Isaiah 17 Forgetting God

The people were going to be attacked by the Assyrians who were going through and destroying cities in the distance which the people could see. The people of God had a choice to make if they would trust God or rely on other nations for their salvation. The people of God were also seeking deliverance from other gods that they had incorporated into their worship. Although we may not worship wooden idols, we all tend to go to other gods instead of God Himself. We go to the god of entertainment, the god of making more money, the god of pleasure, the god of alcohol, and the god of drugs. Your god is anything you turn to when life is not going the way you want in order to seek deliverance. Isaiah wanted them to seek God for their deliverance but told them that their ability to ask for deliverance had a time limit. Salvation is offered but it must be received.

Where do your thoughts go when your life takes a turn for the worse? Do you think about God or do you worry about what you are facing? Forgetting God is a serious problem and sometimes it is not the giant problems in life that cause us to forget God it’s the small ones.  Small problems that we think we can fix by our own wisdom and our own abilities are just as easily to draw our attention away from God as the big problems that we have no solutions for.  King Ahaz was doing just that when he was trying to figure out a solution to the problem of the Assyrian army and Isaiah was trying to get him to not trust in other nations, to not pray to other gods and to not trust his own wisdom. Today we will look at what happens and what we can do when we forget God.

Isaiah 17:1-6 An oracle concerning Damascus. Behold, Damascus will cease to be a city and will become a heap of ruins. The cities of Aroer are deserted; they will be for flocks, which will lie down, and none will make them afraid. The fortress will disappear from Ephraim, and the kingdom from Damascus; and the remnant of Syria will be like the glory of the children of Israel, declares the Lord of hosts. And in that day the glory of Jacob will be brought low, and the fat of his flesh will grow lean. And it shall be as when the reaper gathers standing grain and his arm harvests the ears, and as when one gleans the ears of grain in the Valley of Rephaim. Gleanings will be left in it, as when an olive tree is beaten—two or three berries in the top of the highest bough, four or five on the branches of a fruit tree, declares the Lord God of Israel.

1)When you forget God, you put your hope in other things.

“In that day” is an announcement of judgment. God is announcing His judgement on Damascus and Ephraim which were the Northern cities of Israel. Damascus was a key city along major trade routes that flourished because of the money that flowed through it and God is saying that it will be turned into a heap pile. The King of Syria was trying to get Israel and Judah to join a coalition to fight against the Assyrians and the king of Judah, King Ahaz, was fighting the temptation to do what man wanted instead of what God wanted. God spoke to Ahaz through Isaiah earlier in Isaiah 7:4.

Isaiah 7:4 And say to him, ‘Be careful, be quiet, do not fear, and do not let your heart be faint because of these two smoldering stumps of firebrands, at the fierce anger of Rezin and Syria and the son of Remaliah.

The advice to King Ahaz from Isaiah is important for us to not forget God. Trusting God to save us in all our situations is not easy and will go against the wisdom of the world.  

  • When you forget God, you begin to fear and 2 Timothy 1:7 says that God did not give us the Spirit of Fear.
  • When you forget God, you begin to become noisy and start talking about things that may never happen. Psalm 46:10 says be still and know that I am God
  • When you forget God, you are not careful and make mistakes.  When people panic they make their situation worse.
  • When you forget God, you give up. “Their hearts become faint” meaning they were losing hope to continue.  Philippians 3:13-15 tells us to press on through difficulty.

In vs 1-3 Isaiah tells what is going to happen Damascus, Ephraim and Syria. These nations and all their glory are going to disappear. In vs 4-6 God also tells them that the amount of people that will be left will be like after harvesting olive trees where they would pick as many as they could, shake the tree to get as many as they could, and then there would be just a few left. (The Picture is very depressing that Isaiah is painting) There will be  hardly any people left and he says that sheep, which are easily frightened, will not have anyone around to startle them. Isaiah goes on to describe them as the people who were fat but will now be malnourished because of famine.

We cannot forget God and put our hope in our government or our financial resources. If you do not think your hope is in your government (Military) then what is your reaction when your party is not getting elected or getting the things you think should be passed? We should be involved in our political process, but my hope is not in a president or a senator or a congress person. Isaiah calls God “The Yahweh of Host” The Yahweh of Host is a phrase meaning everything is under God’s control and that is where we should place all our hope.

Isaiah 2:22 Stop regarding man in whose nostrils is breath, for of what account is he?

God created oxygen He wins. Too many times we turn to people and their wisdom and their ideas instead of turning to God. Before you seek the counsel of men seek God. Seeking counsel is good but go to God and His word first.

Isaiah 17:7- 8 In that day man will look to his Maker, and his eyes will look on the Holy One of Israel. He will not look to the altars, the work of his hands, and he will not look on what his own fingers have made, either the Asherim or the altars of incense.

2)Even though forgotten, God will be remembered

“In that day man will look to his Maker”

The tragedy will force the few people left to really reflect on where they placed their hope and cause them to turn back to God. Where we spend our time, our money and our focus all get reevaluated when you face a tragedy. Tragedies tend to put our eyes back on what is important and that is what the few people that are left will do. All the gods they worshipped, all the material wealth they gained and even their own abilities will be disregarded to focus on God.

Hebrews 12:1-2  Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

This is what the people who were left did they put their focus where it belonged. When we forget God, our focus gets placed on other things. Things are not always bad but when they become our focus, we lose sight of God.

Isaiah 17:10-11 For you have forgotten the God of your salvation and have not remembered the Rock of your refuge; therefore, though you plant pleasant plants and sow the vine-branch of a stranger, 11 though you make them grow[a] on the day that you plant them, and make them blossom in the morning that you sow, yet the harvest will flee away[  in a day of grief and incurable pain.

3)Forgetting God is personal to Him

“You” in this verse is feminine which consistently demonstrates the relationship that God has with His children as a Husband to His Bride.  We are referred to as the Bride of Christ in Revelation 19 and in Ephesians 5 Paul talks about the church and compares it to Husbands and Wives.  In Revelation 2 he calls out the church for forsaking their first love and In John 14 Jesus compares His return to a wedding ceremony. We tend to impersonalize God and make it as though our sins do not grieve Him but God tells us that is exactly what our sins do to Him.

Ephesians 4:30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

“All sin is painful to God, but sin in His children breaks His heart. When His children refuse to change the ways of the old life for the ways of the new, God grieves. The Holy Spirit of God weeps, as it were, when he sees Christians lying instead of speaking the truth, becoming un-righteously rather than righteously angry, stealing instead of sharing, and speaking corrupt instead of uplifting and gracious words. Whatever violates the will of God and the holiness of the heart will grieve the third Person of the Trinity.” (John Macarthur, Ephesians, Pg 189)

How do we grieve God? “Pleasant plants” is accepting things that look pleasant to the eye but are forbidden by God and “The Branches of a Stranger” are plants that were imported from foreign countries. The picture Isaiah is painting is that they believed a lie that these things could bring fulfillment, but these were the things that they turned to instead of turning to God.

Genesis 3:6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise,[b] she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.

The reason that the Bible warns us to not be lured by the things of the world is because they look good but, in the end, they lead to destruction. The prophet says although you do all you can to protect these plants and to make sure they do not destroy you they cause grief and pain. The picture was a garden that they planted and protected but the fruit it produced was only pain and grief. The Lifestyles we choose will produce fruit and although it may look good on the outside eventually, they will be shown for what they are. Anyone who has suffered with an addiction or has seen a loved one suffer with an addiction understands how the lure of the world can cause you to be in great pain and grief. What seems to be no big deal and not harmful is a vineyard we are growing that will produce pain and grief.

Galatians 6:7-8 Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.

“For you have forgotten the God of your salvation” God wants us to cling to Him and come to Him when the waves of life come crashing around us. When we forget God, we try and cling to everything and anything but those things cannot save us.

Psalm 71:3 Be to me a rock of refuge, to which I may continually come; you have given the command to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress.

Matthew 7:24-27 “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. 26 And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”

God is our Rock and so is His word but what are you building your life on? We tend to build our lives on sand, but those things will not stand up when the storms of life come. We must learn to trust in God and build our lives on Him and His word because it is the only thing that will stand.

Isaiah 17:12-14 Ah, the thunder of many peoples; they thunder like the thundering of the sea!
Ah, the roar of nations; they roar like the roaring of mighty waters! 13 The nations roar like the roaring of many waters, but he will rebuke them, and they will flee far away, chased like chaff on the mountains before the wind and whirling dust before the storm. 14 At evening time, behold, terror! Before morning, they are no more! This is the portion of those who loot us, and the lot of those who plunder us.

4)   Forgetting God places our focus on the problem

Thunder is not meteorological it is the noise that the army is going to make as a bunch of people will approach them so loudly it strikes fear into them. It will be like the roar of a mighty ocean which is so loud you cannot hear one another. But no matter what the noise is or the circumstance are we are called to keep our focus on God.

Isaiah 41:10 fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

“I will rebuke them and they will flee far away” “Before morning they were no more” Have you ever worried about something that never came to pass? God does not sleep and yet at evening, when people were sleeping, God was acting.  Isaiah says they will blow away like dust in the wind.  We are going to jump ahead and see the end of the story because I think it shows us how worthless our focusing on problems is when we have God.

Isaiah 37:36-37 And the angel of the Lord went out and struck down 185,000 in the camp of the Assyrians. And when people arose early in the morning, behold, these were all dead bodies. 37 Then Sennacherib king of Assyria departed and returned home and lived at Nineveh.

The people woke up or got up and went out and saw 185,000 soldiers’ dead. How different would their day have gone when they heard the loud army like thunder or a roaring ocean if they could see what God sees? The pleading of the prophet Isaiah was so that people did not have to learn the hard way that if they just remember God then they would be at peace.  Whatever you are facing in this world God is telling you to focus on Him because worrying will not help the situation and you can trust that He sees and He is acting.

Posted in Isaiah, Old Testament | Leave a comment

Isaiah 15 and 16 The Way of Deliverance


God now gives a vision to Isaiah about Moab and the impending destruction they will face. The Moabites were descendants of Lot (Gen 19:37) and even though they were not enemies the Moabites and Israel were hostile toward each other.  The Moabites will need to be delivered from destruction and Isaiah not only sees what they are going to face but he tells them how they can seek deliverance. The main theme in chapters fifteen and sixteen is that deliverance is found in God and God alone.  The deliverance that the Moabites needed many in our world need as well and so as we study the Moabites we will see how we and the world we live in falls into the same traps as they did as they seek other gods to deliver them instead of seeking God.

