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Showing posts from May, 2021

bible reading may 31-jun 1

  Bible reading for May 31 -- June 1 May 31 -- Isaiah 32 and Rev 2 Jun 1 -- Isaiah 33 and Rev 3 Take some time today to pause, remember, and thank God for the many soldiers who died in military service for our country. Here's the USAF band performing Dvorak's "Going Home" at the National Cemetery in Culpeper, Virginia. ================    "Behold, a king will reign in righteousness, and princes will rule in justice. Each will be like a hiding place from the wind, a shelter from the storm, like streams of water in a dry place, like the shade of a great rock in a weary land." (Isaiah 32:1-2) LOOKING FOR FEW GOOD MEN (ch 32). Don't we all long for good leadership? Good leadership in homes, in businesses, in the church, in communities, and in the nation? How much suffering and misery comes from corruption, bribery, conflicts of interest, immoral decisions, unjust laws, bribery, and favoritism.  Whether leadership is weak or overbearing, all of the people s

bible reading may 28-30

  Bible reading for weekend May 28 -- 30 May 28 -- Isaiah 29 and 3 John 1 May 29 -- Isaiah 30 and Jude May 30 -- Isaiah 31 and Rev 1 ================    "For thus said the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel, 'In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.' But you were unwilling..." (Isaiah 30:15) ARIEL, ARIEL (ch 29). The Lord addresses the city of Jerusalem (Ariel likely means the "lion of God"). Like the northern kingdom (Israel) the people in Judah lack discernment and are very fearful of the coming siege by Sennacherib of Assyria (c. 701 BC). Isaiah says the people will be humbled but the city would not be captured. Deliverance would come suddenly from the Lord (see Isa 37; 2 Kgs 19).  Overnight, many thousands of Assyrian soldiers would die mysteriously, perhaps by a plague sent from God. Though the remnant of God's people would glorify the Lord (v 23) many in the city were proud and unteachable. But afte

bible reading may 26-27

Bible reading for May 26 -- 27 May 26 -- Isaiah 27 and 1 John 5 May 27 -- Isaiah 28 and 2 John 1 ================    "Behold, I am the one who has laid as a foundation in Zion, a stone, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone, of a sure foundation: 'Whoever believes will not be in haste.'" (Isaiah 28:16) THE SWORD OF THE LORD (ch 27). Leviathan, a large sea creature (or mythological sea monster), is representative of Satan (Gen 3:1; Rev 12:9). It is the sword of the Lord that will slay him and restore the garden and the fruitfulness of God's people (vv 1-6). The people of Judah would not be destroyed as their enemies were, but idolatry would be removed from the land and the Lord's people will return (vv 7-13). Even today, and rightly so, the nation of Israel is protective of the land God gave them. There have been several exiles and returns in the history of Israel. The real and final restoration from exile will be accomplished when the people embrace their M

bible reading may 24-25

Bible reading for May 24 -- 25 May 24 -- Isaiah 25 and 1 John 3 May 25 -- Isaiah 26 and 1 John 4 ================    "He will swallow up death forever; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from all faces..." (Isaiah 25:8) THE DEATH OF DEATH (ch 25). Jerusalem would survive the Assyrian onslaught. And though in King Hezekiah's day food would be scarce, yet a banquet is coming, the Lord says. Isaiah is seeing over 700 years into the future to an event in Jerusalem which will destroy death itself. And the Apostle John sees a glorious future, as well: "He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away" (Rev 21:4). Through the succession of nations and empires, through all the vicissitudes of time and history, there is one certain, unchanging plan of God. We can say with Isaiah, "O LORD, you are my God; I will exalt you; I will praise you

bible reading may 21-23

  Bible reading for weekend May 21 -- 23 May 21 -- Isaiah 22 and 2 Peter 3 May 22 -- Isaiah 23 and 1 John 1 May 23 -- Isaiah 24 and 1 John 2 ================    "Behold, the LORD will empty the earth and make it desolate, and he will twist its surface and scatter its inhabitants." (Isaiah 24:1) VALLEY OF VISION (ch 22). In the last oracle of the previous chapter (21:13-17) Isaiah returns to a short-range prophecy, concerning the Arabian tribes to the east of Israel. This chapter (22) is addressed to Jerusalem during Hezekiah's reign and the impending Assyrian siege. A number of archaeological finds have given supporting evidence to the events of this period. The people were eager to make physical and military preparations but trusted too much in their own abilities. As Tom Constable summarizes , "This oracle reproved the people of Jerusalem for trusting in the arm of flesh to protect them from their enemies. Isaiah epitomized and condemned this attitude by citing S

bible reading may 19-20

Bible reading for May 19 -- 20 May 19 -- Isaiah 19-20 and 2 Peter 1 May 20 -- Isaiah 21 and 2 Peter 2 ================    "In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, and Assyria will come into Egypt, and Egypt into Assyria, and the Egyptians will worship with the Assyrians." (Isaiah 19:23) STRIKING AND HEALING (ch 19). The expansion of the Assyrian empire was impressive: the Assyrians would conquer both Egypt (lower Nile region) and Cush (or Nubia; upper Nile; which would encompass Sudan and/or Ethiopia). The distance from Nineveh (Assyrian capital) to Khartoum (upper Nile) was over two thousand miles. There was conflict between Egypt and Cush at that time (reflected in 19:2), but Cush was the ruling power. Be that as it may, both would fall to the Assyrians around 670 BC. This chapter shows the process of judgment against Egypt (vv 1-16), which included national division and infighting, confusion, poor counsel, drought, collapse of the economy, and widesprea

