Isaiah 1:1-27 This Could Be Our Nation Today!

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans
Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome

Reflections on this reading in Isaiah:  This applies so perfectly to our nation at this time!  Lord have mercy!

 

This is the vision of Isaiah, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.  Replace the terms of Judah and Jerusalem, Israel with the US of A and sense the place we are in at this time.  Sense the impending judgment for rebelliousness and deliberate engagement in unrighteous actions according to the Word of God as stated.

“I raised and brought up children,

But they rebelled against me.

An ox knows its owner

And a donkey its master’s stall,

But Israel ( US of A) does not know,

My people do not reflect.

 

Oh, sinful nation,

A people weighed down by iniquity,

Descendants of evildoers,

Immoral children.

They have abandoned Adonai,

Spurned the Holy One of Israel,

Turned their backs on Him!

 

Where should I strike you most,

As you persist in rebelling?

The whole head (leadership) is sick,

The whole heart diseased,

From the sole of the foot to the head

There is nothing healthy,

Only wounds, bruises and festering sores

That haven’t been dressed or bandaged

Or softened up with oil.

{Is not this a description of our nation?  Sick leadership, hearts of the people failing them evidenced by an upsurge in depression and suicide, wounds and sores, lack of healing for the oppressed, homelessness rampant in our streets.}

Your land is desolate,

Your cities are burned to the ground;

Foreigners devour your land in your presence;

It’s as desolate as if overwhelmed by floods.

{We see drought, flooding, strong storms, rioting in streets, the burning and destroying of property, an influx of a people foreign to our nation unwilling to adapt to our laws}

Picking it up after a comparison with Sodom and Gomorrah:

“Why are all those sacrifices

Offered to me? Asks Adonai.

“I’m fed up with burnt offerings of rams

And the fat of fattened animals!

I get no pleasure from the blood

Of bulls, lambs and goats!

Yes, you come to appear in my presence:

But who asked you to do this,

To trample through my courtyards?

Stop bringing worthless grain offerings!

They are like disgusting incense to me!

Rosh-Hodesh, Shabbat, calling convocations—

I can’t stand evil together with your assemblies!

Everything in me hates your Rosh-Hodesh

And your festivals;

They are a burden to me—-

I’m tired of putting up with them!

 

When you spread out your hands,

I will hide my eyes from you:

No matter how much you pray,

I won’t be listening;

Because your hands are covered with blood.

{These festival were ordained by God, yet He turns away from them because the hearts of the people are not in the right place, they are in rebellion.  We have services, we have fasting and praying, we have holidays to remember and even in our worship of Him He turns from us because He says our hearts are not toward Him, it is ritual, form, tradition, public show.  Our hearts are in rebellion, following our own will.}

Wash yourselves clean!

Get your evil deeds out of my sight!

Stop doing evil, learn to do good!

Seek justice, relieve the oppressed,

Defend the orphans, plead for the widow.

 

“Come now,” says Adonai,

“let’s talk this over together.

Even if your sins are like scarlet,

They will be white as snow;

Even if they are red as crimson,

They will be like wool.

If you are willing and obedient,

You will eat the good of the land;

But if you refuse and rebel,

You will be eaten by the sword”;

For the mouth of Adonai has spoken.

{There is hope, even for the rebellious!  With the promise of redemption and forgiveness comes a requirement of turning from the evil ways, the rebellious nature, the following after self-will.}

How the faithful city has become like a whore!

Once she was filled with justice,

Righteousness lodged in her;

But now murderers!

Your silver is no longer pure,

Your wine is watered down.

Your leaders are rebels, friends of thieves.

They all love bribes and run after gifts.

They give no justice to orphans,

The widow’s complaint doesn’t catch their attention.

{Again the description fits our nation at the present time.  We are guilty of the blood of the innocent, murderers, our leadership gets fat on the bribes and gifts of the corporations, the laments of the widows of the fallen, the murdered, fall on deaf ears.}

“Therefore,” says the Lord, Adonai-Tzva’ot,

The Mighty One of Israel,

“I will free myself of my adversaries,

I will take vengeance on my enemies.

