Isaiah 14 Part 1–Restoration

The Lord has never hidden His love for Israel.  As they contemplated the destruction of their nation, Isaiah was called upon to also remind them restoration followed.  God’s timing is His own and history reminds us that Israel’s restoration as a nation was never really completed until 1948.  Still, God did restore His people.  He used the world after WWII to bring the Israeli people home from across Europe and the world.  Now Israel stands as an independent nation with influence across the globe.

Then and now, God has laid claim to HIs people. That is why those that honor God honor Israel.  It is also why those who hate God want Israel wiped from the map.  One can never underestimate the power of the tiny nation.  As God loves His people Israel, He also loves those around the world that have chosen to have a personal relationship with Him.  They are His adopted children and have the same devotion.  

As one of His chosen, we must live and act as the devoted ones.  Hide the word of God in our hearts. Pray without ceasing. Do not forsake the meeting and fellowship with other believers.  Instead, simply trust God and humbly follow His lead in our lives.  If we will, Like Israel, we will experience God’s restoration in our lives.

God Bless You


The Lord will have compassion on Jacob.
    Once again, He will choose Israel
    and will settle them in their own land.
Foreigners will join them
    and unite with the descendants of Jacob.
Nations will take them
    and bring them to their own place.
And Israel will take possession of the nations
    and make them male and female servants in the Lord’s land.
They will make captives of their captors
    and rule over their oppressors.

On the day the Lord gives you relief from your suffering and turmoil and from the harsh labor forced on you, 

you will take up this taunt against the king of Babylon:

                How the oppressor has come to an end!

                        How his fury[a] has ended!

The Lord has broken the rod of the wicked,
    the scepter of the rulers,
which in anger struck down peoples
    with unceasing blows,
and in fury subdued nations
    with relentless aggression.
All the lands are at rest and at peace;
    they break into singing.
Even the junipers and the cedars of Lebanon
    gloat over you and say,
“Now that you have been laid low,
    no one comes to cut us down.”

Isaiah 12–Isaiah Prophet and Worship Leader

Isaiah’s role as a prophet was a very multi-faceted role. Historian, truth teller, evangelist, battle strategist.  But on this day, Isaiah was a worship leader.  It must have been unique to see the future destruction and then the restoration of God’s people.  It would have been hard to keep from judging the sin of Israel or trying to figure out the mind of God.

Isaiah did neither of those things.  Isaiah simply spoke the truth.  To him, having a glimpse of God’s perspective that looks at all places and times at once, was a gift.  Isaiah was worshipping the Lord and watching God’s chosen worship the Lord, because God had, in fact, destroyed Israel’s enemy and returned them to their inheritance.  For Israel, the song was yet premature, they had not yet been exiled nor had the Assyrians and Babylonians been destroyed.  The Remnant had not left, much less been returned.  But this song that Isaiah wrote was an accurate ballad for a later date.  What is more, it was a promise for hope–when the history of Israel had become abysmal.

It grows more apparent, in these times, that the world is exploding.  Across the globe, God is systematically being excluded from government, education, and families.  In America, we are banning worship at church, but encouraging protesters by the thousand to gather in the streets. The great news is that God is patient.  He truly wants His people to humble themselves and to seek His face. As with Israel, God wants to restore us, His people, but that requires repentance and revival.  

We simply need to face the fact that our nation and our world is teetering on the brink of judgement–but, as with Israel, we can turn and be restored. Pray, seek God and His truth, walk humbly, and turn toward God and His plan. Do not turn away from God to do your own thing.  Then we can join Isaiah in worship and praise God for His restoration. Then we can walk in peace without fear.

God Bless You


In that day you will say:

“I will praise you, Lord.
    Although you were angry with me,
your anger has turned away
    and you have comforted me.
Surely God is my salvation;
    I will trust and not be afraid.
The Lord, the Lord himself, is my strength and my defense[a];
    he has become my salvation.”
With joy you will draw water
    from the wells of salvation.

