. THOSE WHO LOVE JESUS CHRIST & ARE IN HEAVEN, DO NOT HEAR, AND CAN NOT INTERCEDE ON OUR BEHALF, NOR CAN ANGELS, WHO ARE MERELY SERVANTS AND WARRIORS OF JESUS. WE HAVE JESUS...HE IS OUR ADVOCATE WITH GOD...WE DO NOOOOOOOOOOOT NEED ANYTHING OR ANYONE ELSE....JUST JESUS, AMEN?

      To the law and to the testimony...MEANS FORGET about mediums and wizards and the dead. Instead of all that deception and foolishness, SEEK JESUS CHRIST...GO TO HIS WORD AND ALL ITS PROMISES FOR YOUR HOPE, HELP. DIRECTION AND ANSWERS, AMEN?

      Law and testimony each refer to God's Word. We might say that law refers to God's holy commands, and testimony refers to His dealings with His people as recorded in His Word. But that may be slicing it too thin, because often similar terms for God's Word are repeated, not for the sake of distinction, but for the sake of EMPHASIS.
      THE OLD TESTAMENT AFFIRMS AND/OR IS CONFIRMED IN THE NEW TESTAMENT AND THE REVERSE IS TRUE...WE SHOULD TRUST THE BIBLE TO BE ABSOLUTE TRUTH, AMEN?

      How it needs to be proclaimed to our pulpits today...To the law and to the testimony! Enough with your over-use of anecdotes and jokes! Enough with your emphasis on entertainment and sappy stories! Enough with your catering to itching ears! Enough with your hobbyhorses and pet peeves! GO TO, STICK WITH JESUS CHRIST AND HIS WORD...ALONE!

      CHARLES SPURGEON STATES IS SO WELL OF THIS SCRIPTURE..."Let us remember, as ministers of the Gospel, what M'Cheyne beautifully said; 'Depend upon it,' said he, 'it is God's Word not man's comment upon God's Word, that saves souls;' and I have marked, that if ever we have a conversion at any time, in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred, the conversion is rather traceable to the text, or to some Scripture quoted in the sermon, than to any trite or original saying by the preacher. It is God's Word that breaks the fetters and sets the prisoner free, it is God's Word instrumentally that saves souls, and therefore let us bring everything to the touchstone."

      If they DO NOT SPEAK according to this word, it is because there is NO light in them...

      HERE IS THE OLD TESTAMENT REMINDER....TEST THE SPIRITS...TEST THE SPIRITS...DO NOT BLINDLY ACCEPT SOMEONE'S WORD OR TEACHING AS PURE JESUS CHRIST GOSPEL AND HIS WORD...

      SEEK...LOOK IT UP...CHECK IT OUT...THENNNNNNN IF IT SPEAKS TRUTH FOUND IN GOD'S WORD...THENNNNNNN WE CAN TRUST IT AS SUCH, AMEN?

      AND HERE IT IS AGAIN....A REMINDER...A WARNING...If there is a disagreement between God's word and the word of the messenger, it isn't hard to figure out who is wrong. The messenger IS wrong. The word judges the messenger; the messenger doesn't judge the word OF ALMIGHTY GOD, AMEN?

      They will be driven into darkness...

      WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?
      When CHRISTIANS forsake God's word and trust INSTEAD IN THE WORLD, IN MAN, IN MEDIUMS, PSYCHICS, RELIGIONS, HAWKERS, PREACHERS, AND WIZARDS AND THE DEAD....THEY ARE HEADING INTO AND COURTING THE DESTRUCTIVE DARKNESS OF SATAN AND HIS EVIL WORLD, NOTTTTTTT THE HEALING, RESTORING, PROTECTIVE LIGHT OF GOD'S WORD AND OUR JESUS CHRIST, AMEN?

      ONCE AGAIN ISAIAH IS SAYING TO US, JUST AS GOD COMMANDED HIM TO TELL THE JUDAH....LOOK TO ALMIGHTY GOD....RUN TO HIM....JUST AS THE NEW TESTAMENT TELLS US TO SEEK JESUS....TRUST JUST JESUS....WAIT ON JESUS....CALL ON JESUS....JUST JESUS!

       

    • July 6, 2016 3:14 AM EDT
    • ISAIAH 9

      OPENS WITH A WELL KNOWN AND WELL REFERENCED PROPHECY GOD GIVES ISAIAH.

      AFTER THE LAST FEW PROPHECIES THAT SPEAK OF DARK DAYS AHEAD FOR THE DISOBEDIENT ISRAEL...

      ALMIGHTY GOD NOW GIVES ISRAEL A PROPHECY OF HOPE.

      AND THAT HOPE IS?

      A CHILD OF HOPE SHALL BE BORN...THIS IS THE PROPHECY OF THE BIRTH OF THEIR MESSIAH, OUR OWN PRECIOUS JESUS CHRIST.

      SO ONCE AGAIN, ALMIGHTY GOD GIVES THE GOOD NEWS IN THE OLD TESTAMENT, WHICH IS AFFIRMED AND CONFIRMED IN THE NEW.

      ONCE AGAIN, FOR THOSE WHO SAY I BELIEVE THE OLD TESTAMENT, BUT NOT THE NEW TESTAMENT.

      HERE IT IS.

      THE COMING OF JESUS CHRIST FORETOLD BY ALMIGHTY GOD HIMSELF TO ISAIAH.

      Verses 1-2 tells us a day of light for the northern tribes.

      "Nevertheless the gloom will not be upon her who is distressed, as when at first He lightly esteemed the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, and afterward more heavily oppressed her, by the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, in Galilee of the Gentiles. The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, upon them a light has shined."

      NEVERTHELESS THE GLOOM..."THE GLOOM"...carries over from Isaiah 8, where Isaiah warned Judah about the coming invasion from Assyria.

      REMEMBER Isaiah 8:22 says, "Then they will look to the earth, and see trouble and darkness, gloom of anguish; and they will be driven into darkness." The invasion of the Assyrians would be TERRIBLE for the Jewish people, ESPECIALLY for the northern regions of the Promised Land, the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali.

      AND IN THIS CONTEXT, the promise of Isaiah 9:1 is all the MORE PRECIOUS because THE GLOOM will not be upon her who is distressed.

      WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?

      THE BIBLE AND HISTORY TELLS US...The northern regions of the Promised Land - around the Sea of Galilee (Galilee of the Gentiles) - were MOST SEVERELY ravaged when the Assyrians invaded from the north. The promise is that this land, once seemingly lightly esteemed by the LORD, will one day have a SPECIAL BLESSING FROM ALMIGHTY GOD.

      The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light … upon them a light has shined...REMEMBER the NORTHERN TRIBES are the FIRST TO SUFFER from the Assyrian invasions, so in God's mercy, they will be THE FIRST to SEE the HOPE...THE LIGHT...of the Messiah, OUR OWN JESUS CHRIST.

      AND DID YOU KNOW...Matthew 4:13-16 quotes this passage as clearly fulfilled in the Galilean ministry of Jesus. Since the majority of Jesus' ministry took place in this NORTHERN area of Israel, around the Sea of Galilee, God certainly did have a special blessing for this once lightly esteemed land, AMEN?!

      Verses 3-5 tells us of Joy in the Messiah's deliverance and victory.

      "You have multiplied the nation and increased its joy; they rejoice before You according to the joy of harvest, as men rejoice when they divide the spoil. For You have broken the yoke of his burden and the staff of his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, as in the day of Midian. For every warrior's sandal from the noisy battle, and garments rolled in blood, will be used for burning and fuel of fire."

      You HAVE MULTIPLIED the nation and INCREASED ITS JOY.

      WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?

      The ministry of the Messiah would BRING joy and gladness to Israel.

      AND REMEMBER IN MATTHEW 9:14-15, JESUS SAYS, His ministry was like having a wedding party. "They will rejoice according to the time of harvest, the time when the hard work has paid off and the bounty comes off."
      They WILL rejoice as men rejoice when they divide the spoil, with a celebration of victory, as in the locker room of a championship team.

      As in the day of MIDIAN...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      This refers to Gideon's great victory over Midian in Judges 7. As wonderfully complete, joyous, and victorious as Gideon's victory over Midian was, this is the same kind of victory the Messiah WILL enjoy and give.


      And the victory IS complete.


      The reference to EVERY WARRIOR'S sandal … garments rolled in blood, will be used for burning and fuel of fire...MEANS THE BATTLE IS OVER. This is what they did in that day AFTER the battle was finished and you had won!


      EACH OF THESE PROMISES....the reference to GREAT joy, the BREAKING of the yoke of his burden and the rod of his oppressor, and the complete victory over all enemies has spiritual application to Jesus' work in our lives. These things are ours in Jesus, AMEN?!


      SOME HAVE SAID IF THESE THINGS REFERENCE JESUS...
      WHEN IS JESUS SAD, WORRIED, OR AFRAID?
      WHEN DOES JESUS GROAN UNDER THE YOKE OF HIS BURDEN?
      WHEN DOES JESUS FEEL THE STING OF THE ROD OF HIS OPPRESSOR?
      THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENT TELL US THAT JESUS FACED, ALL THOSE THINGS BEFORE HIS DEATH ON CALVARY, AMEN?


      JESUS CHRIST WOULD AND DID SUFFER THEM FOR YOU AND I, FOR ALL OF MANKIND. FOR THOSE WHO WOULD LOVE HIM, AS WELL THOSE WHO WOULD REJECT, CURSE, SPIT ON HIM, AND DISMISS HIM TOO, AMEN?


      The RISEN, GLORIFIED, ASCENDED Jesus NOW experiences NONE of these things, and THE GOOD NEWS is...


      EPHESIANS 2:6 says, "He has raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus."

      ROMANS 8:37 says, "We are more than conquerors through Him who loved us."


      THOSE WHO KNOW, LOVE, AND CALL JESUS CHRIST LORD, SAVIOR, & FRIEND...WE SHARE IN HIS VICTORY, AMEN?


      DO WE UNDERSTAND THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THIS VERSE?


      THERE ARE THOSE THAT SAY...
      I DO NOT BELIEVE WHAT THE NEW TESTAMENT SAYS.
      I DO NOT BELIEVE JESUS CHRIST IS THE ONLY BEGOTTEN SON OF ALMIGHTY GOD.
      I DO BELIEVE HE WAS A NICE GENTLE MAN, A TEACHER...BUT GOD WOULD NEVER ALLOW HIS SON TO SUFFER & TO DIE.

      THEY SAY A REAL GOD COULD NOT DIE, RIGHT?

      BUT OUR ALMIGHTY GOD TELLS MANKIND, ISRAEL, & US IN THE OLD TESTAMENT WHO THE HOPE IS, & WHAT JESUS WILL FACE, WHAT HE WILL ENDURE, YET THE VICTORY IS ALREADY ASSURED, AMEN?!


      VERSE 6 tells us the glory of the Messiah who will reign.


      "For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."


      For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given...
      AND DO YOU NOTICE, ALMIGHTY HAS ISAIAH USE REPETITION TO THE HEBREWS TO EMPHASIZE THE IMPORTANCE OF THE POINT.

      The Child IS born... the Son IS given.


      AND DID YOU CATCH IT?

      RIGHT HERE, AT THE SAME TIME, WE RECOGNIZE THE HAND OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IN THE SPECIFIC WORDING...

      For unto us a Child is born...This glorious prophecy of the birth of Messiah reminds Israel that the victory-bringing Messiah would be A MAN.

      WHAT DO I MEAN BY THAT?

      THERE ARE THOSE WHO, THEN AND NOW, TAUGHT AND THEORIZED THAT THE MESSIAH COULD HAVE BEEN AN ANGEL.

      OR THAT The Messiah could have been God WITHOUT humanity.


      But in reality, NEITHER OF THOSE THEORIES OR BELIEFS OR OPTIONS COULD HAVE OR WOULD HAVE qualified THOSE IDEAS the Messiah OR TO BE WHAT JESUS REALLY IS...HE IS OUR SAVIOR AND OUR HIGH PRIEST, AMEN?


      THE CHILD HAD TO BE BORN...THAT IS WHY THE EMPHASIS ON "BE BORN"...IS OFTENTIMES REPEATED HERE AND OTHER PLACES IN THE BIBLE....


      WHY?


      BECAUSE ALMIGHTY GOD KNEW THERE WOULD BE THOSE WHO CHOSE TO SAY JESUS WAS AN ANGEL, OR A MESSENGER FROM GOD, NOT THE SON OF GOD, BORN AND MADE FLESH IN A REAL HUMAN MAN.


      ALMIGHTY GOD ANSWERS THE QUESTION RIGHT HERE...THOUSANDS OF YEARS BEFORE MANY OF THESE "THEORIES AND IDEAS" EVER BEGAN...HOW COOL IS THAT?


      What an amazing mystery, AMEN?

      I MEAN THINK ABOUT IT, THERE IS NOTHING MORE WEAK, MORE HELPLESS, MORE DEPENDENT ON OTHERS THAN A CHILD, AMEN?


      THEORETICALLY...JESUS CHRIST COULD HAVE JUST APPEARED, COME AS A FULLY GROWN MAN, COULD HAVE BEEN CREATED AS AN ADULT, EVEN AS ADAM WAS CREATED.


      BUT JUST AS PHILIPPIANS 2:7 tells us..but for Jesus to FULLY INDENTIFY WITH HUMANITY, and to display in His life the servant nature that is in God, made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.


      IN OTHER WORDS, IF JESUS HAD TO BE AND WAS TO BE THE PERFECT, PURE, SINLESS SACRIFICIAL OFFERING FOR ALL OF MANKIND, THAT WOULD SATISFY ALMIGHTY GOD...


      JESUS HAD TO BECOME LIKE MAN.
      JESUS HAD TO BE BORN.
      JESUS HAD TO GROW UP.
      JESUS HAD TO, IN HIS BODY, IN HIS FLESH, HAVE THE SAME LIMITATIONS, THE SAME TEMPTATIONS, THE SAME TRIALS THAT ARE COMMON TO ALL MAN.
      YET NOTTT SIN, NOT FAIL, NOT FALTER.
      HE HAD TO BE A PERFECT MAN...IN ORDER TO BE A WORTHY SACRIFICIAL LAMB THAT WOULD TAKE AWAY ALL OF THE SINS OF MANKIND, AMEN?


      Unto us a Son IS GIVEN...ONCE AGAIN, GOD KNEW THERE WOULD BE THOSE ONE DAY WHO WOULD SAY OR TEACH THAT JESUS WAS A WOMAN...THAT ALMIGHTY GOD WAS A WOMAN. THERE WOULD BE THOSE WHO TEACH THAT JESUS WAS COMMANDED TO GIVE UP HIS LIFE...INSTEAD OF THE TRUTH, AND THAT BEING THAT HE WILLINGLY OFFERED UP HIS LIFE FOR LOST MANKIND.


      RIGHT HERE...LONG BEFORE THESE THEORIES, IDEOLOGIES, OR TEACHINGS REARED ITS HEAD...ALMIGHTY GOD ANSWERED IT!


      This Child WOULD BE MALE, HE WOULD BE A MAN, BUT FAR MORE THAN JUST ANY MAN.

      He WOULD BE, WAS, AND EVER SHALL ALSO BE the eternal Son of God, the Second Person of the Godhead, AMEN?


      THERE ARE THOSE WHO ONCE AGAIN, THEORIZE, THAT THE MESSIAH DID NOT HAVE TO BE AND/OR WAS NOT GOD IN HUMAN FLESH.


      THERE ARE THOSE WHO SAY....He might have been a sinless angel, or merely a perfect man like Adam.


      But in reality, ONCE AGAIN NEITHER OF THOSE THEORIES/IDEOLOGIES would have QUALIFIED the Messiah to be OUR Saviour and High Priest as Jesus was. The Son had TO BE GIVEN TO THIS WORLD BY ALMIGHTY GOD.

      What glorious truth! We needed a perfect, infinite Being to offer a perfect, infinite atonement for our sins.

      AS ISAIAH 7:14 SAYS, We needed IMMANUEL, God is WITH us.

      The Child could be born, because the humanity of Jesus had a STARTING POINT.


      WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?


      JESUS CHRIST HAS ALWAYS BEEN. HE WAS IN THE BEGINNING, HE WAS/IS THE GREAT I AM. HE WAS/IS/EVER SHALL BE PART OF THE TRIUNE GOD.


      THERE ARE THOSE WHO TEACH/BELEIVE THAT IN THE BEGINNING WAS JUST GOD...SINGULARLY. THAT JESUS WAS LATER CREATED. BUT THE BIBLE TELLS US JESUS DID NOT JUST APPEAR NOR WAS HE CREATED BY ALMIGHTY GOD JUST BEFORE THE MANAGER BIRTH IN BETHLEHEM, AMEN?


      AND IN ORDER TO SAVE MANKIND...JESUS CHRIST NEEDED TO ADD HUMANITY TO HIS DEITY.


      The Son HAD to be given, because the Second Person of the Trinity is eternal, and existed forever as the Son, even before adding humanity to His deity, AMEN?


      We rejoice in the Holy Spirit's guidance OF EVERY WORD GIVEN TO ISAIAH, AMEN?


      Jesus, the Messiah, is fully God and fully man. There was a time when the eternal Son of God, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, added humanity to His deity. He NEVER became LESS TRIUNE God, as some wrongly teach and theorize. He ADDED A HUMAN NATURE to His divine nature, and so became one person with two distinct natures, functioning together in perfect harmony, AMEN?


      I MEAN THINK ABOUT IT, SOME SAY JESUS WAS BORN UNKNOWING OF WHO HE WAS. THEY SAY JESUS HAD TO BE TAUGHT BY LIMITED MAN....RABBIS...AND STUDY AND COME TO THE KNOWLEDGE THAT HE WAS THE SON OF GOD.


      THAT HE HAD TO COME INTO THE KNOWLEDGE OF WHO HE WAS...AND SORRY BUT THAT IS RIDICULOUS.


      REMEMBER WHEN MARY, PREGNANT WITH JESUS, CAME TO SEE THE ELDERLY PREGNANT ELIZABETH, THE MOTHER OF JOHN THE BAPTIST, AND WHEN MARY WALKED IN BEFORE SHE EVER TOLD ELIZABETH WHAT HAD HAPPENED, GOD TOLD ELIZABETH, & THE BABY STIRRED UNDER MARY'S HEART, AS WELL JOHN LEPT WITH JOY WITHIN ELIZABETH'S WOMB.


      THAT TELLS ME THAT JESUS CHRIST KNEW IN THE WOMB, WHO HE WAS.
      YES, HIS BODY HAD TO GROW.
      YES HE HAD TO LEARN TO WALK WITHIN THE LIMITED CONFINES OF A NEW BODY.
      YES HE LEARNED TO TALK.
      BUT HE ALWAYS IN HIS HEART, MIND, AND SPIRIT KNEW WHO HE WAS, AMEN?.


      AND IMAGINE, JUST IMAGINE, HOW STRONG HE HAD TO BE EVEN AS A CHILD, TO RESTRAIN HIS DEITY. I MEAN THINK ABOUT IT, WHEN THE DISCIPLES SAW THE TRANSFIGURATION OF JESUS, WHEN JOHN SAW JESUS IN HEAVEN, THEY HIT THEIR KNEES IN THE POWER AND MAJESTY AND PURE LIGHT OF HIM, AMEN?


      AND REMEMBER TO, IN THE NEW TESTAMENT, THOSE WHO SAID YOU ARE THAT CARPENTER'S SON, IN DISBELIEF, AS A SNEER, AND DOUBTING. AND THEY SAID OF HIM THAT HE WAS UNREMARKABLE...HE APPEARED ORDINARY, AN ORDINARY CHILD...HOW AMAZINGLY POWERFUL, STRONG, & SELF-POSSESSED DID JESUS HAVE TO BE TO LAY DOWN AND RESTRAIN, AND CLOAK WHO HE REALLY WAS...AND HE DID SO EVEN AS A CHILD, AMEN?


      AND THINK ABOUT THIS AS WELL....
      That Jesus is BOTH God and man, SO THIS IS JUST ANOTHER CONFIRMATION OF GENESIS 1:26...THAT TELLS US THAT man REALLY IS MADE IN THE IMAGE OF GOD.


      AND IT PROVES THAT PERFECT HUMANITY IS MORE COMPATIBLE WITH DEITY THAN WE IMAGINE, AMEN?


      THIS SAYS AND PROVES THAT OUR PROBLEM AS MANKIND IS NOT IN OUR HUMANITY, BUT OUR FALLENNESS.


      To say "I'm only human" is wrong, because Jesus WAS FULLY human yet PERFECT..


      It is more accurate to say, "I'm only fallen."


      But remember that the humanity that Jesus added to His Divine nature was not the sinful humanity we commonly know, but the perfect humanity of Adam and Eve before the fall, AMEN?


      Acts 7:55-56 & 1 Timothy 2:5 CONFIRMS Jesus remains a man eternally. He did NOT relinquish His humanity on His ascension; but He is now a man in a resurrection body, as we will one day have.


      THERE ARE THOSE WHO TEACH/BELIEVE, WE WILL JUST BE SUPERNATURAL PERFECT SPIRITS WITHOUT FORM OR BODIES ONCE WE GET TO HEAVEN, BUT THOSE WHO SAY THIS, TEACH THIS, FORGET THAT JESUS IN HIS RESURRECTED BODY WAS A PERFECT BODY. HUNDREDS SAW HIM, TOUCHED HIM, ATE WITH HIM, DRANK WITH HIM, WALKED WITH HIM...AFTER HIS RESURRECTION...


      SO WE CAN KNOW THAT OUR PERFECT IMMORTAL STATE, WILL BE PERFECT IMMORTAL BODIES, WE WILL HAVE THE MIND OF CHRIST. BUT WE WILL NO LONGER HAVE THE LIMITATIONS OR NEEDS OF FALLEN/MORTAL HUMANITY.


      WE WILL DRINK, WE WILL EAT, BUT WE WILL DO SO FOR PLEASURE AND FELLOWSHIP AND CELEBRATION. WE WILL NOT NEED TO EAT, DRINK, SLEEP TO SUSTAIN OURSELVES, AMEN.


      AND WE WILL BE IMBUED WITH ALL THINGS THAT JESUS DID. REMEMBER APPEARING IN A ROOM TO THE DISCIPLES WHERE THE DOORS AND WINDOWS WERE SHUT AND LOCKED.


      APPEARING HERE, THEN INSTANTLY VANISHING & APPEARING OTHER PLACES...WE TOO WILL HAVE ALL THOSE THINGS ONE SWEET DAY, WHEN WE ENTER HEAVEN AND RECEIVE OUR IMMORTAL ETERNAL BODIES, AMEN?


      AND RIGHT HERE IS ANOTHER PROOF AND TRUTH TO CONSIDER AND REMEMBER...If Jesus were NOT fully man, He could NOT THEN HAVE STOOD IN THE PLACE of sinful man and be a PERFECT SUBSTITUTE for the punishment man deserves.


      If JESUS were NOT FULLY God, His sacrifice would be INSUFFICIENT.


      If JESUS is NOT FULLY God and FULLY MAN, we are lost in sin.


      JOHN 3:16 says GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD...AND HE DID AND DOES...


      HE DID NOT DO THINGS HALF WAY, HE DID NOT LEAVE OUT STEPS, HE MADE SURE HE GAVE HIS BEST, MORE PRECIOUS AND PRICELESS AND JESUS WILLINGLY & READILY OFFERED HIMSELF AS THE COMPLETE AND THE PERFECT SACRIFICE...TO INSURE WE COULD CHOOSE AND WE COULD BE SAVED, AMEN?


      And the government WILL BE UPON His shoulder...ULTIMATELY WE KNOW THIS WILL BE PERFECTLY FULFILLED IN THE MILLENNIUM, THE 1000 YEAR REIGN OF JESUS ON THE EARTH, when Jesus Christ will rule the earth as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.


      AS TOLD TO US IN...Revelation 20:4-6, Psalm 72, Isaiah 2:1-4, Isaiah 11, Isaiah 65:17-25, Zechariah 14:6-21.


      AND WE KNOW THIS ULTIMATE fulfillment of THIS PROMISE is still waiting..IS STILL TO COME.


      But we can still see the government … upon His shoulder in many ways. Gayle Erwin writes about the government God promises, both ultimately and right now:


      "What might such a government look like? First of all, it would look like its king. Politicians of this day look for what they CAN GET from you. Jesus looks for what He CAN DO for you.

      Leaders of this day surround themselves WITH servants. Jesus surrounds us with His servanthood.


      Leaders of this day use their power to build THEIR empire. Jesus uses his power to wash our feet and make us clean and comfortable.


      Leaders of this day trade their influence FOR money. God so loved that he gave …

      Generals of this day need regular wars to keep their weapons and skills up to date and insure their own advancement. Jesus brings peace and rest to hearts.

      The higher the plane of importance one reaches in this world, the more inaccessible he becomes. Jesus was Emanuel, "God with us."

      Leaders of this day are desperate to be seen and heard. Jesus sought anonymity so He could be useful.

      Obviously, Jesus is not in charge of the halls of Washington, London, Moscow, Baghdad, Paris or Bonn. So, how can we ever believe the "government will be upon His shoulders"?

      Actually, His government shows its workings in wonderful ways. Whenever I see someone who miraculously leaves a life of drugs or alcohol and is restored to his family and work, I can see that he is now governed by God.

      Whenever I see loving Christians gently caring for orphans and those rejected by family, I know I am watching people governed by God.

      Whenever I see people eagerly learning the Bible and joyously praising, I know who the governor is.

      Whenever I see people give up lucrative careers simply to go and share the Good News of Jesus, I know they are governed by God.

      When I see pastors carefully teach and lead the flock God has given them, I know they are getting signals from the great King.

      When I see people leave family to live and teach in distant lands because they love the people who have not heard, I know they are governed by God.

      So, indeed, the government OF JESUS CHRIST IS NOW alive and working.

      Often silently, mostly unseen. We can be and are, by choice, governed by God. Hope and joy and peace and rest cover its subjects. Justice, mercy and grace, amazingly coexist. I like this Kingdom. The borders are open. Come on in."



      His name will be called...The idea IS NOT that these will be the LITERAL names of the Messiah. Instead, these are ASPECTS OF HIS CHARACTER, they describe WHO He is and WHAT He has come to do, AMEN?


      LONGENECKER explains it well. He says, "In Semitic thought, a name does not just identify or distinguish a person, it expresses the very nature of his being."


      The Messiah is Wonderful: The glory of who He is and what He has done for us should fill us WITH WONDER.


      We can NEVER REALLY look at Jesus, REALLY KNOW Him, and be bored.


      JESUS CHRIST IS WONDERFUL and HE WILL AND DOES fill our hearts and minds with amazement!


      AND GROGAN, REMINDS US OF THE JUDGES 13:18, WHICH IS A REFERENCE TO THE DEITY OF JESUS. "The word 'wonderful' has overtones of deity".


      The Messiah IS OUR Counselor: Jesus is the One fit to guide our lives, and should be the Christian's immediate resource as a counselor. Jesus can help you with your problems. He may use the presence and the words of another Christian to do it, but Jesus IS our Counselor, AMEN?


      CHARLES SPURGEON SAYS IT BEST OF THIS SCRIPTURE..."How we need Jesus as our Counselor! "It was by a Counsellor that this world was ruined. Did not Satan mask himself in the serpent, and counsel the woman with exceeding craftiness, that she should take unto herself of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, in the hope that thereby she should be as God? Was it not that evil counsel which provoked our mother to rebel against her Maker, and did it not as the effect of sin, bring death into this world with all its train of woe? Ah! beloved, it was meet that the world should have a Counsellor to restore it, if it had a Counsellor to destroy it."


      SPURGEON SAYS IT BEST AGAIN..."Jesus is our Counselor in the sense that He sits in the High Counsel of the Godhead, and takes council with the Father and the Holy Spirit for our good. The High Counsel of the Godhead brought forth our salvation. "Hence you read in the book of Zechariah, if you turn to the sixth chapter and the thirteenth verse, this passage - 'The council of peace shall be between them both.' The Son of God with his Father and the Spirit, ordained the council of peace. Thus was it arranged. The Son must suffer, he must be the substitute, must bear his people's sins and be punished in their stead; the Father must accept the Son's substitution and allow his people to go free, because Christ had paid their debts. The Spirit of the living God must then cleanse the people whom the blood had pardoned, and so they must be accepted before the presence of God, even the Father. That was the result of the great council."


      CHARLES SPURGEON SAYS OF The High Counsel of the Godhead guides our lives. "Remember, there is nothing that happens in your daily life, but what was first of all devised in eternity, and counselled by Jesus Christ for your good and in your behalf, that all things might work together for your lasting benefit and profit … Oh, how strange providence seems to you and to me! Does it not look like a zig-zag line, this way and that way, backward and forward, like the journeyings of the children of Israel in the wilderness? Ah! my brethren, but to God it is a straight line. Directly, God always goes to his object. And yet to us, he often seems to go round about … Let us learn to leave providence in the hand of the Counsellor."


      CHARLES SPURGEON SAYS OF Jesus' counsel is necessary counsel. Jesus' counsel is faithful counsel, without any self-interest. Jesus' counsel is hearty counsel. It isn't detached and unemotional. Jesus' counsel is sweet counsel. "Christian, do you know what sweet counsel is? You have gone to your Master in the day of trouble, and in the secret of your chamber you have poured out your heart before him. You have laid your case before him, with all its difficulties, as Hezekiah did Rabshakeh's letter, and you have felt, that though Christ was not there in flesh and blood, yet he was there in spirit, and he counselled you. You felt that his was counsel that came from the very heart. But he was something better than that. There was such a sweetness coming with his counsel, such a radiance of love, such a fullness of fellowship, that you said, 'Oh that I were in trouble every day, if I might have such sweet counsel as this!' Christ is the Counsellor whom I desire to consult every hour, and I would that I could sit in his secret chamber all day and all night long, because to counsel with him is to have sweet counsel, hearty counsel, and wise counsel, all at the same time."


      AND AGAIN CHARLES SPURGEON SAYS IT BEST..."Why, you may have a friend that talks very sweetly with you, and you will say, 'Well, he is a kind, good soul, but I really cannot trust his judgment.' You have another friend, who has a good deal of judgment, and yet you say of him, 'Certainly, he is a man of prudence above a great many, but I cannot find out his sympathy; I never get at his heart, if he were ever so rough and untutored, I would sooner have his heart without his prudence, than his prudence without his heart,' But we go to Christ, and we get wisdom; we get love, we get sympathy, we get everything that can possibly be wanted in a Counsellor."


      The Messiah IS Mighty God...The God OF ALL creation and glory, the LORD who reigns in heaven, the One worthy of our worship and praise.


      THINK ABOUT IT...Can there be a more straightforward declaration of the deity of JESUS CHRIST OUR MESSIAH?


      Yet some groups (such as Jehovah's Witnesses) try to make a distinction between Mighty God and Almighty God. Scripturally, there is NO distinction, because BOTH titles are used of Jesus and Yahweh specifically. AND Almighty IS APPLIED to Jesus in Revelation 1:8, AMEN?


      In Isaiah 10:21, the prophet uses the EXACT SAME PHRASE to refer to Yahweh: "The remnant will return, the remnant of Jacob, to the Mighty God." Therefore, this is a clear statement of absolute deity, AMEN?


      AND REMEMBER....JEREMIAH 17:5 CONFIRMS THIS..."And indeed, if Christ had not been God, it would have been unlawful to glory in him; for it is written, Cursed be he that trusteth in man."


      ONCE AGAIN, CHARLES SPURGEON DOES NOT PULL HIS PUNCHES..."We extend the right hand of fellowship to all those who love the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity and truth; but we cannot exchange our Christian greetings with those who deny him to be 'very God of very God.' And the reason is sometimes asked; for say our opponents, 'We are ready to give the right hand of fellowship to you, why don't you do so to us?' Our reply shall be given thus briefly: 'You have no right to complain of us, seeing that in this matter we stand on the defensive. When you declare yourselves to believe that Christ is not the Son of God, you may not be conscious of it, but you have charged us with one of the blackest sins in the entire catalogue of crime.' The Unitarians must, to be existent, charge the whole of us, who worship Christ, with being idolaters. Now idolatry is a sin of the most heinous character; it is not an offense against men it is true, but it is an intolerable offense against the majesty of God."


      CHARLES SPURGEON AGAIN STATES THE ABSOLUTE TRUTH..."If Christ were not the Son of God, his death, so far from being a satisfaction for sin, was a death most richly and righteously deserved. The Sanhedrin before which He was tried was the recognized and authorized legislature of the country. He was brought before that Sanhedrin, charged with blasphemy, and it was upon that charge that they condemned him to die, because he made himself the Son of God."


      The Messiah IS the Everlasting Father...The idea in these Hebrew words is that Jesus is the SOURCE AND/OR AUTHORITY of all eternity, that He IS the Creator Himself. It does not mean that Jesus Himself is the Person of the Father in the Trinity but that HE IS TRIUNE, AMEN?


      The Messiah is the Prince of Peace: He is the One who makes peace, especially between God and man.


      CALVIN STATES IT WONDERFULLY HERE OF THIS..."Whenever, in short, it appears to us that everything is in a ruinous condition, let us recall to our remembrance that Christ is called Wonderful, because he has inconceivable methods of assisting us, and because his power is far beyond what we are able to conceive. When we need counsel, let us remember that he is the Counselor. When we need strength, let us remember that he is Mighty and Strong. When new terrors spring up suddenly every instant, and when many deaths threaten us from various quarters, let us rely on that eternity of which he is with good reason called the Father, and by the same comfort let us learn to soothe all temporal distresses. When we are inwardly tossed by various tempests, and when Satan attempts to disturb our consciences, let us remember that Christ is The Prince of Peace, and that it is easy for him quickly to allay all our uneasy feelings. This will these titles confirm us more and more in the faith of Christ, and fortify us against Satan and against hell itself."


      VERSE 7 tells us The glory of the Messiah's reign.

      "Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this."


      The reign of the Messiah will not last merely 1,000 years, though the millennium is a special aspect of His reign. There will be NO END to the reign of the Messiah, and He will rule for ALL eternity.


      Upon the throne of David...Jesus will rule on David's throne, and over his kingdom (that is, David's kingdom - Israel). This is a fulfillment of God's great covenant with David in 2 Samuel 7.


      SOME SAY...THIS IS ALL TOO IMPOSSIBLE AND/OR GOOD TO BE TRUE...but the zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this. God -the LORD of all heavenly armies -has PROMISED to accomplish this word, and part of it has been accomplished already.


      Jesus can be Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace for everyone now. One day, these offices will be imposed upon the world. For now, they are real for those who RECEIVE Jesus Christ into their hearts and lives to be their LORD, SAVIOR, AND FRIEND, AMEN?


      NEXT WEEK WE WILL BEGIN AT ISAIAH 9:8-ISAIAH 10:4, WHICH BEGINS TO SPEAK OF THE THE COMING JUDGMENT on the Northern Kingdom of Israel.

    • July 6, 2016 3:05 AM EDT
    • ISAIAH 9 CONTINUED...
      TODAY WE WILL BEGIN AT ISAIAH 9:8-ISAIAH 10:4, WHICH BEGINS TO SPEAK OF THE THE COMING JUDGMENT on the Northern Kingdom of Israel.

      AND THIS SECTION IS IN FOUR PARTS, each part concluding with "For all this His anger is not turned away, but His hand (of judgment) is stretched out still." Some have called this section OF ISAIAH, "GOD'S Speech of the Outstretched Hand."

      Verses 8-12 tells us because of their UNHOLY PRIDE, Israel will be defeated by her enemies.

      "The LORD sent a word against Jacob, and it has fallen on Israel. All the people will know; Ephraim and the inhabitant of Samaria; who say in pride and arrogance of heart: "The bricks have fallen down, but we will rebuild with hewn stones; the sycamores are cut down, but we will replace them with cedars." Therefore the LORD shall set up the adversaries of Rezin against him, and spur his enemies on, the Syrians before and the Philistines behind; and they shall devour Israel with an open mouth. For all this His anger is not turned away, but His hand is stretched out still."

      The LORD sent a word AGAINST JACOB, and it has fallen on Israel..
      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      The idea is that the LORD brought a word against all His people (against Jacob) and the word has scored a "direct hit" against the Northern Kingdom of Israel, AMEN?

      Ephraim and the inhabitant of Samaria...

      SINCE WE HAVE ALREADY STUDIED THE BOOK OF GENESIS, WE KNOW IN GENESIS 48, THAT JOSEPH HAD TWO SONS. MANNASEH, THE FIRST BORN, & EPHRAIM, THE SECOND BORN, BUT IT WAS EPHRAIM THAT ISRAEL (JACOB) CONFERRED THE HIGHEST BLESSINGS UPON, WHICH WAS AGAINST HEBREW TRADITION, AMEN?

      The tribe of Ephraim WAS the largest and most influential tribe in the Northern Kingdom of Israel. So, often the LORD refers to the Kingdom of Israel by the name Ephraim. Samaria was the capital of the Northern Kingdom of Israel. THE LORD WANTED TO MAKE SURE THERE WAS NO DOUBT whom this prophecy is directed to.

      Who say IN PRIDE AND IN ARROGANCE of heart: "The bricks have fallen down, but we will rebuild with hewn stones; the sycamores are cut down, but we will replace them with cedars."

      DID YOU KNOW, THIS SCRIPTURE RIGHT HERE WAS ARROGANTLY AND PRIDEFULLY REPEATED IN THE SENATE AND CONGRESS BY OUR LEADERS, OUR SENATORS AND CONGRESSMAN AFTER 9-11?

      THIS SHOWED ME THAT OUR LEADERS, THEIR SPEECH WRITERS, NOR THEY THEMSELVES KNEW THEIR BIBLE AT ALL.

      NONE OF THEM KNEW THAT THIS WAS A DANGEROUS THING, AN ARROGANT THING, A PRIDEFUL THING TO SAY AND A CHALLENGE TO ALMIGHTY GOD HIMSELF?

      ALMIGHTY GOD TOLD ISAIAH, AND ISAIAH REPEATED HOW THE LORD FELT ABOUT IT...

      In THEIR PRIDE, the leaders and the people of the Northern Kingdom of Israel said, "Who cares if God judges us? Whatever is torn down, we will rebuild with something better. We have nothing to fear from what God can bring against us."

      DOES THIS NOT SOUND LIKE MANKIND TODAY?

      BULTEMA SAYS IT PERFECTLY OF THIS SCRIPTURE..."Instead of humbling themselves before the face of God on account of the many calamities that had already descended on them, they still entertained a lighthearted optimism regarding the future. This optimism manifested itself in the slogans that were current in that day and apparently on everybody's lips."

      AND AGAIN BULTEMA SAYS, "What a brief but deeply psychological picture this is of an unfaithful generation that keeps dreaming of better times to come and lightheartedly ignores the severe judgments of God."

      Therefore the LORD SHALL SET UP the adversaries...Because they believed they would be able to weather the storm of attack and then rebuild, God would send SUCCESSIVE WAVES of enemies against Israel (The Syrians before and the Philistines behind). The destruction of Israel would be complete, and their proud promise to rebuild would be unfulfilled.

      AND REMEMBER DEUTERONOMY 8:5, PROVERBS 13:24, & HEBREW 12:6-7, OUR GOD SAYS HE CHASTISES WHOM HE LOVES. ISRAEL IS HIS AND THE UNITED STATES THAT HAD NOT SUFFERED ANY REAL ATTACK ON THEIR SOIL SINCE HAWAII AT PEARL HARBOR, AND A NATION FOUNDED ON ALMIGHTY GOD, & HIS WORD & CONSECRATED AND DEDICATED TO GOD & TO THE MISSION OF SHINING JESUS AND DEFENDING THE WEAK...

      NOW HAS KICKED JESUS, HIS WORD, & ARROGANTLY DISMISSED THE NEED FOR GOD, WE ARE BIGGER AND BETTER NOW...WE DO NOT NEED GOD IN ALL THINGS, HAS SUFFERED INCREASINGLY SEVERE ATTACKS BY ENEMIES, MAN, AND NATURE.

      YET ISRAEL AND THE UNITED STATES LEADERS NOR THE NATIONS AS A WHOLE....IN THEIR ARROGANCE, THEN AND NOW, ARE NOT HITTING THEIR KNEES, ARE NOT REPENTING, ARE NOT CALLING OUT TO JESUS...THEY ARROGANTLY BELIEVE THEY ARE IN CONTROL AND THAT THEY CAN WITHSTAND, CAN REBUILD, CAN WEATHER WHATEVER GOD, MAN, NATURE, AND SATAN HURL AT THEM...AMEN?

      YET BROWSE THE INTERNET, READ THE HEADLINES, WATCH THE TALKING HEAD REPORTING MEDIA ANY DAY ALL DAY...AND WHAT YOU SEE IS VERBAL SHRUGS, DISMISSAL OF ANY CHRISTIAN LEADER CALLING FOR REPENTANCE, TURNING BACK TO JESUS, MUCH LESS THE THOUGHT THAT ALL THESE DISASTERS ARE JESUS WAKE UP CALL...THAT ALMIGHTY GOD IS CHASTISING THOSE HE LOVES & SO HE IS ALLOWING THESE THINGS TO COME UPON MANKIND...

      The chorus is said...For all this, His anger is not turned away, but HIS HAND IS OUT STRETCHED STILL. The judgment against Israel's pride was not enough. There was still sin to judge, and God wasn't ready to stop His work of judgment.

      EVEN AS THE BIBLE, ESPECIALLY DANIEL PROPHECIES FOR ISRAEL AND REVELATION, ISAIAH, EZEKIEL, JOEL, ZECHARIAH, AND OTHER NEW TESTAMENT BOOKS TOLD US THOUSANDS OF YEARS AGO THIS WOULD HAPPEN.

      THE CHRISTIANS, THOSE WHO HAVE CRIED OUT, WHO HAVE REPENTED THEIR SIN AND FALLENNESS, WHO HAVE ASKED AND WHO LOVE JESUS CHRIST AND CALL HIM LORD, SAVIOR, AND FRIEND, IT IS OUR HEART CRIES, OUR PRAYERS, OUR LIGHT SHINING INTO THE DARKNESS OF THE LOST WORLD & JESUS PATIENCE, GRACE, AND MERCY...THAT HAS SPARED THE WORLD THE FIERCENESS OF GOD'S WRATH.

      SO REMEMBER YOUR PRAYERS MATTER AND THOUGH YOU MAY NOT SEE AT ALL TIMES JESUS GRACE AND MERCY, WE CAN KNOW THAT OUR HUMILITY, OUR HEART CRIES, OUR PRAYERS ARE INTERCEDING FOR THIS WORLD.

      BUT ONE DAY SOON, OUR JESUS WILL APPEAR IN THE CLOUDS IN THE EASTERN SKIES AND DRAW US UNTO HIM, GATHER US HIS CHILDREN UP...AND THEN HIS HOLY SPIRIT WILL BE REMOVED FROM THE FACE OF THE EARTH...AND THEN ONLY THE BIBLE WILL REMAIN OF OUR TRIUNE GOD ON THE FACE OF THE DARK LOST WORLD...

      AND THE LOST WORLD THAT KICKED JESUS HIS SON OUT OF ALL THINGS, DISMISSED CURSED AND ARROGANTLY SHOOK THEIR FISTS IN THE FACE OF ALL THOSE WHO KNOW AND LOVE JESUS...WILL BE GIVEN WHAT THEY WANT...FOR A TIME...A WORLD FILLED WITH SATAN AND HIS DEMONS AND OF THE WORST MANKIND DEPRAVITY NEVER SEEN BEFORE...AND NEVER TO BE SEEN OR WITNESSED AGAIN....EVER!

      Calvin could say of his day, more than 300 years ago: "How many are the distresses with which Europe has been afflicted for thirty or forty years? How many are the chastisements by which she has been called to repentance? And yet it does not appear that those numerous chastisements have done any good. On the contrary, luxury increases every day, lawless passions are inflamed, and men go on in crimes and profligacy more shamelessly than ever. In short, those very calamities appear to have been so many excitements to luxury and splendour. What then should we expect but to be bruised with heavier blows?"

      MATTHEW 5:29-30 & MATTHEW 18:14, & 2 PETER 3:9 ALL THESE VERSES REMIND US AND GIVE US THE WHY...

      JESUS CHRIST DOES NOT WANT MANKIND'S DESTRUCTION. OUR TRIUNE GOD STILL SOOOOOOO LOVEEEEEES...

      JESUS TELLS US IN JOHN 3:16, MATTHEW 18:11, LUKE 15:4, & LUKE 19:10 HIS HEART. HE WANTS NONE TO PERISH...HE WANTS REPENTANCE AND ACCEPTANCE AND TURNING TO HIM....JESUS WANTS ABOVE ALL THINGS TO SEEK AND TO SAVE THAT WHICH IS LOST, AMEN?

      Verses 13-17 tells us because they REFUSE to repent, there will be an overthrow of leadership.

      "For the people do not turn to Him who strikes them, nor do they seek the LORD of hosts. Therefore the LORD will cut off head and tail from Israel, palm branch and bulrush in one day. The elder and honorable, he is the head; the prophet who teaches lies, he is the tail. For the leaders of this people cause them to err, and those who are led by them are destroyed. Therefore the LORD will have no joy in their young men, nor have mercy on their fatherless and widows; for everyone is a hypocrite and an evildoer, and every mouth speaks folly. For all this His anger is not turned away, but His hand is stretched out still."

      For the people DO NOT turn to Him who strikes them...THIS TELLS US AND SHOWS US THAT EACH EPISODE OF JUDGMENT BY GOD was followed by Israel's REFUSAL TO REPENT & to turn to the LORD. They were like dumb animals that resist even more when they are beaten.

      Therefore the LORD will cut off the head and tail from Israel...
      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
      Those who lead in Israel (the elder and honorable … the prophet who teaches lies … the leaders of this people) will be cut off. CUT OFF OFTENS MEANS THEY DIE OR ARE KILLED.

      AND DID YOU KNOW..."The expression branch and rush indicates the same thing as head and tail. A branch grows upward and hence refers to the high and important people of the population; the rush grows in muddy marshes and refers to the lowest element of the population, the scum."

      The chorus is said...For all this, His anger is NOT turned away, but His hand is stretched out still. The judgment against Israel's impenitence was not enough. There was still sin to judge, and God wasn't ready to stop His work of judgment.

      Verses 18-21 tells us because of prevailing wickedness they WILL attack their own brothers.

      "For wickedness burns as the fire; it shall devour the briers and thorns, and kindle in the thickets of the forest; they shall mount up like rising smoke. Through the wrath of the LORD of hosts the land is burned up, and the people shall be as fuel for the fire; no man shall spare his brother. And he shall snatch on the right hand and be hungry; he shall devour on the left hand and not be satisfied; every man shall eat the flesh of his own arm. Manasseh shall devour Ephraim, and Ephraim Manasseh; together they shall be against Judah. For all this His anger is not turned away, but His hand is stretched out still."

      For wickedness burns as the fire...GOD SHOWS AND TELLS ISAIAH SO THAT ISAIAH SEES the wickedness of Israel as a raging wildfire, unstoppable, swift, uncontrolled, and devouring everything it touches.

      And the people shall be fuel for the fire...This wildfire of God's judgment is fueled by the people, in two senses.

      FIRST...their wickedness GIVES/ADDS/SUPPLIES THE FUEL to the fire of God's judgment. If the wickedness was taken away, the fire would have no more fuel.
      SECOND...they are burnt up and destroyed by the fire.

      No man shall spare his brother...In gruesome detail, the prophet speaks of the carnage that one Israelite will inflict on another. The wildfire of God's judgment burns, but God merely LETS the evil, hateful passions of men burn wild among themselves.

      God DID NOT NEED to start the fire, or fan the flames; He simply took away the "fire retardant" that had held the evil, hate-filled passions of men in check, AMEN?

      AND AS A PARENT AND NOW GRANDPARENT WE KNOW THIS TO BE THE ABSOLUTE TRUTH...IF WE IGNORE BAD BEHAVIOR OR DO NOT POINT IT OUT...AND DO NOT ADDRESS IT, PUNISH IT, SO IT CORRECTED...THE CHILD ONLY GETS WORSE AND WORSE.

      JUST AS THE RECIDIVISM IN PRISONS AND IN OUR COURTS CAN ATTEST TO...NO CORRECTION, NO PUNISHMENT FOR IMMORAL, UNETHICAL BEHAVIOR, AND LAW BREAKERS, WHO DO NOT LEARN TO BEHAVE THEMSELVES, CONTROL THEIR BEHAVIOR, NOR CHANGE, NOR DEFEAT IT....THEY CONTINUE ON...UNTIL IT COSTS THEM THEIR FREEDOM AGAIN IF NOT THEIR VERY LIVES, AMEN?

      The chorus is said...For all this, His anger is not turned away, but His hand is stretched out still. The judgment against Israel's wickedness was not enough. There was still sin to judge, and God wasn't ready to stop His work of judgment.

       

       

      NOW BEGINS ISAIAH 10...WHERE IT CONTINUES THIS JUDGMENT FROM GOD.

      Verses 1-4 tells us because of SOCIAL INJUSTICE, they will be exiled and slain.

      "Woe to those who decree unrighteous decrees, who write misfortune, which they have prescribed to rob the needy of justice, and to take what is right from the poor of My people, that widows may be their prey, and that they may rob the fatherless. What will you do in the day of punishment, and in the desolation which will come from afar? To whom will you flee for help? And where will you leave your glory? Without Me they shall bow down among the prisoners, and they shall fall among the slain." For all this His anger is not turned away, but His hand is stretched out still.

      Woe to those who decree unrighteous decrees … rob the needy of justice … take what is right from the poor of my people, that widows may be their prey...The leaders and people of Israel were simply UNFAIR to others, and WORSE THEY PREYED on the weak.

      SOUND FAMILIAR GLOBALLY IN THIS DAY AND TIME AS WELL AMEN?

      What will you do in the day of punishment … To whom will you flee for help?

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
      SIMPLY PUT, GOD SAYS OKAY...SINCE YOU have forsaken others in THEIR time of need, SINCE YOU HAVE FORSAKEN YOUR GOD, YOU WILL HAVE NO ONE ELSE TO GO TO FOR YOUR HELP when you are in need!

      WITHOUT ME they shall bow down among the prisoners, and they shall fall among the slain...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
      All God needs to do to bring extreme judgment on Israel is to WITHDRAW HIS OUTSTRETCHED HAND OF PROTECTION COVERING THEM. HE DOES NOTTTTT HAVE TO DO ANYTHING, AND HE DOES NOT. The LORD declared that "Without Me you have no hope before your enemies." AND THEY DID NOT, AMEN?

      ROMANS 8:31 REMINDS US..."What shall we then say to these things? If God BE FOR US, who can be against us?"

      SO THE REVERSE MUST ALSO BE TRUE...IF GOD IS NOT FOR US, WHO CAN WE THEN STAND AGAINST?

      THE TRUTH IS...WE ARE HELPLESS AND HOPELESS WITHOUT OUR JESUS, AMEN?

      CLARKE SAYS IT WELL, "As the people had hitherto lived without God in worship and obedience; so they should now be without his help, and should perish in their transgressions."

      WITHOUT ME they shall bow down...

      THE BIBLE AND HISTORY TELLS US...THAT WHEN THE ASSYRIANS conquered other nations, it wasn't enough for them to just WIN a military victory. They had & TOOK PERVERSE, SADISTIC, CRUEL PLEASURE in humiliating and subjugating their conquered foes. They would do everything they could to bring them low. Here, God says, "You have rejected Me, so without Me you shall bow down in humiliation and degradation before your enemies."

      One of the Hebrew words commonly translated "WORSHIP" in the Old Testament is SHACHAH.
      It means to bow down, to reverently bow or stoop, to pay homage.
      BUT DID YOU KNOW....THERE IS ANOTHER WORD FOR "BOW DOWN", the Hebrew word KARA.
      KARA IS NOT A GOOD WORD, FOR IT MEANS to sink, to drop, to bring low, or to subdue.
      We might say that we will either bow down to the LORD in worship, or it will be said of us, without Me they shall bow down in suffering and humiliation.

      THEN AND NOW, OUR JESUS PUTS THE QUESTION TO MANKIND EACH SECOND OF EACH DAY...AND ESPECIALLY TO THOSE WHO LOVE HIM AND HE LOVES AND CALLS HIS OWN?

      WHAT WILL OUR CHOICE BE? SHACHAH OR KARA?

      The chorus is said...For all this, His anger is not turned away, but His hand is stretched out still. The judgment against Israel's injustice was not enough. There was still sin to judge, and God wasn't ready to stop His work of judgment.

      AND REMEMBER WHEN EVER YOU READ..."THE CHORUS IS SAID"...MEANS ALMIGHTY GOD IS A PATIENT BUT STEADFAST FATHER...

      MUCH LIKE US, AS PARENTS WHO SEND OUT A LITTANY, A MANTRA IF YOU WILL OF....NO! NO! NO! NO! DO NOT! DO NOT! DO NOT! A BARRAGE OF CORRECTION WARNINGS BEFORE PUNISHMENT IS DELIVERED.

      I ALWAYS CONSIDERED MYSELF A PATIENT PARENT, LONG-SUFFERING IN THE RAISING OF MY CHILDREN...BUT ONCE YOU READ THE BIBLE...YOU REALIZE JUST HOW PUNY YOUR PATIENCE AND LONG-SUFFERING ARE, AMEN?

      I MEAN THINK ABOUT GENESIS....ALMIGHTY GOD BASICALLY SAID NOOOOOOOOOO! NOOOOOOOOO! STOP IT! STOPPPPPPPPPPPP IT! DO NOT! DO NOT!! FOR A 1000 YEARS BEFORE THE FLOOD CAME TO THE EARTH.

      PEOPLE WHO SAY GOD IS A GOD OF WRATH, NO PATIENCE, NO KINDNESS, NOT LONG-SUFFERING...DO NOTTTTTTTT KNOW THEIR BIBLE NORRRR MANKIND'S HISTORY EITHER.

      I KNOW FOR MYSELF, IF I HAD TO REPEAT THAT NO NO NO STOP IT STOP IT DO NOT DO NOT.....EVERY DAY FOR A THOUSAND YEARS BEFORE I PUNISHED MY KIDS & IT BROUGHT ABOUT CHANGE...I WOULD NOT HAVE ONE HAIR LEFT ON MY HEAD...I WOULD BE INSANE AND BALD, IF I LIVED THAT LONG, AMEN?

      BUT NOT OUR JESUS...OUR TRIUNE GOD IS PATIENT, AMEN?

      AND THE CHORUS...THE REPITITION ALSOOOOOOOO TELLS US SOMETHING ELSE ABOUT OUR TRIUNE GOD....HIS JUDGMENT IS PERSISTENT.

      JESUS CHRIST DOES NOT GIVE UP....AFTER A FEW NOOOOOO! STOPPPPPPPP IT....HE IS PATIENT, PERSISTENT, & LONG-SUFFERING WITH MANKIND AND ESPECIALLY HIS CHILDREN, AMEN?

      AND YOU NOTICE ALLLLLLLLLL THROUGH THE BIBLE..
      GOD FIRST GIVES US RULES TO PROTECT US AND ABIDE IN WITH HIM.
      THEN HE REMINDS AND REMINDS.
      THEN HE WARNS AND HE WARNS.
      THEN HE ALLOWS US TO PAY SMALL PRICES FOR OUR SINS AND BAD CHOICES.
      AND STILL HE LOVES..HE REMINDS..HE PLEADSSSSS WITH MANKIND...REPENT, REPENT...TURN BACK TO ME...I LOVE YOU, I AM TRYING TO PROTECT YOUR PRESENT AND YOUR FUTURE.
      HEAR ME...REPENT...TURN BACK...OBEY ME!!!
      ALL THROUGH THE BIBLE ALMIGHTY GOD MOVES FROM PHASE TO PHASE, UPPING THE DEGREE, NOT TO PUNISH, BUT TO GET OUR ATTENTION, AND TO GET US TO SEEEEEEEE WHAT WE ARE DOING WRONG, TO REPENT IT, TO APOLOGIZE, AND TO RETURN TO OBEDIENCE AND ONE ON ONE WITH HIM.
      AND AGAIN WE GET A BRIEF AND TINY GLIMPSE OF THIS WITH OUR CHILDREN, FAMILY, FRIENDS, AND CO-WORKERS AND BOSSES...ANYONE WE INTERACT WITH.

      SOME ARE INSTANTLY CONVICTED WITH A LOOK. WITH SILENCE AS AN ANSWER & THEY REPENT.

      SOME HAVE TO HAVE THE WRONG PATIENTLY POINTED OUT TO THEM & REPENT.

      SOME NEED TO BE REMINDED SEVERAL TIMES BEFORE THEY SEE THE WRONGNESS & REPENT.

      SOME ARE ARROGANT ENOUGH THAT IT TAKES REMOVING THEM FROM YOUR PRESENCE AND FELLOWSHIP OR THAT WHICH THEY LOVE AND ENJOY BEFORE THEY SEE THEIR OWN WRONGNESS & REPENT.

      AND THEN THERE ARE THOSE WHO NO MATTER WHAT YOU PATIENTLY SAY, WARN, TEACH, OR SEEK TO CORRECT, MUCH LESS PUNISH... JUST GET WORSE AND WORSE WITH EACH CONFRONTATION OR ONE ON ONE & THEY REFUSE TO REPENT.

      AND SADLY, THERE ARE THOSE WHO ARE SO SELF ABSORBED, HAVE NO MORAL ABSOLUTES, BELIEVE IN NO GOVERNORS OR RESTRICTORS IN THEIR LIFE...THAT THEY FULLY EMBRACE SATAN AND MANKINDS OUTER DARKNESS AND END UP LOSING ALL THAT THEY DOOOOO COVET AND WANT AND GREEDILY HOARD, AMEN?

      AND AS GROGAN SAYS, OF THE LAST ABOVE GROUP OF PEOPLE, "God's judgment is persistent for all eternity. "If even physical death does not satisfy the fierce anger of this holy God, what dread and punishment lies beyond the grave?"

      THEN AND NOW, it makes perfect sense for this message of coming judgment to follow the announcement of the Messiah. JESUS CHRIST coming WAS announced LONG BEFORE HE CAME, but the people were not ready for Him, and the predicted judgment would come before they were ready TOO.

      THEN AND NOW, OUR TRIUNE GOD IS SAYING....I LOVE YOU...REPENT NOW...TURN BACK TO ME...MY OUT-STRETCHED HAND IS NOWWWWWW STILLLLLLLLL HERE...READY AND WILLING AND ABLE TO FORGIVE YOU....TO SAVE YOU.

      CALL ON ME NOW....REPENT NOW...ACCEPT ME AS LORD, SAVIOR AND FRIEND NOW... TODAY, RIGHT THIS MINUTE, IS THE ONLYYYYYYY GUARANTEED TIME YOU HAVE. THE BIBLE TELLS US THAT TOMORROW IS PROMISED TO NONE.

      THEN AND NOW...JESUS CHRIST IS GENTLY CALLING, THE URGENCY GETTING LOUDER EACH DAY...I AM HERE...MY HAND IS STILL OUT-STRETCHED...I LOVE YOU...WANT TO SAVE YOU..WANT TO PROTECT YOU.

      STOPPPPPPPPP! TURN AROUND!....COME TO ME.

    • July 6, 2016 3:02 AM EDT
    • ISAIAH 10 : 5-34


      OPENS WITH...ARROGANT ASSYRIA JUDGED BY GOD

      Since Isaiah 10:1-4 connects with Isaiah 9, it is examined in the previous Bible study of the chapter.

      Verses 5-7 tells us Assyria, the unintentional instrument in the hand of the LORD.

      "Woe to Assyria, the rod of My anger and the staff in whose hand is My indignation. I will send him against an ungodly nation, and against the people of My wrath I will give him charge, to seize the spoil, to take the prey, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets. Yet he does not mean so, nor does his heart think so; but it is in his heart to destroy, and cut off not a few nations."

      WOE TO ASSYRIA, the rod of My anger...In the previous section (Isaiah 7:1 through 10:4), the LORD revealed that He would USE Assyria as an INSTRUMENT of judgment AGAINST Syria, Israel, and Judah.

      But what about Assyria? Weren't they even MORE wicked than Syria, Israel, or Judah?

      Yes, the Assyrians WERE wicked; yet the LORD could USE them as the rod of My anger. At the same time, none of it excused Assyria, so the LORD says, "woe to Assyria."

      AND WOLF REMINDS US..."A similar shift in the object of divine judgment occurred in the case of the Babylonians. God raised up the Babylonian armies between 605 and 686 B.C. to PUNISH Judah (Hab. 1:6-11), and then He announced judgment on Babylon (Hab 2:6-17; Isa. 14:5)."

      THE ROD of My anger … THE STAFF in whose hand is My indignation...

      DID YOU KNOW...IN THAT DAY, The rod and the staff were sticks used by shepherds to GUIDE AND CORRECT their sheep. God is saying that Assyria was like a stick in His hand, used to correct Syria, Israel, and Judah, AMEN?

      I will send him against an ungodly nation, and against the people of My wrath...In this sense, Assyria HAD NO IDEA THAT THEY WERE ON a mission from God. They were doing the LORD's will, running His errands when they came against Syria, Israel, and Judah.
      God GAVE THEM PERMISSION (I will give them charge) to seize the spoil, to take the prey, and to tread them down like mire of the streets.

      Yet he does not mean so, nor does his heart think so...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      Since Assyria was an instrument in God's hand, since they were doing the will of the LORD, WHETHER THEY KNEW IT OR BELIEVED IT OR NOT...does this excuse their attack on Syria, Israel, and Judah?
      NOT AT ALL! Though they were instruments in God's hand, they did not mean so, nor does his heart think so. THIS VERSE TELLS US, AND GOD IS SAYING, I KNEW WHAT WAS IN THEIR HEARTS, I KNEW WHAT THEY THOUGHT AND PLANNED. THEY CARED NOTHING FOR THE GOD OF ISRAEL
      They DID NOT care at all about God's will or glory in the matter. Instead, it is in his heart to destroy, and cut off not a few nations. Assyria didn't care about the will or glory of God; they wanted to destroy and cut off many nations.

      REMEMBER WHAT Psalm 76:10 says, "Surely the wrath of man shall praise You."

      God CAN AND DOES use the wickedness and carnality of man to further His will, without ever approving of the wickedness or carnality. In fact, God is totally justified in judging the very wickedness and carnality that He used!

      BOTTOM LINE, ASSYRIA COULD PLOT AND PLAN AND CONSIDER DOING ALL MANNER OF THINGS, BUT IT WAS THEIR CHOICES THAT BROUGHT THE JUDGMENT OF GOD TO BEAR UPON THEM, AMEN.

      AND WE KNOW THIS PATTERN IS REPEATED OVER AND OVER AGAIN THROUGHOUT THE BIBLE.

      REMEMBER...Joseph's brothers sinned against Joseph, but God used it for His purpose, and disciplined Joseph's brothers.

      KING SAUL sinned against David, but God used it for His purpose, and judged Saul.

      JUDAS sinned against Jesus, but God used it for His purpose, and judged Judas.

      THESE REPETITIONS REMIND US AND HELP ANSWER QUESTIONS THAT TROUBLE MANY PEOPLE, THEN AND NOW

      "How can God bring any good through this evil that was done to me?" We can't often know in advance exactly how God will bring the good, but we can trust that He will as we continue to yield to Him and seek Him.
      "Doesn't God care about what they did to me?" He does care, and He will bring His correction or judgment according to His perfect will and timing.

      Verses 8-14 tells us of the ARROGANCE OF ASSYRIA.

      "For he says, 'Are not my princes altogether kings? Is not Calno like Carchemish? Is not Hamath like Arpad? Is not Samaria like Damascus? As my hand has found the kingdoms of the idols, whose carved images excelled those of Jerusalem and Samaria, as I have done to Samaria and her idols, shall I not do also to Jerusalem and her idols?'" Therefore it shall come to pass, when the LORD has performed all His work on Mount Zion and on Jerusalem, that He will say, "I will punish the fruit of the arrogant heart of the king of Assyria, and the glory of his haughty looks." For he says: "By the strength of my hand I have done it, and by my wisdom, for I am prudent; also I have removed the boundaries of the people, and have robbed their treasuries; so I have put down the inhabitants like a valiant man. My hand has found like a nest the riches of the people, and as one gathers eggs that are left, I have gathered all the earth; and there was no one who moved his wing, nor opened his mouth with even a peep."

      GOD READ THE HEARTS & THOUGHTS AND HE TELLS US WHAT THE ASSYRIANS WERE THINKING & BELIEVED..

      Are not my princes altogether kings? Assyria had such an INFLATED EGOS AND VIEWS of themselves that they regarded their princes to be on the level of the kings of other nations.

      As I have done to Samaria and her idols, shall I not do also to Jerusalem and her idols?

      ONCE AGAIN GOD SHOWS US THEIR PROUD HEARTS AND ARROGANT THOUGHTS...Samaria was the capital of the northern kingdom of Israel, which was given over to gross idolatry. Jerusalem was the capital of the southern kingdom of Judah, which still maintained some worship of the Lord GOD. In their pride, THE ASSYRIANS thought the Lord GOD nothing more than one of the idols that they had conquered in Samaria or in many other cities. The Assyrians were in for a rude wake-up call, AMEN?!

      AND A BIT OF HISTORY OF THE TIME...The cities mentioned in verses 9 and 10 came under Assyrian control between 740 and 721 B.C., and none of the gods of these areas had provided the slightest help.

      I will punish the fruit of the arrogant heart of the king of Assyria, and the glory of his haughty looks...The pride of Assyria and her king was found in his arrogant heart, and exposed by his haughty looks. How much pride can be revealed by a haughty look!

      AND BOY OH BOY IS NOT THE MEDIA FULL OF HAUGHTY LOOKS...ARROGANCE...SUPREME CONFIDENCE IN THEMSELVES IN PUBLIC, GOVERNMENTS, & NATIONS TODAY?

      The Bible describes GOD'S OPINION OF HAUGHTY LOOKS.
      IN PROVERBS 21:4, it says, "A haughty look, a proud heart, and the plowing of the wicked are sin."

      IN PSALM 101:5, it says, "The one who has a haughty look and a proud heart, him I will not endure."

      IN PSALM 18:27, it says, "For You will save the humble people, but will bring down haughty looks."

      By the strength of my hand I have done it...HERE AGAIN, the LORD is revealing the heart of Assyria.

      They glory in their OWN strength and wisdom (by my wisdom, for I am prudent).

      They exaggerate THEIR power (I have gathered all the earth).

      ALL THOSE I I I I I I....

      AND THOSE OF US WHO LOVE HISTORY, REMEMBER Julius Caesar had this SAME HEART OF PRIDE when he said of his military conquests: Veni, vidi, vici ("I came, I saw, I conquered").

      CONVERSELY, Charles V had BETTER HEART when he said of his military conquests, Veni, vidi, sed Christus vicit ("I came, I saw, but Christ conquered"). AMEN?!

      Verses 15-19 tells us God ASSESSES the arrogance of Assyria.

      "Shall the ax boast itself against him who chops with it? Or shall the saw exalt itself against him who saws with it? As if a rod could wield itself against those who lift it up, or as if a staff could lift up, as if it were not wood! Therefore the Lord, the Lord of hosts, Will send leanness among his fat ones; and under his glory He will kindle a burning like the burning of a fire. So the Light of Israel will be for a fire, and his Holy One for a flame; it will burn and devour his thorns and his briers in one day. And it will consume the glory of his forest and of his fruitful field, both soul and body; and they will be as when a sick man wastes away. Then the rest of the trees of his forest will be so few in number that a child may write them."

      Shall the ax boast itself against him who chops with it?

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      The LORD uses the pictures of an ax, a saw, a rod, and a staff to make the point that THE INSTRUMENT should NEVER never take credit for what the worker does with the instrument.

      JUST AS TODAY, the scalpel CAN NOT take credit for what the surgeon does; the strength and the skill are in the user, not in the instrument, AMEN?

      BUT WE NEED TO REMEMBER THIS...

      If it is EASY for an UNKNOWING instrument of God to become PROUD AND ARROGANT, it is ALSO EASY for a WILLING instrument of God to become PROUD AND ARROGANT, AMEN?.

      REMEMBER WHAT JESUS SAYS IN LUKE 17:10, "So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, "We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do."

      As wonderful as it is to be an instrument in the hand of God, the instrument deserves NO SPECIAL GLORY.

      JUST AS PAUL REMINDS US IN GALATIANS 6:14, " But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world."

      DID YOU CATCH IT....FORBID THAT I SHOULD GLORY...RIGHT HERE PAUL WHEN PAUL SAYS "SHOULD GLORY" HE IS TALKING ABOUT THOSE WHO BRAG, ARE PROUD AND ARROGANT IN THEMSELVES AND IN THEIR SALVATION,AMEN?!

      Therefore the Lord … WILL SEND leanness among his fat ones:

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      IN OTHER WORDS, Assyria sat "fat and sassy" at the time, but God would send leanness to them. His judgment will be like the burning of a fire among them, and it will consume the glory of his forest and of his fruitful field. The Lord will leave Assyria just A SHADOW of its former self.

      Verses 20-27 tells us GOD SAYS...Do not be afraid of the Assyrian, for I WILL PRESERVE A REMNANT.

      "And it shall come to pass in that day that the remnant of Israel, and such as have escaped of the house of Jacob, will never again depend on him who defeated them, but will depend on the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, in truth. The remnant will return, the remnant of Jacob, to the Mighty God. For though your people, O Israel, be as the sand of the sea, a remnant of them will return; the destruction decreed shall overflow with righteousness. For the Lord GOD of hosts will make a determined end in the midst of all the land. Therefore thus says the Lord GOD of hosts: "O My people, who dwell in Zion, do not be afraid of the Assyrian. He shall strike you with a rod and lift up his staff against you, in the manner of Egypt. For yet a very little while and the indignation will cease, as will My anger in their destruction." And the LORD of hosts will stir up a scourge for him like the slaughter of Midian at the rock of Oreb; as His rod was on the sea, so will He lift it up in the manner of Egypt. It shall come to pass in that day that his burden will be taken away from your shoulder, and his yoke from your neck, and the yoke will be destroyed because of the anointing oil."

      REMEMBER IN ISAIAH 7, The LORD told Judah to NOT TRUST in Assyria as their deliverer when the threat from Syria and Israel came.

      The LORD PROMISED that He would deliver them from Syria and Israel, and that they did not have to trust in Assyria. GOD WANTED THEM TO TRUST IN HIM AND HIM ALONE TO SUSTAIN AND PROTECT THEM.

      But Ahaz, king of Judah, REJECTED GOD & did NOT take God's counsel and trusted in Assyria INSTEAD TO PROTECT THEM.

      The LORD would then use Assyria to defeat Syria and Israel as He had promised, but He would also use Assyria to judge Judah.

      Now, the LORD wants to PREPARE Judah for the attack from Assyria, reminding them that He IS STILL IN CHARGE and they can still trust Him.

      DO YOU HEAR THE PLEA, THE PATIENCE, THE GRACE, AND THE LONG SUFFERING OF GOD IN HIS WORDS?

      NO NO NO NO...STOP STOP STOP STOP...COME TO ME...TRUST ME...BELIEVE IN ME...JUST ME...NO ONE AND NOTHING ELSE, AMEN?

      I MEAN THINK ABOUT IT, HAVING READ THROUGH ISAIAH SO FAR, AND HOW ISRAEL CONSTANTLY CHOOSES THEMSELVES AND OTHER PEOPLE INSTEAD OF GOD....We would EXPECT AND NOT CRITICIZE the LORD if He said, "You want to trust in the Assyrians and not in Me? Fine. You are now on your own. Good luck!"

      BUT THAT IS NOT WHAT GOD DID OR SAID...EVENNNNNNN in the midst of the judgment they deserved, brought through the Assyrians, God wants to comfort His people and bring them hope.

      The remnant of Israel … will never again depend on him who defeated them, but will depend on the LORD. The LORD promises His people, "You are going through this now because you will not trust Me. But I am going to change you so that you trust Me again, and you will once again depend on the LORD."

      AND HERE IS ANOTHER HOPE AND PROMISE TO THEM FROM GOD ALMIGHTY....Yet a remnant of them WILL return.

      The suffering of God's people at the hands of the Assyrians and others would make them FEEL as if they would certainly be destroyed. God ASSURES them that this is NOT the case. He will ALWAYS PRESERVE His remnant.

      The destruction decreed shall overflow with righteousness...When God ALLOWS destruction - whether in outright judgment or loving correction - it is always righteous, and never unfair. In fact, His judgment overflows with righteousness, AMEN?

      For the Lord GOD of hosts WILL MAKE a determined end.

      BUT SOME HAVE ASKED...An end of what? An end of Judah's trust in nations like Assyria. They will never again depend on him who defeated him.

      Therefore … do not be afraid of the Assyrian...The LORD is telling His people, "Judgment and correction are coming, and it will hurt. But I have a plan, so don't be afraid."

      This is a hard word to believe, because judgment and correction, by their very nature, hurt! Yet we can decide to not be afraid and trust in the LORD, even when it hurts, AMEN?!

      He shall strike you with a rod, yet do not be afraid. He will lift up his staff against you, but do not be afraid...

      AGAIN WE READ THIS AND WE THINK...Why shouldn't they fear?

      THE ANSWER FROM GOD IS A SIMPLE REMINDER...Because the Assyrians are NOT in charge, the LORD is. In a very little while … the indignation will cease, as will My anger.

      We can ALWAYS be comforted by the fact that God will NEVER leave His people to the mercy of their enemies. Even when He uses the Assyrians to bring judgment and correction, He is STILL in charge.

      And the LORD of hosts will stir up a scourge for him like the slaughter of Midian...

      GOD IS REMINDING Judah THAT THEY SHOULD TRUST the LORD because He will indeed take care of the Assyrians. He will take care of them like He took care of Midian at the rock of Oreb. The LORD will strike Assyria as His rod was upon the sea.

      WHO ARE THE MIDIAN PEOPLE?

      REMEMBER GIDEON?

      Judges 7:25 describes Gideon's victory over the Midianites at the rock of Oreb. As miraculous and complete as Gideon's victory was, that is how miraculous and complete God's judgment on Assyria would be. As it happened, this was exactly the case.

      WHERE?

      2 Kings 19:35 describes how God simply sent THE ANGEL OF THE LORD (WHO COULD ONLY BE JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF), and killed 185,000 Assyrians in one night. When the people woke up, there were 185,000 dead Assyrian soldiers.

      AND REMEMBER Exodus 14:16 which describes how the LORD used the rod of Moses to divide the Red Sea. In the same way, He would do something totally miraculous against Assyria.

      AND GOD DID.

      The LORD even took care of the king of the Assyrians according to His justice.

      WHERE?

      2 Kings 19:36-37 describes how when the king of the Assyrians returned home after attacking Judah, that he was murdered by his own sons as he worshipped in the temple of Nisroch his god.

      SO WHEN WE READ IN THE SCRIPTURES..."IT SHALL COME TO PASS...." WE CAN TRUST ABSOLUTELY IN GOD'S WORD AND PROMISES, AMEN?
      It shall come to pass in that day that his burden will be taken from your shoulder, and his yoke from your neck...

      AND THEY DID.

      Assyria would indeed trouble and oppress Judah, but NOT forever. Instead, the yoke will be destroyed because of the anointing oil. Because of the presence and power of the Holy Spirit among Judah (represented by the anointing oil), the yoke of bondage would be destroyed.

      Bultema says, and most Biblical scholars agree...that THE ANOINTING OIL. THE PRESENCE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT AMONG JUDAH...REFERS TO THE ANOINTED ONE, THE MESSIAH, JESUS CHRIST.

      He is the source of our victory and freedom from the yoke of bondage IS ONLY AND CAN ONLY BE OUR JESUS CHRIST!

      Verses 28-32 tells us a prophetic description of the arrival of the army of the Assyrians.

      "He has come to Aiath, he has passed Migron; at Michmash he has attended to his equipment. They have gone along the ridge, they have taken up lodging at Geba. Ramah is afraid, Gibeah of Saul has fled. Lift up your voice, O daughter of Gallim! Cause it to be heard as far as Laish; O poor Anathoth! Madmenah has fled, the inhabitants of Gebim seek refuge. As yet he will remain at Nob that day; he will shake his fist at the mount of the daughter of Zion, the hill of Jerusalem."

      Because of the word of comfort and encouragement in the previous section, Judah might think that God wouldn't send judgment among them at all. This section, with the specific mention of many cities of Judah, is meant to show that God will indeed allow the invasion of the Assyrians, even though He will restore after the attack.

      The listing of cities flows from the north to the south, describing the course of the Assyrian invasion. Nob is right on the outskirts of Jerusalem. This is as far as the army of the Assyrians came against Judah. They were stopped here when the LORD killed 185,000 Assyrian soldiers in one night.

      Verses 33-34 tells us The LORD humbles the proud among the people of Judah.

      "Behold, the Lord, the LORD of hosts, will lop off the bough with terror; those of high stature will be hewn down, and the haughty will be humbled. He will cut down the thickets of the forest with iron, and Lebanon will fall by the Mighty One."

      Those of high stature will be hewn down...The LORD PROMISES that His judgment will extend even against those of high stature. A mighty forest seems invincible and seems as if it will stand forever, but the LORD CAN cut it down. Even so, the LORD WILL cut down the proud and those of high stature among Judah. All that will be left in a once-mighty forest will be stumps.

      And Lebanon will fall by the Mighty One...

      DID YOU KNOW IN THAT DAY...The forests of Lebanon were known for their large, mighty cedar trees. God will judge the proud among Judah - and all the nations for that matter - and leave a once mighty forest of those of high stature as if they were just stumps. The bigger they are, the harder they fall!

      THEN AND NOW...WE CAN KNOW...WE CAN TRUST...WHEN ALMIGHTY GOD AND JESUS CHRIST SAY IN THE BIBLE...IT SHALL COME TO PASS...I SHALL..NOT MIGHT...NOT MAYBE...NOT COULD....IT SHALL COME TO PASS.

      THEN AND NOW OUR ...TRIUNE GOD WANTS US TO KNOW...I AM THE GREAT I AM...I CHANGE NOT...I DO NOT LIE..YOU CAN TRUST IN MY PROMISES. YOU CAN TRUST IN ME.

    • July 6, 2016 2:59 AM EDT
    • ISAIAH 11

      OPENS WITH THE PROPHECY OF The Branch and Root of Jesse
      & describes THE CHARACTER of the King.

      Verse 1 tells us a STEM sprouts forth from the stump of Jesse.

      "There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots."

      REMEMBER Isaiah 10:33-34 left with the idea of the LORD chopping down the proud as if they were mighty trees. Now, the LORD is looking over the stumps, and causes a Branch to grow out of one of them.
      AND WHO IS THE ROOT?
      The root of the family of Jesse, David's father.

      AND WE KNOW, Jesus DID come from the stump of Jesse. The royal authority of the house of David had lain dormant for 600 years when Jesus came as King and Messiah. When Jesus came forth, it was like a NEW GREEN BRANCH coming from an apparently DEAD stump.

      The LORD wanted Judah TO KNOW that even though the Assyrians and others would come and bring judgment, God would still use them and BRING FORTH LIFE from them. Even if they looked like a long-dead stump, God can bring forth life.

      In calling the Messiah a Rod from the stem of Jesse, the LORD is emphasizing the HUMBLE NATURE of the Messiah. Jesse was the much less famous father of King David. It is far more humble to say "from Jesse" than to say "from King David."

      THE PEOPLE OF ISRAEL WERE LOOKING FOR THEIR MESSIAH TO ARRIVE AS POWERFULLY MAJESTICALLY AND WONDROUSLY FIERCE AS COMING OUT OF HEAVEN ON A WHITE HORSE, HIS LEGIONS OF WARRIOR ANGELS WITH HIM. THEY HAD SEEN ALMIGHTY GOD ALWAYS SHOW UP AS JAW-DROPPING, RIGHT?

      HIS BREATH PARTING THE RED SEA, HIS COOLING CLOUD LIKE A HEAVENLY UMBRELLA SHIELDING MILLIONS BY DAY FROM THE HEAT, A HUGE PILLAR OF FIRE BY NIGHT TO GIVE THEM LIGHT, AND TO KEEP MILLIONS WARM IN THE COLD WILDERNESS NIGHTS. THE VOICE FROM THE MOUNTAIN THAT TERRIFIED THEM, THE PLAGUES THAT DESTROYED THE EGYPTIANS/EGYPT. MAKING WATER APPEAR OUT OF ROCKS FOR MILLIONS EACH DAY. GRASSES APPEARING OUT OF SAND TO FEED THEM. MANNA FALLING FROM HEAVEN. QUAIL DROPPING FROM THE SKY. THEY WERE WAITING FOR AND LOOKING FOR THE JAW-DROPPING KING TO RETURN AND SAVE THEM.

      THEY COMPLETELY IGNORED & DISMISSED ISAIAH AND OTHER PROPHETS WHO TOLD THEM JESUS WOULD BE BORN, FROM A HUMBLE LINE, BORN TO A HUMBLE MAIDEN, LIVE A HUMBLE LIFE, INSTEAD OF IN PALACES ON HIGH BROUGHT DOWN TO EARTH.

      Verse 2 tells us of the SPIRITUAL EMPOWERMENT of the Messiah.

      "The Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon Him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD."

      The Branch that comes from the apparently dead stump isn't just barely alive. It is FULL of life, and FULL of the Spirit of the LORD. The Messiah has SEVEN - the number of fullness and completion - aspects of the Spirit of the LORD.

      AND WHAT ARE THOSE SEVEN COMPLETE ASPECTS?

      He has the SPIRIT OF THE LORD...It is not a false spirit or a deceiving Spirit or even the spirit of a man. The Spirit of the LORD God of Israel rests upon the Messiah.
      REMEMBER LUKE 9:55, when once Jesus rebuked the disciples saying, "You do not know what manner of spirit you are of."
      Jesus WAS of the Spirit of the LORD, and He KNEW it.

      The SPIRIT OF WISDOM is upon the Messiah. Jesus is perfectly wise in all things. He showed it among us during his earthly ministry, and He shows it now in His ministry towards us in heaven.
      REMEMBER 1 Corinthians 1:30 which says, "Jesus became for us wisdom from God." It isn't just that Jesus has wisdom; JESUS IS WISDOM!

      The SPIRIT OF UNDERSTANDING is upon Him. Jesus understands all things, and He understands us perfectly.
      REMEMBER HEBREWS 4:15-16 tells us, He is perfectly suited to be our sympathetic High Priest in heaven.
      Understanding in Hebrew has the idea of a sharp sense of smell.

      The SPIRIT OF COUNSEL is upon Jesus. He has perfect counsel to give us at all times. He has both the wisdom and the understanding to be a perfect counselor!

      The SPIRIT OF MIGHT is upon Jesus. He has the power to do what He desires to do. Many would help us if they could, but are powerless. Others may have the power to help us, but don't care about us. Jesus has both the love and the might to help us, AMEN?

      The SPIRIT OF KNOWLEDGE is upon Jesus. He KNOWS everything. He knows our hearts, He knows all the facts. Many times we have made decisions that seemed strange or wrong to others because they didn't have the knowledge that we have. Jesus has knowledge that we don't have, so it shouldn't surprise us that sometimes His decisions seem strange or wrong to others.

      The SPIRIT OF THE FER OF THE LORD is upon Jesus. He willingly kept Himself in a place of submission, respect, and honor to God the Father.

      AND RIGHT HERE, IN THE OLD TESTAMENT, WE ARE GIVEN THE SEVEN ASPECTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT OF THE TRIUNE GOD. THOSE SEVEN ASPECTS THAT ARE REPEATED & TOLD TO US AGAIN BY JESUS TO JOHN IN REVELATION.
      THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENT, YEA AND AMEN EACH OTHER!

      These seven aspects of the Spirit of God are not the only characteristics of the Holy Spirit. But they are grouped together in a "SEVEN" to show the fullness and perfection of the Holy Spirit.

      AND JUST SO YOU CAN LOOK IT UP AND CONFIRM FOR YOURSELF...This passage is behind the term the SEVENFOLD SPIRIT OF GOD used in Revelation 1:4, 3:1, 4:5 and 5:6.

      DO NOT MISTAKE THE SCRIPTURE HERE, AS SOME DO. It isn't that there are seven DIFERENT SPIRITS of God, rather the Spirit of the LORD has these SEVEN CHARACTERISTICS, and He has them all in fullness and perfection, AMEN?

      AND DID YOU KNOW, The seven-branched lampstand that held the oil lamps for THE TABERNACLE is also an illustration of the seven aspects of the Holy Spirit. The TABERNACLE candlestick had ONE STEM in the center from which protruded three branches to the right and three to the left. Similarly, in this text, three pairs of the names of the Spirit are grouped around the central stem. HOW COOL IS THAT?

      Jesus lived and ministered as a man filled with the Spirit of God. The wisdom, understanding, counsel, might, knowledge, and fear of the LORD Jesus displayed in His ministry flowed not from His "own" deity, but from His reliance on the Spirit of the LORD who filled Him.

      In His "own" deity, Jesus DID HAVE ALL these attributes from eternity. But when He emptied Himself at the incarnation, he allowed the Holy Spirit to fill Him as a man, being an eternal example to us and a sympathizer with us.

      Jesus displayed the fruit of the Spirit to the uttermost, because He was a perfect vessel. AND HERE IS ANOTHER CONFIRMATION OF THIS IN John 3:34, which tells us, "Jesus received the Spirit without measure."

      There seems to have been times when Jesus did operate beyond what a Spirit-filled man could do, such as when He was transfigured or when He performed some of His miracles over nature. But certainly, Jesus fought all His battles as a man filled with the Holy Spirit, AMEN?

      GOD NEEDED & DEMANDED A PERFECT HUMAN SACRIFICE TO PAY THE SIN DEBT OF A HUMAN LOST MANKIND AND JESUS WAS ALL MAN, ALL PURITY, AND ALL PERFECT, AMEN?

      AND REMEMBER...These seven characteristics describe the nature of the Spirit of the LORD. They ALSO describe the nature of Jesus. There is no difference between the nature of Jesus and the nature of the Holy Spirit.
      REMEMBER WHAT JOHN 14:9 says, "When we see Jesus, we see the Father. When we see the Spirit of the LORD at work, it should look like the ministry and the nature of Jesus.

      Verses 3-5 tells us the PERFECT CHARACTER of the Messiah.

      "His delight is in the fear of the LORD, and He shall not judge by the sight of His eyes, nor decide by the hearing of His ears; but with righteousness He shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; He shall strike the earth with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips He shall slay the wicked. Righteousness shall be the belt of His loins, and faithfulness the belt of His waist."

      His DELIGHT is in the fear of the LORD...NOTHING PLEASED JESUS MORE than doing the will of His Father.
      JUST AS JOHN 4:34 reminds us, "My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work."

      With RIGHTEOUSNESS He shall judge...Jesus did not rely on outward appearance, or by the mere words that someone said. He judged with righteousness. He didn't cheat the poor justice, and if the poor and the weak are given justice, then all will be, AMEN?

      He SHALL STRIKE THE EARTH with the rod of His mouth...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
      The mere words of Jesus have the power to judge the wicked. He only has to announce a judgment and it is done.

      AND 2 THESSALONIANS 2:8 confirms and promises this, when he slays the wicked one. "And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming."

      Righteousness and justice are so close to Jesus they are like belts around His waist. Everything He does is touched by His righteousness and justice.

      NOW THE PROPHECY TURNS TO THE GLORIOUS REIGN OF THE KING ON THE FACE OF THE EARTH.

      Verses 6-9 tells us of the NEW ECOLOGY of the reign of the Messiah.

      "The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze; their young ones shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play by the cobra's hole, and the weaned child shall put his hand in the viper's den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea."

      The wolf also dwell with the lamb...THIS TELLS US When the Messiah reigns, nature will be transformed. No longer will there be predators among the animals, and seemingly all animals will be only herbivores (the cow and the bear shall graze … the lion shall eat straw like the ox).

      AND REMEMBER Romans 8:19-22 confirms this too. "The earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. Nature is waiting for the transformation that will come when the Messiah reigns and believers are glorified."

      And a little child shall lead them..THIS TELLS US THAT NOT ONLY will the way animals relate to each other be changed, but the way they relate to humans will be changed. A little child WILL BE SAFE AND ABLE to lead a wolf or a leopard or a young lion or a bear. Even the danger of predators like cobras and vipers will be gone.

      In Genesis 9:2-3, the LORD gave Noah, and all mankind after him, the permission to eat meat. At the same time, the LORD put the dread of man in animals, so they would not be effortless prey for humans. Now, in the reign of the Messiah, that is reversed. For this reason, many think that in the reign of the Messiah, the Millennium, humans will return to being vegetarians, as it seems they were before Genesis 9:2-3.

      For the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea....THIS MEANS The knowledge of the LORD - in a relational sense, not merely an intellectual sense - will cover the entire earth. The Millennial reign of the Messiah will be glorious!

      Verses 10-12 tells us of The NEW EXODUS of the Millennial reign of the Messiah

      "And in that day there shall be a Root of Jesse, who shall stand as a banner to the people; for the Gentiles shall seek Him, and His resting place shall be glorious." It shall come to pass in that day that the LORD shall set His hand again the second time to recover the remnant of His people who are left, from Assyria and Egypt, from Pathros and Cush, from Elam and Shinar, from Hamath and the islands of the sea. He will set up a banner for the nations, and will assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth."

      For the Gentiles will seek Him...The glory of the reign of the Messiah will be not only for the Jew, but for the Gentile also. He shall stand as a banner to the people, lifted high to draw all peoples to Him.

      AND DID YOU KNOW...The banner was used before to call the nations to JUDGMENT against Israel IN Isaiah 5:26. Now the banner calls the nations to the BLESSINGS of the Messiah.

      The second time to recover the remnant of His people who are left..

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
      In the reign of the Messiah, there will be another Exodus of the Jewish people, delivering them not only from Egypt, but from all nations where they have been dispersed BACK TO ISRAEL.

      Verses 13-16 tells us of the PEACE OF THE REIGN of the Messiah.

      "Also the envy of Ephraim shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off; Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not harass Ephraim. But they shall fly down upon the shoulder of the Philistines toward the west; together they shall plunder the people of the East; they shall lay their hand on Edom and Moab; and the people of Ammon shall obey them. The LORD will utterly destroy the tongue of the Sea of Egypt; with His mighty wind He will shake His fist over the River, and strike it in the seven streams, and make men cross over dry-shod. There will be a highway for the remnant of His people who will be left from Assyria, as it was for Israel in the day that he came up from the land of Egypt."

      Ephraim shall not envy Judah … Judah shall not harass Ephraim...In the reign of the Messiah, the nations will not go to war any more. Conflicts will be justly and swiftly settled by the Messiah and His government. Disobedient nations (here, described as the Philistines and Edom and Moab and the people of Ammon, traditional enemies of Israel) will be punished.

      There will be a highway for the remnant of His people...
      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
      IT MEANS ANY OBSTACLE to the gathering of those dispersed among the nations will be taken away. Nothing can oppose the government of the Messiah!

      This prophetic chapter makes us who love JESUS CHRIST, say....even so come now Lord Jesus!

    • July 6, 2016 2:56 AM EDT
    • ISAIAH 12

      OPENS WITH WORDS FROM A WORSHIIPER WHO SPEAKS TO THE LORD!

