2078.) 2 Chronicles 27

April 19, 2017

Jotham Rules in Judah

Are you sitting down? This is a story of a GOOD KING!! I know you are shocked! But it won’t take long — it is only 9 verses long, so here it is without interruption.

Jotham was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem sixteen years. His mother was Jerusha, the daughter of Zadok.

2 Jotham did what was pleasing in the Lord’s sight. He did everything his father, Uzziah, had done, except that Jotham did not sin by entering the Temple of the Lord. But the people continued in their corrupt ways.

3 Jotham rebuilt the upper gate of the Temple of the Lord. He also did extensive rebuilding on the wall at the hill of Ophel. 4 He built towns in the hill country of Judah and constructed fortresses and towers in the wooded areas. 5 Jotham went to war against the Ammonites and conquered them. Over the next three years he received from them an annual tribute of 7,500 pounds of silver, 50,000 bushels of wheat, and 50,000 bushels of barley.

6 King Jotham became powerful because he was careful to live in obedience to the Lord his God.

7 The rest of the events of Jotham’s reign, including all his wars and other activities, are recorded in The Book of the Kings of Israel and Judah. 8 He was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem sixteen years. 9 When Jotham died, he was buried in the City of David. And his son Ahaz became the next king.

We will honor Jotham by viewing his name in the account of Jesus’ ancestors in Matthew 1:

Matthew 1:6-11   (ESV)

 And David was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uriah, and Solomon the father of Rehoboam, and Rehoboam the father of Abijah, and Abijah the father of Asaph, and Asaph the father of Jehoshaphat, and Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, and Joram the father of Uzziah, and Uzziah the father of Jotham . . . 

I love verse 6:   King Jotham became powerful because he was careful to live in obedience to the Lord his God.

Here is a story from colonial America about another leader who walked in obedience with the Lord.

A skeptical newcomer arrived in the village, and heard stories of the pastor walking with God. He became determined to discover what kind of man the pastor really was since he seemed to disappear on Fridays. The next Friday morning the newcomer hid near the pastor’s house, watched him rise, say his prayers and put on the clothes of a peasant. He saw him take an axe and go into the forest, chop down a tree and gather a large bundle of wood. Next the pastor proceeded to a shack in the poorest section of the village, home to an old woman and her sick son. He left them all the wood. which was enough for the week. The pastor then quietly returned to his own house. The story concludes that the newcomer stayed in the village and became a believer in the pastor’s church that Sunday. And whenever he hears one of his fellow villagers say, “On Friday morning our pastor ascends all the way to Heaven,” the newcomer quietly adds, “If not higher.” 

Lord, give us hearts that are careful, intentional, and joyful — to live in obedience to You!  In fact, who needs me to help them by gathering wood (or whatever the job) today?  To whom can I show Christ today?

_________________________

Music:

“It would be well for us to spend a thoughtful hour each day in contemplation of the life of Christ. We should take it point by point, and let the imagination grasp each scene, especially the closing ones. As we thus dwell upon His great sacrifice for us, our confidence in Him will be more constant, our love will be quickened, and we shall be more deeply imbued with His spirit.”     ~Ellen G. White, 1898

“Lord, I Want to Be Like Jesus,” for he was perfectly obedient to God, even to death on the cross.  HERE  it is sung by one of my favorites, Fernando Ortega.

_________________________

New Living Translation (NLT)   Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Images courtesy of:
Luke 11:28.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/6e439-luke11-28.jpg
gathering wood.    http://americangallery.files.wordpress.com/2009/11/gathering-wood.jpg?w=620&h=500

2077.) Psalm 65

April 18, 2017

calligraphy by Kathleen Borkowski.

Psalm 65 (The Message)

A David Psalm

God is in his temple and God is in his creation.

1-2 Silence is praise to you, Zion-dwelling God,
And also obedience.
You hear the prayer in it all.

2-8 We all arrive at your doorstep sooner
or later, loaded with guilt,
Our sins too much for us—
but you get rid of them once and for all.

