2098.) Isaiah 14

May 17, 2017

I14 24

Isaiah 14   (ESV)

The Restoration of Jacob

Isaiah 13 ended with the desolation and gloom that would come upon Babylon. Since Babylon was Judah’s great enemy, any judgment on Babylon was an expression of mercy on Israel. So, Isaiah follows the pronouncement of judgment on Babylon with the Lord will have mercy on Jacob, and will still choose Israel.

–David Guzik

This is not simply a promise of temporal deliverance. This is an assurance that the preservation of the chosen people is the means for the fulfillment of God’s purposes of mercy to all mankind. Israel is given a song of triumph over their oppressor. Even the trees of the forest sing!

–N. E. Constance

For the Lord will have compassion on Jacob and will again choose Israel, and will set them in their own land, and sojourners will join them and will attach themselves to the house of Jacob. And the peoples will take them and bring them to their place, and the house of Israel will possess them in the Lord’s land as male and female slaves. They will take captive those who were their captors, and rule over those who oppressed them.

Israel’s Remnant Taunts Babylon

When the Lord has given you rest from your pain and turmoil and the hard service with which you were made to serve, you will take up this taunt against the king of Babylon:

“How the oppressor has ceased,
the insolent fury ceased!
The Lord has broken the staff of the wicked,
the scepter of rulers,
that struck the peoples in wrath
with unceasing blows,
that ruled the nations in anger
with unrelenting persecution.
The whole earth is at rest and quiet;
they break forth into singing.
8 The cypresses rejoice at you,
the cedars of Lebanon, saying,
‘Since you were laid low,
no woodcutter comes up against us.’



Sheol beneath is stirred up
to meet you when you come;
it rouses the shades to greet you,
all who were leaders of the earth;
it raises from their thrones
all who were kings of the nations.

Sheol is the place of departed spirits. It can means the “grave” or “the place of torment.” The prophet pictures the unseen world as disturbed at the arrival of the fallen tyrant, the king of Babylon. He is met by other kings already there, amazed that one so great and powerful would arrive at the same destination and in death be deprived of a decent burial. Before they had flattered him as a mighty lord; now they mock him.

–N. E. Constance

10 All of them will answer
and say to you:
‘You too have become as weak as we!
You have become like us!’
11 Your pomp is brought down to Sheol,
the sound of your harps;
maggots are laid as a bed beneath you,
and worms are your covers.

12 “How you are fallen from heaven,
O Day Star, son of Dawn!
How you are cut down to the ground,
you who laid the nations low!

I14 me

The pride, the grasping selfish ambition, the self-will of the king of Babylon is powerfully expressed in five “I will” statements. This is the essence of the self-focused and self-obsessed life:

13 You said in your heart,
‘I will ascend to heaven;
above the stars of God
I will set my throne on high;
I will sit on the mount of assembly
in the far reaches of the north;
14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds;
I will make myself like the Most High.’
15 But you are brought down to Sheol,
to the far reaches of the pit.
16 Those who see you will stare at you
and ponder over you:
‘Is this the man who made the earth tremble,
who shook kingdoms,
17 who made the world like a desert
and overthrew its cities,
who did not let his prisoners go home?’

I14 Ozymandias
Ozymandias

by Percy Bisshe Shelley (1792-1822)

I met a traveler from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;
And on the pedestal these words appear:
“My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

18 All the kings of the nations lie in glory,
each in his own tomb;
19 but you are cast out, away from your grave,
like a loathed branch,
clothed with the slain, those pierced by the sword,
who go down to the stones of the pit,
like a dead body trampled underfoot.
20 You will not be joined with them in burial,
because you have destroyed your land,
you have slain your people.

“May the offspring of evildoers
nevermore be named!
21 Prepare slaughter for his sons
because of the guilt of their fathers,
lest they rise and possess the earth,
and fill the face of the world with cities.”

22 “I will rise up against them,” declares the Lord of hosts, “and will cut off from Babylon name and remnant, descendants and posterity,” declares the Lord. 23 “And I will make it a possession of the hedgehog, and pools of water, and I will sweep it with the broom of destruction,” declares the Lord of hosts.

An Oracle Concerning Assyria

I14 purposed

24 The Lord of hosts has sworn:
“As I have planned,
so shall it be,
and as I have purposed,
so shall it stand,
25 that I will break the Assyrian in my land,
and on my mountains trample him underfoot;
and his yoke shall depart from them,
and his burden from their shoulder.”

26 This is the purpose that is purposed
concerning the whole earth,
and this is the hand that is stretched out
over all the nations.
27 For the Lord of hosts has purposed,
and who will annul it?
His hand is stretched out,
and who will turn it back?