Isaiah 15:1-9 An oracle concerning Moab. Because Ar of Moab is laid waste in a night, Moab is undone; because Kir of Moab is laid waste in a night,  Moab is undone. He has gone up to the temple,[a] and to Dibon, to the high places[b] to weep; over Nebo and over Medeba Moab wails.
On every head is baldness; every beard is shorn; in the streets they wear sackcloth; on the housetops and in the squares everyone wails and melts in tears.Heshbon and Elealeh cry out;
their voice is heard as far as Jahaz; therefore the armed men of Moab cry aloud; his soul trembles.
My heart cries out for Moab; her fugitives flee to Zoar, to Eglath-shelishiyah. For at the ascent of Luhith they go up weeping on the road to Horonaim they raise a cry of destruction;the waters of Nimrim are a desolation; the grass is withered, the vegetation fails, the greenery is no more.
Therefore the abundance they have gained and what they have laid up they carry away over the Brook of the Willows. For a cry has gone around the land of Moab; her wailing reaches to Eglaim; her wailing reaches to Beer-elim.
For the waters of Dibon[c] are full of blood; for I will bring upon Dibon even more, a lion for those of Moab who escape, for the remnant of the land.Footnotes:

They sought Deliverance from other gods

The place they went to find deliverance was to their god Chemosh (Chemosh, was the god of the Moabites Num. 21:29; Jer. 48:7, 13, 46). These were religious people who prayed earnestly for divine intervention but they were praying to gods who do not exist.  Of course this did not lead to them being delivered but only to wailing because the very thing that you think will bring relief does not bring you the relief that it promises. Wailing, having shaved heads and beards, wearing sackcloth and wailing loudly were all signs of great distress and remorse. The entire nation will be crying out and Isaiah said their cries will be so loud that they would reach up to 20 miles away.

Acts 4:11-12 This Jesus[a] is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone.[b] 12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men[c] by which we must be saved.”

They were looking for deliverance from other gods but the true God was letting them know that deliverance would only come through Him. God has made a way for us to be delivered from our sin and guilt but that way is not through any other god or by human works but only through Jesus Christ.

The abundance they have gained will be carried off (7) It is amazing the amount of money, time and energy we put in stuff that one day it will all disappear. The god of stuff is one of the things we all tend to turn to for deliverance whether it be new clothes, a new house, a new car, new technology and for some people even a new spouse. The amount of storage rental facilities we have proves that we have more stuff than we can even keep in our houses.

American Consumerism (Taken from A Practical Guide to Culture, Stonestreet and Kunkle PG. 224-225)

  • The average American home contains 300,000 items.
  • The average American home has tripled in size over the past 50 years
  • On average American women have 30 outfits that was 9 in 1930
  • On average, American family spends $1,700 a year on clothes and disposes of 65 pounds of clothes a year.
  • There are more televisions sets than people in the average American home (go ahead count)
  • America has more shopping malls than High Schools.
  • Americans spend 1.2 Trillion dollars a year on non-essential goods like jewelry, alcohol, candy, recreational vehicles, gambling and more.
  • Americans report more symptoms of depression and anxiety than over the past 50 years
  • Antidepressants have increased 400% in the past two decades.

The God of stuff does not bring deliverance and one day those who put their hope in it will watch it all be carried away.

Matthew 6:19-20 Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust[a] destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.

What gods are you turning to for deliverance besides turning to Jesus Christ?

Isaiah was burdened for their Deliverance

My heart cries out for Moab” Have we become so engrossed in our own world that we have lost compassion for what the rest of the world is going through?  Remember this was not a country that was friendly to Israel but yet Isaiah was still burdened for them because he received a vision from God that showed the destruction they were going to go through. God has told us in His word the destiny of those who do not accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and I wonder if we care about their destiny?

Romans 9:1-5  I am speaking the truth in Christ—I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit— that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers,[a] my kinsmen according to the flesh. They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises. To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ, who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen.

Paul was so burdened about the destiny of others that he wished he could take their place in hell. We cannot ignore the concept of Hell because the Bible is clear anyone who does not place their faith and hope in Jesus Christ will spend eternity away from Him. (Matthew 13:42,50; 25:46; Mark 9:43; 2 Peter 2:4; 2 Thessalonians 1:9; Revelation 20:13-14; 21:8)

“In a Night the cities will fall” Isaiah was shown how quickly this would happen and it would be as if they did not see it coming.  Just like today peoplesuddenly and un-expectantly step into eternity thinking that they had more time on this earth. Devastated, silenced and ruined is how Isaiah describes their fate. The devastation will be so bad that the rivers will be filled with blood and no one will escape because a lion will come and attack anyone who remains in the land.

Ezekiel 18:23 Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked, declares the Lord God, and not rather that he should turn from his way and live?

To not warn someone about what is coming is not loving it is cruel but our society has made it where they do not want to hear the truth and encourages everyone to keep their beliefs to themselves.  We must speak the truth regardless because God has made it clear that deliverance is only found in Jesus Christ and all those who do not place their faith in Him will be cut off from God for all eternity.

Isaiah would warn them about the attack but they would not listen because they thought that their gods would save them.

Isaiah 16:1-14Send the lamb to the ruler of the land, from Sela, by way of the desert, to the mount of the daughter of Zion. Like fleeing birds,  like a scattered nest,so are the daughters of Moabat the fords of the Arnon. “Give counsel; grant justice; make your shade like night  at the height of noon; shelter the outcasts;  do not reveal the fugitive; let the outcasts of Moab sojourn among you; be a shelter to them[a] from the destroyer. When the oppressor is no more, and destruction has ceased, and he who tramples underfoot has vanished from the land, then a throne will be established in steadfast love, and on it will sit in faithfulness in the tent of David one who judges and seeks justice and is swift to do righteousness.”We have heard of the pride of Moab— how proud he is!—of his arrogance, his pride, and his insolence; in his idle boasting he is not right.Therefore let Moab wail for Moab, let everyone wail. Mourn, utterly stricken, for the raisin cakes of Kir-hareseth. For the fields of Heshbon languish, and the vine of Sibmah; the lords of the nations have struck down its branches, which reached to Jazer and strayed to the desert; its shoots spread abroad and passed over the sea.Therefore I weep with the weeping of Jazer for the vine of Sibmah; I drench you with my tears,O Heshbon and Elealeh; for over your summer fruit and your harvest the shout has ceased. 10 And joy and gladness are taken away from the fruitful field, and in the vineyards no songs are sung, no cheers are raised; no treader treads out wine in the presses; I have put an end to the shouting. 11 Therefore my inner parts moan like a lyre for Moab, and my inmost self for Kir-hareseth. 12 And when Moab presents himself, when he wearies himself on the high place, when he comes to his sanctuary to pray, he will not prevail.13 This is the word that the Lord spoke concerning Moab in the past. 14 But now the Lord has spoken, saying, “In three years, like the years of a hired worker, the glory of Moab will be brought into contempt, in spite of all his great multitude, and those who remain will be very few and feeble.”

Isaiah shared the way of deliverance

Sending a lamb was a gift or an act of submission. One day Isaiah promises them that the oppressor will be completely removed

The throne will be established with steadfast love One who seeks Justice and and is swift to do righteousness, (5)

Isaiah now goes back to predicting a king that is above every king , Jesus Christ.  But it is Moab’s pride that keeps them from going the way of salvation (6)  Isaiah reminds them again that their gods cannot save them (12) They did not choose the path to deliverance but put their hope in another nation and did not follow the way of God.  All roads do not lead to God so either Jesus is the way (John 14:6) or He is not the way.

1 Timothy 2:1-7 First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man[a] Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time. For this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.

Who are you praying for to come to know Jesus Christ as their deliverer?  Who are you praying to come to the knowledge of truth? Are we so busy we cannot even pray for those who do not know Jesus ?

Deliverance has a time Limit

“In Three Years” God had set a time when the opportunity for deliverance will no longer be available.They were given 3 years to repent and change and seek the true God by turning from all their false gods.

The Prophet Jeremiah talks about the destruction of the Moabites  in Jeremiah chapter 48

Jeremiah 48:42 Moab shall be destroyed and be no longer a people,  because he magnified himself against the Lord.

People tend to think they have all the time to turn to God and stop living for themselves. The desire to be the god of our own lives is so powerful that even if we know that we should submit to God we think we can do it later.

2 Peter 3:3-4;9-10 They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you,[a] not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies[b] will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed

The Moabites destruction was swift as if they did not see it coming because they believed that what they were doing would bring them deliverance. Their pride destroyed them because it was their pride in their own ways and their own thinking that led them to turn away from God and trust in other things for deliverance.  God’s heart breaks for people who are lost without Him and our hearts should be broken as well.  God has warned people about the future and He has given us the responsibility to share with them about what is going to happen if they do not put their trust in Jesus.  People are seeking deliverance in other things and we need to be heartbroken for them but also have the courage to share with them even if we and our message are rejected because our message is simple because we just have to point them to Jesus.

John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Posted in Isaiah, Jesus, Old Testament, salvation | Leave a comment

Isaiah 14:24-32 Trusting God’s Promises

Isaiah now switches back to a prophecy that would be fulfilled before our lifetime but nonetheless shows us how we can trust God through the difficulties of life. Because whatever God says comes true we can trust His promises because He does not break any oath that He has promised. This is encouraging news for us as we struggle with this life because we know the promises that He has given about salvation and the afterlife are true because all of His promises are true.

Isaiah 14:24-27 The Lord of hosts has sworn: “As I have planned, so shall it be,
and as I have purposed, so shall it stand 25 that I will break the Assyrian in my land, and on my mountains trample him underfoot; and his yoke shall depart from them, and his burden from their shoulder.” 26 This is the purpose that is purposed concerning the whole earth, and this is the hand that is stretched out  over all the nations.27 For the Lord of hosts has purposed, and who will annul it? His hand is stretched out, and who will turn it back?

  1. Trust God’s promises when they go against the worlds wisdom

“The Lord of Host has sworn” Many people in our day will swear promises on either God or their mother’s grave because people are looking for something above their own character. When God makes a promise He just declares it based on who He is because nothing is above God’s own character. God makes promises based on His holiness (Amos 4:2) and because God is Holy we can be assured that His promises will come true.

“As I have planned so shall it be and as I have purposed so shall it stand” The word purpose appears 4 times in this short section showing that God has not only planned but He has a purpose for all that He does.  We struggle with this aspect of God especially when we have the idea that God is to do our bidding because we have faith. Trusting God is to trust His promises and but to also trust that His purposes behind what is taking place and that things are not just random. When you do something that is difficult but you realize there is a purpose for it then it makes the task easier to do. The opposite is also true because when you do not understand that there is a purpose behind what you are going through then you want to give up. The King of Assyria thought that he was the one in charge of his own life and his own plans and in his  pride made plans but God spoke through the prophet Isaiah to let them know that God is the only one who can plan and promise. We make many plans and promises but the reality is none of us have the ability to really promise because there are so many factors out of our control.