“Risen As He Said” by Florida artist Rick Short

What I know about sinners I know chiefly about me. We did not mean to do the deed, of course. What we have done wrong—they seemed, or mostly seemed, small things at the time. The word of encouragement withheld, the touch of kindness not given, the visit not made, the trust betrayed, the cutting remark so clever and so cruel, the illicit sexual desire so generously entertained, the angry answer, the surge of resentment at being slighted, the time we thought a lie would do no harm. It is such a long and tedious list of little things. Surely not too much should be made of it, we thought to ourselves. But now it has come to this. It has come to the cross. All the trespasses of all the people of all time have gravitated here, to the killing grounds of Calvary.

–Richard John Neuhaus

1 John 1:8-9 (ESV)

If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Blessed are the chosen! Blessed the guest
at home in your place!
We expect our fill of good things
in your house, your heavenly manse.
All your salvation wonders
are on display in your trophy room.
Earth-Tamer, Ocean-Pourer,
Mountain-Maker, Hill-Dresser,
Muzzler of sea storm and wave crash,
of mobs in noisy riot—
Far and wide they’ll come to a stop,
they’ll stare in awe, in wonder.
Dawn and dusk take turns
calling, “Come and worship.”

9-13 Oh, visit the earth,
ask her to join the dance!
Deck her out in spring showers,
fill the God-River with living water.
Paint the wheat fields golden.

“Wheat Field with Cypresses” by Vincent Van Gogh, 1889.

Creation was made for this!
Drench the plowed fields,
soak the dirt clods
With rainfall as harrow and rake
bring her to blossom and fruit.
Snow-crown the peaks with splendor,

Downtown Los Angeles with snow capped mountains. Photograph by Jeff Lowe.

scatter rose petals down your paths,
All through the wild meadows, rose petals.
Set the hills to dancing,
Dress the canyon walls with live sheep,
a drape of flax across the valleys.
Let them shout, and shout, and shout!
Oh, oh, let them sing!

_________________________

Music:

HERE  is a full-of-praise Easter worthy hymn! “The Strife is O’er, the Battle Won.”

There is, in this text, a sense of finality. This, in a very real sense, is it. “It is finished.” Albert Bailey writes, “The words present the theological statement that the Crucifixion was a contest between Christ and the devil’s legions, in which Christ won. This is proved by the fact that Christ did not stay dead” (The Gospel in Hymns, 278). Christ rose and brought new life, and in so doing, through his declaration, “It is finished,” was also saying, “It has all just begun!” The finality of this text is the finality of newness. It is the realization that we are continually being made new, that Creation is continually being restored, and that every day we are called to life anew with Christ. Alleluia. What a song of victory that is!

–hymnary.org

_________________________

The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

Images courtesy of:
Borkowski.     http://www.kathleenborkowski.com/images/about_me/psalm65-8.jpg
Short, with thanks for his permission.     http://www.redbubble.com/people/scenicearth.
Van Gogh.    http://www.yamashitariki.com/i/S02E07.Vincent.Van.Gogh.1889.Wheat.Field.with.Cypresses.jpg
Lowe.    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3457/3312907661_d24d937a70.jpg

2076.) Rejoice in the Resurrection!

April 17, 2017

“Do not abandon yourselves to despair.
We are the Easter people
and hallelujah is our song!”
Pope John Paul II

Mark 16:6 (NLT)

The angel said, “Don’t be alarmed. You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! Look, this is where they laid his body.”

Resurrection window. From St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church, Colton, California.

1 Corinthians 15:12-28 (NIV)

But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead.

But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men.

But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power.

For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. For he “has put everything under his feet.” Now when it says that “everything” has been put under him, it is clear that this does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ. When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all.

_________________________

Music:

HERE is “Christ the Lord Is Risen Today,” by Steve Green (a missionary kid who spent much of his early life in Argentina).

_________________________

The originator of a new religion came to the great French diplomat- statesman Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Perigord and complained that he could not make any converts. “What would you suggest I do?”  he asked.

“I should recommend,” said Talleyrand, “that you get yourself crucified, and then die, but be sure to rise again the third day.”

.