I14 control

My mother used to say, “There is nothing that comes to pass but that which He has purposed, and everything He has purposed comes to pass.”

An Oracle Concerning Philistia

28 In the year that King Ahaz died came this oracle:

29 Rejoice not, O Philistia, all of you,
that the rod that struck you is broken,
for from the serpent’s root will come forth an adder,
and its fruit will be a flying fiery serpent.
30 And the firstborn of the poor will graze,
and the needy lie down in safety;
but I will kill your root with famine,
and your remnant it will slay.
31 Wail, O gate; cry out, O city;
melt in fear, O Philistia, all of you!
For smoke comes out of the north,
and there is no straggler in his ranks.

32 What will one answer the messengers of the nation?
“The Lord has founded Zion,
and in her the afflicted of his people find refuge.”

_________________________

Music:

An oldie but goodie — Maranatha Singers and “He Is Exalted/Great Is the Lord.”  Click  HERE  to hear it and praise the Lord!

_________________________

English Standard Version (ESV)The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.
Images courtesy of:
YHWH Almighty.    http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7238/6965317080_c8707a234d_z.jpg
Psalm 96.    https://bible.faithlife.com/bible/images/640×480/Ps96.11-12?extension=png&fallbackOnFailure=false
It’s all about me.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2012/12/il_fullxfull-74850331.jpg
Ozymandias.   http://junecaldwell.files.wordpress.com/2011/07/ozymandias13.jpg
Isaiah 14:24.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2012/12/isaiah14-24.jpg
God is in control.    http://thomasdirk.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/god-is-in-control.jpg

2097.) Isaiah 13

May 16, 2017
Isaiah's Vision of the Destruction of Babylon, by G. Dore.

Isaiah’s Vision of the Destruction of Babylon, by G. Dore.

Isaiah 13   (ESV)

This is the beginning of a new section of the book. Isaiah chapters 13 – 23 contain prophecies against the nations. It is fitting for cleansing to begin at the house of God, so the Lord has first spoken to Israel and Judah, condemning their sins and outlining his judgment against them. But now the Lord speaks against the nations, beginning with Babylon.

The Judgment of Babylon

The oracle concerning Babylon which Isaiah the son of Amoz saw.

Why is God speaking to Babylon? This prophecy was probably never published in Babylon, so it wasn’t really given as a warning to them. Instead, the reason was for the help of the people of God. First, by showing them that God was indeed just, and would judge the wicked nations around them. Israel and Judah were feeling the sting of God’s discipline, and in those times we wonder if God is unfairly singling us out. This is assurance to them that He isn’t. Second, Babylon (and other nations in this section) were nations that had come against Israel and Judah, and God showed His love to His people by announcing His vengeance against their enemies.

–David Guzik

On a bare hill raise a signal;
cry aloud to them;
wave the hand for them to enter
the gates of the nobles.
I myself have commanded my consecrated ones,
and have summoned my mighty men to execute my anger,
my proudly exulting ones.

The sound of a tumult is on the mountains
as of a great multitude!
The sound of an uproar of kingdoms,
of nations gathering together!
The Lord of hosts is mustering
a host for battle.
They come from a distant land,
from the end of the heavens,
the Lord and the weapons of his indignation,
to destroy the whole land.

Wail, for the day of the Lord is near;
as destruction from the Almighty it will come!


Therefore all hands will be feeble,
and every human heart will melt.
They will be dismayed:
pangs and agony will seize them;
they will be in anguish like a woman in labor.
They will look aghast at one another;
their faces will be aflame.

Behold, the day of the Lord comes,
cruel, with wrath and fierce anger,
to make the land a desolation
and to destroy its sinners from it.
10 For the stars of the heavens and their constellations
will not give their light;
the sun will be dark at its rising,
and the moon will not shed its light.

I13 end

Jesus quoted from verse 10 as he spoke to his disciples about the future:

Mark 13:24-25   (NIV)

“But in those days, following that distress,

“‘the sun will be darkened,
    and the moon will not give its light;
the stars will fall from the sky,
    and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’”

11 I will punish the world for its evil,
and the wicked for their iniquity;
I will put an end to the pomp of the arrogant,
and lay low the pompous pride of the ruthless.
12 I will make people more rare than fine gold,
and mankind than the gold of Ophir.
13 Therefore I will make the heavens tremble,
and the earth will be shaken out of its place,
at the wrath of the Lord of hosts
in the day of his fierce anger.
14 And like a hunted gazelle,
or like sheep with none to gather them,
each will turn to his own people,
and each will flee to his own land.
15 Whoever is found will be thrust through,
and whoever is caught will fall by the sword.
16 Their infants will be dashed in pieces
before their eyes;
their houses will be plundered
and their wives ravished.

