Wednesday, September 20, 2017

September 20: Isaiah 33:13 – 36; Psalm 64; Proverbs 23:23; Galatians 5:13-26



Overview

            Isaiah: Who can dwell with God, who is a consuming fire. Not the sinners of Zion, but those who abhor sin and take no part in it. They will be saved. They will see God in his beauty. They won’t see the sinners. They will see the eternal Jerusalem. The Lord will be there in majesty. For the Lord is Judge and King. He will save them. They will be forgiven of their sins.
            God is angry with all the nations and their armies. He has devoted them to destruction. There will be dead all over the place. The Lord is doing it. It will begin in Bozrah of Edom. It will be the day of the Lord’s vengeance to recompense Zion. Edom will be a burning torch forever. Only animals will live there among the brambles. All the animals listed will be there according to the Book of the Lord.
            The desert will bloom like Lebanon, Carmel, and Sharon. It will see the glory of the Lord. The weak will be strengthened and the fearful will be strong. Blind will see, deaf will hear, and the lame healed. There will be streams and pools in the desert.
            The highway of holiness will be there and only the righteous will walk on it. Even a fool will be able to walk it without going astray (ESV). Fools will not be able to travel it (NAS). No harmful animals will go on it and the ransomed of the Lord will use it to return to Zion with singing and joy.
            Sennacherib invaded Judah in the 14th year of Hezekiah. His Rabshakeh came to Jerusalem with a great army and spoke to Hezekiah’s officials. He said that trusting in Egypt or the Lord was futile because they couldn’t defeat the least in his army. He also claimed the Lord told him to destroy Judah.
            Jerusalem’s officials asked him not speak in Hebrew. He refused and called out in the hearing of the men on the wall saying that Hezekiah was deceiving them by saying that the Lord would save them. He promised them plenty and security if they surrendered. He said that the gods of other lands had not saved them and the Lord could not save Jerusalem. The men on the wall were silent in obedience to Hezekiah.
            Psalm: David starts this Psalm with complete honesty and transparency. He is complaining to the Lord. He lists the things that are bothering him. Most of his problems are what his enemies are saying against him as well as what they say they are planning. They are looking for ways to do injustice. But God takes them down quickly and all their evil talk comes against them. When people see this, they know it is from God and tell others. The righteous are glad and take refuge in the Lord.
            Proverbs: Getting truth, wisdom, instruction, and understanding cost something but you shouldn’t charge others for it.
            Galatians: Since we have freedom, we are not to use that freedom to indulge in sinful behavior but to serve others. The Law is summed up in loving others as you love yourself. If you don’t you will be destroying each other.
            We are to live by the Spirit so we don’t satisfy our sinful desires, that is our flesh. Our flesh and the Spirit are opposed to each other and that’s why we don’t do what we want. Being led by the Spirit is not being under the Law. The flesh wants all sort of evils listed and anyone who keeps on doing these will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the evidence of the Spirit working is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Gal 5:22-23). If you belong to Jesus then you have crucified all the fleshly passions and desires. If we are living by the Spirit, don’t be conceited about it and thereby provoke other or envy them.

What Stood Out

            Isaiah: “The sinners in Zion are afraid; trembling has seized the godless: ‘Who among us can dwell with the consuming fire? Who among us can dwell with everlasting burnings?’” (Isa 33:14).        
            Psalm: “Preserve my life from dread of the enemy” (Ps 64:1).
            Proverbs: “Buy truth, and do not sell it; buy wisdom, instruction, and understanding” (Prov 23:23).
            Galatians: “I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Gal 5:21).

Insight

            Isaiah: If a person expresses the fear that was in the sinners of Jerusalem (Isa 33:14), they are in a better position to be saved than others. They understood that they couldn’t dwell in the presences of the Lord because of their sins. This is the first thing a person needs to do when they come to the Lord. They need to admit their sin. Anyone who thinks they are not so terrible to need a Savior will never be saved.
            The next thing they need to do is repent and that means they have to forsake their sins and change their behavior (Isa 33:15). This could be mistaken for a works religion but the truth of the matter is that this change can only take place when the Holy Spirit works in a person. The changed behavior is a sign of repentance rather than something done to gain God’s approval.
            Then salvation comes when that sinner places his trust in the Lord Jesus. He is the rock of defense (Isa 33:16). Without trust in Jesus, admitting sin and what appears to be repentance is not going to save a person. I say appears to be repentance because many people can turn over a new leaf and live a better life without trusting Jesus for salvation. They must know that Jesus has paid the penalty for their sins and that is the only reason they can be saved.
            They will then have the assurance of their salvation. They will see the Lord in their lives and will eventually be welcomed into the New Jerusalem to see the Lord up close and personal (Isa 33:17).
            Psalm: Worries and dreads of all sorts of things surround us every day if we focus on them. I could dread going to work because it seems overwhelming or boring. I could worry about my financial situation because I’m not getting a raise but taxes, utilities, food, and gasoline are all costing more along with needing that iPhone that costs $1,000. We’ve had two major hurricanes in the U.S. and more on the way. Caribbean islands have been hit even worse. Mexico has had it’s second major earthquake in a week or so. North Korea is threatening peace for the U.S., South Korea, and Japan. Trump is promising to destroy North Korea if they try. If you aren’t having dread, then the Lord is answering this prayer to preserve you from dread of the enemy.
             When our focus is on the Lord, we can have peace even in the midst of all these “enemies.” When we know that our future is not on this earth but with the Lord, we can accept those things we can’t control. We can pray and not be anxious but have God’s peace in our heart, which transcends all understanding (Phil 4:6-7). His peace transcends understanding because it is supernatural and not rational. It is a gift of his grace when we trust in him and do as David did. Pray!
Oh, how great peace and quietness would he possess who should cut off all vain anxiety and place all his confidence in God.
Thomas a Kempis
            Proverbs: What does it cost to get truth, wisdom, instruction, and understanding? It cost Jesus his position in heaven to come to the earth and then die on the cross so we could have all of it. It costs us our personal sovereignty. We have to give ourselves to Jesus and let him become our Sovereign. We then give it away by telling others about salvation through Jesus Christ. They don’t pay us for it, but they also have to give up their struggle against Jesus to have it.
            Galatians: It may seem contradictory to some in the way Paul is writing to the Galatians. In one sentence, he says we are free and not under the Law and in another he says we have the passions and they fight the Spirit. If we follow these passions we aren’t going to get to heaven. Then the list includes at least some of the things that we do occasionally if not daily, though some of them we wouldn’t even think of doing. How do we really “walk by the Spirit?”
            One thing we have to understand is that anyone who is not working on the list of evils and desiring to have the fruit of the Spirit is the one that will not get to heaven. If there is no evidence of the Holy Spirit working in their lives, then they can be quite sure they aren’t saved. For those who recognize their sin and want to get rid of it, they know that they can confess those occasional sins and Jesus will cleanse them from their unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).
            Another thing to understand is that we can’t really be led by the Spirit if we don’t even know what he wants. That is where knowing the Bible comes in. He has told us what he wants. He has told us through Paul that he doesn’t want a bunch of things and he does want some other things (Gal 5:19-23). There are other lists as well. We need to submit to him and let him clean us up. We can’t be doing the things we want and ignoring him working in our conscience, which is tuned by the Word of God.  

Application

             I’m going to focus on the Lord for peace of mind and to be led by the Holy Spirit. I’m going to go over the basics of what it is to be saved and confess my sins knowing Jesus will cleans me.

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