      Verse 1 tells us Praise to the LORD after His anger has passed.

      "And in that day you will say: "O LORD, I will praise You; though You were angry with me, Your anger is turned away, and You comfort me."

      And in that day you will say...Isaiah chapter 11 spoke powerfully of the reign of the Messiah as king over all the earth. This brief chapter of praise comes from the heart of the one that has surrendered to the Messiah as king, and enjoys the benefits of His reign.

      O LORD, I will praise You; though You were angry with me...The worshipper decides to praise the LORD, even though he has felt the LORD's anger against him.

      SOME HAVE BEEN CONFUSED BY THIS SCRIPTURE AND ASKED...Under the New Covenant, does God get angry with us? There is a sense in which all the anger and wrath of God against us was poured out upon the Son of God on the cross. In this sense, there is no more anger from God towards us, because His anger has been "exhausted." But there is also a sense in which we receive chastening or discipline from the LORD, which certainly feels like His anger.

      JUST AS HEBREWS 11:11 tells us, "This chastening feels unpleasant, but it really shows the fatherly love of God instead of His hatred."

      Your anger is turned away...How glorious when the anger of God is turned away! In the larger sense, His anger is turned away because of what Jesus did on the cross. Jesus put Himself in between us and the anger of the LORD, and receiving that anger in Himself, He turned away God's anger!

      EVERY DAY WE SHOULD REMEMBER TO THANK JESUS FOR BEING OUR SHIELD AGAINST THE BLAST OF GOD'S ANGER, AMEN?

      And You comfort me...God disciplines us as a perfect parent, knowing perfectly how to comfort us after we have been chastened. Sometimes, like rebellious children, we refuse the comfort of God after discipline, but that is always our fault, not His.

      Verse 2 tells us a declaration of thanks and confidence in the LORD.

      "Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; 'For YAH, the LORD, is my strength and song; He also has become my salvation.'"

      BEHOLD...The worshiper wants others to see what he says is true. He is excited about what God has done in his life, and invites all to behold the work of the LORD.

      God is my salvation...This is salvation! To say God is my salvation is also to say, "I am not my salvation. My good works, my good intentions, my good thoughts do NOT save me. God is my salvation through His Son JESUS CHRIST, AMEN?

      SADLY...Many don't ever feel THE NEED for salvation. Instead, they think their lives are fine, and come to God for a little help when they feel they need it. But they never see themselves as drowning men in need of rescue, MUCH LESS, WITHOUT JESUS, THEY DO NOT SEE THEMSELVES AS hell-destined sinners in need of salvation.

      The worshiper is so immersed in this idea that he repeats it in the same verse: God is my salvation … He also has become my salvation.

      I WILL trust and not be afraid...This peace and security comes from knowing that God is my salvation. When we are our own salvation, it is hard to trust and not be afraid in ourselves. But when JESUS CHRIST IS our salvation, we can trust and not be afraid.

      Paul repeats the same idea when he writes in Romans 5:1, which says, " Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." The place of peace and trust and "no fear" COMES ONLY from seeing our salvation in God through JESUS CHRIST ALONE, and not in ourselves, AMEN?

      I WILL TRUST AND NOT BE AFRAID...This is a confident statement reflecting the will of the worshiper. He is deciding to trust and not be afraid. There are feelings of trust, but that is different than the decision to trust. We can say to our will, "I will trust and not be afraid."

      CHARLES SPURGEON SAYS IT SO WELL, "Hearken, O unbeliever, you have said, 'I cannot believe,' but it would be more honest if you had said, 'I will not believe.' The mischief lies there. Your unbelief is your fault, not your misfortune. It is a disease, but it is also a crime: it is a terrible source of misery to you, but it is justly so, for it is an atrocious offense against the God of truth."

      CHARLES SPURGEON ADDS THIS..."The talk about trying to believe is a mere pretense. But whether pretense or no, let me remind you that there is no text in the Bible which says, 'Try and believe,' but it says 'Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.' He is the Son of God, he has proved it by his miracles, he died to save sinners, therefore trust him; he deserves implicit trust and child-like confidence. Will you refuse him these? Then you have maligned his character and given him the lie."

      For YAH, the LORD, is my strength and my song...The LORD is not only the worshiper's salvation, He is also his strength and song. Some find it easier to consider the LORD their salvation in a distant "bye-and-bye" sense than to take Him today as their strength and song.

      When the LORD is our song, it means that He is our joy, He is our happiness. We find our purpose and life in Him, and He never disappoints, AMEN?

      AND AN INTERESTING BIT OF HEBREW HISTORY TOLD TO US BY CALVIN....The word Yah read here is probably a mistake; and arose originally from the custom of the Jewish scribes, who, when they found a line too short for the word, wrote as many letters as filled it, and then began the next line with the whole word."

      Verse 3 tell us THE RESULT of the salvation of the LORD.

      "Therefore with joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation."

      You will draw water from the wells of salvation...REMEMBER IN JOHN 4:14, Jesus promised us whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.

      We CAN COME TO JESUS and draw water from the wells of salvation!

      When we remember the semi-arid climate of Israel, we see what a beautiful picture the wells of salvation paint. When water is rare, a well is life. To have a place where you can continually come and draw forth to meet your need is a precious gift.

      The LORD's resource is NOT limited. There is not one well of salvation. There are many wells of salvation. This doesn't mean that there are many ways to be saved. All of the wells draw forth from the same reservoir of salvation, Jesus Christ. But many wells can bring water from the same water table, AMEN?

      This means there is something for us to do...You WILL DRAW WATER. God's doesn't meet our needs as we sit in passive inactivity. We must reach out and draw forth what He has provided. At the same time, it is His water, His well, His rope, and His bucket that we draw with, AMEN?

      Therefore with joy...Because it is all of the LORD, we draw from the wells of salvation with joy. There should be no somber faces at the LORD's well of salvation. We draw water with joy!

      Verse 4 tells us of exalting God among the peoples.

      "And in that day you will say: "Praise the LORD, call upon His name; declare His deeds among the peoples, make mention that His name is exalted."

      Praise the LORD, call upon His name...This is an exhortation to praise, and an encouragement to worship the LORD and trust in Him. The worshiper has received from the wells of salvation, and now that living water is flowing out of him, encouraging others to worship and trust in the LORD.

      Declare His deeds … Make mention that His name is exalted...The worshiper can't stop talking about God's greatness and the great things He has done.

      Verses 5-6 tells us of SINGING PRAISE to the LORD.

      "Sing to the LORD, for He has done excellent things; this is known in all the earth. Cry out and shout, O inhabitant of Zion, for great is the Holy One of Israel in your midst!"

      Sing to the LORD...FIRST...the LORD was the song of the worshiper (Isaiah 12:2). Now, he sings this song of the LORD to whoever will listen! If the LORD has become your song, then sing it!

      Cry out and shout...This is excited praise! We should all abhor the artificial, "Let's-whip-them-up-into-a-manufactured-enthusiasm" kind of worship. But if our worship will never cry out and shout, there is something lacking in it.

      We have probably all attended a church service, or even a college class or a Bible study...Where the speaker was monotoned. He/She never changed the tone or pitch of their voice, much less their movements or facial expressions...and we have left that service, lecture, or study without a bit of light, wisdom, understanding, excitement or pleasure in gained knowledge, or lifted spirits from the music, AMEN?

      JESUS WANTS US TO BE EXCITED TO SING, TO STUDY, TO READ, TO HEAR, TO LEARN AND TO KNOW HIM AND HIS WORD BETTER...AMEN?

      AND ONCE AGAIN CHARLES SPURGEON says it wonderfully, "We ought not to worship God in a half-hearted sort of way; as if it were now our duty to bless God, but we felt it to be a weary business, and we would get it through as quickly as we could, and have done with it; and the sooner the better. No, no; 'All that is within me, bless his holy name.' Come, my heart, wake up, and summon all the powers which wait upon thee! Mechanical worship is easy, but worthless. Come rouse yourself, my brother! Rouse thyself, O my own soul!"

      For great is the Holy One of Israel in your midst...This gives TWO reasons for great praise.

      FIRST, because of who God is: the Holy One of Israel.

      SECOND, because of where God is: in your midst. Each of these gives everyone reason to praise God & thank Him for giving us HIS SON, JESUS CHRIST!

      WHAT MAKES THIS PRAISE EVEN MORE POWERFUL & IMPORTANT, IS WE NOW KNOW THAT THE DAYS WERE DARK FOR ISAIAH'S PEOPLE. MOST HAD REJECTED GOD'S WORDS AND WARNINGS AND PLEADINGS TO RETURN TO HIM, MOST WERE LIVING FOR THEMSELVES, TRUSTING IN THEMSELVES, AND TRUSTING IN OTHERS TO PROTECT THEM...INSTEAD OF HITTING THEIR KNEES, REPENTING, AND ASKING ALMIGHTY GOD TO FORGIVE THEM THEIR WICKEDNESS & SAVE THEM NOT ONLY FROM THEMSELVES BUT FROM ALL THE ENEMIES SURROUNDING THEM.

      BUT HERE, ISAIAH TELLS US THAT ALMIGHTY GOD ALSO SEES THE ONES WHO DO HIT THEIR KNEES, WHO DO REPENT, WHO DO TURN FROM THEIR WICKED WAYS, AND WHO THEN DECIDE TO CHOOSE TO PRAISE HIM IN THE MIDST OF TRIALS. WHO DECIDE TO TRUST ALMIGHTY GOD COME WHAT MAY.

      IN THIS DAY AND TIME, IT IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER, FOR US WHO KNOW AND LOVE AND CALL JESUS CHRIST OUR WELL OF SALVATION, OUR LIFE-GIVING WATERS, AND OUR DEFENDER AND PROTECTOR AS WELL OUR LORD, SAVIOR, AND FRIEND....TO SING PRAISES IN THE MIDST OF THE STORMS.

      BECAUSE THE BIBLE TELLS US THAT OUR JESUS IS WITH US. HE WILL NEVER LEAVE US. HE WILL NEVER FORSAKE US. HE IS AN EVER-PRESENT HELP IN TIME OF TROUBLE.

      SO JESUS WANTS US TO KNOW, WE ALWAYS HAVE A CHOICE.

      WE CAN CHOOSE TO WAIL OUR WAY THROUGH THE STORM.

      WE CAN CHOOSE TO LIE DEFEATED IN THE DARKNESS OF DESPAIR.

      WE CAN CHOOSE NOT TO PRAY.
      WE CAN CHOOSE NOT TO TRUST JESUS WORD AND HIS PROMISES FOR US.

      OR WE CAN CHOOSE TO SET OUR FACE LIKE FLINT AND COMMAND OUR HEART, MIND, BODY, AND SOUL TO SING PRAISES.

      JESUS WANTS US TO CHOOSE TO TRUST IN HIS LOVE FOR US.

      TRUST IN HIS PROMISES TO MAKE A WAY.

      JESUS WANTS US TO CHOOSE TO SING & PRAISE.

    • July 6, 2016 2:54 AM EDT
    • ISAIAH 13...
      OPENS WITH THE BURDEN AGAINST BABYLON...

      Isaiah 13 begins a section ending at Isaiah 23:18 where he prophesies against the nations. It is fitting for judgment to begin at the house of God, so the LORD has first spoken to Israel and Judah. But now, the LORD speaks against THE NATIONS...beginning with Babylon.

      Verse 1 tells us of The BURDEN & JUDGMENT against Babylon.

      "The burden against Babylon which Isaiah the son of Amoz saw."

      BURDEN...

      DID YOU KNOW...In the prophets, a burden is a "HEAVY" message of weighty importance, heavy in the sense that it produces SORROW AND/OR GRIEF.

      AGAINST BABYLON...

      DID YOU KNOW...Isaiah finished his prophetic career in 685 B.C., almost 100 years before Judah finally FELL before the Babylonian Empire (586 B.C.).

      At the time of THIS PROPHECY GIVEN ISAIAH BY GOD, Babylon was a significant nation, but they were definitely behind the Assyrian Empire in status. Yet the LORD who knows the end of all things can speak of the judgment on the pride of Babylon hundreds of years before the judgment comes.

      AND WHAT I ALSO SEE AND WISH TO POINT OUT, IS ALMIGHTY GOD SPOKE TO, REMINDED, PLEADED, AND WARNED 100s of years BEFORE He chastized them.

      AS A PARENT, WHO CONSIDERS MYSELF PRETTY PATIENT & LONG-SUFFERING...AND I DO NOT KNOW OR SEE ALL THINGS GOING ON, I CAN NOT FATHOM HAVING GOD'S PATIENCE AND LONG-SUFFERING FOR US....IMAGINE SAYING NO NO NO DO NOT DO NOT STOP STOP STOP COME HERE TO ME COME BACK TO ME FOR HUNDREDSSSSSSSSSSSS OF YEARS BEFORE PUNISHING OUR CHILDREN FOR BAD OR DANGEROUS BEHAVIOR?
      OUR JESUS IS SOO PATIENT, KIND, LOVING, AND LONG-SUFFERING AMEN?!

      SO WHY IS GOD SPEAKING TO THE HEATHEN NATION OF BABYLON?

      This prophecy was probably never published IN Babylon, so it wasn't really given as a warning TO them. Instead, the reason was for the help of the people of God.

      WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?
      First, by showing them that God was indeed just, and would judge the wicked nations around them TOO. Israel and Judah were feeling the sting of God's discipline.

      AND DO NOT WE TOO SOMETIMES FEEL LIKE WE ARE BEING UNFAIRLY SINGLED OUT BY JESUS OR THAT THE WORLD AND SATAN ARE ALLOWED TO JUMP US FROM EVERY QUARTER AT TIMES?

      THEN AND NOW....GOD SPEAKS...AND this is AN assurance to them that He isn't.

      Second, Babylon (and other nations in this section) were nations that had COME AGAINST Israel and Judah, and God showed His love to His people by announcing His vengeance AGAINST their enemies.

      Verses 2-8 tells us an army comes against Babylon.
      "Lift up a banner on the high mountain, raise your voice to them; wave your hand, that they may enter the gates of the nobles. I have commanded My sanctified ones; I have also called My mighty ones for My anger; those who rejoice in My exaltation." The noise of a multitude in the mountains, like that of many people! A tumultuous noise of the kingdoms of nations gathered together! The LORD of hosts musters the army for battle. They come from a far country, from the end of heaven; the LORD and His weapons of indignation, to destroy the whole land. Wail, for the day of the LORD is at hand! It will come as destruction from the Almighty. Therefore all hands will be limp, every man's heart will melt, and they will be afraid. Pangs and sorrows will take hold of them; they will be in pain as a woman in childbirth; they will be amazed at one another; their faces will be like flames."

      The LORD of hosts musters the army for battle....this is an army of judgment against the Babylonian Empire, prophesied decades before they were even a superpower. This powerful army is described vividly, with sights and sounds of battle presented.

      They will be amazed at one another....and REMEMBER DANIEL 5 CONFIRMS THIS...When Babylon fell suddenly by a clever, surprise attack by Cyrus, the citizens of the city WERE PARTYING & SNICKERING FROM WITHIN THEIR HIGH, STRONG, SAFE LOCKED WALLS AS THEY WERE BESEIGED...SO THEY were completely shocked, AMEN?

      Verses 9-16 tells us of THE TERRORS OF JUDGMENT upon Babylon.

      "Behold, the day of the LORD comes, cruel, with both wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate; and He will destroy its sinners from it. For the stars of heaven and their constellations will not give their light; the sun will be darkened in its going forth, and the moon will not cause its light to shine. "I will punish the world for its evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; I will halt the arrogance of the proud, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible. I will make a mortal more rare than fine gold, a man more than the golden wedge of Ophir. Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth will move out of her place, in the wrath of the LORD of hosts and in the day of His fierce anger. It shall be as the hunted gazelle, and as a sheep that no man takes up; every man will turn to his own people, and everyone will flee to his own land. Everyone who is found will be thrust through, and everyone who is captured will fall by the sword. Their children also will be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their houses will be plundered and their wives ravished."

      The day of the LORD comes...
      RIGHT HERE ISAIAH NOW SPEAKS IN THE "prophetic tense," having in mind both a near fulfillment (the day of judgment against the Babylonian Empire), and an ultimate fulfillment (the final day of judgment at the return of Jesus) AMEN?

      The day of the LORD is an IMPORTANT PHRASE, used some 26 times in the Bible. YOU ALL NOTICE IT DOES NOT SPEAK OF JUST A SINGLE DAY OF JUDGMENT...but of the season of judgment when the LORD sets things right.

      THEN AND ESPECIALLY NOW, IT SEEMS AS IF TODAY IS MAN'S AND SATAN'S DAY, BUT YOU NOTICE IN THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENT OUR TRIUNE GOD HAS BEEN WARNING LOST MANKIND AND SATAN AS WELL...THAT THE LORD JESUS' DAY IS COMING, AMEN?!

      The stars of heaven and their constellations will not give their light; the sun will be darkened...

      DID YOU KNOW THERE ARE SEVERAL PROPHETIC PASSAGES IN THE BIBLE THAT DESCRIBE THE COSMIC DISTURBANCES THAT WILL PRECEDE AND SURROUND THE RETURN OF JESUS?

      WHERE ARE THEY?
      Joel 2:10, Revelation 6:12-14, & Isaiah 34:4.

      AND REMEMBER TOO THE FOUR BLOOD MOONS & TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE BEGINNING IN APRIL 2014- 2015.

      AND LET'S NOT FORGET JESUS HIMSELF SPOKE OF THESE PASSAGES/PROPHECIES IN Matthew 24:29, which says, "Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken."

      In the NEAR FULFILLMENT OF BABYLON'S JUDGMENT, they felt like the whole world was coming apart.

      In the FAR & ULTIMATE FULFILLMENT OF BABYLON'S JUDGMENT IS CONNECTED WITH THE RETURN OF JESUS, HIS SECOND COMING, WHEN HE, ALL OF HIS WARRIOR ANGELS, THE CHURCH, THE OLD TESTAMENT SAINTS COME WITH HIM, WHEN HE APPEARS AND STEPS DOWN IN JERUSALEM TO SAVE THEM FROM THE ANTI-CHRIST...WE WHO HAVE READ AND STUDIED, DANIEL, ZECHARIAH, REVELATION, EZEKIEL...KNOW THE ENTIRE WORLD WILL BE FALLING APART, AMEN?

      I WILL PUNISH THE WORLD FOR ITS EVIL...This prophetic identification of Babylon WITH the LOST world, ripe for ultimate judgment, is consistent through the Scriptures. We aren't surprised that Isaiah has prophetically combined the vision of Babylon's judgment with the judgment of the whole world for its evil.

      AND DID YOU KNOW....Babylon is mentioned 287 times in the Scriptures, more than any other city except Jerusalem.

      Babylon was a literal city on the Euphrates river; right after the flood (Genesis 11:1-10), & Babylon THEN WAS the seat of the civilization that expressed organized HOSTILITY TO GOD THEN.

      Babylon was later the capitol of the empire that cruelly conquered Judah.

      TENNEY, CHRISTIAN HISTORIAN AND BIBLE SCHOLAR SAYS OF BABYLON THEN...."Babylon, to them (the Jews), was the essence of all evil, the embodiment of cruelty, the foe of God's people, and the lasting type of sin, carnality, lust and greed."

      AND TO THOSE OF US FAMILIAR WITH THE OLD TESTAMENT, the name Babylon is associated with organized idolatry, blasphemy, sexual immorality/depravity, and the persecution of God's people.

      JUST AS IN THE NEW TESTAMENT, especially REVELATION 17 & 18, the worlds system of the last days is characterized both religiously and commercially as Babylon. Therefore, Babylon is a "Suitable representation … of the idolatrous, pagan world-system in opposition to God, AMEN?

      Therefore I WILL SHAKE THE HEAVENS, & THE EARTH WILL MOVE OUT OF HER PLACE....
      Haggai 2:6 and Hebrews 12:25-28 echo this same thought.

      Since God CAN shake the heavens and move the earth, and since God Himself is unshakable, it makes a lot more sense to trust in God than even the ground we stand on and the air we breathe, AMEN?

      It shall be as the hunted gazelle...The picture of God's judgment, upon both Babylon and the world in general, is unrelenting. It is like one of the nature movies where the hunted gazelle is overtaken by the lion, and is utterly consumed. There is NO ESCAPE FOR ANY LOST, REJECTING MANKIND FROM God's unrelenting judgment.

      Verses 17-22 tells us Babylon is MADE DESOLATE & LAID TO WASTE.

      "Behold, I will stir up the Medes against them, who will not regard silver; and as for gold, they will not delight in it. Also their bows will dash the young men to pieces, and they will have no pity on the fruit of the womb; their eye will not spare children. And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldeans' pride, will be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah. It will never be inhabited, nor will it be settled from generation to generation; nor will the Arabian pitch tents there, nor will the shepherds make their sheepfolds there. But wild beasts of the desert will lie there, and their houses will be full of owls; ostriches will dwell there, and wild goats will caper there. The hyenas will howl in their citadels, and jackals in their pleasant palaces. Her time is near to come, and her days will not be prolonged."

      I will stir up the Medes against them...DO YOU NOTICE, GOD KNOWS ALL THINGS & HE DOES SEE ALL THINGS PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE.

      WHY?

      THINK ABOUT IT...This prophecy GOD GAVE AND SHOWED ISAIAH was made decades BEFORE the Babylonian Empire defeated the Assyrian Empire and became a superpower, it was even MUCH MORE SO BEFORE the time when the Medes came against the Babylonians, conquering them as instruments of God's judgments.

      PROPHECIES SUCH AS THESE IN ISAIAH DRIVE BIBLE SKEPTICS NUTS...FORGET THAT THESE THINGS HAPPENED LONG AFTER ISAIAH WAS GONE, FORGET HISTORY RECORDS IT, FORGET THE CHRONOLOGICAL TIME LINE THAT PROVES THE WORDS GOD GAVE ISAIAH WERE PINPOINT ACCURATE.

      THEY HOWL AND RAIL OVER, THIS HAD TO HAVE BEEN WRITTEN LONG AFTER ISAIAH, DURING AND/OR AFTER ALL THESE EVENTS IN HISTORY OCCURRED...

      BUT....THEY CONVENIENTLY FORGET WHAT YOU AND I KNOW ABOUT OUR TRIUNE GOD....OUR JESUS KNOWS THE PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE. JESUS TELLS US THAT HE HAS ALREADY GONE INTO OUR FUTURE TO PREPARE A WAY FOR US IN ADVANCE, LONGGGGGGG BEFORE WE KNEW WE WOULD NEED DIRECTION, PROTECTION, HEALING, PROVISION, AMEN?!

      THE WORLD'S SKEPTICS WANT TO LIMIT OUR JESUS. THEY WANT TO DISMISS HIS ALL KNOWING, AND ALL SEEING, AND ALL CONTROLING PRESENCE IN THIS WORLD....BUT WE KNOW BETTER, AMEN?

      WILL BE as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      GOD IS REMINDING THE WORLD OF WHAT HAPPENED TO SODOM AND GOMORRAH...IT WAS A COMPLETE DESTRUCTION OF THE CITIES, THE LAND, AND THE PEOPLE...AND NOT ONE PERSON WITHIN SODOM AND GOMORRAH AND ITS SURROUNDING CITIES WAS SAVED NOR SPARED....THEY ALLLLLLLL REJECTED ALMIGHTY GOD AND SO IT SHALL BE HERE ALSO.

      It WILL NEVER BE inhabited...The ancient city of Babylon, once conquered, will never be inhabited again.

      AND DID YOU KNOW...when Cyrus conquered Babylon, he did not devastate the city. The walls were left standing until 518 B.C., and general desolation did not set in until the third century B.C. Babylon gradually fell into decay, and the prophecy of Isaiah was fulfilled. Babylon became completely depopulated by the time of the Muslim conquest in the seventh century A.D., and TO THIS VERY DAY IT STILL LIES DESERTED.

      This is ALSO TRUE in its ultimate fulfillment.

      WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?

      When Jesus returns in glory and conquers the world system, He WILL PHYSICAL RULE OVER ALL the earth for 1,000 years. As He does, there will be NO more "world system" in opposition to God as we know it. In this sense, the world system in opposition to God WILL NEVER be inhabited again.

      Owls … ostriches … wild goats … hyenas...The animals mentioned here are ARE ALL CREATURES OF DARKNESS, WILDNESS...SO GOD GIVES US A picture of the darkness and confusion surrounding the fall of Babylon.

      WHAT THE BIBLE DOES TELL US IS THAT 'wild goats' are sometimes associated with DEMONS in goat form that are called 'satyrs' TOLD TO US IN LEVITICUS 17:7 & 2 CHRONICLES 11:15.

      AND IN THE PAGAN IDOLATRIES OF THAT TIME, OWLS WERE HARBINGERS OF DOOM/DEATH & AS WERE HYENAS WHO WERE SEEN AS DEMON POSSESSED CREATURES.

      SO WHAT IS ISAIAH 13 SAYING TO THE PEOPLE THEN AND TO US TODAY?
      Whenever therefore we behold the destruction of cities, the calamities of nations, and the overturning of kingdoms, let us call those predictions to remembrance, that we may be humbled under God's chastisements, may learn to gather wisdom from the affliction of others, and may pray for an alleviation of our own grief, AMEN?

      IN OTHER WORDS, THE LOST WORLD, LOST MANKIND & SATAN AND ALL HIS PIT DWELLERS MAY FORGET THEIR SINS, CRIMES, HURTS AND ATTACKS AGAINST ALMIGHTY GOD, & US AS JESUS FAMILY, AS WELL, BUT ALMIGHTY GOD WHO CALLS US CHILDREN OF GOD BECAUSE WE HAVE BELIEVED, INVITED, AND ACCEPTED HIS SON JESUS CHRIST INTO OUR HEARTS AND LIVES...FORGETS NOTHING SAID, DONE, THOUGHT, PLOTTED, PLANNED AGAINST HIS CHILDREN....OUR TRIUNE GOD REMEMBERS EVERY THING.

      JUST AS WE MAY FORGIVE, FORGET...MOVE ON...ALL THOSE WHO HAVE HURT US....
      THEY TOO MAY FORGET EVERY EVIL, HURT, SHAME, AND SADNESS BROUGHT AGAINST US....BUT OUR TRIUNE GOD IS TELLING ISAIAH, AND US AS WELL....I FORGET NOTHING THAT IS DONE AGAINST MY CHILDREN...AND JUDGMENT IS COMING!

       

    • July 6, 2016 2:50 AM EDT
    • AS I SAID LAST WEEK, Isaiah 13 began a section ending at Isaiah 23:18 where GOD GIVES ISAIAH prophesies against the nations. It is fitting for judgment to begin at the house of God, so the LORD has first spoken to Israel and Judah. But now, the LORD speaks against THE NATIONS.

      ISAIAH 14
      OPENS WITH THE PROPHECY JUDGMENT OF Babylon AND Lucifer


      Verses 1-2 tells us of the fall of the King of Babylon & judgment on Babylon means mercy on ISRAEL.

      "For the LORD will have mercy on Jacob, and will still choose Israel, and settle them in their own land. The strangers will be joined with them, and they will cling to the house of Jacob. Then people will take them and bring them to their place, and the house of Israel will possess them for servants and maids in the land of the LORD; they will take them captive whose captives they were, and rule over their oppressors."

      REMEMBER IN OUR STUDY OF GENESIS, IN GENESIS 32:28, THAT JESUS WRESTLED WITH JACOB DURING THE NIGHT, & THEN CHANGED JACOB'S NAME (WHICH MEANT TRICKSTER, CON ARTIST, SCAMMER) TO ISRAEL. MOST OF THE TIME, WHEN GOD CALLED HIM JACOB HE WAS DISOBEDIENT, BUT CALLED HIM ISRAEL WHEN HE WAS OBEDIENT. BUT WE ALSO KNOW ISRAEL, WAS FULFILLING PROPHECY THAT THE NATION OF ISRAEL, THE 12 TRIBES OF ISRAEL, WOULD COME FROM THE 12 SONS OF JACOB, AMEN?

      AND WE REMEMBER THAT Isaiah 13 ended with the desolation and gloom that would come upon Babylon. Since Babylon was Judah's GREAT enemy, any judgment on Babylon was an expression of GOD'S MERCY on Israel. So, Isaiah follows the pronouncement of judgment on Babylon with the LORD will have mercy on Jacob, and will still choose Israel.

      Will STILL CHOOSE Israel: Sometimes we feel that God chose us, but if He had to choose again, He would change His choice! We almost feel that God is "stuck" with us now, and would choose differently if He could. Here, the LORD reminds His children that He does STILL CHOOSE US, and WOULD CHOOSE US all over again, AMEN?!

      The promise of restoration to their own land was also important (and settle them in their own land). The Babylonians had forcibly EXILED MOST of the population of Judah, so the promise of return was precious.

      The INVITATION TO GENTILES RIGHT HERE WAS AND IS PRECIOUS (The strangers will be joined with them). The regathered and restored Israel would INVITE GENTILES to receive the goodness of God with them.

      RIGHT HERE, ONCE AGAIN, FOR THOSE WHO SAY I BELIEVE WHAT ALMIGHTY SAYS IN THE OLD TESTAMENT, BUT DO NOT TRUST OR BELIEVE IN THE NEW TESTAMENT AND THE WORDS OF JESUS....HERE IT IS. ALMIGHTY GOD SPEAKS THE PROMISE FOR THE GENTILES TO ISAIAH...LONG BEFORE JESUS WAS BORN IN BETHLEHEM, AMEN?

      They will take them captive whose captives they were, and rule over their oppressors: In inviting the strangers to come and be joined with them, Israel eliminates their enemies.

      ALMIGHTY GOD TELLS US AND SHOWS US A TRUTH THAT LASTS THROUGHOUT MANKIND...The ultimate way to conquer an enemy is to make them your friend!

      Verses 3-8 tells us the joy of the earth at the fall of the king of Babylon.

      "It shall come to pass in the day the LORD gives you rest from your sorrow, and from your fear and the hard bondage in which you were made to serve, that you will take up this proverb against the king of Babylon, and say: "How the oppressor has ceased, the golden city ceased! The LORD has broken the staff of the wicked, the scepter of the rulers; he who struck the people in wrath with a continual stroke, he who ruled the nations in anger, is persecuted and no one hinders. The whole earth is at rest and quiet; they break forth into singing. Indeed the cypress trees rejoice over you, and the cedars of Lebanon, saying, 'Since you were cut down, no woodsman has come up against us.'"

      In the day the LORD gives you rest from your sorrow, and from your fear and the hard bondage in which you were made to serve...RIGHT HERE The LORD announces a day when He will give REAL REST to believing Israel. They will have rest from sorrow, from fear, and from their hard bondage.

      AND DID YOU KNOW...This REST is the birthright of every believer in Jesus Christ.

      REMEMBER IN MATTHEW 11:28, Jesus says, "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."

      Do WE have rest from sorrow? Do WE have rest from fear? Do WE have rest from hard bondage? IF NOT, JESUS AND ONLY JESUS CHRIST CAN GIVE YOU REST IN HIM, AMEN?

      That you will take up this proverb against the king of Babylon: In the day of restoration, the defeat and weakness of the king of Babylon will be exposed, and Israel will rejoice.

      As this prophecy continues from the context of Isaiah 13, it is important that we remember that Isaiah has TWO ASPECTS of prophetic fulfillment in mind.

      WHAT WE KNOW IS A NEAR AND FAR FULFILLMENT.

      First, (THE NEAR FULFILLMENT) there is the immediate and partial fulfillment regarding the empire of Babylon and its king.

      Second, (THE FAR & ULTIMATE FULFILLMENT) there is the distant and ultimate fulfillment regarding the spiritual empire of Babylon - the world system - and its king, Satan.

      BIBLICAL CRITICS & LIBERAL DEBATERS, strongly disagree, and see this passage as ONLY referring to the king of literal Babylon in ancient times, and having no reference to Satan at all.

      THE PROBLEM WITH MOST CRITICS....IS FIRST, THAT THEY EITHER DOUBT OR DISMISS A TRIUNE GOD, WHO KNOWS ALL, SEES ALL, & CONTROLS ALL. SO IT IS EASY FOR THEM TO CHERRY PICK AND PLUCK ONE BIT OF A SCRIPTURE & BASE THEIR CHALLENGE OR DISMISSAL FROM IT AND IGNORE THE CONTEXT OF THE CHAPTER ITSELF, AMEN?

      So, this PROPHESY against the king of Babylon was, in a partial sense, in the mouth of the returning exiles when Babylon was finally conquered and the people of Judah could return to the Promised Land. But in an ultimate sense, this proverb against the king of Babylon will be the mouth of God's people when the world system and her king, Satan, are each conquered and destroyed, AMEN?!

      SOME HAVE ASKED, Why does God tell His people - either in an immediate or an ultimate sense - the destiny of Babylon and her king?

      IN A WORD HOPE.
      IN A WORD PROMISE.
      IN A WORD ULTIMATE VICTORY.

      So that we can think and live now, knowing the ultimate fate of the world system and Satan. We often have said, "If I only knew then what I know now" once we see how things turn out. Here, God is allowing us the opportunity TO KNOW RIGHT NOW what we will see then, and to allow it to affect our thinking and our actions, AMEN?

      GROGAN SAYS OF THIS PASSAGE, "Its form is really that of the funeral dirge, with the characteristic limping rhythm of a Hebrew lament, so plaintive and yet ominous to the sensitive ear … There is a considerable element of irony, so that the whole song becomes a taunt in the guise of a lament."

      This is a funeral song that mocks and taunts the dead, who in fact receives no burial. REMEMBER IN LUKE 9:60. JESUS SAYING, "LET THE DEAD BURY THEIR DEAD!" JESUS WAS MIRRORING WHAT GOD STATED HERE....THE DEAD ARE THOSE WHO ARE NOT ONLY SPIRITUALLY DEAD...(MEANING THEY HAVE EYES BUT DO NOT SEE...EARS BUT DO NOT HEAR), BUT WILL ONE DAY TOO BE PHYSICALLY DEAD IN THEIR SINS AND THEIR BLINDNESS AND THEIR CHOSEN DISMISSAL, AMEN?

      How the oppressor HAS ceased: God WANTS US TO KNOW, THEN AND NOW, that the king of spiritual Babylon - Satan - that his days ARE NUMBERED. There will come a day when his oppression has ceased, and when the LORD will break the staff of the wicked, and the scepter of the rulers.

      Sometimes we get so weary and discouraged from Satan's attack, it is almost as if we think his day will last forever. If we remember that one reason he works so hard is because even he knows his time is short, it is an encouragement to us.

      We can hang in there!

      We can out-last him!

      BECAUSE RIGHT HERE ALMIGHTY GOD, AND OUR JESUS CHRIST HAS TOLD US WE WILL WIN. WE HAVE ALREADY WON. SATAN AND THE LOST WORLD THAT PERSECUTES US IS ALREADY DEFEATED, AMEN?

      He who struck the people in wrath … who ruled the nations in anger...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      Both the king of literal Babylon and the king of spiritual Babylon were mighty, oppressive rulers over the people and the nations. But now, the one who once persecuted is himself persecuted and no one hinders, and as a result, the whole earth is at rest and quiet, and they even break forth into singing!

      Even the trees rejoice over the fall of the king of Babylon.

      THIS TELLS US THAT EVEN NATURE KNOWS ITS CREATOR AND IS WAITING FOR REST, RESTORATION, AND THE RETURN OF THEIR CREATOR, AMEN?

      AND DID YOU KNOW, This is true of the king of literal Babylon, because the attacking kings cut down thousands of trees for both fuel and lumber, leaving Israel and Lebanon deforested.

      AND SECULAR HISTORY CONFIRMS THIS, THAT Since the twelfth century B.C. the kings of Mesopotamia had imported lumber from Lebanon. Nebuchadnezzar used large supplies of such choice timbers in his extensive building efforts in Babylon after 605 B.C.

      AND THIS IS CONFIRMED IN ROMANS 8:21, that the trees also rejoice at the fall of the king of spiritual Babylon, because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God, AMEN?

      Verses 9-11 tells us Hell receives the fallen king of Babylon.

      "Hell from beneath is excited about you, to meet you at your coming; it stirs up the dead for you, all the chief ones of the earth; it has raised up from their thrones all the kings of the nations. They all shall speak and say to you: 'Have you also become as weak as we? Have you become like us? Your pomp is brought down to Sheol, and the sound of your stringed instruments; the maggot is spread under you, and worms cover you.'"

      Hell FROM BENEATH is excited about you...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      GOD IS TELLING ISAIAH AND US THAT Hell itself is excited to meet the king of Babylon, because it can't wait to be the place where the one who tortured so many is tortured himself. This was true both for the king of literal Babylon, and the king of spiritual Babylon.

      God wants us to know now that Satan is destined for hell. HE MAY COME AND GO NOW, BUT FOR 1000 YEARS HE WILL BE BOUND IN CHAINS IN HELL, BEFORE HIS ULTIMATE IMPRISONMENT IN THE LAKE OF FIRE FOR ETERNITY.

      SATAN isn't a winner, he is a loser. Satan will go to hell as a victim, as the ultimate prisoner in the dungeon of darkness, and hell will be happy to receive him this way!

      THIS REMINDS ME OF REPORTS OF PRISON BREAKS AND RIOTS, WHEN THE PRISONERS IN SOME OF THE DEEPEST DARKEST HELL HOLE PRISONS AROUND THE WORLD ARE LOOSED AND WHAT THEY INSTANTLY DO TO THEIR TORTURE JAILERS AND WARDENS, AMEN?

      SO IT SHALL BE IN HELL.


      Have you also become as weak as we? Have you become like us? When he went to hell, the king of literal Babylon was exposed as a mere man, though he thought of himself as greater than that. As well, when the king of spiritual Babylon goes to hell, all will be amazed to see that he was only a creature.

      We often - to his great delight - inflate Satan's status and importance.

      We think of him as the opposite of God; as if God were light and Satan were darkness, as if God were hot and Satan were cold. Satan wishes he was the opposite of God, but God wants us to know now what everyone will know someday - that Satan is a mere creature, and is in no way the opposite of God.

      If Satan has an opposite, it is not God the Father or God the Son, it would be a high-ranking angelic being such as Michael.

      Your pomp is brought down … the maggot is spread under you, and worms cover you...

      In the end, it just won't be defeat for the king of Babylon. Both for the literal and spiritual kings of Babylon, their defeat in hell will be disgusting and degrading.

      SATANIC FOLLOWERS DOWN THROUGH TIME, PREACH AND TEACH ROCKING AND ROLLING AND RULING ALL OF THE EARTH AND ALL OF HELL WITH SATAN. MANKIND HAS BEEN DECEIVED SINCE THE GARDEN OF EDEN...ALMIGHTY GOD IS TELLING THOSE WHO WORSHIP, BELIEVE, AND TRUST IN THIS CREATURE, THAT THEY WILL ULTIMATELY HATE SATAN AS MUCH AS HE HAS ALWAYS HATED THEM...AND THEY WHO ARE LOCKED IN THE WAITING PRISON OF HELL WILL REVEL WHEN SATAN IS BOUND THERE AS WELL.

      Knowing this now - how disgusting and degrading the end of Satan will be - why would any of us serve him or work for his cause, even for a minute? Who wants to end up with the maggots and the worms?

      And the sound of YOUR stringed instruments...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      THE BIBLE TELLS US IN EZEKIEL 28:13...Before his fall, Satan was associated with music in heaven. BEFORE HIS FALL, the workmanship of your timbrels and pipes was prepared for you on the day you were created. Apparently, the musical career of Satan did not end with his fall, because the sound of his stringed instruments is only brought down when he is imprisoned in hell.

      AND THIS SCRIPTURE RIGHT HERE, INSTANTLY BRINGS TO MIND, SATANIC HYMNALS, MUSIC...AND WE WHO KNOW AND LOVE JESUS...WHEN WE HEAR THE DARK, DEAD, CHILLING STRAINS OF SATANIC HYMNALS, THE STRINGS SOUNDING LIKE TORTURED SCREAMS, THE DRUMS LIKE TERRIFIED HEARTBEATS, WE INSTANTLY CHANGE THE CHANNEL, OR TURN IT OFF...BECAUSE WE FEEL THE DARK PRESENCE BENEATH THE MUSIC, AMEN?

      Verses 12-15 tells us of THE FALL OF LUCIFER.

      "How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart: 'I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.' Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, to the lowest depths of the Pit."

      How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! Here, the prophet identifies the king of Babylon as Lucifer, son of the morning. Some debate if Lucifer is a name or a title; the word means morning star or day star, referring to a brightly shining object in the heavens. Whether it is a title or a name makes little difference; this once brightly shining king of Babylon is now fallen from heaven.

      The prophetic habit of speaking to both a near and a distant fulfillment, the prophet will sometimes speak more to the near or more to the distant. Here is a good example of Isaiah speaking more to the distant, ultimate fulfillment.

      It is true that the king of literal Babylon shined brightly among the men of his day, and fell as hard and as completely as if a man were to fall from heaven. But there was a far more brightly shining being who inhabited heaven, and fell even more dramatically - the king of spiritual Babylon, Satan.

      Fallen from heaven: In fact THE BIBLE TELLS US THERE ARE FOUR FALLS OF SATAN. THIS SCRIPTURE RIGHT HERE REFERS TO HIS FINAL, FOURTH FALL.

      AND WHERE ARE THE FOUR FALLS SPOKEN OF:

      THE FIRST FALL told to us in...EZEKIEL 28:14-16 tells us Satan fell from glorified to profane.

      LUKE 10:18 tells us Jesus spoke of it when He says He saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. This is the only fall of Satan that has already happened.

      THE SECOND FALL....told us to in JOB 1:12, 1 KING 22:21, ZECHARIAH 3:1 tells us Satan will fall from having access to heaven.
      REVELATION 12:9 tells us to restriction on the earth.

      THE THIRD FALL...told to us in REVELATION 20:1-3 tells us Satan will fall from his place on the earth to bondage in the bottomless pit for 1,000 years.

      AND THE FOURTH FALL, as mentioned here in Isaiah 14:12, Satan will fall from the bottomless pit, WHICH WE COMMONLY KNOW AND CALL HELL...to THE LAKE OF FIRE FOR ETERNITY, told to us in Revelation 20:10.

      Son of the morning...This is a title of glory, beauty, and honor, which fit Lucifer well BEFORE his fall. The morning is glorious, and in Hebrew thinking, the son of "x" is characterized by "x." So, before his fall, Lucifer was characterized by the glory of the morning.

      Jesus Himself is called the Bright and Morning Star in Revelation 22:16.

      Satan, though a created being, had some of these glorious qualities in himself. No wonder that Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light told to us in 2 Corinthians 11:14, deceiving MANY with his apparent DECEPTIVE glory AND beauty.

      THE WORLD IN BOOK, MOVIES, AND WRITINGS FROM EARLIEST TIMES, PAINTS SATAN, EVIL PERSONIFIED, AS A RED-SKINNED, HORNED, FANG-TOOTH MONSTER DRIPPING BLOOD, WITH A FORKED TAIL AND CLOVEN HOOVES....AND SATAN LOVES IT. HOW MUCH EASIER TO DECEIVE AND DESTROY THE LIVES OF PEOPLE, WHO ARE LOOKING FOR AND GUARDING AGAINST A MONSTER...WHEN THE REAL MONSTER IS BEAUTIFUL OUTWARDLY.

      AND WE KNOW, DOWN THROUGH TIME, THE BIGGEST AND MOST EVIL MONSTERS OF MANKIND THAT HAVE BEEN REVEALED...CALIGULA, HITLER, STALIN, POL POT, JIM JONES...THE LIST IS ENDLESS.

      WE HEAR PEOPLE SAY, HE WAS SO HANDSOME, SO CHARISMATIC, OR THE OPPOSITE, HE WAS SO POLITE AND QUIET AND SEEMINGLY LOVING AND KIND...I JUST CAN NOT BELIEVE HE TURNED OUT TO BE A MONSTER, AMEN?

      THAT IS WHAT OUR TRIUNE GOD IS TELLING US, SHOWING US AND WARNING US ALL HERE OF...BE NOT DECEIVED.

      How you are cut down to the ground...

      What a contrast! This being, once so high, once so shining, once so bright, is now cut down to the ground.

      For you have said in your heart...

      RIGHT HERE, God tells us the reason behind the fall of the king of Babylon, both literal and spiritual. The fall was prompted by something he said, even though he may have never said it with his lips - it was enough that he said it in his heart. GOD IS SHOWING US AND TELLING US THAT HE SEES AND READS THE THOUGHTS OF SATAN AND MAN PERFECTLY, AMEN?

      I WILL: The pride, the grasping selfish ambition, the self-will of the king of Babylon is powerfully expressed in FIVE I will statements. This is the essence of the self-focused and self-obsessed life of satan.

      1...I WILL ascend into heaven: "Heaven will be my home and my place of honor."

      2...I WILL exalt my throne above the stars of God: "I will be enthroned, and will be exalted above all other angelic beings."

      3...I WILL also sit on the mount of the congregation: "I will sit in the place of glory and honor and attention."

      4...I WILL ascend above the heights: "I will continue to rise, even in heaven, until all see me in my bright shining glory."

      5...I WILL BE like the Most High: "I will be glorious, and be set equal to God, far above all other created beings."

      We see in these statements not ONLY A desire to exalt one's self above God, but the desire to exalt one's self above one's peers. From this passage, it seems that Satan's desire was not ONLY to be above God, but to be honored and regarded as the highest angel, above the [other] stars of God, receiving the glory and attention one would receive being next to God, equal with God, like the Most High.

      GOD IS WARNING US HERE...

      DO NOT ALLOW EGO TO RULE AND REIGN IN YOUR LIFE...BECAUSE ME ME ME, I I I, SELF ABOVE ALL OTHERS REGARDLESS THE COST...MEANS YOU HAVE THE EGO AND MIND OF SATAN WORKING WITHIN YOUR HEART, MIND, AND LIFE, AMEN?

      Lucifer was certainly a glorious angel (day star, son of the morning, and also called the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty … the anointed cherub who covers in Ezekiel 28:12 and 14).

      Yet, there came a time when despite all his beauty and glory, he departed from the heart of God by wanting to exalt himself above ALL.

      Instead, the heart of Jesus says, "The status of equality with God is not something to hang on to. I will let it go. I will give up My reputation, be a servant, live humbly among men, and even die an excruciating and humiliating death."

      PHILIPPIANS 2:5-8 confirms this...When Lucifer departed from this heart, he fell from glory.

      What prompted Satan's desire to exalt himself above all other creatures? What prompted the five I will statements?

      Why did Lucifer rebel?

      Perhaps because he rejected God's plan to create an order of being made in His image IN Genesis 1:26, who would be beneath the angels in dignity TOLD TO US IN Hebrews 2:6-7a; 2 Peter 2:11, yet would be served by angels in the present IN Hebrews 1:14; 2:7-8; Psalm 91:11-12) and would one day be lifted in honor and status above the angels TOLD TO US IN 1 Corinthians 6:3; 1 John 3:2).

      Satan wanted to be the highest among all creatures, equal to God in glory and honor, and the plan to create man would eventually put men above angels.

      SATAN DID NOT WANT TO ONE DAY BE SUBSERVIENT TO ANYONE, MUCH LESS A CREATION THE TRIUNE GOD IN HIS IMAGE.

      SATAN WAS SO FURIOUS AND OUTRAGED OVER GENESIS 1:26, that he was apparently able to persuade one-third of the angelic beings to join him in his rebellion against OUR TRIUNE GOD, TOLD TO US IN Revelation 12:3-4, 7, and 9.

      ISAIAH 14 explains well Satan's present strategy against man: to obscure the image of God in man through encouraging sin and rebellion, to cause man to serve him, and to prevent the ultimate glorification of man.

      Yet you shall be brought down...Despite Satan's desire to exalt himself, he will not be exalted at all. Certainly, there is a sense in which he is exalted right now, but this is but an eye-blink in the scope of eternity. Satan, like all those who desire to exalt themselves, REJECT JESUS CHRIST, shall be brought down.

      1 Peter 5:6 expresses the true path to being exalted: Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time.

      In Mark 9:35, Jesus said If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.

      VERSES 16-17 tells us the nations are amazed at the fall of the king of Babylon.

      "Those who see you will gaze at you, and consider you, saying: 'Is this the man who made the earth tremble, who shook kingdoms, who made the world as a wilderness and destroyed its cities, who did not open the house of his prisoners?'"

      Those who see you will gaze at you … "Is this the man who made the earth tremble … Who did not open the house of his prisoners?" When the king of literal Babylon fell, his weakness was exposed and others were amazed that he once had so much power, and so many feared him. The same will happen when the king of spiritual Babylon falls. People will see him for what he really is and be amazed at how much power he actually had.

      MANKIND DOWN THROUGH TIME AS VIEWED SATAN AS AN ALL POWERFUL, MIGHTY EVIL GIANT AMONG AND ABOVE AND CONTROLLING NATURE, HELL, MAN...BUT WHEN HIS
      TRUE SELF IS REVEALED...HE WILL BE SHOWN BE NOTHING NOTHING MORE THAN A CREATED BEING AND A COWARD.

      Verses 18-23 tells us the amazing and bloody destruction of Babylon.

      "All the kings of the nations, all of them, sleep in glory, everyone in his own house; but you are cast out of your grave like an abominable branch, like the garment of those who are slain, thrust through with a sword, who go down to the stones of the pit, like a corpse trodden underfoot. You will not be joined with them in burial, because you have destroyed your land and slain your people. The brood of evildoers shall never be named. Prepare slaughter for his children because of the iniquity of their fathers, lest they rise up and possess the land, and fill the face of the world with cities." "For I will rise up against them," says the LORD of hosts, "And cut off from Babylon the name and remnant, and offspring and posterity," says the LORD. "I will also make it a possession for the porcupine, and marshes of muddy water; I will sweep it with the broom of destruction," says the LORD of hosts."

      ALL THE KINGS OF THE NATIONS... In this brief section, Isaiah brings his focus back more upon the king of literal Babylon. He notes the comfort and ease the other kings of the earth enjoy, but not the fallen king of Babylon, who is instead cast out of your grave like an abominable branch.

      WOLF says it well, "But now a terrible things has happened; he was not given the honorable burial deemed so important for monarchs. Even the common man regarded proper burial as essential."

      Instead ISAIAH 14:11 tells us...instead of a proper burial, the king of Babylon gets a bed of maggots and a blanket of worms!

      The destruction of Babylon - both literal and spiritual - will be complete. The LORD will cut off from Babylon the name and remnant. There will not even be a remnant of Babylon left, when the LORD will sweep it with the broom of destruction.

      CHARLES SPURGEON says it best of this scripture..."If God's enemies have a bright day or two, it shall soon be showery weather with them. They may for the moment exult over God's people, but he knows that their day of reckoning is coming."

      WE WHO LOVE JESUS CHRIST, AND CALL HIM LORD, SAVIOR, AND FRIEND...ARE SADDENED, AND AT TIMES DESPAIRING, OVER AND CRY OUT TO JESUS...WHEN JESUS WHEN?

      DO YOU NOT SEE WHAT LOST MANKIND AND SATAN ARE DOING TO OUR EARTH, OUR COUNTRIES, AND TO US YOUR CHILDREN? WHEN WILL THE VICTORY COME? WHEN WILL WE SEE IT?

      AND WE ARE REMINDED THAT TIME, AS MAN SEES IT AND KNOWS IT, IS NOT THE SAME AS ETERNAL TIME.

      REMEMBER THE BIBLE SAYS A DAY IS AS A THOUSAND YEARS AND A THOUSAND YEARS A DAY?

      WHEN WE THINK ABOUT OUR LIFE, EVEN THOSE WHO LIVE TO BE 100 ON THIS EARTH BEFORE THEY GO HOME TO HEAVEN, THINK ABOUT IT, WHAT IS 100 MEASLY YEARS ON EARTH, COMPARED TO FOREVER AND FOREVER IN HEAVEN WITH JESUS?

      IT COULD BE COMPARED EQUALLY TO GOING TO THE DOCTOR TO GET A SHOT, FOR THAT INSTANT IN TIME, WHEN THAT NEEDLE PIERCES OUR SKIN THERE IS INSTANT HARSH PAIN AND DISCOMFORT...BUT IN A BLINK OF TIME...THAT PAIN IS GONE AND FORGOTTEN, AMEN?

      THIS LIFE, IS BUT A BLINK IN TIME AGAINST ALL ETERNITY.

      THE IMPORTANT QUESTION GOD POSES TO ISAIAH, ISRAEL, AND MANKIND...WHERE WILL YOU SPEND YOUR ETERNITY?

      ALL OF MANKIND MUST CHOOSE.

      OUR TRIUNE GOD IMBUED US WITH CHOICE....FREEWILL.

      WE MUST CHOOSE.

      FENCE STRADDLERS HAVE MADE A CHOICE. THAT SAYS TO GOD I DO NOT TRUST YOU OR MANKIND...ONLY MYSELF.

      IGNORING THE CHOICE IS A CHOICE.

      REJECTING JESUS CHRIST SALVATION GIFT IS A CHOICE.

      REJECTING GOD'S PRECIOUS SON IS A CHOICE.

      ACCEPTING GOD BUT DENYING AND REJECTING HIS SON JESUS CHRIST IS A CHOICE.

      CHOOSING TO FOLLOW A MAN, A MAN CREATED RELIGIOUS CULT, A RELIGIOUS
      ORGANIZATION OVER JESUS CHRIST AND HIS WORD IS A CHOICE.

      THERE ARE THOSE THAT SAY:

      THERE IS NO GOD, NO HELL, HEAVEN, OR THE LAKE OF FIRE!

      OTHERS TEACH...NO WORRIES, ONCE WE DIE, WE STILL GET A SECOND CHANCE TO SIT IN PURGATORY AND RETHINK OUR LIFE AND CHANGE OUR MINDS, HAVE JAIL TIME IN HELL, THEN GO TO HEAVEN.

      THERE ARE THOSE WHO TEACH, NO WORRIES, PAY US AND WE HAVE THE POWER TO PRAY A SPECIAL PRAYER AND PRAYER YOUR LOST ONE OUT OF HELL.
      THERE ARE THOSE WHO TEACH ALL PEOPLE ARE CHILDREN OF GOD AND ALL GO TO HEAVEN.

      THERE IS ANOTHER TEACHING THAT WE COME BACK AGAIN, AND KEEP GOING THROUGH LIFE UNTIL WE REDEEM OURSELVES, ATTAIN ONENESS, AND THEN ENTER PARADISE.
      THERE ARE THOSE THAT TEACH ONLY MEN CAN ATTAIN ALLAH'S HEAVEN, AND WOMEN GO STRAIGHT TO HELL.

      THERE ARE THOSE THAT TEACH KILLING AS MANY INFIDELS AS POSSIBLE IS THE ONLY WAY TO INSURE AN ETERNITY IN PARADISE.

      CHOOSING ANYYYYYY OR ALLLL THE ABOVE IS CHOOSING ETERNITY IN THE LAKE OF FIRE.

      WHETHER WE ACCEPT IT OR NOT, BELIEVE IT OR NOT, THE BIBLE TELLS US ALL...YOU ARE CHOOSING SATAN AND THE WORLD AND REJECTING JESUS CHRIST IF YOU CHOOSE ANY OF THE ABOVE.

      RIGHT HERE IN THE OLD TESTAMENT OF ISAIAH, ALMIGHTY GOD LAYS OUT THE PLAN OF SALVATION FOR LOST MANKIND, GREEK, JEW, AND GENTILE ALIKE.

      SATAN SAYS...THERE IS NO RUSH....ENJOY YOUR WORLDLY LIFE...LIVE IT UP...YOU CAN THINK ABOUT GOD AND JESUS WHEN YOU FINISH HAVING A BLAST WITH THE WORLD HERE ON EARTH...THERE IS NOOOOOOOOO RUSH..... YOU HAVEEEEE PLENTY OF TIME.

      THAT IS A LIE OF MAN AND STRAIGHT FROM THE HEART OF SATAN HIMSELF.

      THE BIBLE TELLS US THAT TOMORROW IS PROMISED TO NONE...TODAY IS THE DAY UNTO SALVATION.

      AND WITH BIBLE PROPHECIES BEING FULFILLED EACH DAY THROUGHOUT THE WORLD...WE WHO LOVE JESUS AND CALL HIM LORD, SAVIOR, AND FRIEND....ARE WATCHING THE EASTERN SKIES...BECAUSE WE KNOW OUR JESUS COULD APPEAR IN THE CLOUDS AT ANY MOMENT, IN A TWINKLING OF AN EYE TO MEET HIM IN THE CLOUDS AND GO HOME TO THE SAFETY JOY, PEACE, LOVE AND HOPE OF HEAVEN TO BE WITH OUR JESUS FOREVER.

      CALL UPON OUR JESUS. HE WANTS NONE TO PERISH. HE DIED TO INSURE LOST REJECTING MANKIND HAS A HOPE...A CHOICE.

      JESUS CHRIST WANTS US TO CHOOSE HIM WHILE OUR HEARTS STILL BEAT, AND OUR LUNGS BREATHE.

      BECAUSE ONCE WE DIE...THERE ARE NO SECOND CHANCES. NONE. WHAT WE CHOOSE IN THIS LIFE, DETERMINES OUR ETERNITY.

      CHOOSE JESUS CHRIST!

    • July 6, 2016 2:48 AM EDT
    • ISAIAH 14:24-32 & ISAIAH 15-16


      AS I SAID PREVIOUSLY, Isaiah 13 began a section ending at Isaiah 23:18 where GOD GIVES ISAIAH prophesies against the nations. It is fitting for judgment to begin at the house of God, so the LORD has first spoken to Israel and Judah. But now, the LORD speaks against THE NATIONS.

      GOD'S JUDGMENT TO COME on Assyria and the Philistines.

      DID YOU KNOW THAT MODERN DAY ASSYRIA IS PARTS OF TURKEY, SYRIA, IRAN, & IRAQ?

      DID YOU KNOW THAT THE MODERN DAY PHILISTINES ARE PALESTINIANS?

      WITH THAT IN MIND....LET'S SEE WHAT GOD HAS TO SAY TO THEM THEN AND NOW.

      Verses 24-27 tells us of The coming judgment on ASSYRIA.

      "The LORD of hosts has sworn, saying, "Surely, as I have thought, so it shall come to pass, and as I have purposed, so it shall stand: That I will break the Assyrian in My land, and on My mountains tread him underfoot. Then his yoke shall be removed from them, and his burden removed from their shoulders. This is the purpose that is purposed against the whole earth, and this is the hand that is stretched out over all the nations. For the LORD of hosts has purposed, and who will annul it? His hand is stretched out, and who will turn it back?"

      Surely, as I have thought, so it SHALL come to pass...

      THIS TELLS US WITHOUT QUALIFIERS THAT God's THOUGHTS are as good as actions. All God has to do is THINK a thought, and worlds can be created. What a comfort to know that God thinks good thoughts towards His people.

      WHERE?

      JEREMIAH 29:11 says, "I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope."

      I WILL BREAK the Assyrian in MY land...YOU NOTICE ASSYRIA AND OTHER LANDS AROUND ISRAEL CALL IT THEIR LAND...BUT RIGHT HERE....ALMIGHTY REMINDS THEM AND US, THAT IT IS HIS LAND, AMEN?

      God did this powerfully when the Assyrians invaded Judah.

      2 Kings 19:35 describes how God simply sent THE ANGEL OF THE LORD, whom we KNOW CAN ONLY BE OUR JESUS CHRIST TO PERSONALLY PROTECT/DEFEND HIS PEOPLE and killed 185,000 Assyrians in ONE night. When the people woke up, there were 185,000 dead Assyrian soldiers.

      THIS SHOWS US SOMETHING TOO...WHEN THE LORD STRIKES IT IS ALWAYS SWIFT AND SURE...AND ANOTHER THING, WE HAVE WATCHED BATTLES ON TELEVISION, AND WE HAVE WATCHED RE-ENACTMENT OF BATTLES...AND THEY ARE NEVER SILENT AND SURE.

      BUT HERE, THE GUARDS, THE SOLDIERS, THE PEOPLE...NO ONE HEARD A THING...AND THINK ABOUT IT 185, 000 MEN IN ONE NIGHT, WOULD NORMALLY MEAN LOTS OF HOLLERING & SOUNDS OF BATTLE...

      BUT THE PEOPLE HEARD NOTHING....THEY ALL SLEPT HARD TO PREPARE FOR THE MORNINGS BEGINNING BATTLE...AND WHEN THEY AWOKE...IT WAS TO FIND ALL OF THEIR ENEMY LYING DEAD AROUND THEM.

      AND WE KNOW TOO, THAT SENNACHERIB, king of Assyria FLED BACK TO NINEVAH, OBVIOUSLY THE ONLY ONE NOT KILLED & WHILE PRAYING/THANKING HIS PAGAN GODS FOR HIS LIFE IN THAT TEMPLE, THAT TWO OF HIS SONS CAME IN AND KILLED HIM THEN FLED, & LEFT THE THIRD SON TO RULE THE ASSYRIANS.

      NO ENEMY OF GOD AND HIS PEOPLE ESCAPE HIS JUDGMENT AGAINST THEM, AMEN?

      For the LORD of hosts has purposed, and who will annul it?
      God ALWAYS accomplishes His purpose! His plan is NEVER frustrated! Even when we have no trust at all in our own plan, we can FULLY TRUST God's purpose/plan, AMEN!

      Verses 28-31 tell us of the coming judgment on the PHILISTINES.

      "This is the burden which came in the year that King Ahaz died. "Do not rejoice, all you of Philistia, because the rod that struck you is broken; for out of the serpent's roots will come forth a viper, and its offspring will be a fiery flying serpent. The firstborn of the poor will feed, and the needy will lie down in safety; I will kill your roots with famine, and it will slay your remnant. Wail, O gate! Cry, O city! All you of Philistia are dissolved; for smoke will come from the north, and no one will be alone in his appointed times."

      Do NOT rejoice, all you of Philista, because the rod that struck you is broken...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      There was CONSTANT warfare between Israel and the Philistines, and so on many occasions, Israel was the rod that struck the Philistines. Now, when Israel and Judah are humbled, God does not want the Philistines to glory in it.

      All you of Philista ARE dissolved: God's judgment will come against the Philistines also. They should not think that just because God was judging the Israelites, that they had somehow escaped.

      INTERESTINGLY ENOUGH, Some Bible scholars see in this ALSO AS A future judgment for the "modern" Philistines.

      SO WHO ARE THEY?

      THEY ARE THE Palestinians.

      DID YOU KNOW..The name "Palestine" is a Latin name from the name Philista, and this may be a prophetic warning to the Palestinians: do not rejoice in the suffering or downfall of Israel, because worse judgment will befall you.

      THE PHILISTINES PLOTTED, PLANNED, & REJOICED THEN OVER EVERY VICTORY THEY HAD OVER THE ISRAELITES THEN, AND THEY STRIVE TO DO SO EVEN TODAY.

      Verse 32 tells us A word FOR THE MESSENGERS of the nation.

      "What will they answer the messengers of the nation? That the LORD has founded Zion, and the poor of His people shall take refuge in it."

      In the midst of the judgment of the nations, what will one then answer the messengers of the nation? What does God have to say to His people and to all the nations, when nations are being judged?

      GROGAN, a Bible historian, tells us, "No doubt the 'envoys' were Philistine diplomats sent to Jerusalem to encourage solidarity against ASSYRIA, WHEN ISAIAH ENCOURAGED trust in God, not in alliances."

      God's answer is simple: The LORD has founded Zion. When judgment comes, what is founded on the LORD is made evident. The storm comes and beats against the house, and tests its foundation. When the LORD has founded something, it is evident to everyone in the midst of judgment.

      The second part of the answer is also simple...The poor of His people shall take refuge in it. God's place of security is not for the rich and self-sufficient, which means HAUGHTY, PROUD. It is for the poor of His people. It is the poor in spirit, MEANS THE HUMBLE & REPENTANT & TRUSTING IN GOD NOT MAN who find refuge in God's city, AMEN?




      NOW TURN WITH ME TO ISAIAH 15

      AS I HAVE SAID PREVIOUSLY, ISAIAH 13-ISAIAH 23, GOD GIVES ISAIAH HIS JUDGMENTS AGAINST THE NATIONS.

      ISAIAH 15 OPENS WITH The Burden Against Moab

      Verse 1 tells us of the burden AGAINST Moab.

      "The burden against MOAB..."

      WHO WERE THE PEOPLE OF MOAB?

      GENESIS 19:30-38, which we have already studied, tells us the FOUNDER of the people of Moab was the son born of the incestuous relationship between LOT and one of his daughters, when his daughters made Lot drunk, after the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.

      AND THE MOABITES THEN SETTLED in the plains to the south-east of Israel, in what is modern-day JORDAN.

      AND THE BIBLE TELLS US THAT AT TIMES... the Moabites were great enemies of Israel.

      NUMBERS 22-25 tells us of THE BALAK, king of Moab, who hired Balaam the prophet, hoping that he could curse Israel.

      JUDGES 3:12-30 tells us of EGLON, king of Moab, who oppressed Israel in the days of the Judges.

      During the time of Saul and David, Israel established a firm control over Moab, but later kings of Israel were not always able to keep them under Israeli dominance.

      At the same time, there was a Moabite connection WITH Israel.

      FIRST, they were related to Israel because Lot was Abraham's nephew.

      Because of this, God told Israel in Deuteronomy 2:9 that they were NOT to destroy Moab and take their land.

      As well, DID YOU KNOW, David, Israel's greatest king, was one-quarter Moabite.

      HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE?

      KING DAVID'S paternal grandmother Ruth was from Moab, and David entrusted his father and mother to the protection of the king of Moab when he was a fugitive from Saul told to us in 1 Samuel 22:3-4.

      For THESE reasons, there is a great deal of sadness and empathy on Isaiah's part as he describes the coming judgment on Moab.

      Verse 1-4 tells us the cities & soldiers of Moab fall under a NIGHT attack.

      "Because in the night Ar of Moab is laid waste and destroyed, because in the night Kir of Moab is laid waste and destroyed, he has gone up to the temple and Dibon, to the high places to weep. Moab will wail over Nebo and over Medeba; on all their heads will be baldness, and every beard cut off. In their streets they will clothe themselves with sackcloth; on the tops of their houses and in their streets everyone will wail, weeping bitterly. Heshbon and Elealeh will cry out, their voice shall be heard as far as Jahaz; therefore the armed soldiers of Moab will cry out; his life will be burdensome to him."

      Because in the night Ar of Moab is laid waste and destroyed … Kir of Moab … Heshbon and Elealeh...God IS ANNOUNCING coming judgment on Moab, against these cities.

      AND DID YOU KNOW...

      Most of these CITIES/SITES were originally part of Israel's territory when Moses and Joshua defeated Sihon, King of the Amorites.

      All the cities north of the Arnon River…once belonged to the TRIBE OF REUBEN. Throughout the years, however, the Moabites had persistently pushed the Israelites out of these regions.

      He has gone up to the temple...The picture is of a Moabite man fleeing the destruction of his city, running to his temple and his pagan gods for protection and mourning (To the high places to weep). INSTEAD OF RUNNING TO RUTH'S GOD, TO KING DAVID'S GOD IN REPENTANCE AND FOR PROTECTION.

      They will clothe themselves with sackcloth … everyone will wail, weeping bitterly...At this invasion, and as a result of it, there will be great distress and mourning in Moab.

      Jeremiah 48:1-13 ALSO PROPHESIES the judgment of Moab, and also gives the reason WHY!

      "Moab has been at ease from his youth; he has settled on his dregs, and has not been emptied from vessel to vessel, nor has he gone into captivity. Therefore his taste remained in him, and his scent has not changed. Therefore behold, the days are coming," says the LORD, "That I shall send him wine-workers who will tip him over and empty his vessels and break the bottles."

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      When we are at ease, and are never "poured" from vessel to vessel, we "SETTLE on the dregs" and are NEVER refined. God uses the "pouring" process to refine us.

      Verses 5-7 tells us of the flight of the REFUGEES from Moab.

      "My heart will cry out for Moab; his fugitives shall flee to Zoar, Like a three-year-old heifer. For by the Ascent of Luhith they will go up with weeping; for in the way of Horonaim they will raise up a cry of destruction, for the waters of Nimrim will be desolate, for the green grass has withered away; the grass fails, there is nothing green. Therefore the abundance they have gained, and what they have laid up, they will carry away to the Brook of the Willows."

      His fugitives shall flee to Zoar...

      The connection is interesting.

      WHY?

      Because Zoar was the city Lot and his daughters escaped FROM, hiding in the mountains, BEFORE Lot's daughters committed incest with their father, and brought forth the child Moab, the father of the Moabites.

      Bultema another BIBLE historian says of Zoar: "This town is called an heifer of three years old, apparently to indicate that it had never been under the yoke of strangers."

      The green grass has withered away...The beautiful plains of Moab were wonderful grazing land. But now, under the hand of God's judgment, the green grass has withered away.

      Therefore the abundance they have gained … they will carry away to the Brook of the Willows...this is a visual picture of fleeing refugees, carrying with them all their VALUED MATERIALISTIC possessions.

      AND WE SEE INCIDENCES OF THIS MINDSET TODAY...DO WE NOT? SUCH AS, MEDIA FEED OF PEOPLE WARNED, GET OUT OF THE AREA NOW, A TORNADO IS COMING...A FLOOD IS COMING...A HURRICANE IS COMING...TAKE YOUR FAMILIES AND FLEE. AND WE SEE PEOPLE LOADING THEIR CARS WITH MATERIALISM FIRST, NOT FOOD, WATER, CLOTHES, THEIR CHILDREN, AND THEIR PETS...BUT DELAYING TO PACK THEIR CARS WITH STEREOS, TVS...THINGSSSSSSS...AND END UP LOSING NOT ONLY IT BUT THEIR LIVES AS WELL, AMEN?

      Verses 8-9 tells us of the cry of the refugees from Moab.

      "For the cry has gone all around the borders of Moab, its wailing to Eglaim and its wailing to Beer Elim. For the waters of Dimon will be full of blood; because I will bring more upon Dimon, lions upon him who escapes from Moab, and on the remnant of the land."

      The cry has gone all around the borders of Moab..this tells us their pain in the midst of judgment is EVIDENT TO EVERYONE. Everyone living AROUND THE BORDERS of Moab sees God's judgment against them.

      Lions upon him who escapes from Moab...If the judgment of the night attack did not complete the work of judgment, God would send lions upon him who escapes.

      GOD IS REMINDING MANKIND...
      THAT HIS WORD IS PURE TRUTH.
      WHAT GOD SAYS WILL HAPPEN WILL HAPPEN.
      WHAT GOD SAYS HE WILL DO...HE WILL DO.
      GOD WILL FINISH HIS WORK OF JUDGMENT!




      ISAIAH 16

      CONTINUES WITH THE Burden Against Moab

      Verses 1-2 tells us GOD COUNSELS THEM...Send the lamb

      "Send the lamb to the ruler of the land, from Sela to the wilderness, to the mount of the daughter of Zion. For it shall be as a wandering bird thrown out of the nest; so shall be the daughters of Moab at the fords of the Arnon."

      The idea behind SEND THE LAMB to the ruler of the land is that Moab should resume their bringing of tribute to Jerusalem, thereby submitting themselves to God again.

      This kind of tribute is described in 2 Kings 3:4-5, where Mesha, King of Moab, who once paid tribute to Israel, stopped doing so when King Ahab of Israel died.

      Here, GOD TELLS Isaiah TO COUNSEL Moab to resume this payment of tribute.

      Isaiah paints a powerful picture of the helpless, confused state of Moab under the hand of God's judgment. They are like a wandering bird thrown out of the nest, confused, weak, and vulnerable. Their only recourse is to submit themselves to Jerusalem and its King again.

      Verse 3 tells us Isaiah's word to Judah as she observes Moab under judgment.

      "Take counsel, execute judgment; make your shadow like the night in the middle of the day; hide the outcasts, do not betray him who escapes."

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      Here, in the compassion of GOD'S PROPHECY AGAINST MOAB, Isaiah pleads with the rulers of Judah to hide the outcasts of Moab. Again, his great sympathies are probably due to the connection between Moab and the royal house of David.

      Do not betray him who escapes....

      WHY DOES ISAIAH SAY THIS?

      Isaiah wanted Judah to be a place of refuge and protection for Moab under judgment. This is ALSO A PICTURE OF JESUS BRIDE, THE CHURCH, exactly what the church should be, when people are under the strong hand of the LORD in the world. We should be a place that will hide the outcasts and receive him who escapes from the world, GIVES THEM THE TRUTH OF OUR JESUS, never to betray them.

      Verses 4-5 tells us a plea for refuge among Moab in the day of the righteous King.

      "Let My outcasts dwell with you, O Moab; be a shelter to them from the face of the spoiler. For the extortioner is at an end, devastation ceases, the oppressors are consumed out of the land. In mercy the throne will be established; and One will sit on it in truth, in the tabernacle of David, judging and seeking justice and hastening righteousness."

      Let MY OUTCASTS dwell WITH you, O Moab...

      This is a sudden and curious change of focus.

      In Isaiah 16:3, Judah was counseled to receive the outcasts of Moab.
      Now, Moab is asked to receive the outcasts of Judah.

      Bultema & other Bible scholars thinks that Isaiah 16:4-5 is an END-TIMES prophecy of how Moab will be a place of refuge for Jews escaping the FURY of the Antichrist after the abomination of desolation.

      AND REVELATION 12:6 & 13-14 CONFIRMS THIS.

      Israel, fleeing from the fury of the Antichrist, will find refuge in places like Moab. They will be protected from the face of the spoiler until devastation ceases and the oppressors are consumed out of the land.

      AND IN THOSE END TIMES, WE KNOW the throne of the Messiah will be established, and the Messiah Himself will sit on the throne: One will sit on it in truth, in the tabernacle of David. His reign will be wonderful, judging and seeking justice and hastening righteousness.

      Verses 6-8 tells us the pain in Moab at the judgment of God.

      "We have heard of the pride of Moab; he is very proud; of his haughtiness and his pride and his wrath; but his lies shall not be so. Therefore Moab shall wail for Moab; everyone shall wail. For the foundations of Kir Hareseth you shall mourn; surely they are stricken. For the fields of Heshbon languish, and the vine of Sibmah; the lords of the nations have broken down its choice plants, which have reached to Jazer and wandered through the wilderness. Her branches are stretched out, they are gone over the sea."

      We have heard of the pride of Moab..

      DID YOU KNOW...RIGHT HERE IS THE ONLY PLACE WHERE THE SIN OF MOAB IS DETAILED?

      It is significant that Moab's SIN WAS PRIDE, because they were a fairly small and insignificant nation. We can easily understand how the empires of Babylon or Assyria might fall through pride, but we may be slower to see pride in smaller things. But the small can be just as consumed with pride as the great, AMEN?

      AND WE NEED TO REMEMBER, GREAT OR SMALL, OUR TRIUNE GOD SEES ALL, KNOWS ALL, AND FAIRLY AND JUSTLY JUDGES THE HEART OF MAN, GREAT AND SMALL, AMEN?

      AS MY NATIVE AMERICAN GRANDMOTHER TOLD ME, PRIDE IS AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY DESTROYER.

      This PRIDE OF MOAB is also referred to in the prophecy of judgment found in Jeremiah 48:1-13. God would judge the proud nation, so that Moab shall wail for Moab. The Moabites took great pride in their vineyards, but God used the lords of the nations to break them down, and to destroy everything Moab took pride in.

      BULTEMA says of MOAB history..."Even though Moab had been advised to seek help from Zion's King, ISAIAH WAS SHOWN at the same time the futility of this advice on account of Moab's pride. Whenever pride is not broken by humility, it will have to be broken by justice."

      Verses 9-12 tells us of Isaiah's sorrow of heart FOR Moab.

      "Therefore I will bewail the vine of Sibmah, with the weeping of Jazer; I will drench you with my tears, O Heshbon and Elealeh; for battle cries have fallen over your summer fruits and your harvest. Gladness is taken away, and joy from the plentiful field; in the vineyards there will be no singing, nor will there be shouting; no treaders will tread out wine in the presses; I have made their shouting cease. Therefore my heart shall resound like a harp for Moab, and my inner being for Kir Heres. And it shall come to pass, when it is seen that Moab is weary on the high place, that he will come to his sanctuary to pray; but he will not prevail."

      I will bewail… I will drench you with my tears...As Isaiah prophesied of the judgment coming upon Moab, he WAS NOT happy. He was not pleased that judgment was coming upon a rival nation. As far as he was concerned, Gladness is taken away, and joy from the plentiful field. In fact, Isaiah would not even let others be happy at a time like this: I have made their shouting cease. He hurts so badly for Moab that he says, "my heart shall resound like a harp for Moab."

      At the same time, Isaiah KNOWS that Moab is looking in the WRONG PLACE for answers: When it is seen that Moab is weary on the high place, that he will come to his sanctuary and pray; but he will not prevail. Isaiah knew the pain of seeing calamity come, and watching people turn to the wrong places in the midst of the destruction.

      WHEN JUDGMENT CAME...THEY DID NOT TURN AND RUN TO ALMIGHTY GOD, BUT TO THEIR PAGAN GODS FOR HELP AND PROTECTION.

      AND WE KNOW THIS WAS THE SAME ATTITUDE JESUS HAD WHEN HE WEPT FOR JERUSALEM...

      MATTHEW 23:37-39 says, "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! See! Your house is left to you desolate; for I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say, "Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!"

      When Jesus saw the desolation to come upon the city that rejected Him, He did NOT rejoice. Jesus also knew that in the midst of their calamity, they would turn to THEMSELVES instead of the LORD.

      Verses 13-14 tells us THREE YEARS until judgment comes on Moab.

      "This is the word which the LORD has spoken concerning Moab since that time. But now the LORD has spoken, saying, "Within three years, as the years of a hired man, the glory of Moab will be despised with all that great multitude, and the remnant will be very small and feeble."

      Within three years...Isaiah, speaking for the LORD, announces that judgment will come upon Moab in this time period. The judgment will humble Moab: The glory of Moab will be despised.

      WOLF tells us,"Apparently King Sargon of Assyria conducted a major operation against the Arabians in 715 B.C., and he may have devastated Moab en route to encountering those tribes."

      Why did God announce the time frame for His judgment?

      COMPASSION, GRACE, AND MERCY OF OUR GOD.

      It was a warning to Moab AND an invitation for their humble repentance. (it wasn't unthinkable that this prophecy would get to the Moabites somehow).

      It was a lesson for God's people on how the LORD judges the proud. Finally, it assured God's people that the LORD would deal with other, worse, nations as He also dealt with Israel.

      AND IT SHOWS US THAT THE LORD'S HAND IS ALWAYS OUT-STRETCHED TO FORGIVE, TO SHOW MERCY UPON THOSE WHO HUMBLE THEMSELVES, REPENT, AND RUN TO HIM...

      THERE IS A POPULAR SONG...WHOSE WORDS ARE SO APPROPRIATE THEN AND NOW....

      TAKE THIS WORLD BUT GIVE ME JESUS!

      NO MATTER WHO WE ARE, WHERE WE ARE, WHAT OUR SKIN COLOR, OUR BLOODLINE, OUR SOCIAL AND/OR POLITICAL STATUS, OUR WEALTH, OR OUR POVERTY...

      JESUS SAYS COME..
      JESUS SAYS CALL UPON MY NAME, I WILL HEAR AND I WILL SAVE YOU.

      JESUS HEART AND HAND IS ALWAYS OUT-STRETCHED IN INVITATION OF LOVE, GRACE, MERCY, FORGIVENESS, AND SALVATION...

      CALL ON JESUS WHILE YOU MAY!

    • July 6, 2016 2:45 AM EDT
    • ISAIAH 17


      AS I SAID PREVIOUSLY, Isaiah 13 began a section ending at Isaiah 23:18 where GOD GIVES ISAIAH prophesies against the nations. It is fitting for judgment to begin at the house of God, so the LORD has first spoken to Israel and Judah. But now, the LORD speaks against THE NATIONS.


      GOD'S JUDGMENT TO COME on SYRIA & ISRAEL.


      ISAIAH 17 OPENS WITH....
      The Burden Against Syria and Israel & GOD'S prophecy of doom upon Syria and Israel.


      Verses 1-6 tells us The LORD speaks to Damascus and Ephraim.


      "The burden against Damascus. "Behold, Damascus will cease from being a city, and it will be a ruinous heap. The cities of Aroer are forsaken; they will be for flocks which lie down, and no one will make them afraid. The fortress also will cease from Ephraim, the kingdom from Damascus, and the remnant of Syria; they will be as the glory of the children of Israel," says the LORD of hosts. "In that day it shall come to pass that the glory of Jacob will wane, and the fatness of his flesh grow lean. It shall be as when the harvester gathers the grain, and reaps the heads with his arm; It shall be as he who gathers heads of grain In the Valley of Rephaim. Yet gleaning grapes will be left in it, like the shaking of an olive tree, two or three olives at the top of the uppermost bough, four or five in its most fruitful branches," says the LORD God of Israel."

      A BIT OF HISTORY....

      DID YOU KNOW Damascus WAS ONE OF THE GREAT CITIES of the ancient world, AND THE CAPITAL of the ancient nation of Syria. Syria is positioned to the immediate north-east of Israel, and the NORTHERN tribes OF ISRAEL, around the Sea of Galilee, had constant contact and interaction with Syria.

      Behold, Damascus WILL CEASE from being a city, and it will be an RUINOUS heap...Damascus was ALSO ONE OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL cities of the ancient world, but the coming Assyrian judgment would reduce it to a heap of ruins.

      The fortress WILL ALSO CEASE from Ephraim...As is often the case, the northern kingdom of Israel is referred to by its dominate tribe, Ephraim.

      AND SINCE WE HAVE STUDIED ALL OF GENESIS, WE KNOW THAT EPHRAIM WAS ONE OF THE TWO SONS OF JOSEPH, ONE OF THE SONS OF JACOB & RACHEL, AND THE SAME JOSEPH AND HIS COAT OF MANY COLORS!

      At this time, ISRAEL WAS DIVIDED.

      THE SOUTHERN TRIBES/KINGDOM OF ISRAEL WAS CALLED JUDAH.
      AND THE NORTHERN TRIBES/KINGDOM CALLED Israel/EPHRAIM.

      AND THIS TELLS US THAT Syria were closely aligned WITH EPHRAIM/ISRAEL AND against Judah.

      Since they are such close friends, God will announce His judgment against Ephraim, against Israel, at the same time He speaks to Syria!

      AND 2 Kings 15:29 and 16:9 describe the fulfillment of this prophecy when ASSYRIA DESTROYED THE NORTHERN KINGDOM & TOOK THEM ALL CAPTIVE BACK TO ASSYRIA.

      AND INTERESTINGLY ENOUGH, TODAY, Israel's MODERN DAY interaction with Syria is interesting, and a potential hot-spot for future conflict.

      WHAT DO I MEAN?

      When Syria occupied the Golan Heights, a strategically crucial high plateau above the whole region of Galilee, Israel was under constant threat of invasion and shelling from Syrian placements on the Golan. But when Syria eventually made a full on invasion of Israel from the Golan, Israel miraculously beat them back and captured the Golan Heights.


      Now, Syria insists that this strategically crucial region is theirs and must be given back. The Israelis are adamant that they will NEVER give back land that belongs to them, and is necessary for their security.


      In the meantime, Syria fights Israel through terrorism and their support of militia groups in Lebanon. The dream of a "Greater Syria," encompassing Syria, Lebanon, and parts of northern Israel is a powerful influence in the Syrian leadership.

      SO AS WITH MOST OF ISAIAH, THERE IS A NEAR AND FAR FULFILLMENT OF THIS JUDGMENT, AMEN?

      Verses 7-9 tells us the HUMBLE response to the judgment of the LORD.

      "In that day a man will look to his Maker, and his eyes will have respect for the Holy One of Israel. He will not look to the altars, the work of his hands; he will not respect what his fingers have made, nor the wooden images nor the incense altars. In that day his strong cities will be as a forsaken bough and an uppermost branch, which they left because of the children of Israel; and there will be desolation."

      In that day a man will look to his Maker, and his eyes will have respect for the Holy One of Israel...In the midst of such severe judgment, some will respond as they should, with humble respect for God.

      He will not look to the altars, the work of his hands...One of God's purposes in judgment is to turn our focus away from our idols and the things we have trusted in instead of Him. This speaks of this purpose being fulfilled.

      His strong cities will be as a forsaken bough...In judgment, God would strip away from Israel every wrong thing they might have trusted in - pagan altars, wooden images, incense altars, people, leaders, and even their strong cities would give no protection. Their only hope was in the LORD.


      Verses 10-11 tells us God's judgment will bring man's work to nothing.

      "Because you have forgotten the God of your salvation, and have not been mindful of the Rock of your stronghold, therefore you will plant pleasant plants and set out foreign seedlings; in the day you will make your plant to grow, and in the morning you will make your seed to flourish; but the harvest will be a heap of ruins in the day of grief and desperate sorrow."

      You will plant pleasant plants …you will make your seed to flourish; but the harvest will be a HEAP OF RUINS. One aspect of the LORD's judgment against Israel will be to bring their hard work to nothing. They will work hard to plant and grow crops (both literally and figuratively), but the harvest will be a heap of ruins.

      This can be one of the most devastating aspects of the LORD's judgment.

      HAGGAI 1:6 speaks of this work of the LORD..."You have sown much, and bring in little; you eat, but do not have enough; you drink, but you are not filled with drink; you clothe yourselves, but no one is warm; and he who earns wages, earns wages to put into a bag with holes."

      LUKE 5:1-10, where Jesus tells us, How much better it is to be listening to Jesus, and to have our service directed and blessed BY HIM.


      Why did the LORD bring this judgment on Israel?

      Because you have forgotten the God of your salvation.

      SOME HAVE SAID...this does not seem like a "GREAT" sin.

      After all, why does God need us to remember Him? Why can't we just leave Him alone, and He leave us alone?

      IN MY LIFE, I HAVE HAD MANY, WHAT I CALL, CLOSE CALLS WITH DEATH, DOOM, AND DISASTER...AND INSTANTLY THANKED JESUS FOR SPARING ME, PROTECTING ME, AND KEEPING ME FROM HARM...THAT IS JUSTTTT THOSE THINGS IN THE NATURAL THAT WE CAN SEE A NANOSECOND BEFORE THEY HAPPEN.

      HOW MUCH CLOSER WOULD WE STAY TO JESUS IF WE REMEMBERED THE SPIRITUAL PLANE, COULD SEE INTO THE SPIRITUAL PLANE, WHERE THE DEMONS PLOT AND PLAN, AND IF WE COULD SEE INTO THE HEART OF MAN, THE WORLD, AND SATAN, AND KNOWWWWWWWWW HOW MANY TIMES IN ONE DAY THAT JESUS DEFENDS AND PROTECTS AND SHIELDS US FROM DESTRUCTION?!

      WE NEED TO STAY CLOSE TO THE ONLYYYYYYY ONE, WHO SEES ALL, READS ALL HEARTS AND MINDS, AND KNOWSSS ALL PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE... THE ONLYYYYYY ONE, WHO CAN NOT BE CAUGHT OFF GUARD...THE ONLY ONE WHO CAN NOTTTTTT BE TRICKED, DECEIVED, OR MISLED, AMEN?!?!

      It is a sin to forget the God of your salvation because He created you, and because He is the God of your salvation.

      Satan does not need to make us bank robbers or murderers to destroy us.

      It is quite enough to simply make us FORGET.

      WE SEE MANY THAT HAVE THAT MOMENT IN TIME, WHEN THEIR HEARTS ARE TENDER, THEY FEEL THE CALL AND CONVICTION OF JESUS CALLING THEM. THEY CHOOSE JESUS IN THAT MOMENT. THEY REPENT, INVITE HIM INTO THEIR HEART AND LIFE TO BE THEIR LORD, SAVIOR, MASTER, AND FRIEND. THEY BEGIN TO SEEK JESUS, THROUGH HIS WORD, IN PRAYER, AND STAYING CLOSE TO JESUS...TRUSTING IN HIM.

      AND THEN LITTLE BY LITTLE, DAY BY DAY, THE WORLD INTRUDES, THE BUSY RAT RACE OF LIFE, JOB, FAMILY PRESS IN MORE AND MORE AND THE TIME IN PRAYER, BIBLE READING, SEEKING JESUS IN ALL THINGS....WANS...

      AND BEFORE YOU KNOW IT....JESUS HAS GONE FROM THE DRIVER'S SEAT, TO RIDING SHOT GUN, THEN TO THE BACK SEAT, AND THEN PUT IN THE TRUNK....LIKE AN EMERGENCY ONLY FIRST AID KIT, OR SPARE TIRE, ONLY TO BE REMEMBERED AND REACHED FOR IN TIMES OF TRIAL, CRISIS, AND FEAR.

      SATAN AND THE WORLD PULLS US AWAY, CAUSES US TO FORGET AND THEN NEGLECT THE ONE ON ONE TIME WITH JESUS. THE ONE ON ONE RELATIONSHIP AND COMMUNICATION WITH JESUS...

      We ALL MAKE EXCUSES, CHOICES, DECISIONS, AND SOME OF THEM SEEM LEGITIMATE...IT HAS BEEN A LONG DAY, I AM MENTALLY, PHYSICALLY, AND EMOTIONALLY EXHAUSTED. JESUS UNDERSTANDS...TOMORROW I WILL SPEND TIME WITH JESUS...TOMORROW I WILL PRAY...TOMORROW I WILL READ HIS WORD...

      TOMORROW I WILL...

      TOMORROW I WILL...

      BUT TOMORROW COMES...AND ITS NEW SET OF CHALLENGES, TRIALS, SCHEDULE CHANGES, & UNEXPECTEDS...AND WE SAY,

      LATER TODAY I WILL ...

      TONIGHT I WILL...

      OR WORSE...AGAIN....TOMORROW I WILL.

      AS CHRISTIANS, WE FORGET THAT THE WORLD AND Satan DOES NOT care much about how he does it, or what excuse we use, he is just pleased that we FORGET THE GOD OF OUR SALVATION, AMEN?

      God ALSO PROMISES HE will destroy the nation that BRINGS the doom upon Syria and Israel.

      Verses 12-13a tells us of the rush of the nations against Syria and Israel.

      "Woe to the multitude of many people who make a noise like the roar of the seas, and to the rushing of nations that make a rushing like the rushing of mighty waters! The nations will rush like the rushing of many waters."

      AND WE KNOW THAT WHENEVER WE SEE JESUS OR ALMIGHTY GOD SAY....((((WOE))))...IT IS HIS WARNING OF DOOM TO COME.

      The nations will rush like the rushing of many waters...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      God will use other nations to bring judgment against Syria and Israel. They will come against them like a flash flood that can't be stopped.

      Verses 13b-14 tells us God's judgment against the nations that rush against Israel.

      "But God will rebuke them and they will flee far away, and be chased like the chaff of the mountains before the wind, like a rolling thing before the whirlwind. Then behold, at eventide, trouble! And before the morning, he is no more. This is the portion of those who plunder us, and the lot of those who rob us."

      When God ALLOWS the rush of nations AGAINST Israel, it DOES NOT mean that the nations He uses to judge will be walking right with Him and exempt from judgment. Instead, God will rebuke them and they will flee far away. God can use one sinner to judge another, and then judge the sinner He just used!

      This is a comforting principle...

      WHY?