“Risen Christ” at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Johnson City, TN. By J. Piercey Studios, Orlando, FL

Grant, O Lord, that in your wounds I may find my safety,
in your stripes my cure,
in your pain my peace,
in your cross my victory,
in your resurrection my triumph,
and a crown of righteousness
in the glories of your eternal kingdom.

–Jeremy Taylor
The Westminster Collection of Christian Prayers

Amen!

_________________________

Images courtesy of:
Hallelujah.    http://musicforgod.com/images/hallelujah.gif
Empty Tomb window.    http://chytraeus.com/media/images/OurWindows/fullsize/EmptyTomb-50.jpg
sun behind the empty cross.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/a0b28-196557_2719.jpg
J. Piercey Studios.  http://www.jpiercey.com/www2/Art%20for%20Web/St%20Mary%20detail.jpg

2075.) Psalm 22

April 14, 2017

“The Christ of Saint John of the Cross” by Salvador Dali, 1951 (Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow, Scotland)

Psalm 22 (ESV)

Why Have You Forsaken Me?

1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

Mark 15:34 (NIV)

And at three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?”—which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning?
2O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer,
and by night, but I find no rest.

3Yet you are holy,
enthroned on the praises of Israel.
4In you our fathers trusted;
they trusted, and you delivered them.
5To you they cried and were rescued;
in you they trusted and were not put to shame.

6But I am a worm and not a man,
scorned by mankind and despised by the people.
7All who see me mock me;
they make mouths at me; they wag their heads;
8 “He trusts in the LORD; let him deliver him;
let him rescue him, for he delights in him!”

Mark 15:29-32  (NLT)

The people passing by shouted abuse, shaking their heads in mockery. “Ha! Look at you now!” they yelled at him. “You said you were going to destroy the Temple and rebuild it in three days. Well then, save yourself and come down from the cross!”

The leading priests and teachers of religious law also mocked Jesus. “He saved others,” they scoffed, “but he can’t save himself! Let this Messiah, this King of Israel, come down from the cross so we can see it and believe him!” Even the men who were crucified with Jesus ridiculed him.

9Yet you are he who took me from the womb;
you made me trust you at my mother’s breasts.
10
On you was I cast from my birth,
and from my mother’s womb you have been my God.

Psalm 22 is a Messianic psalm, one of those in which we hear the voice of the Son in the agony of his crucifixion pleading for the presence and rescue of the Father. “It was you,” he prays, “who brought me safely through birth”—in a manger at the end of a dreary journey. “And when I was a baby, you kept me safe”—from the soldiers of Herod and on the long journey to Egypt. Love followed him—the love of God and his human father, Joseph; the love of God and his human mother, Mary. There was the fullness of the love of God, beyond our ability to fully comprehend, and the beauty of the most admirable of human love from Mary and the no-doubt-amazed Joseph, trying to understand what his marriage to Mary had brought into his life.

“I have relied on you since the day I was born, and you have always been my God,” the psalmist says. That reliance and constancy give to life the experience of love that can make of it a great experience, whether we refer to the love and care of a devoted mother such as Mary was, or to the “steadfast love of the Lord.” His constancy surpasses even hers. In that love, we experience the support and nourishment that leads us to victory in an unsteady and often frightening world.

–unknown

11Be not far from me,
for trouble is near,
and there is none to help.

12Many bulls encompass me;
strong bulls of Bashan surround me;
13they open wide their mouths at me,
like a ravening and roaring lion.

14I am poured out like water,
and all my bones are out of joint;
my heart is like wax;
it is melted within my breast;
15my strength is dried up like a potsherd,
and my tongue sticks to my jaws;

John 19:28 (NLT)

Jesus knew that his mission was now finished, and to fulfill Scripture he said, “I am thirsty.”

you lay me in the dust of death.

16For dogs encompass me;
a company of evildoers encircles me;
they have pierced my hands and feet—

John 20:25 (NASB)

So the other disciples were saying to him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.”

17I can count all my bones—they stare and gloat over me;
18
they divide my garments among them,
and for my clothing they cast lots.

Matthew 27:35 (NIRV)

When they had nailed him to the cross, they divided up his clothes by casting lots.

