I'm BAAAACK! Over the next week, I'll try to post some of the back readings. Hope you enjoy today!
4:23 I looked at the earth, and it was empty and formless. I looked at the heavens, and there was no light. Interestingly, the Greek words for "empty and formless" are exactly the same Greek words used in Genesis 1:2: The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep... I believe this is talking about the earth after the judgments of God in the tribulation. Check out the next verse...
4:27 This is what the Lord says: "The whole land will be ruined, but I will not destroy it completely. So once again, God will have to remake the earth good again! I believe this will take place when Jesus sets up His Kingdom on earth during His thousand-year reign. There are many prophecies of the earth being restored once again.
5:1-3 "If you can find even one just and honest person, I will not destroy the city. But even when they are under oath, saying, ‘As surely as the Lord lives,' they are still telling lies!" Lord, you are searching for honesty. As I grow older and lose more of my naivety, one thing I have noticed is how little honesty there is among believers. And this is not just in America—it is an epidemic. Honesty has many fronts, not only being honest with others, but being honest with ourselves and God. Lacking HYPOCRISY. I know that honesty is difficult to apprehend for anyone, but this is what God is truly seeking!
5:3 You struck your people, but they paid no attention. You crushed them, but they refused to be corrected. They are determined, with faces set like stone; they have refused to repent. Let us not be unrepentant! Notice this is "His people." We are His people today, and we are no different. Repentance (confessing guilt and turning away) for willful sin or any sin God brings to our awareness is so important!
5:5 So I will go and speak to their leaders. Surely they know the ways of the Lord and understand God's laws." But the leaders, too, as one man, had thrown off God's yoke and broken his chains. So many Christians today put way too much dependence on their leaders to be their ultimate spiritual authority instead of Christ Himself. I hear Christians all the time cop the attitude that they shouldn't question what they are being taught and that we should leave the Bible teachings up to the theologians and pastors. Throughout history, this lie has gotten many, many people off track. Our leaders and theologians are not the ultimate authorities. They are flawed human beings with flawed perceptions and you can see this at work by the very fact that theologians everywhere disagree about all kinds of theological positions. If even they disagree, then why do we consider them the authority? Somebody has to be WRONG!
I am learning that truth must be sought after by individuals who are pursuing God as the buried treasure that He is. We have covered this topic quite extensively in recent months! But this is one lie thrown at me that I detest, and I will continue to seek God out for myself, believing that He will teach me all things by His Spirit when I worship Him in Spirit and in truth and seek Him as buried treasure. I hope you will join me in this wonderful, delightful journey of discovery! It gets more amazing by the day!
5:19 "And when your people ask, ‘Why did the Lord our God do all this to us?' you must reply, ‘You rejected him and gave yourselves to foreign gods in your own land. Now you will serve foreigners in a land that is not your own.' All I could think of is the Church today. We have become so idolatrous and complacent in the things that really matter! You will see a theme in Isaiah of two things that are of paramount importance to God—single-heartedness (putting off idols) and taking care of orphans, widows, and the poor. We very well may soon be serving foreigners in a land that isn't even our own anymore because of our sin and complacence! See 5:28-29 below!
5:22 The waves may toss and roar, but they can never pass the boundaries I set. Another great sovereignty verse! Love it!
5:28-29 They are fat and sleek, and there is no limit to their wicked deeds. They refuse to provide justice to orphans and deny the rights of the poor. Should I not punish them for this?" says the Lord. "Should I not avenge myself against such a nation?" Remember this is His CHOSEN people who are doing this! Not the unbelievers. Do we see any truth in this today? Some churches and individuals are so great at getting involved in the work, but as we've seen in the statistics, most aren't! Remember only 2% of church budgets on average go to overseas missions (including to orphans) and on average less than 5% of church attendees tithe!
1:20 ...and through him God reconciled everything to himself. He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of Christ's blood on the cross. Let this verse sink in today. What does "reconciled everything" in context of this passage mean? What does "made peace with everything in heaven and on earth" mean? In Greek, it says "reconciled all" and "made peace with all." Very profound passage upholding Paul's consistent message and teachings!
1:23 The Good News has been preached all over the world, and I, Paul, have been appointed as God's servant to proclaim it. Do you remember when Jesus said that the Good News would be preached to all the world and then the end would come? Paul said twice in his writings that the Good News HAS ALREADY been preached to all the world! Food for thought...
2:3 In [Jesus] lie hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Remember? Staying connected to the Vine and searching for His wisdom and knowledge will pay off. See also Proverbs 2:1-5. There is nowhere in Scripture that God tells us that we need theologians to study and search out God and His wisdom. He called fishermen and tax collectors, prostitutes and lepers! He exhorted us to study to show ourselves approved as His workmen. His Word is revealed to the childlike by the Spirit! Not to say we can't get misled by our own lack understanding or hasty interpretations, but we can study and learn as much as anyone, especially with today's resources and tools online!
77:19 Your road led through the sea, your pathway through the mighty waters—a pathway no one knew was there! Ahhh, one of my favorite verses as we all encounter the Red Seas of life-those impossible circumstances orchestrated for us in which we need a MIRACLE NOW! The miracle is always hiding but it is there if we call upon our God and Savior!