      Even in the midst of judgment, God shows mercy. As bad as it was going to be for Israel, it could have been worse. Instead, God will allow it for a time, then He would rebuke those attacking Israel. Israel was not at the mercy of circumstances or their enemies; they were at the mercy of God.


      AND WE NEED TO REMEMBER GOD SPOKE TO THEIR LEADERS, TO THE PEOPLE THROUGH HIS PROPHETS...HE SPOKE, HE WARNED, HE REMINDED OVER AND OVER AGAIN....BUT THE PEOPLE, THE KINGS, THE CIVIC & RELIGIOUS LEADERS OF THE TIME...REFUSED TO LISTEN, REFUSED TO HEAR, REFUSED TO BELIEVE, AND REFUSED TO REPENT, TURN TO THEIR GOD, AND TRUST HIM AND HIM ALONE TO PROVIDE, LEAD, GUIDE, AND PROTECT...FOR HUNDREDS OF YEARS....BEFORE THEIR JUDGMENT CAME.


      AS I HAVE SAID BEFORE, AS A PARENT AND GRANDPARENT, WHO THINKS OF MYSELF AS BEING FAIRLY PATIENT, I HAVE LEARNED JUST HOW PATIENT, LOVING, LONG-SUFFERING OUR TRIUNE GOD IS...


      CAN ANY OF US IMAGINE...SAYING DANGER DANGER DANGER!!!! STOP STOP STOP STOP!!!! COME BACK HERE COME BACK HERE!!! DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT!!!! OBEY ME OBEY ME!!! TRUST ME!!! FOR HUNDREDS OF YEARS BEFORE WE PUNISHED OUR KIDS FOR EMOTIONALLY, PHYSICALLY, AND SPIRITUALLY DANGEROUS BEHAVIORS???


      SO THE MORE WE STUDY THE BIBLE, THE MORE WE COME TO KNOW THE GREAT I AM...THE GOD WHO NEVER CHANGES. THE GOD WHO NEVER LIES...THE GOD OF AMAZING GRACE, MERCY, LOVE AND PATIENCE. OUR PRECIOUS JESUS CHRIST.

      SO WHEN THE LOST, THE BLIND, THE ARROGANT CRITICS AND DEBATERS COME AND SAY...YOUR GOD IS RUTHLESS, MERCILESS, HE ZAPS PEOPLE LEFT AND RIGHT ON A WHIM. HE DESTROYED THE WHOLE EARTH, KILLING ALL OF 7 BILLION PEOPLE, AND SPARED ONLY 8...

      WE KNOW DURING THE TIME OF THE FLOOD, THAT OUR ALMIGHTY GOD SPOKE, WARNED, PLEADED, URGED FOR ALMOST 1000 YEARS...BEFORE JUDGMENT CAME.

      AND WE KNOW WITH SODOM AND GOMORRAH, THAT GOD SO LOVED, THAT HE TOLD ABRAHAM, IF I CAN FIND 10 RIGHTEOUS IN THE CITIES AND SURROUNDING TOWNS, WHICH EQUALED MILLIONS OF PEOPLE...IF I CAN FIND 10, I WILL SPARE THEM ALL...BUT ONLY LOT, HIS WIFE, AND TWO DAUGHTERS WERE FOUND WORTHY TO BE SPARED.

      SO WE SERVE AN AMAZINGLY PATIENT, LOVING, KIND, MERCIFUL AND LONG-SUFFERING JESUS CHRIST.

      NO MATTER WHAT THE DAY BRINGS...NO MATTER THE DARK CLOUDS SEEMINGLY ON OUR HORIZONS...STAY CLOSE TO JESUS CHRIST, FIRST AND FOREMOST...HE AND HE ALONE IS ABLE...IF WE WILL CALL UPON HIS NAME, IF WE WILL SEEK HIM, IF WE WILL TRUST HIM....THEN NO POWER ON EARTH OR IN HELL CAN BREAK OR STOP OR ALTER THE PLANS, PROTECTIONS, DIRECTIONS, AND PROVISIONS JESUS HAS FOR US.

      COME WHAT MAY....ALWAYS AND ONLY TRUST IN JESUS.
      HE HAS NEVER AND WILL NEVER FAIL US!

    • July 6, 2016 2:44 AM EDT
    • ISAIAH 18

      OPENS WITH Concerning Ethiopia

      Verses 1-2 tell us GOD says, No need to make an alliance with Ethiopia.

      "Woe to the land shadowed with buzzing wings, which is beyond the rivers of Ethiopia, which sends ambassadors by sea, even in vessels of reed on the waters, saying, "Go, swift messengers, to a nation tall and smooth of skin, to a people terrible from their beginning onward, a nation powerful and treading down, whose land the rivers divide."

      WOE TO THE LAND OF BUZZING WINGS ON THE NILE, WE KNOW THIS REFERS TO EGYPT AND WE CERTAINLY KNOW WHY GOD SAYS THIS....REMEMBER WHAT EGYPT SOUGHT TO DO TO THE ISRAELITES AND WHAT 10 PLAGUES THE LORD BROUGHT UPON THEM?

      Which is BEYOND the rivers of Ethiopia...In the days of Isaiah, Ethiopia was a MAJOR world power, ruling Egypt and a chief RIVAL to Assyria. Since Judah was caught in the middle between this conflict, it might make sense for Judah to align herself with Ethiopia against Assyria.

      A BIT OF HISTORY...In 715 B.C. an Ethiopian named Shabako gained control of Egypt as founder of the twenty-fifth dynasty. Ethiopian domination continued until 633 B.C. when a native Egyptian regained the throne.

      IN THAT TIME, ETHIOPIA INCLUDED the Sudan and Somalia. ETHIOPIA IS NOT THAT LARGE TODAY.

      Shadowed with buzzing wings...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      THEN AND NOW...The Nile Valley is famous for its many whirring insects.

      Which sends ambassadors by sea...Ethiopian ambassadors who come to make an alliance with Judah and the other nations of the region AGAINST Assyria.

      Go, swift messengers, to a nation tall and smooth of skin...As the Ethiopian ambassadors invite Judah to rebel against the Assyrians, they ask Judah to send swift messengers back to Ethiopia.

      IN THAT DAY..."to a nation tall and smooth of skin" … MEANT A POWERFUL NATION. The Ethiopians HOPED to hear that Judah has rebelled against Assyria and aligned itself with Ethiopia and Egypt.

      Verses 3-6 tells us The LORD rejects the offer of help from the Ethiopians.

      "All inhabitants of the world and dwellers on the earth: When he lifts up a banner on the mountains, you see it; and when he blows a trumpet, you hear it. For so the LORD said to me, "I will take My rest, and I will look from My dwelling place like clear heat in sunshine, like a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest." For before the harvest, when the bud is perfect and the sour grape is ripening in the flower, He will both cut off the sprigs with pruning hooks and take away and cut down the branches. They will be left together for the mountain birds of prey and for the beasts of the earth; the birds of prey will summer on them, and all the beasts of the earth will winter on them."

      The LORD said to me, "I will take My rest"...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      The LORD God rejects the alliance with Ethiopia, because He is more than able to deal with the Assyrians Himself. He can take His rest without the help of the Ethiopians. If God wanted to muster an army against Assyria, He would have raised a banner or sounded a trumpet. He is fully able to do it, and would do it when the time is right.

      Significantly, YOU WILL NOTICE THERE IS NO REBUKE OR JUDGMENT AGAINST ETHIOPIA IN THIS CHAPTER.

      WHY?

      It wasn't as if God was going to judge Ethiopia for their offer of an alliance. Perhaps the idea is that it is a well intentioned but unnecessary offer. Instead, Judah was to trust in the LORD!

      He will both cut off the sprigs with pruning hooks and take away and cut the branches...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      THE LORD GOD IS TELLING JUDAH THAT HE IS MORE THAN ABLE TO God "prune" Assyria all by Himself. AND HE PROMISES HE WILL DESTROY the Assyrian army so completely that they will be left together for the mountain birds of prey.


      Verse 7 tells us A present will be brought to the LORD of hosts: Isaiah announces a day when Ethiopians will come and worship the LORD, and bring gifts to Him to the place of the name of the LORD of hosts, to Mount Zion.

      "In that time a present will be brought to the LORD of hosts from a people tall and smooth of skin, and from a people terrible from their beginning onward, a nation powerful and treading down, whose land the rivers divide; to the place of the name of the LORD of hosts, to Mount Zion."

      Instead of Israelite messengers bringing news to Ethiopia of an alliance against the Assyria, THE LORD TELLS ISAIAH the day will come when Ethiopians will come and worship at Mount Zion.

      This WAS fulfilled in NEAR TIME close to Isaiah's time.

      But we ALSO know it was fulfilled FOR THE ETHIOPIAN PEOPLE, in Acts 8:26-40.

      REMEMBER when an Ethiopian came to worship the LORD at Jerusalem, and then trusted in Jesus at the preaching of Philip.

      ACTS 8:26-40

      "Now an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying, "Arise and go toward the south along the road which goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza." This is desert. So he arose and went. And behold, a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace the queen of the Ethiopians, who had charge of all her treasury, and had come to Jerusalem to worship, was returning. And sitting in his chariot, he was reading Isaiah the prophet. Then the Spirit said to Philip, "Go near and overtake this chariot."

      DID YOU CATCH THAT?
      NOT ((THE ANGEL)) OF THE LORD, BUT ((AN ANGEL)) OF THE LORD, SO WE KNOW IT WAS NOT JESUS SENT TO PHILIP WITH A MESSAGE FROM JESUS.

      THEN THE SPIRIT, WE KNOW OUR COMFORTER, OUR HOLY SPIRIT LIVING WITHIN ALL THOSE WHO CALL JESUS CHRIST LORD, MASTER, SAVIOR AND FRIEND SPOKE TO PHILIP FROM WITHIN.

      We might have thought that Philip would have objected to leaving the great success of the work in Samaria to go out to the desolate desert, but God had a plan in it all. Philip MAY HAVE WONDERED, BUT HE WAS submissive to God's plan.

      AND DID YOU KNOW....This is desert means that Philip's errand was foolish from man's perspective, but wise in God. What could be more foolish than to leave a place of prospering ministry and go to a desert road?

      AND INTERESTINGLY ENOUGH....IN THAT DAY, There were TWO ROADS from Jerusalem to Gaza, and THE LORD commands Philip to take the one that was SELDOM used.

      AND THE BIBLE SHOWS US AND TEACHES US...If JESUS CHRIST is hindered, it is because some Christian is not willing to go!, AMEN?

      A man of Ethiopia … had come to Jerusalem to worship: On the desert road, Philip encountered an Ethiopian proselyte to Judaism returning from Jerusalem - & HE WAS READING THE BOOK OF ISAIAH!

      Of great authority...The Ethiopian was undoubtedly a successful man. Yet his success obviously didn't answer all the questions in his life. He knew he needed some real spiritual answers in his life, and he was seeking God.

      WHO IS CANDACE?
      Candace was THE TITLE for certain female royalty in Ethiopia.

      He was reading Isaiah the prophet...The Ethiopian was hungry for God's Word. Typically, IN THAT DAY, ONE SCROLL FOR ONE PERSON COST A FORTUNE, SO RARE & EXPENSIVE WERE THEY, BUT THE ETHIOPIAN DID NOT COUNT THE COST IN SEEKING THE LORD, AMEN?

      Verses 30-35 tells us Philip preaches Jesus to the Ethiopian.

      "So Philip ran to him, and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah, and said, "Do you understand what you are reading?" And he said, "How can I, unless someone guides me?" And he asked Philip to come up and sit with him. The place in the Scripture which he read was this: "He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and as a lamb before its shearer is silent, so He opened not His mouth. In His humiliation His justice was taken away, and who will declare His generation? For His life is taken from the earth." So the eunuch answered Philip and said, "I ask you, of whom does the prophet say this, of himself or of some other man?" Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him."

      DID YOU CATCH THAT....ISAIAH THE PROPHET AND HIS WORDS CONFIRMED HERE IN THE NEW TESTAMENT. THE ETHIOPIAN WAS READING ISAIAH, AND THROUGH ISAIAH PHILIP PREACHED TO HIM ABOUT JESUS. WHAT MORE CONFIRMATION DO WE NEED THAT ISAIAH WAS A MAN OF GOD AND THAT HIS WORD COMES STRAIGHT FROM THE LORD, AMEN?

      The Spirit said to Philip: It took real boldness for Philip to go right up to the Ethiopian's chariot and speak to him, but that is what the Holy Spirit told him to do.

      The Ethiopian was a rich man, a man of power, and at least in some way a celebrity. Yet Philip knew he needed Jesus just a much as anyone else.

      Why do we fear telling "important" people about Jesus?

      We often shrink back from speaking boldly about Jesus, and the world lets us know we shouldn't talk about such things. But does the world shrink back from cramming its gospel down our throats? How many people are upset when all sorts of immorality and lies are forced upon believers? We should be just as bold to the world about Jesus as world is bold to us about sin AMEN?

      Heard him reading the prophet Isaiah: Philip knew at that moment that THE LORD had given him an open door, a prepared heart. Plainly, THE LORD had arranged this meeting between Philip and the Ethiopian; this is a glorious example of how THE LORD JESUS CAN AND WILL OPEN doors for evangelism.

      AND DID YOU CATCH THAT?

      GOD HAD ALREADY PREPARED THE HEART OF THE ETHIOPIAN, THEN HAD OPENED THE DOORS BEFOREEEEEEE HE directed Philip TO TAKE THE DESERT ROAD.

      RIGHT HERE, WE CAN BE REASSURED AND KNOW THAT IF JESUS SENDS US....HE HAS ALREADY PREPARED THE WAY FOR US TO ACCOMPLISH IT, AMEN?

      AND ONE OF OUR GREATEST JOBS IN THIS LIFE, IS TO SHINE AND SHOW AND SHARE JESUS....SO WE ARE TO PRAY FOR OPEN DOORS!

      Then, having prayed for open doors, we must keep alert to the opportunities JESUS WILL BRING TO US OR SEND US TOO, AMEN?

      Philip was effective as an evangelist because he knew how to flow with what the Holy Spirit wanted to do. YOU NOTICE, HE WENT TO HIM, ASKED HIM WHAT HE WAS READING, AND THEN ASKED IF HE UNDERSTOOD WHAT HE WAS READING, FIRST. THEN HE OPENED HIS MOUTH AND WAS led by the Spirit, not by his own whims and feelings TO GIVE THE ETHIOPIAN THE ANSWERS HE SOUGHT.

      AND 1 PETER 3:15 CONFIRMS THIS, "But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear."

      Heard him reading...

      DID YOU KNOW, In the ancient world, it was common to read aloud. Philip knew what the Ethiopian was reading by listening as he read.

      Do you understand what you are reading?

      It was good for the Ethiopian to be reading the Bible, but unless understanding was brought to him, there would be little benefit from his reading. But God had brought someone (Philip) to bring understanding.

      THAT IS WHY WE SHOULD ASK JESUS FOR HIS WISDOM AND DISCERNMENT AND UNDERSTANDING BEFORE WE READ THE BIBLE.

      BUT THIS ALSO CONFIRMS WHAT HAS BEEN TOLD TO MANY PEOPLE, IF YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND ....ASK! THE ONLY STUPID QUESTION IS THE UNASKED ONE, AMEN?

      How can I, unless someone guides me? This is the proper question of anyone who wants to understand the Bible. We should never feel bad if we need to be taught before we can understand many things.

      SEEKING AND ASKING...IS THE BEGINNING OF WISDOM, IT IS ALSO A TANGIBLE SIGN OF EARNESTNESS AND HUMILITY. NO ONE KNOWS AND UNDERSTANDS ALL THINGS IN THIS LIFE NOR IN THE BIBLE, BUT WE CANNNNNNN ASK AND SHOULDDDDDDD ASK IT OF SOMEONE WHO KNOWS AND LOVES JESUS AND HIS WORD, AMEN?

      JESUS TELLS US HIMSELF, KEEP SEEKING, KEEP ASKING, KEEP KNOCKING....AMEN?

      It is glorious when we come to understand the great truths of Scripture on our own, but God always has a place and a purpose for teachers in the body of Christ.

      AND WHEN WE HEAR, CONFIRM IT TO BE OF OUR JESUS, THEN WE ARE TO SHARE IT...SOMEONE ELSE MAY BE LOOKING AND SEEKING TOO, AMEN?

      THE QUESTION HAS BEEN ASKED OFTEN?
      How can I get more understanding from MY own time in the Bible?
      To get anything from our Bibles, we must DIVE IN.

      ONE BIBLE PROFESSOR ASKED OF HIS CLASS...ARE YOU A BUTTERFLY OR A BEE FOR JESUS AND HIS WORD?

      MOST LIKED THE BUTTERFLY BETTER THAN THE BEE...

      SO HE SAID...Butterflies wander over the flowers in the garden and accomplish nothing, but bees plunge right down into the flower, and carry away essential food, for themselves, the hive, as well feeding and pollinating the other flowers. We won't get anything if we just hover over our Bibles; we have to dive right in.

      I ask you, of whom does the prophet say this, of himself or of some other man?

      HE WAS REFERRING TO Isaiah 53:7-8.

      AND TO UNDERSTAND HIS CONFUSION, WE NEED TO UNDERSTAND THE TIMES THEY LIVED IN.

      IN THAT DAY OF ISAIAH, the Jews of that day had different ways they interpreted the identity of this SUFFERING servant.

      Some thought THE SUFFERING SERVANT was the nation of Israel itself, as Israel had suffered greatly in wars, exile, and persecution.

      Some thought THE SUFFERING SERVANT was Isaiah writing about himself.

      Some thought THE SUFFERING SERVANT was the Messiah, but they thought this hard to accept, because they didn't want to think of THEIR MESSIAH TO COME TO SUFFER AT ALL.

      WE KNOW ISAIAH WAS TELLING US THAT JESUS CHRIST, OUR MESSIAH, WAS GOING TO BE THE SUFFERING SERVANT...AND HE WAS, AMEN?

      Beginning at THIS Scripture...
      Philip talked about more than JUST THIS PASSAGE from Isaiah, but this is where he started.
      WHY?
      He started at COMMON GROUND with the Ethiopian, but made his way to talking about Jesus. It was easy to talk about Jesus beginning at this Scripture, AMEN?

      Philip's effective preaching consisted in explaining WHO JESUS WAS (like a lamb … preached Jesus) and what He has done for us (He was led as a sheep to the slaughter). Explaining who Jesus is and what He has done for us is the essence of the gospel.

      Today, THE MEDIA IS FILLED WITH TOO MANY PREACHERS FOCUSING ON WHAT THE SAVED AND THE LOST MUST DO FORRRRRRRRR GOD FIRST!

      THEY FORGET THAT THE GOSPEL BEGINS WITH WHAT ALMIGHTY GOD HAS DONE FORRRRRRRRR USSSSSS IN AND THROUGH HIS PRECIOUS SON, JESUS CHRIST, AMEN?

      THAT IS JUST ANOTHER REASON, I SUGGEST THAT THE LOST AND THE SEEKING AND THE NEW BABIES IN CHRIST READ THE GOSPEL OF JOHN FIRST.
      WHY?

      JOHN GREW UP KNOWING JESUS, HE WAS RELATED TO JESUS, AND HE LOVED JESUS SO VERY MUCH, HE STAYED CLOSE TO JESUS, HE WAS LIKE A BELOVED PUPPY, LOVING ON JESUS, HE MADE JESUS LAUGH, HE TEASED JESUS, HE JUMPED IN AND JOINED JESUS PLAYING WITH THE CHILDREN THAT FLOCKED TO JESUS. HE TRUSTED HIM, HE NEVER BETRAYED HIM, AND HE NEVER WALKED AWAY FROM JESUS, BUT STUCK CLOSE TO HIM ALL OF HIS LIFE...HE STAYED WITH MARY, THE MOTHER OF JESUS, WHILE SHE STOOD AND WATCHED HER PRECIOUS FIRST BORN SON SUFFER AND DIE. AND JESUS LOVED AND TRUSTED WHOM I CALL LITTLE JOHN, A YOUNG MAN SO MUCH, THAT WITH HIS LAST BREATH, HE GAVE HIS MOTHER INTO JOHN'S KEEPING AND HE INTO HERS. JESUS KNEW JOHN WOULD LOVE AND CARE FOR MARY, MAKE HER LAUGH, TEASE HER, LOVE AND KISS ON HER, AND PROTECT HER ABOVE ALL OTHERS (HIS HALF SIBLINGS INCLUDED). AND HE KNEW THE STILL GROWING JOHN WHO HAD NO REAL MOTHER, NEEDED SWEET MARY TO LOVE AND LEAD AND COMFORT HIM TOO.

      THE GOSPEL OF JOHN SHOWS YOU THE MAN JESUS...THE HEART OF JESUS. THE KINDNESS OF JESUS... THE PATIENCE OF JESUS REGARDLESS WHAT HE FACED...ONCE YOU SEE JESUS CHRIST THROUGH THE EYES OF JOHN...YOUR HEART IS FOREVER CHANGED...AND ONCE YOU DO...THE THIRST TO KNOW THE RESTTTTTTT OF THE STORY GROWS IN YOU, AMEN?

      Verses 36-40 tell us the Ethiopian's response to the gospel and Philip's MYSTERIOUS departure.

      "Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, "See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?" Then Philip said, "If you believe with all your heart, you may." And he answered and said, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God." So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him. Now when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away, so that the eunuch saw him no more; and he went on his way rejoicing. But Philip was found at Azotus. And passing through, he preached in all the cities till he came to Caesarea."

      And the Eunuch said: The Ethiopian himself was ready to respond to the gospel. This was a work of the Holy Spirit, not a tribute to Philip's "salesmanship."

      YOU NOTICE PHILIP INSISTED that the Ethiopian believe with ALL HIS HEART before being baptized. In a nutshell, this describes how we should respond to the gospel: Believe with all [your] heart.

      AND REMEMBER THIS...IT IS NO BIG BREAK THROUGH NOR CONFESSION FOR SOMEONE TO SAY....

      OH YEAH....GOD....JESUS....YEAH I BELIEVE THEY EXIST, ARE REAL, AND LIVE OUT THERE SOMEWHERE.

      SATAN & ALL OF HIS DEMONS IN THE PIT OF HELL, KNOW THERE IS A TRIUNE GOD WITHOUT A SHADOW OF DOUBT.

      THEY HAVE BEEN FACE TO FACE WITH OUR TRIUNE GOD.

      SATAN AND HIS DEMONS HAVE WHAT IS CALLED...FAITH OF THE HEAD...THEY KNOW JESUS CHRIST, ALMIGHTY GOD, & THE HOLY SPIRIT ARE REAL. ARE TRIUNE, ARE CREATOR GOD, but THEY HATE THE TRUTH OF THEM IN THEIR HEARTS.

      AND THE SAME IS TRUE OF LOST MANKIND...THEY MAY KNOW IN THEIR HEADS...They may intellectually know that Jesus died for the sins of the world, but do we know in our hearts that He died to cleanse our sins?

      HEAD KNOWLEDGE AND ACCEPTANCE IS NOT ENOUGH, BECAUSE THEIR HEARTS ARE DEAD AND CLOSED AND RESISTANT TO THE TRUTH, AMEN?

      ALMIGHTY GOD WANTS THE TRUTH OF HIS PRECIOUS SON JESUS CHRIST AND WHAT HE DID FOR REJECTING MANKIND, THAT TRUTH NOT ONLY IN OUR HEADS, BUT ALSO IN OUR HEARTS, AMEN.

      THE ETHIOPIAN SAID...I BELIEVE that Jesus Christ is the Son of God... This confession of faith, taken in all that it means, is the essential belief FOR ANYONE who will come to God through the ONLY WAY, THE ONLY TRUTH, AND THE ONLY LIFE..which is JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF.

      ALMIGHTY GOD SAYS IF YOU BELIEVE IN ME, BUT REJECT MY SON, I WILL REJECT YOU. We must believe in the person of Jesus, in all that He is and has done as Christ. We must believe that He is the Divine Son, and that He is the Son of God sent from the Father to accomplish the salvation of all those who will believe with all their hearts, AMEN?

      See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?...This shows that the Ethiopian did in fact believe, and that he wanted to be baptized TO HONOR JESUS AND FOLLOW IN HIS FOOTSTEPS. BY ALSO BEING BAPTIZED. HE WANTED TO declare his belief..HE DID NOTTTT WANT TO WAIT.

      YOU NOTICE PHILIP DID NOT SAY, BUT FIRST, YOU HAVE TO ATTEND BAPTISM CLASSES, YOU HAVE TO COMPLETE A COURSE, YOU HAVE TO PASS THIS COURSE, THERE ARE RITUALS YOU MUST PERFORM FIRST, AND FULLY UNDERSTAND JESUS CHRIST AND WHAT BAPTISM IS BEFORE I CAN IN ALL GOOD CONSCIENCE BAPTIZE YOU.

      PHILIP SAID...LET'S GO! RIGHT HERE...RIGHT NOW!

      JESUS CHRIST IS SO PRECIOUS...SO EASY...THAT EVEN LITTLE CHILDREN GRASP IT...WHEN MAN, RELIGIONS, AND MAN-CREATED IDEOLOGIES STEP IN AND ADD QUANTIFIERS, KNOWINGLY OR NOT, THEY ARE DARING TO ENTER INTO TERRITORY THAT IS JESUS CHRIST ALONE.

      AND THINK ABOUT THIS AS WELL...WHO AMONG US REALLY KNEW AND UNDERSTOOD ALL THINGS THE BIBLE SHOWS US, TEACHES US...THE DAY WE ASKED JESUS CHRIST INTO OUR HEARTS AND LIVES?

      I PERSONALLY, AM NOW 58 YEARS OLD, AND EVERY SINGLE DAY, I LEARN SOMETHING PRECIOUS AND NEW AND PRICELESS ABOUT JESUS AND HIS WORD...I ASKED JESUS INTO MY HEART AND LIFE AND WAS BAPTIZED WHEN I WAS 9 YEARS OLD, AND 49 YEARS LATER, I LOVE JESUS MORE, ABSOLUTELY TRUE, BUT I STILL KNOW ONLY A THIMBLE FULL OF ALL OUR JESUS IS AND OF HIS WORD...I WILL NOT SEE CLEARLY, AND UNDERSTAND PERFECTLY, UNTIL I WALK INTO HEAVEN AND MEET OUR JESUS FACE TO FACE.

      SO REMEMBER A PASTOR, IS THE SHEPHERD, WHO DOES THE WILL OF JESUS, IF HIS HEAD AND HEART BELONG TO JESUS CHRIST. HE IS EXCITED FOR EVERY PERSON THAT COMES TO JESUS, PUBLICLY ACCEPTS HIM AS LORD, SAVIOR, AND FRIEND, AND ASKS TO BE BAPTIZED.

      HE SHOULD SAY...LETS GO...RIGHT HERE RIGHT NOW!!!!

      THE SHEPHERD'S DUTY, IS NOT TO STRIVE TO KNOW AND JUDGE THE HEART OF THOSE UNTO SALVATION, BUT TO DO THE WILL OF THE FATHER....AND BAPTIZE ALL THAT COME.

      JESUS SAYS...WHOSOEVER WILL...COME!

      JESUS CHRIST WILL DO THE REST AMEN!!!

      Went down into the water … when they came up out of the water...JUST AS JOHN THE BAPTIST, IMMERSED JESUS CHRIST COMPLETELY INTO AND UNDER THE RIVER JORDAN, SO TO DOES Philip immerse the Ethiopian in baptism. This was not sprinkling, but immersion.

      I MEAN THINK ABOUT IT, IF YOU WANT TO BE CLEAN FROM THE TOP OF YOUR HEAD TO YOUR FEET, YOU DO NOT SPRINKLE WATER ON YOUR HEAD...YOU DO NOT TAKE A BIRD BATH, YOU DIVE IN AND GET UNDERRRRRR THE WATER, AMEN?

      AND HERE WE SEE A GLIMPSE OF WHAT OUR LIVES WILL BE LIKE ONCE WE WHO LOVE JESUS CHRIST, RECEIVE OUR IMMORTAL BODIES TO MATCH OUR IMMORTAL SPIRITS WHAT WE WILL BE ABLE TO DO, WHEN WE RETURN WITH JESUS, AS HE RULES AND REIGNS OVER THE EARTH FOR 100O YEARS.

      WE WILL NOT NEED TRAINS, PLANES, OR CARS TO TRAVEL OVER THIS EARTH...IN A BLINK WE WILL GO FROM ONE PLACE TO THE NEXT!

      The Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away, so that the eunuch saw him no more … Philip was found at Azotus: Suddenly, the Spirit of the Lord carried Philip away, while the Ethiopian was still in the water where he was baptized! He was then "transported" supernaturally to the former Philistine city of Azotus (also known as Ashdod).

      DID YOU KNOW...IN A BLINK....PHILIP LEFT THE SELDOM USED ROAD TO JERUSALEM AND APPEARED IN ASHDOD, WHICH IS 34 MILES AWAY?

      HOW SUPER COOL WILL THAT BE. AMEN?

      This is a strange, perhaps unprecedented event in the Scriptures. But a similar thing happened when the disciples' boat came immediately to its destination (John 6:15-21), and a similar thing will also happen when the church is caught up together with Him at the rapture (1 Thessalonians 4:15-18).

      AND WE KNOW JESUS APPEARED AND THEN VANISHED FROM THE ROOMS WHERE THE DISCIPLES WERE HIDING, THEN APPEARED ON THE ROAD...SO ONE SWEET DAY...SO SHALL WE!!!

      He went on his way rejoicing...The joy of the Ethiopian, even after Philip's strange departure, shows that THE ETHIOPIAN'S faith was firmly rooted in JESUS CHRIST AND HIS WORD, not in Philip.

      WE HAVE ALL HAD PEOPLE ASK OF US, THOSE OF US WHO KNOW AND LOVE JESUS AND CALL HIM SAVIOR, LORD, AND FRIEND....SO WHAT HAVE YOU DONE FOR JESUS LATELY?

      HOW MANY HAVE BEEN SAVED THROUGH YOUR BIBLE STUDIES OR PRAYER MEETINGS OR YOUR WITNESSING...AND I ANSWER THEM HONESTLY...I HAVE NO IDEA...BUT THEN I DO NOT NEED TO KNOW...THAT IS NOT MY JOB...I CAN NOT SAVE ANYONE, ONLY JESUS CHRIST CAN. MY MISSION FROM JESUS IS SIMPLY TO TELL THEM, GIVE THEM JESUS WORDS, SHINE AND SHOW JESUS....THE REST IS ALL HIS JOB.

      AND MANY LOOK AT ME LIKE I AM CRAZY...OR ARE DISTURBED THAT I DO NOT KEEP A LOG BOOK...I JUST GRIN AND TELL THEM....JESUS CHRIST IS MY ACCOUNTANT, I TRUST IN HIS RECORD KEEPING OF MY LIFE, AMEN?

      BUT IT IS SAD, THAT THERE ARE THOSE CHRISTIANS WHO KEEP METICULOUS RECORDS, TODAY I WITNESSED TO 25 PEOPLE, 4 SAID THE SINNERS PRAYER, 2 WERE BAPTIZED, I PRAYED FOR 10, & THE REST WERE FOREVER CHANGED.

      THOSE WHO DO SO, FORGET THAT OUR JESUS CHRIST WHO KNOWS AND SEES AND READS ALL HEARTS AND LIVES....KEEPS PERFECT RECORDS...WE DO NOT HAVE TO COUNT THE COST. WE SHOULD NOTTTTTTTT FOCUS ON THE NUMBERS...JESUS ASKS US SIMPLY....FEED MY SHEEP...SHINE AND SHOW AND SHARE ME WITH THE LOST AND SEEKING...IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII WILL DO THE REST, AMEN?

      DID YOU KNOW...THE FUTURE IMPACT THAT ONE DAY OBEDIENCE OF PHILIP EARNED HEAVEN?

      FROM THAT ONE ETHIOPIAN EUNUCH HIGH GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL'S SALVATION ...a strong Ethiopian church ROSE UP IN THE NEXT FEW CENTURIES & the enduring Ethiopian church CONTINUES today.

      SO REMEMBER.....JESUS CHRIST HAS A PLAN. HE IS PATIENT. AND HE NEEDS ONLY ONE MAN, ONE WOMAN, ONE CHILD...WHO LOVES HIM, STUDIES HIS WORD, LISTENS TO HIS VOICE...AND THE IMPOSSIBLE IS POSSIBLE.

      SO THE NEXT TIME SOMEONE SAYS TO YOU....YOU ARE BUT ONE MAN, ONE WOMAN, ONE CHILD...WHAT CAN YOU POSSIBLY DO TO MAKE A REAL IMPACT ON THE WORLD FOR JESUS....

      HAVE THEM READ ISAIAH 18, THEN READ ACTS 8:26-40.

      AND IF JESUS SENDS YOU TO THE DESERT OR ONTO A ROAD SELDOM TRAVELED...THERE IS SOMEONE THERE WAITING FOR YOU TO GIVE THEM JESUS...

      ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE WHEN WE PLACE OUR TRUST, FAITH, BELIEF, AND HOPE IN JESUS CHRIST, HIS WORD, HIS PROMISES....

    • July 6, 2016 2:42 AM EDT
    • ISAIAH 19

      OPENS WITH GOD'S BURDEN AGAINST Egypt

      God PROMISES TO STRIKE EGYPT.

      Verses 1-4 tells us The LORD strikes Egypt by giving them over to civil war & submission to a cruel master.

      "The burden against Egypt. Behold, the LORD rides on a swift cloud, and will come into Egypt; the idols of Egypt will totter at His presence, and the heart of Egypt will melt in its midst. "I will set Egyptians against Egyptians; everyone will fight against his brother, and everyone against his neighbor, city against city, kingdom against kingdom. The spirit of Egypt will fail in its midst; I will destroy their counsel, and they will consult the idols and the charmers, the mediums and the sorcerers. And the Egyptians I will give into the hand of a cruel master, and a fierce king will rule over them," says the Lord, the LORD of hosts."

      The LORD rides on a swift cloud, and will come into Egypt...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      Egypt was one of the great powers of the ancient world, and being situated immediately to the south of Israel, it was an empire that Israel CONSTANTLY had to reckon with. Many times Egypt had been the ENEMY of Israel, at times Egypt had been a refuge for Israel, and sometimes Egypt offered a tempting but ungodly alliance to Israel. In this chapter, the LORD presents both a prophecy AGAINST AND FOR EGYPT.

      The idols of Egypt WILL TOTTER at His presence...Egypt HAS ALWAYS, THEN AND NOW, BEEN known for its worship of many, many different gods. Through His hand of judgment, the LORD will "knock over" these many different gods.

      BULTEMA, A BIBLICAL TIMES HISTORIAN, tell us..."In Isaiah's day there was NO OTHER NATION ON THIS EARTH that was so much in the GRIP of superstition and filthy idolatry as Egypt. Apes, cats, frogs, crocodiles, lizards - EVERYTHING BUT ALMIGHTY GOD was venerated by them."

      AND WE KNOW THAT VENERATE MEANS....AWE, RESPECT, WORSHIP & ADORE.

      At the time of the Exodus, when the Pharaoh of Egypt would not release the children of Israel from their captivity, the LORD ALSO MADE EGYPT'S IDOLS TOTTER AT HIS PRESENCE.

      REMEMBER FROM OUR STUDY....

      GOD DIRECTED EACH OF THE PLAGUES AGAINST THEIR "IDOLS/GODS".

      ALMIGHTY GOD knocked over...

      Their god Khnum, the guardian of the Nile.

      Their god Hapi, the spirit of the Nile.

      Their god Osiris (who had the Nile as his bloodstream), when the waters were turned to blood.

      Their goddess Heqt, the frog-goddess of fertility, with the plague of frogs.

      Their goddess Hathor, a cow-like mother goddess, with the plague on livestock.

      Their god Imhotep, the god of medicine, with the plague of boils.

      Their god Nut, the sky goddess, with the plague of hail.

      He knocked over the WHOLE SYSTEM OF EGYPTIAN WORSHIP IN THEIR TEMPLES of their gods with loathsome lice and swarms of insects.

      Their god Seth, thought to be the protector of crops, with the plague of locusts.

      Their CHIEF god Ra, thought to be the sun god, with the plague of darkness.

      Their god Osiris, the Egyptian god thought to be the giver of life, and the supposed deity of Pharaoh himself, with the plague against the firstborn.

      God made ALL THE IDOLS OF EGYPT to totter at His presence before, and Isaiah tells us GOD IS GOING TO DO IT AGAIN!

      I will set Egyptians against Egyptians...Isaiah prophesies a coming civil war in Egypt, which was indirectly the hand of God's judgment against them.

      AND POOLE tells us, "Not many years after this time it was divided into twelve several kingdoms, between whom there were many and cruel wars, as is related by the historians of those times."

      I WILL DESTROY their counsel, and they will consult the idols and the charmers...When a nation is under the judgment of God, He often seems to "remove" sound counsel and wisdom from their leaders, and they turn to vain, pagan things for wisdom instead (idols and the charmers), INSTEAD OF HITTING THEIR KNEES IN REPENTANCE & TURNING TO THE ONLY TRUE CREATOR GOD.

      AND REMEMBER 1 KINGS 4:30 tells us that Egypt was renowned for her class of wise men, but they would not be able to cope with this judgment from the Lord, AMEN?

      The Egyptians I WILL GIVE into the hand of a cruel master, and a fierce king will rule over them...God may judge a nation through their leadership in two ways.

      HOW?

      FIRST, by removing competent leadership (I will destroy their counsel).

      SECOND, by giving them cruel and oppressive rulers. This is a curse and a judgment to any people!

      AND CAN WE NOT SAY THE USA IS UNDER THESE JUDGMENTS? EVIL IS BEING PERCEIVED AS GOOD, AND GOOD AS EVIL.

      WE HAVE EGOMANICAL INCOMPETENT LEADERS IN THIS COUNTRY NOW.

      AND IT IS A CRUEL LEADERSHIP, THAT CARES NOTHING FOR GOD, THE PEOPLE, OR THE NATION AS A WHOLE.

      THAT IS WHY THE CHRISTIANS IN THIS COUNTRY & AROUND THE WORLD STAY ON OUR FACE IN PRAYER AND REPENTANCE, BECAUSE WE KNOW THE USA & OTHER NATIONS IS UNDER JUDGMENT AND A CURSE, AMEN?

      Verses 5-10 tells us The LORD strikes Egypt by drying up the Nile, thus wrecking their economy.

      "The waters will fail from the sea, and the river will be wasted and dried up. The rivers will turn foul; the brooks of defense will be emptied and dried up; the reeds and rushes will wither. The papyrus reeds by the River, by the mouth of the River, and everything sown by the River, will wither, be driven away, and be no more. The fishermen also will mourn; all those will lament who cast hooks into the River, and they will languish who spread nets on the waters. Moreover those who work in fine flax and those who weave fine fabric will be ashamed; and its foundations will be broken. All who make wages will be troubled of soul."

      The river WILL BE wasted and dried up...The Nile River was the key to Egypt's agriculture and economy. For it to suffer a severe drought or lowering would have a devastating effect on the lives of Egyptians. God promises this will happen as a judgment against Egypt.

      DID you know that the NILE IS RECEDING/DRYING UP MORE EACH DAY? JUST AS THE EUPHRATES IS DRYING UP...ALMIGHTY GOD IS A PROMISE MAKER AND A PROMISE KEEPER,AMEN?

      Therefore, the workers cry out...the fishermen also will mourn … they will languish who spread nets on the waters … those who weave fine fabric will be ashamed … all who make wages will be troubled of soul.

      Verses 11-15 tells us The LORD strikes Egypt by sending them with foolish counsel.

      "Surely the princes of Zoan are fools; Pharaoh's wise counselors give foolish counsel. How do you say to Pharaoh, "I am the son of the wise, the son of ancient kings?" Where are they? Where are your wise men? Let them tell you now, and let them know what the LORD of hosts has purposed against Egypt. The princes of Zoan have become fools; the princes of Noph are deceived; they have also deluded Egypt, those who are the mainstay of its tribes. The LORD has mingled a perverse spirit in her midst; and they have caused Egypt to err in all her work, as a drunken man staggers in his vomit. Neither will there be any work for Egypt, which the head or tail, palm branch or bulrush, may do."

      Surely the princes of Zoan are fools; Pharaoh's wise counselors give foolish counsel...As the LORD strikes Egypt, not only does He give them cruel rulers, but He also gives those cruel rulers foolish counsel.

      Where are your wise men? Let them tell you now, and let them know what the LORD of hosts has purposed against Egypt...Here, the LORD reminds us of what true wisdom is. It is knowing what the LORD of hosts has purposed. True wisdom isn't knowing all kind of facts and plans and strategies.

      PROVERBS 9:10 tells us, "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding."

      Verses 16-17 tells us when God strikes Egypt, there will be terror among the people.

      "In that day Egypt will be like women, and will be afraid and fear because of the waving of the hand of the LORD of hosts, which He waves over it. And the land of Judah will be a terror to Egypt; everyone who makes mention of it will be afraid in himself, because of the counsel of the LORD of hosts which He has determined against it."

      Because of the waving of the hand of the LORD of hosts...All the LORD will need to do is to wave His hand, and the people of Egypt will respond in terror, they will be afraid and fear.

      The land of Judah will be a terror to Egypt...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      This is a switch! For thousands of years, the land of Judah lay submissively in the shadow of the great Egyptian Empire. The LORD prophesies a day when Judah will be more mighty than Egypt, and the land of Judah will be a terror to Egypt. Of course, this is fulfilled PARTIALLY today, because Israel NOW HAS military superiority over Egypt...and one day, ISRAEL WILL BE THE THRONE OF THE WORLD'S SOVEREIGN LEADER....JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF.

      THEN EGYPT GETS IT RIGHT....THEY TURN TO THE LORD & HE SAVES EGYPT.

      Verses 18-22 tells us Egypt turns to the LORD.

      "In that day five cities in the land of Egypt will speak the language of Canaan and swear by the LORD of hosts; one will be called the City of Destruction. In that day there will be an altar to the LORD in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar to the LORD at its border. And it will be for a sign and for a witness to the LORD of hosts in the land of Egypt; for they will cry to the LORD because of the oppressors, and He will send them a Savior and a Mighty One, and He will deliver them. Then the LORD will be known to Egypt, and the Egyptians will know the LORD in that day, and will make sacrifice and offering; yes, they will make a vow to the LORD and perform it. And the LORD will strike Egypt, He will strike and heal it; they will return to the LORD, and He will be entreated by them and heal them."

      FIVE CITIES in the land of Egypt will become more identified with the LORD than with Egypt. A better translation of the phrase City of Destruction may be, City of the Sun, which was a well known Egyptian city known as Heliopolis.

      Egypt will worship the LORD, with an altar to the LORD, and will memorialize God's great works with a pillar to the LORD. When Egypt is brought under this oppression, they will cry to the LORD because of the oppressors, and then He will send them a Savior and a Mighty one, and He will deliver them.

      INTERESTINGLY ENOUGH, THIS MAY HAVE BEEN PARTIALLY FULFILLED in the time of the Maccabees, when the high priest Onias IV was forced to flee to Egypt, and there he built a temple that was similar to the one in Jerusalem. Some commentators relate the 'altar' of verse 19 to this structure. This may relate to the City of the Sun prophecy, because the temple Onias IV built was in the province of Heliopolis.

      He will send them a Savior and a Mighty One...THEY WILL COME TO KNOW THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, AS MIGHTY SAVIOR!

      The Egyptians will know the LORD in that day...

      AND HISTORY TELLS US There did come to be a widespread knowledge of the LORD in Egypt. In the days of Jesus, more than a million Jews lived in Egypt. In the early days of Christianity, there was a strong, vital church in Egypt for more than 600 years.

      This prophecy WILL HAVE COMPLETE fulfillment during the Millennium, but it certainly has been fulfilled TO A CERTAIN DEGREE DOWN THROUGH HISTORY.

      In the fourth century, the great theologian Athanasius, wrote this from Egypt: "The thing is happening before our very eyes, here in Egypt; and thereby another prophecy is fulfilled, for at no other time have the Egyptians ceased from their false worship save when the Lord of all, riding as on a cloud, came down here in the body and brought the error of idols to nothing and won over everybody to Himself and through Himself to the Father."

      He will strike and heal it...Whatever judgment God allowed, His desire was that people would repent and return to Him so they could be healed.

      Verses 23-25 tells us of an amazing peace between three formerly hostile enemies.

      "In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrian will come into Egypt and the Egyptian into Assyria, and the Egyptians will serve with the Assyrians. In that day Israel will be one of three with Egypt and Assyria; a blessing in the midst of the land, whom the LORD of hosts shall bless, saying, "Blessed is Egypt My people, and Assyria the work of My hands, and Israel My inheritance."

      WE know ASSYRIA TODAY IS COMPRISES PARTS OF IRAQ, IRAN, TURKEY, & SYRIA...WHO TO THIS DAY ARE ENEMIES OF ISRAEL.

      Israel will be one of three with Egypt and Assyria...God promises the day will come when there WILL BE PEACE between Israel, Egypt, and Assyria. There will be trade and travel between the three nations (a highway from Egypt to Assyria). In that day, the LORD will bless all three nations.

      Blessed is Egypt, My people, and Assyria, the work of My hands, and Israel is My inheritance...What an amazing work of redemption! This shows that God's salvation will extend to the nations, and He will call forth His own even from Egypt and Assyria, not only from Israel.

      It was powerful to say this of Egypt; it was almost unbelievable to say it about Assyria, the nation Jonah hated so much. "In Isaiah's day, Assyria was the one power feared by every little nation in the Fertile Crescent. The calculated brutality of the Assyrians probably made them more of an object of general hatred than any other nation of antiquity.

      THE BIBLE AND HISTORY both tells us the Egyptians, Babylonians, and Persians were ALL capable of inhuman acts & cruelty, but the Assyrian record for ENJOYING evil, blood lust, MAIMING, RAPE, TORTURE, MURDER, AND callous cruelty TO DATE HAS NO PARALLEL...BUT THE ANTI CHRIST WILL RIVAL EVEN ALL THE WORLD'S WORST.

      BUT JESUS IS THE GOD OF GRACE, FORGIVENESS, AND THE IMPOSSIBLE, AMEN?

      AS MEYER says,"Who, standing amid the terrors of the plagues, could ever have supposed that Egypt would be addressed as 'my people'? Who could have thought that Assyria, the tyrant persecutor, would ever be called 'the work of my hands'? Yet these are the trophies and triumphs of divine grace."

      BUT REMEMBER ALMIGHTY GOD STILL CALLS HIS WIFE, ISRAEL....HIS INHERITANCE.

      AND REMEMBER WHAT PAUL REMINDS US, IN EPHESIANS 1:8, PAUL PRAYED that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints."
      God's people are His riches and inheritance and glory!

      From this passage regarding the conversion of Egypt, Spurgeon draws these points:

      (The Fruits of Grace)

      1. God's grace often comes to the very worst of men.
      2. God's grace sends a Savior.
      3. Grace changes men's language.
      4. God's grace sets men on holy service.
      5. God's grace teaches men to pray.
      6. God's grace instructs men.
      7. Grace makes even trouble a blessing to a man.
      8. God's grace changes the relations of men to each other.
      9. God's grace makes men to be blessed, and to be a blessing to others.

    • July 6, 2016 2:40 AM EDT
    • ISAIAH 20

      OPENS WITH...GOD SAYING FOR NOW..Don't Trust In Egypt!


      Verse 1 tells us ISAIAH ACTS OUT the political setting for the sign.

      "In the year that Tartan came to Ashdod, when Sargon the king of Assyria sent him, and he fought against Ashdod and took it,"

      In the year that Tartan came to Ashdod...This describes the time when the army of Assyria conquered the Philistine city of Assyria. Isaiah's sign is a response to this victory of Assyria.

      This invasion has a concrete marking point in secular history: 711 B.C.

      The Philistines were BOTH neighbors and thorns to Israel, and the fall of Ashdod would certainly make Israel think, "We're next. We need protection."

      Verse 2 tells us The LORD gives Isaiah a sign to act out.

      "At the same time the LORD spoke by Isaiah the son of Amoz, saying, "Go, and remove the sackcloth from your body, and take your sandals off your feet." And he did so, walking naked and barefoot."

      Remove the sackcloth from your body, and take your sandals off your feet...Before this, Isaiah wore an outer garment of sackcloth -clothes of mourning. Now, God tells him to remove his outer garment of sackcloth, and to take his sandals off.

      POOLE explains it well, "God would sometimes have his prophets to add to their word a visible sign, to awaken people's minds to a more serious consideration of the matters proposed to them."

      JUST AS IF YOUR WEATHERMAN DIRELY AND URGENTLY INTERRUPTED ALL PROGRAMMING TO REPORT FLOODS COMING, TORRENTIAL RAINS FOR THE NEXT WEEK BE PREPARED...BE PREPARED, THEN THE TELEVISION STATION CAPTURED THIS WEATHERMAN LEAVING THE STATION IN TENNIS CLOTHES, OR GOLFING CLOTHES, WITHOUT EVEN AN UMBRELLA, RAIN GEAR OR GALOSHES IN SIGHT...WE WOULD TEND TO DISMISS HIS URGENT REPORT AS BOGUS OR HIM A FRUIT LOOP.

      THE SAME IS TRUE OF THE PROPHETS IN THAT DAY, THE PEOPLE WATCHED HOW THE PROPHETS LOOKED, DRESSED, BEHAVED TO CONSIDER THE TRUTH AND THE URGENCY OF THEIR WORDS GIVEN THEM BY GOD.

      ALMIGHTY GOD KNOWS HIS CREATION TO THE CORE, SO HE ASKED ISAIAH TO BE HIS HUMAN FLASHING NEON BILLBOARD TO THE PEOPLE, AMEN?

      And he did so, walking naked and barefoot...

      THERE ARE THOSE WHO TEACH AND SAY THAT ISAIAH WALKED AROUND COMPLETELY NUDE. BUT WE MUST KNOW AND UNDERSTAND THE HEBREW PEOPLE AND THE TIMES.
      We shouldn't think that Isaiah was nude, completely without clothing. Instead, he only wore the inner garment customary in that day - sort of like wearing only your underwear or a nightshirt OUT IN PUBLIC.

      THE REASON WHY?

      AN ATTENTION GETTER FOR THE PEOPLE. AND THE MESSAGE GOD WAS ASKING ISAIAH TO SHOW AND GIVE THEM PEOPLE WAS NOT ABOUT NUDITY, IT WAS ABOUT COMPLETE POVERTY AND HUMILIATION.

      Isaiah dressed as the poorest and most destitute would dress.

      BUT WE KNOW FROM STUDYING THE BIBLE, THAT GOD ASKED OTHER PROPHETS TO GO THROUGH EQUALLY DIFFICULT EXPERIENCES AS SIGNS TO ISRAEL. SUCH AS HOSEA, WHO ENDURED A TRYING MARRIAGE, & EZEKIEL'S WIFE WHO DIED AS AN ILLUSTRATION TO ISRAEL IN EZEKIEL 24:16-24.

      AND AS ALWAYS, GOD DOES NOT GIVE A SIGN WITHOUT ANNOUNCING ITS MEANING...GOD IS TELLING THE PEOPLE OF THE JUDGMENT AND HUMILIATION OF EGYPT.

      Verses 3-4 tells us just that, it is a sign of God's judgment and humiliation of Egypt.

      "Then the LORD said, "Just as My servant Isaiah has walked naked and barefoot three years for a sign and a wonder against Egypt and Ethiopia, so shall the king of Assyria lead away the Egyptians as prisoners and the Ethiopians as captives, young and old, naked and barefoot, with their buttocks uncovered, to the shame of Egypt."

      My servant Isaiah has walked naked and barefoot three years as a sign and wonder against Egypt...Under the command of the LORD, Isaiah dressed in this poor and humble way for THREE YEARS. It was a message against Egypt, because the king of Assyria would lead away the Egyptians as prisoners.

      As the Assyrians took the Egyptians captive, they would humiliate them by stripping them and leading them away as prisoners. This would all be to the shame of Egypt.

      TRAPP gives us a picture & a comparison to consider here. "So dealeth the devil with all his wretched captives, whom he driveth away hellward, naked a barefoot with their buttocks uncovered, the shame of their nakedness exposed to public view for want of the white raiment of Christ's righteousness that they might be clothed."

      Verses 5-6 tells us The sign's message to Judah.

      "Then they shall be afraid and ashamed of Ethiopia their expectation and Egypt their glory. And the inhabitant of this territory will say in that day, 'Surely such is our expectation, wherever we flee for help to be delivered from the king of Assyria; and how shall we escape?'"

      They shall be afraid and ashamed of Ethiopia their expectation and Egypt their glory...When God judges Ethiopia and Egypt, it will be evident how foolish it was for Judah to look to them for protection against Assyria.

      Whenever our expectation is in something wrong, or our glory is in something wrong, the LORD will find a way to make those things disappoint us. Judah set their expectation on Ethiopia, and looked to Egypt for glory, but now they are left afraid and ashamed.

      MORGAN says it well,"There is no place of security for the people of God, other than that to be found in the rule of God. All expectation not centered in God, is doomed to disappointment and discomfiture."

      THE BIBLE TELLS US THAT TIME AND TIME AGAIN, THE PEOPLE OF ISRAEL SAID OVER AND OVER AGAIN...

      WHO DO WE TRUST?
      WHO CAN BE OUR ALLY?
      WHICH WAY DO WE GO?
      WHAT DO WE DO?
      WHO WILL PROTECT US?
      WHO WILL PROVIDE FOR US?
      HOW SHALL WE ESCAPE?

      AND THE PATIENT AND LONG-SUFFERING ALMIGHTY GOD HAS SAID OVER AND OVER:

      TRUST ME.
      LOOK TO ME.
      BELIEVE IN ME.
      WAIT FOR ME.
      I WILL PROVIDE.
      I WILL PROTECT.
      I WILL SAVE.
      TRUST ME....JUST ME.

      BUT THEY CHOSE MAN OR THINGS OR SELF WISDOM OVER AND ABOVE GOD...SOOOOOOO..

      The LORD allowed Judah to be backed into a corner, caught between two mighty Empires (Egypt and Assyria), without being able to trust either one. There was NO escape - EXCEPT in the LORD.

      AND WHY THIS WARNING SIGN AFTER SUCH A PROMISE/REVELATION OF FUTURE REVIVAL AND RESTORATION FOR EGYPT, ETHIOPIA, AND ASSYRIA?

      BECAUSE GOD READ THEIR HEARTS AND MINDS PERFECTLY.

      GOD KNEW....Because of the glorious promise of revival and restoration among Egypt in Isaiah 19, Judah might have been even more tempted to say, "Well, OKAY THEN, we CAN trust in Egypt. They are all going to come to the LORD someday anyway!"

      But with the dramatic three-year sign, Isaiah shows Judah how vain it was to make Egypt their expectation or glory.



      ISAIAH 21

      OPENS WITH GOD'S BURDENS Against Babylon, Edom and Arabia

      FIRST GOD'S BURDEN against Babylon.

      Verses 1-2 tells us an army from Persia marches on Babylon.

      "The burden against the Wilderness of the Sea. As whirlwinds in the South pass through, so it comes from the desert, from a terrible land. A distressing vision is declared to me; the treacherous dealer deals treacherously, and the plunderer plunders. Go up, O Elam! Besiege, O Media! All its sighing I have made to cease."

      A burden against the Wilderness of the Sea.

      DID YOU KNOW GOD ALSO CALLS Babylon the Wilderness of the Sea?

      WHY?

      Because the great plain of Babylon was divided with lakes and marshes, so it was referred to as a "sea."

      POOLE explains it well,"And the title of the sea might well be given to the waters of Babylon, because of the great plenty and multitude of them … the name of sea being given by the Hebrews to every great collection of waters."

      Go up, O Elam! Besiege, O Media...

      DID YOU KNOW...Elam and Media are the ancient names for the peoples of Persia, modern day IRAN. The Persian Empire conquered the Babylonian Empire, and Isaiah here prophetically sees their armies marching on Babylon.

      TRAPP says it well, "God oft maketh use of one tyrant to punish another; as here he stirreth up the Persians to plunder and waste the Babylonians. So the Persians were afterwards in like sort punished by the Macedonians, the Macedonians by the Romans, those Romans by the Huns, Vandals, Lombards, Saracens, Turks; all whom Christ shall destroy at his last coming."

      Verses 3-10 tells us of the fall of Babylon.

      "Therefore my loins are filled with pain; pangs have taken hold of me, like the pangs of a woman in labor. I was distressed when I heard it; I was dismayed when I saw it. My heart wavered, fearfulness frightened me; the night for which I longed He turned into fear for me. Prepare the table, set a watchman in the tower, eat and drink. Arise, you princes, anoint the shield! For thus has the Lord said to me: "Go, set a watchman, let him declare what he sees." And he saw a chariot with a pair of horsemen, a chariot of donkeys, and a chariot of camels, and he listened earnestly with great care. Then he cried, "A lion, my Lord! I stand continually on the watchtower in the daytime; I have sat at my post every night. And look, here comes a chariot of men with a pair of horsemen!" Then he answered and said, "Babylon is fallen, is fallen! And all the carved images of her gods He has broken to the ground." Oh, my threshing and the grain of my floor! That which I have heard from the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, I have declared to you."

      As the people collapse from fear and pain (Pangs have taken hold of me, like the pangs of a woman in labor), the nation prepares for war (Arise, you princes, anoint the shield!).

      The report comes to the watchman...Babylon is fallen, is fallen!

      This dramatic scene was fulfilled when the Medo-Persian Empire conquered Babylon, but it also has a prophetic application.

      WHERE?

      REMEMBER OUR STUDY OF REVELATION?

      Revelation 18:2 describes the cry of an angel when God judges the world system, both commercial Babylon and spiritual Babylon: And he cried mightily with a loud voice, saying, "Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a dwelling place of demons, a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird!"

      The repetition of the phrase "IS FALLEN...IS FALLEN connects the two passages, AMEN?

      The same panic and terror the people of Babylon felt when that great city was conquered by the Medes and Persians will be seen again.

      When the LORD strikes the world system, both spiritual Babylon and commercial Babylon, the world will be terrified and mourn the same way (Revelation 18:9-19). But God's people rejoice over the fall of Babylon (Revelation 18:20).

      Verses 11-12 tells us GOD'S BURDEN against Edom (Dumah).

      "The burden against Dumah. He calls to me out of Seir, "Watchman, what of the night? Watchman, what of the night?" The watchman said, "The morning comes, and also the night. If you will inquire, inquire; return! Come back!"

      Dumah was another ancient name for the kingdom of Edom, in the mountainous region of Seir.

      AND REMEMBER OUR STUDY OF GENESIS?

      WE KNOW The Edomites descended from Esau, the brother of Jacob (Israel).

      They settled in the land to the south-east of Israel, and were the sometimes enemies of Israel.

      Watchman, what of the night...Using a powerful dramatic scene of a cry to a watchman in the night, Isaiah paints the picture of the judgment and terror that will come upon Edom.


      Verses 13-17 tells us GOD'S BURDEN against Arabia.

      "The burden against Arabia. In the forest in Arabia you will lodge, O you traveling companies of Dedanites. O inhabitants of the land of Tema, bring water to him who is thirsty; with their bread they met him who fled. For they fled from the swords, from the drawn sword, from the bent bow, and from the distress of war. For thus the LORD has said to me: "Within a year, according to the year of a hired man, all the glory of Kedar will fail; and the remainder of the number of archers, the mighty men of the people of Kedar, will be diminished; for the LORD God of Israel has spoken it."

      Isaiah pictures the refugees from an attack on Arabia. They are traveling companies of Dedanites; they are thirsty, and they need bread, because they fled from the swords and from the bent bow, and from the distress of war.

      This attack will come soon: Within a year … the glory of Kedar will fail. Poole on according to the year of a hired man: "An exact year; for hirelings diligently observe and wait for the end of the year, when they are to receive their wages."

      SO WHO IS KEDAR?

      THE BIBLE TELLS US...KEDAR IS THE SECOND SON OF ISHMAEL (GENESIS 25:13)

      GENESIS 17:20 TELLS US, "And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation."

      AND THE BIBLE TELLS US ISHMAEL IS THE FATHER OF THE ARAB PEOPLE.

      GENESIS 16:12 TELL US, "And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man's hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren."

      IT WAS SO THEN....AND ALMIGHTY GOD'S WORDS STAND TODAY. THE ARAB NATIONS AS A WHOLE ARE STILL THE SAME.

      DO YOU SEE, GOD SPOKE IT TO ABRAHAM IN GENESIS, TOLD HIM WHAT WAS TO BE. HE REPEATED IT TO ISAIAH, AND SO IT IS.

      OUR GOD DOES NOT CHANGE. OUR GOD DOES NOT LIE. WHAT HE PROMISED IN GENESIS, ISAIAH, AND DOWN THROUGH TIME HAS BECOME JUST AS HE SAID.

      WE CAN TRUST OUR ALMIGHTY GOD AND HIS HOLY BIBLE.

    • July 6, 2016 2:37 AM EDT
    • ISAIAH 22

      Judgment on Jerusalem

      Verses 1-4 tells us Isaiah is grieved over a joyous city.

      "The burden against the Valley of Vision. What ails you now, that you have all gone up to the housetops, you who are full of noise, a tumultuous city, a joyous city? Your slain men are not slain with the sword, nor dead in battle. All your rulers have fled together; they are captured by the archers. All who are found in you are bound together; they have fled from afar. Therefore I said, "Look away from me, I will weep bitterly; do not labor to comfort me because of the plundering of the daughter of my people."

      The burden against the Valley of Vision...

      WHO IS THE VALLEY OF VISION?

      This is Jerusalem, a city on a hill but surrounded by still higher hill, and in the midst of three valleys. Since Jerusalem was a center for the worship of God and some of the prophets of God (including Isaiah), it is called the Valley of Vision.

      SOME HAVE ASKED....WHY DOES GOD INCLUDE JUDAH & JERUSALEM IN HIS JUDGMENT AGAINST THE NATIONS OF THE EARTH?

      WOLF answers this question well, "It is strange to find a prophecy against Judah and Jerusalem in a section that deals with the nations. But since Judah & Jerusalem had chosen to behave like her neighbors and to desert the Lord, she deserved to be judged."

      A tumultuous city, a joyous city? In his prophecy, Isaiah sees the commotion all around Jerusalem, and asks, "Is it the result of an evil tumult, or is it an expression of joy?"

      Your slain men are not slain with the sword...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      When Jerusalem was conquered by the Babylonians, the men of Judah did NOT bravely die in battle. They died either being starved to death in the siege of the city, or as they fled in cowardly retreat.

      JEREMIAH 14:18 & 38:2 CONFIRMS THIS...They died either by famine or pestilence in the siege, as many died, or in their flight, as others were; both which were inglorious kinds of death.

      I will weep bitterly; do not labor to comfort me...

      We usually think of Jeremiah as the "weeping prophet." But Isaiah also said "I will weep bitterly" when he saw God's judgment coming against God's people.

      When we GROW CLOSER TO JESUS, when we RECEIVE HIS HEART for things, we too weep bitterly over what hurts JESUS HEART as well, AMEN?

      Verses 5-7 tells us Isaiah sees a coming army, and the LORD brings NO deliverance.

      "For it is a day of trouble and treading down and perplexity By the Lord GOD of hosts In the Valley of Vision; breaking down the walls and of crying to the mountain. Elam bore the quiver with chariots of men and horsemen, and Kir uncovered the shield. It shall come to pass that your choicest valleys shall be full of chariots, and the horsemen shall set themselves in array at the gate."

      For it is a day of trouble... GOD SHOWS Isaiah & ISAIAH SEES an army full of arrows and chariots coming against Jerusalem. This prophesies the attack and overthrow of Jerusalem by the Babylonians.

      Elam bore the quiver...Because Elam, Babylon's neighbor to the east, had strongly supported the Babylonians and the Chaldeans in the struggle against Assyria, the Elamites were THERE & WERE ALLIED WITH the Babylonians.

      Your choicest valleys shall be full of chariots, and the horsemen shall set themselves in array at the gate...

      Attacking armies will once again surround Jerusalem, and in that day the LORD will NOT deliver them.

      Verses 8-14 tells us GOD SHOWS ISAIAH THAT Jerusalem makes all the WRONG PREPARATIONS for a coming battle.

      "He removed the protection of Judah. You looked in that day to the armor of the House of the Forest; you also saw the damage to the city of David, that it was great; and you gathered together the waters of the lower pool. You numbered the houses of Jerusalem, and the houses you broke down to fortify the wall. You also made a reservoir between the two walls for the water of the old pool. But you did not look to its Maker, nor did you have respect for Him who fashioned it long ago. And in that day the Lord GOD of hosts called for weeping and for mourning, for baldness and for girding with sackcloth. But instead, joy and gladness, slaying oxen and killing sheep, eating meat and drinking wine: "Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die!" Then it was revealed in my hearing by the LORD of hosts, "Surely for this iniquity there will be no atonement for you, even to your death," says the Lord GOD of hosts."

      You gathered together the waters of the lower pool … to fortify the wall...

      When Jerusalem was faced with this subsequent attack, they prepared the city for battle and for siege, strengthening the wall of the city and making sure there was adequate water for a siege.

      But none of this would matter, because THE LORD GOD OF HOSTS removed the protection of Judah. The best thing Jerusalem could do for her protection was turn her heart toward the LORD, But you did not look to its Maker, nor did you have respect for Him who fashioned it long ago.

      In that day the Lord GOD of hosts called for weeping and mourning... Instead of preparing Jerusalem for an attack, they should have turned their hearts in humble repentance to the LORD. Instead of humbly seeking the LORD, the people of Jerusalem had both a confidence in their own preparation (joy and gladness), and a fatalistic outlook toward the future ("Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die!").

      THIS TELLS US, ONCE AGAIN, GOD READ THEIR HEARTS & MINDS PERFECTLY.

      HE HAS HAD ISAIAH TELLING THEM OVER AND OVER...HIT YOUR KNEES REPENT, TURN TO ME, TRUST ME, LOOK TO ME, AND YOU WILL BE SAVED.

      AND IT BROKE THE LORD'S HEART, WHEN THEY FATALISTICALLY SHORED UP THE WALLS, THE WATER, AND FOOD, AND THE CITY FOR A LONG SIEGE INSTEAD.

      THEY DID NOT BELIEVE THEY WOULD SURVIVE IT.

      THEY DID NOT BELIEVE THEY WOULD/COULD AGAINST SUCH GREAT ARMIES.

      SO THEY SAID PARTY AND EAT NOW...TOMORROW WE DIE.

      BUT FAR WORSE, THEY DID NOT THINK ABOUT THEIR LORD GOD, THEY DID NOT EVEN CONSIDER THAT HE COULD OR WOULD OR WAS ABLE TO PROTECT THEM, SAVE THEM, GIVE THEM VICTORY.

      THEY DID NOT TRUST IN ANYTHING...NOT EVEN THE LORD.
      AND IT BROKE THE LORD'S HEART.

      I HAVE GIVEN THIS COMPARISON BEFORE...BUT IT FITS PERFECTLY HERE...

      AS PARENTS, WHO LOVE THEIR CHILDREN, THEIR GRANDCHILDREN, AND WISH TO RAISE THEM UP RIGHT, WE SPEND MOST OF OUR DAYS...REPEATEDLY WARNING...

      DO NOT TOUCH THE STOVE...IT IS HOT...IT WILL BURN YOU...IT WILL HURT YOU...DO NOT! DO NOT! NO! NO! NO! STOP! STOP! STOP!

      WE ARE EVER VIGILANT WITH THEM, BECAUSE WE KNOW THAT ALL IT TAKES IS ONE TIME FOR US TO LEAVE THE KITCHEN, TURN OUR BACKS, AND THAT CHILD WILL DOUBT THAT THE STOVE IS HOT AND CAN HURT THEM. AND WE KNOW, SOONER OF LATER, THEY WILL REACH OUT IN DOUBT AND DISBELIEF AND TOUCH THAT HOT STOVE AND SUFFER HURT AND PAIN BECAUSE OF THEIR ARROGANCE, DOUBT, DISBELIEF & DISOBEDIENCE IN WHAT WE SAY, AMEN?

      ISAIAH HAS BEEN WARNING...PLEADING...WEEPING...WEARING SACKCLOTH, WALKING THE STREETS IN HIS UNDERWEAR AND BAREFOOT TO SHOW THEM HOW ENDANGERED THEY ARE...HOW THEIR DISBELIEF, ARROGANCE, DOUBT, AND REFUSAL TO HIT THEIR KNEES, REPENT, AND TURN TO THE GOD OF THEIR FATHERS IS ENDANGERING THEM, COMPROMISING THEM AND THEIR SAFETY...BUT THEY REFUSE TO SEE, TO HEAR, AND TO LISTEN, AMEN?

      For this iniquity there will be NO atonement for you...

      What is this sin that can't be forgiven?

      The sin of ignoring God, of rejecting God, of refusing to humble yourself before the LORD and repent. Jerusalem was doing everything except the essential thing they had to do to prepare for the attack, and because they rejected the LORD, there would be no atonement for them.

      Isaiah denounces Shebna, the king's chief steward.

      Verses 15-19....THE LORD DOES NOT LEAVE OUT THE CIVIC LEADERS EITHER.

      WHO WAS Shebna?

      HE had a high and honorable CIVIC office, yet he used it to glorify himself.

      "Thus says the Lord GOD of hosts: "Go, proceed to this steward, to Shebna, who is over the house, and say: 'What have you here, and whom have you here, that you have hewn a sepulcher here, as he who hews himself a sepulcher on high, who carves a tomb for himself in a rock? Indeed, the LORD will throw you away violently, O mighty man, and will surely seize you. He will surely turn violently and toss you like a ball into a large country; there you shall die, and there your glorious chariots shall be the shame of your master's house. So I will drive you out of your office, and from your position he will pull you down.'"

      Shebna, who is over the house...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      Shebna was a servant of King Hezekiah, both a steward … over the house and a scribe (2 Kings 18:18, Isaiah 37:2). These were both positions of honor and responsibility. Shebna was one of King Hezekiah's chief assistants.

      WOLF, a Bible historian tells us, "The king of Judah at this time was Hezekiah - a good king - so the condemnatory judgment fell on the next person in line. Shebna and the populace in general did not share the godly principles of King Hezekiah."

      What have you here, and whom have you here...
      The LORD speaks to Shebna, this proud man, THROUGH ISAIAH and says BASICALLY, "Who do you think you are? What do you think you have? You really are nothing and you have nothing but that which I GAVE YOU."

      As he who hews himself a sepulcher on high...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN AND WHAT DID SHEBNA DO WITH HIS position of honor and authority?

      He made himself a fancy and prestigious tomb! In that day, this was a display of significant power and wealth. In this, Shebna personifies all of Jerusalem with his obsessive self-interest.

      AND REMEMBER Isaiah had prophesied that the people of Judah and Jerusalem would be carried away into exile, but Shebna didn't believe it. He built this elaborate tomb to himself in Jerusalem, as if to say, "I will never be carried away in exile. I am so certain that I will die here that I will build my tomb here."

      He will surely turn violently and toss you like a ball into a large country; there you shall die … so I will drive you out of your office...
      Shebna sought honor and glory, but would never find it. Instead, the LORD would make certain that he was never even buried in his prestigious, expensive tomb, but would die in exile instead.

      AND WE KNOW Shebna is the same kind of man Jesus spoke about in Luke 12:16-21, in the parable of the RICH FOOL. The man spent his time planning and his money building great things, but in the end he died without God and it all meant nothing.

      Now, all of Shebna's accomplishments - the beautiful tomb, the glorious chariots - mean worse than nothing, they are a shame to him instead.

      Verses 20-24 tells us The LORD lifts up Eliakim INSTEAD OF Shebna.

      "Then it shall be in that day, that I will call My servant Eliakim the son of Hilkiah; I will clothe him with your robe and strengthen him with your belt; I will commit your responsibility into his hand. He shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and to the house of Judah. The key of the house of David I will lay on his shoulder; so he shall open, and no one shall shut; and he shall shut, and no one shall open. I will fasten him as a peg in a secure place, and he will become a glorious throne to his father's house. They will hang on him all the glory of his father's house, the offspring and the posterity, all vessels of small quantity, from the cups to all the pitchers."

      Eliakim the son of Hilkiah is mentioned in passages like 1 Kings 18:18 and Isaiah 36:3 as another assistant to King Hezekiah.

      BUT WE NEED TO REMEMBER AND UNDERSTAND THAT THIS ELIAKIM should be distinguished from Eliakim the son of Josiah, who was a puppet king established by Pharaoh told to us in 2 Kings 23:34.

      My servant...

      What a glorious title for THE LORD TO BESTOW UPON Eliakim, AMEN?

      Both Shebna and Eliakim were servants of Hezekiah, but Shebna's heart was directed towards selfish ambition and glory, and Eliakim's heart was turned towards the LORD.

      The place of Eliakim the son of Hilkiah before Hezekiah is somewhat obscure in the Scriptures; he is only mentioned in six passages, and the only description of him is that he was over the household told to us in 1 Kings 18:18, 37 and Isaiah 36:3, 22.

      But Eliakim THE LORD'S SERVANT...was famous in heaven! He shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and to the house of Judah.

      The LORD would take the office and authority of the unfaithful Shebna, and give it to Eliakim instead (I will clothe him with your robe and strengthen him with your belt; I will commit your responsibility into his hand). God will get His work done! If a Shebna is unfaithful, the LORD will remove him from his office, strip him of his authority, and give it to another WHO IS FAITHFUL, AMEN?

      Because Eliakim is the LORD's servant, the LORD will give him great authority....

      HOW DID THE LORD DO THIS?

      HE GAVE HIM The key of the house of David I will lay on his shoulder.

      DID YOU KNOW...In that day, the chief royal steward would have the large master key of the palace fastened to the shoulder of his tunic. The key was a picture and demonstration of the authority of the chief steward. Here, the LORD gives Eliakim the authority to open and shut as the LORD's representative, which no man can oppose.

      AND REMEMBER....In this, Eliakim becomes a prophecy of the Messiah, because Jesus told us this passage spoke of Himself: These things says He who is holy, He who is true, "He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens." (Revelation 3:7) Jesus is the one with the keys of Hades and of Death (Revelation 1:8), who has all authority both in heaven and on earth. Jesus delegates this authority as it pleases Him (Matthew 16:19).

      He shall open, and no one shall shut; and he shall shut and no one shall open...Eliakim would have this kind of authority from the LORD. Since he is a picture of Jesus, we know that Jesus has the authority to open and shut doors in our lives as He pleases. We need to accept both the open and the shut doors, AMEN?

      AND MEYER says it well of this scripture..."Down a long corridor of closed doors we may sometimes have to pass. It seems heartbreaking to see doors labelled, Friendship, Love, Home shut against us; but beyond them there is the one unclosed door through which we shall enter into our true life. Oh do not lose heart and hope in useless weeping over the closed doors of the past. Follow Him, who has the keys."

      Because the LORD established Eliakim's authority, it was secure: I will fasten him as a peg in a secure place.

      THE LORD SHOWED ISAIAH AND US Shebna's TRUE HEART.

      SHEBNA sought glory for himself, but would find shame.
      But Eliakim was the LORD's servant, and would become a glorious throne to his father's house.

      WHAT IS THE IMPORTANCE OF A PEG?

      DID YOU KNOW, In those days, houses didn't really have cupboards or storage closets as we think of them. Things were stored ON PEGS set up all around the room. If something was on its peg, it was safe and secure, stored properly and ready for use at the appropriate time.

      They will hang on him all the glory of his father's house, the offspring and the issue...

      THE LORD IS TELLING US THAT the godly Eliakim was a SECURE PEG, and could spiritually support his father's house and his offspring. Since Eliakim is a picture of Jesus, we also see in this the believer's total dependence on Jesus, AMEN?

      Clarke says it well here..."They will hang on him all the glory of his father's house...This "has been understood as the dependence of all souls, of all capacities, from the lowest in intellect to the most exalted, on the Lord Jesus, as the only Saviour of all lost human spirits."

      THE LORD IS TELLING US AND SHOWING US THAT THERE ARE MANY DIFFERENT VESSELS in the Lord's house, with many different sizes and purposes. But they ALL MUST HANG on the same peg! All are equally wrecked if they drop from the peg. The safety isn't in the size or the quality of the vessel, but in its attachment to the peg.

      AND WE KNOW OUR TRUEST AND STRONGEST AND MOST SECURE PEG IS OUR SWEET LORD JESUS, AMEN?

      Verse 25 tell us of THE LORD'S removal of Shebna.

      "In that day," says the LORD of hosts, "the peg that is fastened in the secure place will be removed and be cut down and fall, and the burden that was on it will be cut off; for the LORD has spoken."

      The peg that is fastened...If Eliakim is yet to be promoted to the place of honor and responsibility pictured by the peg (I will fasten him as a peg, Isaiah 22:23), then Shebna is the peg that is fastened at the moment. Therefore, before Eliakim can be put in his rightful place, Shebna must be removed and be cut down and fall.

      The LORD gave Shebna a place of honor and authority, but he didn't hold it as a servant of the LORD. So, the LORD took the place of honor and authority away from Shebna.

      JUST AS, the great authority Jesus gave to His disciples was neither unlimited, nor unattached from Jesus' direction. Even though Jesus gave the promise of the keys to Peter (Matthew 16:19), Peter did not have unlimited authority. Instead, Peter was rightly challenged and rebuked by another apostle, Paul, when he was out of line (Galatians 2:11-21).

      And the burden that was on it will be cut off...When Shebna was removed, THE LORD IS TELLING US THAT ALL THOSE who "hung" on him (SHEBNA) were also cut off. We have to make sure that we are "hung" on the right "peg"!

      THE SECURE PEG IS OUR JESUS CHRIST.
      THE RIGHT PEG IS JESUS HOLY WORD...THE BIBLE.
      THE RIGHT PEG TO CLING TO AND HANG ON TO IS JESUS CHRIST AND JESUS CHRIST ALONE...

      IF WE PLACE OUR FAITH, TRUST, HOPE, IN OUR OWN ABILITIES, OUR OWN STRENGTH, INTELLIGENCE, OR OTHER PEOPLE, RELIGIOUS LEADERS, CIVIC LEADERS...ANYTHING ELSE OF THIS WORLD OR MAN...IT WILL FAIL US.

      BUT OUR JESUS NEVER FAILS!

    • July 6, 2016 2:35 AM EDT
    • ISAIAH 23

      OPENS WITH The Burden Against Tyre & GOD'S PROMISE OF JUDGMENT AGAINST TYRE.

      Verses 1-5 tell us the sailors of Tyre agonize when they hear of the destruction of their home port.

      "The burden against Tyre. Wail, you ships of Tarshish! For it is laid waste, so that there is no house, no harbor; from the land of Cyprus it is revealed to them. Be still, you inhabitants of the coastland, you merchants of Sidon, whom those who cross the sea have filled. And on great waters the grain of Shihor, the harvest of the River, is her revenue; and she is a marketplace for the nations. Be ashamed, O Sidon; for the sea has spoken, the strength of the sea, saying, "I do not labor, nor bring forth children; neither do I rear young men, nor bring up virgins." When the report reaches Egypt, they also will be in agony at the report of Tyre."

      The burden against Tyre..

      SO WHO WAS AND WHERE WAS TYRE?

      TYRE was to the north of Israel. Tyre was the leading city of Phoenecia, the great maritime power of the ancient world. Because it was such an important harbor and center for shipping, Tyre was synonymous with commerce and materialism.

      Tyre was the "Babylon of the Sea." Because of their excellent harbor and seamanship, they established a commercial empire far greater than one would expect given their size and military power.

      AND DID YOU KNOW?

      Tyre was a city in two parts - an inland city, and an island city. The inland city was conquered by the Assyrians and the Babylonians, just as Isaiah prophesied. The island city was conquered later by Alexander the Great in 332 B.C..

      AND THE BIBLE tells us Tyre was a mixed bag for Israel. King Hiram of Tyre supplied David and Solomon great timbers for the building of the temple and other projects. Hiram gave Solomon sailors so Israel could build their commerce by sea. But later, Tyre gave Israel one of the worst rulers Israel ever had: Jezebel, the wife of King Ahab of Israel.

      There is no house, no harbor...Isaiah pictures sailors from Tyre in the land of Cyprus and in Egypt hearing of the destruction of the harbor of Tyre. When they hear the news, the wail and are in agony at the report of Tyre.

      Verses 6-9 tell us the proud city of Tyre is humbled.

      "Cross over to Tarshish; wail, you inhabitants of the coastland! Is this your joyous city, whose antiquity is from ancient days, whose feet carried her far off to dwell? Who has taken this counsel against Tyre, the crowning city, whose merchants are princes, whose traders are the honorable of the earth? The LORD of hosts has purposed it, to bring to dishonor the pride of all glory, to bring into contempt all the honorable of the earth."

      HISTORY tells us Tyre was a city where MONEY ruled. The merchants are princes, and the traders are the honorable of the earth. To be a leader or honorable, one didn't need to be of royal heritage, a good or a honest man. The only thing needed was success in business!

      The LORD of hosts has purposed it, to bring dishonor the pride of all glory...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      Because of its great success, Tyre had become proud and full of self-glory. They gave THE LORD not a thought & never considered that ALL THEY HAD was due to THE LORD. SO the LORD of hosts has purposed to judge and humble Tyre, and Isaiah announces it.

      JENNINGS says it well, "Pride, pride, pride, is that basic sin to which God is ever opposed, and man is ever expressing."

      Verses 10-14 tells us of the destruction of the city of Tyre.

      "Overflow through your land like the River, O daughter of Tarshish; there is no more strength. He stretched out His hand over the sea, He shook the kingdoms; the LORD has given a commandment against Canaan to destroy its strongholds. And He said, "You will rejoice no more, O you oppressed virgin daughter of Sidon. Arise, cross over to Cyprus; there also you will have no rest." Behold, the land of the Chaldeans, this people which was not; Assyria founded it for wild beasts of the desert. They set up its towers, they raised up its palaces, and brought it to ruin. Wail, you ships of Tarshish! For your strength is laid waste."

      The Chaldeans … Assyria...

      We KNOW the mainland CITY of Tyre was defeated by both the Assyrians and the Babylonians. AND Alexander The Great, conquered the ISLAND OF TYRE. They were EACH used by God to bring the city to ruin.

      Verses 15-16 tell us of SEVENTY YEARS of desolation for the city of Tyre.

      "Now it shall come to pass in that day that Tyre will be forgotten seventy years, according to the days of one king. At the end of seventy years it will happen to Tyre as in the song of the harlot: "Take a harp, go about the city, you forgotten harlot; make sweet melody, sing many songs, that you may be remembered."

      Tyre WILL BE FORGOTTEN FOR SEVENTY YEARS...God's judgments are so precise that He decrees the exact number of years Tyre will be forgotten.

      That you MAY BE remembered...Quoting what may have been a well-known song in his day, Isaiah makes the point that at the end of the seventy years appointed by God, Tyre WILL BE remembered again.

      Verses 17-18 tells us God's PURPOSE in restoring the city of Tyre.

      "And it shall be, at the end of seventy years, that the LORD will visit Tyre. She will return to her hire, and commit fornication with all the kingdoms of the world on the face of the earth. Her gain and her pay will be set apart for the LORD; it will not be treasured nor laid up, for her gain will be for those who dwell before the LORD, to eat sufficiently, and for fine clothing."

      She will return to her hire...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      God will allow Tyre, symbolized by a prostitute, to continue her gross materialism with all the kingdoms of the world. But Her gain and her pay will be set apart for the LORD; ultimately, the riches Tyre so desperately sought will be given to the LORD anyway.

      The LORD WILL VISIT Tyre...Many commentators think this refers to the presence of Christianity in Tyre in the days of the early church.

      CLARKE, a wonderful Bible historian tells us, "Tyre, after its destruction by Nebuchadnezzar, recovered, as it is here foretold, its ancient trade, wealth, and grandeur; as it did likewise after a second destruction by Alexander. It became Christian early with the rest of the neighboring countries. Paul himself found many Christian there, Acts 21:4. It suffered much in the Diocletian persecution. It continued Christian till it was taken by the Saracens in 639; was recovered by the Christians in 1124; but in 1280 was conquered by the Mamelukes and afterwards taken from them by the Turks in 1517. Since that time it has sunk into utter decay; is now a mere ruin, a bare rock, 'a place to spread nets upon,' as the Prophet Ezekiel foretold it should be, chapter 26:14."



      ISAIAH 24

      OPENS WITH The Character of the Judgment of the LORD & THE SCENE OF GOD'S JUDGMENT.

      Verses 1-3 tells us the scope of the judgment of the LORD.

      "Behold, the LORD makes the earth empty and makes it waste, distorts its surface and scatters abroad its inhabitants. 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 creditor, so with the debtor. The land shall be entirely emptied and utterly plundered, for the LORD has spoken this word."

      Behold, the LORD makes the earth empty...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      Isaiah invites us to behold, to look upon the scene of God's judgment. The principles revealed here apply universally to the judgment of the LORD, but the ultimate fulfillment of this will be in the ultimate period of judgment, the time of the Great Tribulation told to us in Matthew 24:21-22, which will immediately precede the second coming of Jesus Christ told to us in Matthew 24:29-30).

      In the days of the Great Tribulation, the earth will not be literally empty, but Isaiah's poetic description applies, because the earth will seem empty in many places. More than one-third of humanity will die in the judgments of the great tribulation told to us in Revelation 9:15-21, making the areas hardest hit seem as if the earth were empty.

      AND HOW MANY IS 1/3 OF THE EARTH'S POPULATION? TODAY THERE ARE OVER 7 BILLION PEOPLE ON THE FACE OF THE EARTH. GLOBALLY, THERE COULD BE AS MANY AS 1 BILLION JESUS LOVING, BELIEVING AND TRUSTING CHRISTIANS ON THE FACE OF THE EARTH. AFTER THE RAPTURE OF THE CHURCH, THAT WOULD LEAVE AN ESTIMATED 6 BILLION ON THE FACE OF THE EARTH. ONE THIRD OF 6 BILLION, MEANS 2 BILLION PEOPLE WILL DIE DURING THE GREAT TRIBULATION.

      BULTEMA says it well,"The connection between these chapters and the preceding ones appear to be as follows: the judgments pronounced upon the various countries and nations in those chapters are drawn together here into a focal point. The specific divine judgments described there become here the general judgment upon the nations, which will take place when the Lord Jesus Christ with His Church will return to this earth."

      AND THINK ABOUT THIS...THE LORD REMINDED ME, AS I WAS STUDYING THIS CHAPTER...THAT THE EARTH WILL BE EMPTY, AS FAR AS HE IS CONCERNED, BECAUSE HE WILL HAVE TAKEN HIS BRIDE, HIS CHURCH, HIS LIGHT FROM THE EARTH, AND HE WILL ALSO REMOVE HIS HOLY SPIRIT FROM THE FACE OF THE EARTH AT THE RAPTURE, SO THE REAL BEGINNING OF THE GREAT TRIBULATION CAN NOT BEGIN UNTIL HIS REDEEMED FAMILY IS SAFELY IN HEAVEN WITH HIM. WHAT WILL REMAIN ON THE EARTH IS THE BIBLE, THE TEACHINGS FROM THOSE WHO LOVED HIM AND SOUGHT TO SHINE AND SHOW HIM...AND A REMNANT...THE 144,000 VIRGIN, MALE JEWISH YOUNG MEN & THEY WILL BE SEALED AGAINST HARM TO PREACH TO THE LOST WORLD.

      OTHERWISE, ALL THAT WILL REMAIN ARE THOSE WHO HAVE AT BEST HEAD FAITH, LIKE SATAN, WHO BELIEVES AND KNOWS AND HAS SEEN THE TRIUNE GOD, BUT REJECTS HIS SOVEREIGNTY.

      HEAD FAITH FOR MANKIND IS FOR THOSE WHO BELIEVE THERE IS A CREATOR GOD, BEING, SOMETHING OUT THERE SOMEWHERE WHO CREATED ALL THINGS, BUT REJECTS THE SAVING REDEEMING GRACE, LOVE, AND BLOOD SACRIFICE OF JESUS CHRIST ON THE CROSS FOR MANKIND.

      HEAD FAITH IS THE BELIEF THAT SINCE I AM A MEMBER OF A CHURCH, I FOLLOW ALL THEIR RULES, RITUALS, AND COMMANDS, & I LIVE A GOOD LIFE, I DO GOOD DEEDS, AND HAVE NOT HARMED ANOTHER SOUL...I BELIEVE IN GOD, BUT NOT IN JESUS CHRIST, THAT I WILL GO TO HEAVEN.

      THAT IS THE SUBTLE TWISTING OF GOD'S WORD BY SATAN, TO MANKIND, AND TO MAN CREATED RELIGIONS...AND IT IS A LIE STRAIGHT FROM THE PIT OF HELL ITSELF.

      BUT IS IT NOT PRECIOUS, HOW MUCH WE ARE LOVED BY OUR TRIUNE GOD, THAT IF WE ARE NOT IN A PLACE, THEN TO HIM THAT PLACE IS EMPTY...NEVER DOUBT HOW MUCH OUR LORD JESUS LOVES THOSE HE CALLS FRIEND AND FAMILY, AMEN?

      AND HERE ISAIAH CONFIRMS THIS...

      As with the people, so with the priest; as with the servant, so with his master...

      In these comparisons, Isaiah shows that a high station in life (priest … master … mistress … seller) will not protect one from the judgments of the LORD. As well, a low station of life (borrower … debtor) will not protect one either. When the judgment of the Great Tribulation comes, it will be complete in its scope!

      AND SATAN AND THOSE WHO KNOWINGLY OR UNKNOWINGLY HEAR AND BELIEVE HIS TWISTING WHISPERS TEACH AND BELIEVE...that the church, JESUS FAMILY will be left on the earth to endure the Great Tribulation.

      THEY WRONGLY believe that God will miraculously protect Christians during that time, so they face none of the judgments of the LORD, only perhaps persecution from the Antichrist. But this passage reinforces the idea that the judgments of the LORD during the Great Tribulation will be universal in their scope, and that no class of people will be immune from the general judgment of the LORD.

      Therefore, it makes sense for God to remove as His redeemed before this period of Great Tribulation, so only those who trust in Him during the Great Tribulation have to suffer under these judgments.

      AND THINK ABOUT THIS, ALL THE OLD TESTAMENT PROPHETS HAVE BEEN WARNING OF THE GREAT TRIBULATION TO COME, BEFORE JESUS AND HIS DISCIPLES BEGAN WARNING OF IT, SO ALMIGHTY GOD HAS BEEN WARNING, PLEADING, URGING, SEEKING TO DRAW AND TO SAVE LOST MANKIND FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS...REPENT, CALL UPON THE NAME ABOVE ALL NAMES, AND YOU SHALL BE SAVED, AMEN?

      Verses 4-6 GOD tells ISAIAH the reason for judgment.

      "The earth mourns and fades away, the world languishes and fades away; the haughty people of the earth languish. The earth is also defiled under its inhabitants, because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore the curse has devoured the earth, and those who dwell in it are desolate. Therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men are left."

      The earth mourns and fades away...
      WHY DOES THE EARTH MOURN? Because in the Great Tribulation, the earth will be terribly afflicted by the judgments of the LORD. Revelation 8:7-13 describes the terrible effect of the judgments of the LORD upon the earth TOO.

