Isaiah 48–Giving God the Credit He Deserves

Isaiah’s next prophecy was to set the record straight on why Judah was still standing. It was not because they were a holy people.  It was not because they were valient or faithful.  It was not because they had come up with a plan to defeat the rest of the world or to fool God.  No, simply put, they still stood because God loved them and made a covenant to make them a great nation.

It was irritating to God to continue to support such a stiff necked and disobedient people.  He, however had skin in the game.  He delivered them out of slavery and brought them to this land.  He defeated their enemies and prospered them.  So, the decision to allow them to be catered and exiled was not an easy one to make.  In this passage, God makes clear that their very presence only happened as a gift from Him.  Such grace should be heralded and worshipped.  Sadly, the people simply went about their busy lives neither acknowledging God’s grace, nor retuning to the worship and submission to His lordship.

In present day, Many are faced with the same clear message.  It is not because we were that good or reverent; it is simply because God is a God of grace and mercy.  His chosen have not lived with the humility or passion to follow Him that He deserves.  But, As Paul said in Romans 5:8, “God demonstrated His love for us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”  That message rings loud in this time and culture.  We need to be humble, grateful and follow God closely.  It is only by His grace that we are still standing.

God Bless You


​“Listen to this, you descendants of Jacob,    you who are called by the name of Israel  and come from the line of Judah,you who take oaths in the name of the Lord    and invoke the God of Israel—    but not in truth or righteousness—you who call yourselves citizens of the holy city    and claim to rely on the God of Israel—    the Lord Almighty is his name:I foretold the former things long ago,    my mouth announced them, and I made them known.    then suddenly I acted, and they came to pass.For I knew how stubborn you were.    your neck muscles were iron,    your forehead was bronze.Therefore I told you these things long ago;    before they happened, I announced them to youso that you could not say,    ‘My images brought them about;    my wooden image and metal god ordained them.’You have heard these things; look at them all.    Will you not admit them?“From now on I will tell you of new things,    of hidden things unknown to you.They are created now, and not long ago;    you have not heard of them before today.So you cannot say,    ‘Yes, I knew of them.’You have neither heard nor understood;    from of old your ears have not been open.Well do I know how treacherous you are;    you were called a rebel from birth.For my own name’s sake I delay my wrath;    for the sake of my praise I hold it back from you,    so as not to destroy you completely.10 See, I have refined you, though not as silver;    I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.11 For my own sake, for my own sake, I do this.    How can I let myself be defamed?    I will not yield my glory to another.

Isaiah 29-30 With God, There Is Always the Hope of Restoration

It is an amazing part of the knowledge of the Lord, to realize the reality that God’s strongest desire is to bless and protect the ones He loves.  In Isaiah 29-30, God speaks first of the siege of Jerusalem.  He speaks of the sadness as Jerusalem is taken down.  He warns not to run from what is ahead–but, to repent.  Turn their hearts from other gods and destroy their idols.  Then as they return to Him, the Lord will protect and restore them.  He will restore their faith, hope, and their future.  

When they return to Him, the Lord will then come in a fury and destroy the enemy, restore the land, and restore the faith and joy of the people.  Amid the sieges, the captivity, and the loss of national identity, it had to be these promises that allowed many to maintain their faith and follow God.  It was these promises that led the remnant back and through the centuries allowed the people of Israel to continue their traditions and seek the Messiah.

Now these thousands of years later, the Messiah has come and died and rose again; and, we all can be in personal relationship with God through faith in Jesus.  That faith will bring hope in all circumstance and as in the passage return us to days of peace and times of joy.  We will quit worshiping our handmade gods and humbly seek our Father.  We will experience peace, love, and have the confidence that we will be with the Lord throughout eternity.  

We can live without fear in a fearful time.  We can have real joy during chaos and unrest.  In short, we can and will live abundant lives even while the thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy. (John 10:10) We can walk in confidence as we allow our lives to be hidden in Christ with God. (Col 3:1-4) Thanks Father, that Your peace does pass all human understanding; and Your desire is to bless those You love.

God Bless You


18 Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you,
    and therefore, he exalts himself to show mercy to you.
For the Lord is a God of justice.
    Blessed are all those who wait for him.