James 4:13-16 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— 14 yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. 15 Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” 16 As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.

Does God get a say in the plans you are making? You may think that this is a silly question but the majority of us live our lives as if God does not exist other than to pray on Sunday. We are Christian Atheist because we believe in God but we do not acknowledge Him for our everyday lives. Many times we will seek God but we will ignore Him if it goes against the practical wisdom of the world. The people were going to be attacked by the Assyrians and the wisdom of the world said to trust the Babylonians to help but God was telling them to only put their trust in Him. What do you do when the wisdom of the world contradicts what God wants you to do? That is not an easy question to answer because if we are honest we all tend to rely on our own resources, our own abilities and our own wisdom when we have to make decisions. We also do not want to look foolish to people so we do things the way the world would because then everyone can at least agree on our logic. Would we have built a boat when the world had never seen rain? Would we have marched around a city day after day waiting for God to bring victory? The wisdom of the world can be a huge detriment to following Christ if you are worried about looking foolish.

“As I have planned so shall it be” We tend to put God into our way of thinking because we forget that He is all knowing and He has already seen everything from beginning to end and has determined this is the way it shall go.

Proverbs 19:21 Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.

When you or I make plans there are many things that are out of our control. Many of us have made plans and for unforeseen circumstances or issues we had to cancel or adjust those plans. God, not only plans but His purpose cannot be changed because nothing is more powerful than Him. God will break the power of the Assyrians and we will find out later in Isaiah how He did it but we can trust His promises because we can trust in His power and His plans.

“This is the purpose that is purposed that concerns the whole earth” God has a purpose for every nation on earth. Just because it does not make sense to us does not mean that it does not make sense to God.  Trusting God when life does not make sense is very difficult because God does not act the way we think He should.

Isaiah 55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.

This is a good verse to keep in mind when the things in your life make no sense to you at all. It is the times that life is difficult or confusing that we tend to no longer put our trust in God and move to leaning on the promises of the world. In his book “Down but not out” Wayne Mack says, “In other words, do not let your mind dwell on your difficult circumstances, your weakness or your ignorance. Rather, let it dwell on God’s purposes, Gods power, and Gods Wisdom.” (Pg 73-74)  The Apostle Paul said now I see in part then I will see in full (1 Corinthians 13:12)

“His hand is stretched out and who will turn it back?” God is personally involved with His creation and He did not set the world in motion and then leave to watch things from afar but He is actively apart of His creation. This is important to remember because when life does not go our way or when we see the enemy coming it is natural for us to forget the promises of God and to think that He has abandoned us. We have been taught lies about suffering and pain because we think if God loved us that He would never allow us to walk through pain but it is in pain that we know we become better athletes so why would we not think it is in pain that God uses it to make us more like Christ?

The Assyrian army will eventually be crushed but while you are waiting you have to trust the promises of God.  It is easier to trust in our own wisdom and strength even though both of them are limited instead of trusting in God who has unlimited knowledge and power.  So Learn to trust God even when it goes against the worlds wisdom.

Isaiah 14:28-32  In the year that King Ahaz died came this oracle:29 Rejoice not, O Philistia, all of you, that the rod that struck you is broken, for from the serpent’s root will come forth an adder,
and its fruit will be a flying fiery serpent. 30 And the firstborn of the poor will graze, and the needy lie down in safety; but I will kill your root with famine, and your remnant it will slay. 31 Wail, O gate; cry out, O city;  melt in fear, O Philistia, all of you! For smoke comes out of the north, and there is no straggler in his ranks. 32 What will one answer the messengers of the nation? “The Lord has founded Zion, and in her the afflicted of his people find refuge.”

2) Trust God’s Promises when your world is falling apart

“For smoke comes out of the north and there are no stragglers” Isaiah had a new king to try and convince not to put his hope in the Philistines against Assyria. The philistines wanted Hezekiah to join in their revolt against the Assyrians but Isaiah told them not to be a part of it. The philistines were rejoicing because the Assyrian King died but Isaiah said that the next king was going to be worse and Isaiah said the King that died was like a snake that gave birth to even worse serpents.

The Assyrian army would burn each city down to the ground and leave no survivors and the people would be seeing smoke from each city in the distance that is getting closer and closer to them. When you see the impending doom it is difficult to trust Gods promises but the people of God are not to put their hope in people or governments but in God. The people in Exodus had the same scenario after God got them out of Egypt.

Exodus 14:10-14 When Pharaoh drew near, the people of Israel lifted up their eyes, and behold, the Egyptians were marching after them, and they feared greatly. And the people of Israel cried out to the Lord. 11 They said to Moses, “Is it because there are no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? What have you done to us in bringing us out of Egypt? 12 Is not this what we said to you in Egypt: ‘Leave us alone that we may serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.” 13 And Moses said to the people, “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. 14 The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.”

You have only to be silent which is a polite way of telling them to shut their mouths and look to God. How many times do I complain so much about life instead of looking to see what God is up to? God is not shocked by my situation and He already has a plan but I tend to run my mouth and complain instead of trusting the promises of God and therefore I do not enjoy the moment.

Exodus 14:15-18  The Lord said to Moses, “Why do you cry to me? Tell the people of Israel to go forward. 16 Lift up your staff, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it, that the people of Israel may go through the sea on dry ground. 17 And I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they shall go in after them, and I will get glory over Pharaoh and all his host, his chariots, and his horsemen. 18 And the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I have gotten glory over Pharaoh, his chariots, and his horsemen.”

We want our situations to be in our control but when that happens we get the glory for what takes place but when God makes the impossible possible then He is the one who gets the glory. If we are honest we are control freaks and that is why we do not trust the promises of God.

“The Poor will graze and the needy lie down in safety (30) and the afflicted will find refuge (32)” Our refuge is found in the promises of God no matter what is happening in our world and our needs are met by God no matter how financially bad our situation looks.  Most of us do not have to depend on God for anything here in America because food, clothing, shelter and even health care we have the best of and because of that we can become self-sufficient and not turn to God. We should not be shaken by the events of the world or by any election but to place our faith and trust in Him alone.

“Every generation of leaders is called to acts of faith, to choose a path of utter dependence on God rather than alternatives that initially look more defensible. People are challenged not to do what may seem the most reasonable thing from a human perspective, but do what God instructs them to do. Instead of relying on alliances, money, status and the political influence of others, or any other human support system, they must simply trust in God’s promises to motivate and empower them when things look dark and hopeless.” (The New American Commentary, Isaiah, Gary V. Smith, Pg 326)

Are we willing to do what God wants us to do even when it does not make sense?

Are we willing to do what God wants us to do even when it seems our world is falling apart?

Psalm 62:1-2; 8 For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation.
He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken. For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him. Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us.

Trust in the Lord God is frequently expressed through prayer. But sometimes it is better exhibited through wordlessness before the Lord that, by its quiet absence of anxiety, communicates trust in His sovereign control.” (Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life, Donald Whitney, Pg. 230)

Posted in Fear, Isaiah, Old Testament | Leave a comment

Isaiah 14:12- 23 Cast Down

Today we are going to see not only what happened to the King of Babylon but also to anyone who sets themselves up to be gods of their own lives. Some people do all they can to explain away the universe as being a natural phenomenon to avoid the question about God but the reality is everything you accept about the world we live in and what happens after we die is by faith.  You might know how the world works but to say how we came into being and why things work the way they do and what happens after we die is by faith.

Romans 1:18-19 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them.

People suppress the truth about God because they want to make themselves their own moral authority so they can live as they see fit rather than being told how they should live.  We will see today that it is not only the King of Babylon or even Satan that does these things but many people who suppress the truth of God in order to fulfill and live by their own desires.

Isaiah 14:12 “How you are fallen from heaven, O Day Star, son of Dawn! How you are cut down to the ground, you who laid the nations low!

  1. Cast Down From Heaven

How you have fallen from Heaven. “O Day Star or Shining one”

This is why many believe this is about Satan because of being cast down from Heaven but also because shining one likens him to a heavenly body. The Kings used to think of themselves as gods so to be cast down from the earth implies a loss of power, status and influence. Morning star was more than likely Venus but then it quickly disappears as the Sun appears. Death is a great equalizer because no matter who you are and what your status is on earth there will be a day when your life on earth will end.

Like a star that is shining in the morning so it will quickly fade away when the Sun rises so our lives are here for just a short time and then gone. You would think that since eternity is forever that we would give more thought about the life to come rather than this life but we are constantly consumed with this world which will one day be gone.  Like a tree that has been cut completely down to the ground with no chance of coming back to life the King of Babylon was destroyed. This passage of Scripture is linked with others in the New Testament that talk about Satan.

Luke 10:17-18 The seventy-two returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!” 18 And he said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.

Although we are not clear the entire meaning of this verse we know one thing for sure is that Satan will be defeated. Some believe that Jesus saw the defeat of Satan as the preachers were preaching His word others believe that Jesus was talking about when He was in Heaven and saw Satan cast down to the earth because of his disobedience and others because Jesus is God and all knowing that He already sees the future of Satan.  

When we do ministry we must not forget the spiritual battle but also the final outcome of what Jesus has already seen what would happen. We should also find encouragement in our mission that what is taking place as we fulfill our call of God is that Satan is being defeated.

Revelation 12:7-10 Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back, but he was defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. 10 And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers[b] has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God.

Some believe that Satan is allowed to go into Heaven and accuse the followers of God until the end of time. (See the book of Job) I believe at the end of time that Satan will be thrown out of Heaven and the tribulation will start and then he will eventually be cast into Hell. Those who think they are the ruler of their own destiny will be cast down into the pit as well. All roads do not lead to Heaven it is only through Jesus Christ (John 14:6) and those who do not put their hope and faith in Jesus Christ will be cast down for all eternity. Matthew 23 and 25 are clear that Jesus said people will be cast out that do not come to God through Jesus Christ.

Isaiah 14:13 -14 You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God I will set my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far reaches of the north;[c] 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’

2) Cast Down because of Pride

“You said in your heart” Pride is the indicator that Satan wanted to overthrow God and set himself up to rule. He went from seeing himself as one of the stars as to being one who was over them.  This will also be the description of the Anti- Christ who will set himself up over God.