      SOME HAVE ASKED...Is this God's fault? Does God hate the earth?

      THE ANSWER IS No, this is the fault of man. The earth is also defiled under its inhabitants. Man has defiled the earth with his sin and great wickedness, so the earth must endure some of the righteous judgment of God also. In this sense, the most ecologically responsible thing anyone could do is to honor the LORD God, walk right with Him, and in obedience to Him, AMEN!

      This passage is a good reminder of the principle that God is greater than His creation.

      AND IT CATEGORICALLY DISMISSES NEW AGE IDEOLOGIES.

      The Bible NEVER teaches the New Age idea of God that He is somehow bound up together with what He has created. God is separate from His creation, and when the earth fades away, when the world fades away, the LORD God will remain unchanged, AMEN?

      Because they have transgressed the laws...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      The idea of transgression is to step over the line that God has established. God has set boundaries for us, but many of us don't want to see or respect God's boundaries.

      AND SADLY, NOW MORE THAN EVER, LIKE SODOM AND GOMORRAH...Transgression is the spirit of our age. Notice the slogans from recent national advertising campaigns: Nothing is taboo … Break all the rules … To know no boundaries … Relax: No rules here … Peel off inhibitions. Find your own road … We are all hedonists and want to do what feels good … That's what makes us human … Living without boundaries … Just do it. The idea is constant: you don't have to respect God's boundaries, because you can make your own and live by them.

      HOW MANY TODAY SIT IN THE WAITING PRISON OF HELL, BECAUSE THEY CHOSE TO TRUST AND BELIEVE THE AD CAMPAIGNS OF SATAN, RELIGIOSITIES, AND MANKIND?

      Because they have … changed the ordinance.
      DID YOU KNOW...The Hebrew word for ordinance here is TORAH, which often means the law of God and the word of God. Mankind is ripe for judgment because we have changed God's word into something "lighter," into something "more acceptable."

      Mankind has changed the law of God in the sense of changing the basic moral code which men have recognized and lived by for centuries. When once it was universally recognized that it was wrong to lie, wrong to cheat, wrong to be sexually immoral, abortion is murder, sodomy is an abomination, it was wrong to do so many other things, today all of that is approved and celebrated! We have changed the ordinance, and are ripe for judgment!

      Mankind has changed the word of God by replacing it with substitutes, or by fashioning it into something more suitable to his liking. Every time a preacher soft-peddles the gospel, every time a politician twists the Scriptures to rise in the opinion polls, every time a counselor wrenches the context of God's word to make it fit a crazy psychological theory, they have changed the ordinance, and are ripe for judgment!

      Because they have … broken the everlasting covenant.

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      God has entered into covenant with man, and man has turned his back on His covenant. Instead of receiving God's everlasting covenant, man wants to make up his own way with God!

      There is no single covenant known as the everlasting covenant, because the title applies to SEVERAL different covenants.

      The covenant God made with mankind after the flood, never to judge the world again by water is called an everlasting covenant told to us in Genesis 9:16.

      The covenant God made with Abraham and his descendants is called an everlasting covenant told to us in Genesis 17:7, 13, 19).

      The covenant God made with Israel and the priesthood is called an everlasting covenant told to us in Leviticus 24:8.

      The covenant God made with David, to bring the Messiah from his line, is called an everlasting covenant told to us in 2 Samuel 23:5.

      The New Covenant is called an everlasting covenant, both prophetically told to us in Jeremiah 32:40 and after its establishment told to us in Hebrews 13:20.

      For ALL THESE REASONS, the curse has devoured the earth. Man's hardened, repeated REJECTION of God & HIS PRECIOUS SON JESUS CHRIST, will bring the ultimate judgment: the Great Tribulation.

      MORGAN says it well, "Man has transgressed the laws, violated the statutes, and broken the covenant. For an interpretation of these words of Isaiah, read Paul - Romans 1:18-32."

      MORGAN ADDS, "This is the interpretation of all disease, all insanity, all the things of waste, of disorder, of strife, of misery in human history and human experience. A polluted race pollutes the earth, and chaos is the result."

      Verses 7-13 tells us the scene of judgment.

      "The new wine fails, the vine languishes, all the merry-hearted sigh. The mirth of the tambourine ceases, the noise of the jubilant ends, the joy of the harp ceases. They shall not drink wine with a song; strong drink is bitter to those who drink it. The city of confusion is broken down; every house is shut up, so that none may go in. There is a cry for wine in the streets, all joy is darkened, the mirth of the land is gone. In the city desolation is left, and the gate is stricken with destruction. When it shall be thus in the midst of the land among the people, it shall be like the shaking of an olive tree, like the gleaning of grapes when the vintage is done."

      All the merry-hearted sigh...WHEN THE RAPTURE COMES, THE LOST WORLD WILL CELEBRATE OUR DISAPPEARANCE. THEY WILL AT FIRST SHOUT....FREE AT LAST!!! BUT When the LORD brings the judgment of the Great Tribulation, there will be no more "partying as usual." The days for eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage told to us in Matthew 24:38 REMEMBER ARE BEFORE THE RAPTURE AND BEFORE the Great Tribulation. When the Great Tribulation comes, the noise of the jubilant ends, the joy of the harp ceases.

      During the Great Tribulation, God's judgment will bring destruction EVERYWHERE...In the city desolation is left, and the gate is stricken with destruction. The judgment will be so complete that the cities will look like olive trees bare (like the shaking of an olive tree) and grape vines striped of everything (like the gleaning of grapes when the vintage is done). There will be NO BOMB SHELTERS, NO IVORY TOWERS, NO COMPOUNDS...THAT ARE SAFE FROM THE GREAT TRIBULATION.

      Verses 14-16 tells us the glory of God and the woe of man.

      "They shall lift up their voice, they shall sing; for the majesty of the LORD they shall cry aloud from the sea. Therefore glorify the LORD in the dawning light, the name of the LORD God of Israel in the coastlands of the sea. From the ends of the earth we have heard songs: "Glory to the righteous!" But I said, "I am ruined, ruined! Woe to me! The treacherous dealers have dealt treacherously, indeed, the treacherous dealers have dealt very treacherously."

      They shall lift up their voice, they shall sing...Even in the midst of great judgment, God has His own that praise Him. Before the Great Tribulation, God will remove all His people; but WE NEED TO REMEMBER THAT MANY JEW AND GENTILE ALIKE come to trust in Jesus DURING the Great Tribulation, and these will praise Him in the midst of judgment told to us also in Revelation 7:9-14.

      SOME HAVE ASKED...Why do they praise Him?

      Because even in His judgments, or perhaps especially in His judgments, the LORD shows His majesty, He shows His glory. The godly can see the goodness, the greatness, and the glory of God even in judgment, even when the treacherous dealers have dealt very treacherously.

      AND THEY ALSO REALIZE THAT THOUGH THEY DELAYED COMING TO JESUS BEFORE THE RAPTURE, THEY HAVE THE SWEET KNOWLEDGE THAT NO MATTER WHAT THEY FACE DURING THE GREAT TRIBULATION, THEY WILL TOO BE SAVED AND SPEND ETERNITY IN HEAVEN WITH JESUS, AMEN?

      Verses 17-18 tells us the judgment of the LORD will always be completed.

      "Fear and the pit and the snare are upon you, O inhabitant of the earth. And it shall be that he who flees from the noise of the fear shall fall into the pit, and he who comes up from the midst of the pit shall be caught in the snare; for the windows from on high are open, and the foundations of the earth are shaken."

      O inhabitant of the earth...

      SINCE WE HAVE STUDIED ALL OF REVELATION, we have the confirming of JOHN & JESUS IN The Book of Revelation, writing of this time of Great Tribulation, makes constant reference to those who dwell on the earth told to us in Revelation 3:10, 6:10, 11:10, 13:12, 13:14.
      This is in contrast to those who dwell in heaven told to us in Revelation 13:6, & who are seated with Jesus in the heavenly places told to us in Ephesians 2:6.

      SO THE QUESTION FROM ALMIGHTY GOD IN ISAIAH & REVELATION IS THIS..Where do you sit? Where do you live? Are you an inhabitant of the earth, or do you sit with Jesus in heavenly places?

      Fear … pit … snare.

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      Simply put, the judgment of the LORD is inescapable. If you escape the fear, you will fall into the pit. If you escape the pit, you will fall into the snare. God's judgment has enough back-up plans to catch EVERYONE WHO REJECTS HIM. The only way to escape the judgment of God is to satisfy it, and the only place God's judgment was ever satisfied was on the cross, THROUGH HIS PRECIOUS SON JESUS CHRIST, AMEN?

      Verses 19-20 tells us the intensity of the judgment of the LORD touches everything.

      "The earth is violently broken, the earth is split open, the earth is shaken exceedingly. The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall totter like a hut; its transgression shall be heavy upon it, and it will fall, and not rise again."

      The earth is violently broken, the earth is split open...
      The Bible describes some of this judgment during the Great Tribulation in Revelation 6:13-14, and specifically mentions a mighty and great earthquake as had not occurred since men were on the earth in Revelation 16:18). No wonder Isaiah says, the earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard!

      Verses 21-23 tells us the judgment of the LORD will touch everyone.

      "It shall come to pass in that day that the LORD will punish on high the host of exalted ones, and on the earth the kings of the earth. They will be gathered together, as prisoners are gathered in the pit, and will be shut up in the prison; after many days they will be punished. Then the moon will be disgraced and the sun ashamed; for the LORD of hosts will reign on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem and before His elders, gloriously."

      The LORD WILL PUNISH on high the host of exalted ones...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      One of the more frustrating aspects of life is to see the rich, powerful wicked escape the present consequences of their sin. But in His great judgment during the Great Tribulation, no one will be able to buy a high-priced lawyer to escape judgment, or bribe a politician to come out without being hurt.

      AND MANY BELIEVE GOD WAS ALSO TELLING ISAIAH THAT "THE EXALTED ONES" ALSO REFERS TO THE REBELLIOUS ANGELS OF SATAN'S ARMY that are judged at the end of the age, and imprisoned in the pit until the final rebellion at the end of the Millennium told to us in Revelation 20:1-10.

      The kings of the earth … will be gathered together, as prisoners are gathered in the pit...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      Under God's great and final judgment, one's status on this earth will buy them nothing. Poetically speaking, even the moon will be disgraced and the sun ashamed. No degree of earthly greatness will help man on that day, and no degree of heavenly greatness will help an angelic being on that day!

      NO ONE AND NOTHING ESCAPES THE FINAL JUDGMENT OF ALMIGHTY GOD...ONLY THOSE WHO HIT THEIR KNEES, CRY OUT TO JESUS CHRIST TO SAVE THEM...WILL BE SAVED...ALL ELSE WILL HAVE CHOSEN THE LAKE OF FIRE ETERNITY.

      CLARKE, A HISTORIAN says of this, "The image seems to be taken from the practice of the great monarchs of that time; who, when they had thrown their wretched captives into a dungeon, never gave themselves the trouble of inquiring about them; but let them lie a long time in that miserable condition, wholly destitute of relief, and disregarded."

      Instead, the LORD of hosts will reign on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem and before His elders, gloriously! At the end of the Great Tribulation, God will usher in a thousand years of His glorious reign over all the earth from Mount Zion and in Jerusalem. God's purpose in judgment isn't simple vengeance or vindictiveness, it is to bring about a glorious new world.

      SO ONCE AGAIN, FOR THOSE OF US WHO HAVE PEOPLE WHO BELIEVE AND TRUST IN THE OLD TESTAMENT AND NOT THE NEW TESTAMENT, SEND THEM TO ISAIAH 24. IT PERFECTLY MIRRORS THE NEW TESTAMENT...THOUSANDS OF YEARS BEFORE JESUS WALKED THE FACE OF THE EARTH.

    • July 6, 2016 2:34 AM EDT
    • ISAIAH 25


      OPENS WITH...The Song of Joy from the Midst of Tribulation & Praising God for what He has done.


      Verse 1 GOD SHOWS ISAIAH ALL THE WONDERFUL THINGS HE WILL DO.

      "O LORD, You are my God. I will exalt You, I will praise Your name, for You have done wonderful things; Your counsels of old are faithfulness and truth."

      REMEMBER Isaiah 24 spoke of the judgment to come upon the world, especially in the Great Tribulation. During that time, those who have come to trust in the LORD will praise Him, even in the midst of His righteous judgment. They shall lift up their voice, they shall sing; for the majesty of the LORD they shall cry aloud from the sea (Isaiah 24:14). This song shows the kind of heart that praises God in the midst of tribulation, even in the midst of the Great Tribulation.

      O LORD, You are my God...Knowing that the LORD -the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God revealed in and by Jesus Christ -is our God makes us want to praise Him. When someone or something other than the LORD is our God, we are guilty of idolatry.

      I will exalt You, I will praise Your name...The worshiper here makes a decision to praise God (I will). Worship is never to be just a feeling, even if it is an intense feeling. We are to CHOOSE TO worship God with a decision.

      SPURGEON SAYS IT WELL..."If I did not praise and bless Christ my Lord, I should deserve to have my tongue torn out by its roots from my mouth. If I did not bless and magnify his name, I should deserve that every stone I tread on in the streets should rise up to curse my ingratitude, for I am a drowned debtor to the mercy of God - over head and ears - to infinite love and boundless compassion I am a debtor. Are you not the same? Then I charge you by the love of Christ, awake, awake your hearts now to magnify his glorious name."

      For You have done wonderful things...When we think about all the wonderful things the LORD has done, it is pretty easy to make the decision to CHOOSE TO worship the LORD. God wants our worship to be filled with thought and remembrance of God's great works, not only an emotional response.

      Your counsels of old are faithfulness and truth...When we remember the greatness and permanence of God's Word, it makes us WANT to praise Him.

      What is more reliable, more everlasting, more enduring than the Word of God?

      Verses 2-3 tells us Praising God for His righteous judgment.

      "For You have made a city a ruin, a fortified city a ruin, a palace of foreigners to be a city no more; it will never be rebuilt. Therefore the strong people will glorify You; the city of the terrible nations will fear You."

      For You have made a city a ruin...We can worship God for His judgment, because we have confidence in His fairness. As was the case with Sodom and Gomorrah, God will never make a city a ruin unless the judgment is deserved, and God has ALWAYS made provision for the righteous.

      Which city is referred to?

      NO SPECIFIC CITY, BECAUSE GOD IS SPEAKING TO ALLLLL AND EVERYYYYYYYY CITY IN THIS WORLD.

      When God asserts his will in judgment he will bring an end to the existing human order, AMEN?

      The righteous judgment of God has TWO effects upon mankind.

      FIRST, the strong people will glorify You. The people of the LORD see His work and glorify Him.

      SECOND, the city of the terrible nations will fear You. The unrighteous fear God when they see His righteous judgment.

      Verses 4-5 tells us Praising God for His goodness to the weak.

      "For You have been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shade from the heat; for the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall. You will reduce the noise of aliens, as heat in a dry place; as heat in the shadow of a cloud, the song of the terrible ones will be diminished."

      God is worthy of our praise because He brings strength to the poor and needy!

      We can praise God because He is a refuge from the storm, a shade from the heat, and even the strangers (aliens) are blessed by His goodness. God will even quiet the song of the terrible ones!

      Verse 6 tells us of Praising God for what He WILL do, BRING A GLORIOUS FEAST FOR HIS PEOPLE.

      "And in this mountain the LORD of hosts will make for all people a feast of choice pieces, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of well-refined wines on the lees."

      In this mountain the LORD of hosts will make for all people a feast...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      In several places, the Bible speaks of what is often called the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. Revelation 19:9 says, Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb! According to Isaiah 25:6, we might say that this great feast takes place on earth, not in heaven.

      And what a feast it will be! A feast of choice pieces, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of well-refined wines on the lees. For the God's people, this will be the "victory banquet" or the "awards banquet" when after THE FINAL BATTLE is over!

      AND REMEMBER...Jesus is really looking forward to this banquet. He said to His disciples at the Last Supper, "I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father's kingdom" told to us in Matthew 26:29.

      In this, Jesus spoke of His LONGING & EXPECTATION for the day when He would take communion with His people at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.
      Jesus is excited about this event; are you?

      Verses 7-8 tells us of the destruction of evil.

      "And He will destroy on this mountain the surface of the covering cast over all people, and the veil that is spread over all nations. He will swallow up death forever, and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from all faces; the rebuke of His people He will take away from all the earth; for the LORD has spoken."

      What will the LORD destroy?

      THE VEIL that is spread over all nations. The picture is that there is a veil that is spread over all nations that keeps them from seeing God, loving God, and obeying God. In this glorious day, the LORD will destroy that veil.

      AND REMEMBER...In the New Testament, Paul speaks of Israel being BLINDED BY A VEIL: "But even to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart" told to us in 2 Corinthians 3:15.

      AND AS GOD HAD TOLD HIM, AND ISAIAH SAW HIMSELF IN HIS DAY, it was more apparent that the NATIONS WERE VEILED.

      WHEREAS, In Paul's day, it was more apparent that ISRAEL WAS VEILED.

      BUT THE BIBLE TELLS US...for BOTH the nations and for Israel, the REMEDY is the same. "Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away," told to us in 2 Corinthians 3:16.

      The LORD will also destroy death...He will swallow up death FOREVER. The day will come when death is powerless. Death was introduced by Adam's rebellion told to us in Genesis 2:16-17, and will one day be completely eliminated by God.

      REMEMBER Paul knew this and looked forward to this day. He proclaimed in 1 Corinthians 15:54: "Death is swallowed up in victory."

      This will be true for every believer when death is defeated by resurrection. A resurrected body is not a resuscitated corpse. It is a new order of life that will never die again.

      Freud was wrong when he said: "And finally there is the painful riddle of death, for which no remedy at all has yet been found, nor probably ever will be." Compare that with Isaiah's triumphant declaration, "He will swallow death up forever!"

      And the LORD God will wipe away tears from all faces...How much more glorious could the tender mercy of God be? It isn't just that He takes away the things that made us sad, or even that He gives us a handkerchief to dry our eyes and blow our nose. Instead, He gently and lovingly will wipe away tears from all faces.

      HOW CAN WE EVER DOUBT THE LOVE, CARE, & TENDERNESS OUR GOD HAS FOR US?

      The rebuke of His people He will take away from all the earth... Now, we need the rebuke of His people. If God did not rebuke and correct us, we could drift further and further from Him.

      BUT GOD SHOWS ISAIAH HERE THE WONDROUS PROMISE AND HOPE...But there will come a day when we are no longer troubled by sin, no longer in a place to rebel. In that glorious day, the rebuke of His people He will take away. Thank God for that coming day! Thank God for His faithful rebuke until then!

      Verse 9 tell us the testimony of God's people.

      "And it will be said in that day: "Behold, 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."

      Behold, this is our God...We will proclaim it then because we have proclaimed it now. We are those who were unafraid to confess Jesus before men on earth, and we will be blessed to hear Him confess us before our Father in heaven told to us in Luke 12:8.

      We have waited for Him, and He will save us...How great it is to wait on the LORD, and to see Him bring His salvation! God often seems distant or cruel when He compels us to wait on Him, but His ways really are best, and will be shown to be the best, AMEN?

      We will be glad and rejoice in His salvation...If it is our salvation -a salvation of our own making, of our own creation, then there is nothing to be glad and rejoice in. But since it is His salvation, there is everything to be glad and rejoice in!

      And it will be said in that day...Each one of these things - confessing He is our God, the fulfillment of patient waiting, and rejoicing in His salvation - each of these will be ultimately fulfilled in that day. But they can be substantially fulfilled right now! We can praise God for these things right now! And as we do, we bring some of the glory of that day to pass in our lives right now.

      SPURGEON SAYS IT WELL, "To be rapt in praise to God is the highest state of the soul. To receive the mercy for which we praise God for is something; but to be wholly clothed with praise to God for the mercy received is far more. Why, praise is heaven, and heaven is praise! To pray is heaven below, but praise is the essence of heaven above. When you bow in adoration, you are at your very highest."

      Verses 10-12 tells us The LORD resolves all things.

      "For on this mountain the hand of the LORD will rest, and Moab shall be trampled down under Him, as straw is trampled down for the refuse heap. And He will spread out His hands in their midst as a swimmer reaches out to swim, and He will bring down their pride together with the trickery of their hands. The fortress of the high fort of your walls He will bring down, lay low, and bring to the ground, down to the dust."

      For on this mountain the hand of the LORD WILL REST...The LORD will settle His hand of favor, power, and glory on Mount Zion. After the Great Tribulation, when Jesus Christ reigns from Jerusalem, the whole creation WILL KNOW WITHOUT DOUBT that the hand of the LORD does rest on this mountain.

      And Moab will be trampled down...In that day, Jesus WILL RULE ALL the nations with all authority and righteousness (Psalm 2:8-12). God will reach out (As a swimmer reaches out to swim) and bring low every proud, rebelling heart. Those who oppose His rule He will bring to the ground, down to the dust.

      THESE PROPHETIC WORDS, PROMISES, AND VISIONS GIVEN ISAIAH ASKS MANKIND SIMPLY...So, which do we want - the loving hand of God UPON US, or to be TRAMPLED TO DUST under His feet?

      THE BIBLE ASKS THE SAME QUESTION OVER AND OVER...CHOOSE!

      DEUTERONOMY 30:19, "I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:"

      JOSHUA 24:15, "And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD."

      I HAVE IMBUED YOU FROM BIRTH WITH FREEWILL CHOICE. IT IS A CHOICE I CAN NOT MAKE FOR YOU. YOU MUST CHOOSE WHILE THERE IS STILL BREATH IN YOUR LUNGS & YOUR HEART BEATS.

      CHOOSE THE WORLD, MANKIND, AND SATAN AND SPEND ETERNITY IN THE LAKE OF FIRE.

      CHOOSE MY SALVATION, MY SON, JESUS CHRIST, TO BE YOUR LORD, SAVIOR, AND FRIEND, AND SPEND ETERNITY WITH ME IN HEAVEN.

      CHOOSE JESUS.

    • July 6, 2016 2:32 AM EDT
    • ISAIAH 26

      OPENS WITH Judah's Kingdom of God Song IN THE CITY OF GOD AND THE CITY OF MAN.

      Verses 1-2 tells us of the strength of God's city.

      "In that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah: "We have a strong city; God will appoint salvation for walls and bulwarks. Open the gates, that the righteous nation which keeps the truth may enter in."

      In that day...
      The context from Isaiah 24 and 25 points to the day of the Messiah's ultimate triumph, the day when the Messiah reigns over Israel, and over all the world. In that day, there will be a lot of joyful singing, such as this song that will be sung in the land of Judah.

      We have a strong city...Since cities came into being after the Fall, man has NEVER KNOWN a truly godly city, the City of God on earth. In that day, ALL WILL KNOW the strength and glory of the city of God.

      DID YOU KNOW...

      In the 5TH CENTURY, Rome was conquered by less civilized tribes from the north in Europe. The mighty Roman Empire was no more, and AMAZINGLY ENOUGH MANY BLAMED the fall of Rome on the new religion she had officially embraced in the last 100 years: Christianity.

      In this time of confusion, AUGUSTINE, the greatest Christian theologian of the time wrote a book titled "The City of God". In it, he tried to explain how the fall of the Roman Empire related to the kingdom of God, and he made the contrast between the city of man (ultimately represented by Rome and the mighty Roman Empire) and the City of God (the kingdom of God). Augustine pointed out that though the fall of Rome was tragic for the city of man, it really only hastened the coming of the City of God. Speaking in Augustine's terms, Isaiah writes about the City of God when he says we have a strong city. The strong city is the Kingdom of God, the city of man is the world system.

      This is an important and often neglected idea. MANY WRONGLY TEACH AND BELIEVE GOD disapproves of the idea of the city, and MANY WRONGLY romanticize the idea of man in isolation, in a rural or primitive setting as GOD'S PREFERENCE.

      BUT THE BIBLE CLEARLY TELLS US, IN THE OLD TESTAMENT AND IN THE NEW TESTAMENT, that in the Kingdom of Jesus Christ on this earth, there WILL BE cities - but REDEEMED cities, GLORIOUS communities organized under the strength and salvation and righteousness and truth of the LORD.

      BUT RIGHT HERE, GOD SHOWS ISAIAH AND TELLS US THAT God's supreme ideal is no escape from all community and a private communion with nature; the Kingdom of God will be realized in STRONG cities, VITAL cities, THRIVING cities.

      God will appoint salvation for walls and bulwarks...The city of God, from beginning to end, is all about salvation. Even the walls and the bulwarks of the city are saved!

      Open the gates, that the righteous nation which keeps the truth may enter it...The city of God, with all its strength and salvation, is only for the righteous, and those who keep the truth. In the same principle, the New Jerusalem is a city filled with glory, which excludes the unrighteous as told to us in Revelation 21:22-27.

      We should make a distinction between the Kingdom of the Messiah, the millennial reign of Jesus (described here in Isaiah 26), and the coming of the New Jerusalem (which comes when this earth passes away, & a NEW EARTH comes in Revelation 21:1-2. The cities are similar, because they are both from the LORD, but they come at different times in God's plan of the ages.

      THE EARTHLY KINGDOM REIGN OF JESUS CHRIST ON EARTH, WILL BE FOR 1000 YEARS, but their will still be the lost, seeking, and unsaved on the earth.

      NEW JERUSALEM, will be AFTER the 1000 YEAR REIGN & AFTER final battle with Satan, when SATAN, SIN, DEATH, & THE REJECTING MANKIND remaining are cast into the LAKE OF FIRE FOR ETERNITY. THEN THE ENTIRE WORLD WILL BE MADE COMPLETELY NEW, PERFECT, AND THE NEW CITY OF JERUSALEM SHALL COME DOWN FROM HEAVEN.

      Verses 3-4 tells us The LORD is our source of strength.

      "You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. Trust in the LORD forever, for in YAH, the LORD, is everlasting strength."

      You will keep him in perfect peace...What a promise! Perfect peace! God promises that we can have perfect peace, and even be kept in a place of perfect peace.

      DID YOU KNOW...

      In Hebrew, the term PERFECT PEACE is actually SHALOM SHALOM. This shows how in Hebrew, repetition communicates intensity. It isn't just shalom; it is shalom shalom, perfect peace, AMEN?

      Some can have this perfect peace, but it is fleeting and they are never kept there. Others can be kept in peace, but it is not a perfect peace, it is the peace of the wicked, the peace of spiritual sleep and ultimate destruction. But there is a perfect peace that the LORD will keep us in.

      Whose mind is stayed on You...This is the place of perfect peace, and the source of it. When we keep our minds stayed - settled upon, established upon - the LORD Himself, then we can be kept in this perfect peace.

      To be kept in this perfect peace, it is a matter of our mind.

      THIS IS A CHOICE...A CONSCIOUS DECISION ON OUR PART.

      This isn't so much a matter of our spirit or of our soul or of our heart. It is a matter of our mind.

      Matthew 22:37 tells us, "We are to love the LORD our God with all of our mind".

      Romans 12:2 tells us, "We are transformed by the renewing of your mind."

      1 Corinthians 2:16 & Philippians 2:5 tells us, "We can have the mind of Christ."

      Philippians 3:19 tells us, "We are not to set our mind on earthly things but to set our mind on things above."

      The Christian life is not an unthinking life of just doing, or experiencing, but it is also about thinking, and where we set our mind is essential in our walk before the LORD, AMEN?

      To be kept in this perfect peace, our mind must be stayed.

      DID YOU KNOW...The Hebrew word SAWMAK comes from the root "to prop," and has the idea "to lean upon or take hold of … bear up, establish, uphold, lay, lean, lie hard, put, rest self, set self, stand fast, stay (self), sustain."

      In other places the same word is translated SUSTAINED (Genesis 27:37, Psalm 3:5).

      AS when the priest would put their hands on the head of a sacrificial animal (Exodus 29:10, 15, 19).

      OR of the laying on of hands in other circumstances (Numbers 27:18).
      OF being upheld (Psalm 71:6).
      To stand fast upon (Psalm 111:8).
      Of being established (Psalm 112:8).
      Of leaning upon (Isaiah 36:6, 48:2).

      So, what sustains your mind?
      What do you lay your mind upon?
      What upholds your mind?
      What does your mind stand fast upon?
      What is your mind established upon?
      What does your mind lean upon?
      To have this perfect peace, your mind cannot occasionally come to the LORD; it has to be STAYED ON JESUS CHRIST, AMEN?

      To be kept in this perfect peace, our mind must be stayed on the LORD. If our mind is stayed on ourselves, or our problems, or the problem people in our lives, or on anything else, we CAN NOT HAVE this perfect peace. This is the heart that says with the Apostle Paul, that I may know Him (Philippians 3:10).

      Satan loves to get our minds on anything EXCEPT the LORD!

      Because He trusts in You...This is another way of expressing the idea of keeping our minds stayed on Him. Almost always, you keep your mind stayed on whatever you are trusting. When we trust the LORD, we keep our mind stayed on Him.

      Proverbs 3:5 tells us the same thing..."Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding."

      The word for lean in Proverbs 3:5 comes from the same root as the word stayed in Isaiah 26:3.

      When we trust in the LORD, we do NOT lean on our own understanding.
      To lean on the LORD is to trust Him.
      To be sustained by the LORD is to trust Him.
      To be established by the LORD is to trust Him.
      To upheld by the LORD is to trust Him.

      The battle for trust in our lives BEGINS in our minds. If we trust the LORD, it will show in our actions, but it will begin in our mind.

      Trust in the LORD forever...Because of the promise of Isaiah 26:3, we are exhorted to trust in the LORD forever - and therefore to receive the blessing of the promise, perfect peace!

      For in YAH, the LORD, is everlasting strength...If the LORD calls us to rely on Him completely with our mind, He appeals to our mind with a rational reason why we should trust the LORD - because He is everlasting strength. It isn't that the LORD has everlasting strength, He IS everlasting strength.

      Verses 5-6 tell us the destiny of the city of man.

      "For He brings down those who dwell on high, the lofty city; He lays it low, He lays it low to the ground, He brings it down to the dust. The foot shall tread it down; the feet of the poor and the steps of the needy."

      He brings down those who dwell on high, the lofty city...
      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
      The city of man is lofty, and its exalted ones dwell on high. But the LORD will bring them down nonetheless. The city of man, the world system, their self-possessed power, authority, riches, & intelligence is nothing to the LORD; He lays it ALL low.

      The city of man, the world system, is all about power and prestige, built on the backs of the weak and the poor. But when God brings the city of man down to the dust, He will turn all that around, and the feet of the poor shall tread it down.

      AND REMEMBER...Jesus expressed the same principle in Matthew 5:5: "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth."
      Jesus told us oppose the power and prestige thinking of this world and to live with the thinking of His Kingdom right now told to us in Matthew 20:25-28.

      Verses 7-9 tells us the way of the upright.

      "The way of the just is uprightness; O Most Upright, You weigh the path of the just. Yes, in the way of Your judgments, O LORD, we have waited for You; the desire of our soul is for Your name and for the remembrance of You. With my soul I have desired You in the night, yes, by my spirit within me I will seek You early; for when Your judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness."

      The way of the just is uprightness...In the Kingdom of God, His just people walk in a way - the way of uprightness. Isaiah accurately gives the sense of order in this; the LORD makes His people just by a relationship of faith and trust in Him, then they walk in the way of … uprightness.

      Why do they walk in uprightness?
      Because they serve the LORD God, who is Most Upright Himself. As they trust the LORD, are declared just by the LORD, they walk in His own way.

      You weigh the path of the just...The LORD looks at His righteous ones (the just) and He evaluates their path. The LORD cares about the walk of His just ones!

      The desire of our soul is for Your name...In the Kingdom of God, His just people love Him and desire Him.

      The desire is displayed in waiting...O LORD, we have waited for You. When you desire something, or someone, you will wait for them, and do it gladly because of your desire.

      The desire is displayed in seeking...With my soul I have desired You in the night, yes, by my spirit within me I will seek You early. When you desire something, or someone, you seek them all the time, both early and at night.

      The way of the upright will be vindicated...one day, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.

      Verses 10-11 tells us the way of the wicked.

      "Let grace be shown to the wicked, yet he will not learn righteousness; in the land of uprightness he will deal unjustly, and will not behold the majesty of the LORD. LORD, when Your hand is lifted up, they will not see. But they will see and be ashamed for their envy of people; yes, the fire of Your enemies shall devour them."

      The wicked are ungrateful for God's goodness...Let grace be shown to the wicked, yet he will not learn righteousness.

      The wicked end in disaster: And will not behold the majesty of the LORD … they will see and be ashamed … the fire of Your enemies shall devour them.

      Verses 12-18 tells us The prayer of a humble heart.

      "LORD, You will establish peace for us, for You have also done all our works in us. O LORD our God, masters besides You have had dominion over us; but by You only we make mention of Your name. They are dead, they will not live; they are deceased, they will not rise. Therefore You have punished and destroyed them, and made all their memory to perish. You have increased the nation, O LORD, You have increased the nation; You are glorified; You have expanded all the borders of the land. LORD, in trouble they have visited You, they poured out a prayer when Your chastening was upon them. As a woman with child is in pain and cries out in her pangs, when she draws near the time of her delivery, so have we been in Your sight, O LORD. We have been with child, we have been in pain; we have, as it were, brought forth wind; we have not accomplished any deliverance in the earth, nor have the inhabitants of the world fallen."

      You have also done all our works in us...Isaiah words/prayer mirror Ephesians 2:8-10: "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them."
      Even our good works are works that He has done … in us.

      Masters besides You have had dominion over us; but by You only we make mention of Your name...The humble heart repents of past idolatry, and rejoices in the present freedom in the LORD.

      INTERESTINGLY ENOUGH, DID YOU KNOW...The Hebrew word for dominion is BAAL, which can mean master or husband. Of course, Baal was also the chief SATANIC god of the native Canaanites, and a seductive idol for Israel.

      We have been with child, we have been in pain; we have, as it were, brought forth wind...The humble heart knows the futility of working apart from the direction and blessing of God.

      You have increased the nation...The humble heart knows the LORD is responsible for increase and blessing.

      LORD, in trouble they have visited You...The humble heart relies on the LORD in times of distress and futility.

      Verse 19 tells us the promise of resurrection.

      "Your dead shall live; together with my dead body they shall arise. Awake and sing, you who dwell in dust; for your dew is like the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead."

      Your dead shall live...
      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
      WE KNOW The Old Testament had a shadowy understanding of the life to come, because the SECRETS of the life to come have now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel told to us in, 2 Timothy 1:10.

      REMEMBER THOSE WHO DIED IN THE BLESSED HOPE OF JESUS IN THE OLD TESTAMENT BEFORE JESUS WALK ON THIS EARTH, WENT INTO ABRAHAM'S BOSOM TO AWAIT THEIR YESHUA, THEIR JESUS, THEIR MESSIAH. AND WE REMEMBER FROM OUR BIBLE STUDY, WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE DIE, THE BIBLE TELLS US THAT JESUS DID NOT LAY IN THE GRAVE TWIDDLING HIS THUMBS, BUT HE WENT TO RESURRECT AND TAKE FROM ABRAHAM'S BOSOM ALL THOSE THERE AND TAKE THEM TO HEAVEN TO BE WITH HIM FOREVER.

      But here IN THE OLD TESTAMENT, GOD REMINDS & GIVES ISAIAH a confident expectation of resurrection and glory for the LORD's righteous ones in that day. GOD IS TELLING ISAIAH THAT AT THE RAPTURE, JESUS CHRIST WILL RESURRECT THEIR BODIES IN THE GRAVE AND TAKE THEM TO HEAVEN AS WELL.

      Verses 20-21 tell us the promise of refuge in the time of great indignation.

      "Come, my people, enter your chambers, and shut your doors behind you; hide yourself, as it were, for a little moment, until the indignation is past. For behold, the LORD comes out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity; the earth will also disclose her blood, and will no more cover her slain."

      Come, my people, enter your chambers...Isaiah, speaking for the LORD, prophesies a time when God's people are invited to come and find refuge until the indignation is past.

      The refuge is secure. God's people are secure in chambers, with the doors shut behind them. They are hidden securely (Hide yourself).

      The indignation God's people are hidden from is from the LORD Himself...the LORD comes out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity.

      This is not persecution from the wicked, but judgment from the LORD. This is not a local judgment, but something the LORD brings upon the inhabitants of the earth in general.

      The devastation of the indignation of the LORD is seen all over the earth...The earth will also disclose her blood, and will no more cover her slain.

      When is this time when God's people are CARRIED AWAY, SECURELY HIDDEN, from a time of great indignation the LORD brings upon the earth?

      SOME BELIEVE & IT CAN refer to the deliverance of the Jewish people from the fury of the Antichrist described in Revelation 12:6 and 12:13-16.

      But CARRIED AWAY, SHUT UP SECURELY...IS ANOTHER REFERENCE TO THE RAPTURE, WHICH speaks of the refuge, the safety, the security of God's people when they are CAUGHT UP TOGETHER with the Lord in the air told to us in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17.

      AND ESCAPE the horrific indignation of the Lord that He pours out upon the world in the Great Tribulation told to us in Matthew 24:21-22, Revelation 9:15-21.

      ALL OF WHICH WILL PRECEDE the second coming of Jesus Christ when he DOES STEP DOWN ONTO THE EARTH ONCE AGAIN TOLD TO US in Matthew 24:29-30.

      ONCE AGAIN, OUR TRIUNE GOD, WHO SEES READS AND KNOWS THE HEARTS AND MINDS OF MANKIND, AND SATAN, gives ISAIAH AND US, another powerful passage which SUPPORTS AND CONFIRMS WHAT MODERN MAN NOW CALLS the Pre-Tribulation Rapture, which says that Jesus Christ will remove His people from this earth BEFORE the time of Great Tribulation coming upon the earth immediately before His ultimate return.

    • July 6, 2016 2:26 AM EDT
    • ISAIAH 27

      OPENS WITH Ordering the Kingdom of the LORD

      In His Kingdom, God BLESSES Israel.

      Verse 1 tells us In the Kingdom of the Lord, Leviathan is defeated.

      "In that day the LORD with His severe sword, great and strong, will punish Leviathan the fleeing serpent, Leviathan that twisted serpent; and He will slay the reptile that is in the sea."

      In that day...This brings us back to the theme of Isaiah 24 through 27 in general, the day when the Kingdom of the Messiah ultimately triumphs and rules OVER THE ENTIRE EARTH.

      The LORD, with His severe sword, great and strong, will punish Leviathan the fleeing serpent...The ultimate triumph of the LORD in the day of the Messiah is expressed in victory over Leviathan the fleeing serpent.

      WE KNOW FROM REVELATION, THAT WHEN THE LORD JESUS APPEARS, STEPS DOWN ON MOUNT ZION IN JERUSALEM, AT THE BATTLE OF ARMAGEDDON, THAT SATAN IS GOING TO SEE HIM, AND HE IS GOING TO FLEE. HE IS GOING TO ABANDON HIS SON, THE ANTICHRIST, AND HIS DEMON ARMIES IN HOPES OF SAVING HIMSELF. SATAN IS AT HIS CORE A COWARD, AMEN?

      THE FLEEING SERPENT IS SATAN HIMSELF. THE ANTICHRIST AND HIS DEMONS AND ALL OF SATAN'S ANGELS WILL NOT FLEE THEY WILL FIGHT TO THE DEATH...BUT SATAN WILL FLEE.

      SO WE KNOW THE REPTILE FROM THE SEA IS THE ANTICHRIST AND THE DRAGON, THE FLEEING SERPENT IS SATAN, HIMSELF, AMEN?

      INTERESTINGLY ENOUGH...

      Some Bible commentators make the connection between Leviathan and ancient myths and idolatrous idol worship and religious beliefs of nations near Israel. "The language used draws on mythology; but this need cause us no serious problem. IS NOT THE FATHER OF ALL LIES, OF ALL IDOLATROUS BEHAVIORS, AND OF ALL FALSE RELIGIONS CREATED AND BEGUN BY SATAN HIMSELF?

      AND GROGAN ADDS an interesting false religion historical point. "The term LEVIATHAN used here is normally linked with the Ugaritic Lotan, the chaos monster destroyed by Baal in the Canaanite creation myth."

      JUST AS GREEK AND ROMAN AND ALL OTHER RELIGIONS HAVE THEIR OWN CREATED FALSE RELIGIONS AND EXPLANATIONS FOR ALL OF LIFE/CREATION/EVIL, INSTEAD OF BELIEVING AND TRUSTING IN OUR LORD'S WORD.

      EVEN IN MYTHOLOGY, BAAL WHO WAS THE SATANIC CHIEF GOD, COULD KILL AND DESTROY EVEN THE FIERCEST OF BEASTS. SATAN DOES NOT CHANGE. HE WAS, IS, AND EVER SHALL BE AN INSANE, POWER MAD, EGOMANICAL NARCISSTIC CREATURE, AMEN?

      BUT while there is an illustrative element here, GOD'S VISION & PROPHECY TO Isaiah may be MORE literal than many would like to admit.

      If Satan could manifest himself as a BEAUTIFUL WALKING SERPENT to Eve in the Garden of Eden. YOU NOTICE EVE DID NOT FEEL THREATENED, NOR AFRAID OR SURPRISED NOR CONCERNED AT HIS APPEARANCE. Why not also manifest himself as a dreadful sea-dragon?

      THIS ALSO REMINDS US, THAT SATAN KNOWS OUR SPOKEN FEARS AND DESIRES...SATAN CAN NOT READ THE HEARTS AND MINDS OF THOSE SEALED BY JESUS UNTO SALVATION. SATAN CAN NOT HEAR WHAT WE SAY TO AND DURING OUR PRAYERS TO AND WITH THE LORD. BUT WE GIVE HIM PLENTY OF HELP WHEN WE SPEAK OUT OUR FEARS TO FRIENDS, ON THE PHONE, ETC. AND HE COMES TO US IN THE ILLUSION HE THINKS WILL BEST MOVE US.

      IF COMING TO US PRETENDING TO BE A GOOD BRIGHT LIGHT...HE WILL DO SO.

      IF COMING TO US OFFERING US WHAT HE THINKS WE WANT AND DESIRE...HE WILL DO SO... HE TRIED THAT WITH JESUS, REMEMBER? BOW BEFORE ME AND I WILL GIVE YOU ALL THE KINGDOMS OF THE WORLD.

      IF COMING TO US AS FOUL-BREATHED, FANGED, RED-EYED DEMON WORKS...HE WILL DO SO.

      BUT THE BIBLE TELLS US HE AND HIS DEMONS HAVE LIMITS. THEY CAN SAY THEY COME FROM GOD, BUT WHOSE GOD? WHAT IS GOD'S NAME? NONE OF THEM CAN SAY WE COME FROM THE LORD JESUS CHRIST. WE ARE SENT BY JESUS CHRIST. SO WE NEED ALWAYS TO TEST THE SPIRITS, AMEN?

      AND I WAS IMPRESSED AND REMINDED OF THIS YEARS AGO, BY LOU GIGLIO, AT THE PASSION CONFERENCE IN ATLANTA. THE PASSIONS CONFERENCES GO ALL OVER THE WORLD EACH YEAR. AND HE TELLS THE REVELATION, OF THEM GOING OUT ONTO THE STREETS IN EACH CITY OR COUNTRY THEY VISITED AND SAYING...GOD BLESS YOU. I WILL ASK GOD TO HELP YOU. AND NO MATTER WHERE THEY WERE, MOST PEOPLE SAID, OHH YEAH...THANKS....GOD BLESS YOU TOO.

      BUT ONE YEAR, THEY BEGAN SAYING JESUS CHRIST BLES YOU. JESUS CHRIST LOVES YOU. I WILL PRAY FOR YOU AND ASK JESUS TO HELP YOU AND TO SAVE YOU...AND THEY STOPPED PEOPLE IN THEIR TRACKS... SOME BACKED UP...SOME GOT UGLY...SOME NODDED...AND SOME EVEN FLED AT THE NAME OF JESUS.
      LOU AND HIS TEAM WERE SO HURT AND TROUBLED BY THIS THAT THEY WENT INTO DEEP PRAYER...

      ASKING JESUS WHY? WHY THE DIVERSE REACTIONS?
      YOU ARE GOD...YOU ARE JESUS CHRIST.

      AND THE LORD TOLD THEM...THERE ARE MANY GODS IN THIS WORLD BUT ONLY ONE JESUS CHRIST. AS LONG AS YOU SAID GOD BLESS YOU, THEY COULD ATTRIBUTE IT TO THEIR GOD, WHOMEVER HE/SHE WAS, BE HE SATAN, ALLAH, BUDDHA....OR 100S OF OTHER GODS...BUT WHEN YOU SAY JESUS CHRIST BLESS YOU...THERE CAN BE NOOOOOOO MISTAKE WHICH GOD YOU ARE REFERRING TOO.

      SO YOU NOTICE, FOR THE LAST FEW YEARS, I ALWAYS SAY JESUS BLESS YOU. I NO LONGER SAY GOD BLESS YOU, BECAUSE I WANT ANY AND ALL TO KNOW WHOOOOOO MY GOD IS, AMEN?

      I HAVE A PASTOR FRIEND, WHO WAS COUNSELING A WOMAN WHO SAID SHE SPOKE TO AND HEARD FROM THE SPIRIT OF GOD ALL THE TIME. SHE THEN WENT ON TO SAY, "THE SPIRIT TOLD ME, I DO NOT NEED TO READ AND STUDY THE BIBLE, BECAUSE HE WILL SPEAK TO ME PERSON TO PERSON, SPIRIT TO SPIRIT. HE WILL TELL ME ALL I NEED TO KNOW."

      AND MY PASTOR FRIEND ASK HER, YOU MAY BE HEARING FROM AND SPEAKING TO A SPIRIT, TO A GOD, BUT IT IS NOT JESUS CHRIST, ALMIGHTY GOD, NOR THE HOLY SPIRIT YOU ARE HEARING FROM. WHY? BECAUSE OUR TRIUNE GOD CAN NOT LIE. HE CAN NOT AND DOES NOT CHANGE. YOU ARE HEARING FROM THE UNHOLY TRINITY OF SATAN AND HIS DEMONS NOT FROM MY JESUS CHRIST. YOU HAVE BEEN DECEIVED...AND SATAN AND HIS DEMONS ARE EVER THE DECEIVER...SO YOU START READING YOUR BIBLE AND YOU WILL SEEK AND YOU WILL FIND MY JESUS THERE...AND HE IS NOT A DECEIVER, OR A BRINGER OF CONFUSION, NOR A LIAR!

      BUT THE IMPORTANT THING TO REMEMBER, IS THAT SATAN IS THE FATHER OF DECEPTION AND ILLUSION TOO, WE MAY BE FOOLED UPON OCCASION OR FOR A TIME, BUT ALMIGHTY GOD IS NOT THE LEAST BIT FOOLED, AMEN?

      SO what do we LEARN AND NOW KNOW about Leviathan from this passage?

      We KNOW that Leviathan is identified WITH a serpent.

      We KNOW that Leviathan is RESISTING God (fleeing … twisting; twisting has the idea of coiling, as if it were ready to strike).

      We KNOW that Leviathan is connected WITH the sea. And we know that Leviathan's DESTINY is to be destroyed by the LORD.

      SO IS LEVIATHAN REFERENCED ANYWHERE ELSE IN THE BIBLE?
      YES, IT IS.

      Leviathan is referred to in passages like Job 3:8, Job 41, Psalm 74:14, and Psalm 104:26.

      Current mythology used/uses the term Leviathan for a monster of chaos who lived in the sea, and the Sea itself was a boisterous deity who could be aroused professionally. But to Job, a strict monotheist, this was simply vivid imagery.

      DID YOU KNOW....The name Leviathan means "twisting one" and is also used in other interesting places in Scripture.

      AND IS THAT NOT A PERFECT DESCRIPTION OF SATAN...EVER AND ALWAYS TWISTING AND TWEAKING AND MISREPRESENTING GOD'S WORD AND HIS TRUTH...TO CONFUSE...DECEIVE...MANKIND...SINCE THE GARDEN OF EDEN, AMEN?

      - Psalm 74:12-14 refers to Leviathan as a sea serpent, and that God broke the head of the Leviathan long ago, perhaps at the creation.

      - Psalm 104:26 also refers to Leviathan as a sea creature.

      - Isaiah 27:1 speaks of the future defeat of Leviathan, also associating it with a twisted serpent that lives in the sea.

      - Isaiah 51:9 and Psalm 89-8-10 also speak of a serpent associated with the sea that God defeated as a demonstration of His great strength, and identifies this serpent with the name Rahab, meaning proud one.

      - Job 26:12-13 also refers to God's piercing defeat of a fleeing serpent associated with the sea.

      DID YOU KNOW...Ancient rabbinic mythologies suggest that an evil serpent was in the primeval sea resisting creation, and that God killed the serpent and brought order to the world (Genesis 1:1-2).

      AND WE WHO STUDY THE BIBLE KNOW....Satan is often represented as a dragon or a serpent (Genesis 3; Revelation 12 and 13) and the sea is thought of as a dangerous or threatening place in the Jewish mind (Isaiah 57:20; Mark 4:39; Revelation 21:1). Therefore, Leviathan may be another serpent-like manifestation of Satan, who was the original "Rahab" (proud one).

      WHAT DO WE LEARN FURTHER ABOUT LEVIATHAN FROM GOD?

      These passages reinforce the idea of Leviathan as a mighty, serpent-like creature, connected with the sea, who resists God and will be crushed by the LORD.

      AND HAVING STUDIED GENESIS, We are familiar with the reference to Satan as a serpent (Genesis 3:1-5), but here the picture is of a sea-serpent or a perhaps what we would know as a dragon. This reference may be a literal reference, and at some point in history, either past or present, Satan may manifest himself as monster connected with the sea.

      WHAT WE NEED TO REMEMBER IS OUR GOD KNOWS OUR HEARTS, MINDS...AND HE KNEW THEN...THAT THE SEA AND ITS CREATURES AND STORMS ALWAYS TERRIFIED THE JEWS AND THEY ALWAYS SAW THE SEA, STORMS, AND ITS CREATURES AS EVIL AND REPRESENTATIVE OF SATAN AND DARKNESS, AMEN?

      MUCH LIKE AS I WAS GROWING UP, FACING FEARS OF THE DARKNESS, A MONSTER UNDER THE BED, IN THE CLOSET. SATAN WANTS MANKIND, THEN AND NOW, TO FEAR ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING..AND HE DOES NOT SPARE EVEN THE YOUNGEST HEARTS AND MINDS...SO IT IS NOW, AND SO IT WAS THEN, SATAN DOES NOT CHANGE. HE WANTS US TO FEAR ALL THINGS....BUT WE WHO LOVE JESUS NEED TO REMEMBER THAT JESUS TELLS US 365 TIMES IN THE BIBLE, FEAR NOT!

      AND WE DO KNOW THAT CERTAINLY, Revelation uses this imagery in describing the emergence of the Antichrist in Revelation 13:1-4.

      BUT TODAY WITH ALL THE ATTENTION AND INTRIGUE AND FOCUS SHIFTING TO SATAN, DEMONS, SATANICS, OCCULT, MANKIND IS FASCINATED BY EVIL, DARKNESS, TERROR...BUT RIGHT HERE IN ISAIAH, AS THROUGH OUT THE BIBLE, GOD WANTS THOSE WHO READ AND STUDY HIS WORD...TO LET NO ONELET GET YOUR FOCUS ON SATAN AND HIS APPEARANCE...

      WHATEVER HIS FORM, GOD GIVES Isaiah VISIONS & prophesies OF the ultimate defeat of Satan when the Kingdom of the Messiah conquers all (He will slay the reptile), AMEN?

      Verses 2-6 tells us In the Kingdom of the LORD, Israel BLOSSOMS.

      "In that day sing to her, "A vineyard of red wine! I, the LORD, keep it, I water it every moment; lest any hurt it, I keep it night and day. Fury is not in Me. Who would set briers and thorns against Me in battle? I would go through them, I would burn them together. Or let him take hold of My strength, that he may make peace with Me; and he shall make peace with Me." Those who come He shall cause to take root in Jacob; Israel shall blossom and bud, and fill the face of the world with fruit."

      A vineyard of red wine! I, the LORD, keep it...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      In the days of the Kingdom of the Messiah, the LORD keeps the vineyard of Israel with special care. He waters it (I will water it every moment), He protects it (lest any hurt it), He guards it constantly (I keep it night and day) against all enemies, forcing them to make peace with Him and His vineyard.

      Let him take hold of My strength...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      We can only be fruitful when we TAKE HOLD of the strength of the LORD. As long as we HOLD ON to our own strength, what we really have is weakness.

      The result is blessing for the LORD's vineyard...

      SIMPLY PUT, Israel shall blossom and bud, and fill the face of the world with fruit. This will be ultimately fulfilled in the Kingdom of the Messiah, but if we yield to the care of the LORD right now, He will care for us as His precious vineyard right now, and we will enjoy the blessings of that care promised us ALSO in John 15:1-8.

      THIS ALSO TELLS US THAT DURING THE 1000 YEAR REIGN OF JESUS CHRIST ON THE FACE OF THE EARTH, ALL THOSE WHO REJECT JESUS CHRIST AND HIS FAMILY AND THE NATION OF ISRAEL WILL LOSE ALL THAT THEY HAVE. THEY WILL NO LONGER BE PRESIDENTS OF CORPORATIONS, INDUSTRY, BANKS, GOVERNMENTS, BUSINESSES, TRADE AND TRANSPORTATION...THEY WILL HAVE ALL THAT THEY VALUED AND TREASURED...ALL THINGS OF THIS WORLD WILL BE STRIPPED FROM THEM AND GIVE TO HIS FAMILY HIS PEOPLE, AMEN?

      Verses 7-9 tell us In the Kingdom of the LORD, Israel RECEIVES mercy.

      "Has He struck Israel as He struck those who struck him? Or has He been slain according to the slaughter of those who were slain by Him? In measure, by sending it away, You contended with it. He removes it by His rough wind in the day of the east wind. Therefore by this the iniquity of Jacob will be covered; and this is all the fruit of taking away his sin: when he makes all the stones of the altar like chalkstones that are beaten to dust, wooden images and incense altars shall not stand."

      Has He struck Israel as He struck those who struck him?

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      The LORD shows His mercy to Israel, in that even though the LORD struck Israel when Israel went astray, He did not strike Israel as severely as He did the other nations that went astray.

      The iniquity of Jacob will be covered...
      REMEMBER FROM OUR STUDY OF GENESIS....THE NAME JACOB MEANS SCAMMER, CON ARTIST, TRICKSTER, SO THE LORD CHANGED HIS NAME TO ISRAEL!

      The LORD here is REMINDING US OF WHAT HE DID FOR JACOB, AND THAT THAT SAME MERCY, HE WILL ONCE AGAIN His mercy to Israel in that He covers their sin. This is ultimately fulfilled in the Kingdom of the Messiah, when ALL Israel will be saved promised in Romans 11:26.

      When He makes all the stones of the altar like chalkstones that are beaten to dust...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      The LORD shows His mercy to Israel in that He destroys their idolatrous altars and images, forcing them to worship the LORD only.
      AGAIN, JESUS KNOWS OUR HEARTS, AND SO HE REMOVES FOREVER ANYTHINGGGGGG IDOLATROUS THAT MIGHT CHANGE OUR FOCUS FROM HIM BACK TO THE WORLD.

      MUCH THE SAME WAY WE DO WITH OUR CHILDREN, WHOM WE LOVE...WHEN WE HAVE CHILDREN, AND WE KNOW THAT ALL CHILDREN ARE FEARLESS AND CURIOUS...WE QUICKLY LEARN TO REMOVE ALL THINGS THAT MIGHT HARM THEM, PHYSICALLY, MENTALLY, OR SPIRITUALLY. IF WE ARE WATCHING TELEVISION AND PORN, OR DEMONIC, OR FRIGHTENING OR SEXUALLY IMMORAL THINGS APPEAR WE CHANGE THE CHANNEL. WE PUT PROTECTIVE COVERS OVER ALL OUTLETS. WE PUT LOCKS ON CABINETS WHERE ANY CHEMICALS, OR KNIVES ARE STORED. WE DO NOT LEAVE OUR KEYS LYING AROUND. WE DO THAT TO PROTECT THEM FROM THEMSELVES AND FROM THEIR OWN INNOCENT AND NAIVE CURIOSITY, AMEN?

      SO DOES OUR JESUS, WHO IS AN EVER FAITHFUL AND EVER PROTECTIVE FATHER!

      Verses 10-11 tell us In the Kingdom of the LORD, the city of man lies desolate.

      "Yet the fortified city will be desolate, the habitation forsaken and left like a wilderness; there the calf will feed, and there it will lie down and consume its branches. When its boughs are withered, they will be broken off; the women come and set them on fire. For it is a people of no understanding; therefore He who made them will not have mercy on them, and He who formed them will show them no favor."

      The fortified city will be desolate...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      The FORTIFIED CITY IS THE city of man, representing the world system, will be made desolate by the judgment of the LORD. Knowing this, why would we put our hope, our confidence, or our expectation in the world system?

      ALMIGHTY GOD PROMISES....The city of man, the world system, will be made so desolate that it will resemble a wilderness with bare branches, useful only for fire.

      He who formed them will show them no favor...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      This is the terrible judgment against the city of man, against the world system. We want the favor of the LORD, we long for His favor. But the worlds system, the citizens of the city of man, WHO SNEER AT, REJECT, AND SEEK TO DESTROY...will be shown NO favor.

      Verses 12-13 tells us In the Kingdom of the LORD, He is WORSHIPPED in Jerusalem.

      "And it shall come to pass in that day that the LORD will thresh, from the channel of the River to the Brook of Egypt; and you will be gathered one by one, O you children of Israel. So it shall be in that day: The great trumpet will be blown; they will come, who are about to perish in the land of Assyria, and they who are outcasts in the land of Egypt, and shall worship the LORD in the holy mount at Jerusalem."

      The LORD WILL BE worshipped by His own regathered people... You will be gathered one by one, O you children of Israel. They will come from the nations (Assyria … Egypt), and they will come to worship the LORD in the holy mount at Jerusalem.

      SO THANK YOU ALMIGHTY GOD FOR YOUR PRECIOUS SON JESUS. CHOOSE THIS DAY, NOW, DO NOT WAIT, DO NOT DELAY, CHOOSE THIS DAY WHOM YOU WILL SERVE.

      JESUS WANTS ALL OF HIS CREATION TO RULE AND REIGN WITH HIM, BUT THOSE WHO REJECT HIM, AND SURVIVE THE TRIBULATION AND REJECT HIM STILL...WILL BE WITHOUT FAVOR, WITHOUT MERCY, AND WITHOUT ALL THEY HAVE AMASSED AND TREASURED...THEY WILL BE THE DESOLATE.

      SO CHOOSE JESUS!

    • July 6, 2016 2:24 AM EDT
    • ISAIAH 28

      Isaiah 28 begins an eight-chapter section (28-35) mostly directed to the southern kingdom of Judah. Since it is often most effective to address a sin present in a third party, and then apply it directly to the person, Isaiah will first speak of the sin of Israel, then switch the focus to Judah.

      ISAIAH 28 OPENS WITH...A Word to Drunkards...The sinful state of the drunkards of Ephraim.

      Verses 1-4 tells us a flood of judgment upon the drunkards of Ephraim.

      "Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim, whose glorious beauty is a fading flower which is at the head of the verdant valleys, to those who are overcome with wine! Behold, the Lord has a mighty and strong one, like a tempest of hail and a destroying storm, like a flood of mighty waters overflowing, who will bring them down to the earth with His hand. The crown of pride, the drunkards of Ephraim, will be trampled underfoot; and the glorious beauty is a fading flower which is at the head of the verdant valley, like the first fruit before the summer, which an observer sees; he eats it up while it is still in his hand."

      To the drunkards of Ephraim...

      WHO IS EPHRAIM?

      Ephraim is ANOTHER NAME for the northern nation of Israel, because the tribe of Ephraim was a prominent tribe in that nation, drunkenness was a significant enough problem that the LORD directed Isaiah to directly address the drunkards of Ephraim.

      DID YOU KNOW...

      This is one of several passages of Scripture that speaks to drunkards.

      Proverbs 23:29-35 speaks of the folly of drunkenness.

      Ephesians 5:18 tells us to be filled with the Spirit instead of being drunk.

      Romans 13:13, 1 Corinthians 5:11, 6:10, 11:21, Galatians 5:21, and 1 Peter 4:3 each contain commands against drunkenness.

      Jesus specifically warned against drunkenness in the last days in Luke 21:34-36.

      AND WE KNOW...Our society pays a terrible price for drunkenness; the direct effect on the drunkard is bad enough, but the extended costs are staggering. Yearly, in the United States, alcohol is responsible for almost 100,000 deaths (25,000 by drunk drivers alone), 6 million non-fatal injuries, and more than $100 billion in economic losses such as unemployment and loss of productivity.

      Drunkenness is behind many other crimes and sins. Many drunkards either commit violent or sexual crimes, or become victims violent or sexual crimes. 75% of the men and 55% of the women involved in date-rape situations had been drinking or taking drugs just before the attack. The FBI says that 50% of all rapes involve alcohol.

      Drunkenness is heavily promoted in our culture, and advertising often targets young people, recruiting them to a future of heavy drinking. The average television viewer sees 90,000 incidents of drinking on TV by age 21, and 100,000 beer commercials by age 18. Many of the commercials use cute animals and upbeat music that appeal to young audiences.

      Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      Like any other sin, drunkenness is connected to pride, so much so that Isaiah likens the drunkards of Ephraim to a crown of pride. Much of the self-hatred and self-despising drunkards feel is rooted in too much focus upon one's self, which is the essence of pride.

      Whose glorious beauty is a fading flower...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      Drunkenness makes everything beautiful and good in our lives FADE AWAY. Many men and women have gone from the top to skid row because of drunkenness.

      To those who are overcome with wine...When alcohol overcomes us, we are in sin. When it impairs our senses, our thinking, our judgment, or our reflexes, we are overcome with wine and it is sin.

      There are those who WISH THE BIBLE PUT A STRICT prohibition against drinking alcohol in the Bible, but there isn't.

      Jesus made wine in John 2:1-10.

      Jesus drank wine in Mark 14:22-26.

      Jesus was even unjustly accused of being a drunkard in Matthew 11:19.

      Paul recommended the use of wine to Timothy, knowing that is was more pure to drink than plain water in 1 Timothy 5:23.

      The Bible regards drink, moderately used, as a gift from God told to us in Psalm 104:15.

      So, while the Bible allows the moderate use of alcohol, it strictly condemns drunkenness.

      SO WHAT IS DRUNKENNESS?

      Some only consider a person drunk if they are "passed-out drunk." But whenever alcohol IMPAIRS our senses, our thinking, our judgment, or our reflexes, we are overcome with wine and IT IS sin.

      Whenever we feel compelled to drink, or have difficulty not drinking, we are overcome with wine and IT IS sin.

      If we have to hide our drinking, or are secretly ashamed of our drinking, we are overcome with wine and IT IS sin.

      OVERCOME is the Hebrew word halam, which literally means "to strike down" and by implication means "to hammer, to conquer, to beat down, to overcome, to hit with a hammer." The same word is translated pounded in Judges 5:26, describing when Jael pounded a tent peg through the head of Sisera. When you get drunk, that's what you are doing to yourself.

      Behold, the Lord has a mighty and strong one...

      The drunkard needs to know that God is stronger than the drunkard, stronger than the power of alcohol, stronger than anything. If the drunkard is powerless to stop his drinking, God has the power to help him stop - or the power to judge him (the drunkards of Ephraim will be trampled underfoot).

      Like the first fruit before the summer, which an observer sees; he eats it up while it is still in his hand...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      The drunkard needs to learn the value of delayed gratification. The gratification of drinking may be intense and immediate, but it fades quickly and crashes hard. The drunkard must learn the value delaying immediate gratification for a future benefit, instead of eating the fruit … while it is still in his hand.

      The importance of TEACHING & LEARNING the value of delayed gratification has been measured in what has been called the marshmallow test. A researcher gave this choice to a four year old: "I am leaving for a few minutes to run an errand and you can have this marshmallow while I am gone, but if you wait until I return, you can have two marshmallows." Researchers at Stanford did this test in the 1960s, and a dozen years later they found that the kids who grabbed the single marshmallow tended to be more troubled as adolescents, and the one-marshmallow kids also scored an average of 210 points less on SAT tests. Learning to delay gratification is important!

      Verses 5-6 tells us the beauty of the LORD replaces the faded beauty of Ephraim.

      "In that day the LORD of hosts will be for a crown of glory and a diadem of beauty to the remnant of His people, for a spirit of justice to him who sits in judgment, and for strength to those who turn back the battle at the gate."

      The LORD of hosts will be for a crown of glory and a diadem of beauty...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      Sometimes when we see the faded glory that comes with sins like drunkenness, we can grow discouraged or depressed. But even if all the glory of man fades because of disobedience and sin, God's glory remains. When we are completely "ungloried" because of the wreckage of sin, we can set our focus on the glory of the LORD, AMEN?

      For a spirit of justice to him who sits in judgment...When our glory has faded because of our sin, we may lose our judgment and discernment. But then we can receive them from the LORD.

      And for strength to those who turn back the battle at the gate...When our glory has faded because of our sin, we may lose our strength and ability to fight. But then we can receive them from the LORD.

      WHAT AN ENCOURAGEMENT, AMEN?

      WHAT WE LOSE IN OUR LIVES AND THROUGH OUR OWN SLIPS, FAILS, SINS, AND FALTERING...WE CAN RECEIVE BACK FROM THE LORD!!

      Verses 7-8 tell us of the corruption of drunkenness in Judah.

      "But they also have erred through wine, and through intoxicating drink are out of the way; the priest and the prophet have erred through intoxicating drink, they are swallowed up by wine, they are out of the way through intoxicating drink; they err in vision, they stumble in judgment. For all tables are full of vomit and filth; no place is clean."

      They also...

      WHO IS THEY?

      Since Isaiah mentions the priest and the prophet in this section, it seems that they also refers to the people of Jerusalem and Judah. If the people of Ephraim had a problem with drunkenness, so did they also.

      They also have erred through wine and through intoxicating drink are out of the way...Drunkenness always leads to error and takes us out of the way - the way of wisdom and God's will.

      The priest and the prophet have erred through intoxicating drink...

      Drunkenness is something that can touch ANY person, at ANY stage of life. Even the priest and the prophet can find themselves under the tyranny of drunkenness (swallowed up by wine).

      For all tables are full of vomit and filthiness, so that no place is clean... Drunkenness leads to this kind of degradation and disgrace. This is because of the way alcohol works. Alcohol is a depressant; it "loosens" people because it depresses their self-control, their wisdom, their balance and judgment.

      THIS SCRIPTURE RIGHT HERE STRAIGHT FROM THE LORD'S MOUTH TO ISAIAH COMPLETELY AND CLEARLY makes the idea of being "drunk in the Holy Spirit" especially unbiblical and offensive TO THE LORD.

      The Holy Spirit does NOT depress us; He has the exact opposite effect.

      The Holy IS a stimulant.

      The Holy Spirit moves every aspect of our being to BETTER and more perfect performance.

      Of those who act silly or crazy claiming to be "drunk in the Holy Spirit," the most charitable thing to say is that they are simply acting in their own flesh, because they certainly ARE NOT being led by the Holy Spirit of God, AMEN!

      Verses 9-10 tells us God's message to those who are ripe for judgment IS mocked.

      "Whom will he teach knowledge? And whom will he make to understand the message? Those just weaned from milk? Those just drawn from the breasts? For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, there a little."

      Whom will he teach knowledge?

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      These are the words of the drunk, ungodly prophets and priests described in Isaiah 28:7-8. They ask Isaiah, the godly prophet, Whom will he teach knowledge? And whom will he make to understand the message? In their mocking minds, Isaiah's message is fit only for children (Those just weaned from milk).

      WOLF states it perfectly, he says, "Verses 9 and 10 portray the sarcastic reaction these Judean leaders had to Isaiah's words of rebuke. They were tired of Isaiah's strictness and of his recurring application of God's laws. The string of monosyllables in verse 10 may mean that the Judean leaders regarded Isaiah's message as meaningless or as child's play."

      Many commentators have been puzzled by verse 10 and have wrestled to make sense of the Hebrew. The truth of the matter seems to be, Isaiah's words had hardly penetrated the alcohol-impregnated atmosphere that surrounded his hearers.

      AND WE KNOW THIS TO BE TRUE...REASONING WITH A DRUNK IS IMPOSSIBLE...THEY EITHER LAUGH IN YOUR FACE, SHRUG IT OFF, OR BECOME ANGRY WHEN YOU ATTEMPT TO REASON WITH THEM AND SAVE THEM FROM THEMSELVES WHILE DRUNK, AMEN?

      Precept upon precept...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      With this, the drunk, ungodly prophets and priests mock Isaiah's teaching. "It is too simple. It is simply precept upon precept … line upon line … here a little, there a little. We are so smart and spiritually sophisticated and advanced that we can go on to deeper things."

      In their mocking of Isaiah's message, they actually pay him a great compliment. It is a beautiful thing for God's truth to be presented precept upon precept … line upon line … here a little, there a little. When the word of God is PROPERLY presented, there is something for both the simple and immature to receive, and also something for the great saint to rejoice in and be fed.

      Verses 11-13 tells us Isaiah WARNS of the consequences of rejecting the simple message of the LORD.

      "For with stammering lips and another tongue He will speak to this people, to whom He said, "This is the rest with which You may cause the weary to rest," and, "This is the refreshing"; yet they would not hear. But the word of the LORD was to them, "Precept upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, there a little," That they might go and fall backward, and be broken and snared and caught."

      With stammering lips and another tongue He will speak to this people...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      GOD TELLS ISAIAH TO WARN THEM...If the simple, straightforward message is rejected, God will find another way to communicate to the hard-hearted. He will send unusual messengers to bring the word.

      The message of rest and deliverance (this is the rest … this is refreshing) will be rejected (they would not hear). But it wasn't the fault of the word of the LORD - the word of the LORD was to them, "Precept upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, there a little."

      This is the blessed way to present God's word: precept upon precept, line upon line. Isaiah takes the taunt of the drunkards and receives it as a compliment.

      HERE IS A DIRECT AND ABSOLUTE WARNING FROM ALMIGHTY GOD HIMSELF, THEN AND NOW, THAT ALL THOSE WHO CALL THEMSELVES God's messengers are to present all of God's word (without skipping a line), and to present it simply.
      ALMIGHTY GOD TELL US RIGHT HERE THAT HE DOES NOT LIKE PIECEMEAL SCRIPTURE FOCUS AND TEACHING. TAKE ONE PART OF A VERSE HERE, AND BASE AN OPINION AND TEACHING UPON ONLY ONE PART OF HIS WORD.

      THEN AND NOW, PEOPLE DO THIS. MANY RELIGIOSITIES THEN AND NOW, TAKE WHAT THEY WANT AND LIKE IN THE BIBLE AND USE IT TO SEEMINGLY JUSTIFY THEIR OWN MAN-MADE PRECEPTS AND RELIGIOUS IDEOLOGIES.

      MANKIND LOVES THE OVERVIEW...WANTS A SHORT CUT...WANTS A 25 WORDS OR LESS OF WHAT A CHAPTER TEACHES. GOD KNOWS WE NEED TO LEARN AND UNDERSTAND HIM AND HIS WORD, DAY BY DAY, STEP BY STEP, VERSE BY VERSE.

      CHARLES SPURGEON SAYS IT WELL, This also implies that we can't receive all aspects of God's message at once. "It is an excellent thing that the gospel is taught us by degrees. It is not forced home upon men's minds all at once, but it comes thus, 'Precept upon precept, line upon line, here a little and there a little.' God does not flash the everlasting daylight on weak eyes in one blaze of glory, but there is at first a dim dawn, and the soft incoming of a tender light for tender eyes, and so by degrees we see."

      In fact, the result of the faithful presentation of the word of the LORD for those who reject isn't good for them: That they might go and fall backward and be broken and snared and caught.

      Verses 14-15 tell us of the false confidence of sinful leaders.

      "Therefore hear the word of the LORD, you scornful men, who rule this people who are in Jerusalem, because you have said, "We have made a covenant with death, and with Sheol we are in agreement. When the overflowing scourge passes through, it will not come to us, for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood we have hidden ourselves."

      You scornful men, who rule this people who are in Jerusalem...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      Sadly, some of the simple and immature were those who rule this people. They needed to hear the word of the LORD just as everyone did.
      IN OTHER WORDS, There is no one too high, too exalted, too mature, too advanced for the word of the LORD, and to hear it precept upon precept, line upon line, here a little and there a little.

      We have made a covenant with death...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      The rulers of Jerusalem were extreme in their rejection of God, and felt they had an "agreement" with death and the grave (Sheol). They proudly believed the overflowing scourge of God's judgment and correction would not come against them.

      They had no fear of death, and thought they had made friends with death and the grave.

      SOUND FAMILIAR?

      This same way of thinking is STILL COMMON in our modern world. The ungodly should fear death, because with death ends all opportunity for repentance, and their eternal doom is sealed. Satan has a significant interest in making the wicked feel that death is their friend.

      A Los Angeles Times article told the story of Heidi, a 15-year-old who lived in Rancho Palos Verdes. She attended one of the nation's finest public schools, where she played soccer as a sophomore. She loved horses, and had recently been baptized into the Mormon Church. Chris was a 16-year-old surfer from San Pedro, who got A's and B's, took college prep courses, and had a part time job working a gas pump. His grandfather said he was a well-adjusted kid. Chris played guitar in a garage band, and was deeply affected by the suicide of grunge singer Kurt Cobain, and how he had devoted a creative writing project to the subject of suicide. A friend of Chris' said: "He was kind of death-happy. Not sad, but more like, 'The other side is gonna be so much more fun.' More like, 'I can't wait to die.'" On Saturday, March 16, Heidi swiped the keys to her mom's white Plymouth Horizon, sneaked out and met Chris in San Pedro. Late that night, Heidi and Chris hiked 100 feet down a rugged path, then ducked through a hole in the chain-link fence to get to a narrow concrete spillway known as "the diving board." On the ledge, they set down a blue cigarette lighter, and cigarette butts arranged in an arrow point to the sea, which lay 150 feet below. Then they both jumped to their deaths. Chris and Heidi were both deceived into thinking that death could be their friend, but the moment they passed into eternity, they would have given anything to go back to the world where they could repent and get right with God.

      WE HEAR PEOPLE SAY ALL THE TIME, THIS LIFE IS HELL, BUT WHEN I DIE, TAKE WHAT YOU WANT OR NEED FROM THIS HELL ON EARTH, AND BE GLAD TO KNOW WHEN I DIE THEN I WILL ROCK AND ROLL AND RULE WITH SATAN.

      WE HEAR SUICIDALS SAY ALL THE TIME, I WANT TO DIE, THE NEXT LIFE HAS TO BE BETTER THAN THIS!

      SATAN IS EVER A DECEIVER AND A LIAR, AMEN?

      In his sermon titled Refuges of Lies and What Will Become Of Them, Charles Spurgeon lists six lies that men try to take refuge in:

      1. The lie that we are, or can be good enough.
      2. The lie that fate or predestination determines all, so there is nothing for us to do.
      3. The lie that places confidence in new, false teachings.
      4. The lie that religious profession is enough.
      5. The lie that one can have a saved soul and an unchanged life.
      6. The lie that trusts an old experience instead of an ongoing relationship.

      Verses 16-19 tells us of the security of the Messiah and the precarious place of sinners.

      "Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: "Behold, I lay in Zion a stone for a foundation, a tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation; whoever believes will not act hastily. Also I will make justice the measuring line, and righteousness the plummet; the hail will sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters will overflow the hiding place. Your covenant with death will be annulled, and your agreement with Sheol will not stand; when the overflowing scourge passes through, then you will be trampled down by it. As often as it goes out it will take you; for morning by morning it will pass over, and by day and by night; it will be a terror just to understand the report."

      Behold, I lay in Zion a stone for a foundation...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      In contrast to the weak, narrow foundation of the wicked (we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood we have hidden ourselves), God has a solid foundation for our lives -a stone for a foundation.

      AND WHAT IS THIS FOUNDATION?

      1 Peter 2:6 applies this passage directly to the Messiah, Jesus Christ. He is the foundation for our lives, and only with a secure, stable foundation can anything lasting be built. Anything "added on" to the house, not built upon the foundation, is sure to end up in wreckage.

      Who lays this stone?

      It is God's work. We are unable to provide the right kind of foundation for our lives, but God can lay a foundation for us. We are asked to behold God's foundation, appreciate it, wonder at it, value it, and build our lives upon it.

      A tried stone...

      Our Messiah was tried, was tested, and was proven to be the glorious, obedient Son of God in all things.

      A precious cornerstone...

      Our Messiah is precious, and a cornerstone. The cornerstone provides the lines, the pattern for all the rest of the construction. The cornerstone is straight and true, and everything in the entire building lines up in reference to the cornerstone.

      A sure foundation...

      Our Messiah is a sure foundation, and we can build everything on Him without fear.

      Justice the measuring line, and righteousness the plummet...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      In God's building, it isn't just as if He establishes the cornerstone and then walks away and allows the building to be built any way it pleases. Instead, He keeps the building straight with justice and righteousness.

      The hail will sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters will overflow the hiding place...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      The ungodly leaders of Jerusalem made lies their refuge, and found a hiding place under falsehood (Isaiah 28:15). But the storms of life and God's judgment would sweep away their refuge of lies and their hiding place. They had built on the wrong foundation, and would therefore see destruction.

      Your covenant with death will be annulled...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      The ungodly leaders of Jerusalem thought they made a "deal with death," but will find that God will annul their covenant with death. When His scourge of judgment comes, they will surely be trampled down by it.

      And the scourge of judgment will not touch them lightly. Morning by morning and by day and by night they will feel the sting of God's correction.

      Verses 20-22 tells us of advice to those ripe for judgment.

      "For the bed is too short to stretch out on, and the covering so narrow that one cannot wrap himself in it. For the LORD will rise up as at Mount Perazim, He will be angry as in the Valley of Gibeon; that He may do His work, His awesome work, and bring to pass His act, His unusual act. Now therefore, do not be mockers, lest your bonds be made strong; for I have heard from the Lord GOD of hosts, a destruction determined even upon the whole earth."

      The bed is too short … the covering so narrow...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      The rulers of Jerusalem had to realize that their present place was precarious, and they could find no refuge where they were at right then.

      Their rejection of God gave them NO peace, NO rest, and NO warmth.

      I DO NOT KNOW ABOUT YOU...BUT HAVING SLEPT IN A CHAIR, A SHORT COUCH, AND A CHILD'S BED...What can be worse for getting REAL TRUE SLEEP AND REST?
      WHAT CAN BE WORSE than trying to keep warm with something so narrow that he cannot wrap himself in it?

      Yet this is a picture of the world, working, striving, longing for their bed - and when they gain it, it is too short and has no proper blankets!
      BUT THE CHILD OF THE LORD, on the other hand, is given rest and peace and covering by Jesus Christ. We shouldn't long for the short beds and narrow coverings of the world; we should thank God for the place He gives us in Jesus Christ and enjoy it!

      For the LORD will rise up...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      The rulers of Jerusalem had to realize that fighting against God was always a losing proposition. There was no way they could win that battle, because God would always do His work, His awesome work.

      AND REMEMBER...

      At Perazim, the LORD accomplished a great victory FOR Israel in the days of David in 2 Samuel 5:20.

      At Gibeon, the LORD accomplished a great victory FOR Israel in the days of Joshua in Joshua 10:11.

      In those cases, the LORD fought FOR Israel, but if her leaders did not repent, they would soon find the LORD fighting AGAINST Israel. This use of God's strength against His people is surely His awesome work, or as the King James Version puts it, His strange work.

      Now therefore, do not be mockers...The rulers of Jerusalem had to realize the danger of mocking God with their "deals with death" and haughty words against God.

      Verses 23-29 tells us the timing of the farmer and the timing of God.

      "Give ear and hear my voice, listen and hear my speech. Does the plowman keep plowing all day to sow? Does he keep turning his soil and breaking the clods? When he has leveled its surface, does he not sow the black cummin and scatter the cummin, plant the wheat in rows, the barley in the appointed place, and the spelt in its place? For He instructs him in right judgment, his God teaches him. For the black cummin is not threshed with a threshing sledge, nor is a cartwheel rolled over the cummin; but the black cummin is beaten out with a stick, and the cummin with a rod. Bread flour must be ground; therefore he does not thresh it forever, break it with his cartwheel, or crush it with his horsemen. This also comes from the LORD of hosts, who is wonderful in counsel and excellent in guidance."

      Give ear and hear my voice...

      The rulers of Jerusalem had to listen to God's word, and pay attention to His voice.

      Does the plowman keep plowing all day to sow?

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      The end of Isaiah 28 is a poem relating the work of God to the work of a farmer. A farmer doesn't only plow; he knows when to stop plowing and when to level the ground, when to plant, and what to plant where. He uses different tools at different times, and works them all together to produce crops. In the same way, God knows what instruments to use in our life, and what time to use them. We don't have to doubt or despair at what God is doing in our lives, because He is an expert farmer, working on us with all His wisdom.

      WOLF says it well, "He used the proper instrument and procedure at the proper time to accomplish His purposes among His stubborn people."

      Who is wonderful in counsel and excellent in guidance...

      The phrase wonderful in counsel is the same words used to describe the Messiah in Isaiah 9:6 (Wonderful Counselor). It reminds us of the perfect timing and wisdom of God's work in our lives.

      TRUST IN OUR JESUS....AND IN HIM ONLY!

      JESUS IS A SURE FOUNDATION....THAT NEVER FAILS!

    • July 6, 2016 2:22 AM EDT
    • ISAIAH 29

      OPENS WITH The Cause and Cure of Spiritual Blindness

      Verses 1-4 tells us The LORD humbles a proud Jerusalem.

      "Woe to Ariel, to Ariel, the city where David dwelt! Add year to year; let feasts come around. Yet I will distress Ariel; there shall be heaviness and sorrow, and it shall be to Me as Ariel. I will encamp against you all around, I will lay siege against you with a mound, and I will raise siegeworks against you. You shall be brought down, you shall speak out of the ground; your speech shall be low, out of the dust; your voice shall be like a medium's, out of the ground; and your speech shall whisper out of the dust."

      Woe to Ariel...

      DID YOU KNOW...

      THE NAME "ARIEL" means Lion of God, and in this passage is used as a symbolic reference to Jerusalem (the city where David dwelt). The only place where Ariel is used as a name for Jerusalem is in this chapter of Isaiah, and the word only appears ONE other time in the Old Testament, as the name of a priest in Ezra 8:16.

      There is some dispute AMONG Biblical scholars, as to if Ariel means Lion of God (the literal translation) or an altar for burning, which is a very similar word in Hebrew (used in passages like Ezekiel 43:15-16). If it is to be understood as an altar for burning, then the idea is that "The fighting and bloodshed around Jerusalem would make the city like a giant place of sacrifice." (Wolf) But, considering the context as a whole, it is best to see Ariel with its literal meaning - Lion of God.

      When we consider the way Ariel is used in these verses, and the context as a whole, the idea behind calling Jerusalem Lion of God is probably sarcastic. The repetition of the name (four times in two verses), and the context of God's judgment against Jerusalem, suggest the idea that Jerusalem may have thought of herself as the Lion of God, but God didn't share that lofty opinion of the city. It may be that the people of Jerusalem had taken to calling themselves by the name Ariel, to both express and strengthen their confidence IN THEMSELVES, RATHER THAN IN THE GOD OF THEIR FATHERS, AMEN?!

      The feeling in Isaiah 29:1 is that Jerusalem is proud (Ariel), resting on its spiritual heritage instead of its present reality (the city where David dwelt!), and living for present pleasures without concern for God (Add year to year; let feasts come around).

      Yet I WILL distress Ariel...

      Jerusalem may have this high opinion of itself, but it is not out of the reach of God's hand of judgment. Instead of the routine of year to year and the feasts, God will send heaviness and sorrow. If Jerusalem sees itself as a lion, then God will fight against them with the same fury a man would have against a lion (it shall be to Me as Ariel).

      I WILL encamp against you all around: Using the images of warfare for that day, God promises to battle AGAINST Jerusalem, and to conquer her (You shall be brought down).

      In all of this, the LORD will bring down the lofty self-image Jerusalem has of itself. Instead of calling herself Ariel, and the city where David dwelt, their speech shall be brought low, out of the dust. Instead of loud boasts, their speech shall whisper out of the dust.

      Verses 5-8 tells us The LORD protects and delivers a humbled Jerusalem.

      "Moreover the multitude of your foes shall be like fine dust, and the multitude of the terrible ones like chaff that passes away; yes, it shall be in an instant, suddenly. You will be punished by the LORD of hosts with thunder and earthquake and great noise, with storm and tempest and the flame of devouring fire. The multitude of all the nations who fight against Ariel, even all who fight against her and her fortress, and distress her, shall be as a dream of a night vision. It shall even be as when a hungry man dreams, and look; he eats; but he awakes, and his soul is still empty; or as when a thirsty man dreams, and look; he drinks; but he awakes, and indeed he is faint, and his soul still craves: so the multitude of all the nations shall be, who fight against Mount Zion."

      The multitude of your foes shall be like fine dust...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      The closing image in the previous verses was Jerusalem groveling in the dust. Now, the LORD uses another image, spun off of the idea of dust - Jerusalem's enemies will scattered as fine dust. God will humble Jerusalem in the dust, and then scatter her enemies like fine dust, like chaff that passes away.

      You WILL BE punished: This seems to be directed against the nations that come against Jerusalem. God will allow them to come against the city, and to humble it, but God will punish the nations that have come against His city.

      It shall even be as when a hungry man dreams...

      Because the LORD will protect Jerusalem, the nations that come against her will ultimately be frustrated. They will be like a man who dreams of food, but wakes up hungry. They will dream of fulfillment, but be unfulfilled.

      Verses 9-10 speaks to the spiritual stupor & blindness of Jerusalem.

      "Pause and wonder! Blind yourselves and be blind! They are drunk, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with intoxicating drink. For the LORD has poured out on you the spirit of deep sleep, and has closed your eyes, namely, the prophets; and He has covered your heads, namely, the seers."

      Pause and wonder! Blind yourselves and be blind!

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      Jerusalem's pride (as expressed in Isaiah 29:1) has made them spiritually blind, and spiritually drunk. The LORD tells Jerusalem to pause and wonder at this, because though they do it to themselves, they lack the self-awareness to see their condition.

      They stagger, but not with intoxicating drink...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      This is NOT seen as a "blessing from the Spirit of the LORD." This is a CURSE, both SELF INDUCED and sent from the LORD. This speaks powerfully to those today who promote the idea of God "blessing" His people with being "drunk in the Spirit."

      Upon researching "being drunk in the spirit" on the internet, I was so saddened and yes, at times horrified, to see people in church services & revivals, as the pastor said, "The Spirit is falling on us! Drink deep of His presence", to see people start barking like dogs, some laughing uncontrollably, some falling out and rolling on the floor, some running the aisles flapping their arms, some visibly vibrating, then the front most rows, fall like dominoes back into everyone behind them, when the preacher threw out his arms, and said, "be slain in the spirit!"

      It broke my heart, because they do NOT know their Bible, for NO WHERE
      did Jesus nor his disciples, ever behave in such a manner.

      Conversely, every word Jesus spoke in ministering, healing, freeing from demons, raising from the dead, the manic behavior, the demonics, the illness, was instantly calmed and peace filled them. I know Satan and his demons laugh themselves sick, while they whirl through these church & revival crowds, whipping them up into such madness, and enjoy watching these "Christians" make a mockery of everything our Jesus was, is and ever shall be. A spirit may well have descended upon them, but it was NOT, AND NEVER HAS BEEN OUR PRECIOUS JESUS NOR HIS HOLY SPIRIT.

      AND OUR LORD GOD WARNED IN ISAIAH 28...SUCH FALSE SIGNS & TEACHINGS OF BEING SLAIN IN THE SPIRIT, BEING DRUNK IN THE SPIRIT IS SELF-INDUCED & A CURSE...NOT A BLESSING OR VISITATION FROM GOD.

      Because Jerusalem chose blindness, and chose spiritual drunkenness, God sent something: the LORD poured out on them the spirit of deep sleep. As drunks will "sleep it off," so the LORD will send blind, proud, drunk Jerusalem into the lethargy and vulnerability of spiritual sleep. But a drunk can become sober after sleep; for those who are spiritually drunk, sleep worsens their condition.


      When we are asleep, we are doing nothing productive.

      When we are asleep, we are vulnerable.

      When we are asleep, we are insensitive.

      God sent these things to a blind, proud, drunk Jerusalem.

      The problem of spiritual sleep DID NOT end with Jerusalem of Isaiah's day.

      Romans 13:11 was written TO Christians: And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. Christians NEED to be awake, especially knowing the time!

      PAUL CLEARLY WARNS THAT BEING ASLEEP SPIRITUALLY, AND FALLING FOR & CHOOSING TO BELIEVE IN THIS BEING SLAIN IN THE SPIRIT & BEING DRUNK IN THE SPIRIT IS NOT FROM OUR LORD JESUS NOR HIS HOLY SPIRIT...SO WAKE UP CHRISTIANS!

      AND because Jerusalem CHOSE THIS DRUNKENNESS, CHOSE THIS blindness, and CHOSE THIS spiritual drunkenness, God took away something...He has closed your eyes, namely, the prophets. As a drunk has blurred vision and poor perception, so God closed the spiritual eyes of the nation - namely, the prophets.

      The prophets were silent, and the word of God was neglected because the people wanted it that way. In silencing the prophets, God simply gave Jerusalem what SHE WANTED.

      REMEMBER IN ISAIAH 1...WHEN GOD CALLED HIM...GAVE HIM HIS MISSION....HE THEN TOLD ISAIAH THEY WOULD NOT LISTEN, HEAR, BELIEVE, OBEY, OR REPENT....BUT TO TELL THEM ANYWAY.

      NOW GOD HAS SHUT THE PROPHETS MOUTHS.

      AND WE KNOW the prophet Amos spoke of the SAME idea IN AMOS 8:11-12: "Behold, the days are coming," says the Lord GOD, "That I will send a famine on the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD. They shall wander from sea to sea, and from north to east; they shall run to and fro, seeking the word of the LORD, but shall not find it."

      Verses 11-12 tells us of the spiritual illiteracy of Jerusalem.

      "The whole vision has become to you like the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one who is literate, saying, "Read this, please." And he says, "I cannot, for it is sealed." Then the book is delivered to one who is illiterate, saying, "Read this, please." And he says, "I am not literate."

      GOD SHOWED Isaiah to liken Jerusalem to the blind and to the drunk. Now, he likens them to the illiterate. But this isn't a literal literacy, because the literate man receives the vision of God, but to him it is like a sealed book. When the book of the vision is brought to the illiterate man, he does no better (I am not literate).

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      Many today "read" or "receive" God's word like an illiterate man "reads" the newspaper. They can pick out a few words here and there, and they can certainly look at the pictures. They can sit with an open newspaper, enjoy themselves to some degree, and appear to be reading. But the TRUE CONTENT really escapes them.

      THAT IS WHY IT IS ALWAYS GOOD TO ASK JESUS TO OPEN OUR EYES, TO SHOW US, TO TEACH US, TO GIVE US HIS WISDOM, UNDERSTANDING, AND DISCERNMENT, BEFORE WE READ AND STUDY THE BIBLE...

