Archive for July 23rd, 2016

Isaiah 2

Isaiah 2 has the prophet warning us about how we will live in the latter days.  He is prophecying about the reign of Christ to come, when all things will be under His command.  “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob, that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths…. come, let us walk in the light of the Lord..  People will seek Him to learn how to live, which is exactly what we should be doing today as well.  God has given us clear direction in His Word.  We need to learn it and live it so we walk well in His path.

Isaiah points out one of the major issues for mankind – idols.  “Their land is filled with idols; they bow down to the work of their hands, to what their own fingers have made. So man is humbled, and each one is brought low— do not forgive them”!  Idols have been a problem for man forever.  It’s the practice of putting anything other than God in His rightful place of adoration and authority.  We make them out of gold and silver and other people and stuff.  We allow things to get in the way of keeping God first.  They will be wiped away, but far better that we don’t fall to them at all.

Man tends to believe we are pretty big stuff.  We even place ourselves in God’s spot of authority.  That will be changed.  “The haughty looks of man shall be brought low, and the lofty pride of men shall be humbled, and the Lord alone will be exalted in that day”.  There will be a day when Jesus is truly exalted as the Son of God.  Pride will bring us down, not only when Christ comes again, but even today in our day to day lives.  We must be careful not to think more highly of ourselves than we ought.  Scripture warns us of that.

Isaiah repeats some words verbatim a second time in this passage, which should cause us to really stop and take a look.  “And the haughtiness of man shall be humbled, and the lofty pride of men shall be brought low, and the Lord alone will be exalted in that day”.  He goes on to add “And the idols shall utterly pass away” which indicates that He will clean up the mess we created of putting other things ahead of Him, but make no mistake, He will take His rightful place when He comes again.  And mankind will be put in the spot they belong, under His authority.  “Stop regarding man in whose nostrils is breath, for of what account is he”?  We may think we’re big stuff, but in light of God we are nothing!

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Isaiah 1

Isaiah 1 has the prophet passing along some pretty straight and in your face truths from God.  “Children have I reared and brought up, but 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 understand”.  God is frustrated with his creation of mankind.  He has provided us all we need, yet we sin and even forget who He is as we get wrapped up in ourselves and our situations, whether it is 2016 or centuries BC, the problem is the same.

Isaiah points out the condition and problem.  “They have forsaken the Lord, they have despised the Holy One of Israel, they are utterly estranged”.  It’s a bad plan to forget about God.  Relationships take effort on both sides, and while God never gives up His attempts to love us, we often allow our fallable mankind ways get in between us and God.  Isaiah tells us how to fix it when that happens.  “Hear the word of the Lord….Give ear to the teaching of our God….Bring no more vain offerings”.  God wants all of us all the time.

When we fall short, He is unable to tolerate our sin.  “I cannot endure iniquity and solemn assembly”.  Because of His nature and character, he can’t just look the other way and ignore our sin.  He makes it clear what has to happen.  “Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your deeds from before my eyes; cease to do evil, learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause”.  In other words, straighten up our act and walk the way He has instructed us.  It isn’t rocket science, it’s just obedience!

There is a very powerful benefit to that obedience.  “If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land; but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be eaten by the sword; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken”.  And there is a serious consequence to disobedience.  God doesn’t look lightly on rebellion.  He will take strong action. “I will turn my hand against you and will smelt away your dross as with lye and remove all your alloy”.  His desire is for us to be redeemed through repentance to righteousness.  But we have to take those steps.  “Zion shall be redeemed by justice, and those in her who repent, by righteousness. But rebels and sinners shall be broken together, and those who forsake the Lord shall be consumed”.  Are you walking in obedience to God’s ways?  If not, are you ready for the consequences?

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