2 Thessalonians 2:1-4 Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we ask you, brothers,[a] not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness[b] is revealed, the son of destruction,[c] who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God.

The one thing that every human being must deal with as they want to be the ruler and controller of their own actions and beliefs is that they want to be god of their own lives. Does the word of God dictate how you live your life or do you ignore or reword scriptures into your own making? If so that is pride.  When we are shown in scripture what God says and we choose to believe and act differently than we are living as if we are the rulers of our own lives.

The king of Babylon tried to rule the world by taking God’s place and we do the same thing in our own lives when we make our own decisions, live by our own beliefs and focus on our own priorities. Genesis 3:5 the promise from Satan was the “You will be like God” and this temptation is still happening today and Christianity is being twisted so that we are the rulers of our own lives and because of our pride we are buying into this lie.  Satan is a great deceiver and manipulator and we have to be careful to not give into his schemes.

2 Corinthians 11:4, 13-15 For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough.  For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. 15 So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.

Preachers and Teachers are promoting a Christianity that is not Christian because they are promoting a Christianity that is about God meeting our needs, our wants, and our desires. They say by faith you can manipulate God to do your bidding instead of dying to self. (Luke 9:23) Pride will be the downfall to many church going people just like it was the downfall for many people in Isaiah’s day who wanted to worship God on their own terms. It was because of pride that the King of Babylon was cast down and many will be cast down because they are not willing to accept the free gift of salvation through Christ.

Isaiah 14:15-19 But you are brought down to Sheol, to the far reaches of the pit.16 Those who see you will stare at you and ponder over you: ‘Is this the man who made the earth tremble, who shook kingdoms,17 who made the world like a desert and overthrew its cities, who did not let his prisoners go home?’18 All the kings of the nations lie in glory, each in his own tomb;[d] 19 but you are cast out, away from your grave,  like a loathed branch, clothed with the slain, those pierced by the sword, who go down to the stones of the pit, like a dead body trampled underfoot.

3) Cast Down into the Deepest parts of Hell

“Nevertheless to Sheol you will be brought down.”As if being cast in Hell was not enough the promise is that it will be in the deepest parts of Hell the furthest distance from Heaven. He will be powerless in Hell. The one who made the nations shake is now no longer to exert any power over anyone. If there is one misunderstanding of Satan it is that he is the ruler of Hell. Other religions always have a ruler over the dark regions but Christianity does not teach any such concept.  They will stare and ponder the fate of the King of Babylon who was the one who would not allow prisoners to go home is now the one imprisoned. The King of Babylon will not even get a proper burial because even his family will be disgusted by his actions. Leaving people unburied was a way to disgrace them (Jeremiah 22:19; 36:30) The one who was feared in life will be nothing when he is cast down into the pit.

“A loathed branch” Jesus was the honored branch in Isaiah 11:1 and now the King of Babylon is the opposite of everything that Jesus is. We must remember at the end of time it will be the Anti- Christ not Anti-God because people will say God but they will struggle with the name Jesus.

Isaiah 14:20-23 You will not be joined with them in burial, because you have destroyed your land, you have slain your people. “May the offspring of evildoers nevermore be named! 21 Prepare slaughter for his sons because of the guilt of their fathers, lest they rise and possess the earth, and fill the face of the world with cities.”22 “I will rise up against them,” declares the Lord of hosts, “and will cut off from Babylon name and remnant, descendants and posterity,” declares the Lord. 23 “And I will make it a possession of the hedgehog,[e] and pools of water, and I will sweep it with the broom of destruction,” declares the Lord of hosts.

4) Cast Down and remembered no more

“May the offspring of evildoers be remembered no more”With all the King of Babylon did to make his name great it will be wiped out and remembered no more. To wipe out the name of a King all of the Kings Children and family would be wiped out as well so that there could never be a time where they make a claim that they deserve the throne. The promise for those who follow Satan (knowingly or not) is that they will be wiped out as well because we either are children of God or Children of Satan.

John 8: 42-44 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here. I came not of my own accord, but he sent me. 43 Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word. 44 You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

In 689 BC. the city of Babylon was destroyed, burned and then flooded fulfilling this prophecy but now we wait for Satan to be totally wiped out. The followers of Satan will not even be remembered (never more be named)  Names are important and names have meaning and our part of our identity.  The Bible Recognizes names and there is a place where names are really important and that is the book of Life.

Revelation 20:11-15 Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. 12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. 13 And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. 14 Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. 15 And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

Notice the only ones who have to give account for their works are those who did not accept Jesus Christ.We are alive in Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:22; Ephesians 2:5; 1 Peter 3:18) and we will only be judged if we accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and our names are in the book of Life.

Pride will keep you out of Heaven just like it did the King of Babylon. Not everyone will go to Heaven but many will be cast down because they did not accept the free gift of salvation from Jesus Christ. This is the opposite of what the world says but we cannot ignore what the Bible teaches to make Christianity more popular. We either stand before God for all that we have done or we stand before God because we trusted in what Christ has done.

Posted in Heaven, Hell, Isaiah, Old Testament, salvation, Satan | Leave a comment

saiah 14:9-11 A Peak Behind the Curtain


The King of Babylon is just like the city of Babylon that represented an actual city but also a belief system.  The King of Babylon was an evil dictator but these verses also show the works of Satan as well. Today we will see the outcome of the King of Babylon and what is really important in life because everyone has to answer the question as to what happens after we die. There are many thoughts and opinions but it is something we cannot get wrong because eternity is on the line.

Isaiah 14:9-11 Sheol beneath is stirred up to meet you when you come; it rouses the shades to greet you, all who were leaders of the earth; it raises from their thrones all who were kings of the nations. 10 All of them will answer and say to you: ‘You too have become as weak as we! You have become like us!’ 11 Your pomp is brought down to Sheol, the sound of your harps; maggots are laid as a bed beneath you, and worms are your covers.

  1. Death is an equalizer

Sheol is a Hebrew term that refers to life after death meaning a place below or a realm where the departed gather.(Genesis 15:15;49:33; Ezekiel 26:20; Job 26:5-6) The New Testament was written in Greek and the term is called Hades which has the same meaning as Sheol.  The King of Babylon was a ruthless ruler who invaded and took whatever he wanted and built his power and wealth and although he was not a man who was to be crossed he still met the same fate that all humans face and that is death.

 “In his dying words, the French infidel Voltaire said to his doctor, “I will give you half of what I am worth if you will give me six-months life.” So desperate where his cries when his time was gone that the nurse who attended him said, “For all the wealth in Europe I would not see another infidel die.”

An infidel is someone who does not believe in a religion other than themselves and the nurse said all the money in the world would not be enough to stand by the side of a person without Christ and watch them die. We might put people up on pedal stools or they may be powerful in this life but the reality is death does not care how much money you make or how famous you are.

2) Death does not always mean Rest In Peace

If you attend a funeral or see condolences on social media you will see people say Rest in Peace of rest easy because many believe that once we die that all the pain and suffering is over. The bible gives us a peak of what the after life is like with this peak behind the curtain we see what God has to say about the eternal future of individuals who die.

Sheol beneath is Stirred up

It is important that Isaiah says that Sheol beneath is stirred up because Hebrew Rabbi’s taught that Sheol had two compartments one for the righteous and one for the unrighteous.  When the King of Babylon arrives it causes an unaccustomed disturbance and it’s a picture that the spirits of the great kings of the past that have died before have come to see this soul that was so great earth but they  only find out that the King of Babylon was nothing.  Some of these Kings may have even been killed by this King but humanly no matter how great someone is on this earth they are nothing in the sight of God.

This passage of scripture also shows that the person does not lose their identity which shows the importance of every human being who is created in the image of God because their image will live for eternity.  Some believe Hell to be a cruel invention of God but the Bible is clear that Hell was not created for humanity but for Satan and his rebellious angels.

Matthew 25:41 Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.

People that go to Hell go there by their own choice and because they have suppressed the truth of what they knew about God and decided to live their life as if they were god. (Romans 1) At the end of this life it will not matter how much money and or power you had on this earth because you will be going to the grave and you will live eternally knowing where you are and why you are there.

“You have been made weak like us” No matter what achievements the King of Babylon thinks he made they are worthless where he went. Jesus tells a similar story about a rich and a poor man.

Luke 16:19-31 There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. 20 And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, 21 who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover, even the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s side.[f] The rich man also died and was buried, 23 and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. 24 And he called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.’ 25 But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.’ 27 And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father’s house— 28 for I have five brothers—so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.’ 29 But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ 30 And he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ 31 He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’”

No matter what your position in this life it does not compare to your position in the life to come and once you have exited this life your position in the next is permanent.  With this peak behind the curtain we see that The Rich man was fully conscious, he had memory of his family, he was speaking and was in pain. He also did not complain about where he was because he knew what he was experiencing was fair punishment but he also knew he did not want his brothers to be there with him. The Rich man became interested in telling others about Jesus after death so maybe we should be interested in telling people about Jesus while we are still alive.

In the parable Jesus says  neither will they be convinced if someone rises from the dead was Jesus way of saying His death and resurrection for our sins would be a sign to the world and a sign that everyone must give an answer for. (Matthew 12:39) This is why every religion has something to say about Jesus Christ but what we say and believe about Him matters.

There is a difference between Sheol and Hell and people who die without Christ go to Sheol until the final judgment day to await their punishment at the end of time.

2 Peter 2:9  then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials,[d] and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment

When people died they would go to Sheol either to Torment or Paradise now people only go to Sheol the place of torment. For Christians it is not the same experience as those who died without Christ because Christ died and rose again defeating sin and death those who died in faith are now able to go straight to Heaven to be with Christ. (Philippians 1:21-24) Paradise (Luke 23:43) and Torment  are no longer  side by side as they were before Christ died and provided the way back into the presence of God.

2 Corinthians 5:6-8 So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.

Christians who die before us are in heaven with the Lord because all of their sins have been forgiven.

This is why there is no such thing as purgatory which is a teaching that you are not good enough to go to Heaven right away but must go and have your sins purged.

Hebrews 10:17-18 then he adds, “I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.”18 Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin.

No more offering or sacrifice has to be made in order for you to be declared clean before God. It is not by your works or added works that get you into Heaven but the work of Jesus Christ who died and rose again on our behalf. Hebrews 1:3 says Jesus is the one who made purification for our sins and Hebrews 9:26 Jesus put away sins by Himself. Jesus does not need us to add anything to what He has already done.