bible reading may 17-18

  Bible reading for weekend May 17 -- 18 May 17 -- Isaiah 16 and 1 Peter 4 May 18 -- Isaiah 17-18 and 1 Peter 5 ================    "But now the LORD has spoken, saying, 'In three years, like the years of a hired worker, the glory of Moab will be brought into contempt, in spite of all his great multitude, and those who remain will be very few and feeble.'"  (Isaiah 16:14) LAMENTS FOR MOAB, SYRIA, AND CUSH. Within a short period of time these three strong kingdoms, along with Israel, would be humbled. The Assyrian invasion led by Sargon (720 BC) and Sennacherib (713--701 BC) would devastate and bring down these nations. Most amazing would be the conquest of Ethiopian-ruled upper Egypt, called "Cush" or "Nubia", which today would include the Sudan. See the NET Bible for details . This Assyrian sweep would topple Moab first, within three years of Isaiah's words. Some of these prophecies would come to pass soon, but others were long-range, like th

bible reading may 14-16

   Bible reading for weekend May 14 -- 16 May 14 -- Isaiah 13 and 1 Peter 1 May 15 -- Isaiah 14 and 1 Peter 2 May 16 -- Isaiah 15 and 1 Peter 3 ================    "...then a throne will be established in steadfast love, and on it will sit in faithfulness in the tent of David one who judges and seeks justice and is swift to do righteousness." (Isaiah 16:5) WOE TO BABYLON. After pronouncing judgment upon Assyria, Isaiah looks forward a hundred years to pronounce judgment upon Babylon, the nation which will eventually destroy the city of Jerusalem and carry many Jews into exile. Chapters 13 to 23 contain a number of oracles against specific nations that have, or will, come against God's people.  There is something within fallen humanity that seeks to unite themselves together in opposition to God. From the tower of Babel (Gen 11) to the final Babylon (Rev 17-18) people build communities that exalt human ability, power, and autonomy, setting themselves against God's wil

bible reading may 12-13

  Bible reading for May 12 -- 13 May 12 -- Isaiah 10 and James 4 May 13 -- Isaiah 11-12 and James 5 ================    "There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit. And the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD." (Isaiah 11:1-2) ASSYRIA, A TOOL (ch 10) . Complete and total judgment would come upon Assyria for their arrogance and pride. The Assyrians thought they were a mighty people, when in fact they were merely a tool in the hand of the Lord, like an axe (v 15). And when the Lord was finished bringing chastisement upon his people he would dispose of that tool. As in other times of Israel's history, there would be a remnant preserved, and a regathering of his people from exile. THE BRANCH (ch 11) . At the center of God's purposes for Judah and Israel, and all the nations, is the Messiah.

bible reading may 10-11

  Bible reading for May 10 -- 11 May 10 -- Isaiah 8 and James 2 May 11 -- Isaiah 9 and James 3 ================    "To the teaching and to the testimony! If they will not speak according to this word, it is because they have no dawn." (Isaiah 8:20) THE PROPHET'S SON (ch 8). Isaiah names his child "Swift-booty-speedy-prey", which refers to the speed of the prey (Judah) in evading the predator (Assyria). This child is not the same virgin-born child mentioned in chapter 7, who is "Immanuel" (v 8; 7:14). The Assyrian army will fail in its attempt to capture Jerusalem and gain hold of Judah (vv 9-10). Meanwhile, many Jews are fearful and panicking, trying to uncover political conspiracies (such as between neighboring nations and Assyria) and seeking information by occult means. They want a political or military solution -- or a situation they can control -- rather than deal with their real problem, which is spiritual and moral (vv 11-22). The people are ca

bible reading may 7-9

Bible reading for weekend May 7 -- 9 May 7 -- Isaiah 5 and Hebrews 12 May 8 -- Isaiah 6 and Hebrews 13 May 9 -- Isaiah 7 and James 1 ================    "In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said: 'Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!'" (Isaiah 6:1-3) THE BEAUTY OF HOLINESS (ch 4). Backing up a chapter, we are presented with a vision of the future Mount Zion. The "branch" (or shoot, sprout, v 2) is a name for Messiah (Jer 23:5). The image is that, when Israel has been devastated, and all the royal descendants of David have failed, one descendant, or the Son of David, will arise and restore God's people and the land. The Shekinah -- that pillar of cloud

bible reading may 5-6

   Bible reading for May 5 -- 6 May 5 -- Isaiah 2 and Hebrews 10 May 6 -- Isaiah 3-4 and Hebrews 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." (Isaiah 2:11) THE PROPHETS. In our Bibles the writings of the Hebrew prophets are placed in a collection together.  There are four "major" prophets (the longer books of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel) and twelve "minor" prophets (minor in the sense of being shorter books). The role of the prophet in the OT was to forth-tell, that is, to proclaim to Israel what was the nature of her problems and to give divine promises, whether of judgment or restoration (or both). Often, with these proclamations the prophet would foretell future events, some in the near future and some in the distant future. This telescoping effect is sometimes called the "mountain peaks" of prophecy, that is, two

bible reading may 3-4

Bible reading for May 3 --4 May 3 -- Song of Solomon 8 and Hebrews 8 May 4 -- Isaiah 1 and Hebrews 9  ================    "Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm, for love is strong as death, jealousy is fierce as the grave. Its flashes are flashes of fire, the very flame of the LORD." (Song of Solomon 8:6)  FINAL CHAPTER (ch 8). The couple's love continues to grow and mature. For a good summary of this concluding chapter see Constable's notes here . One note on the "little sister" (6:8-10)... This a poetic expression of the Shulammite's older brothers protecting their sister's purity in her earlier years. The Bible teaches the primacy of the family in guarding the purity and sexuality of the children. It is not the place of the schools or government or media to override parents in their role of teaching children about God's design for human sexuality. Our culture is seriously perverted in this regard.   THE POWER OF LOVE. Wh