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Bible Pathways - Aug. 3, 2009

August 3

Read Isaiah 10

Highlights In Today's Reading:

God allows evil kings to punish Israel, but He also punishes evil kings for harming Israel (chap. 10). A prophetic picture of Christ returning in glory (chap. 11), The Holy One of Israel (12:6), our salvation (12:2).

When Israel allied with Syria to invade Judah (7:1-7), Isaiah foretold that Israel would be defeated by Assyria (7:8). It was a time of great distress (8:22). The Israelites did not deny the existence of their God, but the majority had turned from the Lord and His Word and were worshiping false gods. The Lord alone provides the solutions to all life's problems.

Isaiah looked beyond the Assyrian defeat to the time when Babylon would dominate the world. Then he foretold 180 years in advance that Babylon, the glory of (all) kingdoms . . . shall never be inhabited (13:19-20). In striking contrast, he foretold that Judah would also be defeated but, it shall return, even the remnant of Jacob, unto the Mighty God (10:21).

Isaiah was called to comfort a very small remant (1:9) who were faithful. They had lost everything — their homes and loved ones who became slaves and were taken 800 miles into a foreign country. Only in a small way can I feel their sorrow.

My darling wife and I were married 64 years when the Lord called Letha home. My apartment seems so empty. Although it will soon be three years, I still often turn to the chair where she sat to make a comment, but it's empty. Often I have thought she called me for breakfast and expected her to be in the kitchen when I walked in, but no one was there. Then one day the Lord assured me that all things work together for good (Rom. 8:28) and My grace is sufficient for thee (II Cor. 12:9). But most comforting are the words of Jesus: Let not your heart be troubled (John 14:27), I go to prepare a place for you (14:2), and I am taking good care of Letha until you get here.

Isaiah's prophecy of the Messiah has no reference to physical benefits. When a husband or wife has been taken, material things provide no comfort. At times a sense of desolation will sweep over me. The dark reality is that my loved one is no longer there to love and be loved — someone to care for, to talk things over with; someone to share life's joys as well as its sorrows. Unless you have lost a life's companion, you can not realize the intensity of loneliness and sorrow that the Israelites experienced.

Isaiah's supreme concern was spiritual as this glorious song of rejoicing reveals: Sing (praises) unto the Lord; for He hath done excellent things. . . . Cry out and shout (joyfully) . . . for great is the Holy One of Israel (Is. 12:5-6).

Thought for Today:

I love them that love Me; and those that seek Me early shall find Me (Prov. 8:17).

Christ Revealed:

As the Descendant of Jesse, King David's father (Is. 11:1; compare Luke 3:31-32). Isaiah 11 reveals Christ's coming earthly rule of righteousness. One day soon Jesus will return to earth in all the fullness of His glory and accompanied by His angels. Then He will set up the millennial Kingdom of His creation; this will be the beginning of His rightful eternal rule over His creation (Matt. 25:31-46; also Rev. 20-22).

Word Studies:

10:1 grievousness = oppression, injustice; 10:12 high = proud; 10:20 stay = rely; 10:22 consumption = destruction; 10:33 lop = cut off; 14:16 narrowly look upon = gaze at.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for English International Shortwave Broadcasts sponsored by Julia S. Rhodes • Staff: Dr. John A. Hash • Government Officials: Sen. Roland Burris (IL) and Rep. Christopher Murphy (CT) • Country: Vanuatu (189,000) a group of 12 large islands southwest of the Solomon Islands in the southwestern Pacific • Major languages: English and French • Religious freedom • 78% Protestant; 17% Roman Catholic • Prayer Suggestion: Seek God in prayer continually and depend on His strength (I Chr. 16:11).

Optional Reading: Hebrews 11

Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 10:22

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