Saturday, September 9, 2017

September 9: Isaiah 3 – 5; Psalm 53; Proverbs 22:28-29; 2 Corinthians 11:1-15



Overview

            Isaiah: Isaiah tells of the judgment that God will bring on Judah and Jerusalem. He will wipe out their supplies, their people (including magicians and charmers), high and low. He will make boys rule them and people will oppress each other. They will want anyone left with even a cloak to be their leader but he will refuse. It is all because of their sins and they will get what is due them. He will judge those who have destroyed his vineyard. The women that flaunt themselves will be struck with scabs and exposed. Seven women will want to be married to one man but care for themselves just to relieve their reproach.
            There will be a day when the Messiah will be beautiful and glorious. The land will be full of survivors. Their sins will be washed away after fiery judgment. The Lord will shelter Mount Zion with cloud by day and fire by night. It will be a refuge.
            The Lord compares Israel to a vineyard that he planted and cared for but only produced wild grapes. He asks if he has the right to do with it what he wants. He says he will tear it down because of Judah’s sins. He declares woe to those who are only interested in material wealth. He will make their houses desolate. Woe to those who party and ignore the Lord. He will send them into exile, hunger, and thirst. Many will be killed. All will be humbled and brought low.
            Woe to those who lie and sin thinking that God will not come quickly. They dare him to fulfill the promise to punish them. Woe to those who call evil good, are wise in their own eyes, booze it up, and pervert justice. They will be devoured like burnt up dry grass. They have rejected the Law and God’s anger is against them. They will all die. God’s anger will not turn away. He will call far off nations to come and wipe out Judah.
            Psalm: Fools don’t believe God exists. As a result, they cannot do good. God looks down on them and can’t find anything good in them. They try to destroy God’s people. But they all live in terror as he rejects them. But God’s people rejoice in his salvation.
            Proverbs: Don’t try to steal property by moving property markers set long ago. A person who is skillful will be employed by kings instead of being unknown.
            2 Corinthians: Paul is concerned for the Corinthians because he the one who brought them to Jesus. His concern is that Satan has deceived some of them like he did Eve. If someone proclaims a different Jesus or they receive a different spirit or accept a different gospel than the ones Paul had taught they seem to accept it easily. Some of these others are super-apostles but Paul is not inferior to them though he isn’t as good of a speaker. His knowledge is better and he told the Corinthians that.
            He asks them if he sinned by not exalting himself and preached the gospel without pay. He was supported by other churches to serve the Corinthians. He boasts in this in the region of Achaia because he loves the Corinthians.
            He is going to continue to do this to undermine those who claim they work the same as Paul and his companions. Those others are false apostles who disguise themselves as apostles of Christ. That shouldn’t be surprising because Satan disguises himself as one of God’s angels. Satan’s servants do the same trying to look like ministers of righteousness. Their deeds will determine their end.

What Stood Out

            Isaiah: “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light
and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!” (Isa 5:20).    
            Psalm: “There they are, in great terror, where there is no terror! For God scatters the bones of him who encamps against you; you put them to shame, for God has rejected them” (Ps 53:5).
            Proverbs: “Do you see a man skillful in his work? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before obscure men” (Prov 22:29).
            2 Corinthians: “And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light” (2 Cor 11:14).

Insight

            Isaiah: The bad part of this section of Isaiah is that the description of Judah and Jerusalem is too much like the U.S. Look at some of the woes. They are against people building houses to houses and living like there is no God. They are partying and then comes the kicker. They are calling evil good and good evil. They are wise in their own eyes. I don’t have to go into details because it is obvious to any Christian who has look at any newspaper. God’s judgment finally came on Judah because they didn’t repent. It only got worse.
            What do we do? We can do two things. We can share the gospel with anyone who will listen and we can pray. We aren’t here to save the nation so much as we are here to find the remnant and let them know that they can be saved. Chapter 4 is a sweet interlude between condemnation and judgment. It tells us that though judgment comes, there will be a better time and place where God reigns in person through Jesus Christ. That is our destiny and that is our hope. It is what keeps us going when we see everything around us going to pot (pun intended). We will be with Jesus and we want to take as many as possible along with us because they can be spared if they repent and confess their sins turning to Jesus for salvation.
            Psalm: What causes a person the most terror? Usually it is when they are threatened with death. They may be able to face torture or other evil things, but terror is reserved for death. For the Christian, this shouldn’t be. We are assured that death doesn’t have victory over us because Jesus has conquered it and we will become immortal when we die (1 Cor 15:54-55). However, the same can’t be said for the wicked, the fools that think there is no God. Deep down, they do know that there is something after death and that is eternal punishment. However, with today’s believe in relativism, this terror is becoming less. Atheists think that it is all over when the die and they have resigned themselves to it. They will find out that after death there will be terror on every side and it will never end. It is up to us to keep telling them the truth and praying that the Holy Spirit will reveal the truth to them so they can be saved.
            Proverbs: A person with skills doesn’t get to serve before kings like times past. Artist have long had patrons who subsidized them because their artistry didn’t pay. Now that there are means of mass producing book, paintings, and music, the general populace supports those that are skillful. Yet some get to hobnob with the rich and famous.
            What do you want to do? I certainly want to be skillful, but I want to do it for the Lord. He is the King of kings and what I do for him is always in his presence. It doesn’t matter if my books sell a million or I have to give them away (and I do), if just one person is blessed or saved because of my writing, then it is worth it.
            2 Corinthians: Paul was very concerned for the Corinthians because they were very gullible. They believed just about anything and everything that came their way in spiritual matters. Some had been led astray by false teachers presenting a false gospel.
            We aren’t much better today. Many people accept all sorts of spiritual rubbish just because it sounds good at the time. Many people will follow a Jesus that has nothing in common with our resurrected Savior who is both God and man. They think that Jesus was a good teacher, a moral leader, a revolutionary, or whatever else they make up. But they deny his deity. Check out any cult and they will not admit that God the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are God in the Trinity. They change Scripture, they promote their own ideas and people accept these false claims. Satan is the one behind it. He doesn’t want people to know who Jesus really is because then they might believe on the real Jesus and be saved. If they believe on one of these fake Jesuses, Satan isn’t concerned because they aren’t saved by them. Those who preach these false Jesuses are Satan’s servants and make out that they are telling people how to become righteous.
            Don’t listen to them. Read the Bible, especially the book of John and find that Jesus did claim to be God in the flesh. Believe in him and trust him for your salvation. Repent of you sins and obey the real Jesus and you will be saved.

Application

             I want to be aware of what is happening to our nation but I don’t want to be dragged down trying to fix a system that is run by people who are doing all the ugly things that is mentioned in Isaiah. Rather, I want to keep on telling people how to be saved and pray that it will make a difference.

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