      I DO NOT KNOW HOW MANY TIMES I HAVE READ THE BIBLE IN MY LIFE, GENESIS TO REVELATION, AND IT WAS ALWAYS A QUESTION IN MY HEART, WHEN READING THE OLD TESTAMENT, IF JESUS IS THE TRIUNE GOD, WHAT DID HE DO, UNTIL THE TIME HE WALKED THE EARTH. BUT ONCE I STARTED PRAYING BEFORE READING THE BIBLE, JESUS ANSWERED MY QUESTION WITH A MENTAL/SPIRITUAL LIGHTNING BOLT....JESUS DID NOT SIT IN HEAVEN TWIDDLING HIS THUMBS WAITING FOR BETHLEHEM, HE HAS PHYSICAL APPEARANCES ALLLLLLLL THROUGH THE OLD TESTAMENT...AND I DID A BIBLE STUDY ON JUST THAT. SO WHEN YOU SIT DOWN TO SPEND TIME WITH JESUS AND HIS WORD, ASK HIM TO SHOW YOU, TEACH YOU, AND OPEN YOUR EYES...AND HE WILL, AMEN?

      Verses 13-16 tell us WHY the LORD sends spiritual blindness upon Jerusalem.

      OUR TRIUNE GOD IS A GOOD FATHER...HE TEACHES AS HE CHASTENS, AND HE POINTS OUT THE SINS AND ERRORS AND MISTAKES OF HIS CHILDREN THAT WARRANT THE CHASTISEMENT. HE DOES NOT AS SOME TEACH, JUST SIT UP IN HEAVEN AND SHOOT PHYSICAL, SPIRITUAL, EMOTIONAL, RELATIONAL, AND FINANCIAL SPANKINGS. HE WARNS, HE PLEADS, HE ENCOURAGES, BUT WHEN HIS CHILD STUBBORNLY REFUSES TO HEAR HIM...THEN HE CHASTENS...AMEN?

      Verses 13-16 tells us:

      "Therefore the LORD said: "Inasmuch as these people draw near with their mouths and honor Me with their lips, but have removed their hearts far from Me, and their fear toward Me is taught by the commandment of men, therefore, behold, I will again do a marvelous work among this people, a marvelous work and a wonder; for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hidden." Woe to those who seek deep to hide their counsel far from the LORD, and their works are in the dark; they say, "Who sees us?" and, "Who knows us?" Surely you have things turned around! Shall the potter be esteemed as the clay; for shall the thing made say of him who made it, "He did not make me"? Or shall the thing formed say of him who formed it, "He has no understanding"?"

      These people draw near to Me with their mouths and honor Me with their lips, but have removed their hearts far from Me...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      Jerusalem knew how TO TALK the spiritual talk, but their hearts were FAR from God.

      WE CAN'T always tell a person's heart by what THEY SAY.

      WE CAN'T always tell a person's heart by what THEY DO.

      BUT ALMIGHTY GOD SEES AND READS THE HEART AND MIND PERFECTLY....ALWAYS!

      ONLY JESUS can really know the heart, the closest we can come is by looking at the whole of their life - not just what they say or do, and especially not only at how they act at church or among Christians. Do they walk it daily.

      John Hagee tattles on himself about just this. He was in heavy gridlock traffic, and he was afraid he would be late to an important meeting. He said there was a woman in front of him. He could barely see the bun on the top of her head over the head rest. This pokey old woman slammed on brakes when the light turned yellow, instead of going on through the yellow light. John said, I was fuming. Then the light turned green, and the old woman was chatting on her cell, and John said he was hammering his horn, howling at the woman, "Goooooooo, do you not SEE the light is GREEN woman!!! The elderly woman, then hit the gas and nipped through the light just as it turned red, and John was left to sit through another delay. He was shaking his fist, muttering, and bemoaning that he would NOW be late for his meeting, when he happened to glance over at the car in the left lane, and saw long time members of his church, with his family in the car gaping at him in shock! And he was then convicted of his un Jesus like behavior before men. And worse, when he got to the church meeting with his elders, the little old lady with the white bun was there to provide refreshments for them. He said the Lord convicted him that day, of John Hagee you need to walk the talk all day every day, not just in the pulpit!"

      REMEMBER MATTHEW 12:34, where Jesus said, "For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks."

      This is a true - but not absolute - principle, because people can draw near to God with their mouths and honor the LORD with their lips, and their hearts can still be far from God. Of course, their speech will betray them at one time or another - but just maybe never at church!

      This manner of talking the talk, but not having the heart, didn't end in Isaiah's day, either!

      REMEMBER Jesus quoted this passage from Isaiah when He rebuked the RELIGIOUS LEADERS of His day for their hypocrisy in Matthew 15:7-9, Mark 7:6-7.


      It didn't end in Jesus' day either!

      NOR HAS IT ENDED NOW...

      How did their hearts get far from God?

      GOD TELLS US...THEY REMOVED THEIR HEARTS FAR FROM HIM. God doesn't move away from His people; they remove their hearts from Him.


      And their fear toward Me is taught by the commandment of men...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      The people of Jerusalem had NO FEAR, NO RESPECT, NO AWE of God in themselves; it had to be commanded by others. Their hearts did not respond to God, but only to men.

      The wisdom of their wise men shall perish...Because Jerusalem's pride had led them into spiritual blindness, sleep, drunkenness, illiteracy, and hypocrisy, God will destroy the wisdom of their wise men. Their wise men promoted the pride that led to all these evils!

      Isaiah calls this a marvelous work and a wonder, for God to reject the wisdom of man and to display His wisdom.

      REMEMBER Paul was also amazed at the "wisdom" of man, and how it compared to the "foolishness" of God.

      IN 1 CORINTHIANS 1:21-24, Paul says, "For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men."

      Who sees us?

      In their false wisdom, the proud people of Jerusalem thought they could hide their thoughts (hide their counsel) and their deeds (their works are in the dark) from the LORD.

      Surely you have things turned around!

      They THOUGHT & BELIEVED IN THEIR ARROGANT MAN WISDOM they could hide from the LORD, and that they had Him all figured out.

      The truth is turned around! The LORD has them all figured out, and they really don't know God at all.

      Shall the potter be esteemed as the clay...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      The people of Jerusalem made the terrible mistake of raising themselves up, and lowering God at the same time. So, for them, the clay was just as worthy, just as intelligent, just as powerful, as the potter (THE CREATOR) was!

      For shall the thing made say of him who made it, "He did not make me"?

      AND DOES NOT LOST MANKIND say exactly this today.

      How many times have we heard scientific, economic, political,social, & wore some religiosity leaders say, "I AM THE CAPTAIN OF MY SHIP. I CREATED AND WORKED FOR ALL I HAVE. I RAISED UP THIS BUSINESS, CHURCH, ORGANIZATION. MY SWEAT, MY WORK, MY MONEY...I CONTROL MY DESTINY. I...I...I...ME....ME....ME...?"

      Man looks at God our Creator, and says, "He did not make me." For the LORD and His prophet, this was absolutely absurd, but today it passes for high science!

      Or shall the thing formed say of him who formed it, "He has no understanding"?

      LOST MANKIND believes this as well today!

      Instead of seeing the ABSOLUTE NEED for an intelligent designer who created all things, many believe that chance - absolute blind, random, purposeless chance, having no understanding at all - brought all things into being.

      THEY CHOOSE TO BELIEVE THEIR OWN RIDICULOUS "THEORIES", which we know theories are just that..ideas, that have NO BASIS IN FACT WHATSOEVER, but they have been promoted and taught so long now that people believe mankind, the earth, and the universe evolved from A BIG BANG, A ROCK EXPLODING, GASES CREATING, PRIMORDIAL SLIME, REPTILES, BIRDS, OR KNUCKLE-DRAGGING APES THAT EVOLVED INTO MANKIND.

      People who are otherwise intelligent often fall into this delusion.

      Jacques Monod, a biochemist, wrote: "Chance alone is at the source of every innovation, of all creation in the biosphere. Pure chance, absolutely free but blind, at the very root of the stupendous edifice of evolution."

      But assigning such power to "CHANCE" is crazy.

      Chance has NO power.

      NEED PROOF...

      OKAY...for example, when a coin is flipped, the chance it will land "heads" is 50%; however, "chance" does NOT make it land heads. Whether or not it lands heads or tails is due to the strength with which the coin is flipped, the strength of air currents and air pressure as it flies through the air, where it is caught, and if it is flipped over once it is caught. Chance doesn't "DO" anything but describe a probability.

      JUST AS...when Carl Sagan petitioned the federal government for a grant to search for intelligent life in outer space, how did he hope to find it? By using a super sensitive instrument to pick up radio signals from distant space. When he received those radio signals, he looked for order and pattern, which would demonstrate the signals were transmitted by intelligent life. In the same way, the order and pattern of the whole universe demonstrates that it was fashioned by intelligent life, not by "CHANCE."

      SAGAN & OTHER SCIENTISTS SEEK TO DETECT "chance" in the radio signals constantly (in the form of unpatterned static), but it tells them nothing & IT PROVES NOTHING.

      SO WHEN SOMEONE says the universe or anything else came about by CHANCE, they are extremely ignorant, superstitious, or just repeating a line they have heard before and have unthinkingly accepted.

      AND IT AMAZES ME THAT ANYONE CAN LOOK AT THE SUNRISE, THE SUNSET, RAINBOWS, NATURE, THE SEASONS, THE VASTNESS OF THE OCEANS, AND SAY IT WAS CHANCE...OR A BIG BANG CREATED IT ALL.

      THAT IN AND OF ITSELF SHOWS THE INTENTIONAL BLINDNESS AND WILLING STUPIDITY OF MANKIND.

      THINK ABOUT IT, MANKIND HAS CREATED MANY WEAPONS OVER THE YEARS CAPABLE OF A "BIG BANG"...FIRST IT WAS GUNPOWDER, THEN DYNAMITE, NITROGLYCERIN, THEN THE A-BOMB, AND NOW MISSILES, & NUCLEAR WEAPONS...AND HAS ONE OF ALL THE ABOVE EVER CREATED LIFE, RAINBOWS, VEGETATION, WATER, SEASONS, SUNRISES AND SUNSETS...ALL THE BIG BANGS HAVE EVER DONE IS DESTROY, AMEN?

      We need to remember the context of the whole chapter - THE POINT ALMIGHTY GOD GAVE ISAIAH AND WARNED ISAIAH OF...it is THE SELF PRIDE AND WILLING BLINDNESS of Jerusalem. It is perhaps the height of man's pride and blindness to reject the LORD as our creator.

      Verses 17-21 tell us GOD PROMISES SIGHT for the spiritually blind, justice for the wicked.

      "Is it not yet a very little while till Lebanon shall be turned into a fruitful field, and the fruitful field be esteemed as a forest? In that day the deaf shall hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity and out of darkness. The humble also shall increase their joy in the LORD, and the poor among men shall rejoice In the Holy One of Israel. For the terrible one is brought to nothing, the scornful one is consumed, and all who watch for iniquity are cut off; who make a man an offender by a word, and lay a snare for him who reproves in the gate, and turn aside the just by empty words."

      Is it not yet a very little while...God's restoration WILL come, and all things considered, it is in a very little while. It may not seem so to us when we are in the midst of a trial, but it is true.

      AND WE NEED TO REMEMBER HEAVENLY TIME, JESUS TELLS US THAT A DAY IS AS A THOUSAND YEARS, AND A THOUSAND YEARS AS A DAY. SO IN HEAVEN'S TIME, JESUS HAS ONLY BEEN AWAY 2 +DAYS, WHEREAS FOR MANKIND, HE HAS BEEN BACK IN HEAVEN FOR OVER 2014 YEARS!

      SO 2 DAYS HEAVEN TIME, IS A VERY LITTLE WHILE, AMEN?

      Till Lebanon shall be turned into a fruitful field, and the fruitful field be esteemed as a forest?

      DID YOU KNOW...that Lebanon was known for its mighty forests, which would be brought low and turned into a fruitful field. On the other hand, the fruitful field would become as a forest. God IS PROMISING EVEN AS HE cuts one down, HE WILL raise another up.

      The deaf SHALL hear … the eyes of the blind SHALL see...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      When God's people are restored, pride no longer prevents them from hearing God's word or seeing God's work. Just as much as these are miracles in the natural realm, they are miracles in the spiritual realm also. We need to humbly seek God for ears to hear and eyes to see.

      The humble also shall increase their joy in the LORD...Joy is the proper reward for the humble. When we are humble - having an accurate estimation of ourselves, and a proper perspective of ourselves in relation to God and others -our lives are filled with the most joy.

      The humble and the poor have their joy in the LORD. He is a constant source of joy that can never be taken away, AMEN!

      Pride is the enemy of joy.
      We can be proud and have fun.
      We can be proud and have success.
      We can be proud and experience excitement.
      We can be proud and be happy because of happy circumstances.

      But we cannot be proud and have joy in the LORD, or to whatever degree we are proud, we are missing joy in the LORD.

      The proud can never have joy in the LORD if they are in humble or poor circumstances.

      As Paul tells us in Galatians 6:14, "But God forbid that I should glory (boast or brag), save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world."


      The terrible one is brought to nothing...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      The work of the LORD does not stop at restoring His corrected people. It extends to bringing JUSTICE upon the wicked. Singled out for judgment by the prophet are those who have no sense of proportion or justice: Who make a man an offender by a word … turn aside the just for a thing of naught.

      Verses 22-24 The PROMISED restoration of God's people.

      "Therefore thus says the LORD, who redeemed Abraham, concerning the house of Jacob: "Jacob shall not now be ashamed, nor shall his face now grow pale; but when he sees his children, the work of My hands, in his midst, they will hallow My name, and hallow the Holy One of Jacob, and fear the God of Israel. These also who erred in spirit will come to understanding, and those who complained will learn doctrine."

      Jacob shall not now be ashamed...

      Significantly, God addresses His people as Jacob in this promise of restoration. The name Jacob, given to the father of the 12 tribes, is not complimentary. It has the idea of a "con-man" or a "trickster." Anyone who is really a Jacob, has good reason to be ashamed, but when God restores His people, even the "Jacobs" shall not now be ashamed.

      When he sees his children, the work of My hands, in his midst, they will hallow My name...The picture is of the patriarch Jacob looking over his descendants, and no longer being ashamed of them, because they now hallow the name of the LORD, and respect the holiness of the LORD.

      These also who erred in spirit will come to understanding, and those who murmured will learn doctrine...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      Finally, in God's day of restoration, the truth is taught and known and exalted. Those who erred in spirit now have understanding, and those who murmured know better because they know the truth.

      ISAIAH 29 TELLS US A GREAT DEAL ABOUT HOW THE LORD SEES AND VIEWS THINGS & ABOUT WHAT SPIRITUAL BLINDNESS MEANS & ITS CAUSES...

      - Spiritual blindness is caused by pride.
      - Spiritual blindness will bring us low.
      - Spiritual blindness leads to spiritual drunkenness.
      - Spiritual blindness leads to spiritual sleep.
      - Spiritual blindness leads to spiritual illiteracy.
      - Spiritual blindness causes hypocrisy.
      - Spiritual blindness makes men believe God cannot know what they think or see what they do.
      - Spiritual blindness makes men deny God as Creator.
      - Spiritual blindness is cured through humility.
      - Spiritual blindness can only be healed through the LORD's restoration.

      ISAIAH 29 TEACHES WE WHO LOVE JESUS, AND WITNESS AND SEEK TO SHARE AND SHINE AND SHOW JESUS, WE NEED TO PRAY FOR ALL, ESPECIALLY THOSE BLINDLY, & ARROGANTLY REJECTING OUR CREATOR GOD....

      OPEN THE EYES AND HEARTS OF THE BLIND...

      AND LET THEM SEE LORD JESUS...LET THEM SEE YOU!

    • July 6, 2016 2:20 AM EDT
    • ISAIAH 30

      OPENS WITH, ONCE AGAIN, A PLEA & A WARNING...Trust In the LORD, Not In Egypt

      Verses 1-2 tells God exposes/rebukes the sin of those who put their trust in Egypt.

      "Woe to the rebellious children," says the LORD, "Who take counsel, but not of Me, and who devise plans, but not of My Spirit, that they may add sin to sin; who walk to go down to Egypt, and have not asked My advice, to strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh, and to trust in the shadow of Egypt!"

      Who walk and go down to Egypt … To strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh...

      DID YOU KNOW GOD gave ISAIAH this prophecy at a time when the Assyrian army was attacking Israel and Judah. The northern kingdom of Israel would be conquered by Assyria, and the people of Israel would be taken into exile. The Assyrians would then come against the southern kingdom of Judah, and because of this threat the leaders of Judah looked to Egypt for protection against the Assyrian invasion...INSTEAD OF TO GOD.

      In looking to Egypt, Judah forsook the LORD...Who take counsel, but NOT of ME, and who devise plans, but NOT of MY Spirit.

      In one sense, MAN'S LIMITED KNOWLEDGE, it was wise and good for Judah to understand that they NEEDED help and were WILLING to look outside of themselves for help.

      In the larger sense, IN GOD'S EYES, it was foolish and evil of Judah to look to others - especially Egypt - for help, instead of looking to the LORD.

      You take counsel - but is it of the LORD?
      You devise plans - but are they of God's Spirit?
      It is one sin to reject the LORD, and another sin all together to trust in something else. Therefore, to do what Judah did in this situation is to add sin to sin.

      Verses 3-5 tells us GOD WARNS OF the folly of trusting in Egypt.

      "Therefore the strength of Pharaoh shall be your shame, and trust in the shadow of Egypt shall be your humiliation. For his princes were at Zoan, and his ambassadors came to Hanes. They were all ashamed of a people who could not benefit them, or be help or benefit, but a shame and also a reproach."

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

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      From the perspective of heaven, the strength of Pharaoh was NOTHING. As the LORD saw it, Egypt was no substance, just a shadow.

      They were all ashamed of a people who could not benefit them...
      GOD READ EGYPT'S HEART PERFECTLY & GOES FURTHER TO TELL JUDAH THAT THEY SHOULD HAVE SEEN THE TRUTH. The ambassadors of Egypt came to Judah, and saw that Judah had nothing to "give" them. It was foolish for the leaders of Judah to trust in a nation that looked at them this way!

      Verses 6-7 tells us JUDAH'S trust in Egypt will gain them nothing.

      "The burden against the beasts of the South. Through a land of trouble and anguish, from which came the lioness and lion, the viper and fiery flying serpent, they will carry their riches on the backs of young donkeys, and their treasures on the humps of camels, To a people who shall not profit; for the Egyptians shall help in vain and to no purpose. Therefore I have called her Rahab-Hem-Shebeth."

      The burden against the beasts of the South...

      GOD SHOWED ISAIAH WHAT JUDAH WOULD DO IN ADVANCE..

      Isaiah proclaims a burden against the pack animals of Judah, which will carry the riches of Judah down to Egypt, through the wilderness, in a foolish attempt to purchase protection against the Assyrians.

      It will be wasted money, because the Egyptians shall help in vain and to no purpose.

      No wonder Isaiah feels sorry for the donkeys that will carry the treasure of Judah down to Egypt! Despite the riches that the pack animals bring across the desert, Egypt will not help Judah at all, so one could call Egypt Rahab-Hem-Shebeth, which means "Rahab Sits Idle" of "Rahab the Do-Nothing."

      DID YOU KNOW...Rahab is a name, but it is also the Hebrew word for PRIDE, and is sometimes used as a title for Egypt as told to us in Psalm 87:4.

      Egypt will sit idly by as the Assyrians trouble Judah.

      Verses 8-11 tells us The LORD documents Judah's rejection of His message.

      "Now go, write it before them on a tablet, and note it on a scroll, that it may be for time to come, forever and ever: That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children who will not hear the law of the LORD; who say to the seers, "Do not see," and to the prophets, "Do not prophesy to us right things; speak to us smooth things, prophesy deceits. Get out of the way, turn aside from the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us."

      Now go, write it before them on a tablet … that it may be for a time to come, forever and ever...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
      God tells ISAIAH TO WRITE IT DOWN NOW....DOCUMENT IT....TELL JUDAH BEFORE it happens, and wants it documented. This is so when it all unfolds exactly as the LORD had spoken, Judah can have greater trust in the LORD.

      That this is a rebellious people, lying children … who say to the seers, "Do not see."
      God wanted Judah's rejection of His message, and His messengers, to be documented. Judah wanted to hear from the prophets and God's messengers, but they did not want to hear the truth from them. They want religion, but they don't want the living God of heaven to be real in their life (Cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us).

      SOUND FAMILIAR TODAY?

      CHURCHES/PEOPLE WANT TO LOOK HOLY, PROSPEROUS, & PIOUS WITH ALL THEIR RULES & RITUALS BEING PARADED BEFORE THE LOST WORLD...BUT THEY DO NOT WANT REAL RELATIONSHIP, ONE ON ONE, DAY IN DAY OUT...STRIVING TO WALK WITH JESUS, DO HIS WILL, AND BE HUMBLE, SELFLESS, AND A SERVANT TO ALL AS JESUS WAS.

      THEN AS NOW, PRIDE, PIETY, & ARROGANCE HAVE DESTROYED MORE RELIGIOUS RITUALISTIC PEOPLE THAN ANYTHING ELSE.

      The problem God confronted in Judah didn't end in the days of Judah.

      REMEMBER Paul describes the SAME kind of heart in 2 Timothy 4:3-4. "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables."

      WE HAVE PEOPLE TODAY WHO SAY, NO I DO NOT BELIEVE IN HELL AND I DO NOT BELIEVE ANYONE GOES THERE. YOUR BIBLE SAYS GOD LOVES HIS CHILDREN. A FATHER WHO LOVES DOES NOT SEND HIS CHILDREN TO AN ETERNITY IN SUCH A VILE PLACE.

      HERE IS SATAN'S MASTERFUL TWISTING OF THE BIBLE IN THE HEARTS AND MINDS OF MANKIND...THAT DOES NOT READ THE BIBLE, OR JUST PLUCKS PIECES OF SCRIPTURE OUT OF THE BIBLE...TO SATISFY AND DEFEND THEIR MAN-CREATED BELIEF SYSTEM.

      WHAT DO I MEAN?

      THE BIBLE SAYS ALL MANKIND WAS CREATED IN THE IMAGE OF GOD.

      BUT ONLY THOSE WHO REPENT, ACCEPT, PUBLICLY PROCLAIM AND CALL JESUS CHRIST LORD SAVIOR AND FRIEND...ARE THEN CALLED CHILDREN OF GOD.

      THE BIBLE TELLS US CLEARLY THAT AN ETERNITY IN THE LAKE OF FIRE IS MADE AND CHOSEN BY EACH PERSON...NOT GOD.

      REJECTION OF JESUS CHRIST AS GOD'S ONLY BEGOTTEN SON...REJECTION OF JESUS' GRACE/MERCY AND WILLING BLOOD SACRIFICE ON CALVARY FOR LOST MANKIND IS CHOOSING THE LAKE OF FIRE FOR ETERNITY.

      CHOOSING TO ACCEPT AND BELIEVE IN ALMIGTY GOD, AS CREATOR, BUT REJECTING AND DENYING JESUS CHRIST...IS CHOOSING THE LAKE OF FIRE ETERNITY.

      IT IS THE ANALOGY I USE OFTEN...THE HOT STOVE...A PARENT PLEADS, WARNS, AND ADMONISHES..DO NOT TOUCH THE STOVE...IT IS HOT....IT WILL HURT YOU...IT WILL BRING YOU MUCH PAIN AND TEARS...DO NOT! STAY AWAY! BUT THE REBELLIOUS CHILD SAYS IN HIS HEART...IT DOES NOT LOOK HOT...IT IS NOT REALLY HOT. IT WILL NOT REALLY HURT ME...AND THAT ARROGANCE, REBELLIOUSNESS...EARNS THEM BURNS THAT THEY FEEL FOR DAYS.

      SO IT WAS FOR JUDAH...AND IS TODAY!

      Verses 12-14 tells the judgment to come upon Judah for their trust in Egypt and for their rejection of His message.

      "Therefore thus says the Holy One of Israel: "Because you despise this word, and trust in oppression and perversity, and rely on them, therefore this iniquity shall be to you like a breach ready to fall, a bulge in a high wall, whose breaking comes suddenly, in an instant. And He shall break it like the breaking of the potter's vessel, which is broken in pieces; He shall not spare. So there shall not be found among its fragments a shard to take fire from the hearth, or to take water from the cistern."

      Because you despise this word … Therefore this iniquity shall be to you like a breach ready to fall...

      PRETTY CLEAR, AMEN?
      God promises that because Judah trusted in Egypt instead of Him, everything will be broken and collapsed. Judah will be like a collapsed wall, whose breaking comes suddenly, in an instant. Judah will be like a shattered clay pot, which is broken in pieces.

      Verses 15-17 tells us Judah brought low because of their self-reliance and rejection of God's message.

      "For thus says the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel: "In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and confidence shall be your strength." But you would not, and you said, "No, for we will flee on horses"; therefore you shall flee! And, "We will ride on swift horses"; therefore those who pursue you shall be swift! One thousand shall flee at the threat of one, at the threat of five you shall flee, till you are left as a pole on top of a mountain and as a banner on a hill."

      In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and confidence shall be your strength...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      God REMINDS THEM...HE offered to Judah the promise of protection from Assyria. They didn't need to look to Egypt to help at all. They could have trusted God for His promise.

      AND DID YOU KNOW....Trusting God's promise means RETURNING.
      If there is conspicuous disobedience in our lives, we must return to the LORD's ways. Outright disobedience is never consistent with real trust in God's promise.

      RETURNING...also MEANS drawing close to the LORD.

      TRUSTING GOD'S PROMISES MEANS REST!

      WHY?

      When we trust God, we DO NOT have to strive for ourselves.

      We DO NOT have to run all about trying to protect or guard ourselves.

      We have the BEST Protector, the BEST Guard in JESUS CHRIST.

      We CAN AND SHOULD REST in Him, and when we do, it shows we are really trusting in God's promise.

      TRUSTING God's promise means QUIETNESS.
      WHY?
      WE DO NOT NEED to argue for your side when JESUS CHRIST is on your side. Be quiet before Him and before others. It shows that you really trust Him.

      TRUSTING God's promise means CONFIDENCE!

      WHY?

      WE ARE NOT & DO NOT GIVE IN TO despair or fear, because you trust God's promise. You know He can and will come through, and you have a profound confidence in the THE LORD JESUS who loves you.

      ALL OF THESE THINGS TOGETHER mean a REAL TRUST in God's promise, and it means that we shall be saved, and it means that we will find strength.
      There is no person walking this earth more powerful than a child of God, a member JESUS FAMILY WHO IS boldly and properly trusting the promise of the living God, AMEN?

      WE NEED TO KNOW, SPEAK OUT, STUDY, AND STAND ON JESUS PROMISES TO US....EVERY DAY!!!

      BUT JUDAH IGNORED ALL THIS, REJECTED ALL THIS.
      JUDAH CHOSE THE HOT STOVE!

      But you would not, and you said, "No, for we will flee on horses" - Therefore you shall flee!"

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
      Because Judah rejected God's promise, and trusted in horses and other such things instead, they would need to flee! If they would have trusted God's promise instead, they would never had reason to flee, and would have SEEN the LORD's salvation and strength instead.

      One thousand shall flee at the threat of one...

      DID YOU KNOW this is a REVERSAL of the PROMISE of Leviticus 26:8, and a FULFILLMENT of the CURSE promised in Leviticus 26:17: "I will set My face against you, and you shall be defeated by your enemies. Those who hate you shall reign over you, and you shall flee when no one pursues you."

      Verse 18 tells us A call to trust in God's timing.

      "Therefore the LORD will wait, that He may be gracious to you; and therefore He will be exalted, that He may have mercy on you. For the LORD is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for Him."

      Therefore the LORD will wait, that He may be gracious to you...

      We as CHRISTIANS often wonder why the LORD waits to do things in our lives.

      GOD TELLS ISAIAH WHY PLAINLY RIGHT HERE...
      So He may be gracious to you. Whenever the LORD waits or seems to delay, it always has a loving purpose behind it. We can trust that even when we DO NOT understand it.

      And therefore He will be exalted, that He may have mercy on us...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
      When God has mercy on us, it exalts Him. Mercy does NOTHING to exalt the person who receives it; mercy recognizes the guilt of the one who deserves the punishment. But mercy exalts the goodness of the person who gives it. It shows them to be loving, generous, and full of mercy.

      For the LORD is a God of justice...
      THINK ABOUT THIS...
      ON THE SURFACE & IN MAN'S LIMITED PERCEPTIONS, WISDOM, & KNOWLEDGE... mercy and justice seem to oppose each other.

      FOR EXAMPLE, If a guilty criminal stands before the judge, he has the choice to show either mercy or justice, RIGHT?

      But God is so great, He can show BOTH at the SAME time.

      HOW?

      Because on the cross, Jesus took the punishment we deserve, God's justice is satisfied.

      BUT....At the same time, He shows mercy by extending the work of Jesus to us as payment for our sins.

      ROMANS 3:26 confirms this..."Only God can reconcile mercy and justice, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus."

      BLESSED ARE ALL THOSE WHO WAIT FOR HIM...

      Because God is so great, there is a BUILT-IN blessing for those who wait for Him.

      GOD TOLD ISAIAH CLEARLY...that that does NOT mean wait just in the sense of passing time, but in the sense of patiently waiting for and trusting God's promise.

      CHARLES SPURGEON says it very well...."Certain of God's people are in trouble and distress, and they are eager for immediate rescue. They cannot wait God's time, nor exercise submission to his will. He will surely deliver them in due season; but they cannot tarry till the hour cometh; like children, they snatch at unripe fruit. 'To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven'; but their one season is the present; they cannot, they will not wait. They must have their desire instantaneously fulfilled, or else they are ready to take wrong means of attaining it. If in poverty, they are in haste to be rich; and they shall not long be innocent. If under reproach, their heart ferments towards revenge. They would sooner rush under the guidance of Satan into some questionable policy, than in childlike simplicity trust in the Lord and do good. It must not be so with you, my brethren, you must learn a better way."

      Verse 19 tells us God PROMISES TO BLESS His people by responding to their cry.

      "For the people shall dwell in Zion at Jerusalem; you shall weep no more. He will be very gracious to you at the sound of your cry; when He hears it, He will answer you."

      You shall weep no more … He will be very gracious to you at the sound of your cry....When God's people WAIT on Him and patiently TRUST His promise, God pours out His grace at the cry of their heart. Even if it FEELS LIKE God is distant, He hears and promises to answer.
      FEELINGS ARE UNTRUST-WORTHY.

      WANT ME TO PROVE IT?

      TAKE ONE DAY...AND EVERY FEELING YOU HAVE, EVERY EMOTION THAT WHISPERS THROUGH YOUR MIND, YOUR HEART, AS WELL YOUR MOUTH...WRITE IT DOWN. AT THE END OF ONE DAY...YOU WILL BE AMAZED AS HOW MANY INSTANT FEELINGS OF THE MOMENT BOMBARD YOU. HAPPY ONE MINUTE...WORRIED THE NEXT...SAD..MAD...HOPEFUL...FRUSTRATED...IT IS AMAZING THE FEELINGS WE EXPERIENCE IN ONE DAY.

      THAT IS WHY I AM CONSTANTLY REMINDING MYSELF...FAITH DO NOT TRUST IN WHAT YOU FEEL LIKE AS A CHILD OF THE MOST HIGH....TRUST IN WHAT JESUS SAYS...WHAT JESUS PROMISES...AND WHAT HE SAYS ABOUT YOU, AMEN?

      OUR TRIUNE GOD DOES NOT CHANGE...NOR DOES HE LIE.

      Verses 20-21 tells us God promises to bless His people with guidance.

      "And though the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your teachers will not be moved into a corner anymore, but your eyes shall see your teachers. Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, "This is the way, walk in it," whenever you turn to the right hand or whenever you turn to the left."

      Though the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction … your eyes shall see your teachers...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      When Judah was prosperous and comfortable, they WOULD NOT listen to God. Now, God has given them the bread of adversity and water of affliction, but they can hear God and be guided by Him again. It's always better to be uncomfortable and in tune with the Lord than to be comfortable and out of step with God.

      Verse 22 tells us God promises to bless His people with the DESIRE for purity.

      "You will also defile the covering of your graven images of silver, and the ornament of your molded images of gold. You will throw them away as an unclean thing; you will say to them, "Get away!"

      You will also defile the covering of your graven images of silver...

      DID YOU KNOW?
      IN THAT DAY, The people of Judah kept household idols that they used to honor or worship other gods. The LORD promises a day when they will defile those images, and throw them away as an unclean thing. What a wonderful thing it is when God's people say to wicked and idolatrous things, "Get away!"

      You will throw them away as an unclean thing...The literal Hebrew for unclean thing is literally a menstrual cloth. The people of God would come to hate their idols so much that they would throw them away as readily as they would throw away a used menstrual cloth.

      Interestingly, the King James Version and the New International Version both translate these words as menstrual cloth, but the New King James Version uses the euphemistic unclean thing.

      WHY?

      HEBREW PEOPLE THEN AND NOW, SET WOMEN APART FROM THE REST OF THE TRIBE DURING THEIR MENSTRUAL CYCLES. THE HUSBANDS HAD NO SEXUAL INTERCOURSE/CONTACT WITH THEIR WIVES DURING THEIR CYCLES...WHY? BECAUSE THE MENSTRUAL BLOOD IS OLD DEAD BLOOD & TISSUE BEING CLEANSED FROM A WOMAN'S BODY..TO KEEP HER BODY & BLOOD HEALTHY AND WHOLE AND HER WOMB PURE AND FERTILE.
      YET JUST AS A DEEP CUT IS CONSTANTLY CLEANSED, THEN BANDAGED TO PROTECT IT FROM GERMS WHILE IT IS EXPOSED TO THE BLOOD AND INNER BODY OF THE PERSON...SO TO DOES GOD WISH TO PROTECT THE OPENNESS AND EXPOSURE OF A WOMAN FROM THE COMMON GERMS AND CONTAMINATION OF HER HUSBAND AT THAT TIME.

      YET TODAY, THE MEDICAL/PHARMACEUTICAL SPECIALISTS, ARE CREATING THINGS THAT INHIBIT THIS NATURAL CYCLE NECESSARY TO SUSTAIN THE HEALTH AND LIFE OF A WOMAN. PUT ON A PATCH, TAKE A SHOT, OR TAKE A PILL AND DO NOT HAVE A CYCLE FOR MONTHS, WEEKS...AND THEY WONDER WHY YOUNGER AND YOUNGER WOMEN ARE GETTING CANCERS, HAVING STROKES, MENTAL ISSUES, HEART ATTACKS, BLOOD DISEASES, ARE PROVEN STERILE, &/OR UNABLE TO CONCEIVE.

      THE LORD KNOWS HIS CREATION AND HE CREATED IT TO WORK WELL AND TO HELP PROTECT AND SUSTAIN, AMEN?

      ALMIGHTY GOD IS NOT TRYING TO DENY THE HUSBAND HIS WIFE'S TENDER CARING LOVE AND INTIMACY, NOR SHE HIS....BUT TO PROTECT AND SUSTAIN THEM BOTH. TO KEEP THE MARRIAGE HEALTHY AND STRONG AND PROTECTED ON ALL LEVELS, AMEN?

      Verses 23-26 tells us God promises to bless nature with abundance.

      "Then He will give the rain for your seed with which you sow the ground, and bread of the increase of the earth; it will be fat and plentiful. In that day your cattle will feed in large pastures. Likewise the oxen and the young donkeys that work the ground will eat cured fodder, which has been winnowed with the shovel and fan. There will be on every high mountain and on every high hill rivers and streams of waters, in the day of the great slaughter, when the towers fall. Moreover the light of the moon will be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun will be sevenfold, as the light of seven days, in the day that the LORD binds up the bruise of His people and heals the stroke of their wound."

      Then He will give the rain for your seed...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      When Judah puts away their idols, boldly trusting God's promise, then God will send material blessings on Judah. For a nation of farmers, it was a wonderful promise to make them fat and plenteous. In a naturally dry land, it was a wonderful promise to give abundant rivers and streams of waters.

      Better than the material blessing of the LORD is His loving care... In the day that the LORD binds up the bruise of His people and heals the stroke of their wound.

      Verses 27-29 tells us God promises His people will have gladness in the day of judgment.

      "Behold, the name of the LORD comes from afar, burning with His anger, and His burden is heavy; His lips are full of indignation, and His tongue like a devouring fire. His breath is like an overflowing stream, which reaches up to the neck, to sift the nations with the sieve of futility; and there shall be a bridle in the jaws of the people, causing them to err. You shall have a song as in the night when a holy festival is kept, and gladness of heart as when one goes with a flute, to come into the mountain of the LORD, to the Mighty One of Israel."

      Behold, the name of the LORD comes from afar, burning with His anger...

      GOD SHOWS Isaiah WHO SEES the judgment of the LORD quickly coming, to sift the nations with the sieve of futility.

      HOWEVER, God's people do not need to fear...You shall have a song … and gladness of heart as when one goes with a flute, to come into the mountain of the LORD. What a contrast!

      1 John 4:17 confirms this... "Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world."

      Boldness and joy in the day of judgment are precious gifts from God.

      Verses 30-33 tells us The glory of the judgment of the LORD.

      "The LORD will cause His glorious voice to be heard, and show the descent of His arm, with the indignation of His anger and the flame of a devouring fire, with scattering, tempest, and hailstones. For through the voice of the LORD Assyria will be beaten down, as He strikes with the rod. And in every place where the staff of punishment passes, which the LORD lays on him, it will be with tambourines and harps; and in battles of brandishing He will fight with it. For Tophet was established of old, yes, for the king it is prepared. He has made it deep and large; its pyre is fire with much wood; the breath of the LORD, like a stream of brimstone, kindles it."

      The LORD WILL cause His glorious voice to be heard...
      Isaiah wants God's people see the glory of God's judgments. When we understand how God's perfect judgment exalts His justice and His righteousness, we see the glory of the judgment of the LORD.

      Assyria WILL be beaten down...
      In the NEAR VIEW, MEANING IN THAT DAY AND TIME OF ISAIAH, Isaiah sees the judgment of the LORD against Assyria. Judah had no business trusting in Egypt for help against the Assyrians, but they should have trusted the LORD instead, because the LORD will take care of the Assyrians

      AND DID YOU KNOW...
      As it happened, this was exactly the case.
      2 Kings 19:35 describes how God simply sent the angel of the LORD, and killed 185,000 Assyrians in one night. When the people woke up, there were 185,000 dead Assyrian soldiers.

      For Tophet was established of old, yes for the king it is prepared...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      AND WHAT IS TOPHET?

      Tophet was a place in the Valley of Hinnom, just outside of Jerusalem's walls told to us in Jeremiah 7:31.

      The Valley of Hinnom served as Jerusalem's garbage dump, and the combination of disgusting rubbish and smoldering fires made it a picture of hell.

      AND PREVIOUS BIBLE STUDIES WE REMEMBER THAT THE Hebrew word for hell (gehenna) comes from the word for the Valley of Hinnom.

      Therefore, God says He has a SPECIAL SECTION, A SPECIAL PLACE IN THE WAITING PRISON OF HELL & THE LAKE OF FIRE place in hell for the Assyrian king!

      THE TRIUNE GOD FORGETS NOTHING DONE AGAINST HIS CHOSEN PEOPLE AND THE FAMILY OF JESUS CHRIST.
      God had an eternal place for the Assyrian king who attacked Judah and Jerusalem (He has made it deep and large; its pyre But God also had a special judgment for that king on earth.
      2 Kings 19:36-37 describes how when the king of the Assyrians returned home after attacking Judah, his own sons murdered him as he worshipped in the temple of Nisroch his god.

      ISAIAH 30 IS FILLED WITH PLEAS, WARNINGS, AND PROMISES FROM ALMIGHTY GOD.

      AS FROM THE BEGINNING OF TIME, TO THE END OF TIME, OUR TRIUNE GOD IS SAYING...

      DO NOT TRUST YOUR FEELINGS.
      DO NOT TRUST IN MANKIND.
      DO NOT TRUST IN THIS WORLD.
      KNOW MY PROMISES.
      STUDY MY PROMISES.
      PROCLAIM MY PROMISES.
      WAIT ON THE LORD.

      I KEEP EXCELLENT RECORDS AND NOTHING THAT COMES AGAINST YOU...SHALL PROSPER.

      AND ALL THAT COME AGAINST YOU, IF THEY DO NOT REPENT, TURN FROM THEIR EVIL WICKED WAYS, THEY SHALL BE DESTROYED ETERNALLY.


      WAIT ON ME!
      TRUST ME!

    • July 6, 2016 2:19 AM EDT
    • ISAIAH 31


      OPENS WITH....THE LORD WILL GIVE VICTORY, NOT EGYPT

      Verse 1 tells us GOD tells ISAIAH....Woe to those who look to Egypt, not the LORD.

      "Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help, and rely on horses, who trust in chariots because they are many, and in horsemen because they are very strong, but who do not look to the Holy One of Israel, nor seek the LORD!"

      GOD has Isaiah confront Judah with TWO sins.
      THE SIN of trusting in Egypt and their military might.
      THE SIN the of not looking to the Holy One of Israel.

      Judah felt they had a reason to trust in chariots (because they are many). Judah felt they had a reason to trust in horsemen (because they are very strong). But they couldn't seem to find a reason to trust in the LORD!

      EVERYONE HAS FAITH.
      TRUE OR MISPLACED...
      WHAT DO I MEAN?
      FINANCIERS HAVE FAITH IN MARKET FORCES.
      MILITARY HAS FAITH IN BOMBS & BOOTS ON THE GROUND.
      SCIENCE HAS FAITH IN NATURES REGULARITIES.
      SO JUDAH HAD FAITH IN EGYPT.

      How much better to have the heart of the Psalmist in Psalm 20:7: "Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; but we will remember the name of the LORD our God."

      Verses 2-3 tells us The LORD is mightier than the Egyptians.

      "Yet He also is wise and will bring disaster, and will not call back His words, but will arise against the house of evildoers, and against the help of those who work iniquity. Now the Egyptians are men, and not God; and their horses are flesh, and not spirit. When the LORD stretches out His hand, both he who helps will fall, and he who is helped will fall down; they all will perish together."

      Yet He also is wise and will bring disaster...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      Though Judah couldn't seem to find a reason to trust God, the reasons were there, and Isaiah calls them to remember the reasons. They should trust God more than the Egyptians or their armies because He also is wise and will bring disaster … He will arise against the house of evildoers.

      Now the Egyptians are men, and not God; and their horses are flesh, and not spirit: Judah was also wrong about their trust in Egypt. The Egyptians and their armies were not as mighty as they seemed to be. All the LORD must do to topple them, along with all who trust in them, is to stretch out His hand.

      Verses 4-5 tells us The LORD defends Mount Zion.

      "For thus the LORD has spoken to me: "As a lion roars, and a young lion over his prey (When a multitude of shepherds is summoned against him, He will not be afraid of their voice nor be disturbed by their noise), so the LORD of hosts will come down to fight for Mount Zion and for its hill. Like birds flying about, so will the LORD of hosts defend Jerusalem. Defending, He will also deliver it; passing over, He will preserve it."

      As a lion roars … So the LORD of hosts will come down to fight for Mount Zion...

      DO YOU HEAR THE PROMISE OF GOD HERE?! HE IS SAYING....I HAVE PROMISED....I DO NOT LIE. WILL YOU NOT TRUST IN ME....JUST ME!

      Again, their trust in Egypt for protection against the Assyrian invasion was both foolish and unnecessary. God would protect Mount Zion if Judah trusted Him or not!

      Like birds flying about, so will the LORD of hosts defend Jerusalem...

      I LOVE THIS PICTURE...REMINDS ME OF WHAT A MOTHER BIRD DOES TO PROTECT HER EGGS AND HER BABIES FEARLESSLY & CONSTANTLY, AMEN?

      So, God will defend Jerusalem with the ferocity of a lion, and also with the tender care of a bird. The combination of the two images is powerful.

      WHEN I WAS A KID, I USED TO WATCH WILD KINGDOM, WITH JIM FOWLER & MARLEN PERKINS EVERY WEEK....AND HE SAID SOMETHING THAT STUCK WITH ME OVER THE YEARS.

      MAN BELIEVES THAT THE LION OF THE JUNGLE IS THE MOST FIERCE OF NATURE'S CREATURES...BUT I TELL YOU THE LION, BEAR, THE PANTHER...DO NOT DARE CHALLENGE A MOTHER LIONNESS, BEAR, OR PANTHER WHEN SHE HAS BABIES. THERE IS NOTHING MORE FIERCE, PROTECTIVE, AND MORE DANGEROUS AN A MOTHER IN NATURE.

      OUR LORD GOD IS FIERCE FOR US AND IN PROTECTING US, BUT HE IS AT THE SAME TIME SO VERY TENDER IN HIS CARE OF US, AMEN?

      THIS CHAPTER OF ISAIAH IS BRINGING BACK MEMORIES, AND DATING ME, BUT I ALSO REMEMBER A BLACK AND WHITE DISNEY CARTOON...WHERE AN ANGEL HOVERS OVER GOOFY ALL DAY, FLYING BEFORE HIM, BEHIND HIM, BESIDE HIM, AS HE PROTECTS THE UNAWARE, GOOFY WHO ALMOST SLIPS IN THE SHOWER, ELECTROCUTES HIMSELF WHILE MAKING TOAST, AND IS SAVED FROM SEVERAL DEATHS AND INJURIES IN HIS CAR ON THE WAY TO WORK...AND THROUGH HIS DAY..ALL THE WHILE GOOFY IS MOSEYING ALONG, HUMMING A TUNE, GRINNING WITH SUPREME CONFIDENCE AT HIS SKILLS, WHEN IT IS THE ANGEL KEEPING HIM FROM KILLING HIMSELF, GETTING HURT, BEAT UP...A NUMBER OF THINGS IN JUST ONE DAY...NOW AT THE END OF THE DAY, WHEN GOOFY CRAWLS INTO BED, THE ANGEL IS EXHAUSTED. THE DIFFERENCE BEING....OUR JESUS DOES NOT GET TIRED, DOES NOT FALL ASLEEP...HE IS EVER VIGILANT, AMEN?

      Verses 6-9 tells us An invitation to repent to the God who will deliver.

      "Return to Him against whom the children of Israel have deeply revolted. For in that day every man shall throw away his idols of silver and his idols of gold; sin, which your own hands have made for yourselves. "Then Assyria shall fall by a sword not of man, and a sword not of mankind shall devour him. But he shall flee from the sword, and his young men shall become forced labor. He shall cross over to his stronghold for fear, and his princes shall be afraid of the banner," says the LORD, whose fire is in Zion and whose furnace is in Jerusalem."

      Return to Him...

      HERE WE HEAR ISAIAH ONCE AGAIN, AS HE HAS DONE FOR 30 CHAPTERS...ENCOURAGING, PLEADING, AND THEN WARNING...

      Because of how great God is, because of how terrible the alternatives to serving Him are, we should feel compelled to return to Him. Repentance means turning towards God, and away from anything we have put in God's place (idols of silver and idols of gold - sin, which your own hands have made).

      Then Assyria shall fall by sword not of man...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      This was fulfilled exactly. The Assyrian army devastated almost the entire land of Judah, and camped on the outskirts of Jerusalem, waiting to conquer the nation by defeating the capital city.

      But 2 Kings 19:1-37 describes what our God can do & PROVES WHAT HE PROMISES TO DO....HE WILL DO!

      TURN WITH ME TO 2 KINGS 19

      GOD DELIVERS JERUSALEM FROM ASSYRIA

      Verses 1-5 tell us King Hezekiah seeks Isaiah in the time of great distress

      "And so it was, when King Hezekiah heard it, that he tore his clothes, covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the house of the LORD. Then he sent Eliakim, who was over the household, Shebna the scribe, and the elders of the priests, covered with sackcloth, to Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz. And they said to him, "Thus says Hezekiah: 'This day is a day of trouble, and rebuke, and blasphemy; for the children have come to birth, but there is no strength to bring them forth. It may be that the LORD your God will hear all the words of the Rabshakeh, whom his master the king of Assyria has sent to reproach the living God, and will rebuke the words which the LORD your God has heard. Therefore lift up your prayer for the remnant that is left.' " So the servants of King Hezekiah came to Isaiah."

      When King Hezekiah heard it, that he tore his clothes, covered himself with sackcloth: The tearing of clothes and the wearing of sackcloth (a rough, burlap-type material) were expressions of deep mourning, usually for the death of a loved one. Hezekiah received this report regarding Rabshakeh seriously, knowing how dedicated this enemy was to completely conquering Jerusalem.

      Hezekiah's initial reaction was good. He saw the situation for what it really was. Often, when we are in some kind of trial or difficulty, we handle it poorly because we never see the situation accurately. Jerusalem's situation was desperate and Hezekiah knew it.

      There was good reason for Hezekiah to be so humble before the LORD.

      WHY?

      AT THIS TIME...City after city has fallen to Sennacherib and long lines of deportees are already snaking their bitter way into exile - and it is all Hezekiah's fault! He followed the lunatic policy of rebellion and was bewitched by Egyptian promises. He might as well have sold his people himself. But even when a matter is our own fault we can still pray about it. And the Lord can always be trusted to HEAR his people.

      And went into the house of the LORD...

      Hezekiah's SECOND reaction was even better. He did not allow his mourning and grief spin him into a rejection of the LORD's power and help. He knew this was a more necessary time than ever to seek the LORD.

      The THIRD thing Hezekiah did was also good. The king sought out the word of the LORD, given through the prophet of the LORD.

      FOURTHLY, Hezekiah knew that their ONLY hope was that God would take offense at the blasphemies of Rabshakeh and rise up against him.

      FIFTHLY...Hezekiah ASKED Isaiah, pray for us. Our nation is devastated by this Assyrian invasion, and Jerusalem alone is left standing. Pray for the remnant that is left.

      Verses 6-7 tells us God's word of assurance to Hezekiah.

      "And Isaiah said to them, "Thus you shall say to your master, 'Thus says the LORD: "Do not be afraid of the words which you have heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed Me. Surely I will send a spirit upon him, and he shall hear a rumor and return to his own land; and I will cause him to fall by the sword in his own land."' "

      Isaiah, speaking for the LORD, was about to make a bold prediction. His prophecy would be entirely "provable." It would either happen or it would not happen; Isaiah would be known as a true prophet or a false prophet shortly.

      Do NOT be afraid of the words which you have heard...Perhaps we can sense a gentle rebuke in these words from the LORD. "Hezekiah, it is good for you to seek Me so passionately. But the words of the Rabshakeh are only words. Do not be afraid of them."

      With which the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed Me...

      How these words must have cheered Hezekiah! Before, he had hoped it may be that the LORD your God will hear the words of the Rabshakeh … to reproach the living God (2 Kings 19:4). Now, the LORD spoke through the prophet Isaiah, saying He HAD indeed heard those words. It was evident that God took this offense personally.

      The servants of the king of Assyria: Servants is "a deliberately belittling expression, 'the king of Assyria's lads/flunkies'.

      Surely I WILL send a spirit upon him, and he SHALL hear a rumor and return to his own land; and I WILL cause him to fall by the sword in his own land: Here, the LORD God assured Hezekiah that He would indeed deal with the Rabshakeh. He had heard his blasphemy, and would bring judgment against him.

      YOU NOTICE, IN THIS INITIAL WORD FROM THE LORD, there was no mention of Jerusalem's deliverance or the defeat of the Assyrian army. God focused this word against the Rabshakeh personally.

      Verses 8-13 gives us the response of Rabshakeh to King Hezekiah and Jerusalem.

      "Then the Rabshakeh returned and found the king of Assyria warring against Libnah, for he heard that he had departed from Lachish. And the king heard concerning Tirhakah king of Ethiopia, "Look, he has come out to make war with you." So he again sent messengers to Hezekiah, saying, "Thus you shall speak to Hezekiah king of Judah, saying: 'Do not let your God in whom you trust deceive you, saying, "Jerusalem shall not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria." Look! You have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands by utterly destroying them; and shall you be delivered? Have the gods of the nations delivered those whom my fathers have destroyed, Gozan and Haran and Rezeph, and the people of Eden who were in Telassar? Where is the king of Hamath, the king of Arpad, and the king of the city of Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivah?'"

      This must have seemed to Hezekiah to be the fulfillment of the LORD's promise through the prophet Isaiah. The Rabshakeh left Jerusalem and Hezekiah must have thought, "Now he'll go back to his own land and be killed, just like the LORD promised. Good riddance! Thank You LORD!"

      The king heard concerning Tirhakah king of Ethiopia, "He has come out to make war with you."

      While the Rabshakeh was away, the Assyrians learned that Egyptian troops (under an Ethiopian king) were advancing from the south. This would be the Egyptian intervention Assyria feared, and that many in Judah trusted in. As Isaiah prophesied, it would come to nothing (Isaiah 20:1-6 and 30:1-7).

      Do not let your God in whom you trust deceive you...SOUNDS JUST LIKE SATAN...DOES IT NOT?

      ALTHOUGH Rabshakeh was not in Jerusalem, but that didn't stop him from trying to build fear, discouragement, and despair in Hezekiah. He sent a letter to the king of Judah to attack him from a distance with WORDS OF THREAT!

      Have the gods of the nations...If read with an eye of faith, these must have been trust-building words of the Rabshakeh to Hezekiah. In counting the LORD God of Israel among the gods of the nations, the Rabshakeh blasphemed the LORD and invited judgment.

      HE BOLDLY LISTED THE CITIES HE HAD ALREADY CONQUERED...I DESTROYED THEM WITH MY OWN MIGHT STRENGTH, NUMBERS, AND POWER...YOU ARE NOTHING...YOUR GOD IS NOTHING...YOU ARE NEXT!

      Verses 14-19 is Hezekiah's prayer.

      "And Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers, and read it; and Hezekiah went up to the house of the LORD, and spread it before the LORD. Then Hezekiah prayed before the LORD, and said: "O LORD God of Israel, the One who dwells between the cherubim, You are God, You alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth. Incline Your ear, O LORD, and hear; open Your eyes, O LORD, and see; and hear the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to reproach the living God. Truly, LORD, the kings of Assyria have laid waste the nations and their lands, and have cast their gods into the fire; for they were not gods, but the work of men's hands; wood and stone. Therefore they destroyed them. Now therefore, O LORD our God, I pray, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You are the LORD God, You alone."

      Hezekiah did EXACTLY what any child of God should do with such a letter. He took it to the house of the LORD (to the outer courts, not the holy place), and he spread it out before the LORD. In this, Hezekiah boldly and effectively fulfilled the later command of 1 Peter 5:7: "casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you."

      DO YOU NOTICE, Hezekiah reacted to the second letter in a different manner. He didn't go to Isaiah. He went to the temple and prayed alone, taking his plea directly to the Lord.

      MEYER SAYS IT PERFECTLY....When therefore letters come to you, anonymous or otherwise, full of bitter reproach; when unkind and malignant stories are set on foot with respect to you; when all hope from man has perished, then take your complaint - the letter, the article, the speech, the rumour - and lay it before God. Let your requests be known unto Him.

      God of Israel: This title for God reminded Hezekiah - and the LORD also, in our human way of understanding - that the LORD God was the covenant God of Israel, and that He should not forsake His people.

      AND DID YOU KNOW.... "O LORD of hosts" is another title for THE LORD WHICH MEANS... "LORD of armies." Hezekiah was in a crisis that was primarily military in nature, so it made sense for him to address the LORD first according to the aspect of God's nature that was most needful for him. "LORD of armies, send some troops to help us!"

      You are God, You alone...God is a simple title for our LORD, but perhaps the most powerful.

      If He is God, then what can He not do?
      If He is God, then what is beyond His control?
      Hezekiah realized the most fundamental fact of all theology: God is God, and we are not! God is God, and the Rabshakeh or the Assyrians are not!

      Incline Your ear, O LORD, and hear; open Your eyes, O LORD, and see...

      Hezekiah knew very well that the LORD did in fact hear and see the blasphemies of Rabshakeh. This is a poetic way of asking God to act upon what He has seen and heard, assuming that if God has seen such things, He will certainly act!


      Verses 20-21 THE LORD ANSWERS...Sennacherib is worthy of scorn - not fear and trembling.

      "Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent to Hezekiah, saying, "Thus says the LORD God of Israel: 'Because you have prayed to Me against Sennacherib king of Assyria, I have heard.' This is the word which the LORD has spoken concerning him: 'The virgin, the daughter of Zion, Has despised you, laughed you to scorn; the daughter of Jerusalem Has shaken her head behind your back!'"

      The glorious answer which fills the rest of the chapter came because Hezekiah prayed.

      THE WORLD, SATAN, AND MAN ARE ALWAYSSS FULL OF ....BUT....WHAT IF....WHAT IF....

      SO GOD ANSWERS...What if he had not prayed? Then we are to think that no answer would have come, and Jerusalem would have been conquered.

      GOD IS SHOWING US THAT PRAYER IS POWERFUL & THAT Hezekiah's prayer really mattered.

      Verses 22-28 tells us God's word to the King of Assyria and his representatives.

      "Whom have you reproached and blasphemed? Against whom have you raised your voice, and lifted up your eyes on high? Against the Holy One of Israel. By your messengers you have reproached the Lord, and said: "By the multitude of my chariots I have come up to the height of the mountains, to the limits of Lebanon; I will cut down its tall cedars and its choice cypress trees; I will enter the extremity of its borders, to its fruitful forest. I have dug and drunk strange water, and with the soles of my feet I have dried up all the brooks of defense." Did you not hear long ago how I made it, from ancient times that I formed it? Now I have brought it to pass, that you should be for crushing fortified cities into heaps of ruins. Therefore their inhabitants had little power; they were dismayed and confounded; they were as the grass of the field and the green herb, as the grass on the housetops and grain blighted before it is grown. But I know your dwelling place, your going out and your coming in, and your rage against Me. Because your rage against Me and your tumult have come up to My ears, therefore I will put My hook in your nose and My bridle in your lips, and I will turn you back By the way which you came."

      SIMPLY PUT...The LORD, speaking through Isaiah, said to the Rabshakeh, "Do you know whom you are dealing with?"

      Sometimes God speaks to the enemy more for the sake of His people than for the sake of the enemy himself.

      THE LORD REMINDED ASSYRIA, ALL OF THEIR VICTORIES WERE BECAUSE THE LORD ALLOWED IT...NOT BECAUSE OF THEIR OWN SELF-PERCEIVED POWER.

      I KNOW your dwelling place, your going out and your coming in...
      God KNEW how to find the Assyrians. And because Assyria went too far in blaspheming the One who made all their success possible, therefore I will put My hook in your nose … and I will turn you back by the way which you came.

      This was an especially dramatic statement!!

      WHY?

      Because this is exactly how the Assryians cruelly marched those whom they forced to relocate out of their conquered lands. They lined up the captives, and drove a large fishhook through the lip or the nose of each captive, strung them all together and marched them. God said, "I'm going to do the same thing to you."


      Verses 29-31 tell us God will prosper wounded Judah.

      "This shall be a sign to you: You shall eat this year such as grows of itself, and in the second year what springs from the same; also in the third year sow and reap, plant vineyards and eat the fruit of them. And the remnant who have escaped of the house of Judah shall again take root downward, and bear fruit upward. For out of Jerusalem shall go a remnant, and those who escape from Mount Zion. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this."

      As much as the Assyrians would like to crush Jerusalem and Judah, they will not be able to. God will preserve His remnant.

      Verses 32-34 tell us God will defend Judah for His sake.

      "Therefore thus says the LORD concerning the king of Assyria: "He shall not come into this city, nor shoot an arrow there, nor come before it with shield, nor build a siege mound against it. By the way that he came, by the same shall he return; and he shall not come into this city," says the LORD. "For I will defend this city, to save it for My own sake and for My servant David's sake."

      God plainly and clearly drew a line. Although the Assyrian military machine was poised to lay siege to Jerusalem and ultimately crush them, they won't. The king of Assyria would not come into this city because God promised to defend it.

      It is hard for modern people to understand the ancient horror of the siege, when a city was surrounded by a hostile army and trapped into a slow, suffering starvation.

      King Hezekiah and the people of Jerusalem lived under the shadow of this threat, but God's promise through Isaiah assured them that Sennacherib and the Assyrian army would not only fail to capture the city, but would not even shoot an arrow or build a siege mound against Jerusalem. God promised that they wouldn't even begin a siege.

      This explains why God promised to defend Jerusalem. God would defend His own glory. Often, we unnecessarily think that we must defend the glory of the LORD. But that isn't really the case. God is more than able to defend His own glory.

      God also does it "For My servant David's sake."

      King David had died almost 300 years before this, but God still honored His promise to David (2 Samuel 7:10-17).

      God defended Jerusalem, not for the city's sake at all - Jerusalem deserved judgment! But He did it for His own sake and for the sake of David. In the same way, God the Father defends and blesses us, not for our own sake - we often deserve His judgment - but He often does it for His own sake, and for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord.

      Verse 35 tell us God strikes down the mighty army of Assyria.

      "And it came to pass on a certain night that the angel of the LORD went out, and killed in the camp of the Assyrians one hundred and eighty-five thousand; and when people arose early in the morning, there were the corpses; all dead."

      The angel of the LORD went out...Simply and powerfully, God destroyed this mighty army in one night. 185,000 died at the hand of the angel of the LORD. AND WE KNOW NOW, THAT ANY TIME WE SEE THE ANGEL OF THE LORD, IT CAN ONLY MEAN JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF. Against all odds, and against every expectation except the expectation of faith, the Assyrian army was turned back without having even shot an arrow into Jerusalem. The unstoppable was stopped, the undefeated was defeated.

      AND YOU NOTICE....THE WATCH DID NOT SEE OR HEAR A THING....THE ANIMALS DID NOT SEE OR HEAR A THING. THE GATE KEEPERS DID NOT SEE OR HEAR A THING....AND NONE OF THE PEOPLE SAW OR HEARD A THING.

      MODERN MAN THINKS HE CREATED...SNEAK ATTACK, SILENT KILL TECHNIQUES....BUT NOTHING COMPARES TO OUR JESUS, WHO ALL BY HIMSELF, IN TOTAL SILENCE, DESTROYED THE 185,OOO ENEMIES OF JERUSALEM....WHILE THEY SLEPT!


      Verses 36-37 tells us the defeated Sennacherib is judged in Nineveh.

      "So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed and went away, returned home, and remained at Nineveh. Now it came to pass, as he was worshiping in the temple of Nisroch his god, that his sons Adrammelech and Sharezer struck him down with the sword; and they escaped into the land of Ararat. Then Esarhaddon his son reigned in his place."

      This happened exactly as God said it would. But THE KING OF ASSYRIA...RETURNED NOT HUMBLED BUT FULL OF SELF PRIDE..

      HOW DO WE KNOW THIS?

      After this retreat from Judah, Sennacherib commissioned a record, which is preserved in the spectacular Annals of Sennacherib (the Taylor Prisim), which can be seen in the British Museum. It shows how full of pride Sennacherib's heart still was, even if he could not even claim he conquered Jerusalem.

      HERE IS AN EXCERPT FROM THOSE ANNALS....

      "I attacked Hezekiah of Judah who had not subjected himself to me, and took forty-six fortresses, forts and small cities. I carried away captive 200,150 people, big and small, both male and female, a multitude of horses, young bulls, asses, camels, and oxen. Hezekiah himself I locked up in Jerusalem like a bird in its cage. I put up banks against the city. I separated his cities whose inhabitants I had taken prisoners from his realm and gave them to Mitiniti, king of Ashdod, Padi, king of Ekron, and Zilbel, king of Gaza and thus diminished his country. And I added another tax to the one imposed on him earlier."

      Now it came to pass...

      DID YOU KNOW...Between 2 Kings 19:36 and 2 Kings 19:37, 20 years passed. FROM THE READING OF HIS RECORD... Sennacherib thought he had escaped the judgment of God, but he hadn't.

      WORSE...He met the bitter end of death at the end of swords held by his own sons.


      AND THIS ALSO REMINDS US THAT OUR JESUS NEITHER SLEEPS NOR SLUMBERS...HE IS ALWAYS ALERT, ALWAYS WITH US, AND ALWAYS OUR SHIELD AGAINST THIS WORLD, MAN, AND SATAN AND ALL HIS DEMONS, AMEN?

      SO THEN AND NOW, ISAIAH IS ASKING, WHO DO YOU REALLLY PUT YOUR FAITH AND TRUST IN?

      IF YOU ARE TRUSTING AND HAVE FAITH IN YOURSELF, YOUR JOB, YOUR FAMILY, YOUR CHURCH, YOUR GOVERNMENT, YOUR MONEY, YOUR HEALTH....YOU ARE NOTTTTTTTT TRUSTING IN THE ONE WHO SEES ALL THINGS, KNOWS ALL THINGS, CONTROLS ALL THINGS.

      THE WORLD, SATAN, AND MAN SAY TRUST ONLY IN WHAT IS IN YOUR HANDS, WHAT YOU CAN SEE AND TOUCH, WHAT YOU CAN MANIPULATE AND CONTROL...BUT THE LORD SAYS, THEN AND NOW...ALL OF THAT IS FADING, FLEETING, AS VAPOR IN THE WIND...LOOK TO ME AND ME ALONE FOR YOUR PROTECTION, PROVISION, DIRECTION, HEALING.

      I, THE LORD JESUS, ALONE, WHOM MY FATHER HAS PLACED ALL THINGS INTO MY HANDS, IS ABLE.

      CALL UPON ME.
      LOOK TO ME.
      STAY CLOSE TO ME.
      I AM THE ALPHA AND THE OMEGA.
      I DO NOT CHANGE.
      I DO NOT LIE.
      I DO NOT FAIL TO KEEP MY PROMISES TO YOU.

      TRUST IN ME, AND MY LOVING CARE FOR YOU EVEN IN THE MIDST OF THE WORST THIS WORLD CAN THROW AT YOU..

    • July 6, 2016 2:16 AM EDT
    • ISAIAH 32

      OPENS WITH....A KING'S REIGN OF RIGHTEOUSNESS

      Verse 1 tells us in the aftermath of Jerusalem's deliverance, a king comes.

      "Behold, a king will reign in righteousness, and princes will rule with justice."

      In ISAIAH 31, God assured that the Assyrians would be judged, and Judah would be delivered. But God didn't want only to remove the threat; He also wanted to bless Judah with a righteous king, so the promise is made: Behold, a king will reign in righteousness.

      Most commentators believe that the king who will reign in righteousness mentioned here was Hezekiah, and since it says that he will reign, this prophecy may have been given at the beginning of Isaiah's prophetic career, during the reign of King Ahaz, the predecessor to King Hezekiah.

      BUT, OUR GOD DOES NOT ONLY SEE AND KNOW, NEAR AND FAR PROPHETIC FULFILLMENT, SO GOD COULD HAVE GIVEN ISAIAH during the reign of Hezekiah, and this announcement refers to the coming of King Josiah, the great-grandson of the present king of Judah, Hezekiah, who reigned during the Assyrian threat. Josiah was a righteous king (2 Kings 22:2).

      Hezekiah certainly fulfills the prophecy that a king will reign in righteousness. It is written of him, And he did what was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father David had done … He trusted in the LORD God of Israel, so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor any who were before him. For he held fast to the LORD; he did not depart from following Him, but kept His commandments, which the LORD had commanded Moses (2 Kings 18:3, 5-6).

      A king will reign in righteousness: BUT IN THE ULTIMATE FAR PROPHETIC FULFILLMENT, WE KNOW THAT KINGS Hezekiah & JOSIAH are a picture of THE KING OF KINGS, JESUS CHRIST.

      REMEMBER Jeremiah 23:5 announces this about our Messiah: "Behold, the days are coming," says the LORD, "That I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness; a King shall reign and prosper, and execute judgment and righteousness in the earth."

      And princes will rule with justice...It wasn't enough - it is never enough - to have a righteous king. The king must have helpers, princes under him, who will also rule with justice. Hezekiah had such loyal princes, such as Eliakim, the elders of the priests, and Isaiah himself told to us in 2 Kings 19:2.

      AND INTERESTINGLY ENOUGH...These PRINCES weren't princes in the literal sense of being sons of King Hezekiah. The Hebrew word for princes can ALSO mean any ruler under a king.

      THE QUESTION HAS BEEN ASKED....BUT If Hezekiah, the righteous king, points to Jesus, then who are Jesus' princes?

      1 PETER 2:9 TELLS US..."But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light."

      REVELATION 5:10 TELLS US..."And have made us kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign on the earth."

      AND RIGHT HERE IS THE ANSWER TO THE WHY OF OUR TRIALS, PAINS AND CHALLENGES IN THIS LIFE....Many of the seemingly unnecessary trials and pains of this life a wonderful purpose in the world beyond: training us to be princes, faithfully ruling with King Jesus!

      DURING THE 1000 YEAR REIGN OF JESUS ON THIS EARTH...WE WILL HEAD THE BANKS, THE COURTS, THE POLICE, BE THE JUDGES, BE THE TEACHERS, THE CARE PROVIDERS FOR ORPHANS, WE WILL HEAD ALL INDUSTRY. WE ARE STUDYING NOW TO BE MISSIONARIES, PREACHERS, ANALYSTS, COMPUTER SPECIALISTS, PROGRAMMERS, COMMUNICATIONS...WHATEVER YOU HAVE LEARNING AND FEEL LED TO DO...REMEMBER THIS ...JESUS IS TRAINING YOU UP TO RULE WITH HIM OVER THE LOST WORLD DURING THE 1000 YEAR REIGN.

      Verses 2-4 tell us of the blessings of restoration from the king.

      "A man will be as a hiding place from the wind, and a cover from the tempest, as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land. The eyes of those who see will not be dim, and the ears of those who hear will listen. Also the heart of the rash will understand knowledge, and the tongue of the stammerers will be ready to speak plainly."

      The spiritual renewal during the reign of Hezekiah was like rivers of water in a dry place, like the shadow of a great rock in a weary land. By God's blessing, those who see could see better than ever, and those who hear will listen.

      The more glorious reign of Jesus is all these things for us as well. He is a shelter from the storm (a cover from the tempest), as rivers of water in a dry place, and like the shadow of a great rock in a weary land, AMEN?

      The heart of the rash will understand knowledge.

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      The spiritual renewal during the reign of Hezekiah promoted trust in God's Word, and because of that, hearts were changed. God also would bless in miraculous ways (the tongue of the stammerers will be ready to speak plainly).

      Verses 5-8 tells us of the blessings of righteousness and integrity from the king.

      "The foolish person will no longer be called generous, nor the miser said to be bountiful; for the foolish person will speak foolishness, and his heart will work iniquity: To practice ungodliness, to utter error against the LORD, to keep the hungry unsatisfied, and he will cause the drink of the thirsty to fail. Also the schemes of the schemer are evil; he devises wicked plans to destroy the poor with lying words, even when the needy speaks justice. But a generous man devises generous things, and by generosity he shall stand."

      The foolish person will no longer be called generous … the foolish person will speak foolishness...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      The spiritual renewal during the reign of Hezekiah meant that spiritual reality would be exposed for all to see. No more would there be deception by appearances; if a man were foolish, he would be exposed as foolish.

      AND Wicked plans...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      DID YOU KNOW...Apart from Job 17:11, "WICKED PLANS" has a uniformly bad meaning. It occurs nineteen times of sexual misconduct told to us in Leviticus 18:17.

      WICKED PLANS...MEANS JUST THAT...It is planning for one's own advantage at whatever cost to others.

      But a generous man devises generous things...

      THIS IS GOOD NEWS...Not only would the foolishness of the foolish be exposed, but so would the generosity of the generous. Righteousness and wickedness would each be seen for what they were, and regarded accordingly.


      Verses 9-11 tells us God SPEAKS to the women at ease are called to repent.

      "Rise up, you women who are at ease, hear my voice; you complacent daughters, give ear to my speech. In a year and some days you will be troubled, you complacent women; for the vintage will fail, the gathering will not come. Tremble, you women who are at ease; be troubled, you complacent ones; strip yourselves, make yourselves bare, and gird sackcloth on your waists."

      Before the righteous king would come, the people had to prepare themselves. The women who are at ease and the complacent daughters had to get ready for the righteous king.

      DID YOU KNOW...At ease is the same word used later in the chapter, where God promises secure dwelling places (Isaiah 32:18). Complacent is the same word used in later in the same chapter, where God promises peaceful habitation. "According to Isaiah, there is nothing wrong with feeling secure and undisturbed as long as one's trust is solidly based on the Lord."

      IN OTHER WORDS, instead of an indulgent, self-focused life, they would be required to tremble, be troubled, and put on the clothing of mourning.

      ONCE AGAIN...THE LORD INCLUDES AND SPEAKS DIRECTLY TO WOMEN. THE WORLD'S MINDSET AS WELL THE HEBREW MIND SET WAS THAT WOMEN, APART FROM GIVING BIRTH, WERE NOT WORTHY OF A SECOND THOUGHT.

      SADLY, MANY DOWN THROUGH TIME, IN MANY RELIGIOSITIES OTHER THAN HEBREW BELIEVED AND TAUGHT THAT WOMEN WERE AN AFTER THOUGHT IN GOD'S HEART AND MIND. THAT AFTER EVE, ALL WOMEN WERE A CURSE, A STUMBLING BLOCK, OR WORSE A NECESSARY EVIL, A VESSEL FOR FURTHERING A MAN'S LINEAGE. THAT GOD DID NOT BOTHER TO CONSIDER WOMEN, THAT HE LEFT THAT SOLELY UP TO THEIR FATHERS AND THEN THEIR HUSBANDS...BUT RIGHT HERE IS ANOTHER EXAMPLE THAT LONG BEFORE JESUS CHRIST WALKED THE EARTH IN HUMAN FLESH, OUR TRIUNE GOD LOVES, SPEAKS TO, CARES FOR, AND CONSIDERS WOMEN TOO.

      Verses 12-14...tells us the whole land mourns.

      "People shall mourn upon their breasts for the pleasant fields, for the fruitful vine. On the land of my people will come up thorns and briers, yes, on all the happy homes in the joyous city; because the palaces will be forsaken, the bustling city will be deserted. The forts and towers will become lairs forever, a joy of wild donkeys, a pasture of flocks."

      Because of the Assyrian invasion to come, God would use the tough economic times to wake Judah up. For the vintage will fail, the gathering will not come (Isaiah 32:10). People shall mourn upon their breasts for the pleasant fields, for the fruitful vine. The tough times touched everyone (all the happy homes in the joyous city … the palaces will be forsaken).

      Verse 15 tell us The Spirit is poured out upon a humbled people.

      "Until the Spirit is poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness becomes a fruitful field, and the fruitful field is counted as a forest."

      Until the Spirit is poured upon us from on high...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      God used the invasion from Assyria, the tough times, and the humble mourning of the people to prepare them for an outpouring of His Spirit.

      UNTIL...It was only the Spirit of God that could make the difference; the tough times would last until the Spirit was poured out.

      IS POURED OUT...God wanted to do more than scatter a few drops of His mercy and blessing; He wanted His Spirit to be poured out upon His people.

      FROM ON HIGH...This is where the true outpouring of the Holy Spirit comes. It doesn't come from among men, or because of men's efforts. It comes from heaven, from on high.

      The wilderness becomes a fruitful field...

      WHAT A GREAT VISUAL FOR US, AMEN?

      When the Holy Spirit is poured out, what was barren and desolate before is now full of life and fruitfulness. THEN AND NOW...True fruitfulness comes from the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

      And the fruitful field is counted as a forest...When the Holy Spirit is poured out, what was good before (a fruitful field) miraculously becomes even better (a forest).

      Verses 16-20 tells us blessings brought by the Spirit.

      "Then justice will dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness remain in the fruitful field. The work of righteousness will be peace, and the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever. My people will dwell in a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places, though hail comes down on the forest, and the city is brought low in humiliation. Blessed are you who sow beside all waters, who send out freely the feet of the ox and the donkey."

      Justice … righteousness … peace … quietness and assurance forever: When God's Spirit is poured out among His people, this is what it is like. This means that we shouldn't be satisfied with what claims to be of the Spirit, but isn't marked by the fruit of the Spirit. This means that if we lack these things, we can come and ask the LORD to pour out His Spirit upon us.

      My people will dwell in a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings … though hail comes down on the forest, and the city is brought low in humiliation...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      When God's Spirit is poured out, we live on a principle higher than circumstances. If others feel the pelting hail, or are brought low in humiliation, it doesn't matter to those blessed by the poured-out Spirit of God.

      RIGHT HERE IN THE OLD TESTAMENT, ALMIGHTY GOD IS SAYING WHAT HIS PRECIOUS SON JESUS CHRIST SAYS TO US.

      WHEN YOUR LOVE, FAITH, & TRUST IS IN ME...JUST ME..

      YOU DO NOT NEED TO FEAR OR WORRY ABOUT THE WEATHER, RUMBLINGS OF WAR, THREATS FROM SATAN AND MAN.

      ALMIGHTY GOD IS SAYING PERSONALLY RIGHT HERE, DO NOT TRUST IN WHAT YOU THINK....WHAT YOU FEEL LIKE...WHAT THINGS MAY LOOK LIKE...WHAT THREATS RISE UP AGAINST YOU...

      LOOK TO AND TRUST ONLY IN MY PROMISES.
      WHAT I HAVE PROMISED YOU.
      WHAT I SAY ABOUT YOU.

      TRUST ME...AND THOUGH THE HAIL MAY COME, THE WINDS MAY BLOW, ENEMIES THREATEN, FEAR NOT...
      TRUST IN MY LOVE FOR YOU.
      TRUST IN MY VIGILANCE OVER YOU.
      TRUST ME.
       
       

    • July 6, 2016 2:14 AM EDT
    • ISAIAH 33


      ISAIAH 33 OPENS WITH...THE LORD DELIVERS ZION


      Verse 1...GOD tells ISAIAH....Woe to plundering Assyria.

      "Woe to you who plunder, though you have not been plundered; and you who deal treacherously, though they have not dealt treacherously with you! When you cease plundering, you will be plundered; when you make an end of dealing treacherously, they will deal treacherously with you."

      Woe to you who plunder...

      DID YOU KNOW...This prophecy, spoken BY GOD BEFORE the Assyrian invasion, shows that this seemingly unstoppable army will in fact be stopped. Those who did the plundering will be plundered, and will be dealt with treacherously by others.

      AND REMEMBER TOO. IN THE NEW TESTAMENT...Jesus spoke of this same principle.

      Matthew 7:1-2 says, "Judge not, that you not be judged. For with what judgment you judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the same measure you use, it will be measured back to you."

      IN OTHER WORDS...God has every right to deal with us as we have dealt with others.

      Verses 2-4 tells us the prayer of God's people.

      "O LORD, be gracious to us; we have waited for You. Be their arm every morning, our salvation also in the time of trouble. At the noise of the tumult the people shall flee; when You lift Yourself up, the nations shall be scattered; and Your plunder shall be gathered like the gathering of the caterpillar; as the running to and fro of locusts, He shall run upon them."

      O LORD, be gracious to us...

      In light of the Assyrian threat and the longed for deliverance of a righteous king, we NOTICE God's people NO LONGER look to the Egyptians, they NO LONGER TRUST IN THEIR OWN POWER OR LOOK TO THEMSELVES. Now, they look to the LORD, and cry out, "O LORD, be gracious to us."

      We have waited for You. Be their arm every morning...God's people aren't trusting in themselves anymore. They are waiting on the LORD, and looking to His arm every morning.

      When You lift Yourself up, the nations shall be scattered...God's people NOW have a confident expectation in the LORD. Their prayer is filled with wonderful expectancy.

      Like the gathering of the caterpillar...

      BULTEMA, A WONDROUS CHRISTIAN & HISTORIAN says, "Verse four may already have had an initial fulfillment after the death of the Assyrian soldiers, for undoubtedly the inhabitants of Jerusalem congregated like caterpillars around the corpses and the implements of war."

      AS ISAIAH 32 TELLS US, THEY WENT TO BED PREPARING FOR WAR IN THE MORNING, THEY POSTED THE GATEKEEPERS, THE NIGHT WATCH, IN CASE ASSYRIA TRIED A NIGHT ATTACK....BUT NO ONE HEARD A THING. THE DOGS DID NOT BARK, THE WATCHMEN DID NOT SOUND THE ALARM...YET IN THE MORNING, THEY ALL WOKE TO FIND 185,OOO ASSYRIAN SOLDIERS DEAD AROUND THE OUTSKIRTS OF JERUSALEM.

      Verses 5-6 tells us of the praise of God's people.

      "The LORD is exalted, for He dwells on high; He has filled Zion with justice and righteousness. Wisdom and knowledge will be the stability of your times, and the strength of salvation; the fear of the LORD is His treasure."

      The LORD is exalted...The tough times were hard, but they brought God's people to a different, better view of who He is. Because they have been brought low, when they REFUSED TO TRUST AND DEPEND ON THE GREAT I AM, now that they DO TRUST AND they see that the LORD is exalted.

      He has filled Zion with justice and righteousness...

      God's people pray this in anticipation of the answer. You don't have to wait until God does it all to give Him thanks. You can, by faith, give Him thanks ahead of time, AMEN?

      The fear of the LORD is His treasure...
      Honor, respect, and reverence towards the LORD is His treasure. It is a gift God gives us, not so we will cower in fear, but so we will rightly honor Him.

      Verses 7-9 tells us The LORD's judgment brings the earth low.

      "Surely their valiant ones shall cry outside, the ambassadors of peace shall weep bitterly. The highways lie waste, the traveling man ceases. He has broken the covenant, He has despised the cities, He regards no man. The earth mourns and languishes, Lebanon is shamed and shriveled; Sharon is like a wilderness, and Bashan and Carmel shake off their fruits."

      Their valiant ones shall cry outside … The earth mourns and languishes...

      When the judgment of the LORD comes to the earth, EVERYONE is brought low before Him. The valiant ones shall cry, and the ambassadors of peace - who trusted in other nations instead of the LORD - shall weep bitterly. Even the mighty Lebanon, with her majestic forests of cedar, is shamed and shriveled.

      DID YOU KNOW...The Hebrew word translated valiant ones appears only this ONE TIME in the Bible.

      "The word ERELLAM, which we translate valiant ones, is very difficult; NO man knows what it means. MOST CHRISTIAN BIBLE SCHOLARS BELIEVE IT IS ONE OF A KIND, USED ONLY ONCE IN THE BIBLE WORD, BECAUSE IT IS THE NAME OF THE ANGEL OF THE LORD THAT KILLED 185,000 SOLDIERS...AND WE KNOW THE ANGEL OF THE LORD, CAN ONLY BE OUR JESUS CHRIST...SO WE MAY NOW HAVE ANOTHER HEBREW WORD USED IN THE OLD TESTAMENT FOR OUR PRECIOUS JESUS....HOW COOL IS THAT?

      Verses 10-13 tells us The LORD announces HIS FIRE of judgment.

      "Now I will rise," says the LORD; "Now I will be exalted, now I will lift Myself up. You shall conceive chaff, you shall bring forth stubble; your breath, as fire, shall devour you. And the people shall be like the burnings of lime; like thorns cut up they shall be burned in the fire. Hear, you who are afar off, what I have done; and you who are near, acknowledge My might."

      Now I will rise...As the whole earth is brought low by the judgment of the LORD, at the same time, the LORD lifts Himself up.

      WE NEED TO REMEMBER, THOUGH WE CAN NOT SEE IT, ALL OF THE SUPERNATURAL CAN AND DOES...IMAGINE THE SHOUTS OF PRAISE IN THE HEAVENS AND THE SCREAMING, KNEE-KNOCKING TERROR OF SATAN AND HIS DEMONS UNDER THE EARTH...WHEN THE LORD RISES FROM HIS THRONE.

      And the people shall be like the burnings of lime; like thorns cut up they shall be burned in the fire...

      God's judgment will come like fire, and the wicked and worthless works of man will be like chaff and stubble that is quickly and ferociously burned in the fire.

      AND DID YOU KNOW..TO LIME...TO THROW LIME ON A FIRE...INCREASES THE HEAT, THE INTENSITY, AND THE SPEED WITH WHICH IT SPREADS AND CONSUMES?

      Verses 14-19 tells us of Fearful sinners and blessed saints.

      "The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness has seized the hypocrites: "Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? Who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?" He who walks righteously and speaks uprightly, he who despises the gain of oppressions, who gestures with his hands, refusing bribes, who stops his ears from hearing of bloodshed, and shuts his eyes from seeing evil: he will dwell on high; his place of defense will be the fortress of rocks; bread will be given him, his water will be sure. Your eyes will see the King in His beauty; they will see the land that is very far off. Your heart will meditate on terror: "Where is the scribe? Where is he who weighs? Where is he who counts the towers?" You will not see a fierce people, a people of obscure speech, beyond perception, of a stammering tongue that you cannot understand."

      The sinners in Zion are afraid...

      Of course they are! The judgment of the LORD is coming! Those who were not afraid to practice their sin are now afraid when righteous judgment comes upon their sin.

      He who walks righteously and speaks uprightly … He will dwell on high...
      Though the sinners and hypocrites are terrified at the coming judgment of the LORD, the LORD's righteous ones are comforted that God is coming to set things right.

      Your eyes will see the King in His beauty...

      The LORD will bless His righteous ones. They will have a place of defense, a fortress, and bread and water will not fail them. But far above these material blessings, they will see the King in His beauty. In the most immediate sense, this referred to Hezekiah; but in the ultimate sense, to our Beautiful Savior Jesus, AMEN?

      Beyond all the material glory, splendor, and comfort of heaven, this is the greatest glory of heaven: not to be personally glorified, but TO SEE the King in His beauty.

      DID YOU KNOW, ALMIGHTY GOD IS THE ONLY ONE, THROUGHOUT THE BIBLE WHO SPEAKS OF HIS PRECIOUS SON JESUS CHRIST AS BEAUTIFUL? HOW HE LOVES AND IS PLEASED WITH HIS SON, AMEN?

      I WATCHED BETH MOORE ONCE, WHILE SHE WAS TALKING ABOUT HEAVEN & OUR ETERNAL HOME WITH A GROUP OF OTHER CHRISTIAN SPEAKERS...SHE SAID, "HEAVEN WILL BE HOME...WILL BE WONDROUS AND AMAZING BECAUSE JESUS WILL BE THERE...BUT TO OUR JESUS....HEAVEN WILL BE WONDROUS AND AMAZING...BECAUSE WE WILL FINALLY BE HOME WITH HIM!"

      AND YOU NOTICE....It isn't only seeing the King; it is seeing Him in His beauty. It can be said that we occasionally catch a "glimpse" of our King Jesus, and even sometimes have a glance at His beauty. But the highest experience we could have now is like nothing compared to what we will experience when we see the King in His beauty.

      REMEMBER WHAT Paul said of our present walk, IN 1 CORINTHIANS 13:12. "For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known."

      Today, when we look in a good mirror, the image is clear. But in the ancient world, mirrors were made out of polished metal, and the image was always unclear and somewhat distorted. We see Jesus now only in a dim, unclear way, but one-day we will see Him with perfect clarity.

      AND WE KNOW Heaven is precious to us for many reasons.

      We long to be with loved ones who have passed before us and whom we miss so dearly.

      We long to be with the great men and women of God who have passed before us in centuries past.

      We want to walk the streets of gold, see the pearly gates, see the angels round the throne of God worshipping Him day and night.
      However, none of those things, precious as they are, make heaven really "heaven."


      What makes heaven really heaven is the unhindered, unrestricted, presence of our LORD JESUS CHRIST, and to see the King in His beauty will be the greatest experience of your eternal existence, AMEN?

      Part of the beauty of the King in heaven will be the scars He retains from His suffering for our sake on this earth.

      After Jesus rose from the dead in His glorified body, His body uniquely retained the nail prints in His hands and the scar on his side told to us in John 20:24-29.

      REMEMBER In Zechariah 12:10, Jesus speaks prophetically of the day when the Jewish people, turned to Him, see Him in glory:
      "Then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn."

      Zechariah 13:6 continues the thought...
      "And one will say to him, "What are these wounds between your arms?" Then he will answer, "Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends."

      THE NAIL SCARRED HANDS AND FEET OF JESUS AND THE SPEAR WOUND SCAR IN HIS SIDE...WILL REMAIN THROUGH HIS 1000 YEARS REIGN ON EARTH AS A SILENT TESTAMENT TO THE PRICE HE PAID FOR MANKIND...BUT ONE SWEET DAY, AFTER THE GREAT WHITE THRONE JUDGMENT IS OVER, AND ALMIGHTY GOD MAKES ALL THINGS NEW...THE NAIL SCARRED HANDS, FEET, AND SIDE OF OUR PRECIOUS JESUS WILL DISAPPEAR....FOREVER.

      Your heart will meditate on terror...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      The revealing of the King will be the greatest GLORY for the child of God, but it will be greatest TERROR for the one who has set their heart against or apart from God.

      In vain, they will look to the scribe or he who weighs or he who counts the towers for help, but there will be none.

      WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

      IN THAT DAY, AND DURING THE END TIMES, THE REJECTING WILL LOOK TO THEIR RELIGIOUS LEADERS (SCRIBES) WHO HAVE LIED, DECEIVED, AND TWISTED GOD'S WORD FOR HELP...AND THERE WILL BE NONE.

      THEY WILL LOOK TO THEIR BANKERS/JUDGES, (HE WHO WEIGHS) THEIR WEALTH TO GET THEM OUT OR PAY THEM OUT OF THIS SITUATION....AND THERE WILL BE NO HELP.

      THEY WILL LOOK TO THEIR CIVIC LEADERS/GOVERNMENTS/MILITARY (HE WHO COUNTS THE TOWERS) TO PROTECT THEM FROM GOD...AND THERE WILL BE NO HELP!

      You will not see a fierce people, a people of obscure speech...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      Though the northern nation of Israel was demolished by the Assyrians (a people of obscure speech, beyond perception), the southern nation of Judah would be delivered (you will not see). Isaiah mixes the pictures of the LORD's ultimate deliverance on the day of judgment, and the soon coming deliverance from the Assyrians.

      ONCE AGAIN THE LORD IS SPEAKING TO AND PROPHESYING THE NEAR (THE ASSYRIANS) AND THE FAR (THE TRIBULATION/GREAT WHITE THRONE JUDGMENT) OF REJECTING MANKIND.

      Verses 20-24 tells us Zion is delivered and blessed.

      "Look upon Zion, the city of our appointed feasts; your eyes will see Jerusalem, a quiet home, a tabernacle that will not be taken down; not one of its stakes will ever be removed, nor will any of its cords be broken. But there the majestic LORD will be for us a place of broad rivers and streams, in which no galley with oars will sail, nor majestic ships pass by (For the LORD is our Judge, the LORD is our Lawgiver, the LORD is our King; He will save us); your tackle is loosed, they could not strengthen their mast, they could not spread the sail. Then the prey of great plunder is divided; the lame take the prey. And the inhabitant will not say, "I am sick"; the people who dwell in it will be forgiven their iniquity."

      Look upon Zion … your eyes will see Jerusalem, a quiet habitation...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      In the midst of the Assyrian threat, God will preserve Jerusalem. Not one of its stakes will ever be moved!

      WE KNOW THEY HAVE TRIED DOWN THROUGH TIME, AND TODAY THEY STILL TRY TO MOVE THE OWNERSHIP STAKES AND LINES OF THE LAND OF ISRAEL...BUT THEN AND NOW....GOD PROPHESIED AND PROMISED THAT NOT ONE OF ITS STAKES WILL EVERRRRRRRR BE MOVED!