But I will cleanse your impurities as with lye

And remove all your alloyed base metal.

I will restore your judges as at first

And your advisors as at the beginning.

After that you will be called

the City of Righteousness, Faithful City.

Tziyon will be redeemed by justice;

And those in her who repent, by righteousness.

{This promise is two-fold; first the cleansing, purging of evil and then the restoration of justice and righteousness}

My prayer for my nation and fellow believers in this place: Lord have mercy!  We bow before you, we repent, we turn away from the evil allowed to exist in our land.  May we as individuals cleansed by the blood of Jesus be found righteous; may we never cease to stand in opposition to the bloodshed of the innocent, to the immoral practices of the rebellious, to the deaf ear of justice in our land.  May we go down as having stood firm on the principles taught us by God’s Word as it stands; not changing it to suit our whims and selfish ways.  Forgive our sin of self-love, create in us a new heart, a clean heart obedient to your will, O God.

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From study of Elijah; We are warned…

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans
Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome
Image result for fire from heaven

taken from Google images

Reflections from 2 Kings 1:

  1. The description of Elijah matches the description of John the Baptist given in the New Testament.

(the king) He asked them, “The man who came to meet you and told you these things, what kind of man was he?” “He was a hairy man,” they answered him, “with a leather belt around his waist.”  He said, ” It was Elijah from Tishbe.” 2 Kings 1

John’s clothes were made of camel’s hair, and he had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. – Matthew 3:4

2.  “Man of God”  used the first two times by the commanders of fifty was done sarcastically.  Man of God is a representative of God to us…calls for the same respect one would give an all-powerful God.  The lack of respect was what was punished…with death!  Study of the Old Testament highlights God’s disgust with arrogance and smugness.  Disrespect brought judgement many times.  Something to be very wary of.

Then the king sent a commander of fifty to Elijah, together with his fifty men….The commander climbed up to him(Elijah) and said, ” Man of God, the king says to come down.”  Elijah answered the commander of fifty, “If I am in fact a man of God, let fire come down from heaven and burn you up, along with your fifty men.” Fire came down from heaven, and it burned him up and his fifty men.

The king sent another commander of fifty, together with his fifty men.  He said to him (Elijah), “Man of God, the king says , ‘Come down immediately!’ ” Elijah answered them, “If I am in fact a man of God, let fire come down from heaven and burn you up, along with your fifty men.”  Fire came down from heaven, and it burned up him and his fifty men.

3.  God’s word is powerful…it accomplishes what it sets out to do.  This is done with or without humanity’s belief.  We can participate in it or be at its effect.  Sobering.

Take away:

Israel belongs to God.  When they stray he will not ignore it but take steps to bring them back into alignment with Him and His ways.

Our country has strong foundations in the Judeo-Christian beliefs.  It was founded by deeply religious people whose faith in God led them here to give him honor and practice His ways.  Their primary concern was to have a place where they could do so without hindrance or persecution for their faith. As we continue, as a nation, to honor Him we are blessed.  As we leave His ways and disrespect Him we are faced with the consequences not much different than that faced by the Hebrew nation.

Our history bears the truth that those who serve the Lord bring blessing.  Those who disrespect Him and His commands, bring cursing. We are warned.  What course of action will we take?  Our prayers can make the difference.

Disclaimer:  if ads are appearing anywhere on this page it is because they are placed there by WordPress not by me.  I have read the information on ads and in order to be ad free now, Word Press charges a fee.  I apologize for any inconvenience these ads may cause you and if they are inappropriate please message me.  Thank you, gracie

become themselves nothings?…

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans
Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome

Jeremiah 2:

1The word of Adonai came to me: 2“Go and shout in the ears of Yerushalayim (Jerusalem) that this is what Adonai says:

‘I remember your devotion when you were young;

how, as a bride, you loved me;

how you followed me through the desert,

through a land not sown.

