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Bible Pathways - Aug. 6, 2009

August 6

Read Isaiah 27

Highlights In Today's Reading:

God deals out "tough love" to Israel (27:11) and Judah (30:1-17). It is futile to rely on Egypt: Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help (31:1-3).

The powerful and beautiful Northern Kingdom was undisturbed when Isaiah proclaimed: Woe to the crown of pride (Samaria), to the drunkards of Ephraim (28:1).

Isaiah was courageous and faithful to God as well as honest with the people. He warned them of their self-destruction through self-indulgence and rejection of the Word of God. She was enjoying magnificent luxury with summer and winter homes, and a wealth of gardens, vineyards, fig and olive orchards. Her people dwelt in houses of ivory and annointed themselves with the chief anointments (I Kin. 22:39; Amos 3:15; 4:9; 5:11; 6:4,6). But she also had made herself other gods to worship.

The prophet then turned to the Kingdom of Judah, which he condemned for being like Samaria. Judah had also foolishly made a secret military alliance with Egypt, but Isaiah referred to the alliance with Egypt as a refuge of lies and their covenant with death, prophesying: Ye shall be trodden down by it (Is. 28:17-18).

Today, like Israel and Judah, every unbeliever is trusting in a refuge of lies. The drunkard believes he can take alcohol or leave it alone and will quit before he is ruined. But God warns: Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise (Prov. 20:1). The gambler believes he can stake his money just one more time and be a winner. The fornicator and adulterer believe they will never get caught. And the thief is sure he has chosen a shortcut to riches. ALL are deceived and convinced that they are the exception but they have unknowingly made a covenant with death . . . and . . . agreement with hell (Is. 28:18).

Isaiah foretold of the coming Christ: I lay in Zion . . . a precious Corner Stone, a sure foundation (Is. 28:16). Christ is the sure foundation of our salvation, who alone can deliver us from the deception of Satan.

Christianity begins with individual faith; but from that moment on, every Christian is a part of a larger fellowship called the Church. Christ is the head and ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular (I Cor. 12:26-28). Through Him every part of the body is closely united.

The Holy Spirit directs believers to place their undivided loyalty in Christ: Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God (I Cor. 10:31).

Thought for Today:

They that trust in the Lord shall be as Mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but abideth forever (Ps. 125:1).

Christ Revealed:

As the precious (Chief) Corner Stone, a sure foundation (Is. 28:16; Eph. 2:20-21; Matt. 21:42; Acts 4:10-12; Rom. 9:33; I Pet. 2:6-8).

Word Studies:

27:1 piercing = swift; 28:21 strange = awesome, unusual; 28:22 bands be made strong = punishment be made greater; 30:1 cover with a covering = give an offering; 30:3 confusion = humiliation, your undoing; 30:24 ear = blow.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for English International Shortwave Broadcast sponsored by Iva Jo Swinburg • Staff: Jennifer Cunningham • Government Officials: Rep. Parker Griffith (LA) and Rep. Mike McIntyre (NC) • Country: Vietnam (78.5 million) in Southeast Adia • Major languages: Vietnamese and French • Very strict control of Christians in the North; the South has been more lenient but is getting tighter • 60% Buddhist; 8% Catholic; 1% Protestant; 3% Cao Dai; 2% Hoa-Hao; 3% Islam; 13% Other; 10% None • Prayer Suggestion: Humble yourself, pray, and seek the will of God as you read His Word (II Chr. 7:14).

Optional Reading: James 1

Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 10

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