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Bible Pathways 08/05/2002

August 05

Read Isaiah 22 -- 26

In Today's Reading:

Prophecy against Jerusalem and Tyre; God's judgment upon the earth; triumphs of the kingdom age.

Verses for Today:

He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of His people shall He take away from off all the earth: for the Lord hath spoken it. And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for Him, and He will save us . . . we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation. . . . Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth in Thee. Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength (25:8-9; 26:3-4).

For centuries, the Israelites had faced many hostile enemies. First they suffered slavery under Pharaoh in Egypt; then in the Promised Land they faced oppression by invading neighboring nations. The fierce Assyrians destroyed the Northern Kingdom and eventually Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians destroyed the Temple and the Holy City. However, the prophet Isaiah foretold the destruction of Babylon by an empire which, at the time, did not even exist. Isaiah foretold, about 150 years before he was born, that Cyrus, leader of Persia, would give the Israelites freedom to return to Jerusalem (Isaiah 44:28).

The day of the Lord (13:9), which is the highlight in today's reading, is about 2700 years closer now than when Isaiah was given this prophecy. The message was first directed to Judah, then to Israel, then to the surrounding Gentile nations, and finally to all the world.

Just as surely as those prophecies were fulfilled in ancient history, the one about the Messiah will be fully and gloriously realized. Soon, Jesus will return as Christ the King -- the Mighty God . . . the Prince of Peace (9:6) and He will give eternal freedom to both Jews and Gentiles who have received Him as Lord of their lives. It is no longer necessary to live in slavery to Satan and our fleshly passions. The weakest Christian can withstand all the powers of Satan because we are not left alone. Jesus has imparted His indwelling Holy Spirit and has assured every believer that greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world (1 John 4:4), and that we are more than conquerors through Him [Who] loved us (Romans 8:37; compare 6:1-2). All can be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that [you] may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil (Ephesians 6:10-11).

The powerful enemies that seek to control the body, soul, and spirit of Christians are represented by the three sins which Satan used to tempt Jesus in the wilderness: The lust of the flesh (sensual gratification), and the lust of the eyes (covetousness), and the pride of life (the independent human nature), is not of the Father, but is of the world (1 John 2:16).

So, let us place our faith in God and His Word, and let not sin therefore reign in (have control of) your mortal body, that ye should obey (yield to) it in the lusts (sinful passions) thereof. . . . But yield yourselves unto God . . . as instruments of righteousness (Romans 6:12-13).

Christ Portrayed:

By Eliakim, master of Hezekiah's household (Isaiah 22:20-22); what was said of him is true of Christ Who is also Master over the household of faith. But Christ as a Son over His own house; Whose house are we (Hebrews 3:6). It is Christ Who opens, and no man [shall shut, Who shuts], and no man [ shall open] (Revelation 3:7).

Word Studies:

22:2 stirs = full of shoutings; 23:13 raised up = overthrew; 24:7 mourneth = dries up; 24:15 fires = dawning light; 24:19 clean dissolved = split open; 24:23 ancients = elders; 26:7 weigh = make smooth and straight.

Prayer Needs:

Government Official: Rep. Michael Doyle (PA) · Pray for the President · Country: Peru (27 million) on the western coast of South America · Major languages: Spanish and Quechua · Open to evangelism and Bible distribution · 89% Roman Catholic; 4% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Depend upon the Holy Spirit to help you in your prayers (Romans 8:26-27).

Optional Reading: Hebrews 13

Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 5:1

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