3“‘Isra’el is set aside for Adonai,

the firstfruits of his harvest;

all who devour him will incur guilt;

evil will befall them,” says Adonai.

4Hear the word of Adonai, house of Ya‘akov

and all families in the house of Isra’el;

5here is what Adonai says:

“What did your ancestors find wrong with me

to make them go so far away from me,

to make them go after nothings

and become themselves nothings?

From <https://www.bible.com/bible/1275/jer.2>

Have we acted in such a way God would ask us this question?  The picture is of a bride so in love with her husband she leaves what is familiar to wander in a barren, wild place following him.  Why?  She was devoted to Him.

This nation followed hard after God, founded laws and education on His word, were not ashamed to pray and invite Him into their business and lives.  Now, there is plenty, this is a rich nation, and it begins to leave God bit by bit, denying and rejecting Him to follow after nothings and is slowing becoming a nothing.

God’s love for his people is so strong he curses any who would harm them.  He protects what is his. He provides for what is his.  He also disciplines those who are His.

Pray – In you, Adonai, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame.  In your righteousness, rescue me; and help me to escape.  Turn your ear toward me, and deliver. Me.   Psalm 71:1-2

Repent – I repent for my nation.  I repent for their turning from you. Have mercy, O God and open their ears and eyes to see you, to return to you.  Help me do my part.

Ask – God, summon your strength.  Use your strength, God, as you did for us before. Psalm 68:29

Yes – Sing to God, kingdoms of the earth.  Sing praises to Adonai, to him who rides on the most ancient heavens.  Listen! As he utters His voice, a mighty voice.  Acknowledge  that  strength belongs to God. Psalms 68:33-34

Source: Jeremiah and Psalms

Blinded by self…

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans
Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome

From Numbers 16

15Moshe (Moses) was very angry and said to Adonai, “Don’t accept their grain offering! I haven’t taken one donkey from them, I’ve done nothing wrong to any of them.” 16Moshe (Moses) said to Korach (Korah), “You and your group, be there before Adonai tomorrow — you, they and Aharon (Aaron). 17Each of you take his fire pan and put incense in it; every one of you, bring before Adonai his fire pan, 250 fire pans, you too, and Aharon (Aaron) — each one his fire pan.”

18Each man took his fire pan, put fire in it, laid incense on it and stood at the entrance to the tent of meeting with Moshe  (Moses) and Aharon (Aaron). 19Korach  (Korah) assembled all the group who were against them at the entrance to the tent of meeting. Then the glory of Adonai appeared to the whole assembly.

(iii) 20Adonai said to Moshe  (Moses) and Aharon (Aaron), 21“Separate yourselves from this assembly; I’m going to destroy them right now!” 22They fell on their faces and said, “Oh God, God of the spirits of all humankind, if one person sins, are you going to be angry with the entire assembly?” 23Adonai answered Moshe  (Moses), 24“Tell the assembly to move away from the homes of Korach  (Korah), Datan  (Dathan) and Aviram   (Abiram).” 25Moshe  (Moses) got up and went to Datan and Aviram, and the leaders of Isra’el followed him. 26There he said to the assembly, “Leave the tents of these wicked men! Don’t touch anything that belongs to them, or you may be swept away in all their sins.” 27So they moved away from all around the area where Korach (Korah), Datan  (Dathan) and Aviram   (Abiram) lived.

From <https://www.bible.com/bible/1275/num.16>

English names for Hebrews are in parentheses placed there by this author

Moses expressed his anger at being unjustly accused to God. But when God said he would destroy all the people, Moses went down on his face once more to plead for them.   A man of God subjected to false accusations and attacked for his position expresses anger but only to God.  A humble man as well, he pleads for their redemption.

The taking of the fire and fire pans was a test.  These men were not dedicated to the task so in following through and doing so they were breaking established order set by God.  It was a defiant act of disobedience and disrespect.  They had to consider the previous events recorded in Leviticus 10:1-2 where two were consumed by fire when they inappropriately handled the incense. These are men who daily served in the tabernacle of God; they knew the possible consequences. When these failed to exercise caution and obedience to God, they demonstrated the true nature of their hearts.  Moses knows what is coming and warns the rest of the assembly to step away from the leaders of the rebellion.