17 Behold, I am stirring up the Medes against them,

“In 539 BC, the Neo-Babylonian Empire fell to Cyrus the Great, king of the Medes and the Persians, with an unprecedented military engagement known as the Battle of Opis. The famed walls of Babylon were indeed impenetrable, with the only way into the city through one of its many gates or through the Euphrates, which ebbed beneath its thick walls. Metal gates at the river’s in-flow and out-flow prevented underwater intruders, if one could hold one’s breath to reach them. Cyrus (or his generals) devised a plan to use the Euphrates as the mode of entry to the city, ordering large camps of troops at each point and instructing them to wait for the signal. On an evening of a national feast among Babylonians (generally thought to refer to the feast of Belshazzar mentioned in Daniel V), Cyrus’ troops diverted the Euphrates river upstream, causing the Euphrates to drop to about ‘mid thigh level on a man’ or to dry up altogether. The soldiers marched under the walls through the lowered water. The Persian Army conquered the outlying areas of the city’s interior while a majority of Babylonians at the city center were oblivious to the breach. The account was elaborated upon by Herodotus, and is also mentioned by passages in the Hebrew Bible.”

–Wikipedia

who have no regard for silver
and do not delight in gold.
18 Their bows will slaughter the young men;
they will have no mercy on the fruit of the womb;
their eyes will not pity children.
19 And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms,
the splendor and pomp of the Chaldeans,

I13 gardens

The Hanging Gardens  — one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, in the city of Babylon. “In addition to its size,” wrote Herodotus, a Greek historian in 450 BC, “Babylon surpasses in splendor any city in the known world.”

Legends says that the Gardens were built by King Nebuchadnezzar so that the queen, his wife, would have a lovely, private, terraced garden to enjoy and to remind her of the landscape of her childhood home. 

will be like Sodom and Gomorrah
when God overthrew them.
20 It will never be inhabited
or lived in for all generations;
no Arab will pitch his tent there;
no shepherds will make their flocks lie down there.
21 But wild animals will lie down there,
and their houses will be full of howling creatures;
there ostriches will dwell,
and there wild goats will dance.
22 Hyenas will cry in its towers,
and jackals in the pleasant palaces;
its time is close at hand
and its days will not be prolonged.

I13 Ishtar Gate

Babylon was a great city that was never rebuilt.

In the Pergamon Museum in Berlin there is a reconstruction of the Ishtar Gate, the eighth gate into the inner city of Babylon.  It is built from materials excavated from a dig in the ancient city in the early part of the twentieth century.  It is stunning — 47 feet high and 100 feet wide.  I saw it when I was 17; I was a foreign exchange student in Germany for the summer and I took a day tour into East Berlin to see the museum.

_________________________

Music:

The judgment is severe, the devastation is far-reaching — but we who know the truth of God — that He so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son — need not fear. We can rest in “The Mercy of God,”  sung  HERE  by Geoff Bullock

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English Standard Version (ESV)   The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.
Images courtesy of:
Dore.    http://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/bible-images/hires/Isaiah-Chapter-13-Isaiahs-Vision-of-the-Destruction-of-Babylon.jpg
map of Babylon.   http://www.jesuswalk.com/isaiah/maps/babylon-1200x831x300.jpg
The Day of the Lord.    http://beforeitsnews.com/contributor/upload/104465/images/de%20Dag%20des%20Heren.jpg
falling stars.    http://heavenawaits.files.wordpress.com/2008/03/early-earth-ocean-moon-asteroids-art-desk-1024.jpg
The Hanging Gardens of Babylon, by Lars Rune.    http://fc03.deviantart.net/fs70/f/2009/356/0/3/The_Hanging_Gardens_of_Babylon_by_LarsRune.jpg
Ishtar Gate.   http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m9ftw943BP1retgeoo1_1280.jpg

2096.) Isaiah 12

May 15, 2017

Isaiah 12   (ESV)

Isaiah chapter 11 spoke powerfully of the reign of the Messiah as king over all the earth. This brief chapter of praise comes from the heart of the one who has surrendered to the Messiah as king, and enjoys the benefits of the Lord’s reign.

–David Guzik

The Lord Is My Strength and My Song

You will say in that day:
“I will give thanks to you, O Lord,
for though you were angry with me,
your anger turned away,
that you might comfort me.

“Behold, God is my salvation;
I will trust, and will not be afraid;
for the Lord God is my strength and my song,
and he has become my salvation.”