19But you, O LORD, do not be far off!
O you my help, come quickly to my aid!
20Deliver my soul from the sword,
my precious life from the power of the dog!

21Save me from the mouth of the lion!
You have rescued me from the horns of the wild oxen!

22 I will tell of your name to my brothers;
in the midst of the congregation I will praise you:

Colossians 3:16 (J.B. Phillips New Testament)

Let Christ’s teaching live in your hearts, making you rich in the true wisdom. Teach and help one another along the right road with your psalms and hymns and Christian songs, singing God’s praises with joyful hearts. And whatever you may have to do, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, thanking God the Father through him.

23You who fear the LORD, praise him!
All you offspring of Jacob, glorify him,
and stand in awe of him, all you offspring of Israel!
24For he has not despised or abhorred
the affliction of the afflicted,
and he has not hidden his face from him,
but has heard, when he cried to him.

_________________________

Music:

From Handel’s Messiah —  HERE  is “Behold the Lamb of God,”  performed by The London Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus.

_________________________

25From you comes my praise in the great congregation;
my vows I will perform before those who fear him.
26 The afflicted shall eat and be satisfied;
those who seek him shall praise the LORD!
May your hearts live forever!

27All the ends of the earth shall remember
and turn to the LORD,
and all the families of the nations
shall worship before you.
28For kingship belongs to the LORD,
and he rules over the nations.

29All the prosperous of the earth eat and worship;
before him shall bow all who go down to the dust,
even the one who could not keep himself alive.
30Posterity shall serve him;
it shall be told of the Lord to the coming generation;
31they shall come and proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn,
that he has done it.

John 19:30 (CEV)

After Jesus drank the wine, he said, “Everything is done!” He bowed his head and died.

_________________________

English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.

Images courtesy of:
Dali.    http://2churchmice.files.wordpress.com/2009/06/christ_of_saint_john_of_the_cross.jpg
clock.    http://etc.usf.edu/clipart/17500/17508/300_17508_md.gif
Mary holding Jesus.   https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/c1/c6/18/c1c618b25fb2727ff1623b811a63d496.jpg
Jesus on the cross:  I thirst.  http://www.catholiceducation.org/en/images/religious%20general/Ithirst.jpg
nail-scarred hands.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2010/02/nailscarredhands.jpg
casting lots for Jesus’ clothing.    http://www.thevictor.org/story/97221901.jpg
“It is finished.”     https://elizabethfbabatunde.files.wordpress.com/2010/07/it_is_finished.jpg

2074.) Isaiah 4

April 13, 2017

I4 branch

Isaiah 4   (ESV)

And seven women shall take hold of one man in that day, saying, “We will eat our own bread and wear our own clothes, only let us be called by your name; take away our reproach.”

The Branch of the Lord Glorified

In that day the branch of the Lord shall be beautiful and glorious,

This image is repeated in Isaiah 11:1 :  There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots.

It is repeated in Jeremiah 23:5 : “Behold, the days are coming,” says the LORD, “That I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness; a King shall reign and prosper, and execute judgment and righteousness in the earth.”

It is repeated in Jeremiah 33:15 : In those days and at that time I will cause to grow up to David a Branch of righteousness; He shall execute judgment and righteousness in the earth.

It is repeated in Zechariah 3:8 : For behold, I am bringing forth My Servant the Branch.

The ideas behind the title Branch of the LORD are those of fruitfulness and life. Jesus used the same image when He said that He was the vine and we are the branches (John 15:5).

–David Guzik

and the fruit of the land shall be the pride and honor of the survivors of Israel. And he who is left in Zion and remains in Jerusalem will be called holy, everyone who has been recorded for life in Jerusalem, when the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion and cleansed the bloodstains of Jerusalem from its midst by a spirit of judgment and by a spirit of burning.

“Sin is the excrement of the soul, the superfluity or garbage of naughtiness, the devil’s vomit. From this abominable filth Christ hath ‘loved and washed his with his own blood, that he may make them kings and priests unto God and his Father.’”

–John Trapp (1601-1669)

Then the Lord will create over the whole site of Mount Zion and over her assemblies a cloud by day, and smoke and the shining of a flaming fire by night; for over all the glory there will be a canopy. There will be a booth for shade by day from the heat, and for a refuge and a shelter from the storm and rain.