In that day you will say:

“Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name;
    make known among the nations what he has done,
    and proclaim that his name is exalted.
Sing to the Lord, for he has done glorious things;
    let this be known to all the world.
Shout aloud and sing for joy, people of Zion,
    for great is the Holy One of Israel among you.”

Isaiah 8 Part 1–How Prophet’s Name Their Kids

Isaiah’s first Son was mentioned in Chapter 7, Shear-jashub which means A remnant shall return.  Now in Chapter 8, we meet Isaiah’s 2nd son Maher-shalal-hash-baz which means “the spoil speeds, the prey hastens.”  It must have been difficult to be God’s messenger.  Not only do you work for God, no small career move, but then God tells you what to name your children so that they could be a walking reminder of what lies ahead. 

Isaiah did as God told him.  His sons were reminders to the nation that their behavior would cause the promised land to be swept away.  The promising news was, however that a remnant would return.Isaiah also gave a second message of hope to Judah, the news was that God would allow Assyria to go far but only SO far. Israel’s sin would cost them, but, never doubt that God still loved His chosen people and would be there for them.

  The most difficult part of parenting a nation was having to allow them to reap the price of their sin.  Adonai never, never stopped loving them or wanting them to enjoy peace and prosperity. It is still the same these thousands of years later.  God still loves us.  He still sends His prophets to warn us of what lies ahead. The Lord does so, lest we forget that our actions have consequences. 

He also does so to remind us that while things may seem dismal, Adonai is still large and in charge.  We must never lose hope.  We need to be the people that pray for revival, grace, forgiveness, and restoration.  Then we will be joyful to name our child עססתרעד אנד רעויועד! Revived and restored!

God Bless You


Then the Lord said to me, “Take a large tablet and write on it in common characters,[a] ‘Belonging to Maher-shalal-hash-baz.’[b] And I will get reliable witnesses, Uriah the priest and Zechariah the son of Jeberechiah, to attest for me.”

And 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 boy knows how to cry ‘My father’ or ‘My mother,’ the wealth of Damascus and the spoil of Samaria will be carried away before the king of Assyria.”

The Lord spoke to me again: “Because this people has refused the waters of Shiloah that flow gently, and rejoice over Rezin and the son of Remaliah, therefore, behold, the Lord is bringing up against them the waters of the River,[c] mighty and many, the king of Assyria and all his glory. And it will rise over all its channels and go over all its banks, and it will sweep on into Judah, it will overflow and pass on, reaching even to the neck, and its outspread wings will fill the breadth of your land, O Immanuel.”

Be broken,[d] you peoples, and be shattered;[e]
    give ear, all you far countries;
strap on your armor and be shattered;
    strap on your armor and be shattered.
10 Take counsel together, but it will come to nothing;
    speak a word, but it will not stand,
    for God is with us.[f]

A New Direction–Exodus 2 Continued

Moses’ life took a big turn. From prince to fugitive, he had to recreate himself. He escaped to Midian, where  he immediately saved some ladies in distress. Humble, heroic and unique, he was quickly adopted by the local priest and married his daughter. 

This would never have been how he would have scripted his own journey, but, now the prince and chosen one of Israel was safe, provided for, and free from the threats of Egypt. 

It is easy to allow course corrections in our lives to embitter, discourage and nullify our walk with God. When we become entrapped by the circumstances, we miss the many underlying blessings that accompany the change. 

God asks us to simply trust his plan and follow him. When we do, especially with a humble and grateful heart, he can mold us into his image and use us to accomplish great things. Otherwise, we find our lives spin horribly downward and we miss the joy set before us. Thank you, Lord for setting out the journey and blessing me along the way. 

God Bless You 

Some shepherds came along and drove them away, but Moses got up and came to their rescue and watered their flock.

When the girls returned to Reuel their father, he asked them, “Why have you returned so early today?”

