Read Isaiah 15
Highlights In Today's Reading:
God warns: "You'll be sorry if you mess with My children" (Gen. 12:3)! Learn from His judgments against Moab in Isaiah 15 — 16; Damascus (Syria) (chap. 17); Ethiopia (chap. 18); Egypt (chap. 19 — 20); Babylon, Edom, Arabia (chap. 21). God sifts our lives to remove the chaff and draw us closer to Him (21:10).
Turning his thoughts from the glorious, future reign of the King of Peace, Isaiah proclaimed numerous burdens. Moab is laid waste (15:1). Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city (possibly the oldest city in the world and once powerful; but now of no importance), and it shall be a ruinous heap (17:1). The burden of the desert of the sea (Babylon) . . . all the sighing thereof have I made to cease (21:1-2).
Babylon was the great destroyer that carried the Jewish people into captivity. But the Lord declared: Behold, I will stir up the Medes against them (13:17).
What a surprising prophecy, for the Medes were a small, insignificant people at that time! Perhaps just as surprising was the prophecy that Judah would experience national distress and a sense of total helplessness. All worldly possessions would be left behind, which points out how insecure they are. The wealthy hurriedly pick up their life's treasures to escape to the border districts only to lose them there.
Judah lost everything: its Temple where the presence of God dwelt and Jerusalem — the only city on earth in which God had chosen to dwell. These tragedies were the result of the Israelites' hearts turning to idols and ignoring the Word of the Living God.
Nothing hides the will of God from view so deceptively as personal success, prolonged peace, and financial security. Solomon wisely said: There is a sore evil which I have seen under the sun, namely, riches kept for the owners thereof to their hurt (Ecc. 5:13).Financial security often breeds self-sufficiency and failure to invest in eternal treasures.
Our Lord never encouraged accumulating material possessions. In fact, He said: Beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth (Luke 12:15). Sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor . . . and come, take up the cross, and follow Me (Mark 10:21).
Those with spiritual insight invest in eternal values — transforming lives by providing the less fortunate with Bibles and spiritual helps. Although they give their earthly wealth, they gain eternal treasures and become rich in faith (James 2:5)
Thought for Today:
The blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich, and He addeth no sorrow with it (Prov. 10:22).
As the One who will sit on the throne of David (Is. 16:5). the angel Gabriel told the virgin Mary that the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David (Luke 1:32-33). Christ also is revealed as the Saviour (Is. 19:20; compare Matt. 1:21; Luke 2:11).
16:3 bewray = betray; 16:11 my bowels = my inner being, heart; 17:11 a heap = a failure; 19:8 angle = hooks; 21:14 prevented with their bread him that fled = gave food and water to the fugitives.
Pray for English International Shortwave Broadcasts sponsored by Mrs. Rita Giuffrida • Staff: Barbara Bivens • Government Officials: Rep. Robert Andrews (NJ), Rep. Keith Ellison (MN), and Gov. Ted Strickland (OH) • Country: Vatican City (900) in Rome, Italy • Major languages: Italian and Latin • Religious freedom • Approximately 100% Roman Catholic • Prayer Suggestion: Humbly kneel before the Lord in prayer and worship the Lord (II Chr. 6:13).
Optional Reading: Hebrews 12
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 10:22