Isaiah 33–What Goes Around Comes Around

Isaiah next takes on the issue of balancing the scales.  So many times, we see the evil in the world and sense that there is no justice.  We see people that prey upon others and never seem to suffer consequences.  They snub rules and shake their fists at authority, all the time feeling invincible and deserving of anything they desire, no matter the cost to others.

Isaiah reminds us, that the destroyer will be destroyed.  The betrayer will be betrayed, in short–what goes around comes around.  In contrast, Isaiah says God will be gracious to the gracious, kind to those that show kindness.  God dispenses justice and mercy according to the measure it is dispensed.  The amazing addition, however, comes in that God also shows mercy to us as sinners.  We do not deserve such grace. We do not deserve salvation.  In Romans 5, Paul says it best, “God demonstrated His love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8.

It is important for us, as His chosen, to live lives that show grace and mercy to the extent it has been shown to us. We must never lose sight that the Bible and our lives are filled with frail humans doing stupid things that affect others.  We grow cold and self-righteous, forgetting that we all have sinned and fallen short of God’s standard. In that, we act a great deal like the ones described in the prophecy.  We need to show God’s grace and mercy.  We need to show others the same measure of grace we have been shown. When we do, we will be blessed and receive the grace we have shown.  As a child of God, we must continue to live and look like the Savior that bore our sin.

God Bless You


​Woe to you, destroyer,you who have not been destroyed!Woe to you, betrayer,you who have not been betrayed!When you stop destroying,you will be destroyed;when you stop betraying,you will be betrayed.

Lord, be gracious to us;we long for you.Be our strength every morning,our salvation in time of distress.

At the uproar of your army, the peoples flee;when you rise up, the nations scatter.

Your plunder, O nations, is harvested as by young locusts;like a swarm of locusts people pounce on it.

The Lord is exalted, for he dwells on high;he will fill Zion with his justice and righteousness.

He will be the sure foundation for your times,a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge;the fear of the Lord is the key to this treasure.[a]

Look, their brave men cry aloud in the streets;the envoys of peace weep bitterly.

The highways are deserted,no travelers are on the roads.The treaty is broken,its witnesses[b] are despised,no one is respected.

The land dries up and wastes away,Lebanon is ashamed and withers;Sharon is like the Arabah,and Bashan and Carmel drop their leaves.

10 “Now will I arise,” says the Lord.“Now will I be exalted;now will I be lifted up.

Joshua 6 Part 1–Joshua’s Leadership Perspective

Now, as a guy, I love action movies.  I have seen more westerns, war movies, and covert-ops intrigue movies than I can count.  I must admit, however, that in the hundreds of hours of entertainment that I have enjoyed–NEVER did the big battle scene start with a bunch of priests leading the brass section of a marching band…God’s ways rarely are the same as our ways. 

There are several reasons for that.  I want to highlight three.  First–God is God and we are not.  As Joshua watched God over the 40 years he spent in the desert; one thing became clear–It is God’s power and leadership that delivered Israel–not anything they had or did.  Manna from heaven, water from rocks, crossing seas and rivers on dry land, leadership by clouds of fire and smoke all reminded Joshua that God did the heavy lifting–and as leader; he needed simply to trust and follow.

Second, God sees all time at once.  The Lord knows the outcome at the same time He knows the planning.  God never has to wonder what the end looks like.  So, when God directed Joshua’s battle strategy, He did so already aware of the outcome.  Joshua saw God forecast for Moses the entire journey from Egypt–God was never wrong.  So, when God gave Joshua direction, Joshua never questioned it.  Joshua simply followed.

Finally, God made sure that His own name was exalted–not Joshua’s nor the Israel’s.  While that may sound egocentric, the reality was that when the people become the center of attention, they release their dependence on God, and become self-important.  That independence always leads to chaos and defeat. As a group, people are a mess. God loved Israel and wanted them to enjoy the inheritance that He provided.  The Lord knew that would never last unless they did things with humility and dependence upon Him. So, that was why God always did things in a way that pointed back to His plan and His power. Starting a war with a concert was a great way to show that enemies were facing God–not a bunch of nomadic wanderers. 

If we, as His chosen, could accept that truth as readily as Joshua accepted it, then we could experience the same victory and blessing that God gave Joshua.  Joshua led with wisdom and humility–that choice was and is a perpetual one; it is made daily and sometimes hourly.  It is a mindset that is not dependent upon circumstance.  It is a life of surrender and trust in the God that created and is in control of ALL things.

God Bless You


Now Jericho was shut up inside and outside because of the people of Israel. None went out, and none came in. And the Lord said to Joshua, “See, I have given Jericho into your hand, with its king and mighty men of valor. You shall march around the city, all the men of war going around the city once. Thus shall you do for six days.Seven priests shall bear seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark. On the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets. And when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, when you hear the sound of the trumpet, then all the people shall shout with a great shout, and the wall of the city will fall down flat,[a] and the people shall go up, everyone straight before him.” So Joshua the son of Nun called the priests and said to them, “Take up the ark of the covenant and let seven priests bear seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark of the Lord.” And he said to the people, “Go forward. March around the city and let the armed men pass on before the ark of the Lord.”