Surely these word pictures would bring to their minds stories of old, when their ancestors lived in the wilderness and worshiped in the Tabernacle, with God’s cloud of smoke and pillar of fire guiding them. The visible presence of God protected them then, and the Messiah —  God with us — will come to bring peace again.

_________________________

Music:

Yes, we want such a Lord and such a King!  HERE  is “Give Me Jesus,” sung by Jeremy Camp.

_________________________

English Standard Version (ESV)

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

Images courtesy of:
Jeremiah 23:5.    http://thetruenorth.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/14jer-23-5.jpg

2073.) Isaiah 3

April 12, 2017

I3 eat

Isaiah 3   (ESV)

Judgment on Judah and Jerusalem

For behold, the Lord God of hosts
is taking away from Jerusalem and from Judah
support and supply,

The Lord will take away from Judah and Jerusalem their supporting pillars, leading the country to further ruin.  The things they trusted in would fail them, for they are not trusting in the Lord.

all support of bread,
and all support of water;

bread and water = all economic resources

the mighty man and the soldier,

mighty man and soldier = defense of the country

the judge and the prophet,
the diviner and the elder,

judge, prophet, diviner, and elder = civil and spiritual leadership

the captain of fifty
and the man of rank,
the counselor and the skillful magician (NASB reads “artisan”)
and the expert in charms.

captains and men of rank, counselors and men with skill and expertise in craft = further leadership

And I will make boys their princes,
and infants shall rule over them.
And the people will oppress one another,
every one his fellow
and every one his neighbor;
the youth will be insolent to the elder,
and the despised to the honorable.

The best rulers will be taken away and the responsibility of the government would be left in the hands of the young and inexperienced. This will lead to a breakdown of order in society.

For a man will take hold of his brother
in the house of his father, saying:
“You have a cloak;
you shall be our leader,
and this heap of ruins
shall be under your rule”;

“You have a cloak” — the smallest qualification will be enough for leadership.

in that day he will speak out, saying:
“I will not be a healer;
in my house there is neither bread nor cloak;
you shall not make me
leader of the people.”

The situation will be so desolate that no one will even want to work for the government.

For Jerusalem has stumbled,
and Judah has fallen,
because their speech and their deeds are against the Lord,
defying his glorious presence.

For the look on their faces bears witness against them;
they proclaim their sin like Sodom;
they do not hide it.
Woe to them!
For they have brought evil on themselves.

They glory in their ungodliness. They boast of their impurity. They strut their sin. It is the height of iniquity.

10 Tell the righteous that it shall be well with them, for they shall eat the fruit of their deeds.

I3 never leave

Even in the midst of judgment, God knows how to bless and protect His people. Sometimes this is only seen in the perspective of eternity, but God assures us that the righteous will never share the same fate as the wicked. Abraham knew this principle well when he said to the Lord, “Far be it from You to do such a thing as this, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous should be as the wicked; far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” (Genesis 18:25).

–David Guzik

God’s “shalls” must always be understood in their largest sense. From the beginning of the year to the end of the year, from the first gathering of evening shadows until a new day dawns, in all conditions and under all circumstances, it will be well with the righteous. It is so well with him that we could not imagine it to be better, for he is well fed—he feeds upon the flesh and blood of Jesus; he is well clothed—he wears the imputed righteousness of Christ; he is well housed—he dwells in God; he is well married—his soul is knit in bonds of marriage to Christ; he is well provided for—for the Lord is his Shepherd; he is well endowed—for heaven is his inheritance. It is well with the righteous—well upon divine authority; the mouth of God speaks the comforting assurance.

O beloved, if God declares that all is well, ten thousand devils may declare it to be ill, but we may laugh them all to scorn. Blessed be God for a faith that enables us to believe God when the creatures contradict Him. It is, says the Word, at all times well with you, righteous one; then, beloved, if you cannot see it, let God’s Word assure you; believe it on divine authority with more confidence than if your eyes and your feelings told it to you. Those God blesses are blessed indeed, and what His lip declares is truth most sure and steadfast.