19 For a people shall dwell in Zion, in Jerusalem; you shall weep no more. He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry. As soon as he hears it, he answers you. 20 And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide himself anymore, but your eyes shall see your Teacher. 21 And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left. 22 Then you will defile your carved idols overlaid with silver and your gold-plated metal images. You will scatter them as unclean things. You will say to them, “Be gone!”

23 And he will give rain for the seed with which you sow the ground, and bread, the produce of the ground, which will be rich and plenteous. In that day your livestock will graze in large pastures, 24 and the oxen and the donkeys that work the ground will eat seasoned fodder, which has been winnowed with shovel and fork. 25 And on every lofty mountain and every high hill there will be brooks running with water, in the day of the great slaughter, when the towers fall. 26 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 when the Lord binds up the brokenness of his people, and heals the wounds inflicted by his blow.

27 Behold, the name of the Lord comes from afar,
    burning with his anger, and in thick rising smoke;[d]
his lips are full of fury,
    and his tongue is like a devouring fire;
28 his breath is like an overflowing stream
    that reaches up to the neck;
to sift the nations with the sieve of destruction,
    and to place on the jaws of the peoples a bridle that leads astray.

29 You shall have a song as in the night when a holy feast is kept, and gladness of heart, as when one sets out to the sound of the flute to go to the mountain of the Lord, to the Rock of Israel. 30 And the Lord will cause his majestic voice to be heard and the descending blow of his arm to be seen, in furious anger and a flame of devouring fire, with a cloudburst and storm and hailstones. 31 The Assyrians will be terror-stricken at the voice of the Lord, when he strikes with his rod. 32 And every stroke of the appointed staff that the Lord lays on them will be to the sound of tambourines and lyres. Battling with brandished arm, he will fight with them. 33 For a burning place[e] has long been prepared; indeed, for the king it is made ready, its pyre made deep and wide, with fire and wood in abundance; the breath of the Lord, like a stream of sulfur, kindles it.

Isaiah 25–God’s Amazing Promise to His Chosen

Clearly, the Lord has an end game.  It was always God’s plan to restore His people to a place to fellowship with Him.  God has always wanted to be in a personal relationship with us.  Still, our sin and culture has separated us from God.  Isaiah knew that separation would one day end.  God showed Isaiah that the sin would be wiped away and the veil removed.  When Christ was crucified, the curtain that separated the Holy of Holies was ripped into from top to bottom.  God wanted to fulfill his word to Isaiah–not by ripping a curtain, but by removing the barrier between God and man–SIN.

Isaiah’s words were and are for the entire world.  God will clear the way for His own.  He will swallow up death, remove the barrier between God and Man, wipe away all tears and provide a feast for all that will follow Him and believe His Word.  That is no small promise, and fortunately for us; God always keeps His promises.  When one considers that this was written hundreds of years before the world experienced the coming of the Messiah; we who are 2000 years after still benefit from the promise and its fulfillment.  That is a great testimony to God’s patience, desiring that none should perish and His planning and execution of that plan.  

We need to live a life that honors God’s promise.  What that means simply is to walk in a way that allows God to transform us into His image; so that we will be like him, and enjoy the eternal feast planned for the Bride .

God Bless You


O Lord, you are my God;
    I will exalt you; I will praise your name,
for you have done wonderful things,
    plans formed of old, faithful, and sure.
For you have made the city a heap,
    the fortified city a ruin;
the foreigners’ palace is a city no more;
    it will never be rebuilt.
Therefore strong peoples will glorify you;
    cities of ruthless nations will fear you.
For you have been a stronghold to the poor,
    a stronghold to the needy in his distress,
    a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat;
for the breath of the ruthless is like a storm against a wall,
    like heat in a dry place.
You subdue the noise of the foreigners;
    as heat by the shade of a cloud,
    so the song of the ruthless is put down.

On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples
    a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine,
    of rich food full of marrow, of aged wine well refined.
And he will swallow up on this mountain
    the covering that is cast over all peoples,
    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,
    and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth,
    for the Lord has spoken.
It will be said on that day,
    “Behold, this is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us.
    This is the Lord; we have waited for him;
    let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.”

Isaiah 11–Jesus, The Game Changer

In his delivery of the difficult message to God’s chosen people, Isaiah never seems to give a tough decree without the follow of great hope.  Isaiah had just finished describing the enslavement of the people to Assyria and to Egypt he also talked of the return of the remnant anf the destruction of Israel’s captors.  Then, from that, Isaiah stops and begins a description of the shoot from the branch of Jesse that restores and brings peace.  

