Bible Pathways - Aug. 1, 2008
Highlights In Today's Reading:
Isaiah opens revealing his "credentials" — the number of Kings who reigned during the time he prophesied (1:1). Read what the Lord accuses Judah of (1:2-23). Then, see a vision of the coming Kingdom in Chapters 2 & 4, and the defeat of the nation in Chapter 3. Notice the disappearance of all the male leadership (3:1-9). Chapter 4 reveals the future Messiah (vs 2) and His miraculous defenses (4:5).
Isaiah was greatly burdened over the sins of the nation of Judah and appealed to them to hear the Word of the Lord (1:10). They had been chosen to be the Lord's instrument of blessing to all nations, for out of Zion shall go forth the Law, and the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem (2:3). But they rejected His Word and became a land . . . full of idols (2:8). They finally forfeited their privileged calling by becoming a sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the Lord, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger (1:4). Even their "worship" had become an abomination (1:13), and Isaiah foretold their devastating defeat (3:25-26).
There is everything in the character of God, in the ministry of Christ, and in the power of the Holy Spirit to inspire and confirm our confidence in His Word. The will of God is that He will in no wise cast out all who come to Him, regardless of past sins and failures (John 6:37). God is willing to forgive all sinners who will confess and forsake their sins, for the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin (I John 1:7).
The outflow of holy displeasure contained in earlier portions of this chapter should prepare us to expect an everlasting condemnation upon all sinners. But, instead, it is surprisingly followed by the most loving appeal ever presented by the Most High to all of His creation. God in mercy is still saying to sinners: Come now, and let us reason together (Isaiah 1:18).
Abhorrent as sin is to the holy nature of God, it is, nevertheless, a fact that sinners discover that God's loving arms are extended to forgive, to restore, and to comfort all who will come now. Let us daily meditate and pray the prayer that the Lord taught us: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy Name, Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts; as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For Thine is the Kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever (Matthew 6:9-13). Jesus Christ will return to rule as King of kings, but He expects to be "Lord" of our lives now.
Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God (II Corinthians 7:1).
Thought for Today:
Set aside a special time today to give God thanks for being so merciful and gracious to you.
As the One who will judge the nations (Isaiah 2:2-4). The Lord Jesus Christ . . . shall judge the quick and the dead at His appearing (II Timothy 4:1).
1:13 vain oblations =b> sacrifices offered by hypocrites; 2:12 day of the Lord =b> the coming judgment upon the unfaithful as well as the time of rejoicing for the faithful; 3:18 cauls, and their round tires =b> headbands bejeweled with sun and moon ornaments; 3:22 crisping pins =b> money bags or purses; 3:24 stomacher =b> rich robe; 4:4 blood of Jerusalem =b> Jerusalem was guilty of killing innocent prophets.
Pray for our Military worldwide • Arabic International Shortwave Radio Broadcasts for the month of August sponsored by Mary Hoffmeyer • Staff: Dr. John A. Hash • Government Officials: Rep. Rick Boucher (VA) and Rep. Sue Myrick (NC) • Country: Bahamas (284,000) in the northern portion of the West Indies • Major languages: English and some Creole • Religious freedom • 72% Protestant; 26% Roman Catholic; 1% Afro-American spiritist • Prayer Suggestion: Remember that nothing is too hard for the Lord (Gen. 18:14).
Optional Reading: Hebrews 9
NOTE: Bible Pathway covers the Old Testament with devotional and commentary insights over a nine-month period, January through September. Each day during these months, an optional reading of one chapter a day from the New Testament will also be listed. The October, November, and December issues will provide a daily commentary on the New Testament readings. Thus, the reader goes through the New Testament twice each year using the Bible Pathway plan.
Memory Verse for the Week: 2 Corinthians 4:11