A wonderful thought to remember often during each day!

Psalm 118:14   (ESV)

The Lord is my strength and my song;
    he has become my salvation.

Exodus 15:2 (NASB)

The Lord is my strength and song,
And He has become my salvation;
This is my God, and I will praise Him;
My father’s God, and I will extol Him.

With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.

I12 well

John 4:13-14  (NIV)

Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

And you will say in that day:

“Give thanks to the Lord,
call upon his name,
make known his deeds among the peoples,
proclaim that his name is exalted.

“Sing praises to the Lord, for he has done gloriously;
let this be made known in all the earth.
Shout, and sing for joy, O inhabitant of Zion,
for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.”

This gives two reasons for great praise. First, because of who God is: the Holy One of Israel. Second, because of where God is: in your midst — Immanuel, God with us. Each of these gives everyone reason to praise God!

–David Guzik

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Music:

The chapter instructs us to “Sing praises . . . shout, and sing for joy,” for God is with us.  We can gladly obey with this rendition of “Joy to the World.”  Click  HERE  to hear Pentatonix sing Isaac Watts’ hymn.

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Images courtesy of:
The Lord is my strength and my song.   https://www.pktfuel.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/tumblr_mk24i53Q8q1rj3ommo1_1280.jpg
Romans 5:1.   http://worshiphousemedia.s3.amazonaws.com/images/main/s/mo/8t8/mo/romans51.jpg
Jesus and the Woman at the Well.   http://newprotest.org/projects/theology/images/20090115_samaritan.jpg

2095.) Psalm 85

May 12, 2017

“Psalm 85” by John August Swanson. Click on the picture to see it larger. And as you read, refer back to this to see how many details and verses the artist has included!

Psalm 85 (NIV)

For the director of music. Of the Sons of Korah. A psalm.

1 You, LORD, showed favor to your land;
you restored the fortunes of Jacob.
2 You forgave the iniquity of your people
and covered all their sins.
3 You set aside all your wrath
and turned from your fierce anger.
Thank you, God, for forgiving me and covering all my sin. As John 3:16 says, you loved the world and you gave your Son for our salvation. Such grace and kindness!
4 Restore us again, God our Savior,
and put away your displeasure toward us.
5 Will you be angry with us forever?
Will you prolong your anger through all generations?
6 Will you not revive us again,
that your people may rejoice in you?
.
W. P Mackay, a Scottish Presbyterian minister of the 19th century, wrote a hymn based on this verse.
  1. We praise Thee, O God!
    For the Son of Thy love,
    For Jesus Who died,
    And is now gone above.

    • Refrain:
      Hallelujah! Thine the glory.
      Hallelujah! Amen.
      Hallelujah! Thine the glory.
      Revive us again.
  2. We praise Thee, O God!
    For Thy Spirit of light,
    Who hath shown us our Savior,
    And scattered our night.
  3. All glory and praise
    To the Lamb that was slain,
    Who hath borne all our sins,
    And hath cleansed every stain.
  4. All glory and praise
    To the God of all grace,
    Who hast brought us, and sought us,
    And guided our ways.
  5. Revive us again;
    Fill each heart with Thy love;
    May each soul be rekindled
    With fire from above.
7 Show us your unfailing love, LORD,
and grant us your salvation.
.

8 I will listen to what God the LORD says;
he promises peace to his people, his faithful servants—
but let them not turn to folly.

Thank you, Lord, for giving me peace that does not depend on circumstances but on your eternally true promises. Let me not listen to other voices that would lead me to confusion and distress.

9 Surely his salvation is near those who fear him,
that his glory may dwell in our land.

10 Love and faithfulness meet together;
righteousness and peace kiss each other.

“Now, Where did these meet? In Christ Jesus. When were they reconciled? When he poured out his life on Calvary.”

–Adam Clarke, 1763-1832. He is chiefly remembered for writing a commentary on the Bible which took him 40 years to complete and which was a primary Methodist theological resource for two centuries.

11 Faithfulness springs forth from the earth,
and righteousness looks down from heaven.

Thank you, Jesus, for showing us in real life what love and faithfulness and righteousness truly are. May these characteristics shine out from me as I reflect your glory!

12 The LORD will indeed give what is good,
and our land will yield its harvest.
.

13 Righteousness goes before him
and prepares the way for his steps.

John 1:14 (NASB)

And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Thank you, Lord, that you walked on earth to save us from our sins and to reconcile us to God and one another. Help us to delight in your will and walk in your ways!

_________________________

Music:

HERE Is “Dona Nobis Pachem” played and sung by one woman, Julie Gaulke.