They answered, “An Egyptian rescued us from the shepherds. He even drew water for us and watered the flock.”

“And where is he?” Reuel asked his daughters. “Why did you leave him? Invite him to have something to eat.”

Moses agreed to stay with the man, who gave his daughter Zipporah to Moses in marriage.

Table for 5000 Please–John 6 Part 1

Can you imagine the staggering impact Jesus’ question must have had on the disciples…How are we going to feed these folks. The buzz among his men must have been a mixture of shock and awe.  Clearly, there was no way either economically or logistically for the disciples to feed this crowd.  Yet, they have seen Jesus do amazing things every day.  So the brainstorming begins–it will take a half year’s salary, but that does not even deal with who will have that kind of supply! Andrew found a boy with a fish–kid’s meal–I am sure Jesus smiled at that one and said, “Okay, that should work!”

Remember, this same Jesus called the universe into being.  Light, earth, vegetation, sea creatures, birds, land animals and ultimately man. He has turned water into wine.  He has healed the sick, raised the dead, made the lame to walk and the blind to see. He has cleansed lepers, and astounded Rabbi’s–So what’s a little bread and fish among friends!!!

We need to remember–God has faced countless and impossible challenges for thousands of years.  He can handle the big ones like parting a sea or feeding a mob.  But, he takes equal care in  protecting his kids and meeting their needs.  He gets giddy about feeding a family.  But nothing brings him more joy than restoring that eternal bond with one of his own. We do not always know how God will execute his plan, but, with a little faith, we can rest easy that he is absolutely going to do so with excellence and power. What a guy to have a picnic with…right?

God Bless You

Some time after this, Jesus crossed to the far shore of the Sea of Galilee (that is, the Sea of Tiberias), and a great crowd of people followed him because they saw the signs he had performed by healing the sick. Then Jesus went up on a mountainside and sat down with his disciples. The Jewish Passover Festival was near.

When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do.

Philip answered him, “It would take more than half a year’s wages[a] to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!”

Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up, “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?”

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.

Live Like Christ–But Do it in His Power 1 Peter 4

There is a sense of urgency–We should be living as though Christ is returning…Because he is! It is so easy to become complacent in these current circumstances.  No matter how comfortable things seem, we are living for eternity.  That means we seek God, we love others and we act as he would act.  The great news is that we do not have to do it in our power.  The Holy Spirit comes and fills us and guides us to living a Christ like life. 

So what does that life look like, well according to Peter their are three major components–Love, selflessness and humility. If we are selfless and humble, it does not mean we act like EEOre.  It only means that we are always looking for ways to promote others and show them Christ in our lives. Loving others means that we see the from God’s perspective and as members of our family.  We accept them as they are but steer them to the wonderful journey with Christ.  Life is about selfless, loving humility.

Living that kind of life is a sign we are looking to eternity–not simply existing for today!

God Bless You

The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 11 If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.

God Corrects His Own-2 Samuel 12 Part 1

God disciplines those he loves.  David sinned greatly.  He knew it and God knew it. David had hoped that covering up the sin, would somehow make everything better, but, God was not going to allow it.  God sent Nathan to expose David’s sin, and to help David understand the import of his actions.  The parable put things into perspective for David—David saw for the first time that he had become what he despised.  That was the beginning of repentance and restoration. 

As his kids, God also intervenes in our lives to mold and shape us into his image.  When we allow sin to stay in our lives, God has a way of exposing the sin and helping us to recognize what it has done to us and to others. If we are sensitive to his leadership, he can guide us to repentance and restoration.  He is first and foremost a loving Father—his desire is to shape us to be like him and enjoy the peace and freedom that comes with that. Help me, Lord to be sensitive to your leadership and humble and discerning to your correction.

