Isaiah 45–God’s Installation of Leaders

Isaiah prophecies the coming and taking of the Babylonian empire by Cyress, the King of the Medes and Persians. Interestingly, this is well prior to the Israel exile to Babylon.  The important take away is the reminder that God has a plan and that He is the one executing the plan.  Israel’s fate was sealed. They had abandoned the Lord and were destined to be exiled. In that pain, God had already planned for their release and return to Jerusalem.  

Cyress was no preist or prophet from God, He did neither honor God nor worship Him.  Still, God knew He would be the king that released the exiled Jews to return and rebuild Jerusalem.  God has said all along that he installed and removed leaders.  We simply must trust that God’s plan is being completed.  We can neither outthink nor outguess God. Solomon said it best in Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Do not lean on your own understanding. Acknowledge God in all your ways, and , He will make your paths straight.”

America is in a singularly difficult period in its history.  So much division and so much distrust.  The Church is being called upon to pray ceaselessly for God to work His plan and heal our Land.  We cannot be timid, nor can we expect anyone else to intercede for this nation and its people.  Join in prayer for the revival of this nation and for peace in our land.  We cannot give up on meeting together and seeking God with all our hearts.  If we will, we can echo the words of Jonathan, Saul’s son, in I Samuel 14:6, when he told his armor bearer, “Let’s go to battle, perhaps the Lord will work for us.”

God Bless You


“This is what the Lord says to his anointed,
    to Cyrus, whose right hand I take hold of
to subdue nations before him
    and to strip kings of their armor,
to open doors before him
    so that gates will not be shut:
I will go before you
    and will level the mountains[a];
I will break down gates of bronze
    and cut through bars of iron.
I will give you hidden treasures,
    riches stored in secret places,
so that you may know that I am the Lord,
    the God of Israel, who summons you by name.
For the sake of Jacob my servant,
    of Israel my chosen,
I summon you by name
    and bestow on you a title of honor,
    though you do not acknowledge me.
I am the Lord, and there is no other;
    apart from me there is no God.
I will strengthen you,
    though you have not acknowledged me,
so that from the rising of the sun
    to the place of its setting
people may know there is none besides me.
    I am the Lord, and there is no other.
I form the light and create darkness,
    I bring prosperity and create disaster;
    I, the Lord, do all these things.

“You heavens above, rain down my righteousness;
    let the clouds shower it down.
Let the earth open wide,
    let salvation spring up,
let righteousness flourish with it;
    I, the Lord, have created it.

“Woe to those who quarrel with their Maker,
    those who are nothing but potsherds
    among the potsherds on the ground.
Does the clay say to the potter,
    ‘What are you making?’
Does your work say,
    ‘The potter has no hands’?
10 Woe to the one who says to a father,
    ‘What have you begotten?’
or to a mother,
    ‘What have you brought to birth?’

11 “This is what the Lord says—
    the Holy One of Israel, and its Maker:
Concerning things to come,
    do you question me about my children,
    or give me orders about the work of my hands?
12 It is I who made the earth
    and created mankind on it.
My own hands stretched out the heavens;
    I marshaled their starry hosts.
13 I will raise up Cyrus[b] in my righteousness:
    I will make all his ways straight.
He will rebuild my city
    and set my exiles free,
but not for a price or reward,
    says the Lord Almighty.”

Isaiah 45–The Lordship Of Almighty God

Isaiah brings forth a clear and bold statement from the Lord. It is not complex; it is not controversial; it is simply the truth.  I am the Lord God. In context for the world, Lord is the key word.  So many nations worship so many things. Yet , during that, God remains the Lord of all.  He raises and levels kings, kingdoms, and empires. As the creator of all that is, God could and has simply wiped it all out. 

God has been amazingly patient in his handling of men and specifically His own.  Israel’s and Christians’ pride and sin have resulted in so many lost blessings.  He has had to allow sin to take its toll. The result has been loss of freedom, of prosperity, and loss of life. None has ever thrilled the Father. In retrospect, however, God has done everything possible to reach out and restore salvation to His chosen.

