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Showing posts from June, 2021

bible reading june 25-27

Bible reading for weekend June 25-- 27 Jun 25 -- Isaiah 57 and Matthew 5 Jun 26 -- Isaiah 58 and Matthew 6 Jun 27 -- Isaiah 59 and Matthew 7 ================    "For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: 'I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite.'" (Isaiah 57:15) IDOLATRY IS DESTRUCTIVE (ch 57). In contrast with the everlasting covenant of peace that God offers (ch 55-56), the people had been putting their trust in the various false gods and idols worshiped at the high places. The people were involved with ritual sex there, and even child sacrifice. They had deserted the Lord and did not remember him (vv 8, 11). Idols cannot save (v 13). If we do not destroy them, they will destroy us. God looks with favor upon the contrite (v 15), and they will experience his peace. But those who do not forsa

bible reading june 23-24

  Bible reading for June 23-- 24 Jun 23 -- Isaiah 55 and Matthew 3 Jun 22 -- Isaiah 56 and Matthew 4 ================    " shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it." (Isaiah 55:11) HIS WORD GOES FORTH (ch 55). This is one of my favorite chapters in the OT. I know, I say that about a lot of chapters. But it's all here, the follow-up from the atonement accomplished by the suffering Servant (ch 53), which results in the covenant promises, " steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed..." (ch 54). And now the invitation, "Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price" (55:1). Doesn't this remind you of Jesus' words, "If anyone thirsts, let him come to me an

bible reading june 21-22

Bible reading for June 21-- 22 Jun 21 -- Isaiah 53 and Matthew 1 Jun 22 -- Isaiah 54 and Matthew 2 ================    "But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed." (Isaiah 53:5) WHO WOULD BELIEVE IT? (ch 53) This is the longest, the most beautiful, and the most surprising of the Servant Psalms. The Messiah prophesied in the OT might have been viewed as a kind of super-hero were it not for this chapter! It's unbelievable that God's holy Servant should be abused in this way by mankind (v 1). He is not a handsome caped man, rippling with muscles and charisma (v 2). He is despised, rejected, looked down upon. If this were not surprising enough -- many prophets beforehand were so treated -- but here the suffering and death is not some kind of martyrdom but actually brings forgiveness even for the perpetrators: "by his wounds we are healed"

bible reading june 18-20

Bible reading for weekend June 18--20 Jun 18 -- Isaiah 50 and Revelation 20 Jun 19 -- Isaiah 51 and Revelation 21 Jun 20 -- Isaiah 52 and Revelation 22 ================    "How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, 'Your God reigns.'" (Isaiah 52:7) THE REJECTED SERVANT (ch 50) . "The Lord GOD has given me the tongue of those who are taught, that I may know how to sustain with a word him who is weary. Morning by morning he awakens; he awakens my ear to hear as those who are taught.  The Lord GOD has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious; I turned not backward.  I gave my back to those who strike, and my cheeks to those who pull out the beard; I hid not my face from disgrace and spitting" (vv 4-6). Perhaps this referred to Isaiah's ministry to the Jews, but more likely in light of chapter 53 this is another foreshadowing of

bible reading june 16-17

  Bible reading for June 16-- 17 Jun 16 -- Isaiah 48 and Revelation 18 Jun 17 -- Isaiah 49 and Revelation 19 ================    "It is too light a thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to bring back the preserved of Israel; I will make you as a light for the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth." (Isaiah 49:6) PEACE LIKE A RIVER (ch 48). We continue to read of Israel's hypocrisy, obstinacy, and idolatry (vv 1-8). God sends the prophets who reveal his words and what is to come (vv 5-8). The Lord for his own sake, and for the sake of his name, restrains and withholds judgment (vv 9-11). Bible expositors hold various opinions as to whether verse 16 is an allusion to God's triune nature or not. God's desire is that his people be trusting, joyful, and obedient (cf Titus 2:11-14). There is no peace for the wicked (v 22), but for those who pay attention to his commandments, "Then your peace would have been

bible reading june 14-15

Bible reading for June 14 -- 15 Jun 14 -- Isaiah 46 and Revelation 16 Jun 15 -- Isaiah 47 and Revelation 17 ================    "...remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, 'My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,'"... (Isaiah 46:9-10) GOD'S PURPOSE (ch 46). Idols are useless. Bel and Nebo, Babylonian gods, are themselves only heavy idols carried off into captivity. Idols are burdens which must be picked up and carried about, but it is God who carries Israel (vv 3-4). Only God can save. Only God can bring his righteousness to us. It is only God who speaks eternal truth and unfailingly brings his plans to pass. "I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass; I have purposed, and I will do it" (v 11). The Scriptures reveal to us again and again that history unfolds "according t