God Bless You

12 So the Lord sent Nathan the prophet to tell David this story: “There were two men in a certain town. One was rich, and one was poor. The rich man owned a great many sheep and cattle. The poor man owned nothing but one little lamb he had bought. He raised that little lamb, and it grew up with his children. It ate from the man’s own plate and drank from his cup. He cuddled it in his arms like a baby daughter. One day a guest arrived at the home of the rich man. But instead of killing an animal from his own flock or herd, he took the poor man’s lamb and killed it and prepared it for his guest.”

David was furious. “As surely as the Lord lives,” he vowed, “any man who would do such a thing deserves to die! He must repay four lambs to the poor man for the one he stole and for having no pity.”

Then Nathan said to David, “You are that man!

Legacy–I Samuel 25 part 1

I Samuel 25 opens with a very direct and poignant Statement—“Samuel Died and all Israel gathered for his funeral”  On its face, it seems a little understated for the last Judge of Israel, but upon a closer look there is a volume of a message.  Samuel’s death was neither missed or ignored.  The entire nation of Israel turned out for his funeral.  From his conception, Samuel was destined to spend his life serving the Lord-and he did.  As God’s servant he carried Israel through a difficult transition and the beginning of the fulfillment of Prophecy.  As he went home to be with the Lord, Saul’s reign was ending and the messianic reign was to begin with David.  The entire nation was shaped and moved by the life of this great and last Judge of Israel

 

In our lives, we will serve the Lord and see little of the legacy we leave behind.  But, we can trust the Lord when he promises that if we submit and follow him he will guide us through the journey and allow us the ability to leave a timeless legacy behind. As we serve the Lord, we will see his influence in the lives of those we touch.  We have no assurances of what that legacy will be or if we will know the impact we have on others, but, we can be assured that God’s plan is flawless and if we trust him, we will live a life that impacts the world beyond our own lives.

In our power, we can do nothing, in his power we can change a nation.  Thanks Lord for Samuel and the kind of impact a person sold out to you can have.

 

God Bless You

Now Samuel died, and all Israel gathered for his funeral. They buried him at his house in Ramah.

Ruth 2 part 2 Guardian Redeemer

 

Ruth had by “coincidence“ stumbled into the field of the family’s guardian redeemer—Levitical law said that if you have a relative that has fallen into hard times, as a close relative you were to assist them to get back and going again. What a concept—if a part of the family is struggling then pitch in and assist them in getting free. God directed Ruth to that person and he also directed Boaz to fill that role. God’s plan demonstrated and shows how he cares for each of his own.
Today, we as a family of believers are called to do the same. We are to pour our lives into those that are struggling to assist them in getting free. We, like Boaz, must be proactive in our generosity and assistance. There is nothing we have that cannot be gone in a blink of an eye. We, therefore must hold on loosely and share liberally. God will bless our generosity. He will make our accounts balance.

He says in Malachi—“Trust me, try me, prove me-says the Lord of Hosts; and see if a blessing—unmeasured blessing will not fall out on you!” We cannot out give God, and we cannot ever go wrong by taking on his character traits!
God Bless You
17 So Ruth gleaned in the field until evening. Then she threshed the barley she had gathered, and it amounted to about an ephah.[a] 18 She carried it back to town, and her mother-in-law saw how much she had gathered. Ruth also brought out and gave her what she had left over after she had eaten enough.
19 Her mother-in-law asked her, “Where did you glean today? Where did you work? Blessed be the man who took notice of you!”
Then Ruth told her mother-in-law about the one at whose place she had been working. “The name of the man I worked with today is Boaz,” she said.
20 “The LORD bless him!” Naomi said to her daughter-in-law. “He has not stopped showing his kindness to the living and the dead.” She added, “That man is our close relative; he is one of our guardian-redeemers.[b]”
21 Then Ruth the Moabite said, “He even said to me, ‘Stay with my workers until they finish harvesting all my grain.’”
22 Naomi said to Ruth her daughter-in-law, “It will be good for you, my daughter, to go with the women who work for him, because in someone else’s field you might be harmed.”