Satan, in many forms has always looked to undermine God’s plan.  Each life and period of history where people have abandoned God, it not only breaks the Lord’s heart, but it also fuels sin and despair among those for whom He sacrificed all to redeem.  God will not be mocked.  He does not ignore our choices and sin.  Instead, He trusts His son Jesus to separate the sheep from goats. Accepting into fellowship sheep and not goats.

All we like sheep have gone astray–but God demonstrates His love for us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8.  It is our responsibility to trust Him and follow Him closely.  We do that by seeking the Lord out in word and in prayer.  To be effective, we must accept Jesus as LORD and Savior.  That will change everything; it gives us eternal life with God and restores the relationship the enemy so ardently desires to quash.

Do not be afraid of the Lordship of God–Like any father, our Lord, Adonai always wants an abundant life for us here and for eternity.  We simply have to look at what He has done and trust that God can repeat it in our lives.

God Bless You


“This is what the Lord says to his anointed,
    to Cyrus, whose right hand I take hold of
to subdue nations before him
    and to strip kings of their armor,
to open doors before him
    so that gates will not be shut:
I will go before you
    and will level the mountains[a];
I will break down gates of bronze
    and cut through bars of iron.
I will give you hidden treasures,
    riches stored in secret places,
so that you may know that I am the Lord,
    the God of Israel, who summons you by name.
For the sake of Jacob my servant,
    of Israel my chosen,
I summon you by name
    and bestow on you a title of honor,
    though you do not acknowledge me.
I am the Lord, and there is no other;
    apart from me there is no God.
I will strengthen you,
    though you have not acknowledged me,
so that from the rising of the sun
    to the place of its setting
people may know there is none besides me.
    I am the Lord, and there is no other.
I form the light and create darkness,
    I bring prosperity and create disaster;
    I, the Lord, do all these things.

“You heavens above, rain down my righteousness;
    let the clouds shower it down.
Let the earth open wide,
    let salvation spring up,
let righteousness flourish with it;
    I, the Lord, have created it.

“Woe to those who quarrel with their Maker,
    those who are nothing but potsherds
    among the potsherds on the ground.
Does the clay say to the potter,
    ‘What are you making?’
Does your work say,
    ‘The potter has no hands’?
10 Woe to the one who says to a father,
    ‘What have you begotten?’
or to a mother,
    ‘What have you brought to birth?’

11 “This is what the Lord says—
    the Holy One of Israel, and its Maker:
Concerning things to come,
    do you question me about my children,
    or give me orders about the work of my hands?
12 It is I who made the earth
    and created mankind on it.
My own hands stretched out the heavens;
    I marshaled their starry hosts.
13 I will raise up Cyrus[b] in my righteousness:
    I will make all his ways straight.
He will rebuild my city
    and set my exiles free,
but not for a price or reward,
    says the Lord Almighty.”

Isaiah 14 Part 2–Pride, the Common Denominator

In this passage, Isaiah is describing the fall of the king of Babylon.  In his description, Isaiah parallels the fall to the fall of Satan. Ezekiel does a similar description in his prophecy about the king of Tyre (Ezekiel 28:12-17). The common theme is very simple, the pride and arrogance of these “great ones” are the very things that brings them down.  It is no secret that God establishes and destroys kingdoms, empires, and leaders.  In Daniel 2, John 19, Romans 13, I Timothy 2, and 1 Peter 2 God makes clear that He is the one that establishes governments.

In this passage, Isaiah reminds the king of Babylon that his pride and arrogance will be his demise–just as it was for the morning star–Satan.  There is a common axiom that states, power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.  That was why God always sought to lead Israel–He knew men would fall into pride and arrogance as they obtained power. Since Lucifer, God watched leaders let their personal arrogance seduce them into forgetting their place was established by God and once that occurred, chaos and destruction followed. 1/3 of the angels were cast out of heaven with the morning star.  The handwriting was on the wall for the king of Babylon.  Throughout time, leaders have risen and fallen simply by chasing the intoxicating feeling of power and control. It never lasts.  It is simply an illusion, a mirage sparkling in the distance that ends up being a desert.