bible reading june 11-13

  Bible reading for weekend June 11-- 13 Jun 11 -- Isaiah 43 and Revelation 13 Jun 12 -- Isaiah 44 and Revelation 14 Jun 13 -- Isaiah 45 and Revelation 15 ================    "...that people may know, from the rising of the sun and from the west, that there is none besides me; I am the LORD, and there is no other." (Isaiah 45:6) MAGNIFICENT MONOTHEISM (ch 43). These chapters in Isaiah are breath-taking. He is the only God (cf Deut 6:4). "I am he" (vv 10, 13, 25) reflects the divine name, "I am who I am" (Exod 3:14). "There is none besides me" (45:6, 21). There is no other god. Therefore, those who trust and obey him need fear no thing, nothing (vv 1, 5; 44:2). God's people are created for his glory (vv 7, 21). Israel shall return from exile, and here specifically, the return from Babylonian captivity is in view (v 14). Because he is the only God he also is the only one who can deal with our sins and forgive us (v 25; cf 44:22). WHO IS LIKE G

bible reading june 9-10

Bible reading for June 9 -- 10 Jun 9 -- Isaiah 41 and Revelation 11 Jun 10 -- Isaiah 42 and Revelation 12 ================    "Behold my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights; I have put my Spirit upon him; he will bring forth justice to the nations."  (Isaiah 42:1) "DO NOT FEAR" (ch 41). A recurring theme is that there is no other God, and he is sovereign over history. He is the one who determines the future, "calling the generations from the beginning" (v 4). He is the First and Last (Rev 1:17; 22:13). Idols, and other gods, are no gods at all. They cannot tell the future nor determine the future. Idolatry is any wrong concept of God, or anything we deem of ultimate value which takes the place of God as the center of our lives. Usually, it is something we can see (or manufacture) that becomes our main security and source of pleasure -- it may be actual idols, or it may be false hopes of deliverance, whether in money or possessions (

Christian worldview

  Bavinck on the autonomous self. "It is by all means 'the will to power', the 'I want,' that lifts itself up against the 'You shall.' Being bound to laws is felt to be coercive not only in religion but also in morality, in law, in the family, in society, in the state, even in nature and in science. To the modern autonomous person, to have to think of logical laws, to see nature as ruled by laws that are independent of it, and to recognize the truth as a power that stands above him and that lets itself be found only in a defined way seems to be unbecoming. "It is this autonomy and anarchy that the Christian worldview resists with all its strength. According to it, the human being is not autonomous but is always and everywhere bound to laws that were not devised by him but that are prescribed to him by God as the rule of his life. In religion and morality, in science and art, in family, society, and state, ideas are everywhere, norms above him, which mu

bible reading june 7-8

  Bible reading for June 7 – 8 Jun 7 – Isaiah 39 and Revelation 9 Jun 8 – Isaiah 40 and Revelation 10 ================ ”…but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31) NOT A GOOD ENDING (ch 39). Hezekiah was a man of faith who saw God work miracles, but the last part of his life was disappointing. Either he succumbed to pride, or insecurity, or perhaps he was lacking sense in showing these foreign dignitaries (future Babylonian overlords) all his wealth. He should have remembered that Judah’s true wealth and power was the Lord himself. Contrast this interaction with that between King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba (1 Kgs 10:4-9). She sees the blessings of prosperity God gave to Solomon, but what stands out to her was his wisdom: “Happy are your men! Happy are your servants, who continually stand before you and hear your wisdom! Bles

bible reading june 4-6

Bible reading for weekend June 4 -- 6 Jun 4 -- Isaiah 36 and Revelation 6 Jun 5 -- Isaiah 37 and Revelation 7 Jun 6 -- Isaiah 38 and Revelation 8 ================    "So now, O LORD our God, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you alone are the LORD." (Isaiah 37:20) HISTORICAL INTERLUDE (ch 36). Chapters 36 and 37 demonstrate that what Isaiah prophesied actually came to pass. The pre-siege negotiations begin. The Rabshakeh, referring to the chief representative of the Assyrian army, dissuades the people of Jerusalem from trusting in Egypt for deliverance (good advice), and also not to trust the Lord, the God of Israel, to rescue them (bad advice). The Assyrians are mocking the God of Israel as just another regional god who would fall at the hands of their mighty men. "Who among all the gods of these lands have delivered their lands out of my hand, that the LORD should deliver Jerusalem out of my hand?" (v 20). Hezekiah's trus

bible reading june 2-3

  Bible reading for June 2 -- 3 Jun 2 -- Isaiah 34 and Rev 4 Jun 3 -- Isaiah 35 and Rev 5 ================    "And the ransomed of the LORD shall return and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away." (Isaiah 35:10) RECAP. We are coming to the end of what some call the first "book" of Isaiah, which focuses primarily on God's judgment upon Israel and Judah in the late eighth century BC. There will be an historical interlude in chapters 36 to 39, recording how the Lord delivered Jerusalem (under King Hezekiah) from the Assyrian siege in 701 BC. In chapter 40 we will begin what is called the "book of comfort". More on that later. These last two chapters (34 and 35) poetically describe the judgment upon the nations and the restoration of Israel. In both of these chapters we are viewing the "mountain peaks" of prophecy, where the near events (As