August 06

Read Isaiah 27 -- 31

In Today's Reading:

Assurance of Israel's deliverance; judgment upon the Northern Kingdom; Jerusalem warned; Israel's hypocritical worship exposed; Israel rebuked for its alliance with Egypt; future destiny of Jerusalem assured.

Verses for Today:

Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim (the 10 tribes), whose glorious beauty is a fading flower. . . . Ephraim, shall be trodden under feet (28:1,3).

The magnificent and beautiful Northern Kingdom of Israel was enjoying great prosperity when the Lord led Isaiah to prophesy that they would be taken into captivity by Assyria.

Isaiah did not attempt to please the people, but boldly warned them that they would soon be destroyed because they had rejected the Word of God and turned to idols. The people of Samaria, the capital of the Northern Kingdom, were enjoying the luxury of the winter house . . . the summer house . . . the houses of ivory. . . . gardens and . . . vineyards. . . . houses of hewn stone. . . . beds of ivory . . . chief ornaments (Amos 3:15; 4:9; 5:11; 6:4,6; see also 1 Kings 22:39).

Samaria's beauty was likened to a fading flower (Isaiah 28:1); but, far more horrifying, the prophet foretold: Ephraim (chief tribe of the Northern Kingdom) shall be trodden under feet (28:3) -- helpless to withstand the fierce and cruel Assyrian army. Isaiah appealed to the people to repent of their sins, return to the Lord, and be obedient to His Word. But, like most worldly-minded people today, they refused to believe it could happen to them.

Isaiah was also led to prophesy against the Southern Kingdom of Judah, which he condemned for following the example of Samaria. Judah added to its sin by making a secret military alliance with Egypt. The prophet proclaimed this as a refuge of lies . . . . your covenant with death . . . your agreement with hell . . . [you] shall be trodden down by it (28:17-18).

Times and circumstances change; but the fact is that every lost sinner is trusting in a refuge of lies and has unknowingly made a covenant with death. The alcoholic believes he can drink or leave it alone and will quit before he is ruined; the gambler believes he can stake his money just one more time and become a winner; and the liar is sure that God does not mean that all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone: which is the second death (Revelation 21:8). Both the fornicator and the adulterer believe they will surely not suffer the consequences of their sins; and the dishonest person and the thief are sure they have chosen shortcuts to success. All these are deceived believing that they are the exception to the truth of the Word of God and are surely too good to be cast into the lake of fire . . . tormented day and night for ever and ever (20:10).

Once again, Isaiah prophesied the coming of Christ: Behold, I lay in Zion . . . a precious Corner Stone, a Sure (reliable) Foundation (Isaiah 28:16).

The Lord is . . . longsuffering . . . not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). Let every one that nameth the Name of Christ depart from iniquity (2 Timothy 2:19).

Christ Revealed:

As a tried Stone, a precious Corner Stone, a sure foundation (Isaiah 28:16). Jesus became the Chief Corner Stone. Jesus Christ Himself being the chief Corner Stone (Eph 2:20-21; see also Matthew 21:42-46; Acts 4:10-12; Romans 9:29-33; 1 Peter 2:6-8).

Word Studies:

27:1 piercing = swift; 28:21 strange = awesome, unusual; 28:22 bands be made strong = punishment be made greater; 30:1 cover with a covering = make an alliance; 30:3 confusion = humiliation, your undoing; 30:24 ear = plow.

Prayer Needs:

Government Official: Rep. Mike McIntyre (NC) · Pray for your pastor · Country: Philippines (79 million) in Southeast Asia · Major languages: Filipino and English · Religious persecution in some areas · 64% Roman Catholic; 11% Protestant; 8% indigenous Catholic; 8% Muslim; 7% cults · Prayer Suggestion: Read the Word of God to build up your faith so that you can pray and ask in faith (Romans 10:17).

Optional Reading: James 1

Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 5:1