Solomon, the wisest king, said it best in Proverbs 3, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding.  Acknowledge the Lord in all your ways–and He will make your path straight.”  God sets the path and trajectory–we can choose to follow it or refuse and strike out on our own.  The former brings life and peace, and the latter brings chaos and destruction. Please pray for our country and its leaders; pray that they will realize this truth.

God Bless You


The realm of the dead below is all astir
    to meet you at your coming;
it rouses the spirits of the departed to greet you—
    all those who were leaders in the world;
it makes them rise from their thrones—
    all those who were kings over the nations.
10 They will all respond,
    they will say to you,
“You also have become weak, as we are;
    you have become like us.”
11 All your pomp has been brought down to the grave,
    along with the noise of your harps;
maggots are spread out beneath you
    and worms cover you.

12 How you have fallen from heaven,
    morning star, son of the dawn!
You have been cast down to the earth,
    you who once laid low the nations!
13 You said in your heart,
    “I will ascend to the heavens;
I will raise my throne
    above the stars of God;
I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly,
    on the utmost heights of Mount Zaphon.[b]
14 I will ascend above the tops of the clouds;
    I will make myself like the Most High.”
15 But you are brought down to the realm of the dead,
    to the depths of the pit.

Joshua 22–A Witness Between Us, The Lord is God

For the shepherd general, He had one job left.  He had to send the men of Rueben, Gad and Manasseh home.  That meant the campaign was over and Joshua’s job was done.  He had finished the distribution of the lands and now the tribes that claimed the land on the other side of the Jordon could rejoin their families.  If Joshua was being honest, he never expected for them to complete the mission, at least without some complaining or trouble.  But looking back, they performed excellently and without dispute.

So, they were released to go home.  Each man wealthy with the spoils of war and ready to start a life as a free man.  When they reached the Jordan, they built an altar. Its construction caused an uproar among the remainder of the tribes and they gathered for war.  The rest of the tribes thought the second altar meant that they were separating from Israel.  They were wrong.  The second altar meant the opposite–they named it, A WITNESS BETWEEN US THAT THE LORD IS GOD. Such a change from the tribal groups that left Egypt half a century before.  It was a great reminder that God truly had become the leader of the people.

In our lives, the Lord wants that for us as well.  He wants us to have a great life, but, one that He leads. He knows the plan for us–He wants to give us hope and a future (Jer 29:11).  If we will follow and trust Him, it will most assuredly be a battle.  We will suffer pain and loss, war does that. We will, more importantly, be prepared to claim the inheritance God has so kindly promised us.  We will be like the troops of Israel, going home rich with the spoils of war.  It requires trust and patience–funny part is, God will provide that too!God Bless You


Then Joshua summoned the Reubenites, the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh and said to them, “You have done all that Moses the servant of the Lord commanded, and you have obeyed me in everything I commanded. For a long time now—to this very day—you have not deserted your fellow Israelites but have carried out the mission the Lord your God gave you. Now that the Lord your God has given them rest as he promised, return to your homes in the land that Moses the servant of the Lord gave you on the other side of the Jordan. But be very careful to keep the commandment and the law that Moses the servant of the Lord gave you: to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, to keep his commands, to hold fast to him and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul.”Then Joshua blessed them and sent them away, and they went to their homes. (To the half-tribe of Manasseh Moses had given land in Bashan, and to the other half of the tribe Joshua gave land on the west side of the Jordan along with their fellow Israelites.) When Joshua sent them home, he blessed them, saying, “Return to your homes with your great wealth—with large herds of livestock, with silver, gold, bronze and iron, and a great quantity of clothing—and divide the plunder from your enemies with your fellow Israelites.”So the Reubenites, the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh left the Israelites at Shiloh in Canaan to return to Gilead, their own land, which they had acquired in accordance with the command of the Lord through Moses.10 When they came to Geliloth near the Jordan in the land of Canaan, the Reubenites, the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh built an imposing altar there by the Jordan…34 And the Reubenites and the Gadites gave the altar this name: A Witness Between Us—that the Lord is God.

