Isaiah 8, January 18, Thursday

Westside Bible Reading in 2018, God’s Good Word in Bad Times- Reading the Major Prophets

Isaiah 8, January 18, Thursday

Isaiah was told to take a large tablet and write (possibly the revelation through chapter 12) to encourage the faithful few left in Judah.

Isaiah would sire a son with a special name (meaning: the spoil speeds, the prey hastens). The forecast was that before the child could cry, Syria and Israel would be made spoil and prey. This child would also be a reminder that Isaiah was a prophet of God.

Syria and Israel (Samaria, the capital) would soon be conquered by the Assyrians, v. 5-12. Note that the “River” (Assyria and the river Euphrates) would not stop in the north, but sweep into Judah, v. 8, but not be totally successful, v. 10.

Then words of comfort to the faithful few are given, v. 11-18, and a warning to not follow the unfaithful since they continued to follow the gods and customs of those around them. These unfaithful Judeans would tempt the faithful to follow their gods. Instead they were to follow God’s word, v. 20. Finally, the despair of the unfaithful in Judah will be the gloom of anguish, v. 21-22.

Message of the chapter: In the fearful days ahead, God would care for the faithful and punish the wicked and unfaithful.

Application: In the dark days of our lives we should remain faithful to God.

#isaiahchap8 #idolworship #punishjudah #punishisrael #obeyGod’sword #calamityjudah

 

 

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Isaiah 7, January 17, Wednesday

Westside Bible Reading in 2018, God’s Good Word in Bad Times- Reading the Major Prophets

Isaiah 7, January 17, Wednesday

Ephraim (Israel), and Syria teamed up to overrun Judah. God sent Isaiah to say that the invasion will fail, v. 7-8. God directed King Ahaz to ask for a sign. He, haughtily, refused, v. 12. Then the Lord foretold by a famous double sign with a dual meaning: In the future a virgin would give birth to a son called Immanuel, meaning God with us. In Isaiah’s day a child as a signal would be born (see chap 9.) Before the child was grown God would stop the northern invaders. But the Assyrians would be a thorn to Judah as well, v. 17.

(Language experts say the word in v. 14, is properly translated virgin, but also meant a chaste maiden. In Matthew 1:21 this verse identifies Jesus, born of Mary, a virgin.)

Note the 4 uses of the term “in that day”, v. 18-23, referring to the days of v. 17. Egypt and then Assyria would appear and be strong enough to shave many of the men, a social embarrassment. Afterwards the land will be so barren of people that one cow is all that will be needed by a man in a barren land.

Message of the chapter: Judah would eventually suffer from the Assyrians, not from the combination of Ephraim and Syria.

Application: God still is angered by the sins of our day.

#isaiahchap7 #Assyrianinvasion #judah #dualprophecy #virginbirth #calamityjudah #haughtyAhaz

 

Isaiah 6, January 16, Tuesday

Westside Bible Reading in 2018, God’s Good Word in Bad Times- Reading the Major Prophets

Isaiah 6, January 16, Tuesday

Isaiah describes seeing the Lord in a vision and an angel purifying his lips. Then he volunteered to go and speak God’s message to the people.

We learn some important lessons from this chapter: First, God is holy and glorious and deserving of worship. Second, Isaiah realized that he was a sinner and needed cleansing to be able to stand before God. In the vision, the angel burned away his sin. The Lord asked who would go and prophesy to the people. Isaiah volunteered, a commendable decision. Note that even when the people were stubbornly in sin, God still cared enough to send Isaiah to try to bring about their repentance.

Isaiah’s message, v. 9, described to the people their sin. They could hear and see, but they chose not to understand. Note that this description describes people in New Testament days (see Matt. 13:14; Acts 28:26; Luke 8:10; Mark 4:12)

Then the Lord answered Isaiah’s question, “How long?” The answer described a future of devastation for Israel. Note that a stump was left from which the holy seed will come.

Message of the chapter: God wants mankind to repent and be saved, even when they are not receptive to His message. God reserved a stump for later birth of the Messiah.

Application:  We must be sure we “hear” God’s word accurately and obey it, or we will be punished.

#isaiahchap6 #insincereworship #realizesin #visionsisiah #holyGod #preachtheword #atonement #hearaccurately

 

Isaiah 5, January 15, Monday

Westside Bible Reading in 2018, God’s Good Word in Bad Times- Reading the Major Prophets

Isaiah 5, January 15, Monday

In chapter 5 God speaks about how He had wanted the nations of Israel and Judah to be, v. 2, like a beautiful vineyard, identified in v. 7 as both the southern and northern kingdoms. Due to their sins, the vineyard will be destroyed. Note that the problem, v. 13, is a lack of knowledge about God and that they had rejected the source of knowledge about God, His word, v. 24.