–Charles Haddon Spurgeon

11 Woe to the wicked! It shall be ill with him,
for what his hands have dealt out shall be done to him.
12 My people—infants are their oppressors,
and women rule over them.
O my people, your guides mislead you
and they have swallowed up the course of your paths.

13 The Lord has taken his place to contend;
he stands to judge peoples.
14 The Lord will enter into judgment
with the elders and princes of his people:

God speaks to the men of Judah:

“It is you who have devoured the vineyard,
the spoil of the poor is in your houses.
15 What do you mean by crushing my people,
by grinding the face of the poor?”
declares the Lord God of hosts.

16 The Lord said:

And God speaks to the women of Judah:

Because the daughters of Zion are haughty
and walk with outstretched necks,
glancing wantonly with their eyes,
mincing along as they go,
tinkling with their feet,
17 therefore the Lord will strike with a scab
the heads of the daughters of Zion,
and the Lord will lay bare their secret parts.

18 In that day the Lord will take away the finery of the anklets, the headbands, and the crescents; 19 the pendants, the bracelets, and the scarves; 20 the headdresses, the armlets, the sashes, the perfume boxes, and the amulets; 21 the signet rings and nose rings; 22 the festal robes, the mantles, the cloaks, and the handbags; 23 the mirrors, the linen garments, the turbans, and the veils.

I3 Vogue

The fashion industry, with its emphasis on sexuality and luxury, is decimated, including jewelry, handbags, perfumes, accessories, clothing, belts, hats, scarves — as David Guzik quips, There must have been some good malls in Jerusalem!  But this description of what is important is a far cry from the instructions Peter gives to Christian women in 1 Peter 3:3-4:  Do not let your adornment be merely outward; arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel; rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.

24 Instead of perfume there will be rottenness;
and instead of a belt, a rope;
and instead of well-set hair, baldness;
and instead of a rich robe, a skirt of sackcloth;
and branding instead of beauty.
25 Your men shall fall by the sword
and your mighty men in battle.
26 And her gates shall lament and mourn;
empty, she shall sit on the ground.

All the luxuries and fineries that the women used to impress each other and get a man — all are gone, replaced by ugliness and pain. The war has taken the men, and the women mourn their many losses.

_________________________

Music:

For all of you who, like the faithful ones in this chapter, are dealing with hard issues — you are surrounded by difficulties, your health is not good, your body tells you that you are old, your children are inattentive to you or to the Lord, you are in a financial crunch that seems not to end, you feel alone and stressed out, you wonder what the world is coming to, that sin is so acceptable and God so often mocked — to all of you, the Lord says:

“Do not be afraid.  Do not be discouraged.  I am with you wherever you go.”

“My peace I leave with you.”

“Be still, and know that I am God.”

Selah sings it so beautifully  HERE.

_________________________

English Standard Version (ESV)

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

Images courtesy of:
Isaiah 3:10.    https://versaday.com/images/Months/1011/1105-ISA003010ENGKJV08000480ISP02263009000.jpg
Hebrews 13:5.    http://ymiblogging.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/cross2.jpg
Vogue.    http://cdni.condenast.co.uk/268×353/s_v/Vogue-June12_b_268x353.jpg

2072.) Isaiah 2

April 11, 2017

I2 sword

Isaiah 2  (ESV)

The Mountain of the Lord

The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.

Isaiah now looks beyond the current chaos to the glorious kingdom of the Messiah.  In that day Jerusalem will be established as the religious and political capital of the world.  The Gentile nations will make pilgrimages to Zion for worship and for divine instruction.

–William MacDonald

It shall come to pass in the latter days
that the mountain of the house of the Lord
shall be established as the highest of the mountains,
and shall be lifted up above the hills;
and all the nations shall flow to it,
    and many peoples shall come, and say:
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
to the house of the God of Jacob,
that he may teach us his ways
and that we may walk in his paths.”
For out of Zion shall go the law,
and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.

I2 Mira Kunz

Luke 24:44-47   (NIV) 

He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.” 

Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.”