Joshua 12–Just How Big a Victory Was It?

There is no doubt that in the entire history of the biblical times, no leader has seen more sucess and a better illustration of obedience leading to victory than did Joshua.  But, the initial reporting of the victory was relatively vague.  God simply refused to leave it as vague. 

So, chapter 12 gives us a clear picture of the enormity of the victory Israel won in their clearing of Canaan.  The reality was that this group of freed slaves defeated a total of 31 kings in 5 years and not only defeated them but wiped them out.  They laid waste to 31 kingdoms gathering the plunder from all but two.  They lost very few people, they kept no slaves, and they now possessed, without interruption, the land of Canaan. God knew the strategy and minds of each of the 31 kings that were defeated.  He was efficient, thorough, and decisive. He preceded the troops; He protected the troops and He caused chaos and fear to infiltrate the enemy.  The deck was rigged to assure certain victory for God’s chosen. 

Amazingly, the deck is rigged for His chosen today, as well.  We know that upon Christ’s return, He will emerge victorious; and, those that follow him now will be similarly situated to those that followed Him through Canaan.  We do not have to be the best, the brightest, or the strongest–we simply must trust, follow, and allow the omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent Creator and Lord–lead, guide and direct our path.  That will lead to certain victory and eternal life.  In my mind, you cannot ask for much more than that!

God Bless You


These are the kings east of the Jordan River who had been killed by the Israelites and whose land was taken. Their territory extended from the Arnon Gorge to Mount Hermon and included all the land east of the Jordan Valley.[a]

King Sihon of the Amorites, who lived in Heshbon, was defeated. His kingdom included Aroer, on the edge of the Arnon Gorge, and extended from the middle of the Arnon Gorge to the Jabbok River, which serves as a border for the Ammonites. This territory included the southern half of the territory of Gilead. Sihon also controlled the Jordan Valley and regions to the east—from as far north as the Sea of Galilee to as far south as the Dead Sea,[b] including the road to Beth-jeshimoth and southward to the slopes of Pisgah.

King Og of Bashan, the last of the Rephaites, lived at Ashtaroth and Edrei. He ruled a territory stretching from Mount Hermon to Salecah in the north and to all of Bashan in the east, and westward to the borders of the kingdoms of Geshur and Maacah. This territory included the northern half of Gilead, as far as the boundary of King Sihon of Heshbon.

Moses, the servant of the Lord, and the Israelites had destroyed the people of King Sihon and King Og. And Moses gave their land as a possession to the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh.

Kings Defeated West of the Jordan

The following is a list of the kings that Joshua and the Israelite armies defeated on the west side of the Jordan, from Baal-gad in the valley of Lebanon to Mount Halak, which leads up to Seir. (Joshua gave this land to the tribes of Israel as their possession, including the hill country, the western foothills,[c] the Jordan Valley, the mountain slopes, the Judean wilderness, and the Negev. The people who lived in this region were the Hittites, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites.) These are the kings Israel defeated:

The king of Jericho
The king of Ai, near Bethel
10 The king of Jerusalem
The king of Hebron
11 The king of Jarmuth
The king of Lachish
12 The king of Eglon
The king of Gezer
13 The king of Debir
The king of Geder
14 The king of Hormah
The king of Arad
15 The king of Libnah
The king of Adullam
16 The king of Makkedah
The king of Bethel
17 The king of Tappuah
The king of Hepher
18 The king of Aphek
The king of Lasharon
19 The king of Madon
The king of Hazor
20 The king of Shimron-meron
The king of Acshaph
21 The king of Taanach
The king of Megiddo
22 The king of Kedesh
The king of Jokneam in Carmel
23 The king of Dor in the town of Naphoth-dor[d]
The king of Goyim in Gilgal[e]
24 The king of Tirzah.

The Plague Of Blood–Exodus 7 Continued

There was little doubt about the outcome of Moses’ demand to free the Israelites. Both the Egyptians and the Israelites knew that It would take beyond amazing to change the heart of Pharaoh. Still the plague of blood was a stage setting event to say the least. If we remember that God was not nearly as interested in Pharaoh’s reaction as he was in the reaction of the Canaanite world for years to come, then the message of each plague rings clearer for us.