And just as Joshua had commanded the people, the seven priests bearing the seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the Lord went forward, blowing the trumpets, with the ark of the covenant of the Lord following them. The armed men were walking before the priests who were blowing the trumpets, and the rear guard was walking after the ark, while the trumpets blew continually. 10 But Joshua commanded the people, “You shall not shout or make your voice heard, neither shall any word go out of your mouth, until the day I tell you to shout. Then you shall shout.” 11 So he caused the ark of the Lord to circle the city, going about it once. And they came into the camp and spent the night in the camp.

12 Then Joshua rose early in the morning, and the priests took up the ark of the Lord.13 And the seven priests bearing the seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark of the Lord walked on, and they blew the trumpets continually. And the armed men were walking before them, and the rear guard was walking after the ark of the Lord, while the trumpets blew continually. 14 And the second day they marched around the city once, and returned into the camp. So they did for six days.

15 On the seventh day they rose early, at the dawn of day, and marched around the city in the same manner seven times. It was only on that day that they marched around the city seven times.

It is not about the House–2 Samuel 7 part 1

It is a natural response.  When someone treats us with love and respect, we want to say thank you.  When someone shows amazing kindness and protects, restores and promotes us, we want to do the same for them.  That was what David wanted to do.  God spent years raising him up from a simple shepherd to becoming the greatest King Israel had ever known.  He had survived years of being pursued by Saul, years of civil war and the conquering of his main enemies—all due to God’s leadership and intervention. He wanted simply to give back.

That was not God’s plan.  God was bigger than a building and never wanted to live in a palace.  God is wild and wants to inhabit the hearts of his people.  In our day, we see the same desires in leaders—Let’s build big churches to show the world how great God is—not his plan.  God still wants to live in us and lead us.  He does not live in a building.  When we Go to the Church building, we go to worship and fellowship, but not to meet God—he should be living in us.  God simply is not about houses, he is about family.  Thanks Lord for making me part of your family.

God Bless You

  But that night the word of the Lord came to Nathan, saying:

“Go and tell my servant David, ‘This is what the Lord says: Are you the one to build me a house to dwell in? I have not dwelt in a house from the day I brought the Israelites up out of Egypt to this day. I have been moving from place to place with a tent as my dwelling. Wherever I have moved with all the Israelites, did I ever say to any of their rulers whom I commanded to shepherd my people Israel, “Why have you not built me a house of cedar?”’

“Now then, tell my servant David, ‘This is what the Lord Almighty says: I took you from the pasture, from tending the flock, and appointed you ruler over my people Israel. I have been with you wherever you have gone, and I have cut off all your enemies from before you. Now I will make your name great, like the names of the greatest men on earth. 10 And I will provide a place for my people Israel and will plant them so that they can have a home of their own and no longer be disturbed. Wicked people will not oppress them anymore, as they did at the beginning 11 and have done ever since the time I appointed leaders[a] over my people Israel. I will also give you rest from all your enemies.

I Samuel 25 part 2–Who Does He Think He Is

How could we ever forget what God has done for us.  When David’s men asked for some provision for their protection, Nabal was rude, disrespectful and highly forgetful of the provision of the army that surrounded him.  The arrogance and conceit of Nabal truly ticked David off. He immediately set off to remind this fool of the poor decision it was to discount the protection from God. 

How many days do we act like Nabal? God meets our needs day in and day out.  He does not give us all our desires, but when we realize how much he does provide we have to be idiots—fools to accuse him of not meeting those needs and accuse him of abandoning us.  In this story, we need to see how personally God takes his protection and provision and we need to show our gratefulness as we pray and worship.  Nabal was living high and on the protected and fruitful land.  David was a fugitive and had no home or protection.  We need to be grateful–whether Nabal or David.  We need to be kind—whether Nabal or David.  It is a simple function of dwelling on him and not on the events that shape our day.  Help me Lord to remain grateful and not a fool.

God Bless You

When David heard that Nabal was shearing his sheep, he sent ten of his young men to Carmel with this message for Nabal: “Peace and prosperity to you, your family, and everything you own! I am told that it is sheep-shearing time. While your shepherds stayed among us near Carmel, we never harmed them, and nothing was ever stolen from them. Ask your own men, and they will tell you this is true. So would you be kind to us, since we have come at a time of celebration? Please share any provisions you might have on hand with us and with your friend David.” David’s young men gave this message to Nabal in David’s name, and they waited for a reply.

10 “Who is this fellow David?” Nabal sneered to the young men. “Who does this son of Jesse think he is? There are lots of servants these days who run away from their masters. 11 Should I take my bread and my water and my meat that I’ve slaughtered for my shearers and give it to a band of outlaws who come from who knows where?”

12 So David’s young men returned and told him what Nabal had said. 13 “Get your swords!” was David’s reply as he strapped on his own. Then 400 men started off with David, and 200 remained behind to guard their equipment.