A series of 7 woes shows God’s judgment on the sins of the 2 nations. God’s anger toward their sins is destruction, v. 25. In v. 26 a prophecy is given that nations “far away” will destroy them. It happened. Assyria, first, and Babylon later, conquered them separately and took the remnant into captivity, just as prophesied.

Note the historical order of these events as recorded in 2 Kings: Israel conspired with Syria to conquer Judah. King Ahaz asked Assyria for help. Assyria conquered Israel and then marched south to conquer Judah. Because Assyria was defiant and haughty, God destroyed them. Then Judah was allowed a time to view the destruction of Israel and repent. They did not, and Babylon came and destroyed them.

Message of the chapter: The vineyard shows God’s expectation of His people. They had slipped into such a sinful state because they had “despised the word” of God, and would not repent.

Application: God has not changed. God is not pleased when we ignore His word. We can end up like Judah and Israel.

#isaiahchap5 #ignoreGod’sword #repent #israel #knowledgeofGod #calamityjudah #calamityisrael

 

Acts 2, January 12, Friday

Westside Bible Reading in 2018, God’s Good Word in Bad Times- Reading the Major Prophets

Acts 2, January 12, Friday

Acts 2 is a wonderful chapter that records the fulfilment of the promises of the prophets that a new and different kingdom led by the teachings of the Son of God would emerge in the days of the Roman Empire.

In this chapter the Holy Spirit falls or is poured out on the 12 apostles so that they can speak other languages. Peter preaches the first gospel sermon and 3000 were baptized into the first Christian church. Peter refers to several prophecies to prove that the pouring out of God’s Spirit had been prophesied and the apostles were not drunk. In verse 17 he quotes from Joel 2:28-30. The reference to pouring out God’s Spirit is also made in Isaiah 32:15 and 44:3 and Ezekiel 36:27.

In verse 25 Peter quotes from Psalms 16:8-11 to show that King David had prophesied that the Messiah would be resurrected. A quote from Psalm 110:1 proves that King David could not be referring to himself.

He concludes by preaching that the Messiah was raised from the dead and that people can receive forgiveness of sins be repenting and being baptized. The chapter concludes with the beginning actions of the new church.

Message of the chapter: The beginning of the church and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit had been clearly prophesied.

Application: Fulfilled prophecy strengthens our faith not only in the church but also that the Bible is from God.

#salvation #prophecy #acts2 #baptism #repenting #Psalms16 #Psalms110 #church #Messiahresurrected #SonofGod #HolySpirit #outpouringofHolySpirit

Isaiah 4, January 11, Thursday

Westside Bible Reading in 2018, God’s Good Word in Bad Times- Reading the Major Prophets

Isaiah 4, January 11, Thursday

Verse 1 pictures the desperation of the women who survived the destruction of the Lord depicted in chapter 3. They were willing to support themselves if only a man would marry them, a giant contrast to the earlier state of luxury described in chapter 3.

Note that verse 2 uses the phrase “In that day,” to denote both the future glorious kingdom, the church, and the physical destruction allowed by God to fall on the present rebellious nation of Judah and Jerusalem.

The result of the purified future kingdom will be a remnant of holy people who have been washed from the filth of the daughters of Zion. This new state will be a wonderful return to the days when the Lord covered and protected His people with a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night as they wandered in the wilderness after God rescued them from Egypt.

Verse 2 shows that this pure future kingdom is the New Testament church and the beautiful fruitful branch is Jesus. Several other places in the Old Testament (see Jeremiah 23:5; 33:15 and Zechariah 3:8; 6:12) depict the Messiah as a beautiful fruitful branch.

Message of the chapter: Despite the surety of the coming destruction of this nation that would not listen and repent, there is hope in that God promises to rescue the faithful.

Application: Today our hope for eternal salvation also lies in the New Testament church and the branch, Jesus.

#haughtiness #prideful #lostleadership #judgmentjudah #branchMessiah #pillaroffirenight

Isaiah 3, January 10

Westside Bible Reading in 2018, God’s Good Word in Bad Times- Reading the Major Prophets

January 10, Isaiah, Chapter 3-4.1

Chapter 3 continues to describe the future judgment on Judah and Jerusalem. Their supplies and leadership would vanish. When they lose leadership, chaos would result and in desperation children and women would rule. If any man has a cloak, v. 6, then he will be asked to rule, an act showing the desperation of the future state of the nation. But he will not be a ruler in the midst of the chaos. Judah by their speech and actions has turned against the lord and has fallen. Note that the people are so proud of their sin that they proclaim it, v. 9. Isaiah says they brought this evil on themselves and God will judge the wickedness of their rulers.

“In that day,” is used again, v. 18, to focus on the coming judgment by the Lord. In the physical destruction of the nation, the haughty women will be brought low by removing those items used to enhance their appearance. After terrible losses of men in battle, Jerusalem will sit in mourning. These prophecies of the terrible plight of women are continued in chapter 4, verse 1 and show the lack of men after the battles.