Your Pomp has been brought down to Sheol worms are your blankets

All the great parades he had to  display himself as something great mean nothing and now he is laid with the worms like everyone else. The bible teaches that none of your greatest achievements are worth the cost of your soul. (Matthew 16:26) To reiterate that nothing is as important as eternity Jesus gives a dramatic illustration

Mark 9:47-48 And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into hell, 48 ‘where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.

No matter what this world has to offer it does not compare to Heaven but too many times we get focused on this world without regard for the next. If Satan can keep us distracted and busy enough then our thoughts will not be on what is really important and Jesus says that you need to cut those things out of your life even if it cost you physically right now because it will be worth it for eternity. No one knows the day or the hour in which they will leave this earth and many times we think it is down the road but are you prepared to stand before God today?

Proverbs 27:1 Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.

Many people have moved away from having viewings which is just a way for people to see the body of the loved one when in the past they would send the body back to the house of the person for people to gather around. It was a time of reflection of what is really important and how quickly this life will pass away. All the business deals we made, all the plaques on the wall, all the names on the buildings and all the accolades one can gain mean nothing once death hits us.

3) Death Is not all bad news

It is difficult to talk about these topics without mentioning the hope we have in Christ. Death is sad and seeing loved ones die is heartbreaking and painful but there is a hope that we have that goes beyond what we can see. We said that the Bible gives us a sneak peek about eternity and with that we can know that there is more than this life has to offer.

Revelation 14:13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Blessed indeed,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!”

“Donald Grey Barnhouse, on the way home from the funeral of his first wife, was trying to think of some way of comforting his children. Just then a huge moving van passed by their car and its shadow swept over them. Instantly, Barnhouse aske, Children, would you rather be run over by a truck or by its shadow? The children replied, Of course we’d prefer the shadow! To which Barnhouse replied, Two thousand years ago the truck of death ran over the Lord Jesus…. now only the shadow of death can run over us.” (One minute after you die, Erwin Lutzer, Pg 75)

Psalm 23:4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,[a]I will fear no evil,
for you are with me; your rod and your staff,  they comfort me.

Because of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ death is not something we have to fear and we no longer have to wonder if we will be acceptable to God because it was Jesus who made us acceptable to God by His sacrifice. Although this life is not easy we have a home that we look forward to that will be greater than anything we can imagine.

Romans 8:18  For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us

Nothing will compare to what is waiting for us. This includes all the pain and suffering that we have experienced in this world will be nothing compared to the joy we will have as we will spend eternity with God.

God gave us the scriptures about the afterlife and about Heaven for a reason; He did it to encourage us that our focus should not be on the things of this world but on the world to come. As we take a sneak peek behind the curtain we see that death is a great equalizer but it also means that death is not restful for everyone. Although the subject is difficult we realize that God has provided a way through Jesus Christ for us to not have to worry about death because He has already defeated death. Have you been ignoring death and what it means if you died today? Have you been ignoring Christ thinking you have more time to get things right? Are you so focused on this life that you are not worried about the life to come?

Acts 16:31  And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”

Believe in Jesus and that the work He did makes you right with God and not by your own works (Ephesians 2:8-9). You are believing that one day you will stand before God and you have been declared clean not because you did more good than bad but that Jesus took your sins upon Himself and paid the penalty for them which is death. (Romans 6:23) Romans 5:1 says we are declared righteous not because of us but because of the work of Christ. Will you do good works? Of course but you will do them out of gratitude not to earn your way to God. s

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Isaiah 14:4-8 The Strikes of Satan

Just like the real city of Babylon had a leader the religious belief system of Babylon also has a leader.

When dealing with the topic of Satan in the book of Isaiah he is talking about an actual King but just like the city is paralleled to its belief system so the ruler of Babylon is also paralleled to Satan.

When Jesus rebuked Peter in Matthew 16:23 He said “Get behind me Satan” even though he was talking to Peter directly. Jesus knew who was doing the influencing of Peter and Isaiah is not only speaking of a king but the one who is influencing the king as well.

 “Indeed it foreshadows the doom of Satan himself. Ultimately it does not matter what the identity of Babylon or its king is. They stand for all who set themselves against God, and they face a common destiny of disgrace and defeat.” Isaiah, John L. Mackay, Pg 345

“Satan’s two most effective ploys are (1) to get people to underestimate him so that he can lure us into a hidden snare, or (2) to overestimate him that we may be so intimidated by him that we are paralyzed by his threatening power.” R.C. Sproul

Satan is known by several names because every name Satan is given is an indicator of the work that he does. As Satan he opposes, as the Devil he accuses and slanders and as Tempter he seeks to lure people to commit sins against God.

The word Strike means a sudden attack, typically a military one. We will see today that we are in a spiritual battle and one that looks just like a military war with lives on the line.

Isaiah 14:4- 8 you will take up this taunt against the king of Babylon: “How the oppressor has ceased, the insolent fury[a] ceased!The Lord has broken the staff of the wicked, the scepter of rulers, that struck the peoples in wrath with unceasing blows, that ruled the nations in anger with unrelenting persecution. The whole earth is at rest and quiet; they break forth into singing.
The cypresses rejoice at you, the cedars of Lebanon, saying, ‘Since you were laid low, no woodcutter comes up against us.’

  1. Satan Strikes with Rage

“The oppressor and the fury has ceased”

 The king of Babylon was an evil man who used people for his own gain but it is not his identity that is in focus but the policies and the cruelty in which he reigned. The King of Babylon was a narcissistic ruler who would use rage and bullying to get his way or to punish those who did not give him his way. It was a raging violence that was only stopped by divine intervention. Why the people of Israel put their hope in him only shows that when people turn from the ways of God it leads them into bondage to the very things they turned to. The things that promise them peace and relief only bring them more pain.

1 Peter 5:8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

To devour is to destroy leaving nothing behind and that is how the King of Babylon was and that is how Satan is with anyone he can destroy.

John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

Abortion, Euthanasia Murder and violence are all part of how Satan rules and it is how he is allowed to display his anger for a time set by God. As human beings we are made in the image of God and Satan hates it and wants us destroyed either by destroying ourselves or each other.  One day God will put a stop to Satan just like God put a stop to the King of Babylon but until that time we need to be aware and diligent that Satan wants us destroyed.

2. Satan Strikes Repeatedly

“Struck the people in wrath with unceasing blows”

Satan will continually strike you over and over again until He destroys you and there are several ways that he does this to destroy people’s lives.

A) The Strike against Jesus

Revelation 12:4 His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven and cast them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she bore her child he might devour it.

This verse is talking about Jesus and how Satan did all he could to destroy Jesus from coming and dying for our sins.  Satan also tried to get Jesus to worship him and forfeit his reign and Satan tried over and over again to get Jesus to sin so that He would not be the perfect lamb to die for our sins(Matthew 4)  Satan tried to destroy Jesus through death but Jesus rose from the dead showing that He not only died for our sins (1 Corinthians 15:3) but He defeated death as well proving He was the resurrection and the life. (John 11:25)  When Satan failed to get Jesus to fall and when he could not kill Him his only recourse was to now go after Gods creation to try and keep them from having faith in Jesus Christ and His work on the cross which is the only way we can be back in a right relationship with God. (John 3:36)

Every religion has something to say about Jesus Christ and how one makes it to Heaven. It is only through us putting our faith and hope in Jesus Christ and not by our works that we are made right with God. (Ephesians 2:8-9) People want to add their own works to salvation but the question then becomes “what did Jesus actually accomplish on the cross and why did He say It is finished? “

The most important question all of us need to answer is the one that Jesus asked His disciples.

Mark 8:27-29 And Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi. And on the way he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” 28 And they told him, “John the Baptist; and others say, Elijah; and others, one of the prophets.” 29 And he asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered him, “You are the Christ.”

B) The Strike against the Family

Genesis 3:11b-13 Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” 12 The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.” 13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

Genesis 4:8-9 Cain spoke to Abel his brother.[d] And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him. Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know; am I my brother’s keeper?”

Of course Adam and Eve were the first family and the first attack against the creation of God was the first family and the family unit has been suffering ever since. Divorce, affairs, abuse, betrayal and even murder are all too common in families today. We are seeing even the definition of what it means to be a family being changed from God’s original design. Satan wants to destroy the family because he wants to destroy anything that God designed.  Satan has a plan to destroy your family do you have a plan for him not to?

C)The Strike against the Church

By Questioning God’s Word

Genesis 3:1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You[a] shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?”

“Did God actually say?” is as common today as it was in the Garden of Eden. People are questioning everything that God calls sin from when life begins and why abortion should be legal to who you should be able to marry. We say things like “I like to believe God is like…” instead of taking what Gods word actually says about Him.  The Battle to prove that what we have is God’s word is something that seems like every generation goes through but believing God’s word has a say in every area of our lives is something that many church goers are not willing to accept anymore. 

“Solo Scriptura” The Scriptures alone has the final authority not if we agree with it not if it is culturally acceptable but they stand alone as our final authority regardless of what anyone says.

Through Corruption

2 Timothy 4:3-4  For the time is coming when people will not endure sound[a] teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.

It’s an intermarriage of righteous with unrighteousness that is distorting the truth. It’s when we twist the word of God to fit our lifestyle instead of our lifestyle to fit the word of God that we become corrupted as a church. Many of us are deceived in this way and we do not even realize it because Christianity has been made to look more like the world so that it is acceptable. We are called to look out for false teaching and to test to see if the teachings are from God.

1 John 4:1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.

It is almost unacceptable to question religious leaders today without someone getting mad at you but you should never not examine the scriptures to make sure what is being taught is not twisted or manipulated.  (Acts 17:11)

Through Persecution

Revelation 2:10 Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.

We have been fortunate here in America that we have not had to suffer for what we believe but that is slowly beginning to change. We have seen a Christian baker and photographer who did not want to participate in a wedding be scrutinized and sued for hate speech because of their beliefs. The Bible is clear about one thing and that is persecution will grow as we get closer to His return but the good news is that with persecution the church of Christ has always grown under it.

3)Satan Strikes will End

“How the Oppressor has ceased”

One day the one who has been causing all of this pain and sorrow will be destroyed forever.

Revelation 20:10 and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

“The Earth is at rest and the cypresses rejoice. “

Even the trees will rejoice when the oppressor is dead. The King of Babylon was one that would go in and not just conquer its people but would destroy its landscape or prized trees just to humiliate and remind the people of his power. Because of the destruction to the earth Isaiah paints a picture that even nature will rejoice at his destruction.  Romans 8:18-23 says that creation has been groaning waiting for the redemption to take place and Psalm 96:11-12 says they will rejoice.  Paul was showing  just like Isaiah that the earth itself will be redeemed .

