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Bible Pathways 08/13/2002

August 13

Read Isaiah 64 -- 66

In Today's Reading:

Isaiah's prayer for God's presence; the necessity to repent of sin; hypocrisy punished; New Jerusalem; promises of new heavens and new earth; judgment upon sinners.

Verses for Today:

Oh that Thou wouldest rend the heavens, that Thou wouldest come down, that the mountains might flow down at Thy presence. . . . Since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God beside Thee, what He hath prepared for him that waiteth for Him (64:1,4).

Most of the Northern Kingdom of Israel was defeated and carried away captive by the Assyrians during the reign of King Pekah (Isaiah 7:1; 2 Kings 15:27-29). About 12 years later, the capital city of Samaria was defeated and the rest of the Kingdom was taken captive and carried off into various parts of the Assyrian Empire. Several years later, in the Southern Kingdom of Judah, godly King Hezekiah was undoubtedly greatly encouraged by the prophet Isaiah, who fervently petitioned God to remove the mountains as a way of making Himself known to the enemies of his people (Isaiah 64:1-2).

The Word of God, as proclaimed by Isaiah, had been ignored, and God spoke through him these pitiful words: I have spread out My hands all the day [to] a rebellious people, [who walk] in a way that was not good, after their own thoughts (65:2). The Lord continued: When I called, none [answered]; when I [spoke], they did not hear: but they did evil before [My] eyes, and chose that in which I delighted not (66:4).

Isaiah confessed: There is none that [calls] upon [Your] Name, that [stirs] up himself to take hold of [You]: (consequently) [You have] hid [Your] face from us . . . because of our iniquities (64:7).

Like the Israelites, some of our mountains are the result of selfish interests and ambitions that come between us and our relationship with God. However, the Lord God will provide strength to overcome every mountain as we continue to read His Word.

God loves to have mercy on those who will confess and forsake their sins and trust in Christ as their only hope of eternal life (Hebrews 4:16).

We should cry out to God our desire to make His will the priority in our lives. Fill your heart with the Word of God. You will build your faith since Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God (Romans 10:17). You will defeat the enemy as you take . . . the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God (Ephesians 6:17). And you will live a better Christian life: Thy Word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against Thee (Psalms 119:11).

Isaiah is also saying to us: Hear the Word of the Lord, [you] that tremble at His Word . . . Let the Lord be glorified. . . . Behold, I will extend peace . . . like a (never-ending) river (Isaiah 66:5).

The Apostle Paul quoted from Isaiah 64:4 to encourage the Corinthian Church: Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him (1 Corinthians 2:9).

Christ Revealed:

As the Creator of new heavens and a new earth (Isaiah 65:17; 66:22; compare John 1:1-3; 2 Peter 3:13). As the One whose glory will be declared among the nations (Isaiah 66:18-19; Revelation 5:12-13).

Word Studies:

64:3 terrible = awesome; 64:11 are laid waste = have been destroyed; 65:14 howl for vexation of spirit = cry out in misery; 66:6 voice = sound.

Prayer Needs:

Government Officials: Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart (FL) and Rep. Peter Visclosky (IN) · Pray for your pastor · Country: Rwanda (8 million) in central Africa · Major languages: Kinyarwanda and French · Religious freedom · 40% Roman Catholic; 21% Protestant; 14% belief in false gods, ancestor worship, and spirit-possession cults; 9% Muslim · Prayer Suggestion: Pray that the Lord will enable you to comfort and encourage others (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).

Optional Reading: 1 Peter 3

Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 5:9

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