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New International Version (NIV)   Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica

Images courtesy of:
Swanson.    http://www.johnaugustswanson.com/www.johnaugustswanson.com/ImagesUpload/Ps85-700.jpg
Revive us again.    https://i.ytimg.com/vi/ahp6ga2cJh4/maxresdefault.jpg
Imagine God’s salvation.   http://magnifythelord.files.wordpress.com/2010/10/psalm85_6-7.jpg
Truth and righteousness.   https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2017/05/0251a-dscf0651.jpg
harvest basket.   http://brazosvalleyfarmersmarket.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Fall-Harvest.jpg

2094.) Isaiah 11

May 11, 2017

I11 stump

Isaiah 11   (ESV)

The Righteous Reign of the Branch

There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse,
and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.

Isaiah 10:33-34 left us with the idea of the Lord chopping down the proud as if they were mighty trees. Now, the Lord is looking over the stumps, and causes a Branch to grow out of one of them, the root of the family of Jesse, David’s father.

In calling the Messiah a Rod from the stem of Jesse, the Lord is emphasizing the humble nature of the Messiah. Jesse was the much less famous father of King David. It is far more humble to say “from Jesse” than to say “from King David.”

–David Guzik

And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him,
the Spirit of wisdom

1 Corinthians 1:30   (NIV)

It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.

and understanding,

Hebrews 4:15-16   (NIV)

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

the Spirit of counsel and might,
the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.

John 8:52-55   (NIV)

At this they exclaimed, “Now we know that you are demon-possessed! Abraham died and so did the prophets, yet you say that whoever obeys your word will never taste death. Are you greater than our father Abraham? He died, and so did the prophets. Who do you think you are?”

Jesus replied, “If I glorify myself, my glory means nothing. My Father, whom you claim as your God, is the one who glorifies me. Though you do not know him, I know him. If I said I did not, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and obey his word.”

And his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord.
He shall not judge by what his eyes see,
or decide disputes by what his ears hear,
but with righteousness he shall judge the poor,
and decide with equity for the meek of the earth;
and he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth,
and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.
Righteousness shall be the belt of his waist,
and faithfulness the belt of his loins.

"The Peaceable Kingdom" by Edward Hicks, 1826 (National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.)

“The Peaceable Kingdom” by Edward Hicks, 1826 (National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.)

The wolf shall dwell with the lamb,
and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat,
and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together;
and a little child shall lead them.
The cow and the bear shall graze;
their young shall lie down together;
and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
The nursing child shall play over the hole of the cobra,
and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder’s den.
They shall not hurt or destroy
in all my holy mountain;
for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord
as the waters cover the sea.

I11 Romans

What a glorious day it will be — when sin no longer rules creation!

Romans 8:19-21   (NIV)

For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.

10 In that day the root of Jesse, who shall stand as a signal for the peoples—of him shall the nations inquire, and his resting place shall be glorious.

_________________________

Music:

O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan’s tyranny
From depths of Hell Thy people save
And give them victory o’er the grave
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

Click  HERE  to hear “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”  performed beautifully, hauntingly, by The Piano Guys on piano and cello.

_________________________

11 In that day the Lord will extend his hand yet a second time to recover the remnant that remains of his people, from Assyria, from Egypt, from Pathros, from Cush, from Elam, from Shinar, from Hamath, and from the coastlands of the sea.

I11 kingdom come

The glory and the peace of the reign of the Messiah will be for the whole earth.

12 He will raise a signal for the nations
and will assemble the banished of Israel,
and gather the dispersed of Judah
from the four corners of the earth.
13 The jealousy of Ephraim shall depart,
and those who harass Judah shall be cut off;
Ephraim shall not be jealous of Judah,
and Judah shall not harass Ephraim.
14 But they shall swoop down on the shoulder of the Philistines in the west,
and together they shall plunder the people of the east.
They shall put out their hand against Edom and Moab,
and the Ammonites shall obey them.
15 And the Lord will utterly destroy
the tongue of the Sea of Egypt,
and will wave his hand over the River
with his scorching breath,
and strike it into seven channels,
and he will lead people across in sandals.
16 And there will be a highway from Assyria
for the remnant that remains of his people,
as there was for Israel
when they came up from the land of Egypt.

_________________________

Music:

Today is a day to celebrate what the Lord has done and is doing and will do! My dear husband David has a big birthday today and I have much to thank God for when I think of him!  HERE  is one of David’s favorite hymns, an Isaac Watts paraphrase of Psalm 23, “My Shepherd Will Supply My Need.” The last two lines of this hymn may bring tears to your eyes; thank you for your kindness, Lord!