“Break forth in singing”

The natural inclination when we are saved from the oppressor for ever will be singing.  All the frustrations and tension we feel will be gone forever.  We will no longer feel the strikes of the evil one and we will praise and sing to God who is the one who destroyed the evil one.

Until the final day or our final day we need to be diligent to not allow the strikes of Satan detour us from Gods will.  Satan is playing for keeps and we need to make sure we are not corrupting the word of God or allowing corruption into our lives by listening to false teaching and those who twist the word of God for their own gain. Satan wants to destroy you, your family, and your church and he will continually strike and wait for opportune times to destroy you just like he tried with Jesus. W need to stay in prayer, in God’s Word and in the fellowship of believers so we are not destroyed by the strikes of Satan and we can withstand his attacks x-sizing:b

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Isaiah 13:17-14:3 When Babylon Falls

Isaiah was granted visions from God that involved the immediate and the future of Judah. Isaiah was seeing things that would be hard to describe because he would be looking thousands of years ahead into the future.

Babylon is both a religious and political system and represents the pride of man who says that they do not need God and it is the first place that man began to worship themselves. . (Genesis 11). In the book of Revelation one out of every ten verses concerns Babylon and two entire chapters (17-18) are devoted to this city and its destruction.  Babylon is the most mentioned city in the Bible other than Jerusalem and is referred to 300 times and is located where modern Iraq is today.

The prophecy that Isaiah talks about in these passages have not been fully realized so many people think that these verses pertain to the End Times. Zechariah 5:5-11 talks about how the prophet Zechariah saw a future time when Babylon would fall and that was written 20 years after the Medo- Persian empire destroyed Babylon. The thought is Babylon will become a strong city again as some point and face a greater destruction that has not been witnessed yet.

“From the time of Genesis 10-11, Babylon has represented both a city and the religious system that arose in that city. Babylon is a literal geographical location on the Euphrates River, but it also represents the false religious system that began at the tower of Babel when, for the first time, man organized a religion in rebellion against God. Babylon is the birthplace of worldwide religion. The false religion spread out from there to all the other major nations of the earth.” The End, Mark Hitchcock, Pg 367)

When speaking of Babylon we are speaking about more than a city or government we are talking about a world belief system that is anti-God. One day God is going to wipe out not only the city of Babylon but its world belief system as well. Isaiah encourages the people who would walk through the dark days as a nation to encourage them to stay focused on the sovereignty of God.

 

Isaiah 13:17- 20Behold, I am stirring up the Medes against them, who have no regard for silver and do not delight in gold. 18 Their bows will slaughter[d] the young men; they will have no mercy on the fruit of the womb; their eyes will not pity children. 19 And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the splendor and pomp of the Chaldeans, will be like Sodom and Gomorrah when God overthrew them. 20 It will never be inhabited or lived in for all generations; no Arab will pitch his tent there;  no shepherds will make their flocks lie down there.

1)   When Babylon falls it will be a work of God

“I am going to stir up against them” Up to this point the Medes were not really mentioned in history and just a quiet nation but God is going to stir them up to come and punish Babylon. This was done in 539 B.C. which is typical of prophets showing short term and long term prophecies. The Medes could not be bought because they were not motivated by money but were only set on being destructive. They showed no mercy to anyone they faced. The Prophet Jeremiah prophesied about this as well.

Jeremiah 51:11 Sharpen the arrows! Take up the shields! The Lord has stirred up the spirit of the kings of the Medes, because his purpose concerning Babylon is to destroy it, for that is the vengeance of the Lord, the vengeance for his temple.

God compares them to Sodom and Gomorrah which were two cities that gave into every kind of sin and pleasure and God overthrew them suddenly and completely. A sudden destruction of Babylon has not happened yet in history only a slow depleting one which is why many think that Babylon will be rebuilt and destroyed later. What we can count on is that God will destroy the proud and the disobedient that pay no attention to God or His ways.  We must remember that people have been led astray by a world belief system that is going to bring them into judgment with God so we need to continue to have mercy and love for the very people that in their wickedness harm us. If Jesus from the cross prayed “Father forgive them, they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34) then we need to have the same prayers for our world because people are blinded by the god of this age. (2 Corinthians 4:4)

Isaiah 13: 21-22 But wild animals will lie down there, and their houses will be full of howling creatures; there ostriches[e] will dwell, and there wild goats will dance. 22 Hyenas[f] will cry in its towers, and jackals in the pleasant palaces; its time is close at hand and its days will not be prolonged.

The book of Revelation says something very similar to what the book of Isaiah prophesied about.

Revelation 18:2 And he called out with a mighty voice, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She has become a dwelling place for demons, a haunt for every unclean spirit, a haunt for every unclean bird, a haunt for every unclean and detestable beast.

One day God will bring the total destruction of not only the city of Babylon but its world religion as well.

Isaiah’s main goal was not to give his audience an exact date but the reassurance that God sees and will punish those who have oppressed and destroyed His people. We can know that one day the world system will be destroyed by God and those who followed in its way will be destroyed.

Isaiah 14:1-2 For the Lord will have compassion on Jacob and will again choose Israel, and will set them in their own land, and sojourners will join them and will attach themselves to the house of Jacob. And the peoples will take them and bring them to their place, and the house of Israel will possess them in the Lord’s land as male and female slaves.[a] They will take captive those who were their captors, and rule over those who oppressed them.

2)   When Babylon Falls God will show Compassion to His Children

Some  of the aspects we love about God is that He is love, He is mercy, He is grace and He is compassionate toward His children.

Psalm 103:13 As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.

God uses the analogy of a father to help people see who He is. This is why the breakdown of the family and the fact that God put a father and Mother in a home is so important. Even though our earthly fathers and mothers are not perfect we all still know what a mom and dad should be and we can know that God is perfectly demonstrated in a Father and a Mother.

God’s judgment against those who committed evil against His children will now lead to compassion for those who were oppressed. Later prophecies will expand on this hope we can have. (Isaiah 45:14-17; 49:22-23; 60:1-8; 61:5-7; 66:20) God will reverse the roles of those who are the oppressors and the oppressed. God has a Land waiting for those who put their faith in Him.

John 14:1-3 Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God;[a] believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?[b] And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.

Our focus is not on this place but on our future home with Jesus Christ. Home is not an address but where your loved ones are. If you loved ones move you still go to that place because they are there. Heaven is Heaven not because of all the things the Bible tells us about it but because God is there and we will be in a perfect relationship with Him.

One of things we can count on is that God sees all that you are going through He is going to make all these things disappear and be remembered no more. Isaiah 65:17 says the former things will not be remembered so whatever you are walking through or will walk through in this world will not compare to what God has in store for those who love Him. (Romans 8:18)

Isaiah 14:3 When the Lord has given you rest from your pain and turmoil and the hard service with which you were made to serve,

3)   When Babylon falls you will find rest

“When the Lord has given you rest” indicates that this is something we will receive in the future.

Hebrews 4:8-10 For if Joshua had given them rest, God[b] would not have spoken of another day later on. So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, 10 for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his.

There is a future day when we will be with God in rest from our sin, from death, from disease and from everything else that tends to bring us sleepless nights. This is the promise that we look forward to when God sets the world back the way He originally created it in Genesis.  Right now we are living in a world of pain, turmoil and hard work because of the sin of Adam and Eve.

Genesis 3:16-19 To the woman he said,“I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children.  Your desire shall be contrary to[f] your husband,   but he shall rule over you.” And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree
of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life;18 thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. 19 By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground,… ‘

 

  • Suffering: Experiencing the world that is corrupted by sin
  • Turmoil: When life is uncertain and the things you counted on are destroyed.
  • Hard Work: Same terminology of forced labor or slavery

 

We suffer because of sin in this world and we experience turmoil because the things in this world that we place our hope in get destroyed. Isaiah is telling them that there will be a day when there will be no more sin, pain, heartache and the struggles we have with sin.

Romans 7:15, 21-25   For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. 22 For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, 23 but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.

One day this entire struggle that the apostle Paul talked about will be gone forever. We may battle our fleshly patterns here on earth but a day is coming when we will not only want to obey the Lord but we will do so freely without the fallen nature of our flesh. We will no longer live in a world that is corrupted by sin and our world and the relationships we have will be perfect. Our day of rest is coming when we will stand before God free and clear because of the work of Christ but until that time we need to pray for and share the love of Christ with others so they too can enter into the rest they are so desperately seeking.

Matthew 11:28-30 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

 

People will not find rest for their souls in Babylon so we must tell them where they can find it. But first have you found rest for your soul through Jesus Christ? Jesus saw what the religious leaders were doing to people and making the way to God impossible but Jesus promises us that we can be at rest knowing that He is the one who paid it all on our behalf if we place our faith in Him. When we die we do not have to wonder if we are going to make it to Heaven and spend eternity with God we can know for sure. (1 John 5:13)

Revelation 18:10 They will stand far off, in fear of her torment, and say, “Alas! Alas! You great city, you mighty city, Babylon For in a single hour your judgment has come.”

Alas is a word for unhappiness or concern. The worlds system called Babylon will one day end and it will be a sad day for many people who face the judgment of God thinking that the religions of the world were the answer.  We need to have a broken heart for the world and not allow their actions to embitter us toward them or fall to their deceptive ways.  Are you searching in Babylon for peace? You will not find it here.  Babylon (The Worlds system) will fall one day and then people will see the truth.  The evil, pain, suffering and hard labor will one day all be gone. Until then we can trust that there is a better day waiting for those who put their trust in Christ.

 

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Isaiah 13:1-16 The Day of the Lord

God is going to continue to tell His people to not put their trust in anything else but Him. The theme that God is in control over all the nations will continue with warnings of His followers to keep their focus on Him and not what other nations or people do.

Isaiah 13:1-6 The oracle concerning Babylon which Isaiah the son of Amoz saw.On a bare hill raise a signal; cry aloud to them; wave the hand for them to enter the gates of the nobles. I myself have commanded my consecrated ones, and have summoned my mighty men to execute my anger, my proudly exulting ones.[a]4 The sound of a tumult is on the mountains as of a great multitude! The sound of an uproar of kingdoms, of nations gathering together! The Lord of hosts is mustering a host for battle. They come from a distant land, from the end of the heavens, the Lord and the weapons of his indignation, to destroy the whole land.[b] 6 Wail, for the day of the Lord is near;  as destruction from the Almighty[c] it will come!

 

1)   The Day of the Lord is near

“Wail for the Day of the Lord is near “The way this was written was to show that this was a burden to Isaiah to even tell the vision that God gave him. Many times the things of God are not easy to discuss with people because they go against the culture and for some people you may even sound crazy. As Christians we are tempted to stay silent when the conversations get difficult but we are to share what God has shown us even if it is difficult and not popular. We need to be burdened for people and warn them with the warnings that God has shown in His word.