In Isaiah’s description, The one that will restore will do so with peace, wisdom, and understanding. There will be no need to raise a sword because he will unify and protect His own.  He will bring peace accross all nations and will rule with wisdom and not with might. Sadly, the description is not the description of most rulers.  The Messiah was not sent to be a mighty tyrant or warrior king, He was sent to seek and to save that which was lost.

Looking back at the coming of the Lord, He truly divided time and taught peace and unity.  He changed the world by reminding us that to be first–one must get to the back of the line.  The great should act with the most humility, and the leaders should be the most selfless servants. 

Then and now, His people are to be the ones to lead the nations to a right knowledge of God and draw them to God not push them away.  Make no mistake, God is all knowing and all powerful. He brings up nations and then takes them down.  He allows men the ability to destroy themselves–but desires most to restore and unify them.  Jesus, the shoot of Jesse, waits to be the change agent; if we will simply trust and follow Him.  Let’s Pray for revival for ourselves, our families, and our nation.

God Bless You


A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;
    from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—
    the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
    the Spirit of counsel and of might,
    the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord—
and he will delight in the fear of the Lord.

He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes,
    or decide by what he hears with his ears;
but with righteousness he will judge the needy,
    with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth.
He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth;
    with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked.
Righteousness will be his belt
    and faithfulness the sash around his waist.

The wolf will live with the lamb,
    the leopard will lie down with the goat,
the calf and the lion and the yearling[a] together;
    and a little child will lead them.
The cow will feed with the bear,
    their young will lie down together,
    and the lion will eat straw like the ox.
The infant will play near the cobra’s den,
    and the young child will put its hand into the viper’s nest.
They will neither harm nor destroy
    on all my holy mountain,
for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord
    as the waters cover the sea.

10 In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his resting place will be glorious. 

Numbers 27–The Dawn of Women’s Rights

The people of Israel were coming to the end of their marching through the desert.  As Moses and the people sat across the Jordan, some daughters of the Israelites came before Moses and asked to receive the property of their father who died.  Up to that point, the inheritance went to the 1st born son and then to each of the sons.  So when the daughters approached Moses; there was no provision in place. 

So Moses took it to the Lord.  The Lord was clear. If a person died without sons, daughters would inherit. if no children then brothers. If no brothers, then closest family in the clan.  Thus, the beginning of estate law was passed from God to Israel.The greatest message here was that God held all people in high regard. He cared that people were treated properly no matter the age, race, gender or family.  He has, and always will act on our behalf, because God loves us unconditionally.

Then and now, God does not play favorites.  The Lord simply asks that we trust and follow Him.  God wants the best for all people.  God saw men’s greed, and knew that He would be somehow blamed for their desire to steal. So God set out a plan for all people to be treated fairly.  

It is critical  even today, that we remember that God is at the center of human rights.  He does not manipulate of politicize them–no, He simply reminds us that we are to live as He has and treat people with respect and dignity no matter their race, age, gender, nationality or financial status. If we would do that, the chaos which is our culture would be stable; and people would see life as God always intended us to live it.  

God Bless You

The daughters of Zelophehad son of Hepher, the son of Gilead, the son of Makir, the son of Manasseh, belonged to the clans of Manasseh son of Joseph. The names of the daughters were Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milkah and Tirzah. They came forward and stood before Moses,Eleazar the priest, the leaders and the whole assembly at the entrance to the tent of meetingand said, “Our father died in the wilderness. He was not among Korah’s followers, who banded together against the Lord, but he died for his own sin and left no sons. Why should our father’s name disappear from his clan because he had no son? Give us property among our father’s relatives.”

So Moses brought their case before the Lord, and the Lord said to him, “What Zelophehad’s daughters are saying is right. You must certainly give them property as an inheritance among their father’s relatives and give their father’s inheritance to them.

“Say to the Israelites, ‘If a man dies and leaves no son, give his inheritance to his daughter.If he has no daughter, give his inheritance to his brothers. 10 If he has no brothers, give his inheritance to his father’s brothers. 11 If his father had no brothers, give his inheritance to the nearest relative in his clan, that he may possess it. This is to have the force of law for the Israelites, as the Lord commanded Moses.’”

Protecting the Chosen–John 17 continued. 