It is a fearful thing to come against God’s commands.  There is no respect for Him, no honor when the self rises above his commands.  The ambition and arrogance of these men will be the cause for the judgment about to fall upon them from a holy God.  Their pride, self-importance and jealousy blinded them.  They could not spiritually discern God’s calling on Moses and Aaron.  It was to be their downfall.

The take-away is for all believers to consider God’s commands as supreme.  One cannot defy a holy God with disrespect without also incurring the consequences.  Grace is available today to those who repent; but consequences will come.  The age of grace does not change who God is and what God does.  It provides for humankind’s redemption and shows mercy to a repentant heart.  This is not a call to legalism but to spiritual discernment.  The quest for self blinds the seeker.  They are vulnerable to deception which leads to separation from God.  It is vital to a healthy, overcoming life to be seekers of Christ and disciples of who he is and what he does.

Pray – O God, you are my God and I will ever praise you.  It isn’t about who I am but who you are.

Repent – I repent for the direction many take leading away from you in a search for self.  Please be merciful with them.

Ask – May we always lift you up: “If I be lifted up, I will draw all men to me.” – Jesus. You, Lord, Your will is our desire.

Yes – Bless, Adonai, my soul!  Adonai my God, you are very great!  Psalm 104:1

Source: Numbers, Leviticus, and Psalm 104

He came…He is…

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans
Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome

From John 3:

16“For God so loved the world that he gave his only and unique Son, so that everyone who trusts in him may have eternal life, instead of being utterly destroyed. 17For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but rather so that through him, the world might be saved. 18Those who trust in him are not judged; those who do not trust have been judged already, in that they have not trusted in the one who is God’s only and unique Son.

From <https://www.bible.com/bible/1275/jhn.3>

It may be this is quoted so often it is not fully understood.  It may be, as is often the case, it is so isolated in the quoting the context is lost and the full implication is missed for some.

Where there is already a judgment levied against an offender there is no requirement for more judgment.  The general creation has already been judged and found guilty.  Jesus did not come, therefore, to place more judgment; rather he came to pay the penalty so those already judged could be free of their judgment, death.

Someone engaging in sin is not being judged if the sin is exposed; they are already judged.  Exposing the sin provides opportunity for forgiveness of its consequences.  Exposure provides opportunity for change.

Those accepting the payment made for them by Christ are set free from the penalty already imposed.  They receive life for death.  They receive freedom from bondage.  They receive peace due to a restored relationship with God.

Pray – Lord, long before You came, David, prophets of old, all who know you knew you were coming.  They knew.  They knew salvation was part of Your plan from the beginning; salvation from the penalty of sin.  May your grace come to me, Adonai, Your salvation, as You promised; then I will have an answer for those who taunt me.  The enemy with his accusations will flee.  The thoughts that rise will be taken captive and brought into obedience to You; for I trust in Your Word.

Repent – God, You know how foolish I am; my guilt is not hid from You.  Let my prayer to You come at an acceptable time; in Your great grace, God, answer me with the truth of Your salvation.

Ask – May Your grace come to me, Adonai, Your salvation as you promised.  Don’t take away completely my power to speak the truth; for I put my hope in Your rulings; and I will keep Your commands always, forever and ever.

Yes – Bless the Lord, my soul!  Everything in me bless his holy name!  Bless the Lord, my soul and forget none of His benefits!

Source:  John and Psalms

Learn from History; Avoid Deception…

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans
Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome

History repeats itself as anyone who has studied old documents can say.  It makes little difference if the present society tries to rewrite history; ample documentation is found among individual writings from the participants.

Therefore it is wise to heed the consequences of actions taken in the past to avoid repeating the errors.