 The Nile was a great river—a sweet river. The water was known as wonderful around the known world. So for the entire supply to be destroyed, for the fish to die, such an event hit the Egyptian nation at their most crucial core—survival. every sense was affected. Hunger, thirst, smell, sight and mind were completely rattled—No matter where they turned—there was no relief.

 Meanwhile, the Israelites had water. God prepared them for the plague and they were unaffected. God wanted to set his chosen apart and make sure that the people of Egypt knew that they were no longer in charge of his people—HE was. The growing thirst had to exacerbate their jealousy and fear. The worst news for the people of Egypt—“They ain’t seen nothing yet.”

 God makes his messages clear. Early submission to his lead will always beat a hardened heart. In addition, as with Pharaoh—we have to remember that our choices impact so many others. We as a people should live to honor God, if for no other reason , because it will change lives. Failure to do so will also change lives. Sadly, as Pharaoh showed the world—that kind of change will neither be well received nor well remembered.

God Bless You

  Then the Lord said to Moses, “Pharaoh’s heart is unyielding; he refuses to let the people go. 15 Go to Pharaoh in the morning as he goes out to the river. Confront him on the bank of the Nile, and take in your hand the staff that was changed into a snake. 16 Then say to him, ‘The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, has sent me to say to you: Let my people go, so that they may worship me in the wilderness. But until now you have not listened. 17 This is what the Lord says: By this you will know that I am the Lord: With the staff that is in my hand I will strike the water of the Nile, and it will be changed into blood. 18 The fish in the Nile will die, and the river will stink; the Egyptians will not be able to drink its water.’”

A False Teacher’s Destiny–2 Peter 2

God takes seriously the diluting or falsifying of his message of hope and freedom.  He does not tolerate those that would use his name to extort, intimidate, control or in any other way deceive his chosen ones.  Like any father, he could tolerate someone attacking or trying to lead him astray, but if you mess with his kids, it will not go well for you.

So many have tried to use God’s message of freedom for personal gain or glory.  He tells us that the end for them will be awful.  We have to seek the truth.  We also have to carefully discern the message those who teach are spreading.  If their focus is on anyone other than the Lord, it is a sign they are not teaching the truth.  Their message should be clear, consistent and Christ centered, otherwise its veracity is suspect.  We need to follow the true message and teachers that are committed to its communication.  Help me Lord to listen to and teach the truth!

God Bless You

But there were also false prophets in Israel, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will cleverly teach destructive heresies and even deny the Master who bought them. In this way, they will bring sudden destruction on themselves. Many will follow their evil teaching and shameful immorality. And because of these teachers, the way of truth will be slandered. In their greed they will make up clever lies to get hold of your money. But God condemned them long ago, and their destruction will not be delayed.

The New Covenant–Hebrews 10

There is so much rhetoric about the old and new covenants in the Bible and theological circles. To greatly simplify–God set a placeholder for his people–It was a series of visible ways to describe the process to come.  He gave them laws, he set up a system of sacrifices, he gave them priests and prophets to bridge the gaps between God and man.  All of these things were done to prepare for the coming of Christ.  Once He arrived, those other things became obsolete.

We could never keep the law in its entirety.  We could never wipe away our sins with sacrifices.  We could never have a meaningful relationship with God by going through a priest or prophet. 

The new covenant whites the laws on our heart–We want to follow the Lord because we love him not because we believe the rules wil save us.  We are freed from making sacrifices, because he did that for us.  Finally we are granted direct access to God–forever and no longer need an intermediary.  The new covenant is personal and requires only that we trust God and follow him.  God makes it simple, bu, he never promises it will be easy–Follow him daily and closely.

God Bless You

First, Christ said, “You did not want animal sacrifices or sin offerings or burnt offerings or other offerings for sin, nor were you pleased with them” (though they are required by the law of Moses). 9 Then he said, “Look, I have come to do your will.” He cancels the first covenant in order to put the second into effect. 10 For God’s will was for us to be made holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all time.