1. My Shepherd will supply my need;
Jehovah is His Name;
In pastures fresh He makes me feed
Beside the living stream.
He brings my wand’ring spirit back
When I forsake His ways,
And leads me, for His mercy’s sake,
In paths of truth and grace.
 .
2. When I walk thru the shades of death,
Thy presence is my stay;
A word of Thy supporting breath
Drives all my fears away.
Thy hand, in sight of all my foes,
Doth still my table spread;
My cup with blessings overflows;
Thine oil anoints my head.
 .
3. The sure provisions of my God
Attend me all my days;
O may Thy house be mine abode,
And all my work be praise!
There would I find a settled rest
(While others go and come),
No more a stranger or a guest,
But like a child at home.

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

Images courtesy of:
stump.   https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2012/12/i11-stump.jpg?w=450
Hicks.   http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/62/Edward_Hicks_-_Peaceable_Kingdom.jpg/350px-Edward_Hicks_-_Peaceable_Kingdom.jpg
Romans 8:19.   http://hbiblecommentary.files.wordpress.com/2009/11/romans8_19-creation-space.jpg?w=400&h=300&h=300
Thy Kingdom come.   https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2012/12/thykingdomcome.jpg
birthday pie.   http://www.smokedngrilled.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/Birthday-Pie-Strawberry-Rhubarb-small.jpg

2093.) Isaiah 10

May 10, 2017

I10 unjust

Isaiah 10   (ESV)

Rulers who rob the needy, oppress the poor, and write unjust decrees will lose all their wealth when God brings his judgment:

Woe to those who decree iniquitous decrees,
and the writers who keep writing oppression,
to turn aside the needy from justice
and to rob the poor of my people of their right,
that widows may be their spoil,
and that they may make the fatherless their prey!
What will you do on the day of punishment,
in the ruin that will come from afar?
To whom will you flee for help,
and where will you leave your wealth?
Nothing remains but to crouch among the prisoners
or fall among the slain.
For all this his anger has not turned away,
    and his hand is stretched out still.

Judgment on Arrogant Assyria

God will use Assyria to punish Judah.  But the king of Assyria has bigger plans . . .

Ah, Assyria, the rod of my anger;
the staff in their hands is my fury!
Against a godless nation I send him,
and against the people of my wrath I command him,
to take spoil and seize plunder,
and to tread them down like the mire of the streets.
But he does not so intend,
and his heart does not so think;
but it is in his heart to destroy,
and to cut off nations not a few;
for he says:
“Are not my commanders all kings?
Is not Calno like Carchemish?
Is not Hamath like Arpad?
Is not Samaria like Damascus?
10 As my hand has reached to the kingdoms of the idols,
whose carved images were greater than those of Jerusalem and Samaria,
11 shall I not do to Jerusalem and her idols
as I have done to Samaria and her images?”

12 When the Lord has finished all his work on Mount Zion and on Jerusalem, he will punish the speech of the arrogant heart of the king of Assyria and the boastful look in his eyes.

13 For he (the king of Assyria) says:

“By the strength of my hand I have done it,
and by my wisdom, for I have understanding;
I remove the boundaries of peoples,
and plunder their treasures;
like a bull I bring down those who sit on thrones.
14 My hand has found like a nest
the wealth of the peoples;
and as one gathers eggs that have been forsaken,
so I have gathered all the earth;
and there was none that moved a wing
or opened the mouth or chirped.”

The speech of the king of Assyria shows his arrogance and pride, ascribing his success to his own strength and wisdom. God will not tolerate that.

15 Shall the axe boast over him who hews with it,
or the saw magnify itself against him who wields it?
As if a rod should wield him who lifts it,
or as if a staff should lift him who is not wood!
16 Therefore the Lord God of hosts
will send wasting sickness among his stout warriors,
and under his glory a burning will be kindled,
like the burning of fire.
17 The light of Israel will become a fire,
and his Holy One a flame,
and it will burn and devour
his thorns and briers in one day.
18 The glory of his forest and of his fruitful land
the Lord will destroy, both soul and body,
and it will be as when a sick man wastes away.
19 The remnant of the trees of his forest will be so few
that a child can write them down.

The Remnant of Israel Will Return

20 In that day the remnant of Israel and the survivors of the house of Jacob will no more lean on him who struck them, but will lean on the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, in truth. 21 A remnant will return, the remnant of Jacob, to the mighty God. 22 For though your people Israel be as the sand of the sea, only a remnant of them will return.

I10 sand

Genesis 22:17   (NIV)

I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore.