From Micah: Here is what Adonai says in regard to the prophets who cause my people to go astray, who cry ‘peace,’ as soon as they are given food to eat but prepare war against anyone who fails to put something in their mouths:

Put in today’s setting, are there those who cause God’s people to go astray, used by the enemy to deceive?  Any ‘word’ given that emphasizes self-worth or ability has the potential to lead away from God’s worth and ability.  Are our prophets fed well?  Do they prophesy for pay?  Do they ‘war’ by finding fault, causing strife with any who fail to ‘pay’ or do they engage in fear mongering?

In Micah it states further how God views these actions.  A good Father disciplines and corrects:

“Therefore you will have night, not vision, darkness and not divination; the sun will go down on the prophets, over them the day will be black.”

Discipline and correction is not pleasant.

“The seers will be put to shame,

The diviners will be disgraced.

They will have to cover their mouths,

Because there will be no answer from God.

On the other hand, I am full of power

By Spirit of Adonai,

Full of justice and full of might,

To declare to __________his crime,

To _____his sin.

Hear this, please, leaders of _________,

Rulers of the house of _____________,

You abhor what is just

And pervert anything that is right,

Who build up _____________with blood

And ______with wickedness.

Her leaders will sell verdicts for bribes,

Her priests teach for a price,

Her prophets divine for money—-

Yet they claim to rely on Adonai!

“Isn’t Adonai here with us?”  they say.

“No evil can come upon us.”

Therefore, because of you,

______ will be plowed under like a forested height…

There is more, much more in Micah to learn from, to take warning from, to heed the direction given and to rejoice in the promise given.

The blanks can be filled in with current names.  See if they fit and speak truthfully.  This was spoken to another people at another time but could have been saved for today.  It is wisdom to use what has been shared to judge whether anything be of God.  Do not be deceived by pretty pictures, great music, etc. For the enemy is clothed in light that is deceptive.

Pray – With all prayer and petition (I) pray at all times, 1. in the Spirit, 2. and with this in view, 3. be on the alert, with 4. all perseverance and 5. petition for all the saints, 6. and pray on my behalf.  I pray for our spiritual leaders.

Repent – I repent for selfish prayer and now ask for mercy.  I repent for not lifting up and encouraging God’s called leaders and now ask Your blessings on them.

Ask – I pray they be alert, they persevere, they pray for all saints, they stay close to God’s Word and not be deceived or used by the enemy to destroy God’s people.

Yes – I thank You for Your Word that quickens, guides, feeds, and blesses Your people.

Ephesians 6:18 source.

Gather my people…

Please be more noble than those in Thessalonica. Be more like the Bereans who “searched the scriptures daily to see if these things were so.” (Acts 17:11)

Inspiration from Joel:

Gather the people; consecrate the congregation; assemble the leaders; gather the children, even infants sucking at the breast; let the bridegroom leave his room and the bride the bridal chamber.  Let the religious leaders, who serve Adonai, stand weeping between the vestibule and the altar.  Let them say, “Spare your people, Adonai!  Don’t expose your heritage to mockery, or make them a byword among the Gentile.  Why should the peoples say, “Where is their God?”  … “I will restore to you the years that the locusts ate, the grasshoppers, shearer-worms and the cutter-worms, my great army that I sent against you.  You will eat until you are satisfied and will praise the name of Adonai your God, who has done with you wonders.  Then my people will never again be shamed.  You will know that I am with Isra’el and that I am Adonai, your God, and that there is no other.  Theny my people will never again be shamed.”    

God is good and tolerates no evil…when His people followed His commands and loved Him only, giving Him due praise they were blessed.  He intervened on their behalf.  Take note…

I will extol you, O Lord, For you have lifted me up.  For the Lord Most High is awesome, He is a great King over all.  I have heard of you by the hearing of the ear.  But now my eye sees You.  Therefore I repent…I will be a doer of the Word, not a hearer, only.  Father, I ask You to help me to receive the Word of God not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the Word of God, which is at work in me as one who believes.  Help me, Father, to be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath…I give thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.