11 Under the old covenant, the priest stands and ministers before the altar day after day, offering the same sacrifices again and again, which can never take away sins. 12 But our High Priest offered himself to God as a single sacrifice for sins, good for all time. Then he sat down in the place of honor at God’s right hand. 13 There he waits until his enemies are humbled and made a footstool under his feet. 14 For by that one offering he forever made perfect those who are being made holy.

15 And the Holy Spirit also testifies that this is so. For he says,

16
“This is the new covenant I will make
with my people on that day,[c] says the Lord:
I will put my laws in their hearts,
and I will write them on their minds.”[d]

17 Then he says,

“I will never again remember
their sins and lawless deeds.”[e]

18 And when sins have been forgiven, there is no need to offer any more sacrifices

Jesus–Greater than the Angels–Hebrews 1 Part 2

There is no doubt that Jesus is Lord of all. But often, those that do not know God lump him in with other spiritual beings.  They consider Jesus like any other angel…Well, that simply is not the truth.  Jesus is God! he is not a spirit, he is not an angel, He is God.  Men try to politely cast him as a great prophet, a great teacher or some sort of deluded “do-gooder”–But whether men try to minimize his deity or classify him as just another angel, he simply is wholly and uniquely God.

Knowing that, we need to honor him as God and follow him as our Lord.   He loves us and simply wants this journey to prepare us for an eternity with him. But, we cannot mistake his love, grace and mercy for signs of weakness or denouncing his authority.  He is Lord first and Savior second.  As such, we must follow him and submit to his lordship in order to know and receive his saving grace and mercy. It was never about “Praying the Prayer”.  It was always about submitting to him your will and your life.

God Bless You

For God never said to any angel what he said to Jesus:

“You are my Son.
    Today I have become your Father.[a]

God also said,

“I will be his Father,
    and he will be my Son.”[b]

And when he brought his supreme[c] Son into the world, God said,[d]

“Let all of God’s angels worship him.”[e]

Regarding the angels, he says,

“He sends his angels like the winds,
    his servants like flames of fire.”[f]

But to the Son he says,

“Your throne, O God, endures forever and ever.
    You rule with a scepter of justice.
You love justice and hate evil.
    Therefore, O God, your God has anointed you,
    pouring out the oil of joy on you more than on anyone else.”

I Samuel 23 part 1–Stay in the Fray

David could have simply laid low.  He was being pursued by the King and accused of treason. He and his small band were given no protection or provision. But he heard his people were in danger.  So, he did the wisest thing he could have done—He asked God what to do. God directed and protected him from what was before him. He was not out of danger, his circumstance had not really improved—but, he knew God was with him and was guiding him to the truth.

We often face similar choices.  We encounter trials and want simply to lay low and et life pass. But as we seek the Lord, He directs us to stay in the fray and trust him for protection and provision. When he then provides, he does not promise all will be well—but he meets our needs for that day and that event. When we choose to seek him, we must be prepared to do so in all circumstance. We must also listen for his direction as he leads us through what many would call “the valley of the shadow of death”.

We must remember that he who calls us is faithful and he will do it. In 1st Peter 5, he tells us to be alert and encouraged.  We are under attack, but in his time he will restore and bless us—simply because we are his.

God Bless You

One day news came to David that the Philistines were at Keilah stealing grain from the threshing floors. David asked the Lord, “Should I go and attack them?”

“Yes, go and save Keilah,” the Lord told him.

But David’s men said, “We’re afraid even here in Judah. We certainly don’t want to go to Keilah to fight the whole Philistine army!”

So David asked the Lord again, and again the Lord replied, “Go down to Keilah, for I will help you conquer the Philistines.”

So David and his men went to Keilah. They slaughtered the Philistines and took all their livestock and rescued the people of Keilah. Now when Abiathar son of Ahimelech fled to David at Keilah, he brought the ephod with him.

Saul soon learned that David was at Keilah. “Good!” he exclaimed. “We’ve got him now! God has handed him over to me, for he has trapped himself in a walled town!” So Saul mobilized his entire army to march to Keilah and besiege David and his men.