Message of the chapter: To an unaware nation, judgment is coming on everyone.

Application: God is aware of the sins of haughtiness and pride in a nation and will pronounce judgment against it.  Our nation can also be brought low by the same sins.

#haughtiness #prideful #lostleadership #judgmentjudah #dayjudgment #prideinsin

Isaiah 2, January 9

Westside Bible Reading in 2018, God’s Good Word in Bad Times- Reading the Major Prophets

January 9, Isaiah, Chapter 2

In Chapter 2, Isaiah has a new vision which again looks forward to a future “house of the Lord” that is elevated like a mountain above all others and has occupants from every nation. The nature of this new and future kingdom is unlike the kingdoms of men in that it is not warlike and doesn’t seek to physically conquer. This imagery is repeated in chapter 11 and clearly tied to the reign of the Messiah and the church.

Note the use of “day,” v. 12 and 20. A phrase using “day” or “day of the Lord” will appear again and again in Isaiah to signify a judgment by God and the future purified church.

Isaiah pleads with Judah to repent and walk in the light of the Lord, v. 5, because their present life is filled with sin and idols. The haughtiness of that age of idol worshippers will be brought low until a new age emerges where there will be no idol worshippers. Apparently, the people felt a special pride in their idols.

The message of this chapter is one of hope as the future religion of the Son is envisioned, and prophecy that idol worship will vanish. By the time of Jesus physical idol worship had vanished among the Jewish people.

Application to today: Christianity contains a message of peace and acceptance to all nations. The idols of the heart must be banished from life. Restoration of acceptable worship always begins with repentance.

#houseoftheLord #idolworship #peacefulreligion #allnations #dayoftheLord

Monday, January 8, Isaiah 1

Westside Bible Reading in 2018, God’s Good Word in Bad Times- Reading the Major Prophets

January 8, Isaiah, Chapter 1

Isaiah began to prophesy during King Uzziah’s reign (767-740 B. C.)  and continued until the time of Hezekiah (715-686 B. C.) He was mainly concerned with the southern kingdom of Judah and Jerusalem. In later chapters, he also discussed neighboring countries. His overall message was:  The kingdom is in terrible sin and must repent or disaster will come.

Chapter 1 contains two keys to understanding the book of Isaiah: Number 1, these prophecies are what Isaiah saw in visions from the Lord about Judah’s future, v. 1. Number 2, the wording of chapter 1 shows that the nation of Judah did not see itself on the verge of disaster. The people felt their worship and their lives were acceptable to God. Instead, Isaiah taught that God rejected their worship because it was not from the heart. In the distant future a restored nation would worship in righteousness.

The message of chapter 1: Because you, Judah, do not truly understand God and His worship, you have forsaken and despised Him, the Holy One of Israel. You are estranged from God and will be destroyed in a terrible calamity with only a few survivors (see Romans 9:29, for a use of v. 9). God isn’t accepting your fake worship or your hypocritical lives.

Application to today: We may think God is pleased with our worship and our life, but He is aware of incorrect and insincere worship and living. Some of us, much like Judah, need to change not only the intent of our hearts but also the way we worship and live to be right before God.

#isaiahchap1 #insincereworship #southernkingdomjudah #visionsisiah #worshipGod #calamityjudah

Friday, 2 Kings 19

Westside Bible Reading in 2018, God’s Good Word in Bad Times- Reading the Major Prophets

Friday, January 5, Comment on 2 Kings 19

This chapter shows the results of the threats the Assyrians made in chapter 18. Hezekiah went to the temple (probably to pray) and sent messengers to Isaiah, the prophet of God, to tell him what the Assyrians had said and ask for prayer.

Isaiah spoke for the Lord, “Do not be afraid,” v. 6., because God will defeat the Assyrians. They will go home without conquering Jerusalem.

The Assyrian general tried again to get Judah to give up by sending a letter to Hezekiah which said, “Do not let your God… deceive you,” implying We will conquer. No god has stopped us. Hezekiah spread the letter before the Lord and asked for deliverance. Isaiah replied that the arrogant Assyrians had insulted God and He would turn them back to their own country. He assured Hezekiah that the Assyrians would not even fight against the city. God would defend the city for “My own sake… and for… David’s sake.”

That night an angel struck down 185,000 Assyrians. Those deaths resulted in the remnant returning home. Later the king was murdered, as God had said by Isaiah.

Message: God is insulted by the Assyrians and they are punished as God protects Jerusalem.

Application: We must be faithful to God today in the face of any temptation or obstacle put in our path by the devil.

Summary of the week: The people in the two countries, Israel and Judah, are slightly different. Israel, mired in idolatry and wicked kings, is taken into captivity because they would not obey God’s word. God repelled the invasion of the Assyrians on Jerusalem and gave Judah time to repent.