  • Jesus’ plan was never to redeem us and immediately take us out of the world. Salvation had three components. Justification, sanctification and glorification. His sacrifice brought justification. Our return to heaven will bring glorification. But, the act of being transformed into the image of God–sanctification, that is a process. 

Jesus knew that the disciples would have to face the world and all the ickiness it holds. So his prayer was simply that the father protect them from the enemy. The spiritual war they were engaged in was fierce. They gave up life, family and prosperity to follow the Lord. But, in the midst, the Lord walked with them and worked through them to change the world. 

Today, it is no different. The battle rages, the chosen are being sanctified and God through his spirit still protects, guides and prepares us for what lies ahead. Even in these dark hours, we can cling to the prayers of our Lord. We need not give up, nor lose hope that he is with us and will guide us. 

We are loved and chosen to remain with God for eternity. Let’s follow him humbly and graciously as he gets us there. 

God Bless Youj

“I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them.

I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world.

My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.

They are not of the world, even as I am not of it.

Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.

As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.

For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.

Let It Go!!!–! Peter 2 Revisited

Frozen–a great Disney flick! The Part that grips us all is the scene where Elsa sings Let it Go.  She has lived a life in fear and finds that her worst fears are realized.  She runs away to the hills and in a moment of clarity drops all the baggage Continue reading “Let It Go!!!–! Peter 2 Revisited”

Only the sick need a Doctor–Matt 2 part 2

Jesus knew what he was getting when he came to earth.  He came to show the world the true face of the Father. The miracles he did were to show His father’s nature and Love.  When Jesus called Matthew, he did so to show the world he takes us as we are.  He did not want teachers or royalty, he wanted just folks, in their sinful condition-to save and to lead in a right relationship to God.  Thousands of years of reading and teaching the law had not given the Jewish people how the Lord loved and wanted to have a relationship with us.  So, God sent Jesus to seek and save the lost…(the sick).  Jesus surrounded himself with people that were lost, hurting and hopeless.  He then met them where they were and gave them what they were missing—health hope and love.

It is still the same today.  God still looks to love the loveless, heal the sick and give hope to the hopeless.  There is still only one answer to men’s condition.  The answer is Jesus.  He died to give us salvation.  He lived to show us the Father’s love.  The word’s he spoke, the miracles he performed and the sacrifice he made were all to help those who were hopeless to gain hope.  We only need to accept that love and follow him. We do not need to earn it nor can we.  The harder we try to earn it the farther from his love we move.  The most we could do is to simply surrender to his love and leadership.  He then will fill the void we never could.  Help me Lord, to simply trust, follow and experience the life he gives.

God Bless You

13 Once again Jesus went out beside the lake. A large crowd came to him, and he began to teach them. 14 As he walked along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” Jesus told him, and Levi got up and followed him.

15 While Jesus was having dinner at Levi’s house, many tax collectors and sinners were eating with him and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. 16 When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?”

17 On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

Preparation is Key–Mark 1 part 1

The Gospels tell the story of salvation from many different perspectives.  Mark’s version is most famous because it seems to take the Jack Webb’s “Dragnet” approach.  The famous Dragnet line was always, “Just the facts ma’am.  Just the facts.”  And as you read Mark, that is what you get. 

God planned Jesus entrance from the dawn of time and knew that preparation was critical.  He sent John the Baptist ahead to lead the people of the time to a place of personal responsibility for their sin.  Once they saw their sin as personal they could begin to see their salvation as personal.  Once they saw their salvation as personal, they could see their relationship with God as personal and that is where Jesus comes in.

In our lives, we have the same issue even today.  It is easy to rely on our checklist for salvation.  We think if we are good enough, at church enough or at least not as bad as others, then we will be fine.  But as John told the Jews—we have to repent of our sin, turn and go the other way. Agree that we cannot earn our salvation by deed or promise; and simply accept that he sent Christ to redeem us from our sin and restore us to a right relationship with God.  God prepared for our redemption and his plan was flawless.  Help me Lord, to accept the plan you made and not try to do things my way.

God Bless You

1 The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah,[a] the Son of God,[b] as it is written in Isaiah the prophet:

“I will send my messenger ahead of you,
who will prepare your way”[c]
“a voice of one calling in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord,
make straight paths for him.’”[d]

And so John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River. John wore clothing made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. And this was his message: “After me comes the one more powerful than I, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. I baptize you with[e] water, but he will baptize you with[f] the Holy Spirit.”

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.