Destruction is decreed, overflowing with righteousness. 23 For the Lord God of hosts will make a full end, as decreed, in the midst of all the earth.

24 Therefore thus says the Lord God of hosts: “O my people, who dwell in Zion, be not afraid of the Assyrians when they strike with the rod and lift up their staff against you as the Egyptians did. 25 For in a very little while my fury will come to an end, and my anger will be directed to their destruction. 26 And the Lord of hosts will wield against them a whip, as when he struck Midian at the rock of Oreb. And his staff will be over the sea, and he will lift it as he did in Egypt.

by Vijay Masih

by Vijay Masih

Exodus 14:15-18   (NIV)

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on. Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground. I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they will go in after them. And I will gain glory through Pharaoh and all his army, through his chariots and his horsemen. The Egyptians will know that I am the Lord when I gain glory through Pharaoh, his chariots and his horsemen.”

27 And in that day his burden will depart from your shoulder, and his yoke from your neck; and the yoke will be broken because of the fat.”

I10 map

28 He has come to Aiath;
he has passed through Migron;
at Michmash he stores his baggage;
29 they have crossed over the pass;
at Geba they lodge for the night;
Ramah trembles;
Gibeah of Saul has fled.
30 Cry aloud, O daughter of Gallim!
Give attention, O Laishah!
O poor Anathoth!
31 Madmenah is in flight;
the inhabitants of Gebim flee for safety.
32 This very day he will halt at Nob;
he will shake his fist
at the mount of the daughter of Zion,
the hill of Jerusalem.

33 Behold, the Lord God of hosts
will lop the boughs with terrifying power;
the great in height will be hewn down,
and the lofty will be brought low.
34 He will cut down the thickets of the forest with an axe,
and Lebanon will fall by the Majestic One.

I10 forest

In the cities mentioned we have a graphic, animated description of the marching route of the Assyrians. Everywhere there is panic and flight as the invaders approach. Finally they come within sight of the hill of Jerusalem. Then the Lord intervenes and destroys the army, officers and men, as if He were cutting down a forest.

–William MacDonald

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Music:

Given God’s Word — what are we choosing?  Click  HERE  and listen to the Maranatha Singers and “We Choose the Fear of the Lord.”

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Images courtesy of:
Woe to those.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2012/12/isaiah10_1-2b.jpg
Cicero quote.   http://www.azquotes.com/picture-quotes/quote-in-prosperity-let-us-most-carefully-avoid-pride-disdain-and-arrogance-marcus-tullius-cicero-104-57-66.jpg
sand.   https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2012/12/sand.jpg
Masih.    http://fc06.deviantart.net/fs71/i/2010/139/1/f/Moses_Parts_the_Red_Sea_by_BrainboxMedia.jpg
map.   http://www.holy-word.org/judeahmap.jpg
deforestation.   http://static.freepik.com/free-photo/cutting-down-the-forest-1_2288029.jpg

2092.) Isaiah 9

May 9, 2017

I9 nativity

Isaiah 9   (ESV)

For to Us a Child Is Born

But there will be no gloom for her who was in anguish. In the former time he brought into contempt the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the latter time he has made glorious the way of the sea, the land beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations.

The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light;
those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness,
on them has light shone.

These areas, the northern regions of the Promised Land, around the Sea of Galilee, were the most severely devastated by the Assyrian invasion. Isaiah says that one day, they will see the first dawn of God’s new day. Matthew quotes this passage as clearly fulfilled in the Galilean ministry of Jesus.

I9 great light

Before the dawning day
Let sin be put to flight;
No longer let the law hold sway
But walk in freedom’s light.

You have multiplied the nation;
you have increased its joy;
they rejoice before you
as with joy at the harvest,
as they are glad when they divide the spoil.
For the yoke of his burden,
and the staff for his shoulder,
the rod of his oppressor,
you have broken as on the day of Midian.
For every boot of the tramping warrior in battle tumult
and every garment rolled in blood
will be burned as fuel for the fire.

I9 baby
Come, thou long-expected Jesus,
Born to set thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us;
Let us find our rest in thee.
Israel’s strength and consolation,
Hope of all the earth thou art,
Dear desire of every nation,
Joy of every longing heart.

For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor,

“Why, you may have a friend that talks very sweetly with you, and you will say, ‘Well, he is a kind, good soul, but I really cannot trust his judgment.’ You have another friend, who has a good deal of judgment, and yet you say of him, ‘Certainly, he is a man of prudence above a great many, but I cannot find out his sympathy; I never get at his heart, if he were ever so rough and untutored, I would sooner have his heart without his prudence, than his prudence without his heart,’ But we go to Christ, and we get wisdom; we get love, we get sympathy, we get everything that can possibly be wanted in a Counsellor.”

–Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Mighty God,

“If Christ were not the Son of God, his death, so far from being a satisfaction for sin, was a death most richly and righteously deserved. The Sanhedrin before which He was tried was the recognized and authorized legislature of the country. He was brought before that Sanhedrin, charged with blasphemy, and it was upon that charge that they condemned him to die, because he made himself the Son of God.”

–Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

“Whenever, in short, it appears to us that everything is in a ruinous condition, let us recall to our remembrance that Christ is called Wonderful, because he has inconceivable methods of assisting us, and because his power is far beyond what we are able to conceive. When we need counsel, let us remember that he is the Counselor. When we need strength, let us remember that he is Mighty and Strong. When new terrors spring up suddenly every instant, and when many deaths threaten us from various quarters, let us rely on that eternity of which he is with good reason called the Father, and by the same comfort let us learn to soothe all temporal distresses. When we are inwardly tossed by various tempests, and when Satan attempts to disturb our consciences, let us remember that Christ is The Prince of Peace, and that it is easy for him quickly to allay all our uneasy feelings. This will these titles confirm us more and more in the faith of Christ, and fortify us against Satan and against hell itself.”

–John Calvin

Of the increase of his government and of peace
there will be no end,
on the throne of David and over his kingdom,
to establish it and to uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
from this time forth and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.

The King shall come when morning dawns
And light and beauty brings.
Hail, Christ the Lord!  Your people pray:
Come quickly, King of Kings!

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Music:

Can you read this without hearing Handel’s music?!  Here is “For Unto Us a Child Is Born” from Messiah, Stephen Cleobury conducting The Brandenburg Consort and The Choir Of King’s College Cambridge.  Click  HERE  to listen and worship.

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Judgment on Arrogance and Oppression

This section (Isaiah 9:8-10:4) is in four parts, each part concluding with the refrain “For all this his anger has not turned away, and his hand is stretched out (in judgment) still.” Some have called this section, “The Speech of the Outstretched Hand.”

Unmoved by previous punishment, Israel threatens in pride and arrogance to rebuild more gloriously than ever (The ordinary houses are gone — now we will build palaces!). But the Lord promises that they will be attacked by the Syrians from the east and the Philistines from the west:

The Lord has sent a word against Jacob,
and it will fall on Israel;
and all the people will know,
Ephraim and the inhabitants of Samaria,
who say in pride and in arrogance of heart:
10 “The bricks have fallen,
but we will build with dressed stones;
the sycamores have been cut down,
but we will put cedars in their place.”
11 But the Lord raises the adversaries of Rezin against him,
and stirs up his enemies.
12 The Syrians on the east and the Philistines on the west
devour Israel with open mouth.
For all this his anger has not turned away,
and his hand is stretched out still.

The prophet further warns of the wholesale destruction of the population, from the honored elder to the prophet who teaches lies:

13 The people did not turn to him who struck them,
nor inquire of the Lord of hosts.
14 So the Lord cut off from Israel head and tail,
palm branch and reed in one day—
15 the elder and honored man is the head,
and the prophet who teaches lies is the tail;
16 for those who guide this people have been leading them astray,
and those who are guided by them are swallowed up.
17 Therefore the Lord does not rejoice over their young men,
and has no compassion on their fatherless and widows;
for everyone is godless and an evildoer,
and every mouth speaks folly.
For all this his anger has not turned away,
and his hand is stretched out still.

Because of general wickedness, the land is consumed with the fire of civil war, anarchy, famine, looting, even cannibalism:

18 For wickedness burns like a fire;
it consumes briers and thorns;
it kindles the thickets of the forest,
and they roll upward in a column of smoke.
19 Through the wrath of the Lord of hosts
the land is scorched,
and the people are like fuel for the fire;
no one spares another.
20 They slice meat on the right, but are still hungry,
and they devour on the left, but are not satisfied;
each devours the flesh of his own arm,
21 Manasseh devours Ephraim, and Ephraim devours Manasseh;
together they are against Judah.
For all this his anger has not turned away,
and his hand is stretched out still.

The judgment against Israel’s wickedness was not enough. There was still sin to judge, and God wasn’t ready to stop His work of judgment.

–David Guzik

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Images courtesy of:
For to us a child is born.   http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2099/2132390675_053774e39f.jpg
The people who walk in darkness.   https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2012/12/isaiah9_2.jpg
baby.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2012/12/isaiah9-6_ashx.jpg
outstretched hand.    http://i101.photobucket.com/albums/m49/clbruno/hand_reaching.jpg