      A place of broad rivers and streams...

      GOD PROMISES HIS BLESSINGS on Zion would bring broad rivers and streams to this once barren, desert land.

      But wouldn't a wide river give a path to an enemy coming on a ship? No, because there the majestic LORD will be for us … no galley with oars will sail, nor majestic ships pass by. For the LORD is our Judge … He will save us.

      Those majestic ships turned out to be not so majestic after all. Your tackle is loosed, they could not strengthen their mast, they could not spread the sail. It was foolish to ever fear the majestic ships instead of trusting the majestic LORD.

      Although they shall have from God the security of a great river, yet they shall be freed from the disadvantage of it; which is, that the enemies may come against them in ships; for no galleys nor ships of the enemy's shall be able to come into this river to annoy them.

      The lame take the prey … the people who dwell in it will be forgiven their iniquity...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      When God saves, He does it in UNLIKELY ways. It is an unexpected blessing that the lame take the prey. It is an unexpected blessing that people can be forgiven their iniquity. The majestic LORD brings unexpected blessing!

      ALMIGHTY GOD IS SAYING TO EACH OF US...LOOK THROUGH MY WORD, ALL THE HEROES AND HEROINES AND GREAT PEOPLE OF THE BIBLE WERE...NOBODYS UNTIL I TOUCHED THEM...AND MADE THEM GREAT.

      ARE YOU LAME, BLIND, DEAF, DUMB, MALE, FEMALE, CHILD, ADULT, EDUCATED, ILLITERATE, RICH, POOR, A FOREIGNER, BLACK, WHITE, RED, OR YELLOW IN SKIN...BLUE BLOODS, OR COMMON STOCK...NO MATTER.

      THE WORLD, MAN, AND SATAN....WANT TO PUT LABELS ON YOU.
      THE WORLD, MAN, AND SATAN...WANT TO PUT YOU IN A BOX.
      THE WORLD, MAN, AND SATAN...WANT TO TELL YOU WHAT YOU CAN AND CAN NOT ACCOMPLISH...BECOME...BE...HAVE.

      THE WORLD, MAN, AND SATAN...ARE LIMITED IN WHAT THEY CAN DO AND BE AND HAVE.

      BUT I...I AM THE GREAT I AM, I AM THE ALPHA AND OMEGA...THE BEGINNING AND THE END.

      WITH MY BLESSING, MY PROTECTION, MY GUIDANCE, MY FAVOR, MY LOVE, AND MY TOUCH UPON YOUR LIFE...YOU CAN AND WILL BECOME OVERCOMERS....UNSTOPPABLE...BRIGHT LIGHTS...ABLE TO DO THE IMPOSSIBLE.

    • July 6, 2016 2:13 AM EDT
    • ISAIAH 34



      ISAIAH 34 OPENS WITH...The Indignation of the Lord against All Nations & its peoples.


      Verses 1-4 tells us GOD PROPHESIES THE NEAR & FAR (GREAT TRIBULATION) fury and the completeness of the judgment of the LORD.

      "Come near, you nations, to hear; and heed, you people! Let the earth hear, and all that is in it, the world and all things that come forth from it. For the indignation of the LORD is against all nations, and His fury against all their armies; He has utterly destroyed them, He has given them over to the slaughter. Also their slain shall be thrown out; their stench shall rise from their corpses, and the mountains shall be melted with their blood. All the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled up like a scroll; all their host shall fall down as the leaf falls from the vine, and as fruit falling from a fig tree."

      The indignation of the LORD: In the immediate context (NEAR PROPHESY FULFILLMENT), Isaiah continues the thought of the coming judgment against the Assyrians. But in the larger context (THE FAR PROPHETIC FULFILLMENT), we can see this passage as an announcement of the judgment of come upon the nations of the REJECTING WORLD during the Great Tribulation.

      THE HOSTS OF HEAVEN SHALL BE DISSOLVED...

      THIS NOT ONLY REFERS TO CHANGES IN THE SKY...EXPLODING STARS, BLOOD MOONS, SOLAR ECLIPSES...

      ALSO THE HOSTS THAT SHALL FALL DOWN AS THE LEAF FALLS FROM A VINE...REFERS TO SATAN AND HIS DEMONS....RIGHT NOW THEY HAVE ACCESS TO ALMIGHTY GOD....BUT AFTER THE SCROLL IS ROLLED UP (WHICH REFERS TO HIS PRECIOUS FAMILY, GOD'S CHILDREN, WHO ARE THOSE WHO KNOW, ACCEPT, AND CALL JESUS CHRIST, LORD SAVIOR AND FRIEND, WHO ONCE WE ARE SNATCHED AWAY AND TAKEN TO HEAVEN BY JESUS, ALMIGHTY GOD WILL NOT ALLOW SATAN NOR HIS DEMONS ACCESS TO HIM OR TO US.

      ALMIGHTY GOD WILL KEEP THEM ON AND UNDER THIS EARTH, SO THAT THEY TOO WILL NOT BE ABLE TO ESCAPE HIS FULL WRATH EITHER.

      Jesus, and many Old Testament prophets, plainly told us of a coming time He called great tribulation in MATTHEW 24:21, when because of the judgment of God, conditions on earth would be the VERY WORST human history had ever seen SINCE THE BEGINNINGS OF MANKIND.

      AND REMEMBER TOO...Revelation chapters 6, 8-9, and 16-18 describe this HORRIFIC GLOBAL time, when there will be WORLDWIDE widespread ecological, economic, cosmic, and human catastrophe on a level never before known in history.

      No wonder AFTER ALMIGHTY SHOWS HIM AND TELLS HIM...Isaiah pleads with the nations: Come near, you nations, to hear; and heed, you people! In light of how terrible the great tribulation will be, when we consider how prophecy has been fulfilled, and how the stage is set for even more fulfilled prophecy, we should hear and take heed!

      THIS VERY DAY, The stage is set for a REBUILDING OF THE TEMPLE IN JERUSALEM, THAT WILL HAPPEN IN THE FIRST 3.5 YEARS OF THE TRIBULATION. IT IS NECESSARY, BECAUSE OUR LORD GOD DOES NOT LIE, SO THE temple that will come in the last days, necessary to fulfill the prophecies of the abomination of desolation TOLD TO US IN Matthew 24:15; Mark 13:14; 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4).

      THIS VERY DAY, The stage is set for the sort of WORLD DOMINATING CONFEDERATION OF NATIONS, heir to the Roman Empire to arise as PROPHESIED TO US IN Daniel 2:36-45; Revelation 13:1-8; 17:10-14).

      THIS VERY DAY, The stage is set for a POLITICAL & ECONOMIC SUPERMAN to arise, the sort of single political leader who will lead this world-dominating confederation of nations prophesied to us in 2 Thessalonians 2:3-12; Revelation 13:4-7.

      THIS VERY DAY, The stage is set for the kind of GLOBAL FALSE RELIGION, (THE WORLD NOW CALLS IT AN ECUMENICAL CHURCH/ A UNIVERSAL CHURCH) the Bible says THIS FALSE GLOBAL ORGANIZATION will characterize the very last days prophesied to us in 2 Thessalonians 2:4, 9-12; Revelation 13:11-15; 17:1-6.

      THIS VERY DAY, The stage is set for the kind of GLOBAL ECONOMIC/MONETARY SYSTEM; predicted for the very last days prophesied to us in Revelation 13:15-17).

      THIS VERY DAY, The stage is set for the END-TIMES SCENARIO the Bible says will happen between Russia and Israel prophesied to us in Ezekiel 38-39.

      MAKE NO MISTAKE HERE, AS SOME WILLINGLY AND BLINDLY CHOOSE TO DO...The warning & PROPHESY GOD DIRECTLY GAVE AND SHOWED ISAIAH regarding this time of the indignation of the LORD is directed NOT to God's people, but to the REJECTING nations & world.

      WHY?

      This is because God's people, those who love Jesus Christ, & call HIM LORD SAVIOR REDEEMER & FRIEND, will escape the terrors of the great tribulation, though they may experience great hardship in the time leading up to it.

      REMEMBER WHAT JESUS SAYS...HE said we should pray that we would be counted worthy to escape that time of terrors TOLD TO US IN Luke 21:36, and be taken to heaven in the great catching away of the church TOLD TO US IN 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18.

      THERE ARE THOSE WHO BELIEVE CHRISTIANS WHO LOVES JESUS CHRIST AND CALL HIM LORD SAVIOR AND FRIEND WILL GO THROUGH THE GREAT TRIBULATION.

      SOME BELIEVE CHRISTIANS WILL BE TAKEN FROM THE EARTH AT THE MID POINT OF THE GREAT TRIBULATION.

      SOME BELIEVE CHRISTIANS (THE BODY OF CHRIST/THE CHURCH) WILL BE AS WITNESSES DURING THE GREAT TRIBULATION.

      I AM NOT TRUSTING OR BELIEVING WHAT ANY MAN THINKS, NOR HOW HE CHOOSES TO INTERPRET OR DISMISS JESUS AND ALMIGHTY GOD...I AM TRUSTING AND BELIEVING JESUS.

      THOSE WHO CALL JESUS CHRIST, LORD, SAVIOR AND FRIEND DO NOT STAY ON THIS EARTH AND FACE THE WRATH OF ALMIGHTY GOD POURED OUT ON THE REJECTING WORLD, SATAN & HIS DEMONS, AND MANKIND.


      Verses 5-7 tells us of The great bloodshed at the judgment of the LORD.

      "For My sword shall be bathed in heaven; indeed it shall come down on Edom, and on the people of My curse, for judgment. The sword of the LORD is filled with blood, it is made overflowing with fatness, with the blood of lambs and goats, with the fat of the kidneys of rams. For the LORD has a sacrifice in Bozrah, and a great slaughter in the land of Edom. The wild oxen shall come down with them, and the young bulls with the mighty bulls; their land shall be soaked with blood, and their dust saturated with fatness."

      MY SWORD IN HEAVEN....FILLED WITH BLOOD...

      ALMIGHTY GOD TELLS US IN REVELATION...THAT NOT ONLY DOES HE KEEP, SAVE, EVERY TEAR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM HAVE EVER SHED, THAT EVERY HEART CRY UTTERED IS NOT SAVED IN GOLDEN BOWLS, BUT THAT EVERY SINGLE DROP OF HIS CHILDREN'S BLOOD SHED ON THIS EARTH HAS BEEN SAVED AND ALL OF IT WILL BE MIXED WITH HIS WRATH AND POURED OUT ON THE REJECTING WORLD WHO REJECTED HIM & HIS PRECIOUS SON, BUT ALSO HURT, SHAMED, TORTURED, AND KILLED HIS CHILDREN....JESUS FAMILY.

      NEVER EVER DOUBT THAT ALMIGHTY GOD DOES NOT LOVE YOU...FIERCELY. HE IS PATIENT, HE IS LONG-SUFFERING, BUT THOSE WHO REJECT AND HARM HIS FAMILY WILL PAID WITH THE PAIN, SORROW, TEARS, AND BLOOD SHED BY US AS WELL.


      Indeed it shall come down on Edom...

      WHO WERE THE EDOMITES & WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      The Edomites were near neighbors to Israel, and often bitter rivals. The Edomites rejoiced whenever the people of Judah or Israel were afflicted, so Isaiah focuses on the judgment that will come against Edom, using them as a single example of the large judgment that will come upon ALL the nations (as in Isaiah 34:1-2).

      BULTEMA, A GREAT CHRISTIAN HISTORIAN says, "Edom was a sister nation to Israel, but it hated Israel more than any other nation. Throughout all of history we see a burning hatred of Edom against Israel. It is for this reason that Edom is frequently presented as a representative of all the nations that hated the Jews."

      WOLF ANOTHER CHRISTIAN HISTORIAN says, "Edom had derided and attacked Judah for centuries, but now God would avenge this hateful attitude that is so characteristic of the world's ways."

      The sword of the LORD is filled with blood … their land shall be soaked with blood...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      RIGHT HERE, IN THE OLD TESTAMENT, ALMIGHTY GOD SHOWS AND TELLS ISAIAH that the indignation of the LORD finds its FINAL fulfillment in the battle of Armageddon, which will be a terribly bloody affair told to us in Revelation 14:20.

      Overflowing with fatness, and with the blood of lambs and goats, with the fat of the kidneys of rams, for the LORD has a great sacrifice … and a great slaughter...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      In associating this time of judgment with the image of sacrifice, Isaiah tells us that this is payment for the penalty of sin. Even as a sacrificial victim paid for the sin of the one bringing the sacrifice, so the bloody judgment of sin at Armageddon will be a payment for the penalty of sin. It will be an imperfect, incomplete payment, but it will be a payment of some kind.

      WOLF also tells us, "THROUGHOUT the Bible, the mention of sacrificial animals is primarily intended to refer to the slaughter of people."

      INTERESTINGLY ENOUGH...

      DID YOU KNOW...The King James Version translates wild oxen as unicorns?
      THE BIBLE DOES NOT MEAN UNICORN, AS GREEK MYTHOLOGY CREATED IT TO MEAN AND BE A ONE HORNED FLYING HORSE.

      Bultema writes, "There used to be quite a difference of opinion regarding the word unicorns, but today the general opinion is that it does not mean rhinoceros but aurochs, or wild bison. According to Deuteronomy 33:17, this animal did not have one but two horns."

      MOTYER also gives us another bit of history & terminology of the day..."Wild oxen were not used in the sacrifices. Possibly therefore Isaiah is using animal metaphors for the important people and leaders of Edom."

      Verses 8-10 tells us GOD POURS HIS INDIGNATION OUT UPON the land.

      "For it is the day of the Lord's vengeance, the year of recompense for the cause of Zion. Its streams shall be turned into pitch, and its dust into brimstone; its land shall become burning pitch. It shall not be quenched night or day; its smoke shall ascend forever. From generation to generation it shall lie waste; no one shall pass through it forever and ever."

      Its streams will be turned into pitch, and its dust into brimstone...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      In this day of the Lord's vengeance known as the great tribulation, there will be unparalleled ecological disaster. Before Jesus Christ returns at the end of the great tribulation, one-third of the earth's vegetation, one-third of the oceans, and one-third of fresh waters will be destroyed and unusable ALSO CONFIRMED TO US IN Revelation 8 and 16.

      Verses 11-15 God tells ISAIAH that also the land is inhabited only by animals of the wilderness.

      "But the pelican and the porcupine shall possess it, also the owl and the raven shall dwell in it. And He shall stretch out over it the line of confusion and the stones of emptiness. They shall call its nobles to the kingdom, but none shall be there, and all its princes shall be nothing. And thorns shall come up in its palaces, nettles and brambles in its fortresses; it shall be a habitation of jackals, a courtyard for ostriches. The wild beasts of the desert shall also meet with the jackals, and the wild goat shall bleat to its companion; also the night creature shall rest there, and find for herself a place of rest. There the arrow snake shall make her nest and lay eggs and hatch, and gather them under her shadow; there also shall the hawks be gathered, every one with her mate."

      But the pelican and the porcupine shall possess it...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      Much of the earth will be so destroyed that in many places, only wild animals will be able to live there.

      AND ODDLY AND INTERESTINGLY ENOUGH...The King James Version translates wild goat as satyr, which was a mythical demonic creature.

      BUT THE HEBREW WORD USED HERE IS sair, which IS AN ADJECTIVE which means hairy told to us in Genesis 27:11 and as A NOUN refers to a male goat told to us in Genesis 37:31 and Leviticus 4:23.

      It is possible that Isaiah means that wild goats will inhabit the desolate regions of Edom, or he may mean that it will be the haunt of demonic spirits. Bultema thinks the best translation "is demons, or field devils."

      REMEMBER the Hebrew word for night creature is lilith, which is the feminine form of the word "night."

      AND Old Jewish superstitions brought into the HEBREW RELIGIOUS CULT FROM THE PAGAN WORLD make Lilith a beautiful demon of the night, who seduced men and killed children.

      MOST BIBLE HEBREW CHRISTIAN SCHOLARS agree that Isaiah uses the term to describe the demonic habitation of Edom after God's judgment.

      IN OTHER WORDS, AFTER THE JUDGMENT OF GOD UPON THE REJECTING NATIONS, THE PEOPLE, & THE EARTH...that the land will ONLY BE FIT FOR AND HABITABLE FOR WILD BEASTS AND DEMONS.

      Verses 16-17 tell us of THE ABSOLUTE SURETY of the judgments of the LORD.

      "Search from the book of the LORD, and read: Not one of these shall fail; not one shall lack her mate. For My mouth has commanded it, and His Spirit has gathered them. He has cast the lot for them, and His hand has divided it among them with a measuring line. They shall possess it forever; from generation to generation they shall dwell in it."

      Search from the book of the LORD, and read: not one of these shall fail.

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      This remarkable statement tells us that Isaiah understood that his words were the words of the LORD. It also tells us that Isaiah meant that his prophecy should be understood literally - poetically, but literally. It also means that Isaiah clearly challenged doubters to "look it up" once the prophecy was fulfilled.

      IT TELLS US SOMETHING ELSE TOO, GOD GAVE ISAIAH A NEAR AND FAR VISION/PROPHECY OF THIS....JUST AS IN HIS DAY, THE RABBI PRIESTS FORGOT THE WORDS OF GOD, THEY DID NOT TELL THE PEOPLE THE TRUTH, AND WHEN ISAIAH CAME ALONG REPEATING THE WORDS OF GOD HANDED DOWN, NO ONE KNEW THEM, OR CARED ABOUT THEM....THEY SNEERED, JEERED, AND REJECTED ALL ISAIAH TOLD THEM....JUST AS GOD HAD WARNED IN ISAIAH 1, AMEN?

      NOW GOD SHOWS ISAIAH THE FAR FULFILLMENT, (THE GREAT TRIBULATION) AND THAT THE WORLD WILL ONCE AGAIN REJECT, SNEER, PERSECUTE, AND SEEK TO DESTROY THE WORDS AND WARNINGS OF ALMIGHTY GOD...AS FAR AS THE REJECTING WORLD IS CONCERNED....JESUS WAS AT BEST A NICE CARPENTER TEACHER, BUT THE HOLY BIBLE, ALMIGHTY GOD, HEAVEN, HELL, ARE FAIRY TALES...THEY DO NOT EXIST.

      SO ISAIAH IS SPEAKING TO THE PEOPLE THEN AND NOW...LOOK IT UP...GO THROUGH THE HISTORY OF MANKIND GIVEN US BY ALMIGHTY GOD...EVERYTHING ALMIGHTY GOD SAID WOULD HAPPEN HAS HAPPENED EXACTLY AS HE WARNED IT WOULD....DOUBTERS STOP DOUBTING....LOOK IT UP!

      Search from the book of the LORD, and read: not one of these shall fail...

      This time of great tribulation is certainly coming upon the earth. This is beyond all doubt; our part isn't to bring it or to prevent it, but simply to be ready, and to pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man told to us in Luke 21:36.

      ALMIGHTY GOD HERE, JUST AS JESUS TAUGHT DURING HIS WALK UPON THE FACE OF THE EARTH...

      WE, THAT IS, THOSE WHO CALL OURSELVES JESUS CHRIST LOVING, BELIEVING, TRUSTING, SAVED AND REDEEMED BY JESUS GRACE, LOVE, MERCY, AND PERFECT BLOOD SACRIFICE ON THE CROSS FOR ALL OF MANKIND'S SIN DEBT...CAN NOT SAVE ...ANYONE.

      WE CAN INTRODUCE THEM TO OUR JESUS...WE CAN SHARE OUR JESUS WITH THEM...BUT SALVATION CAN ONLY COME THROUGH ONE ON ONE WITH JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF.

      YOU CAN READ, STUDY, & QUOTE THE BIBLE...AND SPEND ETERNITY IN THE LAKE OF FIRE.

      YOU CAN ATTEND A CHURCH FROM THE CRADLE, BE A MEMBER, A DUE DILIGENT PARTICIPANT AND SPEND ETERNITY IN THE LAKE OF FIRE.

      YOU CAN BELIEVE THERE IS A GOD, EVEN THAT THERE IS A CREATOR GOD, EVEN BELIEVE THAT CREATOR GOD IS CALLED THE GOD OF ABRAHAM, ISAAC, & JACOB. YOU CAN BELIEVE THAT CREATOR GOD IS THE GREAT I AM...BUT THAT WILL NOT SAVE YOU.

      ALMIGHTY GOD SAYS IF YOU BELIEVE IN ME, BUT REJECT MY SON, JESUS CHRIST, I DO NOT KNOW YOU.

      ALMIGHTY GOD SAYS THREE TIMES THAT HE PLACED ALL THINGS INTO HIS SON'S HANDS.

      SALVATION CAN ONLY COME THROUGH JESUS CHRIST. ONLY JESUS CHRIST CAN SAVE...JESUS CHRIST ALONE.

      SO WE WHO LOVE JESUS CHRIST, HAVE A MISSION ON THIS EARTH...WE ARE TO BE SALT AND LIGHT....TO THE DEAD HEARTED, THE BLIND HEARTED, AND THOSE WHO ARE WALKING IN DARKNESS...WHILE WE CAN, FOR AS JESUS SAID...THE DAY WILL COME WHEN NONE CAN LABOR...

      THAT DAY WILL BE THE DAY, THE EASTERN SKIES SPLIT, AND JESUS APPEARS IN THE CLOUDS IN THE EASTERN SKIES, AND IN A BLINK, NO ACTUALLY QUICKER THAN A BLINK...IN A TWINKLING OF AN EYE, HE WILL SNATCH US UP TO MEET HIM IN THE CLOUDS, TAKE HIS CHILDREN, HIS FAMILY, THOSE WHO LOVE HIM, TO THE SAFETY OF HEAVEN, TO BE SEALED AWAY, JUST AS NOAH WAS, FROM THE COMING WRATH OF ALMIGHTY GOD.

      ISAIAH KNEW, AS DO WE WHO LOVE JESUS CHRIST, THAT WE WILL EITHER BE A WITNESS FOR THE SALVATION OF OTHERS, OR WE WILL BE A WITNESS AGAINST THEM.

      WE DO NOT NEED TO KEEP SCORE...WHO BELIEVED US AND WHO REJECTED OUR OFFER OF AN INTRODUCTION TO JESUS....JESUS CHRIST KEEPS EXCELLENT RECORDS.

      WE ARE TO PRAY FOR THE LOST, THE BLIND, THE ARROGANT, THE DECEIVED, AND THE FALSE TEACHERS AS WELL....WE ARE TO HAVE JESUS HEART FOR THE LOST.

      AND IN THESE LAST DAYS, WE SHOULD TAKE THE GLOVES OFF, WE SHOULD PRAY FERVENTLY, JUST AS ISAIAH AND ALL OTHERS DID....DO WHATEVER YOU HAVE TO DO LORD JESUS TO SAVE THIS PERSON. WE HAVE YOUR HEART...WE WANT NONE TO PERISH. WE WANT NONE TO BE LEFT ON THIS EARTH TO FACE THE WRATH OF GOD, BUT FOR SATAN AND HIS DEMONS.

      AS I SHOCK SOME, WHEN THEY TELL ME OF FAMILY, FRIENDS, AND LOVED ONES WHO REJECT THE GENTLE KIND, COMPASSIONATE JESUS AND HIS FREE GIFT OFFER OF SALVATION....TAKE THE GLOVES OFF.

      START PRAYING LORD JESUS DO WHATEVER IT TAKES...I WOULD FAR RATHER THEY LIMP INTO HEAVEN, THAN DANCE INTO THE WAITING PRISON OF HELL, AMEN?

      ISAIAH TELLS US GOD SAYS TO TELL THEM...LOOK IT UP! CHECK ME OUT...GO BACK THROUGH MY WORD, GO BACK THROUGH SECULAR HISTORY...DO THE MATH...YOU WILL SEE FOR YOURSELF THAT I NEVER LIE. WHAT I SAY I WILL DO...I DO.

      WITH THE ENTIRE WORLD DEVOLVING BEFORE OUR EYES, WE CAN KNOW THAT JESUS COULD COME AT ANY MOMENT..TOMORROW IS PROMISED TO NONE.

      CALL UPON THE NAME OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST WHILE YOU MAY.

      ACCEPT JESUS CHRIST, THE GENTLE LAMB NOW, OR REJECT, DELAY, AND FACE THE LION OF JUDAH.

    • July 6, 2016 2:11 AM EDT
    • ISAIAH 35


      ISAIAH 35 OPENS WITH...


      The Highway of Holiness

      Verses 1-2 tells us of the restoration of the land and of the people.

      "The wilderness and the wasteland shall be glad for them, and the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose; it shall blossom abundantly and rejoice, even with joy and singing. The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it, the excellence of Carmel and Sharon. They shall see the glory of the LORD, the excellency of our God."

      AFTER THE JUDGMENT ON THE NATIONS described in Isaiah 34, God will bring a beautiful restoration.

      This was true in the immediate term, when Judah was restored after the invasion of the Assyrians was turned back.

      It is true in the longer term, when modern day Israel has turned the wilderness and the wasteland into productive farms, and truly has made the desert … blossom as the rose.

      BUT IT WILL BE ULTIMATELY TRUE fulfillment of this prophecy, when God restores the ecology of the world after the end of the great tribulation and the battle of Armageddon (Isaiah 11:6-9).

      Romans 8:19-22 says: "The earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. Nature is waiting for the transformation that will come when the Messiah reigns and believers are glorified."

      Verses 3-4 tells us the Weak people are strengthened.

      "Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees. Say to those who are fearful-hearted, "Be strong, do not fear! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God; He will come and save you."

      Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
      The coming judgment would be enough to make the hands of anyone weak, and knees of anyone feeble. But in light of the glorious restoration God will bring from that time, it is no time to have weak hands or feeble knees! Get strong and get going!

      We use our hands to work with; those with weak hands are not working for the LORD as they should. We use our knees both to progress with and to pray with. Those with feeble knees are not progressing with the LORD and praying as they should.

      AND REMEMBER Hebrews 12:12 quotes this verse from Isaiah to make the point that even in a time of chastening from the LORD, we should take strength and courage in the LORD, knowing that it is His Fatherly love and care that has allowed and directed the chastening. It's time to get strong in the LORD and move on!

      But the passage both here in Isaiah and Hebrews 12 indicates that there are some among God's people who indeed have weak hands and feeble knees.
      What is the cause of it?
      If we are not making progress in our walk with Jesus, fault can surely be found with weak hands and feeble knees. AMEN?

      Say to those who are fearful-hearted, "Be strong, do not fear … He will come and save you."

      In our present trials, we NEED the strong hope of the LORD to overcome our fearful hearts.

      Our fearful hearts are NOT hoped by a vain, vague optimism; BUT THEY ARE helped by the assured confidence that He will come and save.

      Verses 5-6 tells us the sick and the diseased are healed.

      "Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the dumb sing."

      Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
      When God's salvation comes, miraculous power comes with it. It is a miracle for the blind to see, for the deaf to hear, for the lame to run, and for the mute to speak. But when He will come and save you, He does it with miraculous power!

      AND REMEMBER ELISHA...praying for his FRIGHTENED & SPIRITUALLY BLIND servant...LORD...LET HIM SEE!

      GOD IS PROMISING SPIRITUAL SIGHT, HEARING, AND VERBAL UNDERSTANDING...

      AND REMEMBER TOO...
      IN MATTHEW 11:4-6....when John the Baptist was in prison, he became discouraged, and to wonder if Jesus really was the Messiah he had proclaimed Him to be. When John's disciples brought this question to Jesus, He replied: Go and tell John the things which you hear and see: The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.

      Jesus REPEATED THE EXACT IDEA OF ISAIAH 35 TO JOHN THE BAPTIST. IN OTHER WORDS...Jesus, the Messiah, HAD come to bring God's salvation, and that would be accompanied with miraculous power, AMEN?


      Verses 6-7 tells us Abundance replaces lack.

      "For waters shall burst forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert. The parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water; in the habitation of jackals, where each lay, there shall be grass with reeds and rushes."

      For waters shall burst forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert...
      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
      GOD PROMISES ISAIAH when God's salvation comes, miraculous provision comes with it. What was dry and useless before becomes well watered and fruitful.

      AND REMEMBER Jesus said IN JOHN 7:38-39... He would bring this kind of beautiful provision in the lives of His people: "He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water." But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive

      There is NO reason for a Christian to endure a "dry time," not when the miraculous power of Jesus Christ to provide is present.

      The parched ground shall become a pool...

      DID YOU KNOW...The word translated "parched ground" actually means mirage, air reflection, an atmospheric phenomenon frequently seen in Eastern deserts which is caused by the reflection of the hot rays of the sun … Now the prophet brings the glad tiding that what used to be a mere semblance and an illusion will one day become a glorious reality.

      Verse 8 tells us of A Highway of Holiness is made for God's people.

      "A highway shall be there, and a road, and it shall be called the Highway of Holiness. The unclean shall not pass over it, but it shall be for others. Whoever walks the road, although a fool, shall not go astray."

      A Highway of Holiness...

      WHAT IS SO SPECIAL ABOUT THIS?
      Today, we take good roads for granted. But in the ancient world, a good road - a highway -was an amazing blessing for travel, progress, and business. Isaiah announces that in the ministry of the Messiah, there will be a wonderful highway, a road, known as the Highway of Holiness.

      AND DID YOU KNOW...The Hebrew word for "highway" indicates what our English word literally says: "a high-way." It speaks of a raised road, lifted above the ground. It is a high, glorious road to travel on!

      The construction of this Highway of Holiness was the greatest engineering feat ever accomplished.

      YOU KNOW HOW I ENJOY CHARLES SPURGEON, AND HE SAYS OF THIS VERSE...
      "Engineering has done much to tunnel mountains, and bridge abysses; but the greatest triumph of engineering is that which made a way from sin to holiness, from death to life, from condemnation to perfection. Who could make a road over the mountains of our iniquities but Almighty God? None but the Lord of love would have wished it; none but the God of wisdom could have devised it; none but the God of power could have carried it out."

      The unclean shall not pass over it...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      This highway IS NOT for everyone. It has a "toll booth," but you can't make it on this highway by paying your way. You are only allowed on this highway if you are cleansed by the great work of the Messiah, JESUS CHRIST, AMEN?

      Whoever walks the road, although a fool, shall not go astray...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN? IT SOUNDS CONTRADICTORY DOES IT NOT?

      When we stick on God's Highway of Holiness, even though His work in us IS NOT COMPLETE yet - we may still be in some ways a fool - yet we are safe because we are on His highway! There are guardrails on the dangerous curves, and He keeps us from falling off as He develops the wisdom and maturity in us that will also keep us on the highway, AMEN?

      Verse 9 tells us also The safety of the Highway of Holiness.

      "No lion shall be there, nor shall any ravenous beast go up on it; it shall not be found there. But the redeemed shall walk there."

      No lion shall be there...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
      As we stay on God's Highway of Holiness, we are PROTECTED from the attacks of the lion.

      REMEMBER 1 PETER 5:8 which reminds us all..."Though your adversary the devil walks about LIKE a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.

      ALMIGHTY GOD IS PROMISING that lion has NEVER yet devoured anyone who stayed on the road. The promise is sure, no lion shall be there! It shall not be found there!

      Verse 10 tells us about the travelers on the Highway of Holiness.

      "And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with singing, with everlasting joy on their heads. They shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away."

      And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with singing...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
      We use this Highway of Holiness to come to where God lives and reigns - Zion - and we come there with singing. God can put a song in our heart as we travel on His Highway of Holiness!

      The RANSOMED of the LORD...

      DID YOU KNOW...The word ransomed is related to the word "goel", and refers to the one who has been rescued by the goel -the kinsman-redeemer.

      AND WE KNOW THAT JESUS IS OUR GOEL...HE IS OUR KINSMAN-REDEEMER AMEN?

      With everlasting joy on their heads … and sorrow and sighing shall flee away...

      REMEMBER REVELATION 21:4 CONFIRMS THIS....We can know some of this now, but we aren't at our destination on the Highway of Holiness yet. But when we arrive there, God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.

      Using the pictures of this chapter, it is as if we, THOSE WHO REPENT, KIT THEIR KNEES, CALL ON THE NAME OF JESUS, AND ASK FOR AND ACCEPT HIS SALVATION GIFT...ALLLLLLL come to God barren, dry, blind, deaf, weak, and crippled.

      Then the miraculous power of Jesus comes to change us, heal us, and provide for us.
      BUT GOD IS TELLING ISAIAH & US....That IS NOT the end of God's work though.

      He then goes on to make a Highway of Holiness that the transformed man can walk on.

      The highway would be helpful to one who was barren, dry, blind, deaf, weak, and crippled; but when the highway is provided for the one who is healed and provided for as we are in Jesus, the blessing is even more amazing.

      - Are you on that Highway?
      - Are you making progress on it?
      - Are you enjoying the travel?
      - Are you inviting others to join you?

      I DO NOT BELIEVE ANYONE GOES THROUGH THIS LIFE WITHOUT GETTING ON A LITERAL, MUCH LESS A SPIRITUAL HIGHWAY, TAKING A TRIP, AND GOING TO NEW, UNFAMILIAR PLACES.

      ON ANY TRIP TAKEN ON A HIGHWAY, EVEN ONE THAT IS FAMILIAR TO US, HAS LANDMARKS THAT WE KNOW AND RECOGNIZE..THAT HIGHWAY, THAT TRIP CAN BE SUDDENLY IMPACTED BY WEATHER, ROAD IMPROVEMENTS, ACCIDENTS, OR UNKNOWABLE DANGERS, IN THE RISE AND FALL OF THE ROAD, THE TWISTS AND TURNS, THE HAIRPIN CURVES, THAT KEEP HIDDEN WHAT IS BEYOND AT ANY GIVEN TIME.

      EVEN WITH ALL THE TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCES, SATELLITES ORBITING OVERHEAD, PATROL HELICOPTERS REPORTING THE CONDITIONS AHEAD, AND GPS TO GET US TO WHERE WE WANT TO GO..IT IS ALL OF THE MOMENT, OR AFTER THE FACT WARNING...AFTER A LANDSLIDE, AFTER A TRAFFIC ACCIDENT, AFTER ROAD IMPROVEMENTS BEGIN...ALWAYS OF THE MOMENT AND AFTER THE FACT...

      BUT OUR JESUS HAS ALREADY GONE INTO OUR TODAY, TOMORROW, NEXT WEEK, AND NEXT YEAR...HE HAS ALREADY MADE A WAY OF ESCAPE, PROTECTION, PROVISION, DELIVERANCE, AND RESCUE FOR US.

      NOTHING SURPRISES HIM...
      NOTHING SNEAKS UP ON OUR JESUS.
      NO PLOTS OR PLANS OF SATAN, MAN, AND WORLD GO UNSEEN, UNHEARD, AND UNPROTECTED.

      SO RIGHT HERE, IN THE OLD TESTAMENT, THE LORD IS TELLING ISAIAH AND US, REGARDLESS THE ROAD YOU ARE ON...WHETHER IT HAS FLASHING RED LIGHTS (ATTACKS), YELLOW CAUTIONS (THREATS), OR INTIMIDATING GUARDRAILS (SLOW DOWNS)...DOES NOT MATTER....BECAUSE THE LORD IS OUR HIGHWAY. THE LORD CONTROLS THE HIGHWAY. THE LORD PROTECTS THE HIGHWAY WE ARE ON IN HIM.

      AND AS I HAVE SAID BEFORE...IT APPLIES HERE....I MAY NOT KNOW WHAT IS AROUND THE CORNER, WHAT TODAY HOLDS FOR ME, WHAT TOMORROW WILL BRING, BUT NO WORRIES, I DO NOT NEED TO KNOW, I KNOW WHO HOLDS MY TODAYS, TOMORROWS, AND FOREVER.

      SO JUST PRAY OUR DAY, OUR TRIP, OUR PLANS UP AND THEN GO...WITH JESUS AS YOUR PILOT, WE HAVE NOTHING TO FEAR.

      SO SAY THANK YOU JESUS.

    • July 6, 2016 2:09 AM EDT
    • ISAIAH 36:



      OPENS WITH....FAITH IN GOD UNDER ATTACK


      A DEMORALIZING ATTACK ON FAITH

      Verses 1-3 tells us officials from King Hezekiah's government meet Rabshakeh, general of the armies of Assyria.

      "Now it came to pass in the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah that Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities of Judah and took them. Then the king of Assyria sent the Rabshakeh with a great army from Lachish to King Hezekiah at Jerusalem. And he stood by the aqueduct from the upper pool, on the highway to the Fuller's Field. And Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was over the household, Shebna the scribe, and Joah the son of Asaph, the recorder, came out to him."

      In the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah...this occurred in 700 B.C., during the reign of the godly King Hezekiah of Judah. The events of this chapter of Isaiah are ALSO recorded in 2 Kings 18:13-27 and 2 Chronicles 32:1-19.

      ISAIAH 36 begins a four-chapter section different than the prophecies recorded before or after.
      Isaiah 36 and 37 describe the LORD's work AGAINST the Assyrian threat.
      Isaiah 38 and 39 describe the RESPONSE to the Babylonian threat.

      GROGAN, a wonderful ancient Bible scholar says of these chapters, "This is history at its best, not dull recital of statistics and dates but an account which enables us to sense the haughty arrogance of the Assyrian and the chilling clutch of despair at the hearts of the Israelites."

      Sennacherib King of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities of Judah and took them...This Assyrian invasion has been the broad background for much of the Isaiah's prophecy in Isaiah chapters 1 through 35. Now, Isaiah gives us a historical record of what happened during the time he prophesied about.

      The Assyrian army swept down from the north, conquering Syria and Israel, as Isaiah prophesied in Isaiah 8:3-4 and many other passages.

      The Assyrian army then came up against all the fortified cities of Judah and took them, as Isaiah prophesied in Isaiah 7:16-17 and many other passages.

      Then the king of Assyria sent the Rabshakeh with a great army from Lachish to King Hezekiah at Jerusalem...

      DID YOU KNOW....At the time of Isaiah 36:1-3, the Assyrian army has conquered the both Syria and northern kingdom of Israel, and has devastated the countryside and fortified cities of Judah. All that remains is Jerusalem, and if the Assyrians conquer her, then Judah is destroyed as a nation just as Syria and Israel were. These were the desperate times of King Hezekiah!

      SO who was THE RABSHAKEH?
      INTERESTINGLY ENOUGH, it is a title, not a name. It describes the "field commander" for the Assyrian army, who represented the Assyrian King Sennacherib. Rab-shakeh, an Assyrian title, possibly was ORIGINALLY 'chief cup-bearer' but by this time some high officer of state.

      The mention of Lachish is IMPORTANT historically.
      WHY?
      Lachish was thirty miles south-west of Jerusalem. AND
      MODERN DAY Archaeologists have discovered a pit there with the remains of about 1,500 casualties of Sennachaerib's attack. In the British Museum, you can see the Assyrian carving depicting their siege of the city of Lachish, which was an important fortress city of Judah.

      He stood by the aqueduct from the upper pool … Eliakim … Shebna … Joah … came out to him...

      THIS TELLS US THAT THE Rabshakeh seems to be in complete command of the situation. He FEARLESSLY & ARROGANTLY can walk right into the city of Jerusalem, and stand at the crucial water supply - which would be Jerusalem's life-line in a siege attack. As he stands there, three officials from Hezekiah's government come to meet him.

      Verses 4-6 tells us Rabshakeh speaks against Judah's trust in an alliance with Egypt.

      "Then the Rabshakeh said to them, "Say now to Hezekiah, 'Thus says the great king, the king of Assyria: "What confidence is this in which you trust? I say you speak of having plans and power for war; but they are mere words. Now in whom do you trust, that you rebel against me? Look! You are trusting in the staff of this broken reed, Egypt, on which if a man leans, it will go into his hand and pierce it. So is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all who trust in him."'"

      What is the confidence in which you trust?
      ISAIAH TELLS US that one of the GREAT BATTLES for King Hezekiah during this time was the temptation to make a defensive alliance with Egypt, which seemed to be the only nation strong enough to protect Judah against the mighty Assyrians.

      As a prophet, WE KNOW THAT ISAIAH DID EVERYTHING he could to discourage Hezekiah and the leaders of Judah from putting their trust in Egypt (Isaiah 19:11-17, 20:1-6, 30:1-7).

      AND WE KNOW, The LORD wanted Judah to trust Him instead of Egypt, AMEN?

      In this sense, Rabshakeh is speaking the truth! God wanted Judah to have no confidence in Egypt at all. But Rabshakeh isn't doing it to bring Judah to a firm trust in the LORD God, who can and will deliver them from the Assyrians.

      HE TAUNTS AND SNEERS AT THEM, IN AN ATTEMPT to completely demoralize Judah and drive them to despair.

      SOUND FAMILIAR?
      DOES NOT SATAN AND THE WORLD attack us the same way!
      Often, even when he tells the truth ("You are such a rotten sinner!"), he never does it to lead us to a firm trust in the LORD our God ("Jesus died for sinners, so if I am a rotten sinner, Jesus died to forgive and free me!").

      Instead, Satan's STRATEGY - even if he tells us the truth - is ALWAYS to demoralize us, DESTROY OUR HOPE IN JESUS, and drive us to despair, AMEN.

      I HAVE SAID BEFORE, HISTORY PROVES IT OUT AS WELL, NO MATTER HOW ADVANCED MANKIND BECOMES, HUMAN NATURE AND SATAN REMAIN INHERENTLY THE SAME, AMEN?

      You are trusting in the staff of this broken reed, Egypt...

      Strangely, Rabshakeh could see the truth of Egypt's weakness better than many of the leaders of Judah could!

      AND REMEMBER IN ISAIAH 28:14, Egypt had made its ONE ATTEMPT to redeem its promises and its army had been beaten at El Tekeh. The Rab-shakeh had himself seen this, but his words are more far-reaching and damaging, exposing the criminal stupidity of Judah's leaders: surely, he said, they knew that anyone who ever trusted Egypt suffered for it.

      Verse 7 tells us Rabshakeh speaks against Judah's trust in God.

      "But if you say to me, 'We trust in the LORD our God,' is it not He whose high places and whose altars Hezekiah has taken away, and said to Judah and Jerusalem, 'You shall worship before this altar'?"

      If you say to me, "We trust in the LORD our God"...RIGHT HERE Rabshakeh ANTICIPLATED the response of the leaders of Judah. "Rabshakeh, you say that we can't trust in Egypt. All right, we won't. But we can trust in the LORD our God."

      Is it not He whose high places and whose altars Hezekiah has taken away...
      AND THIS TELLS US THAT Rabshakeh HAD SPIES AND HAD KNOWLEDGE BEFOREHAND that King Hezekiah had implemented broad reforms in Judah, including the removal of the high places CONFIRMED TO US IN 2 Kings 18:3-4).

      WHAT WERE THE HIGH PLACES?
      The high places were spots of "individual worship" which were prohibited by God's law (Leviticus 17:1-4). Israel was commanded to bring their sacrifices to the official center for sacrifice (the tabernacle or later, the temple).

      DID YOU KNOW...In the PAGAN WORLD AT THAT TIME, it was customary to offer sacrifice wherever one pleased - altars would customarily be built on high hills, in forested areas, or at other special places.

      That practice may have been fine for the time of the patriarchs. But now, God regarded sacrifice at high places as an offense. Hezekiah did right when he took away the high places and the altars, demanding that people come to the temple in Jerusalem to offer sacrifice.

      This command FROM ALMIGHTY GOD runs completely contrary to the way most people come to God in our culture.

      WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?
      For the most part, Americans have an entirely individualistic way of coming to God, where each person makes up their own rules about dealing with God as they see Him.

      In the book Habits of the Heart, Robert Bellah and his colleagues interview a young nurse named Sheila Larson, whom they describe as representing many Americans' experience and views on religion. Speaking about her own faith and how it operates in her life, she says: "I believe in God. I'm not a religious fanatic. I can't remember the last time I went to church. My faith has carried me a long way. It is 'Sheilaism.' Just my own little voice."

      This NEW RELIGIOSITY, THIS NEW AGE BELIEF/ISM is a "pick-and-choose-as-I-go-along-according-to-my-inner-voice" approach is just like picking your own high place and altar to sacrifice to God the way YOU WANT TO instead of the way God wants you to, AMEN?

      Is it not He whose high places and whose altars Hezekiah has taken away...
      In Rabshakeh's viewpoint & thinking, Hezekiah's reforms have really DISPLEASED God, so he should not expect help from the LORD God of Israel. Rabshakeh would say, "Look at all the places there used to be where people would worship the LORD God of Israel. Now, since Hezekiah came in, there is only one place. More is always better, so the LORD God of Israel must be pretty MAD at Hezekiah!"

      AGAIN...SOUNDS FAMILIAR, DOES IT NOT?
      The enemy of our souls has an amazing way of discouraging our obedience. If Hezekiah was not careful, this argument of Rabshakeh would start to make sense, when really it was demonic logic through and through!

      AND WE AS CHRISTIANS, WHO KNOW AND LOVE JESUS, NEED TO ALWAYS BE ON GUARD AGAINST THIS. GOD'S COMMANDS AND GOD'S LOGIC...IS HIGHER THAN MAN'S.

      AND WE NEED TO ALWAYS REMEMBER THAT SATAN KNOWS WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS, WHAT GOD COMMANDMENTS ARE...WHAT JESUS TEACHINGS ARE. SO HE WILL ALWAYS SEEK TO TWEAK AND TWIST AND CAST DOUBT AS TO OUR OBEDIENCE TO THINGS WE CAN NOT UNDERSTAND AND SEE, AMEN?

      WE NEED TO ALWAYS REMEMBER, IF GOD'S WORD SAYS IT, COMMANDS IT, THEN WE ARE GOING TO BELIEVE IT AND FOLLOW IT...AND THAT SETTLES IT IN OUR MIND...END OF STORY, AMEN?

      Verses 8-9 tells us Rabshakeh speaks against the army of Judah.

      "Now therefore, I urge you, give a pledge to my master the king of Assyria, and I will give you two thousand horses; if you are able on your part to put riders on them! How then will you repel one captain of the least of my master's servants, and put your trust in Egypt for chariots and horsemen?"

      a. Give a pledge to my master the king of Assyria...This reminds us of Rabshakeh's whole strategy, which is to make Judah GIVE UP.

      This is the ENTIRE REASON Rabshakeh is at the aqueduct, speaking to these leaders of Hezekiah's government. He had the vastly superior armies; he could have just attacked Jerusalem without this little speech. But Rabshekah would prefer it if Judah would simply give up, out of fear, discouragement, or despair.

      FEAR AND DESPAIR DOWN THROUGH MANKIND'S HISTORY AS ALWAYS BEEN THE REAL STRENGTH AND MIGHT IN ANY WAR/BATTLE VICTORY...IF YOU CAN MAKE THE ENEMY FEAR AND DESPAIR...THE WAR IS ALREADY WON, AMEN?

      AND SATAN AND THE WORLD...The enemy of our soul uses the exact same approach. Many of us picture Satan as "itching for a fight" with us.
      Really, Satan DOES NOT WANT to do battle with you.

      WHY?

      FIRST of all, there is the strong chance you will win.

      SECOND of all, win or lose, the battle can draw you closer to the LORD.

      THIRDLY, what the LORD does in your life through the battle can be a great blessing for other people.

      SO REMEMBER ALWAYS, Satan & the world would MUCH rather not fight you at all! He would much rather try to talk you into giving up! Talk you into being TOLERANT of his and the world's desires...rather than STAND FOR JESUS!

      AND REMEMBER TOO, IN LUJE 4:5-8...We see this exact strategy used against Jesus during His temptation in the wilderness. When Satan promised Jesus all the kingdoms of the world in exchange for Jesus' worship, Satan was trying to AVOID the fight, and trying to talk Jesus into giving up. It didn't work with Jesus, and it shouldn't work with us, AMEN?

      I will give you two thousand horses - if you are able on your part to put riders on them!

      TALK ABOUT ARROGANCE....Here, Rabshakeh mocks Judah's weak army. He says, "Even if we helped you with 2,000 horses, it wouldn't do you any good." His basic message is, "We could beat you with one hand tied behind our backs!" (How then will you repel one captain of the least of my master's servants).

      Verse 10 tells us Rabshakeh tells them that the LORD God of Israel is on his side.

      "Have I now come up without the LORD against this land to destroy it? The LORD said to me, 'Go up against this land, and destroy it.'"

      Rabshakeh saves his best thrust for last: "Admit it, Hezekiah. You know your God is on my side."

      Like all GOOD DECEPTIONS, it would have been easy for Hezekiah and his men to believe this one. After all, hadn't the Assyrians been wildly successful? Surely, God must be on their side. Didn't they have the most powerful army? Surely, God must be on their side.

      The LORD said to me, "Go up against this land, and destroy it."

      This is the finishing blow of a brilliant attack. "Hezekiah, God told me to destroy you. I'm just doing His will, and there is nothing you can do to stop it, so you may as well surrender."

      Significantly, we can say that Rabshekah was partially correct!
      God was with him, and his attack on Judah fulfilled God's prophesied plan!
      WHY?
      In conquering Syria, in conquering Israel, and in bringing Judah to the brink, the Assyrians did the will of God! God prophesied that all this would happen (Isaiah 8:3-4, 7:16-17 and many other passages in Isaiah). GOD ALLOWED it to happen so His prophesied plan would be fulfilled.

      AND WE KNOW FROM STUDYING ISAIAH...THAT GOD HAS PLED WITH THEM TO TRUST HIM. ENCOURAGED THEM TO TRUST IN HIM, AND IN HIM ALONE. NOT TRUST IN WHAT THEY SEE OR THINK, BUT TO TRUST IN HIM...TO TURN BACK TO HIM...REPENT...SEEK HIS FACE...OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN. WHEN THEY REFUSED TO BELIEVE WHAT HE SAID AND TOLD ISAIAH TO TELL THEM...HE THEN TOLD THEM WHAT WAS GOING TO HAPPEN BECAUSE THEY REFUSED.

      OUR ALMIGHTY GOD CAN NOT LIE AND DOES NOT LIE.

      TIME AND TIME AGAIN, I HAVE USED THE MODERN DAY EQUIVALENT, OF A PARENT URGING, REMINDING, TEACHING THEIR CHILD...STAY AWAY FROM THE HOT STOVE...IF YOU TOUCH IT...IT WILL BURN YOU. BUT EVENTUALLY, IF THAT CHILD CONTINUES TO DOUBT, DISOBEY, THEY WILL BE BURNED...AMEN?

      However, WE SHOULD NEVER THINK OR BELIEVE ANYONE WHO TEACHES OR SAYS that God tempted an innocent man with an evil plan.
      In fact, even though God predicted and planned this invasion of the Assyrians, Rabshakeh may have been lying indeed when he said, "The LORD said to me."
      God DID NOT have to do anything special to direct the bloodthirsty, conquest-hungry Assyrians to attack Syria, Israel, and Judah.
      He simply ALLOWED the Assyrians to carry out the corrupt desires of their evil hearts.
      Therefore, the Assyrians could NEVER excuse themselves by saying, "We were doing the LORD's will!" even as Judas could never make that excuse regarding his wicked betrayal of Jesus.

      Verses 11-12 tells us Hezekiah's men ask Rabshakeh to speak only to them.

      "Then Eliakim, Shebna, and Joah said to the Rabshakeh, "Please speak to your servants in the Aramaic language, for we understand it; and do not speak to us in Hebrew in the hearing of the people who are on the wall." But the Rabshakeh said, "Has my master sent me to your master and to you to speak these words, and not to the men who sit on the wall, who will eat and drink their own waste with you?"

      Please speak to your servants in the Aramaic language, for we understand it...
      We can just imagine how difficult this was for these leaders in Hezekiah's government. They must have thought, "It's bad enough we have to hear this. But since he is speaking in Hebrew, everyone will hear, and soon the people will become so discouraged they will rise up against us and make us surrender!"

      Has my master sent me to your master and to you to speak these words, and not to the men who sit on the wall...

      Rabshakeh doesn't care if the common citizens of Jerusalem hear him. That's how he wants it! The more fear, discouragement, and despair he can spread, the better!

      Who will eat and drink their own waste with you...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      Rabshakeh is pointing forward to what conditions would be like in Jerusalem after an extended siege. He wanted this to gross out everyone who heard it, and magnify the sense of fear, discouragement, and despair.

      Verses 13-20 tells us Rabshakeh's speech to the people of Jerusalem.

      "Then the Rabshakeh stood and called out with a loud voice in Hebrew, and said, "Hear the words of the great king, the king of Assyria! Thus says the king: 'Do not let Hezekiah deceive you, for he will not be able to deliver you; nor let Hezekiah make you trust in the LORD, saying, "The LORD will surely deliver us; this city will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria."' Do not listen to Hezekiah; for thus says the king of Assyria: 'Make peace with me by a present and come out to me; and every one of you eat from his own vine and every one from his own fig tree, and every one of you drink the waters of his own cistern; until I come and take you away to a land like your own land, a land of grain and new wine, a land of bread and vineyards. Beware lest Hezekiah persuade you, saying, "The LORD will deliver us." Has any one of the gods of the nations delivered its land from the hand of the king of Assyria? Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim? Indeed, have they delivered Samaria from my hand? Who among all the gods of these lands have delivered their countries from my hand, that the LORD should deliver Jerusalem from my hand?'"

      Then Rabshakeh stood and called out with a loud voice in Hebrew... Saying "don't do that" to Rabshakeh was like saying it to a naughty child. He couldn't wait to speak to the people of Jerusalem!

      Hear the words of the great king...
      Rabshakeh's speech was intended to glorify the enemy facing God's people.

      Do not let Hezekiah deceive you...
      Rabshakeh's speech was intended to make God's people doubt their leaders.

      Nor let Hezekiah make you trust in the LORD...
      Rabshakeh's speech was intended to build fear and unbelief in God's people.

      For thus says the king of Assyria...
      Make peace with me by a present and come out to me, and everyone one of you will eat from his own vine." Rabshakeh's speech was intended to make surrender an attractive option.

      Until I come and take you away to a land like your own land...
      Here, Rabshakeh refers to the policy of "ethnic cleansing" and "forced resettlement" practiced by the Assyrians. When they conquered a people, they forcibly resettled them in far away places, to keep their spirits broken and their power weak. Rabshakeh's speech was intended to make this terrible fate seem attractive.

      Has any one of the gods of the nations delivered its land from the hand of the king of Assyria?
      Rabshakeh's speech was intended to destroy their trust in God. His message is simple, and cunning in its Satanic logic: "The gods of other nations have not been able to protect them against us. Your God is just like one of them, and can't protect you either."

      For anyone who had the spiritual understanding to see it, Judah could have started planning the victory party right then.

      WHY?
      It is one thing to speak against Judah, its people and leaders. It was another thing all together to mock the LORD God of Israel this way, and count Him as "just another god."

      Typical of the work of the enemy of our souls, Rabshakeh was going well until he simply overstepped his bounds. There was no way God would let him off the hook for this one. He has offended the LORD God in a way he will soon regret.

      Verses 21-22 tells us the response of the leaders in Hezekiah's government and the citizens of Jerusalem.

      "But they held their peace and answered him not a word; for the king's commandment was, "Do not answer him." Then Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was over the household, Shebna the scribe, and Joah the son of Asaph, the recorder, came to Hezekiah with their clothes torn, and told him the words of the Rabshakeh."

      But they held their peace and answered him not a word...

      WHY?

      They didn't try to argue with Rabshakeh. Often, it is useless - if not dangerous - to try and match wits with this demonic logic. How much better to keep silent and trust God, instead of trying to win an argument!

      JUST AS WITH JESUS DURING HIS ILLEGAL TRIAL, SOMETIMES Silence is our best reply to the allegations and taunts of our foes.

      MEYER says it well, "Be still, O persecuted soul! Hand over thy cause to God. It is useless to argue, even in many cases to give explanations. Be still, and commit thy cause to God."

      For the king's commandment was, "Do not answer him."...
      King Hezekiah was wise enough to make this command, and his officials and the people were wise enough to obey him. THEY WERE MESSENGERS FOR THE KING. THE KING MAKES THE DECISIONS...SO THEY HAD NO RIGHT AND AUTHORITY TO MAKE DECISIONS FOR HIM.

      Came to Hezekiah with their clothes torn...
      Though they were silent, they were still deeply affected by this attack. It didn't just roll off their back as if it were nothing.

      AND REMEMBER TOO....They have the same experience Paul described in 2 Corinthians 4:8-9: "We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed."

      Thing were hard, but the battle was not lost yet!

      REMEMBER ISAIAH 37 WHEN THE ENEMY ATTACKS YOU. ALMIGHTY GOD GIVES US GREAT INSIGHT INTO THE MIND, STRATEGIES, AND THOUGHT PROCESSES AND THE INHERENT LIES OF SATAN AND MAN HERE.

      BOASTING, BRAGGING, PAST ACCOMPLISHMENTS, MEAN NOTHING AND SHOULD MEAN NOTHING TO THOSE OF US WHO CALL JESUS CHRIST, LORD, SAVIOR, MASTER, AND FRIEND WHEN WE ARE ATTACKED SPIRITUALLY, EMOTIONALLY, PHYSICALLY BY SATAN AND THE WORLD.

      REMEMBER HOW BIG OUR JESUS CHRIST IS, AND REMEMBER TO TELL YOUR ATTACKERS, YOUR TRIALS, YOUR ENEMIES JUST HOW BIG OUR JESUS IS.

      ALMIGHTY GOD AND OUR JESUS CHRIST PROMISE TO NEVER LEAVE US, TO NEVER FORSAKE, AND TO ALWAYS STAY RIGHT BESIDE US...WE HAVE NOTHING TO FEAR.

      TRUST IN THE THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, THE COMMANDER OF THE ANGEL ARMIES.

    • July 6, 2016 2:07 AM EDT
    • ISAIAH 37



      OPENS WITH...ASSYRIA DESTROYED, GOD GLORIFIED


      Verses 1-5 tells us...Hezekiah's immediate reaction upon hearing the words of Rabshakeh...King Hezekiah seeks the LORD.

      "And so it was, when King Hezekiah heard it, that he tore his clothes, covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the house of the LORD. Then he sent Eliakim, who was over the household, Shebna the scribe, and the elders of the priests, covered with sackcloth, to Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz. And they said to him, "Thus says Hezekiah: 'This day is a day of trouble and rebuke and blasphemy; for the children have come to birth, but there is no strength to bring them forth. It may be that the LORD your God will hear the words of the Rabshakeh, whom his master the king of Assyria has sent to reproach the living God, and will rebuke the words which the LORD your God has heard. Therefore lift up your prayer for the remnant that is left.'" So the servants of King Hezekiah came to Isaiah."

      When King Hezekiah heard it, that he tore his clothes, covered himself with sackcloth...

      WHY?

      The tearing of clothes and the wearing of sackcloth (a rough, burlap-type material) were expressions of deep mourning, usually for the death of a loved one. Hezekiah takes this report regarding Rabshakeh seriously, knowing how dedicated they are to completely conquering Jerusalem.

      Hezekiah's FIRST reaction is good.

      WHY?

      He sees the situation for what it really is.

      Often, when we are in some kind of trial or difficulty, we handle it poorly because we never see the situation accurately.

      Jerusalem's situation is desperate, and Hezekiah KNOWS it.

      THEY NEED A MIRACLE...THEY KNOW THAT ONLYYYYYYYYY THE LORD CAN PROTECT, SAVE, AND SPARE THEM THE ASSYRIAN DESTRUCTION.

      There was good reason for Hezekiah to be so humble before the LORD.

      WHY?

      MOTYER, Bible historian says, "City after city has fallen to Sennacherib and long lines of deportees are already snaking their bitter way into exile - and it is all Hezekiah's fault! He followed the lunatic policy of rebellion and was bewitched by Egyptian promises. He might as well have sold his people himself. But even when a matter is our own fault we can still pray about it. And the Lord can always be trusted to put his people first."

      And went into the house of the LORD...

      Hezekiah's SECOND reaction is even better.
      He did not allow his mourning and grief spin him into a rejection of the LORD's power and help. He knew this was a more necessary time than ever to seek the LORD.

      When it says, went into the house of the LORD, we should think that it means that King Hezekiah went into the holy place itself, which was forbidden for all except priests. It simple means that Hezekiah went to the courts of the house of the LORD, to seek God in the place which was open to him as a man of Israel.

      A previous king of Judah, King Uzziah, saw his tragically ended when he broke this command of the LORD to stay out of the holy place of the temple.

      REMEMBER WHAT 2 Chronicles 26:16 says, "But when he was strong his heart was lifted up, to his destruction, for he transgressed against the LORD his God by entering the temple of the LORD to burn incense on the altar of incense. In response, God struck Uzziah with leprosy, and he was an isolated leper until his death."

      KING HEZEKIAH DID NOT MAKE THE SAME MISTAKE, AMEN?

      Then he sent Eliakim … Shebna … and the elders of the priests … to Isaiah the prophet...

      The THIRD thing Hezekiah did was also good. The king sought out the word of the LORD, given through the prophet of the LORD.

      The children have come to birth, but there is no strength to bring them forth...

      Hezekiah put these words in the mouth of his messengers to Isaiah to express the total calamity of the situation. This was a proverbial expression for a disaster - a woman so exhausted by labor that she could not complete the birth, so it is likely that both mother and child with die.

      It may be that the LORD your God will hear the words of the Rabshakeh...
      Hezekiah knew that their only hope was that God would take offense at the blasphemies of Rabshakeh, and rise up against him.

      Therefore lift up your prayer for the remnant that is left...

      "Isaiah, pray for us. Our nation is devastated by this Assyrian invasion, and Jerusalem alone is left standing. Pray for the remnant that is left."

      Verses 6-7 tells us Isaiah's words of assurance to King Hezekiah.

      "And Isaiah said to them, "Thus shall you say to your master, 'Thus says the LORD: "Do not be afraid of the words which you have heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed Me. Surely I will send a spirit upon him, and he shall hear a rumor and return to his own land; and I will cause him to fall by the sword in his own land."'"

      Thus says the LORD...

      Isaiah was aware he spoke as a prophet of the LORD. Without hesitation, he speaks as if he were speaking for the LORD God of heaven. We can be sure Isaiah did not take this lightly. The fate of the nation, and his entire credibility as a prophet, was riding on what he said.

      Isaiah, speaking for the LORD, is about to make a bold prediction. His prophecy will be entirely "provable."

      It will either happen or it will not happen.
      Isaiah will be known as a true prophet or a false prophet shortly.

      Do not be afraid of the words which you have heard...

      Perhaps we can sense the most gentle rebuke in these words from the LORD. "Hezekiah, it is good for you to seek Me so passionately. But the words of Rabshakeh are only words. Do not be afraid of them."

      With which the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed Me...

      How these words must have cheered Hezekiah! Before, he had hoped it may be that the LORD your God will hear the words of the Rabshakeh … to reproach the living God (Isaiah 37:4).

      Now, the LORD speaks through the prophet Isaiah, saying He has indeed heard these words! Now, God is taking it personally!

      The servants of the king of Assyria...

      THE LORD PUT RABSHAKEH & THE KING OF ASSYRIA IN THEIR RIGHTFUL PLACE BEFORE HIM.

      DID YOU KNOW...Servants in this verse is used as "a deliberately belittling expression, 'the king of Assyria's lads/flunkies'."

      THE LORD RIGHTLY PERCEIVES AND CALLS Rabshakeh and the other officers of the army the slaves or servant boys - we could say the errand boys -of the king of Assyria."

      SURELY I will send a spirit upon him, and he shall hear a rumor and return to his own land; and I will cause him to fall by the sword in his own land...

      Here, the LORD God assures Hezekiah that He will indeed deal with Rabshakeh. He has heard his blasphemy, and will bring judgment against him.

      SURELY....MEANS IT IS A DONE DEAL...YOU CAN BANK ON IT. IT IS A 100% UNSHAKABLE GUARANTEE.

      Significantly, in this initial word from the prophet Isaiah, there is no mention of Jerusalem's deliverance or the defeat of the Assyrian army. FIRST...God focuses this word against Rabshakeh personally.

      Verses 8-13 tells us Rabshakeh's letter to Hezekiah.

      "Then the Rabshakeh returned, and found the king of Assyria warring against Libnah, for he heard that he had departed from Lachish. And the king heard concerning Tirhakah king of Ethiopia, "He has come out to make war with you." So when he heard it, he sent messengers to Hezekiah, saying, "Thus you shall speak to Hezekiah king of Judah, saying: 'Do not let your God in whom you trust deceive you, saying, "Jerusalem shall not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria." Look! You have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands by utterly destroying them; and shall you be delivered? Have the gods of the nations delivered those whom my fathers have destroyed, Gozan and Haran and Rezeph, and the people of Eden who were in Telassar? Where is the king of Hamath, the king of Arpad, and the king of the city of Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivah?'"

      So the Rabshakeh returned, and found the king of Assyria warring against Libnah...

      This must have seemed to Hezekiah to be the fulfillment of the LORD's promise through the prophet Isaiah. Rabshakeh left Jerusalem, and Hezekiah must have thought "Now he'll go back to his own land and be killed, just like the LORD promised. Good riddance! Thank You LORD!"

      The king heard concerning Tirhakah king of Ethiopia, "He has come out to make war with you."

      THIS TELLS US...that while Rabhakeh is away, the Assyrians learn that Egyptian troops (under an Ethiopian king) are advancing from the south. This would be the Egyptian intervention Assyria feared, and that many in Judah trusted in. But as Isaiah prophesied, it would amount to nothing (Isaiah 20:1-6 and 30:1-7).

      INTERESTINGLY ENOUGH...THE ETHIOPIAN KING, Tirhakah, was only a prince at the time, but because he assumed the throne in 690 B.C., the title 'king' is used PROLEPTICALLY....WHICH MEANS BEFORE HE OFFICIALLY TAKES THE THRONE.

      Do not let your God in whom you trust deceive you...

      Rabshakeh is not in Jerusalem, but that doesn't stop him from trying to build fear, discouragement, and despair in Hezekiah. He sends a letter to the king of Judah to attack him from afar!

      Have the gods of the nations...

      If read with an eye of faith, these must have been trust-building words of Rabshakeh to Hezekiah. In counting the LORD God of Israel among the gods of the nations, Rabshakeh blasphemes the LORD and invites judgment.

      RABSHAKEH SEES ALL GODS AND THE BELIEF IN THEM INSANE, LUDICROUS...

      JUST AS MANY ROLL THEIR EYES WHEN PEOPLE SPEAK OF THEIR PRAYERS TO AND TRUST IN AND BELIEF IN JESUS....NO MATTER HOW MANY ADVANCES MANKIND REACHES....HIS NATURE WAS, IS AND EVER SHALL BE BASICALLY THE SAME, AMEN.


      Verses 14-20 tells us King Hezekiah's prayer.

      "And Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers, and read it; and Hezekiah went up to the house of the LORD, and spread it before the LORD. Then Hezekiah prayed to the LORD, saying: "O LORD of hosts, God of Israel, the One who dwells between the cherubim, You are God, You alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth. Incline Your ear, O LORD, and hear; open Your eyes, O LORD, and see; and hear all the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to reproach the living God. Truly, LORD, the kings of Assyria have laid waste all the nations and their lands, and have cast their gods into the fire; for they were not gods, but the work of men's hands; wood and stone. Therefore they have destroyed them. Now therefore, O LORD our God, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You are the LORD, You alone."


      Hezekiah went up to the house of the LORD, and spread it before the LORD...

      Hezekiah did exactly what any child of God should do with such a letter.
      He took it to the house of the LORD (to the outer courts, not the holy place), and he spread it out before the LORD.

      In this, Hezekiah boldly and effectively fulfilled the later command of 1 Peter 5:7: "Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you."

      To be in the ministry means you will receive nasty letters & comments.

      What should one do with them?

      Often, the best thing to do is to simply throw them away, especially if they are anonymous.

      But if they are to be read and kept, they should be spread … before the LORD.

      "LORD, show me what there is in this letter that I need to hear. Show me what I need to disregard. Help me to see beyond this person's sinful manner or tone and see if You have something in this for me."

      One old preacher received a letter with no sender or return address on the envelope. When he opened it, he saw a single piece of paper with only one word: "Fool!" He took it to the pulpit the next Sunday, and said: "I received an unusual letter this week. Never before have I received a letter where the writer signed his name, but forgot to write anything else!"

      O LORD of hosts...
      This title for our God essentially means, "LORD of armies."

      Hezekiah was in a crisis that was primarily military in nature, so it made sense for him to address the LORD first according to the aspect of God's nature that was most needful for him. "LORD of armies, send some troops to help us!"

      God of Israel...
      This title for God reminded Hezekiah - and the LORD also, in our human way of understanding - that the LORD God was the covenant God of Israel, and that He should not forsake His people.

      The One who dwells between the cherubim...
      Here, Hezekiah sees the great majesty of God. Surely, the One who dwells between the cherubim would never allow Rabshakeh's blasphemies to go unpunished.

      You are God, You alone...
      God is a simple title for our LORD, but perhaps the most powerful.
      If He is God, then what can He not do?
      If He is God, then what is beyond His control?

      Hezekiah realizes the most fundamental fact of all theology:

      God is God, and we are not!
      God is God, and Rabshakeh or the Assyrians are not!

      You who made heaven and earth...
      In recognizing the LORD God as Creator, Hezekiah sees that the LORD has all power and all rights over every created thing. We can almost feel Hezekiah's faith rising as he prays this!

      Incline Your ear, O LORD, and hear; open Your eyes, O LORD, and see...
      Hezekiah knew very well that the LORD did in fact hear and see the blasphemies of Rabshakeh. This is a poetic way of asking God to act upon what He has seen and heard, assuming that if God has seen such things, He will certainly act!

      All the words of Sennacherib, who has sent to reproach the living God...

      In his prayer, King Hezekiah draws the contrast between the living God and the false gods of the nations the Assyrians have already conquered.

      Those false gods were not gods, but the work of men's hands - wood and stone, so they were not able to save them from the Assyrians.

      But Hezekiah prays confidently that the living God will save them, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You are the LORD, You alone.

      Verse 21...tells us the power of Hezekiah's prayer...Isaiah brings the LORD's answer to King Hezekiah's prayer, and a word to Rabshakeh.

      "Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent to Hezekiah, saying, "Thus says the LORD God of Israel, 'Because you have prayed to Me against Sennacherib king of Assyria,'"

      Because you have prayed to Me...

      The glorious answer which fills the rest of the chapter came because Hezekiah prayed.

      What if he would not have prayed? Then we are to think that no answer would have come, and Jerusalem would have been conquered.

      Hezekiah's prayer really mattered.

      How many blessings, how many victories, how many souls saved for Jesus' glory, lie unclaimed in heaven until the LORD can say, because you have prayed to Me?


      Verses 22-35 tells us The LORD's word to Rabshakeh.

      "This is the word which the LORD has spoken concerning him: "The virgin, the daughter of Zion, has despised you, laughed you to scorn; the daughter of Jerusalem has shaken her head behind your back! Whom have you reproached and blasphemed? Against whom have you raised your voice, and lifted up your eyes on high? Against the Holy One of Israel. By your servants you have reproached the Lord, and said, 'By the multitude of my chariots I have come up to the height of the mountains, to the limits of Lebanon; I will cut down its tall cedars and its choice cypress trees; I will enter its farthest height, to its fruitful forest. I have dug and drunk water, and with the soles of my feet I have dried up all the brooks of defense.' Did you not hear long ago how I made it, from ancient times that I formed it? Now I have brought it to pass, that you should be for crushing fortified cities into heaps of ruins. Therefore their inhabitants had little power; they were dismayed and confounded; they were as the grass of the field and the green herb, as the grass on the housetops and grain blighted before it is grown. But I know your dwelling place, your going out and your coming in, and your rage against Me. Because your rage against Me and your tumult have come up to My ears, therefore I will put My hook in your nose and My bridle in your lips, and I will turn you back by the way which you came. This shall be a sign to you: You shall eat this year such as grows of itself, and the second year what springs from the same; also in the third year sow and reap, plant vineyards and eat the fruit of them. And the remnant who have escaped of the house of Judah shall again take root downward, and bear fruit upward. For out of Jerusalem shall go a remnant, and those who escape from Mount Zion. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this." Therefore thus says the LORD concerning the king of Assyria: "He shall not come into this city, nor shoot an arrow there, nor come before it with shield, nor build a siege mound against it. By the way that he came, by the same shall he return; and he shall not come into this city," says the LORD. "For I will defend this city, to save it For My own sake and for My servant David's sake."


      The virgin, the daughter of Zion, has despised you, laughed you to scorn...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      The idea is that the Assyrians have come to ravish the daughter of Zion, the city of Jerusalem. But God won't allow it. "Jerusalem is represented as a young girl rebuffing with contempt the unwelcome advances of a churl.

      AND...Virgin is used here in the sense of being untouched by the marauder. The Assyrian came intent on rape but his victim remains unharmed because you have prayed.

      Whom have you reproached and blasphemed? Against whom have you raised your voice, and lifted up your eyes on high? Against the Holy One of Israel...

      The LORD, speaking through Isaiah, simply says to Rabshakeh, "Do you know whom you are dealing with?" Rabshakeh obviously did not know.

      Curiously, this prophecy may have never reached the ears of Rabshakeh. After all, Isaiah didn't exactly have free access to him. But perhaps before his terrible end, God found a way to get this prophecy to him. Or, perhaps God had it for this blasphemer as a special message in hell. At the very least, this prophecy would have been hugely encouraging to Hezekiah and all of Judah, even if Rabshakeh never heard it on this earth.

      By the multitude of my chariots, I have come up to the height of the mountains...

      Here, the LORD describes the great pride the Assyrians had in their own conquests. But they forgot that the LORD was really in charge (Now I have brought it to pass, that you should be crushing fortified cites into heaps of ruins. Therefore the inhabitants had little power). Even if the Assyrians didn't know it, they owed their success to the LORD!

      How humbling this must have been for the Assyrians!

      All along, they thought it was because of their mighty power they had accomplished so much. Here, God makes it plain that it was His power that did it.

      But God has their number (I know your dwelling place, your going out and your coming in). And because Assyria went too far in blaspheming the One who made all their success possible, therefore I will put My hook in your nose … and I will turn you back by the way which you came.

      This was an especially dramatic statement.

      WHY?

      Because this is exactly how the Assryians would cruelly march those whom they forced to relocate out of their conquered lands. They would line up the captives, and drive a large fishhook through the lip or the nose of each captive, string them all together and march them. God says, "I'm going to do the same thing to you!"

      You shall eat this year such as grows of itself...

      MOTYER explains the history of that time..."The invasion prevented sowing in 702 B.C., but when the threat lifted in 701 they would find sufficient growth to preserve life; in 701 the withdrawing Assyrians still inhibited agriculture, yet in 700 there would still be enough through 'chance growth'. Thus the Lord would confirm retrospectively that it was his hand that dispersed the threat."

      For out of Jerusalem shall go a remnant...

      As much as the Assyrians would like to crush Jerusalem and Judah, they will not be able to. God will preserve His remnant.

      He shall not come into this city, nor shoot an arrow there … for I will defend this city, to save it for My own sake and for My servant David's sake...

      God plainly and clearly draws a line. Although the Assyrian military machine is poised to lay siege to Jerusalem, and ultimately crush them, they won't. The king of Assyria will not come into this city, because God is defending it.

      Why does God defend the city?

      For My own sake. God will defend His own glory.
      Often, we unnecessarily think that we must defend the glory of the LORD. But that isn't really the case. God is more than able to defend His own glory.

      Why does God defend the city?
      For My servant David's sake.

      DID YOU KNOW...

      King David had died almost 300 years before this, but God still honored His promise to David (2 Samuel 7:10-17). God would defend Jerusalem, not for the city's sake at all -Jerusalem deserved judgment! But He does it for His own sake, and for the sake of David.

      In the same way, God the Father defends and blesses us, not for our own sake - we often deserve His judgment! But He often does it for His own sake, and for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord.


      Verse 36 tells us God strikes down the mighty army of Assyria.

      "Then the angel of the LORD went out, and killed in the camp of the Assyrians one hundred and eighty-five thousand; and when people arose early in the morning, there were the corpses; all dead."

      The angel of the LORD went out...

      Simply and powerfully, God destroys this mighty nation in one night. 185,000 die at the hand of the angel of the LORD. Against all odds, and against every expectation except the expectation of faith, the Assyrian army was turned back without having even shot an arrow into Jerusalem. The unstoppable was stopped, the undefeated was defeated!

      The prophet Hosea made this same prediction in HOSEA 1:7, which says, "Yet I will have mercy on the house of Judah, will save them by the LORD their God, and will not save them by bow, nor by sword or battle, by horses or horsemen."

      This was not "hard" for God to do.

      Far "harder" for the LORD was getting the heart and minds of His people in the right place. Once they were there, it was nothing for God to dispatch one angel to do this.


      Verses 37-38 tells us The end of Sennacherib, king of Assyria.

      "So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed and went away, returned home, and remained at Nineveh. Now it came to pass, as he was worshiping in the house of Nisroch his god, that his sons Adrammelech and Sharezer struck him down with the sword; and they escaped into the land of Ararat. Then Esarhaddon his son reigned in his place."


      He departed and went away...

      Exactly as God said He would. But he left still full of pride. After this retreat from Judah, Sennacherib commissioned record, which is preserved in the spectacular Annals of Sennacherib (the Taylor Prisim), which can be seen in the British Museum. It shows how full of pride Sennacherib's heart still was, even if he could not even claim he conquered Jerusalem!

      HE WROTE..."I attacked Hezekiah of Judah who had not subjected himself to me, and took forty-six fortresses, forts and small cities. I carried away captive 200,150 people, big and small, both male and female, a multitude of horses, young bulls, asses, camels, and oxen. Hezekiah himself I locked up in Jerusalem like a bird in its cage. I put up banks against the city. I separated his cities whose inhabitants I had taken prisoners from his realm and gave them to Mitiniti, king of Ashdod, Padi, king of Ekron, and Zilbel, king of Gaza and thus diminished his country. And I added another tax to the one imposed on him earlier."

      "The Biblical account concludes with the much debated statement that the Assyrian army was struck down in some way during the night with considerable loss of life, following which the siege was called off … The Assyrian Annals tacitly agree with the Biblical version by making no claim that Jerusalem was taken, only describing tribute from Hezekiah."

      Now it came to pass...

      DID YOU KNOW...Between Isaiah 37:37 and Isaiah 37:38, 20 years pass. Perhaps Sennacherib thought he had escaped the judgment of God, but he hadn't. He met the bitter end of death at the end of swords held by his own sons.

      ONCE AGAIN, THE INERRANT WORD OF ALMIGHTY GOD, & HIS PROMISES COMES TO PASS EXACTLY AS GOD TOLD ISAIAH IT WOULD.

      THEN AND NOW, WE CAN TRUST IN THE PROMISES OF JESUS AND HIS WORDS. OUR JESUS IS A PROMISE MAKER AND A PROMISE KEEPER.

      THEN AND NOW, WE CAN KNOW THAT AT THE PERFECTLY PRECISE MOMENT OUR JESUS WILL HEAR AND ANSWER OUR HEART CRIES.

      ISAIAH 37 REMINDS US TO NOT TRUST IN WHAT SATAN AND THE WORLD AND MAN SAY OR THREATEN OR PROMISE. AS JESUS SAYS, THEY ARE JUST WORDS, THEY HAVE NO POWER WHATSOEVER AGAINST NOR OVER OUR JESUS.

      JESUS IS FOR US AND NOTHING SHALL PREVAIL AGAINST US. SO TALK TO THE LORD, GIVE HIM YOUR CARES, FEARS, AND WORRIES, AND WAIT PATIENTLY AS SEE WHAT OUR JESUS CAN AND WILL DO FOR YOU.

    • July 6, 2016 2:02 AM EDT
    • ISAIAH 38



      OPENS WITH....KING HEZEKIAH'S LIFE IS SPARED


      Verse 1 tells us Isaiah's announcement to Hezekiah.

      "In those days Hezekiah was sick and near death. And Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, went to him and said to him, "Thus says the LORD: 'Set your house in order, for you shall die and not live.'"

      In those days...This happened at the time of the Assyrian invasion of Judah, because Jerusalem had not been delivered from the Assyrian threat yet (Isaiah 38:6). The events of this chapter are also recorded in 2 Kings 20:1-11.

      Was sick and near death...

      We are not told how Hezekiah became sick. It may have been through something obvious to all, or it may have been through something known only to God. However Hezekiah became sick, it was NOT GIVEN BY THE LORD, but it WAS certainly permitted by the LORD.

      Set your house in order, for you shall die and not live...

      God was remarkably kind to Hezekiah, telling him that his death was near. Not all people are given the time to set your house in order.

      We know from comparing 2 Kings 18:2 with 2 Kings 20:6, that Hezekiah was 39 years old when he learned he would soon die.

      Verses 2-3 tells us Hezekiah's prayer.

      "Then Hezekiah turned his face toward the wall, and prayed to the LORD, and said, "Remember now, O LORD, I pray, how I have walked before You in truth and with a loyal heart, and have done what is good in Your sight." And Hezekiah wept bitterly."

      Hezekiah turned his face toward the wall...

      This shows how earnest Hezekiah was in his prayer. He directed his prayer in privacy to God, and not to any man.

      Remember now, O LORD...

      To our ears, Hezekiah's prayer might almost sound ungodly. In it, his focus is on self-justification and his own merits. It is pretty much as if Hezekiah prayed, "LORD, I've been such a good boy and You aren't being fair to me. Remember what a good boy I've been and rescue me."

      But MANY WHO SAY HEZEKIAH SOUNDS SPOILED, AND UNGODLY FORGET OR DO NOT KNOW...that under the Old Covenant, this was a VALID principle on which to approach God.

      WHERE?

      Passages like Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28 show that under the Old Covenant, blesssing and cursing was sent by God on the basis of obedience or disobedience.

      On that principle, David could write in Psalm 15: 1-2, "LORD, who may abide in Your tabernacle? Who may dwell in Your holy hill? He who walks uprightly, and works righteousness, and speaks the truth in his heart."

      CHRISTIANS FROM JESUS RESURRECTION FORWARD NEED TO REMEMBER WE ARE NOW UNDER THE NEW COVENANT. We are blessed on the principle of faith in Jesus.

      REMEMBER Galatians 3:13-14 confirms this, "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith."

      Hezekiah's principle of prayer IS NOT fitting for a Christian today.

      We pray IN THE NAME OF JESUS, not in the name of who we are or what we have done.

      REMEMBER JOHN 16:23-24 which confirms, "And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full."

      BULTEMA says it well and reminds Christians today, "We come across similar pleas again and again in the prayers of God's children of old. The Psalms abound with them. But we do not find them in the New Testament. The Church bases its pleas on Christ's righteousness."

      And Hezekiah wept bitterly...

      Why was Hezekiah so undone at the prospect of death?

      IN THESE END TIMES, Many Christians today would say, "Take me home, LORD!"

      But Hezekiah lived under the Old Covenant, and at that time there was not MUCH confident assurance of the glory in the life beyond taught by their godly leaders.

      Instead, Jesus brought life and immortality came to light through the gospel.

      REMEMBER 2 Timothy 1:9-10 confirms this, "Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel."

      Also, under the Old Covenant Hezekiah would have regarded this as evidence that God was very displeased with him.

      Verses 4-5 tells us Isaiah brings God's answer to Hezekiah's prayer.

      "And the word of the LORD came to Isaiah, saying, "Go and tell Hezekiah, 'Thus says the LORD, the God of David your father: "I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; surely I will add to your days fifteen years."'"

      I will add to your days fifteen years...In response to Hezekiah's prayer, God granted Hezekiah fifteen years more.

      Because Hezekiah recovered, was God's word (You shall die and not live, Isaiah 38:1) proved false?

      No.
      WHY?

      FIRST, Hezekiah did in fact die, just not as soon as God first announced.

      SECOND, when God announces judgment it is almost always an invitation to repent and to receive mercy.

      I have heard your prayer...

      Hezekiah's prayer was important. By all indications, if Hezekiah had not made his passionate prayer, then his life would not have been extended. Prayer matters!

      In fact, God gave two gifts to Hezekiah.

      WHAT WERE THEY?

      FIRST, He gave the gift of an extended life.

      SECOND, He gave the gift of knowing he only had fifteen years left. If he were wise, this would still give King Hezekiah the motivation to walk right with God and to set his house in order.

      Verse 6 tells us the promise of deliverance from the Assyrian threat.

      "I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria, and I will defend this city."

      This promise is in accord with the LORD's previous prophecies of deliverance, and dates this chapter as being before God destroyed the Assyrian army (Isaiah 37:36-37).

      The connection of the two promises indicates that one would confirm the other. When Hezekiah recovered his health, he could know that God would also deliver him from the Assyrians.

      Verses 7-8 tells us a sign to confirm the promise.

      "And this is the sign to you from the LORD, that the LORD will do this thing which He has spoken: Behold, I will bring the shadow on the sundial, which has gone down with the sun on the sundial of Ahaz, ten degrees backward." So the sun returned ten degrees on the dial by which it had gone down."

      This is the sign … that the LORD will do this thing which He has spoken...

      God showed even more mercy to Hezekiah. God was under no obligation to give this sign. In fact, God would have been justified in saying, "Hey Hezekiah, I said it and you believe it. How dare you not take My word for true?" But in real love, God gave Hezekiah more than he needed or deserved.

      God shows the same mercy to us. It should be enough for God to simply say to us, "I love you." But God did so much MORE to demonstrate His love to us.

      REMEMBER John 3:16 & Romans 5:8.

      Behold, I will bring the shadow of the sundial … ten degrees backward...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
      God promised to do something completely IMPOSSIBLE & MIRACULOUS for the confirming sign. And it happened just as God promised: So the sun returned ten degrees on the dial by which it had gone down.

      THIS SHOWS US THAT GOD INDEED DOES CONTROL ALL THINGS. WE SHRUG OFF THE CREATIVE MIRACLE OF THE RISING AND SETTING SUN, AND THE RISING AND SETTING MOON ARE NORMAL...NOTHING SPECIAL.

      BUT GOD INSTANTLY CAUSED THE SETTING SUN TO GO BACKWARD...AND RISE FROM THE HORIZON IT WAS SETTING INTO.

      This was a wonderfully appropriate sign for Hezekiah. By bringing the shadow of the sundial move backward, it gave more time in a day - just as God gave Hezekiah more time.

      AND THE LORD GAVE HEZEKIAH A VISIBLE AND A TANGIBLE SIGN TO KNOW WITHOUT A SHADOW OF DOUBT THAT GOD HAD INDEED PROMISED HIM A LONGER LIFE.

      Verse 9-14 tells us Hezekiah's lament.

      "This is the writing of Hezekiah king of Judah, when he had been sick and had recovered from his sickness: I said, "In the prime of my life I shall go to the gates of Sheol; I am deprived of the remainder of my years." I said, "I shall not see YAH, the LORD in the land of the living; I shall observe man no more among the inhabitants of the world. My life span is gone, taken from me like a shepherd's tent; I have cut off my life like a weaver. He cuts me off from the loom; from day until night You make an end of me. I have considered until morning; like a lion, so He breaks all my bones; from day until night You make an end of me. Like a crane or a swallow, so I chattered; I mourned like a dove; my eyes fail from looking upward. O LORD, I am oppressed; undertake for me!"

      In the prime of my life I shall go to the gates of Sheol...
      Sheol is the Hebrew word for "the grave" or "the place of the dead." Here, Hezekiah laments the news of his impending death.

      I shall not see YAH, the LORD in the land of the living...
      Hezekiah's pain at his approaching death is increased as he believes that in the grave he will no longer see the LORD.

      Again, Hezekiah's thinking is based in the cloudy understanding of the world beyond before life and immortality were brought to life & explained by Jesus & his disciples through the gospel of Jesus Christ.

      Though there are occasional glimpses of hope into the world beyond.

      REMEMBER Job 19:25-27, which boldly declares, "For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me."

      This explains why Hezekiah does not welcome death as a certain pathway to the presence of the LORD. For these Old Testament saints like Hezekiah and David, the grave (Sheol) was an uncertain place. They knew the LORD was there (Psalm 139:8), but they didn't know exactly how. So for these Old Testament saints, going to the world beyond was exchanging this world's certainty for the uncertainty of the world beyond.

      O LORD, I am oppressed...

      Since Hezekiah lived before the finished work of Jesus, he lived under the bondage of the fear of death.

      REMEMBER Hebrews 2:14-15 which says, "Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage."

      REMEMBER 1 Corinthians 15:53-55 which says, "For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?"

      How WONDERFULLY SECURE AND ABSOLUTE AND different for the believer in Jesus Christ.

      OLD TESTAMENT BELIEVERS DIED IN FAITH BELIEVING FOR AND WAITING UPON THE HOPED FOR DELIVERER, THE MESSIAH PROPHESIED TO THEM.

      BUT WE NEW TESTAMENT CHRISTIANS HAVE THE DELIVERER, THE MESSIAH, THE TREASURE OF HEAVEN, IN OUR JESUS CHRIST. HE CAME AND FULFILLED ALL OLD TESTAMENT LAWS AND DISPENSATIONS. AND HE THEN CREATED A NEW COVENANT WITH US...A COVENANT OF HIS GRACE AND MERCY UNTO SALVATION.

      SOME have WRONGLY COMPARED KING Hezekiah with Paul who desired to depart and be with Christ, but this comparison is unfair, for Hezekiah still lived under the shadow of the Old Dispensation. Israel knew of an immortal life but did not quite have the glorious hope the Church now has, AMEN?

      Like a crane or a swallow, so I chattered; I mourned like a dove...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN....

      SIMPLY PUT...the varied cries of birds he heard express the varied nature of Hezekiah's many cries to God, now quiet, now shrill, now mournful.

      THANKS TO JESUS CHRIST AND THE DISCIPLES we can have a clearer understanding of the world beyond than King Hezekiah did.

      DID YOU KNOW...
      The Bible uses THREE MAIN WORDS to describe where people go when they die in the Old Testament.

      SHEOL is a Hebrew word with the idea of the "place of the dead." The Bible tells us SHEOL WAS DIVIDED INTO TWO SECTIONS.

      ABRAHAM'S BOSOM was where all those who DIED IN THE HOPED FOR MESSIAH went.

      AND THEN HADES/HELL/GEHENNA...where those who died in rejection of THE WORD OF GOD AND THE PROPHETS AND JESUS CHRIST GO...IT IS THE WAITING PRISON, WHERE SATAN AND HIS DEMONS LIVE ALSO, & THE DEAD REJECTING JESUS CHRIST remain until the Great White Throne Judgment at the end of days. (Luke 8:31; 2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6 & Revelation 9:1)

      THE LAKE OF FIRE...is the eternal destination of Satan, the AntiChrist, The False Prophet, Satan's demons, & all those who CHOSE TO reject Jesus Christ free gift of salvation while they were alive. (Revelation 20:13-15 & Matthew 25:41)

      The Old Testament has little clear revelation about the afterlife; confident statements like Job 19:25-26 are countered by fuzzy passages like Ecclesiastes 3:19-20 and Psalm 6:4-5.

      However, the New Testament gives much more specific revelation regarding the afterlife; these are things that have now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. (2 Timothy 1:10)

      Significantly, most people who teach wrong doctrines about the afterlife (such as "soul sleep" or annihilationism) base their arguments on these "fuzzy" passages from the Old Testament, instead of the much clearer passages in the New Testament. In doing this, they reject the clear principle of 2 Timothy 1:10, AMEN?