The Day of the Lord is when God intervenes personally into the affairs of mankind to bring about His judgment.  We will all face our own individual “Day of the Lord” when we die but Nations face the “Day of the Lord” when God wipes them out because of the sin they refuse to stop doing. At the end of Human history there will be the final “Day of the Lord” when God defeats His enemies once and for all and sets up His Heavenly Kingdom.  As we go through Isaiah 13 we will see that there is a future destruction of nations as well as the final day of the Lord which will be at the end of time.

 

“I have commanded my consecrated ones” Some believe this to be like before where God uses a Nation to carry out His punishments and some believe it is angelic messengers (Zechariah 1:11-13 and 6:1-8) since they come from the “end of the heavens” (vs 5). It could be both another nation and Angelic beings but the point is the destruction is going to happen. We cannot forget that God has at His disposal both the human and spiritual armies to do His will and “Execute His anger”(vs3)  toward those who are disobedient to Him.  There is a story of Elisha and his servant and they were surrounded by an army but Elisha knew despite what he physically saw God was still in control and God has Angelic beings at His disposal to accomplish His will.

2 Kings 6:15-17  When the servant of the man of God rose early in the morning and went out, behold, an army with horses and chariots was all around the city. And the servant said, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” 16 He said, “Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” 17 Then Elisha prayed and said, “O Lord, please open his eyes that he may see.” So the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.

God has given us glimpses into the spiritual realm and with that we do not have to fear nations or individuals because God is in control. The victory of God is a sure thing that we can count on as God is acting out His plan. The plan may not make sense to us but we are assured that God is working it out.

 

“The Lord and the weapons of his wrath” The Final day of the Lord will be personal because God Himself will be involved instead of just using others as He does now. This is a view of God that we cannot ignore that God is love but He is also just and He does demonstrate His wrath when people stay in an unrepentant state. The reason God demonstrates wrath is different than why we do.

Psalm 7:11 God is a righteous judge, and a God who feels indignation every day.

Indignation is anger toward how one is treated.  Many people see their sins as mess ups but they are against God and God alone. (Psalm 41:4 and 51:4) When you realize that every sin that is committed is a person affront to God it changes your view of what you are doing but also what Jesus did for us when He died on the cross.

 

Romans 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.

We do not know when the “Day of the Lord” will come upon individuals or nations but we must not grow complacent thinking that it is always in the future.

 

A Banner was the exact location that the troops were to rally to where the battle will be showing that God will pinpoint His wrath towards those who do not submit to Jesus Christ. (John 3:36) We are called to be heartbroken and to actually cry for those who will face this day. We should never be glad that someone dies without being saved by Jesus Christ or because of our disdain for them to wish the wrath of God upon them. It will be a dreadful day for those who do not turn to Jesus and something we should not wish upon anyone.  Let us not grow hard hearted toward those in sin but let’s be broken hearted for them because they are living a lie. Let us like Isaiah be burdened for them.

Isaiah 13:7-13 Therefore all hands will be feeble, and every human heart will melt. They will be dismayed: pangs and agony will seize them; they will be in anguish like a woman in labor.
They will look aghast at one another; their faces will be aflame. Behold, the day of the Lord comes, cruel, with wrath and fierce anger, to make the land a desolation and to destroy its sinners from it. 10 For the stars of the heavens and their constellations will not give their light; the sun will be dark at its rising, and the moon will not shed its light.11 I will punish the world for its evil,
and the wicked for their iniquity; I will put an end to the pomp of the arrogant, and lay low the pompous pride of the ruthless.12 I will make people more rare than fine gold, and mankind than the gold of Ophir. 13 Therefore I will make the heavens tremble, and the earth will be shaken out of its place, at the wrath of the Lord of hosts in the day of his fierce anger.

 

2)   The Day of the Lord is Terrible

“To destroy sinners (9) and the proud (11) “Babylon is a city but is also symbolic of wickedness that opposes itself to God. (Gen 11:1-9) When people stand before God on their own without Jesus Christ as their mediator (1 Timothy 2:5) it will be a terrible day because they will not have Jesus Christ to stand in the way of the wrath of God.  Isaiah describes them as people “Failing with hands” (meaning nothing they can do) “Melting hearts” (meaning having No Hope) terror, (Meaning Frightened to a point of not able to move) anguish, writhing in pain, astonishment, and faces aflame (Meaning either embarrassment, anger or fright) Isaiah says it will be a day as a woman who is in labor which is an image of those who had uncontrollable and unavoidable agony.  (Matthew 24:8) Some of the people will be in shock because they believed a lie about God and what it takes to be saved. (Matthew 7:21-22) No one can save them on the” Day of the Lord” when He decrees their destruction.

Hebrews 9:27-28  And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, 28 so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.

The mercy and grace of God will not be offered anymore and they will only get His justice and wrath. It will be too late for those who are sinners to repent and there will not be another opportunity for them.

The Bible never calls those who have placed their faith in Christ sinners but only saints. (Acts 9:13, 32; 26:10; Ephesians 4:12, 5:3; Philippians 4:21) The word “saint” comes from the Greek word hagios, which means “consecrated to God, holy, sacred, pious.” For those of us who have accepted Christ we do not have to worry about Jesus addressing our sins (Romans 8:1)

“The sun will be dark” (10) Darkness is always used to show terrible times. There are many things that can cause the sun to go dark. Smoke from war, smoke from volcanoes or because God does something to them are all reasons the sun and stars are blotted out. These verses also show what the end times will be like. Jesus said something similar when He talked about the end of time right after the tribulation.

Matthew 24:29-31 “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

So many times we talk how great it will be when Jesus pokes through the sky to come and get us but for many people seeing Jesus is going to be a dreadful day and one that Jesus says they will mourn, a word used as if at a funeral. Jesus will be the one who will judge and punish the people for their sins so not everyone is going to have a good experience when Jesus comes again.

Psalm 130:3 If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities,    O Lord, who could stand?

The only way we can stand is because of Jesus Christ and His sacrifice on our behalf.  Too many people think that any religion will get them to heaven or by their good works they are on good terms with God.

Every nation in Isaiah’s day thought that their god ruled their area and Isaiah was telling them that only The God rules over everything. The world will be punished for the evil that it has committed this is why we do not have to worry about anyone getting away with anything.

 

Isaiah 7:14-16 And like a hunted gazelle, or like sheep with none to gather them, each will turn to his own people, and each will flee to his own land. 15 Whoever is found will be thrust through, and whoever is caught will fall by the sword. 16 Their infants will be dashed in pieces before their eyes; their houses will be plundered and their wives ravished.

Verses 14-16 describe panic followed by destruction and sorrow with no escape because God’s hand of restraint will be removed. (2 Thessalonians 2:6-7)  God allows Satan to do what He wants and the destruction and fear will be intense. (See Job 1 on how God restricts Satan)

 

2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you,[a] not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.  

If you ever wondered why God was taking so long it is because He is giving people the opportunity to put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ and escape the destruction that awaits them as they face the wrath of God. Jesus said what the “Day of the Lord” will look like in Matthew 25

Matthew 25:31-34, 41,46 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

The Day of the Lord is coming either by our death on earth or Jesus return but either way we who have placed our trust in Jesus Christ and His death on the cross have nothing to fear.  It will be a glorious, exciting and awe filled day for believers but a terrible day for those who reject the free gift of salvation through Christ. (Ephesians 2:8-9)  We need to weep and mourn for those who do not know Christ and we need to share about the love of God with them that He provided through Jesus Christ.

Have you prepared for the “Day of the Lord”? Acts 16:31 says to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved. You Believe that what Jesus did on the cross puts you in a right relationship with God.

 

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Isaiah 12 Salvation

 

Isaiah is going to prophecy about a time when all the heartache, suffering and pain is gone and this will give the people a new attitude of praise in the midst of heartache and destruction. They will sing about God and praise Him because He will save them from all of the pain and heartache they are currently experiencing.

Salvation is simply the deliverance from the power and effects of sin. I love this definition because it shows that when Christ died He did not just die for our sins but also to set things back to the original design of Creation. He died for our sins but He also died to restore the effects that sin has had on humanity and the world. In Isaiah 6:8 we learned that Isaiah had his sin and guilt taken away not just his sin. God wanted Isaiah to know that because of what God had done (touched him with coal) that Isaiah was forgiven of his sins and that they would be remembered no more. God has put us back in a right relationship with Himself for all who believe that Jesus Christ died and rose again. (Acts 16:31) A day is promised to us that the effects of sin and the struggles we have because of it will all be taken away and God will restore His world and all those who trust in Him through Jesus.

Isaiah 12:1 You[a] will say in that day: “I will give thanks to you, O Lord, for though you were angry with me, your anger turned away, that you might comfort me.

Salvation from God

“You were angry with me” Most people do not see that because of our sin that God is angry with us. We have a grandfather view of God who just accepts everyone because we are part of His creation but that is not what we are taught in scripture.

Romans 1:18-19  For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them.

As sinners we deserve God’s wrath and separation from Him for all eternity but God in His grace and mercy did something about the wrath we deserve. Jesus died to take the wrath of God away and this is what makes Jesus death and resurrection so amazing because He died the death we deserve.

John 3:36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.

Understanding the Holiness of God is crucial to understanding the wrath of God but many people believe that the things that God calls sin are not that big of offenses to Him. People  have their own views of God instead of learning what He has revealed about Himself and therefore they believe lies about God and themselves .

Many people are like some hunters that have been lost in the woods for days and when a search party finally finds them their pride will not admit to themselves or to their rescuers that they were lost in the first place. Many people think that because God is love that they automatically get into Heaven. But God calls those who do not accept what Jesus did for them on the cross as lost. (Matthew 15:24) Until you realize you are lost you will not be thankful for being saved.  Salvation begins by being saved from God’s wrath and only God can turn away the anger of God. That is why Jesus, God in the flesh, had to die in our place because only God could bring us back to God and not by our own works.  Most people think of Salvation as salvation from Hell but it is really salvation from God.

Isaiah 12:2 “Behold, God is my salvation;  I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the Lord God[b] is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation.”

Salvation is personal

“God is my salvation” God’s salvation is personal in that He personally came down, became a man and died on the cross on our behalf. (John 3:16; John 1:1,14) There is nothing to fear because they are placing their trust that God is the one who can save. The reason why people have no peace is because they are staking their salvation on their own works instead of the work of Jesus Christ. Islam does not believe God would lower Himself to come down to His people but that they must work their way toward Him. This is what separates Christianity from all other religions that believe in God. God knows we cannot do enough good works to earn our way to Him so He took care of it for us.