He shall judge between the nations,
and shall decide disputes for many peoples;
and they shall beat their swords into plowshares,
and their spears into pruning hooks;
nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
neither shall they learn war anymore.

Jesus peace

“Men yearn for peace, but they will not acknowledge the hopelessness
of their own efforts to achieve it.
It is only when the word of the Lord goes forth from Jerusalem,
when He Himself is reigning over the nations,
that lasting peace will come.”

O house of Jacob,
come, let us walk
in the light of the Lord.

After painting the picture of the glory of the Messiah’s reign, Isaiah then challenges Judah (“house of Jacob”) to live in the Messiah’s reign right now.

The Day of the Lord

I3 day of the Lord

The term day of the Lord (used more than 25 times in the Bible) does not necessarily refer to one specific day. It speaks of “God’s time.” The idea is that now is the day of man, but the day of man will not last forever. One day, the Messiah will end the day of man and bring forth the day of the Lord.

–David Guzik

For you have rejected your people,
the house of Jacob,
because they are full of things from the east
and of fortune-tellers like the Philistines,
and they strike hands with the children of foreigners.
Their land is filled with silver and gold,
and there is no end to their treasures;
their land is filled with horses,
and there is no end to their chariots.
Their land is filled with idols;
they bow down to the work of their hands,
to what their own fingers have made.
So man is humbled,
and each one is brought low—
do not forgive them!
10 Enter into the rock
and hide in the dust
from before the terror of the Lord,
and from the splendor of his majesty.
11 The haughty looks of man shall be brought low,
and the lofty pride of men shall be humbled,
and the Lord alone will be exalted in that day.

Proverbs 18:12   (NIV)

Before a downfall the heart is haughty,   
   but humility comes before honor.

12 For the Lord of hosts has a day
against all that is proud and lofty,
against all that is lifted up—and it shall be brought low;
13 against all the cedars of Lebanon,
lofty and lifted up;
and against all the oaks of Bashan;
14 against all the lofty mountains,
and against all the uplifted hills;
15 against every high tower,
and against every fortified wall;
16 against all the ships of Tarshish,
and against all the beautiful craft.
17 And the haughtiness of man shall be humbled,
and the lofty pride of men shall be brought low,
and the Lord alone will be exalted in that day.
18 And the idols shall utterly pass away.
19 And people shall enter the caves of the rocks
and the holes of the ground,
from before the terror of the Lord,
and from the splendor of his majesty,
when he rises to terrify the earth.

Revelation 6:16   (NIV) 

They called to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb!”

20 In that day mankind will cast away
their idols of silver and their idols of gold,
which they made for themselves to worship,
to the moles and to the bats,
21 to enter the caverns of the rocks
and the clefts of the cliffs,
from before the terror of the Lord,
and from the splendor of his majesty,
when he rises to terrify the earth.
22 Stop regarding man
in whose nostrils is breath,
for of what account is he?

I2 God first

“Let us think more of God and less of man.  Come, let the Lord our God fill the whole horizon of our thoughts.  Let our love go forth to him; let us delight ourselves in him.  Let us trust in him that liveth for ever, in him whose promise never faileth, in him who will be with us in life, and in death, and through eternity.  Oh that we lived more in the society of Jesus, more in the sight of God!  We cannot spend our lives in seeking the smiles of men, for pleasing God is the one object we pursue.  Our hands, and our heads, and our hearts, and all that we have and are, find full occupation for the Lord, and therefore we must ‘Cease from man.’”

–Charles Haddon Spurgeon

_________________________

Music:

One of my favorites:  “Our God”  by Christ Tomlin.  Click  HERE  to listen.

_________________________

English Standard Version (ESV)

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

Images courtesy of:
sword.    http://www.4catholiceducators.com/graphics/Isaiah2.4.jpg
pen and ink of Jerusalem, by Mira Kunz.    http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2576/3897158777_dd220fa8ba.jpg
His law is love.    http://s3.favim.com/orig/39/jesus-love-peace-Favim.com-325861.jpg
Joel 2.    http://shareaverse.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/joel-2-10-11.jpg?w=547
God First life.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2012/12/banner_3.jpg