      Verses 15-20 tells us Hezekiah praises God for sparing his life.

      "What shall I say? He has both spoken to me, and He Himself has done it. I shall walk carefully all my years in the bitterness of my soul. O LORD, by these things men live; and in all these things is the life of my spirit; so You will restore me and make me live. Indeed it was for my own peace that I had great bitterness; but You have lovingly delivered my soul from the pit of corruption, for You have cast all my sins behind Your back. For Sheol cannot thank You, death cannot praise You; those who go down to the pit cannot hope for Your truth. The living, the living man, he shall praise You, as I do this day; the father shall make known Your truth to the children. The LORD was ready to save me; therefore we will sing my songs with stringed instruments all the days of our life, in the house of the LORD."

      What shall I say...

      When God answered his prayer, all Hezekiah could do was praise God. He knew that it was all the LORD's work, both in word (spoken to me) and deed (done it). So, Hezekiah was speechless (What shall I say?).

      I shall walk carefully all my years...

      This is a good promise Hezekiah makes, and one often on the lips of the person God has spared. But in the end, it was only a good promise if Hezekiah made it good.

      SO...What did Hezekiah do with these added 15 years?

      One thing he did was father a son who would succeed him on the throne of Judah. Of the next king of Judah, Manasseh, the son of Hezekiah, it is written that he was 12 years old when he became king (2 Kings 21:1). This means he must have been born in the last 15 years of Hezekiah's life.

      BUT SADLY, fathering Manasseh was not a worthy achievement.
      It was written of him, And he did evil in the sight of the LORD, according to the abominations of the nations whom the LORD had cast out before the children of Israel (2 Kings 21:2).

      In fact, God specifically targeted Judah for judgment because of the terrible sins of Manasseh (2 Kings 21:10-15).

      In this, we may see that the LORD had a better plan than Hezekiah did in calling him home at the earlier time. God knew that if Hezekiah lived, he would give birth to this wicked successor. Sometimes it is best to simply leave our lot with the LORD, and leave what even seems to be clearly good up to His wisdom.

      It was for my own peace that I had great bitterness...

      Hezekiah is to be admired for his accurate self-knowledge, and his honesty. He admits that it was not for God's glory or honor, or even for the glory or honor of his kingdom that he was troubled over his impending death and that he wanted his life spared. It was for his own peace.

      For Sheol cannot thank You, death cannot praise You; those who go down to the pit cannot hope for Your truth. The living, the living man, he shall praise You, as I do this day...

      Again, this passage reflects the uncertain understanding of the world beyond before the finished work of Jesus Christ. Hezekiah knew he could praise God while he walked this earth, but he wasn't so sure about the world beyond OFFERED HIM AND WOULD BRING.

      Therefore we will sing my songs with stringed instruments all the days of our life, in the house of the LORD...

      Hezekiah shows the logical response to God's great deliverance - praise.

      Verses 21-22 tells us HOW the LORD healed Hezekiah.

      "Now Isaiah had said, "Let them take a lump of figs, and apply it as a poultice on the boil, and he shall recover." And Hezekiah had said, "What is the sign that I shall go up to the house of the LORD?"

      Let them take a lump of figs, and apply it as a poultice on the boil, and he shall recover...

      Apparently, God used this medical treatment - at the very least, He used it as a sign - to bring Hezekiah's healing. God can, and often does, bring healing through medical treatments, and apart from an unusual direction from God, medical treatment should never be rejected in the name of "faith."

      What is the sign that I shall go up to the house of the LORD...
      Hezekiah wanted a sign, but why a sign that would allow him to go up to the house of the LORD? Because he could not, and would not go up to the house of the LORD until he was healed, so the two were connected.

      ISAIAH 38....SHOWS US HEZEKIAH WAS FACING DEATH WITHOUT AND DEATH WITHIN HIS OWN BODY. HE WAS OPPRESSED, BEING ATTACKED, CHALLENGED, & THREATENED ON ALL SIDES...HE WAS ANXIOUS, DEPRESSED, AND FEARFUL..

      YET HE COULD STILL PRAY...AND HE DID.
      HE COULD STILL PRAISE...AND HE DID.
      HE COULD STILL CRY OUT AND GIVE HIS ILLNESS, FEARS, AND WORRIES TO GOD....AND HE DID.

      AND THE GOD WHO SEES ALL....ANSWERED HIM. RESTORED HIM, AND GAVE HIM AND THE PEOPLE OF JERUSALEM A WONDROUS SIGN TO KNOW JUST HOW BIG THEIR HOLY ONE OF ISRAEL REALLY IS.

      CALL UPON JESUS CHRIST...WHOSOEVER WILL CALL UPON THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST SHALL BE SAVED.

    • July 6, 2016 2:00 AM EDT
    • ISAIAH 39



      OPENS WITH A HEALED AND RESTORED KING HEZEKIAH SHOWING OFF THE LORD'S TREASURE TO ENVOYS FROM BABYLON...


      Verse 1 tells us King Hezekiah receives a letter from the king of Babylon.

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

      At that time...This was after the miraculous recovery of Hezekiah. The LORD was good enough to give King Hezekiah 15 years more of life; but it was up to Hezekiah if those years would be lived in wisdom and to the glory of God.

      The king of Babylon sent letters and a present to Hezekiah, for he heard that he had been sick and had recovered. Apparently this was a gesture of kindness from the king of Babylon, showing concern to Hezekiah as fellow royalty.

      The presence of Merodach-Baladan shows this was more than a courtesy call.

      WHY?

      This was an attempt to bring the kingdom of Judah on to the side of the Babylonians against the Assyrians.

      DID YOU KNOW?

      MOTYER gives us more of the WHY AND the historical background ..."To the Assyrians Merodach-Baladan was a terrorist; to himself he was a freedom-fighter with his life devoted to the liberation of his beloved Babylon from Assyrian tyranny."

      AND ISAIAH has already told us that Hezekiah was deeply worried about Assyria. Feeling honored by the embassy, he gladly welcomed the envoys of this archenemy of Assyria.

      HEZEKIAH'S MISTAKE....AGAIN?

      HE WELCOMED THEM... without FIRST consulting either the Lord or Isaiah.

      2 CHRONICLES 32:27-29 CONFIRMS IT....HEZEKIAH without a THOUGHT of the future consequences, he showed them his vast treasures, his abundant supplies of food, and his military armaments. God had given Hezekiah great wealth, so the visitors were duly impressed.

      REMEMBER SO FAR...
      The first part of Isaiah (chapters 1 through 38) mainly dealt with the present threat from the Assyrian Empire.
      The rest of Isaiah (chapters 39 through 66) will prophetically speak to the threat of the coming Babylonian Empire.

      Verse 2 tells us Hezekiah entertains the envoys from the king of Babylon.

      "And Hezekiah was pleased with them, and showed them the house of his treasures; the silver and gold, the spices and precious ointment, and all his armory; all that was found among his treasures. There was nothing in his house or in all his dominion that Hezekiah did not show them."

      And Hezekiah was pleased with them...We can imagine that this was flattering for King Hezekiah. After all, Judah was a lowly nation with little power, and Babylon as a junior superpower. To receive this notice and recognition from the king of Babylon must have really made Hezekiah feel he was important.

      In gratitude, Hezekiah showed them the house of his treasures.
      We can imagine Hezekiah wanting to please these envoys from Babylon, and wanting to show them that they had good reason to be impressed with him and his kingdom. So he does everything he can to impress them, and shows them the very best riches of the royal household - and he showed them everything (There was nothing in his house or in all his dominion that Hezekiah did not show them).

      As the coming rebuke from Isaiah will demonstrate, this was nothing but proud foolishness on Hezekiah's part. He is in the dangerous place of wanting to please and impress man, especially ungodly men.

      It WAS a genuine compliment for Hezekiah to receive this recognition from the king of Babylon.

      But Hezekiah received it WRONGLY, and let it go to his head.

      AND THIS REMINDS US ALL...It is easy to get too puffed up when people compliment or recognize us, and to begin to take their praise - and ourselves - too seriously.

      In this place of wanting to please man, Hezekiah is no longer a true servant of God.

      REMEMBER WHAT Paul wrote in Galatians 1:10, "For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ."

      When we live to please men, we cannot at the same time live to please and serve God.
      When we live to please men, we are really living to serve ourselves, because what we value from men is the praise and honor and recognition they may give us.

      It is a glorious thing to live to serve men, but not to live to please them.

      BULTEMA says it well, "Just as Samson revealed his strength to the whore, so Hezekiah revealed God's glory to the devils as though he were their companion and had received favors from Babylon."

      SO MANY ASK...WELL THEN WHAT SHOULD KING HEZEKIAH HAVE SAID TO THE BABYLON ENVOYS?

      MOTYER says it well, 'Thank you for coming and thank Merodach for his gift and invitation, but the fact is I have a divine promise to lean on; it has been confirmed personally in my return to health and cosmically in the sign of the sun. I cannot turn from faith in the promises of God.'

      Verses 3-4 tells us Isaiah questions & reproves Hezekiah regarding the BABYLONIAN VISIT.

      "Then Isaiah the prophet went to King Hezekiah, and said to him, "What did these men say, and from where did they come to you?" So Hezekiah said, "They came to me from a far country, from Babylon." And he said, "What have they seen in your house?" So Hezekiah answered, "They have seen all that is in my house; there is nothing among my treasures that I have not shown them."

      What did these men say, and from where did they come to you?... Isaiah probably already knew the answer to these questions. It is likely that his questions were guided by God to allow Hezekiah the opportunity to answer honestly (which he did) and the chance to SEE HIS ERROR himself (which he apparently did not).

      They have seen all that is in my house...DO YOU HEAR, AS I DO THE BOASTING AND THE PRIDE IN KING HEZEKIAH AS HE TOLD ISAIAH THE TRUTH?

      He is like a small-town boy who is awed by the attention of a big-city man. "Isaiah, you should have seen how impressed those Babylonians were by all I have. They really know we are something here in Judah!" Hezekiah's pride and inflated ego have made him blind.

      MUCH LIKE IF WE WERE TO ALLOW AN UNKNOWN PERSON INTO OUR HOME, AND SAID, HERE IS THE CODE TO THE HOUSE SECURITY ALARM SYSTEM. HERE IS WHERE I KEEP OUR WEAPONS IN THIS HIDDEN GUN LOCKER. HERE IS THE NIFTY NEAT SAFE WHERE WE KEEP OUR CASH AND HEIRLOOMS, THAT IS HIDDEN IN THE FLOOR OF OUR DEN AND THE SERCURITY CODE IS THE SAME AS THE HOUSE SECURITY SYSTEM. AND YES, OUR GUARD DOGS ARE LET OUT TO GUARD THE PROPERTY AT NIGHT. AND WE ALSO HAVE A BASEMENT THAT IS FILLED WITH FOOD AND WATER AND OTHER SUPPLIES WE NEED IN CASE THE POWER FAILS.

      AND WE SEE IT TODAY, PEOPLE OPEN THE DOOR TO UNKNOWNS, ALLOW THEM INTO OUR HOMES, AND THEN ARE SHOCKED TO THEIR TOES, WHEN THEY ARE ROBBED BLIND OR ASSAULTED, AMEN?

      Verses 5-7 tells us the word of the LORD to Hezekiah through Isaiah.

      "Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, "Hear the word of the LORD of hosts: 'Behold, the days are coming when all that is in your house, and what your fathers have accumulated until this day, shall be carried to Babylon; nothing shall be left,' says the LORD. 'And they shall take away some of your sons who will descend from you, whom you will beget; and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.'"

      All that is in your father's house … shall be carried to Babylon... Hezekiah thought that this display of wealth would impress the Babylonians. All it did was show them what the kings of Judah had, and what they could get from them. One day the kings of Babylon would come and take it all away.

      AND WE KNOW THIS WAS FULFILLED in 2 Kings 24:10-13 and 2 Kings 25:11-17, & in Daniel 1, under the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar.

      It would be more than a hundred years before Babylon carried away the royal treasures of Judah, but they did come, just as Isaiah prophesied.

      This prophecy is so REMARKABLY PIN POINT ACCURATE that many skeptics & Bible challengers INSIST - without grounds other than unbelief - a later "Isaiah" must have written it after the fact.

      And they shall TAKE AWAY some of your sons … and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon...

      Worse than taking the material riches of the kings of Judah, the king of Babylon would take the sons of the king of Judah - his true riches!

      DANIEL 1:1-4 TELLS US OF THIS FULFILLMENT IN taking of Daniel and his companions into captivity.

      AND DID YOU KNOW?

      Daniel WAS one of the king's descendants taken into the palace of the king of Babylon. Because of this promise of God through Isaiah, many think that Daniel and his companions were made eunuchs when they were taken to serve in the palace.

      Verse 8 tells us King Hezekiah's response.

      "So Hezekiah said to Isaiah, "The word of the LORD which you have spoken is good!" For he said, "At least there will be peace and truth in my days."

      "The word of the LORD which you have spoken is good!"...
      For he said, "At least there will be peace and truth in my days."

      MY FIRST THOUGHT WAS....GOOD GRIEF...DID KING HEZEKIAH REALLY SAY THAT?
      BUT HE DID AND IT SHOWS THE TRUE HEART AND STATE OF MIND OF KING HEZEKIAH KING OF JUDAH.
      God TELLS HEZEKIAH WHAT HIS ARROGANCE AND PRIDE AND BOAST WILL COST THE NATION IN THE FUTURE. GOD TELLS HIM ABOUT THE COMING JUDGMENT, and BECAUSE OF IT, THE NATION WILL LOSE LEAST OF ALL ALL OF THEIR MATERIAL WEALTH, BUT FAR WORSE, ALL THE SONS OF THE KING WILL BE TAKEN AWAY TO BE SLAVES AND SERVANTS OF BABYLON....

      AND HEZEKIAH'S RESPONSE SHOULD HAVE BEEN TO HIT HIS KNEES AND CONFESS, REPENT, AND APOLOGIZE AND ASK FOR GOD'S GRACE AND MERCY....BUT HEZEKIAH SAYS TO ALL OF THIS....BASICALLY, THANK YOU GOD I WILL BE LONG DEAD AND GONE BEFORE IT HAPPENS.

      HOW MUCH BETTER THEN AND ESPECIALLY TODAY, IF THE WORLD'S LEADERS COUNTED THE COST, AND SAT BACK TO CONSIDER AND MEASURE THE POSSIBLE FUTURE COSTS TO THEIR COUNTRIES...INSTEAD OF JUST FOR THE RIGHT NOW, AMEN?

      HOW MUCH BETTER THIS WORLD WOULD BE IF THEY HAD PRAYED OVER ALL DECISIONS, SMALL AND LARGE, BEFORE MAKING A MOVE, AMEN?

      YOU KNOW WE HAVE THOSE TODAY THAT SAY, WELL FORGET THE OLD TESTAMENT, THE PEOPLE IN ANCIENT TIMES WERE PRETTY IGNORANT. THEY DID NOT HAVE THE TECHNOLOGY WE HAVE TODAY. THEY ARE NOT AS LEARNED AND ADVANCED AS WE ARE TODAY. WHAT ELSE CAN YOU EXPECT FOR THEM?

      BUT THIS IS JUST ANOTHER GLARING, IN YOUR FACE PROOF, THAT ADVANCEMENTS IN SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, EDUCATION, MEDICINE HAVE DONE NOTHING TO IMPROVE HUMAN NATURE. HUMAN NATURE, ARROGANCE, NARCISSISM, HEDONISM, SELFISHNESS AND SELF-SERVING MINDSETS HAVE NOT CHANGED.

      AND THE ADAGE...THOSE WHO DO NOT LEARN FROM THE FAILINGS IN HISTORY ARE DESTINED TO REPEAT THEM, AMEN?

      SO IT IS....IN THIS, Hezekiah shows himself to be almost the exact opposite of an "others-centered" person. He is almost totally self-centered. All he cares about is his own personal comfort and success. AFTER HE IS DEAD AND GONE WHAT HAPPENS TO ISRAEL IS NOT HIS PROBLEM NOR HIS CONCERN.

      There is no doubt that Hezekiah started out as a godly king, and overall his reign was one of outstanding godliness, confirmed in 2 Kings 18:3-7.

      Yet his beginning was much better than his end; Hezekiah did not finish well. God gave Hezekiah the gift of 15 more years of life, but the added years did NOT make him a better or more godly man.

      ISAIAH 39 SHOWS US AND TEACHES US AND CERTAINLY COUNSELS US ALL ...TO TAKE THE TIME IN OUR DAILY LIVES...TO COUNT THE COST.

      ISAIAH 39 SHOWS US AND TEACHES US THAT ARROGANCE, ACCLAIM AND ATTENTION, AND OUR PRIDE...WERE AND ARE MAJOR STUMBLING BLOCKS IN OUR DAILY LIVES.

      ISAIAH 39 TEACHES US THAT TIME OR AGE DOES NOT NECESSARILY MAKE US ANY BETTER OFF NOR WISER.

      Consider that time does nothing but pass away.

      We sometimes say and hear others say, "time will tell," "time will heal," or "time will bring out the potential in me."

      BUT THE TRUTH IS THIS....time will do nothing of the sort!

      Time will only come and go.

      It is only how we USE OUR TIME that matters.

      HEZEKIAH HAD JUST BEEN MIRACULOUSLY HEALED.
      HEZEKIAH HAD JUST BEEN PROMISED 15 YEARS OF EXTENDED LIFE.
      HEZEKIAH HAD JUST BEEN GIVEN AN IMPOSSIBLY REMARKABLE SIGN FROM GOD HIMSELF.

      YET THE NEXT THING HEZEKIAH DOES...IS GO BACK TO THE WORLD, CELEBRATE HIS EXTENDED LIFE.

      HE GOT WHAT HE WANTED FROM GOD, NOW HE COULD HANDLE HIS LIFE AND HIS KINGDOM ON HIS OWN.

      HE FORGOT TO PRAY ALL THINGS UP BEFORE GOD BEFORE HE MADE A MOVE THAT MIGHT HARM OR ENDANGER HIM AND HIS KINGDOM.

      HE INVITED AND SHOWED OFF AND BRAGGED ABOUT ALL HE HAD, AND HE RETAINED...HE DID NOT GIVE GOD THE GLORY AND THE HONOR....HE LEFT THE LORD GOD OUT OF WALK AND DECISION MAKING.

      Hezekiah didn't make good use of the extra time the LORD gave him.

      WE NEED TO REMEMBER THE SMALL AND THE LARGE ARE IMPORTANT TO JESUS AND TO US. WE CAN NOT KNOW WHAT TOMORROW HOLDS, BUT WE KNOW THE ONE WHO HOLDS ALL OUR TOMORROWS.

      STAY CLOSE TO THE LORD, INVITE HIM INTO YOUR EVERY DAY, YOUR JOB, YOUR FAMILY, YOUR LIFE...SEEK HIS FACE...SEEK HIS COUNSEL..

      AND IN THE END OF OUR TIME ON THE EARTH, IN THIS LIFE, THOUGH OUR BEGINNINGS MAY NOT BE STELLAR, WE CAN FINISH WELL IN JESUS!

    • July 6, 2016 1:59 AM EDT
    • ISAIAH 40


      OPENS WITH THE WORD OF THE LORD PREPARES THE WAY OF THE LORD WITH COMFORT AND STRENGTH FOR GOD'S PEOPLE.


      Verses 1-2 tells us of comfort for the afflicted people of God.

      "Comfort, yes, comfort My people!" Says your God. "Speak comfort to Jerusalem, and cry out to her, that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned; for she has received from the Lord's hand double for all her sins."

      REFLECTING BACK OVER THE 39 CHAPTERS OF ISAIAH THAT WE HAVE STUDIED SO FAR, WE REMEMBER PASSAGES OF HOPE AND COMFORT THREADED THROUGH THEM, but there was a strong tone of judgment and warning throughout the section. Now, beginning with Isaiah 40, the tone shifts to being predominately full of comfort and blessing, full of the glory of God.

      AND REMEMBER TOO....WHERE ISAIAH 39 LAST WEEK ENDED WITH announcing the coming Babylonian conquest of Jerusalem, and the exile of the nation.

      AND GOD'S ANNOUNCEMENT TO KING HEZEKIAH, ISAIAH, & THE NATION...that the Babylonians would someday capture Jerusalem and take the people into exile was a bitter blow. How could Judah celebrate the downfall of Assyria when everyone knew that a more powerful invader was on the way?"

      AND WE NEED TO REMEMBER TOO...

      Isaiah is a book in THREE sections.

      Chapters 1-35 are prophetic, with the theme of condemnation.

      Chapters 36-39 are historic, and the theme is confiscation.

      Chapters 40-66 are messianic, prophetic, and the theme is consolation.


      Comfort, yes, comfort My people!...

      Isaiah knew what it was to warn and instruct God's people; but the LORD also wanted His people to receive His comfort.

      AND REMEMBER 2 Corinthians 1:3 speaks of our Lord as the God of all comfort; God wants His messengers to speak comfort to His people!

      In any group waiting to hear God's word, there are any number of hidden hurting hearts. It is important for those hurting hearts to hear a word of comfort from God's messenger. As one preacher put it, "Preach to broken hearts and you will never lack an audience."

      Speak comfort to Jerusalem...
      This means that Jerusalem needed a word of comfort. This means that God had comfort to give them. God's comfort is not a hollow, positive-thinking, "There's-a-silver-lining-behind-every-cloud" kind of message. God always gives His people reasons for comfort.

      The comfort comes with tender words, spoken to the heart. Speak comfort is literally, "'speak to the heart', like a young man wooing his girl shown to us in Genesis 34:3.

      THEN AND NOW...God's messengers MUST ALWAYS ALSO speak to the heart!

      That her warfare is ended...
      At the moment Isaiah spoke this, the battle may have still loomed. This may very well have been a prophetic word; even though there was still an army against them, as far as God was concerned, her warfare is ended. This was reason for comfort.

      It is in this same sense that God speaks to us and tells us we can be more than conquerors through Him who loved us in Romans 8:37.

      BATTLES ARE PRESENT & MAY LOOM IN OUR FUTURE, but as far as it concerns the believer in Jesus Christ, OUR warfare is ended.

      WHY?

      1 JOHN 4:4 confirms it, "You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world."

      That her iniquity is pardoned...

      At the moment Isaiah spoke this, Jerusalem was well aware of her sin - Isaiah had made them aware of it! Yet, the prophet speaks of a day when comfort can be offered because her iniquity is pardoned. This is real comfort; to be recognized as a sinner - as one having iniquity - yet knowing just as much that our iniquity is pardoned. This was/is ANOTHER reason for comfort.

      For she has received from the LORD's hand double for all her sins...

      This declares the basis for the pardon of iniquity - the sin as been completely paid for.

      REMEMBER Isaiah, speaking in Old Covenant terminology, speaks of Jerusalem bearing the curse for disobedience described in passages like Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28.

      But the same principle applies to the believer under the New Covenant; our iniquity is pardoned because our sin has been paid for by JESUS CHRIST ON THE CROSS. This is reason for comfort, AMEN?

      Does it seem unfair that God would have a double payment for sin?

      "Double means 'to fold over, fold in half' as in Exodus 26:9 … When something is folded over, each half corresponds exactly with the other half, and this would yield the thought of exact correspondence between sin and payment."

      WHAT THIS MEANS IS THAT A payment has been made, and it was exactly the payment that was needed!

      Our iniquity is never pardoned because God has simply decided to "let us off the hook."

      WHY?

      That would make God an unrighteous, wicked judge, something He could NEVER be.

      But under the New Covenant, it is not we who have received from the LORD's hand double for all her sins; it is our sin-bearing Savior Jesus Christ, who received the cup of wrath from the LORD's hand double for all our sins, AMEN?

      Verses 3-5 tells us a voice in the wilderness prepares the way of the LORD.

      "The voice of one crying in the wilderness: "Prepare the way of the LORD; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted and every mountain and hill brought low; the crooked places shall be made straight and the rough places smooth; the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together; for the mouth of the LORD has spoken."

      The voice of one crying in the wilderness...

      Here, Isaiah speaks for the LORD's messenger, who cries out to the barren places.

      Prepare the way of the LORD...

      The idea is that the LORD is coming to His people as a triumphant King, who has the road prepared before Him so He can travel in glory and ease. Every obstacle in the way must be removed: every valley shall be exalted and every mountain and hill brought low; the crooked places shall be made straight and the rough places smooth.

      Whatever was wrong in the road must be corrected. The problems were not the same everywhere. Sometimes, the road in the valley needed to be lifted up; other times a road had to be cut through a passage in the mountains.

      AND THE IDEA OF PREPARING THE WAY OF THE LORD...is a word picture, because the real preparation must take place in our hearts. Building a road is very much like the preparation God must do in our hearts. They are both expensive, they both must deal with many different problems and environments, and they both take an expert engineer.

      When the way is prepared, then the glory of the LORD shall be revealed. His glory is revealed to the prepared hearts described in the previous verses. And it is revealed without regard to nationality; all flesh shall see it together.

      This glory of the LORD is not revealed only to Jerusalem or Judah, but to EVERY prepared heart. The certainty of this word is assured, because the mouth of the LORD has spoken.

      AND DID YOU KNOW...This passage of Isaiah 40:3-5 has a direct fulfillment in the New Testament, in the person and ministry of John the Baptist.

      Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist, knew this at the birth of his son told to us in Luke 1:76.

      And three gospels directly relate this passage to the ministry of John the Baptist told to us in Matthew 3:3, Mark 1:3, and Luke 3:3-6.

      Jesus was the coming Messiah and King, and John the Baptist's ministry was to be one crying in the wilderness, and through his message of repentance, to prepare the way of the LORD.

      We often fail to appreciate how IMPORTANT the preparing work of the LORD is.

      Any great work of God begins with great preparation.

      John The Baptist...wonderfully fulfilled this important ministry!

      Verses 6-8 tells us the message of the voice in the wilderness.

      "The voice said, "Cry out!" And he said, "What shall I cry?" "All flesh is grass, and all its loveliness is like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades, because the breath of the LORD blows upon it; surely the people are grass. The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever."

      What shall I cry?...

      The voice in the wilderness KNEW he had an important work, but wanted to know more exactly what his message should be.

      The message is the frailty of man...

      All flesh is grass. Isaiah thinks of the beautiful green grass covering the hills of Judah after the winter rains, and how quickly the grass dies and the hills are left brown and barren. This is how frail and weak man is. Even the beauty of man is fleeting, and passes as quickly as spring wildflowers (all its loveliness is like the flower of the field).

      Because the breath of the LORD blows upon it...

      Man is in this frail state at the pleasure of God. It is to God's glory and according to His plan that man is this frail, and the glory of man is so fleeting.

      The message is the permanence of God and His word...

      The word of our God stands forever. In contrast to the frailty and fleeting glory of man (The grass withers, the flower fades), the word of our God endures.

      The word of our God certainly has endured.

      It has survived centuries of manual transcription, of persecution, of ever changing philosophies, of all kinds of critics, of neglect both in the pulpit and in the pew, of doubt and disbelief - and still, the word of our God stands forever, AMEN?

      Josh McDowell, author of Evidence that Demands a Verdict, says it well of The Bible..."Written on material that perishes, having to be copied and recopied for hundreds of years before the invention of the printing press, did not diminish its style, correctness, nor existence. The Bible, compared with other ancient writings, has more manuscript evidence than any ten pieces of classical literature combined."

      AND DID YOU KNOW....

      In 303 A.D., the Roman Emperor Diocletian demanded that EVERY copy of the Scriptures in the Roman Empire be burned.

      He FAILED, and 25 years later, the Roman Emperor Constantine commissioned a scholar named Eusebius to prepare 50 copies of the Bible at government expense.

      AND DID YOU KNOW...

      VOLTAIRE, the French skeptic and infidel who died in 1778, said that 100 years from his time, Christianity would be swept from existence and passed into history, and that the Bible would be a forgotten book. Only 50 years after his death, the Geneva Bible Society used his press and his house to produce stacks of Bibles.


      JOSH MCDOWELL, A CHRISTIAN HISTORIAN said, "Infidels for eighteen hundred years have been refuting and overthrowing this book, and yet it stands today solid as a rock. Its circulation increases, and it is more love and cherished and read today than ever before. Infidels, with all their assaults, make about as much impression on this book as a man with a tack hammer would on the Pyramids of Egypt. When the French monarch proposed a persecution of the Christians in his dominion, an old statesman and warrior said to him, 'Sire, the Church of God is an anvil that has worn out many hammers.' So the hammers of the infidels have been pecking away at this book for ages, but the hammers are worn out, and the anvil still endures. If this book had not been the book of God, men would have destroyed it long ago. Emperors and popes, kings and priests, princes and rulers have all tried their hand at it; they die and book still lives."

      AND Bernard Ramm, author of Protestant Christian Evidences, says it well too..."A thousand times over, the death knell of the Bible has been sounded, the funeral procession formed, the inscription cut on the tombstone, and committal read. But somehow the corpse never stays put."

      This message, cried out by the voice in the wilderness, was meant to prepare hearts for the coming of the LORD by leading them into repentance. The understanding of our frailty and fleeting glory, contrasted with the eternal enduring of God and His word, should humble us in repentance before the LORD. It certainly worked in the ministry of John the Baptist told to us in Luke 3:7-18.

      AND REMEMBER Peter makes a wonderful reference and application to this passage in 1 Peter 1:22-25.

      I PETER 1:22...he gives a stirring call for love among believers "Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart."

      AND THEN PETER, IN 1 PETER 1: 23-25, using the passage from Isaiah 40:8, says WHY we should love one another this way: "Having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever, because "All flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, and its flower falls away, but the word of the LORD endures forever." Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you."

      Peter makes a beautiful connection, showing that the enduring word Isaiah spoke of is the SAME WORD of the gospel that is preached and believed, bringing salvation, AMEN?

      Peter also makes a beautiful application. Since this eternal, always potentially fruit-bearing seed is IN US, we have both the OBLIGATION AND THE ABILITY to have a sincere love of the brethren. Perhaps we could say that if we need more love to others, it begins with having more of the incorruptible seed set in our hearts and allowed to grow.

      Verse 9 ...gives us an invitation to behold your God.

      "O Zion, you who bring good tidings, get up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, you who bring good tidings, lift up your voice with strength, lift it up, be not afraid; say to the cities of Judah, "Behold your God!"

      You who bring good tidings, get up into the high mountain...

      Isaiah speaks of a message so great - tidings so good - that they must be spread as widely as possible. From on top of the high mountain, the messenger can proclaim this great message to as many people as possible. It is a message that should be shouted out, so the messenger is told, Lift up your voice with strength.

      Say to the cities of Judah, "Behold your God!"

      What is the great message, that should be shouted so loud?

      It is an invitation to behold your God.

      There is nothing greater for a believer to do than to study and to know their God, AMEN?

      The message isn't to give God a passing glance. No; we are invited to behold your God. It speaks of a study, of a long-term mission to know the greatness and the character of our God. It also shows how important it is for the message of God's preacher to focus on God. After every sermon, a preacher should ask, "Did I help the people to behold our LORD GOD BETTER & CLEARER?"

      ALEXANDER POPE, a philosopher once wrote, "Know then thyself, presume not God to scan; the proper study of mankind is man."

      CHARLES SPURGEON, IN ONE OF HIS SERMONS, RESPONDED TO POPE'S famous statement..."It has been said by someone that 'the proper study of mankind is man.' I will not oppose the idea, but I believe it is equally true that the proper study of God's elect is God; the proper study of a Christian is the Godhead. The highest science, the loftiest speculation, the mightiest philosophy which can ever engage the attention of a child of God, is the name, the nature, the person, the work, the doings, and the existence of the great God whom he calls his Father."

      Verse 10 tells us Behold the returning LORD.

      "Behold, the Lord GOD shall come with a strong hand, and His arm shall rule for Him; behold, His reward is with Him, and His work before Him."

      Behold, the Lord GOD shall come with a strong hand...One aspect of our God we should behold is the FACT of His return. Our God WILL return to this earth, and He WILL come with power (a strong hand … His arm SHALL rule).

      When the LORD comes back...

      He comes to reward His people (His reward is with Him).

      He comes to inspect His work (and His work before Him).

      This is something important for us to know about our God!

      Verse 11 tells us Behold the loving Shepherd.

      "He will feed His flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom, and gently lead those who are with young."

      He WILL FEED His flock like a shepherd...

      Another aspect of our God to behold is His loving care as a shepherd. The first thing a shepherd must do for his sheep is feed them, and the LORD feeds us like a shepherd feeds his flock.

      DID YOU KNOW...Sheep MUST be directed to the good pasture, and MUST be moved on to new pasture when they have stripped the grass bare. We need as much carefully directed feeding as sheep!

      CHARLES SPURGEON says it well, "No creature has less power to take care of itself than the sheep; even the tiny ant with its foresight can provide for the evil day, but this poor creature must be tended by man or else perish."

      DO YOU NOTICE THAT TIME AND TIME AGAIN...God loves to identify Himself with a shepherd?

      Many of the greatest men of the Bible were shepherds, and their character as shepherds points to Jesus Christ.

      Abel is a picture of Jesus, the SACRIFICED shepherd.

      Jacob is a picture of Jesus, the WORKING shepherd.

      Joseph is a picture of Jesus, the PERSECUTED & EXALTED shepherd.

      Moses is a picture of Jesus, the CALLING OUT OF EGYPT shepherd.

      David is a picture of Jesus, the shepherd KING.

      He will gather the lambs with His arm...

      Our LORD shows special care for the lambs.

      The youngest, the weakest, are not despised - they are given special care by the LORD who first actively gathers them, then who will carry them in His bosom.

      He doesn't cast the weak lambs over his shoulder, as a shepherd might carry a sheep.

      Instead, He lovingly cradles them in His bosom, close to His heart. That is both a safe place and a tender place, AMEN?

      CHARLES SPURGEON says of this passage,"To carry is kindness, but to carry in the bosom is loving-kindness. The shoulders are for power, and the back for force, but the bosom is the seat of love."

      AND AGAIN..."I see the Lord of angels condescending to personal labor. Jesus Christ himself gathers with his own arm and carries in his own bosom the lambs of his flock. He doth not commit this work to an angel, nor does he even leave it to his ministers; but he himself, by his Spirit, still undertakes it."

      And GENTLY lead those who are with young...

      The shepherd carries a rod and a staff, and knows how to use them; but He also knows how to gently lead those who are with young. He knows exactly when to be gentle, and when more severe guidance should be used, AMEN?

      Jesus is given THREE GREAT TITLES His work as a shepherd.

      Jesus the GOOD Shepherd (John 10:11-15). He is good in His care and sacrifice for the flock.

      Jesus the GREAT Shepherd (Hebrews 13:20). He is great in His glorious triumph over every enemy.

      Jesus the CHIEF Shepherd (1 Peter 5:4). He is the Chief over all His people in His return.

      At His return, Jesus also exercises another aspect of His role as Shepherd: He DIVIDES the sheep from the goats (Matthew 25:31-33).

      CHARLES SPURGEON says of this, "Did you ever notice that the same Shepherd who saves the lost, will curse the finally impenitent? He shall separate them one from another as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats, and he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall he say unto them on the left hand, 'Depart ye cursed.' What lips are those which pronounce those dreadful words? The Shepherd's lips."

      Verse 12 tells us Behold the God over ALL CREATION.

      "Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand, measured heaven with a span and calculated the dust of the earth in a measure? Weighed the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance?"

      Another aspect of our God to behold is His authority over all creation. Our God is so great, and so dominant over all creation, that He has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand, and has measured heaven with a span.

      This is another example of what we modern man calls ANTHROPOMORPHISM...which means speaking of God in human terms so we can partially understand who He is and what He does. God is not a being with the body of a giant, so large that all the waters of the earth could be cupped in His hand, or so large that the universe could be measured by the span of His hand.

      JOHN 4:4 tells us GOD THE FATHER...is spirit, so He does NOT have a body as we KNOW & UNDERSTAND A BODY TO BE.

      But we understand exactly what the LORD tells us through the prophet Isaiah - God is so great, so dominant over all creation that we should stand in awe of His power and glory, AMEN?

      And calculated the dust of the earth in a measure...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      It isn't just about size; it's also about smarts. God is so great in His wisdom and intelligence that He calculated the dust of the earth in a measure. God knows exactly how many grains of dust there are on the earth. Even if a person knew the number of hairs on their head (as God knows, according to Luke 12:7), they could NEVER calculate the dust in their own house - much less the dust of the earth!

      GOD GOES ON TO TELL ISAIAH EVEN MORE...God knows how heavy the mountains are (He weighed the mountains in scales), and the hills also for that matter! (And the hills in a balance)

      Verses 13-14 tells us to Behold the God of ALL WISDOM.

      "Who has directed the Spirit of the LORD, or as His counselor has taught Him? With whom did He take counsel, and who instructed Him, and taught Him in the path of justice? Who taught Him knowledge, and showed Him the way of understanding?"

      Another aspect of God to behold is His GREAT WISDOM.

      He has the raw intelligence to know how much dust there is in the earth, and how heavy the mountains and the hills are. But more than that, God has the wisdom to use that knowledge. God is so wise, that no one has directed the Spirit of the LORD; no one as His counselor has taught Him.

      THIS ANSWERS THE QUESTIONS FROM THE SKEPTICS & THE LOST & THE SEEKING CHILD.

      NO ONE CREATED GOD...GOD DID NOT JUST SUDDENLY APPEAR...GOD HAS ALWAYS BEEN.

      Who has directed the Spirit of the LORD?...

      DID YOU KNOW....

      In the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament used in the days of Jesus and the disciples), this is translated Who has known the mind of the Lord? This is the place where the apostle Paul quotes from in Romans 11:34.

      GOD IS REVEALING HIMSELF TO ISAIAH AND TO US...

      God needs NO counsel, NO instruction, NO teacher, and NO one to show Him the way of understanding.

      NOW GOD TELLS ISAIAH AND US...God's greatness is measured in comparison to others.

      Verses 15-17 tells us God's greatness surpasses ALL nations.

      "Behold, the nations are as a drop in a bucket, and are counted as the small dust on the scales; look, He lifts up the isles as a very little thing. And Lebanon is not sufficient to burn, nor its beasts sufficient for a burnt offering. All nations before Him are as nothing, and they are counted by Him less than nothing and worthless."

      Behold, the nations are as a drop in a bucket...

      The glory of a powerful nation is something to behold. We think of a huge military parade, with all the strength of the nation on display. But compared to God, it is NOTHING. The greatest glory of the greatest nation is as a drop in a bucket compared to the greatness and glory of the Lord GOD.

      Lebanon is NOT sufficient to burn, nor its beasts sufficient for a burnt offering...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      If man were to take all the wood in the mighty forests of Lebanon, and use it to make a burnt offering of all the animals of the land, it would not be enough to satisfy God. Man's best efforts can not satisfy nor match the honor and glory of God.

      They are counted by Him less than nothing and worthless...

      In this chapter, ALMIGHTY GOD ANSWERS THE QUESTION....JUST HOW BIG IS OUR GOD?

      God declares His greatness over all creation, but DID YOU NOTICE GOD NEVER says of creation that it is less than nothing and worthless.

      IT IS THE NATIONS OF THE WORLD, THAT HAVE SELF-PRIDE, AND have an arrogance, a pride AGAINST God that puts them lower than creation itself - He accounts them less than nothing and worthless.

      Verses 18-20 tells us God's greatness surpasses ALL idols.

      "To whom then will you liken God? Or what likeness will you compare to Him? The workman molds an image, the goldsmith overspreads it with gold, and the silversmith casts silver chains. Whoever is too impoverished for such a contribution chooses a tree that will not rot; he seeks for himself a skillful workman to prepare a carved image that will not totter."

      What likeness will you compare to Him?...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      There are many likenesses that represent the gods of the nations. How do they compare to God? They don't compare at all, because they are only the work of men's hands (the workman molds an image). THEY ARE NOT REAL...

      ALAN REDPATH says it well, "Maybe we are not as crude as the ancient Israelites, though some nations are. However, some people worship a crucifix, others will worship the church, or idolize the preacher. Some people will bow before the gods of materialism, ambition, sex, even home and loved ones, and will substitute anything if only they can escape having to get down to the basic need of facing why it is that God does not guide or deliver."

      To prepare a carved image that will not totter...

      The empty images that are the idols of the nations are so insignificant that they must be made so that they will not totter. They can't even stand up on their own! God has no rivals.

      Look at the care you have to give to your worthless, man-made idols.

      First, you have to choose good wood, because who wants to worship a rotting god?

      Then you must choose a skilled workman, because who wants to worship a poorly made god?

      Then it has to be well designed, because who wants to worship a god that keeps falling over?

      BULTEMA says it well of this passage, "Whenever Isaiah speaks about idolatry, he cannot keep from using the most cutting mockery."

      Verses 21-26 tells us God's greatness is evident, as He is the Creator of all.

      "Have you not known? Have you not heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth? It is He who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers, who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them out like a tent to dwell in. He brings the princes to nothing; He makes the judges of the earth useless. Scarcely shall they be planted, scarcely shall they be sown, scarcely shall their stock take root in the earth, when He will also blow on them, and they will wither, and the whirlwind will take them away like stubble. "To whom then will you liken Me, or to whom shall I be equal?" says the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high, and see who has created these things, who brings out their host by number; He calls them all by name, by the greatness of His might and the strength of His power; not one is missing."

      Have you not known? Have you not heard? Isaiah can't believe that anyone could doubt the greatness of God when they see the glory of God's creation.

      FIRST, He sits above all creation (It is He who sits above the circle of the earth).

      SECOND, He created it all (Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain).

      Isaiah's amazement is well placed.

      JUST AS OURS IS WHEN PEOPLE WATCH THE SUNRISE OR THE SUNSET, CAN SIT IN THE GRAND CANYON, OR STAND ON THE SHORE OF A GREAT OCEAN, OR FLY IN A PLANE AND OVERLOOK THE EARTH, SEE A RAINBOW, HEAR A CHILD'S LAUGHTER, OR SEE THE TEENIE TINY DELICACY AND DETAIL OF A HUMMINGBIRD...AND THEN SAY...THERE IS NO AMAZING CREATOR GOD.

      How can anyone look at the glory and design evident in creation, and fail to understand that there must be a glorious designer behind such a glorious design?

      MOTYER reminds us, "This is one of the central Old Testament passages on the doctrine of creation. It teaches that the physical fabric of creation is a direct artifact of the Creator."

      AND YOU NOTICE...Isaiah uses an interesting phrase when he describes God as the one who sits above THE CIRCLE of the earth.
      How could Isaiah possibly know that the earth's shape was a circle unless GOD TOLD HIM?

      BECAUSE WE WOULD KNOW IT WOULD BE THOUSANDS OF YEARS BEFORE MANKIND WOULD SAIL ACROSS THE OCEAN AND DISCOVER THAT THE EARTH WAS ROUND AND NOT FLAT!

      OUR CREATOR LORD KNEW...AND HE TOLD ISAIAH!

      Every once in a while, unlearned critics talk as if Bible believing people are members of the "Flat Earth Society" - people so out of touch with real science that they still insist the earth is flat.

      In response, we should be reminded that Augustine, perhaps the greatest of the church fathers, who lived about a thousand years before Columbus, professed that the earth was round, not flat.

      As well, in the thirteenth century, Thomas Aquinas, the most profound and prolific of medieval theologians, observed that the spherical shape of the earth could be empirically demonstrated. All they did was agree with Isaiah: It is He who sits above the circle of the earth.

      He brings the princes to nothing; He makes the judges of the earth useless....

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      God's power and glory is not ONLY exalted above the inanimate creation, but also over men of power on the earth. When people have political power (princes) or legal power (judges) it is easy for them to THINK of themselves as gods!

      Through the message of Isaiah, the LORD sets this straight. All God needs to do is to blow on them, and they will wither.

      Who brings out their host by number; He calls them all by name...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      God's mastery over all creation is shown by the fact that He can bring out all the stars by number, and then He calls them all by name. With the billions and billions of stars in the universe, it is staggering to know that God can number and name them all!

      BULTEMA says it so well, "The astronomers are still busily engaged in counting and classifying the stars, but Christ has described, counted and ordered them already."


      NOW GOD TELLS ISAIAH & US HOW TO APPLY THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD'S GREATNESS.

      Verses 27-28 tells us WE CAN & SHOULD have confidence in God's power and wisdom.

      "Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel: "My way is hidden from the LORD, and my just claim is passed over by my God"? Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable."

      Having spent all of Isaiah 40 showing us the greatness and the glory of God, now ALMIGHTY GOD TELLS ISAIAH AND HAS ISAIAH SHOW US HOW understanding this makes a difference in our lives - beyond the obvious compulsion we should feel to honor and worship this great God!

      Why do you say, O Jacob … "My way is hidden from the LORD, and my just claim is passed over by my God"?

      THIS MEANS UNDERSTANDING THE GREATNESS AND THE GLORY OF GOD persuades us that there is NOTHING in our life hidden from God, and there is NOTHING neglected by God.

      Have you not known? Have you not heard? The people asked this question in Isaiah 40:21 doubted there was a God who created all.

      The ones asked the same question in this verse seem to know there is a creator, but STILL LIVE AS PRACTICAL ATHEISTS.

      They don't seem to understand that the fact there is a God of all creation makes a difference in everyday life.

      WOLF says it well, "How easy it is to believe in the infinite power of God and at the same time to feel that He is unable to meet our personal needs!"

      GOD says...These practical atheists need to hear what they already know...

      That the Lord GOD is the Creator of the ends of the earth.

      Then they need to hear about the Creator...that He neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. Those who really believe these truths about God should live as if God is really there.

      Verses 29-31 tells us about receiving the strength of the LORD.

      "He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, but those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint."

      He gives power to the weak...

      After explaining all the greatness and glory of God, now Isaiah explains another benefit we can receive from our God - He gives us His great power!

      Notice who God gives power to...

      The weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength. Those who are proud and confident in their own wisdom and strength will receive no strength from God.

      Even the youths shall faint and be weary...

      Those who thought themselves strong find themselves weak. God's strength is reserved for those who know they are weak, and know they have no might.

      But those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength...

      How do we receive this strength from the LORD?

      We receive it as we wait on the LORD. The idea behind wait on the LORD is not a passive sitting around until the LORD does something.

      Yes, God gives us strength; but we don't expect it to come as if He were pouring it into as you sit passively.

      He brings it to us as we seek Him, and rely on Him, instead of our own strength. If we are weak, it is because we do not wait on the LORD!

      We are also told that we renew our strength. It is strength that was once received when we first came to the LORD in weakness and no might. Then, that strength is RENEWED as we wait on the LORD.

      Renew is "from a basic meaning 'to change' … [it] comes to mean 'to put on afresh': here, 'keep putting on fresh strength.

      They shall mount up with wings like eagles...

      This is the measure of strength the LORD gives us - strength to soar above everything else.

      They shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint...

      This is the purpose of the strength the LORD gives us -strength to move forward and progress for Him. It isn't strength to show off, but strength to go forward in.

      Weak in Isaiah 40:29 and faint in Isaiah 40:30 are the same Hebrew word, which means "failure through loss of inherent strength."

      Weary in Isaiah 40:30 is a different word, which means "exhaustion because of the hardness of life".

      If we are worn out for either reason, God is here to give us strength - if we will wait on Him!

      Notice the order, because it seems strange.

      First we mount up with wings like eagles.
      Then we run.
      Finally we walk.

      Does it seem out of order?
      Not at all.

      WHY?

      FIRST, we recognize that we soar up into heavenly places in Christ Jesus confirmed to us in Ephesians 2:6.

      SECOND, we set ourselves on the course to run the race confirmed to us in Hebrews 12:1.

      FINALLY, we are in the good place to walk the walk told to us in Colossians 2:6.

      ISAIAH 40 is an amazing chapter.

      GOD SPEAKS.

      GOD tells us who HE IS. GOD answers OUR QUESTIONS about HIM. GOD PERSONALLY tells us what HE THINKS of HIS CREATION. AND WHAT WE NEED TO DO TO REACH HIM.

      AND WHAT GOD OFFERS US AND WILL GIVE US IF WE CALL ON HIM, SEEK HIM, PRAY AND THEN WAIT ON THE LORD.

    • July 6, 2016 1:57 AM EDT
    • ISAIAH 41



      OPENS WITH....FEAR NOT...SEE THE GLORY OF GOD OVER THE COASTLANDS.....


      Verse 1 tells us GOD gives a command & an invitation to the coastlands.

      "Keep silence before Me, O coastlands, and let the people renew their strength! Let them come near, then let them speak; let us come near together for judgment."

      KEEP SILENCE before Me, O coastlands...

      DID YOU KNOW....the Hebrew word translated "coastlands" is also translated "islands or isles" in other passages, such as Isaiah 11:11 and 40:15.

      It is also translated with broader words like "territory" in passages like Isaiah 20:6.

      The idea here is probably best viewed as "distant lands."

      Here, God is calling to ALL nations - even the "DISTANT LANDS" - to keep silence before Him.

      WHY?

      Because they ARE, ONE SWEET DAY, coming to GOD'S COURTROOM...Let us come near together for judgment.

      AND BULTEMA & MOTYER Bible scholars agree...that it is a poetic name "for the idolatrous distant nations." AND shorthand for "the far reaches of the earth"

      And LET THE PEOPLE RENEW their strength!

      REMEMBER Isaiah 40:31 just promised that those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength.

      But here, God advises the people - those in the distant lands, who DO NOT know Him - to renew their strength as they come into His courtroom.

      IN OTHER WORDS....GOD SAYS....YOU IDOLATROUS DISTANT LANDS OF EARTH...If you THINK are going to contest with God, you had better be prepared!

      The problem is that while those who wait upon the LORD have the LORD's limitless strength, those from distant lands have NO GOD...NO REAL GOD of strength to help them.

      Let them come near, then let them speak...

      God will allow the idol worshippers of all the world come before Him and justify their idolatry. They will have the opportunity to speak, though they must enter His courtroom in silence, out of respect of His majesty.

      There are many different reasons for silence.

      There is the silence of shame, the silence of attention, the silence of submission. Any one of these is good reason to initially be silent in the LORD's presence, AMEN?

      Verses 2-4 tells us God reasons with the coastlands.

      "Who raised up one from the east? Who in righteousness called him to His feet? Who gave the nations before him, and made him rule over kings? Who gave them as the dust to his sword, as driven stubble to his bow? Who pursued them, and passed safely by the way that he had not gone with his feet? Who has performed and done it, calling the generations from the beginning? I, the LORD, am the first; and with the last I am He."

      Who raised up the one from the east?

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      God questions the idolaters from the distant lands, and asks them who authored this important event in human history - who raised up the one from the east?

      WHO IS THE ONE FROM THE EAST?

      BIBLE SCHOLARS debate the identity of this one from the east. Most believe him to be either Abraham, the patriarch of the Jewish people and the father of the faithful, or Cyrus, the king who joined the Medes and the Persians into a fighting force which conquered Babylon - which, prophetically, is the broad time context Isaiah speaks to.

      WOLF agrees with those who believe Cyrus is spoken of: "Born east of Babylon in what is now Iran, Cyrus would move through country after country, conquering every king in his path. Shortly after 550 B.C., Cyrus was able to unify the Medes and the Persians and to defeat the powerful kingdom of Lydia in Asia Minor. Then he turned south to conquer Babylon (539 B.C.)."

      BULTEMA adds regarding Cyrus: "Both secular and sacred documents present him as righteous and good, and he can be called righteous or, as the text actually has it, justice, especially since he carried out the righteous acts of vengeance on Babylon and that of the deliverance of Israel."

      CLARKE speaks for those Biblical debaters who believe Abraham is the one from the east: "Some explain it of Abraham, others of Cyrus. I rather think that the former is meant; because of the character of the righteous man, or righteousness, agrees better with Abraham than with Cyrus."

      SO WHO IS GOD REFERRING TO?

      EITHER ANSWER can be correct according to the context in scripture.

      BUT, it is best to see the one from the east as Abraham, because of the word of the LORD later in the chapter, in Isaiah 41:22: "Let them bring forth and show us what will happen; let them show the former things, what they were."

      God appeals to idols and their worshippers, and asks them to tell both the future and the past. Since Cyrus is mentioned in Isaiah 41:25 (I have raised up one from the north … from the rising of the sun), he is the figure that shows God's knowledge of the future.

      Abraham is the figure that shows God's knowledge of the past.

      THE IMPORTANT POINT GOD IS SEEKING TO MAKE HERE IS THIS...NO MAN, NO GOD, NO DEMON, OR SATAN himself...can ALWAYS KNOW WITH PINPOINT ACCURACY THE PAST AND THE FUTURE, AMEN?

      AND GOD IS ALSO SAYING BASICALLY, Past and future - with the present sandwiched in-between - ALL belong to the LORD our God.

      YOU NOTICE THE Who … Who … Who?

      As God invites those in distant lands to come and reason with Him, He shows them His greatness over all creation, and over all history. They must ask themselves, "Who is in control of the course of human events?" Who has performed and done it, calling the generations from the beginning?

      THEN AND NOW....This is ALWAYS a relevant question.

      Is there a point, a direction to human history?

      Is it just a random, meaningless combination of undirected events?

      Is it a cycle, fated to repeat itself endlessly?

      Or, is there a God in heaven who directs human events, always moving to a final resolution and fulfillment?

      AND FAR MORE IMPORTANTLY, Our answer to this question influences almost everything in our lives.

      GOD IS SAYING...SO WHO IS YOUR GOD? WHAT IS HIS/HER NAME? HOW BIG IS YOUR GOD? HOW REAL IS YOUR GOD?

      IN THIS WORLD, AND DOWN THROUGH TIME THERE HAVE BEEN HUNDREDS OF "gods". ALLAH, MOHAMMED, BUDHHA, MATERASU, ATU MAFINE, VARUNA, BALASAKTI, MOTHER EARTH, NATURE, GODDESSES OF FIRE, WATER, AIR, MANKIND IS GOD?

      GOD SETS THE RECORD STRAIGHT...CRYSTAL-CLEAR FOR EVEN THE SMALLEST CHILD CAN UNDERSTAND.

      I, the LORD, am the first; and with the last I am He...

      Here, the LORD God of Israel declares that:
      HE HAS PERFORMED and done it, calling the generations from the beginning.
      HE LIFTS UP AND PUTS DOWN kings and nations.

      HE IS THE FIRST AND HE IS THE LAST.

      HE IS THE BOOKEND both before and after the saga of human history, starting the story, ending the story, and keeping the whole story together.

      If God is both the first and the last, then He also has authority over everything in-between.

      This means that there ABSOLUTELY IS A PLAN of God for human history, and He directs the path of human events toward His designed fulfillment.

      Our lives AS SOME TEACH, are not given over to blind fate, to random meaninglessness, or to endless cycles with no resolution.

      Instead, the LORD God who is the first and the last directs all of human history and even our individual lives.

      AND REMEMBER OUR Jesus takes the same title of the First and the Last in Revelation 1:17 and 22:13.

      If the LORD is the first and the last according to Isaiah 41:4, and if Jesus is the First and the Last according to Revelation 1:17 and 22:13, since there cannot be two firsts or two lasts, Jesus must be the LORD God!

      RIGHT HERE IN ISAIAH....LONG BEFORE JESUS WALKED THE EARTH AS A MAN...JESUS CHRIST TOLD THE JEWS, TOLD MANKIND WHO HE WAS, IS, AND EVER SHALL BE.

      Verses 5-7 tells us the REACTION of the coastlands.

      "The coastlands saw it and feared, the ends of the earth were afraid; they drew near and came. Everyone helped his neighbor, and said to his brother, "Be of good courage!" So the craftsman encouraged the goldsmith; he who smooths with the hammer inspired him who strikes the anvil, saying, "It is ready for the soldering"; then he fastened it with pegs, that it might not totter."

      The coastlands saw IT and feared...

      When they met THE ONE TRUE GOD, THE HOLY ONE, THE GOD OF ALL AUTHORITY AND POWER...they feared. They were brought so low by this encounter with God that they had to encourage one another to go on! (Everyone helped his neighbor, and said to his brother, "Be of good courage!")

      SADLY, FOR LOST & REJECTING MANKIND...THEN AND NOW...this is a logical reaction. It is the same kind of reaction Peter had when he saw the great power of Jesus told to us in Luke 5:8.

      So the craftsman encouraged the goldsmith...

      What did they do with the fear they felt after their encounter with God? They let the fear drive them away from the true God. Instead of surrendering to this God of glory and majesty and power, they turned from God, and made for themselves gods, idols of gold!

      AND DO YOU NOTICE Isaiah pours on the irony.

      It took a lot of work to make a good god. It took skilled workers (the craftsman … the goldsmith … he who smooths with the hammer … him who strikes the anvil).

      It took organization and teamwork ("It is ready for the soldering").

      If you don't do it right, your god might not be able to stand up! (That it might not totter.)

      AS JAW-DROPPING AND BEWILDERING AS IT WAS THEN, AND STILL IS TODAY...People still see something of God's power and glory, reject it, and then make their own god. This is Paul's whole message in Romans 1:18-25.

      YOU KNOW PEOPLE TEACH & WHO BELIEVE ALL OF THE EARTH, NATURE, AND MANKIND BURST FORTH FROM A ROCK...

      MY FAMILY COLLECTS ROCKS FROM EVERY DIFFERENT STATE AND COUNTRY VISITED IN THEIR LIFETIME...AND NOT ONE OF THEM HAS CHANGED IN 100 YEARS.

      I HAVE BROUGHT SWAMP SLIME AND SEAWEED HOME FOR SCHOOL SCIENCE PROJECTS...AND NOT ONCE DID ANY OF IT EVER MORPH OR CHANGE...

      MY AUNT HAD A CHIMPANZEE WHEN I WAS A LITTLE CHILD, & I LATER HAD A SPIDER MONKEY FOR YEARS...AND NEITHER OF THEM EVER MORPHED INTO SOMETHING DIFFERENT.

      AND AS FAR AS THE BIG BANG EXPLOSION GOES, CAN ANY OF YOU EVER RECALL ANYTHING THAT EXPLODED THAT WAS CREATIVE? ALL THINGS THAT EXPLODE DESTROY...NOT CREATE.

      ALL THE ABOVE IS WHAT GOD IS POINTING TOO IN THESE SCRIPTURES...YOU HAVE TO WORK YOURSELVES MENTALLY, PHYSICALLY, AND EMOTIONALLY JUST TO CREATE A CHUNK OF SMOOTH GOLD THAT WILL SIMPLY STAND UP AND NOT FALL OVER...AND YOU PREFER THAT? YOU TRUST IN THAT?


      Verses 8-9 GOD encourages Israel that they ARE different from those in the distant lands.

      "But you, Israel, are My servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the descendants of Abraham My friend. You whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called from its farthest regions, and said to you, "You are My servant, I have chosen you and have not cast you away."

      But you, Israel, are My servant...

      In contrast to the God-rejecting and idol-making people in distant lands, Israel - remember the name means, "Governed by God" - Israel is the servant of the LORD.

      A servant of God would never make God into his own image, his own idea of what God should be. Servants don't tell their masters what to do, or what to be. Servants know who the master is and who the servant is.

      Jacob, whom I have chosen...

      Lest Israel become proud, God pops their swelling quickly. If they are Israel - "Governed by God" -then they are also Jacob - "Conniving, untrustworthy con-man." They are only the servant of God because He has chosen them.

      The descendants of Abraham My friend...

      Israel stood in this place because of their family relationship to Abraham. Since Abraham was the friend of God, so his descendants had a special place before God also.

      REMEMBER Jehoshaphat knew that Abraham was the friend of God told to us in 2 Chronicles 20:7.

      James knew that Abraham was the friend of God told to us in James 2:23.

      We are also the friends of God, not because of our relation to Abraham, but because of our relation to the Son of God, Jesus.

      REMEMBER WHAT JESUS SAYS OF US IN John 15:14-15, which says, "You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you."

      You whom I have taken from the ends of the earth … And said to you, "You are my servant, I have chosen you and have not cast you away"...

      Again, Israel's special place before God is because of God's initiative, NOT because of Israel achievement.

      Israel is different from the idol-makers in distant lands because of God's work IN them, not because of THEIR own greatness.

      Verses 10-13 tells us, Fear not, for God's help is present.

      "Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. Behold, all those who were incensed against you shall be ashamed and disgraced; they shall be as nothing, and those who strive with you shall perish. You shall seek them and not find them; those who contended with you. Those who war against you shall be as nothing, as a nonexistent thing. For I, the LORD your God, will hold your right hand, saying to you, "Fear not, I will help you."

      Fear not, for I am with you...

      DO YOU NOTICE THIS IS BOTH A COMMAND & A PROMISE.

      Israel is commanded to fear not.

      Fear, worry, and anxiety are often sin.

      When the God who rules over the nations as described in Isaiah 41:2-4, the God who chose us and loves us as described in Isaiah 41:8-9, when that God tell us fear not, we must take it seriously!

      But there is also a promise. We fear not, because the LORD has told us, I am with you.

      What more do we need?

      PAUL REMINDS US OF THIS in Romans 8:31, which says, "If God is for us, who can be against us?"

      How much more prone to fear and discouragement we are when we are alone?

      But we are never alone, because God has declared, fear not, for I am with you.

      Be not dismayed, for I am your God...

      "Remember Me? The God of all power and glory? I'm that one. I am your God."

      I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand...

      God's strength and glory make Him able to help us. But it is His love that makes Him say, "I will help you."

      Idols must be fastened … with pegs, so they might not totter told to us in Isaiah 41:7.

      You have to hold them up.

      But God holds us up; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.

      NO ONE should EVER HAVE AND NEVER TRUST a god that you have to hold up!

      Knowing this, do we see the TERRIBLE nature of our fear and unbelief?

      They say to God, "You are not with me. You are not the God of glory and might. You do not really love me."

      CHARLES SPURGEON says it best, "Every truthful man feels that he has a right to be believed. He speaks upon the honor of an honest man, and if you say, 'I cannot believe you,' and even begin to lament that you have no faith in him, the reflection is not upon yourself, but on the person whom you cannot believe. And shall it ever come to this, that God's own children shall say that they cannot believe their God? Oh, sin of sins! It takes away the very Godhead from God, for if God be not true, he is not a God; and if he be not fit to be believed, neither is he fit to be adored, for a God whom you cannot trust you cannot worship."

      Behold, all those who were incensed against you shall be ashamed and disgraced...

      God WILL deal with our enemies, if we keep our trust in Him. He knows how to make our adversaries - whether they be men or devils - ashamed and disgraced.

      Behold, all those who were incensed against you shall be ashamed and disgraced is, in part, an outworking of God's promise to Abraham in Genesis 12:3, which says, "I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you."

      God has always crushed anti-Semitic nations and movements, and in the 1000 YEAR REIGN of the Messiah, He will crush them completely.

      For I, the LORD your God, will hold your right hand, saying to you, "Fear not, I will help you."

      In Isaiah 41:10, God promised to uphold you with My righteous right hand. That was God's hand holding us up. Now, we see God's hand holding our right hand, and giving us strength over fear, doubt, and our adversaries.

      AND AS A CHILD, I CAN REMEMBER WHEN I WAS AFRAID OR WORRIED OR HURT...the instant MY DADDY TOUCHED ME, GATHERED ME AGAINST HIM, OR SAID MY NAME....THE FEAR, WORRY, AND HURT FADED AWAY.

      THAT IS HOW INSTANTLY COMFORTED, REASSURED, AND STRENGTHENED WE SHOULD BE KNOWING HOW BIG OUR GOD IS...AND HOW MUCH HE LOVES HIS CHILD, AMEN?

      Verses 14-16 tells us Fear not, with God's help, no obstacle is too great.

      "Fear not, you worm Jacob, you men of Israel! I will help you," says the LORD and your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel. "Behold, I will make you into a new threshing sledge with sharp teeth; you shall thresh the mountains and beat them small, and make the hills like chaff. You shall winnow them, the wind shall carry them away, and the whirlwind shall scatter them; you shall rejoice in the LORD, and glory in the Holy One of Israel."

      Fear not, you worm Jacob, you men of Israel! The idea of a worm is connected to the name Jacob, but the idea of men is connected with the name Israel.


      INTERESTINGLY ENOUGH..."In the rabbinical commentary on the five books of Moses, Yelamedenu is asked, Why are the Israelites called a worm? To signify, that as the work does not smite, that is, gnaw the cedars, but with its mouth, which is very tender, yet it nevertheless destroys the hard wood; so all the strength of the Israelites is in prayer, by which they smite the wicked of this world, though strong like cedars, to which they are compared."

      AND BULTEMA reminds us too..."The name Jacob, as applied to Israel here, always points back to Israel's lowly and deceitful past, so that it is by no means an honor."


      And your Redeemer...

      "Redeemer is goel, see Isaiah 35:10, the Next-of-Kin who takes upon himself his people's needs as if they were his own."


      Behold, I will make you into a new threshing sledge with sharp teeth; you shall thresh the mountains and beat them small...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      God so helps Israel, so empowers them, that they are able to cut down mountains as if they were a great threshing machine, removing mountains and seeing their dust blown away.

      The point is clear: nothing, not even a mountain, will stand in their way when God helps them.

      REDPATH says it well, "I don't know of any other than the Creator Himself who can take a weak worm and make it sharp with teeth! God can do that."

      AND REMEMBER Jesus expressed the same idea in Matthew 17:20, which says, "If you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, "Move from here to there," and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you."

      You shall rejoice in the LORD, and glory in the Holy One of Israel...

      When we overcome great obstacles with the help of the LORD, we know it is His work. We rejoice in the LORD, not in ourselves. We glory in the Holy One of Israel, not in ourselves, AMEN?

      Verses 17-20 tells us Fear not, God has abundant resources.

      "The poor and needy seek water, but there is none, their tongues fail for thirst. I, the LORD, will hear them; I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them. I will open rivers in desolate heights, and fountains in the midst of the valleys; I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water. I will plant in the wilderness the cedar and the acacia tree, the myrtle and the oil tree; I will set in the desert the cypress tree and the pine And the box tree together, that they may see and know, and consider and understand together, that the hand of the LORD has done this, and the Holy One of Israel has created it."

      I will open rivers in desolate heights...

      In response to the cry of the poor and needy, those whose tongues fail for thirst, God sends miraculous supplies of water to them. God has resources and supplies we know nothing about, and He loves to supply us from His hidden resources.

      I will plant in the wilderness the cedar and the acacia tree...

      God will also make barren places fruitful, and full of beautiful forests. God can take the most barren wilderness, and make it a forest.

      When it all takes place, everyone knows...

      That the hand of the LORD has done this, and the Holy One of Israel has created it. Miraculous supplies of water and forests in the wilderness are impossible without God, so He gets the glory when the work is done.


      Verse 21 tells us God calls idols and their worshippers to trial.

      "Present your case," says the LORD. "Bring forth your strong reasons," says the King of Jacob."

      Present your case...

      God is fair. He will not condemn idols, the false gods of the nations, and those who worship them, without a fair trial. So He invites these idols and their worshippers to come and present your case. "Let's hear your side of the story." Bring forth your strong reasons. "Let's hear your best arguments."

      Says the King of Jacob...

      DID YOU KNOW...

      This is the ONLY place in the Bible where God uses this title. King of Jacob is used only here, but the title king of Israel is used 138 times in the Bible, mostly of men, but of the Lord GOD in Isaiah 44:6 and Zephaniah 3:15, and of Jesus in John 1:49 and 12:13.

      Verses 22-24 tells us God EXAMINES the defendants - idols and their worshippers - at the trial.

      "Let them bring forth and show us what will happen; let them show the former things, what they were, that we may consider them, and know the latter end of them; or declare to us things to come. Show the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that you are gods; yes, do good or do evil, that we may be dismayed and see it together. Indeed you are nothing, and your work is nothing; he who chooses you is an abomination."

      God invited idols to present your case in Isaiah 41:21.

      DO YOU NOTICE...NONE is presented!

      The next words are God's questioning of the idols.

      Why don't the idols present their case and defend themselves?

      Because they are dumb statues that can't speak! So the questioning moves on, and God examines the defendants.

      Let them bring forth and show us what will happen...

      If these idols REALLY ARE gods, then they certainly know the future and the past. Then let them speak up. Show us what will happen. Then, let them show the former things, what they were.

      Gods know these things, don't they? Do it that we may know that you are gods.

      Yes, do good or do evil...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      It is as if God stands in a courtroom, questioning a thousands idols of different sizes and designs, and finally cries out, "Do something! Do good or do evil! Can't you do anything?"

      But they can not do anything.

      So, the accusation is made based upon the evidence: Indeed you are nothing, and your work is nothing; he who chooses you is an abomination.

      Today, idolatry is still an abomination to THE LORD GOD!

      Though few bow down to statues, many still fashion a god of their own opinion, and decide that is the god they will respect. Even many churchgoers do this today.

      REDPATH explains this well, "The spiritual conflict experienced today is exactly of the same nature and of the same character as you find depicted here. The issue is still unsettled in the minds of men, though it is settled eternally in the mind of God. The world is still making every effort to put the best possible show upon its worship of the creature rather than the Creator. Its worship is more the patronizing of the shell of religion than bowing in submission before an empty cross, and occupied throne, and the King of kings in glory."

      Indeed, you are nothing, and your work is nothing...

      REMEMBER Paul quotes this idea in 1 Corinthians 8:4, when he writes, "Therefore concerning the eating of things offered to idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is no other God but one."


      Verses 25-29 tells us The LORD's summation: Idols are worthless and man is so limited.

      "I have raised up one from the north, and he shall come; from the rising of the sun he shall call on My name; and he shall come against princes as though mortar, as the potter treads clay. Who has declared from the beginning, that we may know? And former times, that we may say, "He is righteous"? Surely there is no one who shows, surely there is no one who declares, surely there is no one who hears your words. The first time I said to Zion, "Look, there they are!" And I will give to Jerusalem one who brings good tidings. For I looked, and there was no man; I looked among them, but there was no counselor, who, when I asked of them, could answer a word. Indeed they are all worthless; their works are nothing; their molded images are wind and confusion."

      I have raised up one from the north, and he shall come...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      In contrast to the idols who SAY NOTHING & can tell NOTHING of the future, the LORD knows. He knows that He will bring Cyrus from the north to conquer the Babylonians, who conquered Judah and Jerusalem and took them captive. God would use Cyrus to allow the Jews in exile to return confirmed to us in Ezra 1.

      BULTEMA says of CYRUS..."Cyrus had the greatest respect for Jehovah, as we can read in his proclamation concerning the freeing of Israel in Ezra one. In it he states correctly that Jehovah had given him all the kingdoms of the earth."


      AND WOLF answers the question WHY DOES GOD INCLUDE THE NORTH. "The 'north' is included because the Persians conquered the lands north of Babylon before invading her borders."

      GOD ASKS MANKIND...Who has declared from the beginning, that we may know?

      Not the idols; they know nothing.
      Not man, for I looked, and there was no man …
      Who, when I asked of them, could answer a word.

      Finally, the verdict is read at the trial...

      Indeed they are all worthless; their works are nothing.

      Apart from God, in the grand scheme of things, all of the greatness of man is worthless and all the great works are nothing.

      And what of the idols? Their molded images are wind and confusion.

      THIS CHAPTER OF ISAIAH...is the great I WILL chapter of the Bible. No fewer than fourteen times in the scope of these verses does God reinforce His authority with the promise, 'I will.'

      Look at all the I WILLS promised here:

      - I will strengthen you. (Isaiah 41:10)
      - I will help you. (Isaiah 41:10, 13, and 14)
      - I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)
      - I will make you into a new threshing sledge with sharp teeth. (Isaiah 41:15)
      - I will open rivers in desolate heights. (Isaiah 41:18)
      - I will make the wilderness a pool of water. (Isaiah 41:18)
      - I will plant in the wilderness the cedar and the acacia tree. (Isaiah 41:19)
      - I will set in the desert the cypress tree. (Isaiah 41:19)
      - I will give to Jerusalem one who brings good tidings. (Isaiah 41:27)

      AND WHAT A GREAT CONTRAST to Isaiah 14 - the "I will" chapter of Satan! Look at the "I wills" of Satan:

      - I will ascend into heaven. (Isaiah 14:13)
      - I will exalt my throne above the stars of God. (Isaiah 14:13)
      - I will also sit on the mount of the congregation. (Isaiah 14:13)
      - I will ascend above the heights of the clouds. (Isaiah 14:14)
      - I will be like the Most High. (Isaiah 14:14)


      DO YOU NOTICE...

      The "I wills" of Satan were all proud and SELF-directed.

      BUT...every "I will" of the LORD in Isaiah 41 is for the benefit and blessing of His people.

      Though Satan was lifted up in pride, and proclaimed his "I wills," NONE OF THEM came to pass.

      But each and every one of God's "I will's" will happen!

      ISAIAH 41, GOD SPEAKS DIRECTLY TO ISRAEL & TO JESUS FAMILY...

      "When God says, 'I will,' He says it with all the authority of omnipotence.

      GOD HAS foreseen every difficulty.

      GOD HAS studied every obstacle which may come in His way.

      GOD HAS anticipated every possible contingency.

      FAR FAR BETTER...THE LORD OUR GOD KNOWS EVERY SINGLE WEAKNESS OF THE ONE TO WHOM HE MAKES HIS COMMAND..."FEAR NOT!"

      THE LORD OUR GOD KNOWS EVERY SINGLE WEAKNESS OF THE ONE TO WHOM HE MAKES HIS PROMISE, AND YET HE SAYS, "I WILL!"

    • July 6, 2016 1:55 AM EDT
    • ISAIAH 42



      OPENS WITH THE LORD SPEAKS OF THE SERVANT'S SONG


      Verses 1-4 tells us the CHARACTER of the Servant.

      "Behold! My Servant whom I uphold, My Elect One in whom My soul delights! I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the Gentiles. He will not cry out, nor raise His voice, nor cause His voice to be heard in the street. A bruised reed He will not break, and smoking flax He will not quench; He will bring forth justice for truth. He will not fail nor be discouraged, till He has established justice in the earth; and the coastlands shall wait for His law."

      Behold! My Servant...
      The LORD calls to all people - the people of Israel, and the coastlands - and tells them to behold (study, set focus upon) His Servant.

      DID YOU KNOW?

      The word 'ebed can refer to a slave (Exodus 21:20-21) or a vassal king (2 Samuel 10:19), an individual subject (Genesis 21:25) or a tributary nation (1 Chronicles 18:2, 6, 13). In all those cases the term refers to a person or group characterized by dependence and servitude.

      SO WHO IS THE LORD'S SERVANT?

      WHO IS GOD REFERRING TO HERE AS MY SERVANT?

      The New King James Version rightly capitalizes Servant, because the context demonstrates this is a clear reference to Jesus.

      Additionally, Matthew quotes Isaiah 42:1-5 and plainly says it is a prophecy fulfilled in Jesus (Matthew 12:16-21). So in this, the LORD commands all peoples to put their focus on Jesus.

      AND WE KNOW...Jesus described Himself as a servant in Matthew 20:25-28, Matthew 23:11, Mark 9:35, Mark 10:43-45.

      AND REMEMBER...Peter, in his Acts 3 sermon, gives our Savior the title His Servant Jesus (Acts 3:13 and 3:26). In Acts 4, the praying people of God speak of Your holy Servant Jesus (Acts 4:27, 4:30).
      But Jesus isn't just a servant. He is THE SERVANT, and every one should behold, as the LORD says, My Servant.

      What do we see when we behold Jesus, the LORD's Servant?

      Among many things, we see Him as the Servant. As Jesus said in Matthew 20:25-28 (also recorded in Mark 10:43-45), "Whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many."

      When Jesus said let him be your servant, it means being a servant is a CHOICE.

      When Jesus said let him be your slave, it showed how DEEP service should go.

      When He said that He did not come to be served, but to serve, it shows the essential HEART of a servant.

      When Jesus said and to give His life a ransom for many, it showed how FAR servants go.

      But Jesus, the Servant, is more than an example to us.

      He is our Servant. He serves us; not only in what He did in the past, but also He serves us every day through His constant love, care, guidance, and intercession.

      Jesus did NOT stop serving when he went to heaven; He serves all His people more effectively than ever FROM heaven.

      My Servant whom I uphold....

      This was certainly true for Jesus, but it is true also in the way the LORD deals with all His servants. He promises to uphold His servants.

      When someone is the servant of another, the servant is required to give full service and obedience to the master.

      But the master is ALSO required to take care of the servant. The LORD always can say My Servant whom I uphold.

      I LOVE WHAT REDPATH SAYS OF THIS PASSAGE....There may be another sense in this; Redpath believes it speaks of the Father's trust in and dependence on the Son. "The picture is taken from an Eastern court, where a monarch is in a procession, and as he walks he leans upon a favorite courtier. This verse, in fact, could well be translated, 'Behold, my servant, upon whom I lean.' It is an indication of a special favor and confidence. So we have the picture of God the Father leaning upon God the son, counting upon Him and trusting Him to fulfill all His purposes." Can God "lean on" you? Can He depend on you?

      My Elect One in whom My soul delights...

      Jesus is the ultimate Elect One, our election is really a matter of being chosen in Jesus.

      As Paul wrote in Ephesians 1:4, "He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world."

      In whom My soul delights shows that for the LORD, election is not a cold, calculating, technical thing. It is connected deeply with His love and approval.

      When God chooses someone, His soul delights in them. If you are chosen in Jesus before the foundation of the world, then God says, "My soul delights in you."

      Understanding this helps us to receive God's favor, instead of trying to give Him a reason to delight His soul in us! Many of us are trying to earn the approval of God, instead of realizing it is His free gift, received by faith, because He has chosen - elected - to delight His soul in us.

      I have put My Spirit upon Him...Jesus was filled with the Spirit, and did ministry in the power and flow of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 3:16).

      He will bring forth justice to the Gentiles...The ministry of the Servant, the Messiah, would NOT be restricted to the Jewish people. He would also have a ministry to the Gentiles, bringing justice and righteousness to them.

      RIGHT HERE IN ISAIAH, IN THE OLD TESTAMENT, ISAIAH 42 CLEARLY AND PLAINLY HERALDS JESUS CHRIST. PLAINLY TELLS ALL OLD TESTAMENT BELIEVERS THE VERY SAME THINGS WE READ AND LEARN IN THE NEW TESTAMENT.

      RIGHT HERE ALMIGHTY GOD, PROPHESIES THAT THE GENTILES WILL BE GIVEN THE HOPE, THE CHOICE, AND BE GRAFTED INTO THE SALVATION PROMISE!

      He will not cry out, nor raise His voice...

      This doesn't mean that Jesus never spoke loudly. It refers to His gentle, lowly heart and actions. Jesus didn't make His way by bluster and loud, overwhelming talk, but by the Spirit of God upon Him.

      REDPATH says it well, "Think for a moment about the modesty of God. He is always at work: He guides the sun, the stars, and the universe. He controls every galaxy. He refreshes the earth constantly. But He works so quietly that many people now try to make out there is no God at all … That is the hallmark of reality in service. God's artists do not put their signatures to the pictures they create. His ambassadors do not run after the photographer all the time to get their pictures taken. It is enough that they have borne witness to the Lord."

      A bruised reed He will not break, and smoking flax He will not quench...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      This is another reference to the GENTLE character of Jesus. A reed is a fairly fragile plant, yet if a reed is bruised, the Servant will handle it so gently that He will not break it. And if flax, used for tinder to start a fire, does not flame but only smokes, He will not quench it into extinguishing. Instead, the Servant will gently blow on the smoking flax, fanning it into flame again!

      Often we feel that God deals roughly with our weaknesses and failures.

      Just the opposite is true. He deals with them gently, tenderly, helping them along until the bruised reed is strong and the smoking flax is in full flame.

      REDPATH AGAIN SAYS IT WELL, "Think again of that reed: something that has been crushed, or hurt by unkindness, a life that is somehow bent and bruised and shattered, without strength or beauty. There is nothing attractive about a reed, and there is certainly nothing very pleasant about the circumstances in which it lives! Usually it grows in a smelly, unsavory swamp."

      We call ourselves Christians, but if you are like me, sometimes you are desperately ashamed of how dimly your light burns. There is far more smoke than fire: so little prayer, so little real testimony, so much depression and discouragement. But the Lord says He will not extinguish the smoking flax.

      WHAT A PRECIOUS COMFORT THAT IS TO US, AMEN?

      THE LORD IS SAYING...He is not dismissive of others: however useless or beyond repair (bruised reed), however 'past it' and near extinction (smouldering wick) they may seem. The negative statements imply their positive equivalents: he can mend the broken reed, fan into flame the smouldering wick. The former has been internally damaged, the latter lacks the external nourishment of oil. The Servant is competent both to cure and to supply.

      Jesus sees the value in a bruised reed, even when no one else can. He can make beautiful music come from a bruised reed, as He puts His strength in it!

      Though a smoking flax - used for a wick on an oil lamp - is good for nothing, Jesus knows it is valuable for what it can be when it is refreshed with oil.

      Many of us are like the bruised reed, and we need to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, as confirmed to u in Ephesians 3:16.

      Others are like the smoking flax, and can only burn brightly for the LORD again when we are drenched in oil, with a constant supply coming, as we are filled with the Holy Spirit.

      Jesus wants us to have His heart towards the lowly, broken, and hurting. It's easy to pass them by just as quickly as the priest and the Levite passed the man on the road to Jericho. The superficial Christian worker IGNORES that kind of situation. He wants a sphere to serve where it will be worthy of his talent, if you please. A task where his abilities will be recognized and used, something that is big enough to justify all the training he has undergone. In the eyes of the Lord, the test of the real servant is, does he bend with the humility of Jesus Christ over a bruised reed and smoking flax?

      He will bring forth justice for truth. He will not fail nor be discouraged...The Servant is gentle, but not weak. He will bring forth justice for truth. There aren't two ways about it; it will happen, and failure or discouragement will NOT stop the Servant.

      HOW REASSURING AND WONDERFUL IS THIS?

      Isn't it wonderful that Jesus never gets discouraged? When we think of the job that He has to do, the obstacles He must overcome, and the tools He needs to work with, it is amazing that He never becomes discouraged. It is because He has all power and authority, AMEN?

      DID YOU KNOW...Fail is the same word as smoking in smoking flax He will not quench. Discouraged is the same word as bruised in a bruised reed He will not break. "So here is the Servant of the Lord … there are no bruises about Him; He is no mere smoking flax. He is well able to do the task of redemption because He is free from all the weaknesses and failures of His people. He has no flaws or blemishes - He is perfection and majestic strength, AMEN?

      Till He has established justice in the earth; and the coastlands shall wait for His law...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      The work of the Servant will extend to the whole earth, and all the peoples - even those in the distant coastlands -shall serve Him.

      Verses 5-9 tells us The LORD of glory and His promise to His Servant.

      "Thus says God the LORD, who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread forth the earth and that which comes from it, who gives breath to the people on it, and spirit to those who walk on it: "I, the LORD, have called You in righteousness, and will hold Your hand; I will keep You and give You as a covenant to the people, as a light to the Gentiles, to open blind eyes, to bring out prisoners from the prison, those who sit in darkness from the prison house. I am the LORD, that is My name; and My glory I will not give to another, nor My praise to carved images. Behold, the former things have come to pass, and new things I declare; before they spring forth I tell you of them."

      Thus says God the LORD...
      The promise of the Servant and His ministry is so wonderful, that the One making the promise should state His credentials. Just as when we take out a loan, the bank asks for assurance we can fulfill our promise, so this verse is another "credit check" on God. God the LORD is more than happy to do so. First look up, because He created the heavens and stretched them out. Then look down, because He spread forth the earth and that which comes from it. Then look in a mirror, because He gives breath to the people on it. The God who did such great things can fulfill His promises about the Servant, AMEN!

      I, the LORD, have called You in righteousness, and will hold Your hand...Specifically, this is a promise from the LORD to the Servant - Jesus Christ. What encouragement Jesus must have received from passages like this when He faced difficult and trying times during His earthly ministry!

      Called You in righteousness...Because there was nothing unholy or unrighteous in My calling, You can be confident that the calling will be fulfilled."

      Will hold Your hand...THE LORD SAY, I am with You always, to love and guide You. I will never leave You. I am holding Your hand all the time!

      I will keep You...You will not get lost or left behind. I am always there to watch over You and keep You.

      And give You as a covenant to the people, as a light to the Gentiles... "You will fulfill the purpose I have called You to. You will bring salvation, not only to Your people, but also to those afar off, who seem beyond salvation."

      To open blind eyes, to bring out prisoners from the prison...I will use You to do miraculous works of restoration and healing, both physically and spiritually. You will be used to bring sight and freedom to many.

      What glorious promises, EACH AND EVERY ONE FULFILLED in the ministry of Jesus!

      AND BY EXTENSION, these promises also belong to us, THOSE WHO CALLED ON THE NAME OF JESUS, CHOSE, LOVE, AND ACCEPTED HIM INTO OUR HEARTS AND LIVES TO BE OUR LORD, SAVIOR, MASTER, & FREIND.

      Jesus prayed, As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world (John 17:18). We are sent as Jesus was sent, and can receive these same promises as belonging to us.

      I am the LORD, that is My name: Such glorious promises need confirmation, and the assurance that the one making the promises is able to fulfill them.

      I am the LORD: "This is the famous tetragrammaton, or name of four letters, which we write Jehovah, Yehovah, Yehveh, Yeveh, Jhuh, Javah. The letters are Y H U H. The Jews never pronounce it, and the true pronunciation is utterly unknown.

      My glory I will not give to another...First, no one else can fulfill these promises, because God will not share His glory with any other.

      It is important to understand that Jesus shares in the glory of the Father. Jesus prayed, And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was. (John 17:5)

      If God the Son and God the Father each share glory, and the LORD shares His glory with no one, it means that the Father and the Son are the LORD God. The LORD God - Yahweh - is one God in Three Persons.

      Behold, the former things have come to pass, and new things I declare: God is master of both the past (the former things) and the future (new things). Being the master of both the future and the past, God has the present well in hand also.

      We see this especially in the way that God can declare … new things, even before they spring forth.

      As Peter said, so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place (2 Peter 1:19). God's prophetic word fulfilled shows us the confidence we can have in His word.

      Verses 10-12 tells us to Praise for the victory of the Servant.

      "Sing to the LORD a new song, and His praise from the ends of the earth, you who go down to the sea, and all that is in it, you coastlands and you inhabitants of them! Let the wilderness and its cities lift up their voice, the villages that Kedar inhabits. Let the inhabitants of Sela sing, let them shout from the top of the mountains. Let them give glory to the LORD, and declare His praise in the coastlands."

      Sing to the LORD a new song...

      This sounds like a Psalm (Psalm 33:3, 40:3, 98:1, and others), because it is a song of praise. Who the Servant is and what He does is so glorious, it has to bring out a new song of praise.

      You coastlands and you inhabitants of them!

      Who should sing this new song? EVERYONE who has been touched by the work of the Servant. Since even the coastlands were blessed by the Servant (Isaiah 42:4), they should praise Him also, AMEN?

      Verses 13-17 tells us The LORD brings judgment against all who serve false gods.

      "The LORD shall go forth like a mighty man; He shall stir up His zeal like a man of war. He shall cry out, yes, shout aloud; He shall prevail against His enemies. "I have held My peace a long time, I have been still and restrained Myself. Now I will cry like a woman in labor, I will pant and gasp at once. I will lay waste the mountains and hills, and dry up all their vegetation; I will make the rivers coastlands, and I will dry up the pools. I will bring the blind by a way they did not know; I will lead them in paths they have not known. I will make darkness light before them, and crooked places straight. These things I will do for them, and not forsake them. They shall be turned back, they shall be greatly ashamed, who trust in carved images, who say to the molded images, 'You are our gods.'"


      The LORD shall go forth like a mighty man...This day of praise is a day of victory for the LORD over all false gods. He shall prevail against His enemies.

      The LORD does this work of judgment with energy.

      HOW?

      He shall stir up His zeal like a man of war …

      He shall cry out, yes, shout aloud …

      I will cry like a woman in labor.

      THE LORD IS NOT passive or dispassionate in His judgment. When the LORD sets things right on the earth, He does it with zeal.

      The difference between He shall cry out, yes shout aloud and He will not cry out, nor raise His voice (Isaiah 42:2) shows us the DIFFERENCE between the first and Second Coming of Jesus.

      The FIRST coming was meek and lowly...a baby...a gentle lamb.
      The SECOND Coming at the end of the GREAT TRIBULATION will be loud and demonstrative...LIKE THE ROARING LION OF JUDAH!

      NOTHING CAN OR WILL BE ABLE TO STOP OUR LION OF JUDAH...

      No obstacle can get in the way of the LORD's work. Mountains and hills can't get in His way. Rivers and pools will not stop Him. Even the blindness of others will not prevent His plan.

      THE LORD IS SAYING...In the end, it is certain that they shall be greatly ashamed, who trust in carved man-made images.

      Verses 18-20 tells us The deaf and blind COME to the Servant.

      "Hear, you deaf; and look, you blind, that you may see. Who is blind but My servant, or deaf as My messenger whom I send? Who is blind as he who is perfect, and blind as the Lord's servant? Seeing many things, but you do not observe; opening the ears, but he does not hear."

      Hear, you deaf; and look, you blind, that you may see...

      WHO ARE the deaf and the blind the LORD speaks to here? They are the deaf and blind among God's people. The LORD has already spoken to the blind among the Gentiles (Isaiah 42:16). Now, He speaks to the blind that He calls My servant, the deaf whom He calls My messenger.

      Obviously, a blind man will have trouble being a good servant. A deaf man will have trouble being a good messenger.

      Seeing many things, but you do not observe...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      This is a word to these blind who think they can see. They act as if they can see, but they really can't observe anything. They will stay blind and deaf as long as they can't admit their need.

      What is the cure?

      It begins with knowing our condition. When the deaf know they are deaf, and the blind know they are blind, they know their need, and do not deceive themselves about their condition.

      REMEMBER...When Jesus healed a man born blind, He used the occasion to speak about spiritual blindness, and its cure.
      In the diagnosis of Jesus, only those who know they are blind can be healed of their blindness.

      Jesus said in JOHN 9:39-41, "For judgment I have come into this world, that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may be made blind." Then some of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these words, and said to Him, "Are we blind also?" Jesus said to them, "If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you say, 'We see.' Therefore your sin remains."

      Verses 21-25 tells us The LORD DEFENDS His defrauded people.

      "The LORD is well pleased for His righteousness' sake; He will exalt the law and make it honorable. But this is a people robbed and plundered; all of them are snared in holes, and they are hidden in prison houses; they are for prey, and no one delivers; for plunder, and no one says, "Restore!" Who among you will give ear to this? Who will listen and hear for the time to come? Who gave Jacob for plunder, and Israel to the robbers? Was it not the LORD, He against whom we have sinned? For they would not walk in His ways, nor were they obedient to His law. Therefore He has poured on him the fury of His anger and the strength of battle; it has set him on fire all around, yet he did not know; and it burned him, yet he did not take it to heart."

      The LORD is well pleased … He will magnify the law and make it honorable...The LORD God is pleased to bring this justice on the earth, and to magnify and honor the law.

      Though under the new covenant, we do not come to God on the basis of the law, it does not mean that the law of God is bad.

      NO, IT IS AS PAUL EXPLAINED IT IN Romans 7:12, "Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good." The weakness of the law is not in the law, but in us. The law perfectly suits the purpose God intended for it: to display God's holy standard, to expose our sin, and to show is the need for salvation in Jesus, AMEN?

