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Bible Pathways - Aug. 5, 2009

August 5

Read Isaiah 22

Highlights In Today's Reading:

Isaiah weeps as God judges unrepentant Jerusalem, which uncaringly eats and drinks, then is destroyed (22:1-14). Wicked leaders deposed (22:15-25). Judgment and salvation promised (chap. 25). Our only deliverance from sin and its consequences (26:4).

The highlight in today's reading is the soon-coming Day of the Lord (13:6,9). The message was first for Judah, then Israel, then the surrounding Gentile nations, and finally for the world. Every knee shall bow (Rom. 14:11). It shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for Him. . . . O Lord our God, other lords beside Thee have had dominion over us: but by Thee only will we make mention of Thy Name (Is. 25:9; 26:13).

The Israelites were dominated by many other lords (26:13). For centuries they had many oppressors — first suffering slavery under the Egyptians, then oppression by neighboring Canaanite nations, the Philistines, the fierce Assyrians, and this time the Babylonians.

The prophet Isaiah foretold the destruction of Babylon by a kingdom that didn't yet exist. It would be led by Cyrus who would not be born for about 150 years. Cyrus would set the people of God free — proclaiming liberty to all. How impossible it all seemed then. Today we have the utmost assurance that Christ — The mighty God . . . The Prince of Peace (9:6) — has set us free, not to commit sin but from sinning, for we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us (Rom. 8:37).

Israel's history illustrates the experience of every true believer. We have had powerful enemies that once controlled us. The other lords are represented by tradition, religion, and social customs, as well as the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life (I John 2:16). These enemies of the Spirit seek to discourage, defeat, and destroy our freedom in Christ. But they are dead, they shall not live; they are deceased, they shall not rise (Is. 26:14).

When by faith we obey the Word of God, He will keep him (us) in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee (Him) (26:3). Perfect peace literally means peace at all times, under all circumstances. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof (Rom. 6:12). The Lord has ordained peace for all believers now (John 14:7). Praise His wonderful Name!

The Lord, working in us, has freed us from sin to experience the peace of God, which passeth all understanding (Phil. 4:7).

Thought for Today:

The Lord will give strength unto His people; the Lord will bless His people with peace (Ps. 28:11).

Christ Portrayed:

By Eliakim, master of Hezekiah's household (Is. 22:20-22); what was said of him is true of Christ who is Master over the household of faith. Christ . . . a Son over His own house; whose house are we (Heb. 3:6; Gal. 6:10).

Word Studies:

22:1 valley of vision = Jerusalem; 22:2 stirs = shoutings; 23:13 raised up = destroyed; 24:7 mourneth = laments, sorrow; 24:15 fires = dawning light; 24:19 clean dissolved = split open; 24:23 ancients = elders; 26:7 weigh = make straight, the right way.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for International Shortwave Broadcasts in Africa, Europe, and the Middle East sponsored by Rosemarie Zuranski • Staff: Beth Carlton • Government Officials: Rep. Michael Doyle (PA) and Rep. Charlie Melancon (LA) • Country: Venezuela (23 million) on the northern coast of South America • Major languages: Spanish and Indian dialects • Religious freedom • 95% Roman Catholic; 1% Protestant; 1% Indian pagan religions • Prayer Suggestion: Pray and praise God for His faithfulness and mercy in keeping all His promises (II Chr. 6:14-15).

Optional Reading: Hebrews 13

Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 10:22

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