      But this is a people robbed and plundered...

      God looks upon His people and sees the pain and devastation the world, the flesh, false teachers/preachers and the devil has wrought upon them. They are robbed and plundered, they are for prey, and no one delivers. Worst of all, no one says, "Restore!"

      Why?

      Who gave Jacob for plunder, and Israel to the robbers? Who did this? Isaiah's answer is almost shocking: Was it not the LORD, He against whom we have sinned? In this circumstance, God ALLOWED the low, defeated place of Israel as discipline for their sin, for their chosen blindness and deafness.

      For they would not walk in His ways, nor were they obedient to His law. The painful and low place of Israel was meant to draw them back to the LORD. We can know that the LORD only used these measures after He had exhausted far gentler measures. Yet even these sharp measures did not work: Yet he did not know … Yet he did not take it to heart.

      It has set him on fire all around...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      This correction from the LORD felt like fire to Israel; yet they did not respond to it.

      REMEMBER In 1 Peter 4:12-19, Peter also relates trials and correction from the Lord to fire: "Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you … For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?"

      God's purpose in the fiery trial is to bring us to repentance and softness of heart, and the more we resist that work, the more the fire will burn!

      We should respond as Peter said we should in 1 Peter 4:19: "Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator."

      Is the fire of God's correction burning away the sin and impurity in your life, or is it just making you blacker and harder?

      CALL UPON JESUS...ASK FOR HIS WISDOM AND DISCERNMENT AND GUIDANCE IN ALL THINGS, SMALL AND LARGE, AND WE WILL WALK FIRE PURIFIED, FAITH RESTORED AND RENEWED, BLESSED HOPE PROMISED AND FILLED LIVES AS WE WALK THROUGH THIS LIFE ON OUR WAY TO OUR ETERNAL HOME WITH JESUS!

      ALMIGHTY GOD HIMSELF PROMISES THAT HE WILL NOT GIVE UP ON US.....HE WILL NEVER LEAVE US....HE WILL HOLD OUR HANDS...HE WILL UPHOLD US ALL...ALWAYS!

    • July 6, 2016 1:53 AM EDT
    • ISAIAH 43



      OPENS WITH GOD TELLING US TO FEAR NOT & HE GIVES US REASONS NOT TO FEAR....



      Verse 1 tells us Fear not, knowing you BELONG to the LORD.

      "But now, thus says the LORD, who created you, O Jacob, and He who formed you, O Israel: "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you are Mine."

      Says the LORD, who created you … and He who formed you...

      God speaks to His people as their Creator. God has a SPECIAL and UNIQUE claim upon us because He is our Creator. When men forget or reject God as Creator, they fail in the most basic obligation they have to God.

      FEAR NOT...

      This is a command, accompanied by promises. By outward circumstances, the people of Judah had reason to be afraid of Babylon's army and exile. God points them past the present circumstances to both this COMMAND AND PROMISE.

      For I HAVE REDEEMED YOU:

      Not only did Israel have obligation to God as their Creator, by also as their Redeemer. He is the one who bought them out of literal exile and spiritual slavery.

      The redeemer bought an unfortunate relative out of their slavery and debt. He rescued them, and paid the slave price or debt they could not pay. When God calls Himself our Redeemer, it looks forward to the price that must be paid for our salvation.

      I have called you by your name, You are mine...

      God TWICE OWNS HIS PEOPLE. He has right of ownership both as Creator and Redeemer. His ownership is personal, because He says I have called you by your name. His ownership is certain, because He seals it by saying YOU ARE MINE.

      KNOWING we belong to the LORD is a wonderful answer to fear.

      We CAN KNOW that He holds us, protects us, guards us, and cares for us.

      We CAN KNOW that He would not have created, redeemed, and called us unless He intended to finish His work in us.

      HOW CAN WE BE AFRAID when we KNOW this God is for us, is looking out for our interests?

      Verses 2-7 tells FEAR NOT, knowing the LORD IS WITH YOU.

      "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you. For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I gave Egypt for your ransom, Ethiopia and Seba in your place. Since you were precious in My sight, you have been honored, and I have loved you; therefore I will give men for you, and people for your life. Fear not, for I am with you; I will bring your descendants from the east, and gather you from the west; I will say to the north, 'Give them up!' and to the south, 'Do not keep them back!' Bring My sons from afar, and My daughters from the ends of the earth; everyone who is called by My name, whom I have created for My glory; I have formed him, yes, I have made him."

      When you pass through the waters, I will be with you...

      Through any potential obstacle, God will be with us.

      Deep waters? I will be with you.

      Must you walk through the fire? Then you shall not be burned.

      When God is with us, He is for us, and who can be against us, AMEN?

      Israel had and would have their trials, but we have ours also.

      Trials ARE inevitable; it doesn't say IF you pass through the waters, it says WHEN you pass through the waters. The text doesn't say, "When you walk on a luxurious padded carpet, I will be with you."

      It says God will be with us in the TOUGHEST of circumstances.

      Trials are varied; sometimes we face waters, sometimes rivers, and sometimes fire. Floods overwhelm, fires consume.

      AND REMEMBER...The mention of the LORD's presence and protection in the fire reminds of the story of the three sons of Judah, SHADRACK, MESHACK, & ABEDNEGO, cast into the Babylonian furnace, because they would not bow or bend to worship an idol. They also were preseved in the fire by the presence of God told to us in Daniel 3:19-25.

      This passage is also full of images to REMIND OF US WHAT GOD DID IN Exodus from Egypt.
      The statement, 'I am the Lord, your God' would remind every reader of Exodus 20:2, where the divine description is followed by the words 'who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery' (Exodus 20:2).

      So, REMEMBERING & LEARNING from this past event, they could rest in GOD'S promise to bring them again into their own land, AMEN?

      BULTEMA reminds us, "Israel is just as indestructible as God's Word and Covenant are. Whoever can annihilate Israel can do more than Satan and all the powers of hell have been able to do in ages past. What is true of Israel, however, is equally true of the Church. Against it, too, the flames have raged and the waters have boiled but, according to His promise, the Lord Jesus has always been with her."

      But God helping us, we can walk through the fire. We don't have to panic, we don't have to fear, and we don't have to run as if we didn't trust God. He can so strengthen us in our trials that we can walk through the fire!

      REDPATH says it well, "Walking is the pace at which you go when you are NOT in a hurry, when you are NOT concerned or alarmed. When you are not burdened or anxious, then you walk. 'He that believeth shall not make haste' (Isaiah 29:16)."

      Since you were precious in My sight...

      God here describes the motivation for His work of redemption. HE LOVES US! We ARE PRECIOUS IN HIS SIGHT! This is an Old Testament example of the truth in John 3:16: For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, AMEN?

      Fear not, for I am with you; I WILL BRING your descendants from the east...

      God's presence and blessing with Israel would also be demonstrated by unleashing the shackles of their exile. They could have hope for the future because they knew they were called by the name of the LORD, and they were created for His glory.

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      Whom I have created for My glory means that God not only has created us, but that He has created us for a purpose. If we have no Creator, then we are purposeless; but God has created us and He did it for a purpose, creating us for His glory. This means that when we are glorifying God, we are fulfilling the purpose we were created for, and will therefore be the most happy and fulfilled.


      Verses 8-9 tells us The nations and the people of Israel are called to either prove their case or accept God's.

      "Bring out the blind people who have eyes, and the deaf who have ears. Let all the nations be gathered together, and let the people be assembled. Who among them can declare this, and show us former things? Let them bring out their witnesses, that they may be justified; Or let them hear and say, "It is truth."

      Bring out the blind people who have eyes...

      REMEMBER IN Isaiah 42:19, the LORD spoke of His blind and deaf servants, who had willingly closed their eyes and ears to His truth and ways. Now, God tells these blind and deaf servants of His come forth - with all the nations who will be gathered together.

      What do they come together for? Who among them can declare this, and show us former things? Let them bring out their witnesses.

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      God INVITES both His blind, deaf people and the nations to prove Him wrong or themselves right in their rejection of Him. It is if God is saying, "You have chosen to worship and honor other gods. Come before Me now and justify yourself. Bring plenty of witnesses."

      MOTYER says it well, "We must not miss the pathos: imagine any litigant depending on the blind to testify to what they have seen and the deaf to what they have heard!"


      Verses 10-13 tells us The LORD commissions His witnesses.

      "You are My witnesses," says the LORD, "And My servant whom I have chosen, that you may know and believe Me, and understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, nor shall there be after Me. I, even I, am the LORD, and besides Me there is no savior. I have declared and saved, I have proclaimed, and there was no foreign god among you; therefore you are My witnesses," says the LORD, "that I am God. Indeed before the day was, I am He; and there is no one who can deliver out of My hand; I work, and who will reverse it?"

      You are MY witnesses...

      God's people HAD WITNESSED the greatness of God. If only Israel would REMEMBER the great things God had done among them, they would see each wonderful work of His as a witness to the truth that He is the ONLY true God.

      The idol worshippers have nothing to say as witnesses, because their gods can do nothing. But the people of God are witnesses of His greatness and power. They have seen it and experienced it.

      And MY SERVANT that I have chosen that you may know and believe Me...

      A witness is a passive observer of what someone has done, and Israel had seen the great works of God. But they were more than passive observers; God called Israel to be His servant. That was why they were chosen - not to sit around and glory in their chosenness, but to serve the LORD, and to know the LORD and believe Him in every way, AMEN?

      Before Me there was NO god formed, nor shall there be after Me...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      In clear, certain words, God DECLARES & PROCLAIMS THE ABSOLUTE SURE TRUTH...that not only is He the most high God, but that there are NO OTHER gods beside Him.

      DESPITE WHAT SATAN WISHES....There are no "junior gods."

      DESPITE WHAT MAN-MADE RELIGIOUS GROUPS CLAIM...There are no "second class gods."

      DESPITE WHAT THE WORLD SAYS...There was no God formed before the LORD, and there will be no God formed after Him.

      IT DOES NOT GET ANY PLAINER THAN THAT, AMEN?!

      BUT SOME COMMENTATORS CHALLENGE...
      What about Biblical passages which some take to suggest there are other gods?

      SUCH AS?

      For example, in John 10:34, Jesus quotes Psalm 82:6-7, saying "You are gods."

      BE NOT DECEIVED...WHY?
      The judges of Psalm 82 were called "gods" because in their office they determined the fate of other men.

      Also, in Exodus 21:6 and 22:8-9, God calls earthly judges "gods."

      In John 10, Jesus is saying "if God gives these unjust judges the title 'gods' because of their office, why do you consider it blasphemy that I call Myself the 'Son of God' in light of the testimony of Me and My works?" Jesus is not taking the you are gods of Psalm 82 and applying it to all humanity, or to all believers. The use of gods in Psalm 82 was a metaphor.

      AND IN 2 Corinthians 4:4, Paul calls Satan the god of this age.

      WHAT ABOUT THAT VERSE?
      PAUL DOES NOT MEAN Satan is a true god, a rival god to the Lord GOD.

      Satan can be called the god of this age because so many people REGARD him as god! THE OCCULT, THE WORSHIP OF SATAN, AND THE WORSHIP TO PAGAN IDOLS was present in PAUL'S DAY...AS IT IS NOW...AMEN?

      But Paul made it clear in 1 Corinthians 8:4-5 that the idols the nations worship are merely so-called gods, and that there is no other God but one, ?

      WHY IS THIS SUCH AN IMPORTANT CLARIFICATION TO US AND FOR US?

      WHY DO I BRING IT INTO THIS BIBLE STUDY?

      BECAUSE I HAVE DEALT WITH IT PERSONALLY, AND YOU MAY AS WELL.

      SOME...such as Jehovah's Witnesses - take the opinion & TEACH AND BELIEVE that Jesus is indeed god, but a "junior level god."

      THE JW will allow that He is mighty God (Isaiah 9:6), but not that He is Almighty God. But when the LORD says through Isaiah, before Me there was no God formed, nor shall there be after Me, it proves there is only one true God.

      DO YOU SEE THE DIFFERENCE?

      There are figurative or metaphorical gods, such as the judges of Psalm 82. There are false gods such as the devil or the idols of the nations. But there are no true Gods apart from the LORD, Yahweh, who is One God in Three Persons.

      AND DID YOU KNOW...Ironically, the Jehovah's Witnesses took their title from this very passage which proves their doctrine is wrong!

      And besides Me there is no savior...

      The LORD God is the only savior. Only He has declared and saved - there was no foreign god among you who did any good. He is our help and support. Sadly, we often turn to our only savior as a last resort, instead of as a first resource, AMEN?

      Since Jesus is clearly our savior (Philippians 3:20, 2 Timothy 1:10), and there is no other savior beside the LORD, then Jesus must be the LORD. The LORD, Yahweh, is One God in Three Persons.

      RIGHT HERE IN THE OLD TESTAMENT...ALMIGHTY GOD SPEAKS OF THE TRIUNE....THE TRINITY OF HIMSELF.

      Therefore, you are My witnesses...

      If Israel would remember that only the LORD has ever rescued them, the would not be so quick to turn to other gods and to turn away from the LORD. We should all be witnesses to the saving, rescuing, and healing work of the LORD, AMEN?

      Indeed, before the day was, I am He...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      God's credentials go beyond His saving work on behalf of His people.

      GOD comes before time itself.
      Before there was ever a day, God was.
      So His strength is infinitely greater than anyone else's; He can rightly say there is no one who can deliver out of My hand.

      When God does something, NO ONE & NOTHING will reverse it.

      Verses 14-17 tells us a promise to judge Babylon.

      "Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: "For your sake I will send to Babylon, and bring them all down as fugitives; the Chaldeans, who rejoice in their ships. I am the LORD, your Holy One, the Creator of Israel, your King." Thus says the LORD, who makes a way in the sea and a path through the mighty waters, who brings forth the chariot and horse, the army and the power (They shall lie down together, they shall not rise; they are extinguished, they are quenched like a wick)."

      For YOUR SAKE I will send to Babylon...

      GOD GAVE Isaiah THE FUTURE PROPHESY BEFORE the Babylonians ever conquered Judah and sent the nation into a 70-year exile. Yet Isaiah prophesies, not only about the coming captivity, but also beyond it to the eventual judgment upon Babylon for what they will do to Judah.

      Thus says the LORD, who makes a way in the sea...
      At the time Isaiah prophesied, Babylon was an up-and-coming world power. Before they would be judged, they would be a world dominating super-power.

      How could Israel be confident that God was up to the job of delivering them and judging Babylon?

      All they had to do was look at God's great works IN THE PAST, such as when He made a way in the sea - when He parted the Red Sea so Israel could cross and escape the Egyptian armies in Exodus 14.

      Isaiah powerful brings up these images when he writes of the chariot and the horse, the army and the power of these enemies of God's people, and how they shall lie down together … they are extinguished. Just as God overwhelmed the Egyptian armies that had enslaved Israel, so would He judge the Babylonians also.

      ISAIAH 43 teaches & reminds us that we can always justify trusting God right now by remembering the great things He has done.

      This teaches, reminds, and warns us that we NEVER want to oppose the LORD, or His people.

      In just these few verses, look at the glorious titles of God:

      The LORD your Redeemer … the Holy One of Israel … your Holy One, the Creator of Israel, your King.

      In this passage, prophetically intended to comfort Israel in the mist of Babylonian captivity, God powerfully holds forth images of His own strength and power, AMEN?

      Verses 18-21 tells us God promises His exiled people a new work.

      "Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. The beast of the field will honor Me, the jackals and the ostriches, because I give waters in the wilderness and rivers in the desert, to give drink to My people, My chosen. This people I have formed for Myself; they shall declare My praise."

      Do NOT remember the former things...

      As Isaiah writes GOD'S PROPHETIC WORDS to Israel, they were mired in the desperate circumstances of captivity and exile. God wants to put their eyes on the NEW work He WILL do, so it begins with a reminder to not remember the former things. If they are stuck in the failure and sin and discouragement of THE PAST, they will never go forward to the new thing God has for them, AMEN?

      AND PAUL SPEAKS TO THE SAME THING, CONCERNING HIS PAST, HIS PRESENT, & HIS FUTURE LIFE.

      REMEMBER PHILIPPIANS 3:13-14 which says, "Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus."

      AND DO YOU NOTICE...It is a fascinating - and instructive - switch between Isaiah 43:16-17 and Isaiah 43:18.?

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      In Isaiah 43:16-17, Israel is told TO LOOK TO THE PAST by remembering the great things God did for them at the Red Sea.

      But in Isaiah 43:18, they are told, Do NO REMEMBER THE FORMER THINGS, nor consider the things of old.

      GOD HIMSELF IS SAYING WHAT PAUL TELLS US IN THE NEW TESTAMENT...

      WE ARE TO AND CAN AND SHOULD REMEMBER WHAT GOD DID IN THE PAST...HE WILL AND CAN DO IN THE PRESENT AND THE FUTURE...

      BUT WE ARE TO FORGET ((OUR)) OWN FLAWED PASTS...THE PAST FOR THOSE WHO LOVE JESUS AND CALL HIM LORD, SAVIOR, MASTER, AND FRIEND....YOUR PAST SINS, FAILINGS, AND FALTERINGS HAVE BEEN WASHED CLEAN IN AND THROUGH JESUS CHRIST. IN THE ETERNAL IT IS ERASED...GONE FOREVER...NEVER REMEMBERED.

      SO GOD IS SAYING TO US ALL...we must remember the past, in terms of God's great work on our behalf. BUT...we must forsake and forget OUR OWN past, with all its discouragement and defeat, and move on to what God has for us in the future, AMEN?

      Behold, I WILL DO a new thing...

      Staying stuck in the past can keep us from the new thing God wants to do. If Israel stayed stuck in the discouragement and seduction of Babylon, they would never look for the new thing of release from exile.

      We can make an idol out of the "new." We can error as the people of Athens did who spent their time in nothing else but either to tell or to hear some new thing told to us in Acts 17:21.

      We can be tossed about by every wind of doctrine. But we can also error on the other side of the balance, and work against the new thing God wants to do.

      Shall you not know it?

      God asks the same question today.

      "Will you stay in step with My Spirit? When He leads into something new, shall you not know it?"

      I will even make a road in the wilderness...

      Between the captivity in Babylon and the return to Israel lay over 800 hundreds of miles of wilderness. God's people didn't need to be afraid, because God would make a road in the wilderness, provide rivers in the desert, and even protect His people from animals, because the beast of the field will honor Me, the LORD says.

      Often, when God makes a promise, we worry about THE DETAILS or THE POSSIBLE OBSTACLES for the fulfillment of the promise, DONT WE?

      OKAY GREAT LORD...I AM STEPPING OUT IN FAITH HERE, BUT WHERE DO I FIND IT, WHOM WILL IT COME FROM, WHEN WILL IT HAPPEN, AND WHAT OTHER PROOFS WILL YOU GIVE ME?

      AND OTHER THOUGHTS SUCH AS...

      LORD, DID YOU PICK THE RIGHT PERSON HERE? HOW CAN I POSSIBLY DO THIS? ACCOMPLISH THIS? DO YOU KNOW HOW MANY THINGS CAN GO WRONG? DON'T YOU KNOW HOW DIFFICULT, IF NOT IMPOSSIBLE IT WILL BE FOR ME TO DO THIS? LORD, HAVE YOU READ THE PAPER LATELY? HAVE YOU DONE THE PROBABILITY RATIOS HERE? I AM DOOMED TO FAIL, BEFORE I EVER START THIS? ARE YOU SURE I HAVE HEARD YOU RIGHT?


      GOD'S reply IS PATIENT, SIMPLE, AND ADAMANT to us, "Don't worry about the hows, whys, wheres, and when of it at all. I will even make a road in the wilderness. I have resources and plans you don't know about. Leave those problems to Me."

      They shall declare My praise...

      This is part of fulfilling the purpose God created us for, as mentioned in Isaiah 43:7 (Whom I created for My glory). When we declare our praise for God, we are giving Him glory, and fulfilling one of the purposes we were created for.

      This passage has in view Israel's prophesied deliverance from Babylon, but also more than that. It also has in mind the ultimate deliverance, brought by the Messiah, JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF.

      Verses 22-24 tells us the hard-heartedness of God's people.

      "But you have not called upon Me, O Jacob; and you have been weary of Me, O Israel. You have not brought Me the sheep for your burnt offerings, nor have you honored Me with your sacrifices. I have not caused you to serve with grain offerings, nor wearied you with incense. You have bought Me no sweet cane with money, nor have you satisfied Me with the fat of your sacrifices; but you have burdened Me with your sins, you have wearied Me with your iniquities."

      But you have not called upon Me, O Jacob...
      Who, and when, is GOD speaking to?

      THE JACOB HEART OF THE PEOPLE...AND WE KNOW JACOB MEANS...CON ARTIST, THE TRICKSTER...THOSE IN CAPTIVITY THAT DECIDED TO EMBRACE THEIR CIRCUMSTANCES, FORGET GOD'S PROMISES, NOT SEEK GOD ANYMORE...JUST SETTLE IN AND CHOSE THEIR PRESENT LIFE IN BABYLON, INSTEAD OF STORMING HEAVEN AND REMINDING GOD THAT HE HAS PROMISED TO RESTORE THEM AND RETURN THEM TO THE PROMISED LAND.

      AND WE ARE REMINDED OF THE TRUTH OF THIS FROM OUR STUDY OF THE BOOK OF NEHEMIAH & EZRA...WHEN THE ISRAELITES WERE GRANTED THEIR FREEDOM & ALLOWED TO RETURN TO THEIR PROMISED LAND...ONLY 2% (NOT EVEN 50,000) DID SO...THE REST DECIDED TO STAY IN BABYLON...AND IN THEIR LIVES THEY HAD MADE THERE...

      And you have been weary of Me...

      In the flesh, sometimes we regard serving and obeying the LORD as a weary thing. We feel it is such a burden to serve the LORD. We think we are so bad off following His ways, and feel so oppressed and afflicted. Sometimes people say, "I just need to take a break," and essentially mean that they need to take a break from the LORD!

      When we feel like this, it is certain evidence that we are not in step with Jesus, and the true nature of Jesus.

      FATIGUE, WEARINESS, DOUBT, DESPAIR, & DISCOURAGEMENT DO NOT COME FROM THE LORD.

      REMEMBER JESUS SAYS & PROMISES US ALSO IN MATTHEW 11:28-30, "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."

      If following God always seems like some great, weary burden - then you really aren't following Him & YOU ARE FORGETTING JUST HOW BIG AND JUST HOW FAITHFUL OUR JESUS IS, AMEN?

      You have no brought Me the sheep for your burnt offerings...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      When we are weary of the LORD like this, it often shows in our giving, and in immorality (you have burdened Me with your sins).

      WOLF says it well, "Perhaps the Israelites were insincere in their worship. When they did bring offerings, they simply went through the motions of worship, and so God did not consider their empty sacrifices to be true sacrifices at all."

      You have burdened Me with your sins, you have wearied Me with your iniquities...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      God is speaking to His people who felt "burnt out," burdened, and weary on the LORD. God replies to them, "You feel burdened? You feel weary? Try being Me! ALL you DO IS burden Me with your sins, you have wearied Me with your iniquities. AND YET, I LOVE YOU STILL. I HAVE NOT DESERTED YOU, EVEN THOUGH YOU DESERVE IT."

      Verses 25-28 tells us The LORD's mercy to a hard-hearted people.

      "I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; and I will not remember your sins. Put Me in remembrance; let us contend together; state your case, that you may be acquitted. Your first father sinned, and your mediators have transgressed against Me. Therefore I will profane the princes of the sanctuary; I will give Jacob to the curse, and Israel to reproaches."

      I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions … I will not remember your sins...

      What will God do with such a hard-hearted people?

      He WILL FORGIVE them at the earliest opportunity.
      He WILL FORGET their sins.
      Despite ALL THEIR SINS & DISREGARD FOR THE LORD, He still loves His people, and longs for their humble return.

      AND REMEMBER...Jesus' story of the Prodigal Son is a beautiful illustration of this principle. The Prodigal felt the father was a weary burden to be relieved, and he went his own way. But the father still loved him, and was ready to forget all the sin as soon as the Prodigal humbly returned.

      I will NOT remember your sins...

      How can God forget? I HAVE A HARD TIME FORGETTING MY PAST AND MY SINS...SO HOW CAN GOD DO SO?

      By simply CHOOSING to NOT remember. God has forgotten our sin as being fully paid for by what Jesus endured on the cross. We can forget our sin also, and put it far from us, AMEN?

      Let us contend together; state your case...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      God says to His people, "Do you want to justify yourself? Then do it. Present your best case." But no matter what they say on their behalf, God has a stronger argument against them: Your first father sinned. "You are a child of Adam, and his sin has infected the whole human race, including yourself. You are sinner through and through from birth. Stop trying to justify yourself and humbly look to Me for salvation."

      And YOUR mediators have transgressed against me...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
      Not only were they - and we - born in sin because of Adam, they trusted in the wrong mediators. The ones they trusted to save them before God were sinners themselves.

      JUST AS WE ARE REMINDED IN 1 TIMOTHY 2:5, "Looking to a perfect, sinless Mediator can only save us, for there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus."

      I will give Jacob to the curse...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      Because of this deep sinfulness, and failure to look to God's solution for sin, there was only a curse for Jacob. Because we are born in sin, and when we reject God's Mediator, then all there is left for us is the curse and reproaches.

      AS IT WAS WITH ADAM & EVE...AND DOES NOT CHANGE EVEN THROUGH REVELATION....GOD SAYS CALL ON ME, TRUST ME, BELIEVE ME, STAY CLOSE TO ME...I HAVE SENT YOU MY SALVATION IN MY ONLY BEGOTTEN SON, JESUS CHRIST. HE IS YOUR ANCHOR, YOUR MEDIATOR, YOUR SALVATION, YOUR WARRIOR, DEFENDER, PROTECTOR, AND THE LOVER OF YOUR SOUL AND LIFE.

      CALL UPON MY SON....CALL UPON JESUS CHRIST..HE IS MY GIFT TO YOU O ISRAEL AND LOST MANKIND...I WANT NONE TO PERISH...BUT IF YOU REJECT MY SON, JESUS CHRIST...YOU HAVE CHOSEN PRESENT LIFE CURSES AND REPROACHES AND ETERNAL ONES AS WELL.

    • July 6, 2016 1:50 AM EDT
    • ISAIAH 44



      OPENS WITH....THE LORD, YOUR REDEEMER PROMISES TO POUR OUT HIS SPIRIT.



      Verses 1-4 tells us Fear not, knowing the promise of the outpoured Spirit.

      "Yet hear now, O Jacob My servant, and Israel whom I have chosen. Thus says the LORD who made you and formed you from the womb, who will help you: "Fear not, O Jacob My servant; and you, Jeshurun, whom I have chosen. For I will pour water on him who is thirsty, and floods on the dry ground; I will pour My Spirit on your descendants, and My blessing on your offspring; they will spring up among the grass like willows by the watercourses."

      Yet HEAR NOW...Though Isaiah 43 ended with a warning of judgment, it does NOT mean God TAKES BACK His promise of hope and restoration. Israel can still know the goodness of the LORD, if they will only turn back to Him.

      Thus says the LORD who made you...This reminds us that God is STILL active in and responsible for creation. He didn't just create Adam and Eve and then let the whole thing go. There is a sense in which God has made each one of us, so we each have a personal obligation to Him as our Creator, AMEN?

      DID YOU KNOW...
      The name Jeshurun means "the upright one." It is used here as a contrast to the name Jacob, even as Israel is sometimes used as a contrast to Jacob.

      AND...the name Jeshurun appears only THREE more times in the Old Testament: Deuteronomy 32:15, 33:5, 26; and in all cases it is used OF ISRAEL… this word bespeaks a WONDER OF GRACE, for He calls His deeply sinful people His beloved, His upright one.

      Fear not … For I will pour water on him … I will pour My Spirit on your descendants...This is a glorious promise to a humble, returning Israel. God will not simply give them His Spirit; He will pour out His Spirit on them as if water was poured over them.

      This is a freedom in the giving of the Spirit.
      This is a flow in the giving of the Spirit.
      This is abundance in the giving of the Spirit.
      This is an evident giving of the Spirit.

      God WANTS to pour His Spirit upon His people!

      If you experience a few drops, God wants to pour.

      If you are bone dry, God wants to pour.

      If you know the pour, God wants to keep pouring!

      We must learn to stop saying "when" as God pours!

      CHARLES SPURGEON says it well...."Without the Spirit of God we can do nothing; we are as ships without wind, or chariots without steeds, like branches without sap, we are withered; like coals without fire, we are useless; as an offering without the sacrificial flame, we are unaccepted. I desire both to feel and to confess this fact whenever I attempt to preach. I do not wish to get away from it, or to conceal it, nor can I, for I am often made to feel it to the deep humbling of my spirit."

      Who receives this gift?...

      HE OR SHE WHO IS THIRSTY!

      When we are thirsty for the outpouring of the Spirit, ask for it and receive it in faith, we can expect to be poured on. God is looking for dry ground to pour out floods upon!

      And My blessing on your offspring...

      God doesn't only want to pour His Spirit; He also wants to pour His blessing, on us and our offspring.

      They will spring up among the grass like willows...

      The effect of the poured-out Spirit is LIFE. Life springs up and grows where the Spirit of God is poured out.

      Verse 5 gives us the PROMISE OF BELONGING to the LORD.

      "One will say, "I am the Lord's"; another will call himself by the name of Jacob; another will write with his hand, "The Lord's," and name himself by the name of Israel."

      One will say, "I am the Lord's"...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      Another effect of the poured out Spirit is that He identifies us as belonging to the Lord. When the Holy Spirit is poured out on us, we KNOW we belong to the Lord, and we ARE NOT afraid to say it.

      REMEMBER EPHESIANS 1:13, which confirms & reminds us, "The Holy Spirit is an identifying seal upon the believer."

      Another will write with his hand, "The Lord's," and name himself by the name of Israel...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
      When the Holy Spirit is poured out on us, we WANT to take the name of the Lord. We WANT everyone to know we belong to Him, and He belongs to us, AMEN?

      CHARLES SPURGEON tells us, "The Lord's": "The text may have another rendering, for, if you notice, the word 'with' in the text is in italics, to show that it was inserted by the translators. It might run thus: 'Another shall subscribe his hand unto the Lord.' This alludes to the custom which still exists, but which was more common in those days, of a servant being marked or tattooed in the hand with his master's name … Paul alludes to this when he says, 'Henceforth let no man trouble me, for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus;' as much as to say, 'I am Christ's: I have had his name branded upon me.'"


      Verses 6-8 tells us The LORD declares to witnesses that HE ALONE IS GOD.

      "Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel, and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: "I am the First and I am the Last; besides Me there is no God. And who can proclaim as I do? Then let him declare it and set it in order for Me, since I appointed the ancient people. And the things that are coming and shall come, let them show these to them. Do not fear, nor be afraid; have I not told you from that time, and declared it? You are My witnesses. Is there a God besides Me? Indeed there is no other Rock; I know not one."

      I am the First and I am the Last; besides Me there is no God...

      The LORD has already taken this unique title in Isaiah 41:4, in the same context of proclaiming His glory against the feeble false gods. An idol can never be the First, because an idol needs someone to make him. An idol can never be the Last, because they wear out and break. But the Lord GOD of Israel is both the First and the Last; He is completely unique, and besides Him there is no God.

      HE ALONE IS NOT CREATED...HE ALWAYS HAS BEEN.
      HE ALONE DOES NOT BREAK.
      HE ALONE DOES NOT WEAR OUT!

      AND REMEMBER....OUR JESUS takes the same title of THE FIRST AND THE LAST in Revelation 1:17 and 22:13.

      If the LORD is the First and the Last according to Isaiah 44:6, and if Jesus is the First and the Last according to Revelation 1:17 and 22:13, since there cannot be two firsts or two lasts, Jesus must be the LORD God!

      Who CAN PROCLAIM as I do?

      THE LORD IS TELLING US SIMPLY AND CRYSTAL CLEAR....because HE IS the First and the Last, He lives outside our time-domain, and can proclaim things before they happen. He can proclaim the things that are coming and shall come. This shows God really is who He says He is, watching and directing the parade of human and cosmic history as it makes its course down His appointed path.

      Do NOT fear, nor be afraid...

      Knowing these truths about God isn't only good for winning theological quiz games. When we really know who God is, and His great wisdom and authority over all things, it erases ALL FEAR, WORRY, AND DOUBT in our lives, AMEN?!

      You ARE MY WITNESSES

      Is there a God besides Me? God says to His people, "You are all witnesses of these truths. Tell Me yourself - is there any God besides Me?"

      Because there is no other God besides the LORD, it means that God the Father is the LORD, God the Son is the LORD, and God the Holy Spirit is the LORD.

      Yahweh - the name translated by the small-caps LORD -is the Triune God, the One God in Three Persons. There are no "grades" or "degrees" to TRUE deity. There are false gods, symbolic gods, and the true God -and the only true God is Yahweh, the LORD.

      Indeed there is no other Rock; I know not one: Since God is the only God, He is the only solid ground to build our life upon, AMEN?

      IN THIS DAY AND AGE....of hundreds of "gods" little "g", I have found that saying....GOD BLESS YOU...does NOT bother or shed much light on WHO MY GOD IS...because people can TAKE IT TO MEAN....ALLAH, MOHAMMED, BUDDHA, VISHNU...an ocean of "gods"...BUT I WANT THEM TO KNOW WHO MY GOD IS...and there is ONLY ONE JESUS CHRIST...ONLY ONE.

      SO NOW I SAY...JESUS BLESS YOU...THANK YOU JESUS...BE BLESSED AND STAY BLESSED IN OUR JESUS CHRIST...SO THEY WILL KNOW THE NAME OF MY LORD, SAVIOR, MASTER, & FRIEND, AMEN!

      AND IT IS THE RIGHT THING FOR US TO DO...

      WHY?

      BECAUSE ALMIGHTY GOD HIMSELF...TELLS US IN HIS WORD...

      WHERE?

      JOHN 3:35, "The Father loveth the Son, and hath given ALL things into HIS hand."

      JOHN 13:3, "Jesus knowing that the Father had given ALL things into HIS hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God;"

      JOHN 14:6, Jesus tells us himself, " I AM the way, the truth, and the life, NO MAN cometh unto The Father, but by ME."

      Verses 9-20 tells us of the FOLLY OF IDOL MAKERS.

      Adam Clarke says it well of this POWERFUL passage: "The sacred writers are generally large and eloquent upon the subject of idolatry; they treat it with great severity, and set forth the absurdity of it in the strongest light. But this passage of Isaiah … far exceeds anything that ever was written upon the subject, in force of argument, energy of expression, and elegance of composition."

      HERE IS WHAT THE LORD GOD SAYS TO IDOL MAKERS.

      "Those who make an image, all of them are useless, and their precious things shall not profit; they are their own witnesses; they neither see nor know, that they may be ashamed. Who would form a god or mold an image that profits him nothing? Surely all his companions would be ashamed; and the workmen, they are mere men. Let them all be gathered together, let them stand up; yet they shall fear, they shall be ashamed together. The blacksmith with the tongs works one in the coals, fashions it with hammers, and works it with the strength of his arms. Even so, he is hungry, and his strength fails; he drinks no water and is faint. The craftsman stretches out his rule, he marks one out with chalk; he fashions it with a plane, he marks it out with the compass, and makes it like the figure of a man, according to the beauty of a man, that it may remain in the house. He cuts down cedars for himself, and takes the cypress and the oak; he secures it for himself among the trees of the forest. He plants a pine, and the rain nourishes it. Then it shall be for a man to burn, for he will take some of it and warm himself; yes, he kindles it and bakes bread; indeed he makes a god and worships it; he makes it a carved image, and falls down to it. He burns half of it in the fire; with this half he eats meat; he roasts a roast, and is satisfied. He even warms himself and says, "Ah! I am warm, I have seen the fire." And the rest of it he makes into a god, his carved image. He falls down before it and worships it, prays to it and says, "Deliver me, for you are my god!" They do not know nor understand; for He has shut their eyes, so that they cannot see, and their hearts, so that they cannot understand. And no one considers in his heart, nor is there knowledge nor understanding to say, "I have burned half of it in the fire, yes, I have also baked bread on its coals; I have roasted meat and eaten it; and shall I make the rest of it an abomination? Shall I fall down before a block of wood?" He feeds on ashes; a deceived heart has turned him aside; and he cannot deliver his soul, nor say, "Is there not a lie in my right hand?"

      RIGHT HERE ALMIGHTY GOD TELLS ISAIAH AND SHOWS ISAIAH THE FOOLISHNESS OF IDOL MAKERS.

      A simple look at how idols are made shows how silly it is to regard them as gods, so ALMIGHTY GOD SAYS the idol makers themselves are their own WORST ENEMIES...AND ARE witnesses AGAINST themselves.

      WE SEE IN COURT PROCEEDINGS WHERE WITNESSES ON THE STAND, AS WELL DEFENDANTS, WILL PLEAD THE FIFTH, which MEANS, "Pleading the fifth is a reference to the Fifth Amendment. Making such a plea means that you refuse to answer the question on the ground that your answer might incriminate you, IN OTHER WORDS PROVE YOU GUILTY OR AT THE LEAST CULPABLE. If you choose to take the fifth upon questioning by an opposing party, just know that you will probably have to take the fifth for every question you are asked."

      WE MAY DO THAT ON THE EARTH, BUT IN THE HEAVENLY THRONE ROOM...THE HEAVENLY COURT, THE JUDGE KNOWS ALL, SEES ALL, AND UNDERSTANDS PERFECTLY ALL THINGS...SO PLEADING THE 5TH IN HEAVEN WILL NOT SAVE YOU. ALMIGHTY GOD KEEPS EXCELLENT RECORDS...FOR THE LOST AND REJECTING, IT IS EVERY SINGLE THOUGHT, PLOT, PLAN, ACTION, BEHAVIOR...NOTHING IS HIDDEN....BUT FOR THOSE WHO ARE SAVED AND REDEEMED BY THE SAVING GRACE OF JESUS CHRIST, IT MEANS WE ARE JUDGED & REWARDED FOR WHAT WE HAVE DONE FOR JESUS, AMEN?

      The workmen, they are MERE men...
      ALMIGHTY GOD looks at the people who make idols, and SHOWS ISAIAH & REMINDS US that they themselves are only weak, frail, flawed men.

      The blacksmith becomes hungry, and his strength fails.
      The craftsman works hard with wood, but it is only wood.
      Half of the tree is made into an object of worship and trust, and the other half is burned for a warm fire and cooking.

      They do NOT know nor understand; for He has shut their eyes, so they cannot see...

      How could the idol makers fail to see what is so obvious about the stupidity of idolatry? God has shut their eyes, and shut their hearts.

      Is this unjust of God?
      Is THE LORD condemning man for something that He is really responsible for?

      Not at all.

      They first loved the darkness and chose their blindness, then the LORD gave them what they wanted. Isaiah points to this when he writes, no one considers in his heart, nor is there knowledge nor understanding to say … a deceived heart has turned him aside.

      REMEMBER TOO....It is the same way that God hardened the heart of Pharaoh (Exodus 4:21).
      Sometimes it says that Pharaoh hardened his own heart (Exodus 8:15).

      Sometimes it says simply that Pharaoh's heart was hardened, without saying who did it (Exodus 7:13).

      Who really did it?

      When we consider the occasions where God hardened Pharaoh's heart, we must never think that God did it against Pharaoh's will.

      It was NEVER a case of Pharaoh saying, "Oh, I want to do what is good and right and I want to bless these people of Israel" and God replying, "No, for I will harden your heart against them!"

      When God hardened Pharaoh's heart, He was allowing Pharaoh's heart to do what Pharaoh WANTED to do - God was giving Pharaoh over to his sin, as reminded & confirmed to us in ROMANS 1:18-32.

      He feeds on ashes...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      The wooden idol from the craftsman's shop is just a warm fire away from being ashes. Worshipping and serving and idol - any false god - is as wise and as satisfying as eating ashes. We can only satisfy our soul in God, AMEN?

      And he cannot deliver his soul, nor say, "Is there not a lie in my right hand?"

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      The one given over to a false god is so entranced in the lie that he is in bondage. He holds the idol in his right hand - the hand of power and authority - yet cannot see that it is a lie.

      MOTYER says it well, "The idolater picks up the figurine in his hand, holding it, but in reality it holds him. He is in bondage to a lie."

      Verses 21-23 tells us remembering and praising the greatness and the glory of the true God.

      "Remember these, O Jacob, and Israel, for you are My servant; I have formed you, you are My servant; O Israel, you will not be forgotten by Me! I have blotted out, like a thick cloud, your transgressions, and like a cloud, your sins. Return to Me, for I have redeemed you." Sing, O heavens, for the LORD has done it! Shout, you lower parts of the earth; break forth into singing, you mountains, O forest, and every tree in it! For the LORD has redeemed Jacob, and glorified Himself in Israel."

      REMEMBER THESE, O Jacob...

      As Israel remembers the foolishness of making and worshipping idols, it should inspire greater trust and confidence in God. When we think about the alternatives to following the LORD, it should make us follow Him all the more closely, AMEN?

      If the foolishness of the alternative wasn't enough, God gives His people many more reasons to trust and love Him...

      I have formed you …
      You are My servant …
      You will not be forgotten by Me …
      I have blotted out, like a thick cloud, your transgressions …
      I have redeemed you.

      Any one of these would be reason enough, but combined, they are overwhelming, AMEN?

      Sing, O heavens, for the LORD has done it!
      This is the ONLY LOGICAL reaction to seeing who God is. And if God's people won't do it, then creation itself will (Shout, you lower parts of the earth; break into singing, you mountains).

      For the LORD has redeemed Jacob, and glorified Himself in Israel... Creation rejoices when God saves and glorifies Himself in His people.

      AND REMEMBER Paul developed this theme in Romans 8:19-22.

      Verses 24-28 tells us The LORD demonstrates He is the true God by prophesying a future deliverer of Israel.

      "Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, and He who formed you from the womb: "I am the LORD, who makes all things, who stretches out the heavens all alone, who spreads abroad the earth by Myself; who frustrates the signs of the babblers, and drives diviners mad; who turns wise men backward, and makes their knowledge foolishness; who confirms the word of His servant, and performs the counsel of His messengers; who says to Jerusalem, 'You shall be inhabited,' to the cities of Judah, 'You shall be built,' and I will raise up her waste places; who says to the deep, 'Be dry! And I will dry up your rivers'; who says of Cyrus, 'He is My shepherd, and he shall perform all My pleasure, saying to Jerusalem, "You shall be built," and to the temple, "Your foundation shall be laid."'"

      The LORD makes remarkable claims through this whole passage, and in these verses.

      He claims to be:

      Their Redeemer...
      The Creator of each person (who formed you from the womb)
      The Creator of all things (who makes all things)
      Wiser and greater than anyone (who frustrates the signs of the babblers)
      Who upholds His own (who confirms the word of His servants)
      Who resurrects dead cities (who says to Jerusalem, "You shall be inhabited")
      Who has authority over all creation (who says to the deep, "Be dry!").

      How can God back up such great claims?

      HE TELLS ISAIAH & THE PEOPLE & US WHAT WILL HAPPEN 200 YEARS BEFORE IT HAPPENED!

      Who says of Cyrus...

      God PROVES He is who He claims to be by announcing the name of a deliverer for Israel's Babylonian exiles - and Isaiah wrote this more than 200 years before Cyrus fulfilled this prophecy - by name!

      SINCE WE HAVE STUDIED ISAIAH 41, WE KNOW ISAIAH alluded to the king who would bring about Israel's release from captivity in Isaiah 41:2, but in this passage, amazingly, ALMIGHTY GOD mentions him TO ISAIAH by name. "Cyrus, whom God here designeth by his proper name two hundred years before he was born, that this might be an undeniable evidence of the certainty and exactness of God's foreknowledge, and a convincing argument, and so most fit to conclude this dispute between God and idols.

      DID YOU KNOW, THERE ARE SOME COMMENTATORS THAT SAY AND TEACH AND BELIEVE that Isaiah wrote much of this, but someone after the events were fulfilled just wrote in the name Cyrus. This doesn't hold true, because the whole section is carefully written to dramatically reveal the name of Cyrus. Just the name couldn't have been written in later.


      AND DID YOU KNOW.....BULTEMA tells us "Josephus in his Antiquities relates that when Cyrus came across his name mentioned in this place in Isaiah 220 years before he lived, he was seized by a holy desire to fulfill what was written of him."

      He is My shepherd....Cyrus was a shepherd in the sense that God used him to do something good and helpful for Israel.

      AND DID YOU KNOW....

      Kings were called 'shepherds' as being guardians and carers of their people, such as in 2 Samuel 24:17; 1 Kings 22:17; Jeremiah 2:8. The title here signifies that the coming conqueror is the Lord's appointed carer -even, as a shepherd would, to lead them into their PROPER pastures.

      Cyrus was a special instrument in God's hand, for God's work. He would do the work of the LORD (He shall perform all My pleasure), and open the door for the work of rebuilding Jerusalem and the temple after the Babylonians destroyed them.

      AND DID YOU KNOW....
      The royal proclamations of Cyrus fulfilling this prophecy are found in Ezra 1:2 and 2 Chronicles 36:23.

      The specific work commissioned by Cyrus is described in detail, including drying up the waters (Who says to the deep, "Be dry!") and laying the foundation for the temple (Your foundation shall be laid).

      AND INTERESTINGLY ENOUGH...DID YOU KNOW...

      Foundations, as Ezra records (3:10-13; 5:16), in the days of Cyrus the rebuilding of the temple did not progress beyond the laying of the foundations. THAT WE NOW KNOW, HAVING STUDIED THE BOOK OF NEHEMIAH...WAS FOR HIM TO DO!

      With such amazingly specific claims, it is no wonder that God proves who He is through predicted and fulfilled prophecy.

      AND REMEMBER PETER CONFIRMS, REMINDS AND WARNS US....IN 2 PETER 1:19-21

      "And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit."

      THE LORD GOD IS THE ONLY TRUE GOD...THE FIRST AND THE LAST...THE BEGINNING AND THE END.

      WE CAN TRUST THE LORD JESUS CHRIST AND HIS WORD.

      AND WE SHOULD TRUST IN JESUS AND HIS WORD ALONE.

    • July 6, 2016 1:49 AM EDT
    • ISAIAH 45



      OPENS WITH ALMIGHTY GOD SAYING LOOK TO ME AND BE SAVED



      Verses 1-3 tells us God's calling and mission for Cyrus, whom HE CHOSE.

      "Thus says the LORD to His anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have held; to subdue nations before him and loose the armor of kings, to open before him the double doors, so that the gates will not be shut: "I will go before you and make the crooked places straight; I will break in pieces the gates of bronze and cut the bars of iron. I will give you the treasures of darkness and hidden riches of secret places, that you may know that I, the LORD, who call you by your name, am the God of Israel."

      Thus says the LORD to His anointed, to Cyrus...

      YOU NOTICE GOD HAS Isaiah carry on ...continue this remarkable prophecy from the previous chapter. In it, God announces - by name - the deliverer for His people from a coming captivity, and He does it 200 years BEFORE the man Cyrus is born.

      HIS ANOINTED means that Cyrus had a particular anointing from God for his work. God poured out His Spirit on a pagan king, because God wanted to use that man to bless and deliver His people.

      DID YOU KNOW...IN THE OLD TESTAMENT....there is only ONE OTHER GOD anointing of a non-Israelite king, (A PAGAN) in 1 Kings 19:15-16.

      AND GROGAN says it well..."Although the living God normally employed Israelites for such purposes, he is sovereign and may use whom he will."

      Thus says the LORD to His anointed means that this word was particularly directed to Cyrus.

      This was God's message to him, and Cyrus apparently listened. Josephus says, "These things Cyrus knew from reading the book of prophecy which Isaiah had left behind two hundred and ten years earlier."

      Whose RIGHT HAND I have held...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      Like many of us, Cyrus could look back on his life and career and see how the LORD held his hand the entire time. To subdue nations before him and loose the armor of kings: Cyrus had a remarkable military career, AMEN?

      AND TRAPP, A WONDERFUL CHRISTIAN HISTORIAN tells us JUST how REMARKABLE CYRUS military career was..."To his appointed and enabled one, to subdue many nations. Xenophon, in his first book … gives us a list of them. Cyrus subdued, saith he, the Syrians, Assyrians, Arabians, Cappodcians, Phrygians, the Lydians, Carians, Phoenicians, Babylonians, the Bactrians, Indians, Cilicians, Sacians, Paphloagonians, Maryandines, and many other nations. He also had a dominion over the Asiatics, Greeks, Cyprians, Egyptians … He vanquished, saith Herodotus, whatever country soever he invaded."

      To open before him the double doors, so that the gates will not be shut … I will break in pieces the gates of bronze...

      AND SINCE WE HAVE ALREADY STUDIED THE ENTIRE BOOK OF DANIEL, DANIEL 5 CONFIRMS IT.

      The armies of the Medes and Persians, under Cyrus, conquered the city of Babylon in a remarkable raid. According to the ancient historian Herodotus, while King Belshazzar of Babylon held a reckless party, Cyrus conquered the city by diverting the flow of the Euphrates into a nearby swamp; thus lowering the level of the river so his troops could march through the water and under the river-gates. But they still would not have been able to enter, had not the bronze gates of the inner walls been left inexplicably unlocked. God opened the gates of the city of Babylon for Cyrus, and put it in writing 200 years before it happened!"

      AND MOTYER gives us more, "In October 539 B.C., Cyrus advanced into lower Mesopotamia and, leaving Babylon till last, conquered and occupied the surrounding territory. Seeing which way the wind was blowing, Nabonidus of Babylon deserted his city, leaving it in the charge of his son Belshazzar … the taking of Babylon was as bloodless and effortless as Daniel 6 implies."

      I will give you the treasures of darkness and hidden riches of secret places...

      The night they conquered the city, Cyrus and his armies took all the staggering treasures of Babylon - and it was important the Cyrus know that the LORD had given it to him.

      On the night Babylon fell, Cyrus probably had no great sense of the LORD's guidance or presence. He probably thought himself both brilliant and lucky. Often we succeed in something only by the blessing and pleasure of God, and NEVER see the miraculous hand of God behind it all, nor give HIM THE PRAISE AND GLORY AND HONOR AND THANKFULNESS HE DESERVES, AMEN?!

      AND MORE OVER...God certainly gave Cyrus VAST treasures.
      Clarke cites Pliny: "When Cyrus conquered Asia, he found thirty-four thousand pounds weight of gold, besides golden vessels and articles in gold."

      That you may know that I, the LORD, who call you by your name, am the God of Israel...

      God announced all this 200 years before its fulfillment, so that Cyrus WOULD KNOW AND GLORY the LORD. But the LORD also did it so Cyrus would SHOW KINDNESS to the people of God, granting them permission TO RETURN to the Promised Land from the captivity imposed on them by the Babylonians.

      The royal proclamations of Cyrus fulfilling this prophecy are found in Ezra 1:2 and 2 Chronicles 36:23.

      Verses 4-7 tells us THE PURPOSE behind God's calling and mission for Cyrus.

      "For Jacob My servant's sake, and Israel My elect, I have even called you by your name; I have named you, though you have not known Me. I am the LORD, and there is no other; there is no God besides Me. I will gird you, though you have not known Me, that they may know from the rising of the sun to its setting that there is none besides Me. I am the LORD, and there is no other; I form the light and create darkness, I make peace and create calamity; I, the LORD, do all these things."

      For Jacob My servant's sake...

      Cyrus would like to think that God picked him because he was the smartest or most talented or strongest man available. Really, God's focus was on HIS PEOPLE. It wasn't Cyrus that moved God to act, but the condition and cry of His people. It was for THEIR sake.

      REDPATH says it well...."Cyrus is preferred in order that Israel might be released. Cyrus shall have a kingdom, but only in order that God's people may have their liberty. The Lord raises up one, and He puts down another. Behind all the drama of human events today there is a God who is planning for His church - through affliction and persecution, chastening and tribulation - to be perfected and prepared to inherit the Kingdom of God."

      I HAVE NAMED YOU, though you have NOT known Me … I WILL GIRD YOU, though you have NOT known Me...

      Cyrus DID NOT even know the LORD, yet God could anoint him, guide him, bless him, and use him. How much more should God be able to do through those who have at least a mustard seed's worth of faith in Him, AMEN?!

      Proverbs 21:2 says, "The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes."

      NEVER LIMIT OUR JESUS....HE IS ABLE TO WORK IN AND THROUGH OTHERS IN VERY UNEXPECTED WAYS, AMEN?!

      That THEY MAY KNOW from the rising of the sun to its setting that there is NONE BESIDES ME...

      This was wonderfully fulfilled in Ezra 1:1-3. That passage shows how when Cyrus made his proclamation allowing the people of God to return to the Promised Land, that HE, CYRUS, ACKNOWLEDGED TO THE WHOLE WORLD THE GREATNESS & UNIQUENESS OF THE LORD GOD OF ISRAEL!

      EZRA 1:1-3 tells us, "Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and also put it in writing, saying, "Thus says Cyrus king of Persia: All the kingdoms of the earth the LORD God of heaven has given me. And He has commanded me to build Him a house at Jerusalem which is in Judah. Who is among you of all His people? May his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem which is in Judah, and build the house of the LORD God of Israel (He is God), which is in Jerusalem."

      I FORM the light and CREATE darkness, I MAKE peace and CREATE calamity; I, the LORD, do all these things...

      Simply put, GOD TELL ISAIAH, ONE DAY Cyrus would know and declare to the whole world, and we should know today, that JESUS IS IN CONTROL.

      Since this prophecy was given LONG BEFORE God's people WENT INTO THE CAPTIVITY, GOD TELLS ISAIAH TO TELL THEM & ANNOUNCE THEIR DELIVERANCE FROM THE BABYLONIANS, they could be comforted through the captivity TO COME by knowing THE LORD GOD IS ALWAYS IN CONTROL OF ALL THINGS, AMEN?!

      BULTEMA SAYS IT WELL..."Isaiah's point is that there are not two gods or forces in heaven, one good and one bad, as in a dualistic "yin and yang" sense. "Cyrus was a Persian, and Persians had a DUALISTIC concept of God and the world. Their GOOD god they called Ahura-mazda and their EVIL god Angra-mainya. The former had created the light, the second the darkness."

      But WE WHO LOVE THE LORD GOD KNOW HE HAS NO OPPOSITE, AMEN?

      Satan is not and has never been God's opposite.

      There is one God.

      He is NOT the author of evil; evil is never "original," but always a PERVERSION, A TWISTING of an existing good.

      AND EPHESIANS 3:8-11 & 1:9-10 tells us..."Yet God is the allower of evil, and He uses it to accomplish His eternal purpose of bringing together all things in Jesus."

      If God could further His eternal purpose by allowing His Son to die a wicked, unjust death on a cross, then He knows how to use what He allows for His eternal purpose, AMEN?!

      Undoubtedly the Lord DOES MAKE USE OF EVIL INTENT so that it may bring forth good!

      When God does great, miraculous things, it is easy to believe that He is in control. When times are hard and the trials heavy, we need to believe it ALL THE MORE.

      Verse 8 tells us God calls to the creation.

      "Rain down, you heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness; let the earth open, let them bring forth salvation, and let righteousness spring up together. I, the LORD, have created it."

      Rain down, you heavens...

      The great God described in the previous passage can speak to the heavens and bring rain. It is true in the literal, natural sense; but it is also true in a literal spiritual sense. God can send a flood from heaven, and let the skies pour down righteousness AMEN!

      Let the earth open, let them bring forth salvation...

      God can send His blessing from every direction. It comes down from the heavens, it comes up from the earth.

      Let them bring forth salvation, and let righteousness spring up together...

      It is important to see that salvation and righteousness always spring up together. When God brings salvation to a life, He also brings righteousness to that life. They spring up together.

      I, the LORD, have created it...

      What is God speaking of here? That He created the natural, physical world? Or that He created the invisible, spiritual world? Both are true, so both may be in mind here.

      Verses 9-10 tells us the FOOLISHNESS OF RESISTING our Creator.

      "Woe to him who strives with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth! Shall the clay say to him who forms it, "What are you making?" Or shall your handiwork say, "He has no hands"? Woe to him who says to his father, "What are you begetting?" Or to the woman, "What have you brought forth?"

      Woe to him who strives with his Maker! Knowing that God is the Creator of all things should make us hesitant to oppose Him in any way. It is as foolish as for the clay to say to him who forms it, "What are you making?"

      It is foolish to oppose our Creator because since He made us, He can break us.

      If it foolish to oppose our Creator because since He made us, He knows what is best for us. It is foolish to oppose our Creator, because we owe the greatest obligation to Him.

      Or shall your handiwork say, "He has no hands"?...

      The only thing more foolish than the creature resisting and oppose the Creator is for the creature to believe there is no Creator! Isaiah pictures a clay pot, the handiwork of the potter saying, "My potter has no hands. I have no Creator!"

      Woe to him who says to his father, "What are you begetting?"

      The begotten has no say in his coming to be. It is simply foolish and counter-productive for us to question and accuse God over how He made us. Each of us has our strengths and weaknesses, and we each have our triumphs and challenges. We simply need to accept what we are before God and look for His redeeming, transforming power to conform us into the image of His Son, Jesus Christ in Romans 8:29.

      Verses 11-13 tells us The God of all creation will raise up Cyrus and deliver His people.

      "Thus says the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker: "Ask Me of things to come concerning My sons; and concerning the work of My hands, you command Me. I have made the earth, and created man on it. I; My hands; stretched out the heavens, and all their host I have commanded. I have raised him up in righteousness, and I will direct all his ways; he shall build My city and let My exiles go free, not for price nor reward," says the LORD of hosts."

      I have made the earth, and created man on it...

      Repeatedly through this extended section of Isaiah, God emphasizes His place as Creator.

      WHY?

      The importance put on this idea here shows us that knowing God as Creator IS NOT an option, or just a matter of text-book fights in the courts and public schools.

      When we REJECT God as Creator, we REJECT the God of the Bible, and serve a god of our own imagination.

      THE LORD GOD REALLY DID MAKE US AND IT REALLY DOES MATTER, AMEN?!?!


      THE OLD TESTAMENT TELL US THE CREATOR is not only the One who BEGAN everything, but also the One who MAINTAINS everything in existence, controls and guides everything.

      I will direct all his ways; he shall build My city and let My exiles go free...

      The God of ALL POWER AND CREATION uses that power on behalf of His people. He WILL DIRECT the ways of the announced deliverer - Cyrus - and cause him to rebuild Jerusalem and release the people of God captive to a forced relocation. And Cyrus will do it NOT for price or reward, but out of a CONVICTION from God that he must do it!

      Verses 14-17 tells us when the LORD is revealed as the true God, IDOLATERS SUBMIT and God's people ARE SAVED.

      "Thus says the LORD: "The labor of Egypt and merchandise of Cush And of the Sabeans, men of stature, shall come over to you, and they shall be yours; they shall walk behind you, they shall come over in chains; and they shall bow down to you. They will make supplication to you, saying, 'Surely God is in you, and there is no other; there is no other God.'" Truly You are God, who hide Yourself, O God of Israel, the Savior! They shall be ashamed and also disgraced, all of them; they shall go in confusion together, who are makers of idols. But Israel shall be saved by the LORD with an everlasting salvation; you shall not be ashamed or disgraced forever and ever."

      They shall walk behind you, they shall come over in chains...

      Even as Israel was led away in the captivity of a forced relocation, so one day Israel will be supreme among the nations, and lead them as they and the LORD please.

      And they shall bow down to you … saying, "Surely God is in you … there is no other God." The submission of the nations to Israel is not so much to Israel itself, as it is to the God of Israel.

      Truly You are God...

      Isaiah here pours out an inspired flood of praise, describing God, exalting God, declaring confidence in God, receiving from God.

      Truly You are God, who hide Yourself...

      It IS NOT that God hides Himself from the seeking sinner.

      Isaiah simply declares what Paul would later say in 1 Timothy 1:17: "Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen."

      Bultema on Truly You are God, who hide Yourself, O God of Israel, the Savior! says, "When he sees how God for many centuries hides His face from Israel, he cries out these words, overcome by rapture and emotion. The LORD hides Himself from Israel during the times of the Gentiles (18:4; 40:27; 49:14; Hosea 3:3-5) … So it is clear that we may not apply these words to a seeking sinner. From such God does NOT hide Himself. But when in the last days Israel will seek Him, SHE WILL find Him."

      SADLY, right now, THE NATION OF ISRAEL as a whole people, do not seek THE LORD, they cling to PARTS OF THE OLD TESTAMENT that is FILLED WITH rites, feasts, and rituals, but do NOT HAVE relationship..BUT ONE DAY...SHE WILL...AND WHEN SHE SEEKS THE LORD WITH HER WHOLE HEART....SHE WILL FIND THE LORD!!!

      Verses 18-21 tells us The LORD declares His greatness and the foolishness of idolatry.

      "For thus says the LORD, who created the heavens, who is God, who formed the earth and made it, who has established it, who did not create it in vain, who formed it to be inhabited: "I am the LORD, and there is no other. I have not spoken in secret, In a dark place of the earth; I did not say to the seed of Jacob, 'Seek Me in vain'; I, the LORD, speak righteousness, I declare things that are right. Assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, you who have escaped from the nations. They have no knowledge, who carry the wood of their carved image, and pray to a god that cannot save. Tell and bring forth your case; yes, let them take counsel together. Who has declared this from ancient time? Who has told it from that time? Have not I, the LORD? And there is no other God besides Me, a just God and a Savior; there is none besides Me."

      For thus says the LORD, who created the heavens...

      By sheer repetition, Isaiah virtually pounds it into our awareness - that God is our Creator, and we have obligations to Him as our Creator.

      Who did not create it in vain, who formed it to be inhabited...

      This brief statement - who did not create it in vain -is the Scriptural basis for a speculative doctrine known as the "Gap Theory."

      AND WHAT IS THE GAP THEORY?

      The Gap Theory is based on a comparison between Isaiah 45:18 and Genesis 1:2, which they translate as the earth became without form and void.

      Here in Isaiah 45:18, God says that He did not create it in vain, and vain is the same Hebrew word for void found in Genesis 1:2.

      The idea is that God did NOT create it in vain (void), but that it became without form and void through Satanic attack and ages of desolation, which explain the vast geological ages and fossil remains which seem to date far beyond the history of the Bible. According to the Gap Theory, Genesis 1:3 and following is the re-creation of a world that was made void by Satan.

      This first thing to be said against the Gap Theory is that while to translate Genesis 1:2 (The earth was without form, and void) as the earth became without form and void doesn't follow the most plain understanding of the Hebrew grammar here. It is permissible, but a bit of a stretch. The most natural way to translate the passage is to say the earth was without form and void instead of the earth became without form and void.

      The other thing to be said against the Gap Theory is how it has been used as an answer to how some have interpreted the fossil record.

      Those who believe in the Gap Theory assign old and extinct fossils to this long and indefinite "Gap" between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2. But whatever merit the Gap Theory may have, it cannot explain the extinction and fossilization of ancient animals.

      AND HERE IS A GREAT THING TO REMEMBER AND TO ANSWER THOSE WHO SAY THERE WERE MILLIONS OF YEARS BETWEEN GENESIS 1:1 AND GENESIS 1:2...

      The Bible says plainly death came by Adam, CONFIRMED IN ROMANS Romans 5:12, and since fossils are the RESULT OF DEATH, they COULD NOT HAVE HAPPENED BEFORE Adam's time.

      IT IS SO COOL, TO ALSO HAVE THE QUESTION ASKED TODAY...."WHAT CAME FIRST, THE CHICKEN OR THE EGG" ANSWERED IN GENESIS AS WELL. GOD CREATED THE ANIMALS AS ADULTS MALE AND FEMALE ANIMALS...SO THE CHICKEN CAME FIRST AS WELL!!!

      I did not say to the seed of Jacob, "Seek Me in vain."...

      It is a wicked thing, A LIE STRAIGHT FROM THE PIT OF HELL AND DECEIVED AND BLIND MANKIND... to think God ever says to His people, "Seek Me in vain."

      When we seek for God with all of our heart, we WILL FIND HIM.

      Jeremiah 29:13 says, "And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart."

      Hebrews 11:6 says, "he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him."

      They have no knowledge, who carry the wood of their carved image, and pray to a god that cannot save...

      As the LORD declares His own greatness, faithfulness, and saving power, it naturally contrasts with the foolish idols of the nation - which must be carried, instead of being able to carry the one who worships them. AMEN?!

      Who has declared it from ancient times...

      The amazing phenomenon of predictive prophecy shows that God is who He says He is, and that there is no other God besides Him.

      A just God and a Savior...

      As much as anything else, this shows the amazing power, wisdom, and love of God. At first glance, it is impossible to see how a just God can be a Savior when justice demands that sinners be damned. But prompted by His great love, God fulfilled the righteous demands of His justice at the cross, so He could extend Himself to us as Savior, yet still remain a just God. AMEN?!

      As Paul put it in Romans 3:26, "That He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus."

      Verses 22-25 tells us looking to the LORD and finding salvation in surrender.

      "Look to Me, and be saved, All you ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other. I have sworn by Myself; the word has gone out of My mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, that to Me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall take an oath. He shall say, "Surely in the LORD I have righteousness and strength. To Him men shall come, and all shall be ashamed who are incensed against Him. In the LORD all the descendants of Israel shall be justified, and shall glory."

      Look to Me, and be saved, all you ends of the earth!

      This simple but powerful statement shows the plan of salvation for ALL MANKIND...RIGHT HERE BY THE LORD IN THE OLD TESTAMENT!

      It shows the SIMPLICITY of salvation....

      ALL WE MUST DO IS LOOK!

      REDPATH says it well, "One can read may books on theology which expound all kinds of things in an attempt to show how man can reach God, but these theories are far from the truth. The Holy Spirit needs exactly four letters, two of them the same, to tell us what to do: l-o-o-k. That is all. It is the simplest, basic thing any person can do, yet the most difficult to do in daily living."

      It ALSO shows the FOCUS of salvation...

      AGAIN REDPATH says it so well...."We must look to God, and NEVER to ourselves or to anything else of man. "Look unto ME, is His Word, which means looking away from the church because that will save nobody; away from the preacher because he can disappoint and disillusion you; away from all outward form and ceremony. You must look off from all this to the throne and there, in your heart, see the risen, reigning Lord Jesus Christ."

      It shows THE LOVE behind salvation...

      God pleads with man, "Look to Me."

      It shows THE ASSURANCE of salvation...
      And BE saved.

      It shows THE EXTENT of God's saving love...

      ALL YOU ends of the earth!

      LOOK TO ME...

      REMEMBER In Numbers 21, the people of Israel were stricken by deadly snake bites, and Moses lifted up the image of a bronze serpent, raised on a pole, and the people who looked to it lived. The people were saved not by doing anything, but by simply looking to the bronze serpent. They had to trust that something as seemingly foolish as looking at such a thing would be sufficient to save them, and surely, some perished because they thought it too foolish to do such a thing!

      So it says here in Isaiah...

      Look to Me, and be saved, all you ends of the earth! We might be willing to do a hundred things to earn our salvation, but God commands us to ONLY TRUST IN HIM - TO LOOK TO HIM!

      CHARLES SPURGEON says, "Wherever I am, however far off, it just says 'Look!' It does not say I am to see; it only says 'Look!' If we look on a thing in the dark we cannot see it, but we have done what we were told. So if a sinner only looks to Jesus, he will save him; for Jesus in the dark is as good as Jesus in the light, and Jesus when you cannot see him is as good as Jesus when you can. It is only 'look!' 'Ah!' says one, 'I have been trying to see Jesus this year, but I have not seen him.' It does not say see him, but 'look unto him!'"

      For I am God, and there is no other...

      This is why we must look to the LORD, and to the LORD alone.

      Only He is God.

      Institutions are NOT God.

      The Church is NOT God.

      Pastors are NOT God.

      Brothers and sisters in Christ are NOT God.

      We don't look to ANY OF THEM; we look to the LORD, for He ALONE is God, AMEN?!

      I have sworn by Myself...

      When God confirms an oath, who does He swear by? He swears by Himself. There is no one greater, so He swears by His own holy name and character.

      As Hebrews 6:13 says, "For when God made a promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself."

      That to Me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall take an oath...

      The LORD here declares there will come a day when EVERY knee shall bow to Him, and EVERY tongue will swear by His greatness.

      Paul obviously quoted this passage in Philippians 2:10-11.

      AND DID YOU NOTICE...

      Paul's quotation of Isaiah 45:23 in Philippians 2:10-11 is an overwhelming evidence of the deity of Jesus Christ.

      Clearly, in Isaiah 45:23 it is the LORD God speaking (I, the LORD, speak, Isaiah 45:19).

      Now, Paul clearly puts these high words and this high praise towards Jesus: "that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

      Additionally, the confess is made that Jesus Christ is Lord -and the word Lord is the same word used in Paul's ancient Bible for "LORD" in the Old Testament.

      Surely in the LORD I have righteousness and strength...

      This is the declaration of every believer. Righteousness and strength are found in the LORD, not in ourselves or anywhere else. Indeed, in the LORD all the descendants of Israel shall be justified, and shall glory!

    • July 6, 2016 1:47 AM EDT
    • ISAIAH 46:


      ISAIAH 46 OPENS WITH: DEAD IDOLS AND THE LIVING GOD


      Verses 1-2 tells us the FALSE GODS are carried away on carriages.

      "Bel bows down, Nebo stoops; their idols were on the beasts and on the cattle. Your carriages were heavily loaded, a burden to the weary beast. They stoop, they bow down together; they could not deliver the burden, but have themselves gone into captivity."

      Bel bows down, Nebo stoops...

      WHO ARE THEY?

      Bel and Nebo were names of two false gods the idol-worshipping nations served. It is as if now God gets personal, "naming names" when it comes to idols; and now these false gods are brought low.

      AND DID YOU KNOW...

      The names of the pagan gods Bel and Nebo ARE familiar to us in the names Belshazzar and Nebuchadnezzar, whom DANIEL & ISAIAH speak of!

      GOD IS PROPHESYING IN ADVANCE....THAT EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, & HE GIVES US THE NAMES AND THE WORD PICTURES OF THE GODS OF GREAT BABYLON stooping low in humiliation.

      Your idols were on the beasts and on the cattle. Your carriages were heavily loaded...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN....GOD SHOWS Isaiah God's people going into captivity, in a FORCED relocation. Loaded on to their beasts and carriages are their idols - even their idols are carried away into captivity, and loaded on the moving trucks! The bottom line is they could not deliver the burden, but have themselves gone into captivity.

      Verses 3-4 tells us The LORD, the TRUE God, WILL carry His people.

      "Listen to Me, O house of Jacob, and all the remnant of the house of Israel, who have been upheld by Me from birth, who have been carried from the womb: Even to your old age, I am He, and even to gray hairs I will carry you! I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you."

      Who have been upheld by Me from birth, who have been carried from the womb...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      The false gods represented by dumb dead idols MUST be carried; but God CARRIES His people. He carried them from before their birth, and He promises to continue to carry them (even to gray hairs I will carry you!).

      I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry...

      REMEMBER this is the same Fatherly care Jesus spoke of in Luke 12:6-7, which says, "Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins? And not one of them is forgotten before God. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows."

      When we UNDERSTAND that has made us, and we are VALUABLE to Him, then we can TRUST Him to carry us.

      It's a worthy question GOD ASKS US ALL: do you have to carry your gods, or does your God carry you, AMEN?

      Verses 5-7 tells us The LORD can save His people when the idols are helpless.

      "To whom will you liken Me, and make Me equal and compare Me, that we should be alike? They lavish gold out of the bag, and weigh silver on the scales; they hire a goldsmith, and he makes it a god; they prostrate themselves, yes, they worship. They bear it on the shoulder, they carry it and set it in its place, and it stands; from its place it shall not move. Though one cries out to it, yet it cannot answer nor save him out of his trouble."

      They lavish gold out of the bag...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      Much money and attention is given to the production and care of our idols. Yet, though one cries out to it, yet it cannot answer nor save him out of his trouble. Isaiah again exposes the ironic folly of idolatry.

      Verses 8-10 tells us REMEMBER that the LORD knows the beginning and the end.

      "Remember this, and show yourselves men; recall to mind, O you transgressors. Remember the former things of old, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done, saying, "My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure."

      Remember this, and show yourselves men...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      We can gain the courage of men & women when we REMEMBER the things God tells us to remember. How much defeat we suffer in the Christian life through simply forgetting!

      Remember the former things of old … there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning...

      God KNOWS the end of EVERY matter, of EVERY course of circumstances, just as clearly as anyone else can see the beginning of it.

      Saying, "My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure."...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      God KNOWS the end from the beginning because He is much more than a passive observer of events.
      His counsel SHALL stand.
      His works and plans NEVER fail, because He WILL DO all His pleasure.

      IN OTHER WORDS...God IS NOT just watching the entire parade of history, HE IS DIRECTING the parade.

      The essential point is that God's people must remember this about the LORD - that He knows the end from the beginning, and is in control over all things.

      When we remember this, we will show yourselves strong men and women of faith in OUR GOD. We can have tremendous courage in our God when we understand and remember who He is and what He does, AMEN?

      Verses 11-13 tells us REMEMBER that the LORD WILL BRING a deliverer to Zion.

      "Calling a bird of prey from the east, the man who executes My counsel, from a far country. Indeed I have spoken it; I will also bring it to pass. I have purposed it; I will also do it. Listen to Me, you stubborn-hearted, who are far from righteousness: I bring My righteousness near, it shall not be far off; My salvation shall not linger. And I will place salvation in Zion, for Israel My glory."

      Calling a bird of prey from the east, the man who executes My counsel...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      This is another reference to Cyrus. God's people need to remember that God always has a deliverer for His people, even if He has to find one among pagan kings!

      My salvation shall not linger...

      God's people need to remember that God's timing is ALWAYS PRECISE AND WISE.

      When we are stubborn-hearted we need to listen to the LORD and remember He NEVER DELAYS AND HE IS NEVER LATE. God's always has His deliverer, and always knows exactly when to bring His deliverance.

    • July 6, 2016 1:45 AM EDT
    • ISAIAH 47:


      ISAIAH 47 OPENS WITH:


      BABYLON HUMILIATED AND BROUGHT LOW


      Verses 1-3 tells us Babylon, represented as a woman, is humbled.

      "Come down and sit in the dust, O virgin daughter of Babylon; sit on the ground without a throne, O daughter of the Chaldeans! For you shall no more be called tender and delicate. Take the millstones and grind meal. Remove your veil, take off the skirt, uncover the thigh, pass through the rivers. Your nakedness shall be uncovered, yes, your shame will be seen; I will take vengeance, and I will not arbitrate with a man."

      Come down and sit in the dust...

      GOD GIVES Isaiah A VISION AND US A WORD picture of proud Babylon as a humiliated woman, who shall NO more be called tender and delicate. She is stripped of her fine clothing, and is forced to march in a forced relocation (pass through the rivers).

      I WILL take vengeance, and I will NOT arbitrate with a man...

      DID YOU KNOW...

      The humiliation God will impose on Babylon is EXACTLY the humiliation she put upon Judah and Jerusalem when BABYLON took them into captivity.

      AND THE LORD GOD PROMISES WHEN HE humbles Babylon, He is taking vengeance and cannot be talked out of His judgment.

      Verse 4 tells us The LORD of hosts is glorified.

      "As for our Redeemer, the LORD of hosts is His name, the Holy One of Israel."

      As for our Redeemer...

      Isaiah SEES INTO THE FUTURE AND WHAT THE LORD IS GOING TO DO...AND when he sees how God will take vengeance on this enemy of God's people, he praises God and boasts in his redeemer.

      DID YOU KNOW?

      THE HEBREW WORD FOR REDEEMER IS GAAL.
      JUST AS GOEL IS HEBREW FOR KINSMAN-REDEEMER.

      A GAAL had to be a close relative...
      CHRIST JESUS is this too, for according to His humanity He came forth from the Jews.

      A GAAL had to be able to deliver...
      The Holy One of Israel does not lack this ability.

      A GAAL had to exercise bloody vengeance...
      Christ will work bloody vengeance upon Babylon for its oppression of His people.

      A GAAL had to pay a ransom to free a prisoner...
      The Lord Jesus paid with his blood on Golgotha to ransom His people.

      On the basis of these considerations, to which could be added MANY more, it is evident that the name Gaal is very fitting title/name for our JESUS, AMEN?!

      Verses 5-7 tells us Why God will humble Babylon.

      "Sit in silence, and go into darkness, O daughter of the Chaldeans; for you shall no longer be called the Lady of Kingdoms. I was angry with My people; I have profaned My inheritance, and given them into your hand. You showed them no mercy; on the elderly you laid your yoke very heavily. And you said, "I shall be a lady forever," so that you did not take these things to heart, nor remember the latter end of them."

      I was angry with My people...

      Babylon thought that she conquered Judah and Jerusalem through her OWN power. But Babylon didn't see that she really conquered them because God was angry with His people, and therefore used Babylon as an instrument of His work. God says, "You didn't know that I had given them into your hand."

      You showed them no mercy...

      As an instrument in God's hand, Babylon was TOO enthusiastic in their attack on God's people. Even though God allowed it and used it, they still should have showed mercy to God's people. We are always safe when we take the path of mercy!

      And you said, "I shall be a lady forever."...

      Babylon was blind, Babylon was cruel, and now Babylon is shown to be proud and presumptuous. For all these reasons, God promises to humble Babylon.


      Verses 8-9 tells us why sudden humiliation comes to Babylon.

      "Therefore hear this now, you who are given to pleasures, who dwell securely, who say in your heart, "I am, and there is no one else besides me; I shall not sit as a widow, nor shall I know the loss of children"; but these two things shall come to you in a moment, in one day: The loss of children, and widowhood. They shall come upon you in their fullness because of the multitude of your sorceries, for the great abundance of your enchantments."

      Hear this now, you who are given to pleasures, who dwell securely...

      In the midst of her pride and arrogance (I am, and there is no one else besides me; I shall not sit as a widow), God brings another charge against Babylon. Judgment also comes because of the multitude of your sorceries, for the great abundance of your enchantments. Babylon was famous as a founding place and breeding ground for occultic arts and practices.

      Verses 10-11 tells us the pride and arrogance of Babylon is REBUKED.

      "For you have trusted in your wickedness; you have said, "No one sees me"; your wisdom and your knowledge have warped you; and you have said in your heart, "I am, and there is no one else besides me." Therefore evil shall come upon you; you shall not know from where it arises. And trouble shall fall upon you; you will not be able to put it off. And desolation shall come upon you suddenly, which you shall not know."

      You have trusted in your wickedness...

      This is a searching insight into the heart of the proud sinner. They trust in their continuing wickedness to cover the tracks of their previous sin. They are clever, but their wisdom in wickedness has warped them (Your wisdom and your knowledge have warped you).

      Therefore evil shall come upon you...

      And it did for Babylon, which was suddenly conquered in one night, when they believed all was safe and secure (as recorded in Daniel 5).

      AND REMEMBER...The rebuke of Babylon's pride is a simple fulfillment of a principle repeated three times in the Scripture: "God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.", told to us in Proverbs 3:34, James 4:6, 1 Peter 5:5.

      Verses 12-15 tells us of a CHALLENGE to the stargazers and sorcerers of Babylon.

      "Stand now with your enchantments and the multitude of your sorceries, in which you have labored from your youth; perhaps you will be able to profit, perhaps you will prevail. You are wearied in the multitude of your counsels; let now the astrologers, the stargazers, and the monthly prognosticators stand up and save you from what shall come upon you. Behold, they shall be as stubble, the fire shall burn them; they shall not deliver themselves from the power of the flame; it shall not be a coal to be warmed by, nor a fire to sit before! Thus shall they be to you with whom you have labored, your merchants from your youth; they shall wander each one to his quarter. No one shall save you."

      Stand now with your enchantments and the multitude of your sorceries...

      God challenges the sorcerers of Babylon to save them from His judgment. After all, if they have real spiritual power, they should be able to. But their weakness in the face of the LORD's judgment will be exposed.

      AND GROGAN gives us some HISTORY OF THE BABYLONIANS beliefs..."For the Babylonians, sorcery also included a mood of complacency, because the people relied on their magicians to predict the coming of the enemy and to defeat him. In Babylonia the intellectual and the magical were intertwined, the wise man being instructed in all the arts of the supernatural."

      THE LORD IS SAYING RIGHT HERE...WOE TO THOSE CREATORS AND FOLLOWERS AND TRUSTERS IN ASTROLOGY...to their own peril!

      Behold, they shall be as stubble, the fire shall burn them...

      Not only can the sorcerers of Babylon NOT deliver others from God's judgment, they CAN NOT even deliver themselves. The fire of judgment that comes upon them will be severe; it will not be a coal to be warmed by, nor a fire to sit before!

      MOTYER says it well, "False religion may seem to offer the warmth of 'helpfulness', but it is not a fire to sit by, rather a fire which will burn up, a furnace of destruction."

      LITTLE WONDER, JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF SAYS IN REVELATION...COME OUT OF HER, O MY PEOPLE, AMEN?!

      How many greatly underestimate the blazing strength of God's judgment!
      We see the same tragic thinking among those who say, "I won't mind going to hell. I'll party there with all my friends!"

      Some have even said that they will ski on the lake of fire!
      They think the fires of judgment will somehow be useful or comforting, but they are making a deadly mistake. Can there be a more dangerous sin?

      NO ONE shall save you...
      What a final sentence! And if we will NOT find our salvation in the LORD JESUS CHRIST; if we will NOT look to Him and be saved, then certainly no one shall save you.
       
       

    • July 6, 2016 1:43 AM EDT
    • ISAIAH 48:



      ISAIAH 48 OPENS WITH:


      CHASTENING AND MERCY FOR JUDAH

      Verses 1-2 tells us The LORD clearly sees the hard heart & the hypocrisy of Judah.

      "Hear this, O house of Jacob, who are called by the name of Israel, and have come forth from the wellsprings of Judah; who swear by the name of the LORD, and make mention of the God of Israel, but not in truth or in righteousness; for they call themselves after the holy city, and lean on the God of Israel; the LORD of hosts is His name."

      House of Jacob, who are called by the name of Israel...

      Judah SHOULD PAY ATTENTION & TAKE NOTICE at this opening statement FROM THE LORD.

      WHY?

      God identifies His people as the house of Jacob - the name Jacob FIRST AND WE KNOW JACOB MEANS "deceiver, trickster, cheater" - and says they NOW ONLY HAVE the name of Israel, NOT the character of Israel, which means "governed by God."

      And have come forth from the wellsprings of Judah...

      The SECOND STATEMENT FROM GOD is NOT any more complimentary to the southern kingdom of Judah.

      WHY?

      God REMINDS THEM of their tribal ancestor, Judah, who was noted for his cruelty told to us in Genesis 37:26-27 and Judah's immorality told to us in Genesis 38.

      IN OTHER WORDS...The LORD speaks to His people and says, "You come from your father Judah." It's hardly a compliment.

      Who SWEAR by the name of the LORD … but NOT in truth or in righteousness...

      God exposes THE SINS of His people. They take HIS NAME, and identify with HIS HOLY CITY, and give OUTWARD appearance that they lean on the God of Israel. Yet it IS ONLY IMAGE, THEIR PUBLIC FACE, THEIR OUTWARD IMAGE....NOT REALITY, and God sees through the image to the reality.

      Verses 3-5 tells us The LORD sees that Judah has NO EXCUSE.

      "I have declared the former things from the beginning; they went forth from My mouth, and I caused them to hear it. Suddenly I did them, and they came to pass. Because I knew that you were obstinate, and your neck was an iron sinew, and your brow bronze, even from the beginning I have declared it to you; before it came to pass I proclaimed it to you, lest you should say, "My idol has done them, and my carved image and my molded image have commanded them."

      I have declared the former things from the beginning … Suddenly I did them, and they came to pass...

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      The LORD has shown Israel HIS POWER to PERFECTLY & PRECISELY declare the future in predictive prophecy. He did this because HE KNEW...that you were obstinate, knowing Israel's love of idolatry, He gave them irrefutable evidence.

      This means that Judah was WITHOUT EXCUSE.

      They KNEW the greatness and power of God, yet they still lived with ONLY a religious image, without a spiritual reality.

      Verses 6-8 tells us The LORD sees how deep the sinfulness of Judah is.

      "You have heard; see all this. And will you not declare it? I have made you hear new things from this time, even hidden things, and you did not know them. They are created now and not from the beginning; and before this day you have not heard them, lest you should say, "Of course I knew them." Surely you did not hear, surely you did not know; surely from long ago your ear was not opened. For I knew that you would deal very treacherously, and were called a transgressor from the womb."

      You HAVE heard; SEE all this. And will you NOT declare it?

      It is as if the LORD is amazed that His people have seen all of His great power and glory, yet they still stand in obstinate rebellion against Him.

      I READ THIS AND IT REMINDED ME OF MY OWN CHILDHOOD STUBBORNNESS, AND MY CHILDREN WHO ALSO HAD MOMENTS OF....LITTLE HANDS ON HIPS, CHIN JUTTED OUT, AND DEFIANCE IN THEIR EYES AS THEY SAID...NO I WILL NOT DO IT...AND YOU CAN NOT MAKE ME!

      FOR ME, AS A PARENT & NOW A GRANDPARENT IT WAS PARTS OUTWARD AMAZEMENT AND INNER HUMOR....BECAUSE I KNEW I COULD ABSOLUTELY POSITIVELY MAKE THEM DO IT, MAKE THEM OBEY ME, BUT MY LOVE FOR THEM...WANTED TO ENCOURAGE THEM TO CHOOSE TO BE OBEDIENT..INSTEAD OF FORCED OBEDIENCE.

      AND AS BILL COSBY SAID PARENTING HIS OWN CHILDREN..."I REMEMBERED MY OWN MOTHER SAYING TO ME, ONE DAY BILL YOU WILL GET PAYBACK...YOU WILL HAVE CHILDREN WHO ACT JUST LIKE YOU ARE ACTING NOW...AND IT WAS TRUE...I AM STUBBORN, MY WIFE IS STUBBORN, SO OUR KIDS WERE LOADED WITH STUBBORN!"


      AND THE LORD DOES NOT PULL HIS PUNCHES HERE EITHER...WHEN HE SAYS....

      For I knew that you would deal very treacherously, and were called a transgressor from the womb...

      The LORD states the reason why His people are so deeply sinful. They are sinners from the womb, so their sinfulness is deeply entrenched.

      It is a difficult concept for our individualistic ears, but the Bible teaches that we are sinners from the womb, and that we inherited a sin nature because we descend from Adam and sinned in Adam CONFIRMED TO US IN Romans 5:12.

      It IS NOT our individual acts of sin that make us sinners; it is our descent from Adam. Our individual acts of sin MERELY PROVE that each of us is a transgressor from the womb, AMEN?

      Verses 9-13 tells us The reason for the LORD's MERCY to His people.

      "For My name's sake I will defer My anger, and for My praise I will restrain it from you, so that I do not cut you off. Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction. For My own sake, for My own sake, I will do it; for how should My name be profaned? And I will not give My glory to another. Listen to Me, O Jacob, and Israel, My called: I am He, I am the First, I am also the Last. Indeed My hand has laid the foundation of the earth, and My right hand has stretched out the heavens; when I call to them, they stand up together."

      For My name's sake I will defer My anger...

      MANY WHO READ THIS PASSAGE ASK, Knowing how deeply sinful His people are, why would the LORD ever show mercy to His people?

      THE LORD ANSWERS THAT RIGHT HERE...

      He DEFERS HIS ANGER for HIS NAME'S SAKE!

      It IS NOT because Israel DESERVES MERCY.

      WHY?

      BECAUSE THE LORD GOD'S MERCY CAN NEVER BE DESERVED.

      THE LORD GOD GIVES IT to glorify Himself and to further His eternal purpose.

      I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction. For My own sake, for My own sake, I will do it...

      WHY has a disobedient Israel FELT refining fires from the LORD?
      Again, it is for the sake and honor and glory of the LORD.

      SOME ARE BOTHERED...SOME GET ANGRY...TO HEAR AND KNOW that THE LORD ALLOWS trials and His refining fires in our lives for His own sake!

      AT THOSE TIMES, WHEN WE ARE BOTHERED OR ANGRY...WE NEED TO REMEMBER that we are NOT at the center of the universe, but THE LORD GOD is.

      AND WE NEED TO REMEMBER EVERYTHING HE DOES, EVERY HE ALLOWS....furthers His eternal purpose for us, Amen?!

      I am He, I am the First, I am also the Last … My right hand has stretched out the heavens...

      AND RIGHT HERE TO ANSWER ANY RESENTMENT among His people, God reminds them WHY He allows things for His glory and to further His praise.

      He CAN AND DOES DO IT because of who He is - the only True God, the God of all glory, the God of all eternity, the God of all Creation.

      IN OTHER WORDS...REMEMBER WHO I AM....I SEE ALL THINGS...I KNOW ALL THINGS...AND YOU DO NOT HAVE TO SEE, NOR DO YOU HAVE TO UNDERSTAND....JUST TRUST ME.

      Verses 14-19 tells us the unfulfilled potential of God's disobedient people.

      "All of you, assemble yourselves, and hear! Who among them has declared these things? The LORD loves him; He shall do His pleasure on Babylon, and His arm shall be against the Chaldeans. I, even I, have spoken; yes, I have called him, I have brought him, and his way will prosper. Come near to Me, hear this: I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it was, I was there. And now the Lord GOD and His Spirit have sent Me. Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: "I am the LORD your God, who teaches you to profit, who leads you by the way you should go. Oh, that you had heeded My commandments! Then your peace would have been like a river, and your righteousness like the waves of the sea. Your descendants also would have been like the sand, and the offspring of your body like the grains of sand; his name would not have been cut off nor destroyed from before Me."

      The LORD loves him...
      Though the LORD is the God of all glory and power, He is NOT some kind of "ego-maniac." He is motivated by love for His people.

      It is the LORD's love for us that makes Him want us to obey and praise Him.

      Love desires, quite properly, that things work according to their design and purpose.

      We were designed and purposed to obey and praise our Creator.

      God can call us to submit to Him, and honor Him, for our good, not to satisfy some need in God.

      As a child, I heard my parents say MANY times, when my CONTINUED stubbornness, temper, and disobedience forced them to spank me, "This is going to hurt me FAR MORE than it will hurt you!" I THOUGHT THAT WAS THE BIGGEST LIE AND THE MOST INSANE PRONOUNCEMENT & EXCUSE THEY COULD MAKE...because I WAS THE ONE WHO WENT WITHOUT SUPPER, OR GOT SPANKED OR RESTRICTED IN SOME WAY...HOW ABOUT YOU?

      BUT IT WAS NOT UNTIL I BECAME A PARENT, HAD HELD THAT PRECIOUS GIFT FROM JESUS IN MY ARMS AND AS THEY GREW, THAT WHAT MY PARENTS HAD SAID WAS THE ABSOLUTE TRUTH...TO BE FORCED TO SPANK MY CHILDREN WHEN THEY REPEATEDLY AND ADAMANTLY REFUSED TO OBEY ME, MADE ME SICK AT MY STOMACH....IT GAVE ME A HEADACHE...BUT FAR WORSE IT BROKE MY HEART...MANY TIMES I WAS PHYSICALLY ILL AFTERWARDS....AND WENT IN