Luke 19:10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

This was said to all those who were shocked that Jesus was going to Zacchaeus house.  Notice the personal nature of what Jesus is saying about seeking and that He came personally to do it. Jesus told three parables in Luke 15 about a lost sheep, lost coin and lost son. The sheep he went out and found and threw a party. The Coin the entire house was swept to find it. The prodigal son was looked for and then ran after when repented.

“God is my strength, my song and my salvation” This salvation is so personal that the people will break into a love song.  Praise is offering God a thank you for removing His wrath from us.  A sincere thankful heart will lead to worship and it will no longer be a dull sense of duty that many of them showed to God. Christianity is about the God of the Universe wanting a personal relationship with us to the point that He made a way for our sins to be removed. When we think of God’s salvation we cannot leave out the personal, loving relationship that God is calling us to. Christianity is not a religion it is about having a personal relationship with the God of the universe who created us and loves us. This is not some cold religion but God uses wedding language over and over again to describe the relationship He desires to have with us. Revelation 21 we are said to be a bride prepared for her husband. Ephesians 5 God uses the love of Christ toward us on how we are to love our spouses. In John 1fourteen Jesus uses wedding language to describe coming back to take us where He is. If your thought of Christianity is anything but a personal loving relationship with God through Jesus Christ then you have the wrong view of what Christianity is really about.

Salvation is guaranteed

“I will trust and not be afraid”

2 Corinthians 1:21-22  And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, 22 and who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.

“Assurance of salvation is a God-given awareness that He has accepted the death of Christ on your behalf and forgiven you of your sin. Assurance includes a sense of freedom from the guilt of sin, relief from the fear of judgment, and joy in your relationship with God as your Father. … But assurance of salvation is not only possible, it should be the normal experience for every Christian.” (How Can I be sure I am a Christian? Donald Whiney, PG. 12)

Romans 8:16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,

As Christians it is easy to doubt our salvation at times and that is why we have to know the truth about where we stand with God. 1 John 5:13 is a plea to have assurance of their salvation and that was written to Christians who may have been having some doubts. Your assurance of salvation comes from Christ and what He did on the cross and not your works. Because we know that Jesus said “It is finished” (John 19:30) we have the assurance that we are accepted based on His work on the cross and not our works no matter how great they might be.

For more verses on assurance of Salvation see John 6:37; Romans 8:1; 1 John 2:3,5:13; Hebrews 10:22; 2 Peter 1:10; 2 Timothy 1:12

Isaiah 12:3-6 With joy you[c] will draw water from the wells of salvation. And you will say in that day: “Give thanks to the Lord, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the peoples,
proclaim that his name is exalted. “Sing praises to the Lord, for he has done gloriously; let this be made known[d] in all the earth. Shout, and sing for joy, O inhabitant of Zion, for great in your[e] midst is the Holy One of Israel.”

Salvation is Fulfilling

“You will draw water from the wells of salvation” People are longing for something that goes beyond what this world can offer and they will never fully find satisfaction in this world. Jeremiah 2:13 says that people have tried to fill their lives with broken cisterns that leak water. If you can imagine rain filling up an cistern only to come back the next day and all the water has drained out. That is what God says about sin that it seems to bring happiness and joy but in the end it leaves you empty longing for something else. This is why people say that you have a void in your life that only Christ can fulfill because what you were created to have is a loving relationship with God. The very thing you are longing for is found in Jesus Christ but many people are believing the lies of the world that you can be filled if you are popular, rich, good looking or successful. The woman at the well had 5 husbands and was still searching for more and Jesus made a personal stop to see her and to tell her about the only thing that would satisfy which was Himself.

John 4:10-14 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” 11 The woman said to him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock.” 13 Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again.[b] The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

One of the guarantees we have a Christians is that God places His spirit inside of us which is the living water that Jesus promised.

John 7:37-39  On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as[a] the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” 39 Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

The reason people run from job to job, town to town, relationship to relationship, drug to drug is that those things do not satisfy the longing in your heart.

1 Corinthians 3:16  Do you not know that you[a] are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

When you accept the free gift of salvation that comes through following Christ then He gives us His Holy Spirit which fills the longing we so desire. Where and what are you looking to for fulfillment in your life? if it is anything but the relationship you can have with Jesus Christ it will run out.

Salvation is to be shared

“Make known His deeds among the people” Isaiah says that there thankfulness will be so overwhelming that they will share it with everyone they meet. The woman at the well had an experience like that after she learned that Jesus was the long awaited for Messiah she had to tell everyone about her talk with Jesus.

John 4:39-42 Many Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me all that I ever did.” 40 So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them, and he stayed there two days. 41 And many more believed because of his word. 42 They said to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world.”

When you realize what God has done for you then you will be compelled to share it. How often do you hold back great news? Not very often

“Shout and sing for Joy” This would be an intense time of worship similar to when you favorite team wins a game.  Our worship of God should be more intense than a sporting event but many times it is not because we do not truly understand our salvation. In heaven we will understand it and there we will worship God for all eternity.

 “Worship is joyfully shouting about the exalted glory of God and retelling his wonderful deeds. For worship to become evangelism it has to be done outside the four walls of a church, where non-believers can hear God’s praise.” The New American Commentary, Isaiah, Gary V. Smith, Pg 284)

When your joy of God overflows out of your life it will spill outside the walls of the church.  For that to happen you have to understand the personal nature of your relationship with God and the salvation He provided through Jesus Christ.

Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ?  The only way the wrath of God can be removed from you is through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  It is because of what Christ has done that we have assurance of salvation that when we stand before God that there will be no condemnation (Rom 8:1) If you are looking for the world to satisfy or even a religion you will be disappointed it is only through the personal relationship that God has provided that you will be fulfilled.  Our relationship with God is to be like that of Adam and Eve in the garden as we have a personal relationship with our creator.

Who do you need to share Christ with? Who do you know that is looking for other things for fulfillment?

Romans 10:9-10 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.

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Isaiah 11:1- 16 Hope in Hopeless World

Hope is a serious problem in our society because people tend to place their hope in the wrong things or things that will not last. When people put their hope in finances then things like the stock market or their job situation controls them. When people put their hope in the Government then depending on how the outcome of the election goes they have despair or joy. Some are putting their hope in a religious organization that promises them a false hope of good works will lead to salvation and prosperity in life.  The people of Isaiah’s day were doing the same things as they placed their hope in a foreign country to save them, the fact that they were financially doing well and the mixture of religions they had developed.   Isaiah is going to tell the few that will survive the destruction that is coming to them that there is always hope no matter how bad life seems to be.

Read Isaiah 11:1 -5 There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit. And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
And his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord, He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide disputes by what his ears hear, but with righteousness he shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; and he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked. Righteousness shall be the belt of his waist, and faithfulness the belt of his loins.

1)   Hope because of Jesus

“A shoot from a stump” is a reference meaning Jesus would come from the line of David and Jesse was David’s father. (2 Samuel 7:16) If you can imagine an entire forest being cut down and then burned but you see one of the stumps with a shoot coming from it this is the picture that Isaiah has in mind.  As bad as things looked Isaiah wanted them to know that there is a hope that goes beyond their current situation and it is in the prophecy of the one who is to come.

“And the Spirit of the Lord will rest upon Him.” Isaiah has already talked twice about a future King that will come who is the Messiah but he is going to go into further detail of what this King will look like from Isaiah 9:6.

Isaiah 9:6 For to us a child is born,  to us a son is given and the government shall be upon[a] his shoulder, and his name shall be called[b] Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

When future Kings would have the spirit of God come upon them there was the possibility of the Spirit being removed from them but this King (Jesus) would never lose the Spirit of God which would show the difference between Him and all other Kings who have reined. The Apostle Matthew also wanted to show that Jesus was the fulfillment of this passage.

Matthew 3:16-17 And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him,[a] and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; 17 and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son,[b] with whom I am well pleased.” (See Also John 1:43)

“Fear of God” means absolute loyalty to God and Jesus showed that by being sinless according to Hebrews 4:15. Fear of the Lord is a respect and awe of God that grows from intimate knowledge of His justice, holiness, goodness and worthiness of honor. (Proverbs 1:7 and 9:10)

 

There were attributes of this King that would set Him apart as well.

Wonderful counselor: which means a Spirit of Wisdom and understanding which would go beyond human ability?

Prince of Peace: He will judge disputes not by what His eyes see or His ears hear because He knows all truth.

Mighty God: He will strike the earth with the rod of His mouth (by speaking) and with the breathe of His lips He will destroy the wicked. (Speaking)

2 Thessalonians 2:8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming.

He will stand up for the helpless and the weak because He is the Everlasting father. He will display the character of God because He is God and He will rule with the belt of truth (Ephesians 6:11-17) because He is righteous in all that He does. The belt or sash was used to gather up the robe when a person was getting ready to do an activity. Jesus is active in our world, He was active in bringing salvation to us and He is active in making all things new.

It’s easy to say our hope is in Jesus but so many times we put our hope in other things. When our Hope is in Jesus we can know that HE is the wonderful counselor, the Prince of Peace, the Mighty God and the Everlasting Father. When you place your hope in anything else besides Jesus Christ then all of those things fall short of who Christ is and they will leave you hopeless.

Isaiah 11:6-9The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat,
and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together; and a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze; their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play over the hole of the cobra, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder’s den. They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.

2)   Hope because this is not our home

Isaiah moves from describing the King to describing His kingdom. Today our focus is on this world and trying to do all we can to keep it going. Movies like Avengers infinity war, and the movie Kingsman both talk about killing off half the population for the purpose of saving the planet. People put all of their hope in this world but the Bible encourages us to think about the world that is to come.

People get excited about over crowded over Priced Magic Kingdom but wait till we see the everlasting Kingdom. We look forward to a kingdom that will be restored to the original design that God had given to Adam and Eve, a world where sin will no longer scar nature or people. Isaiah describes this place where people and animals will get along and even babies will play over the hole of snakes. The picture here is that it will be paradise with no more evil, conflict or death. This place will be called “God’s Holy Mountain because the new world will be filled with the presence of God.

Revelation 22:3-5 No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.

Isaiah 11:10- 12 In that day the root of Jesse, who shall stand as a signal for the peoples—of him shall the nations inquire, and his resting place shall be glorious.11 In that day the Lord will extend his hand yet a second time to recover the remnant that remains of his people, from Assyria, from Egypt, from Pathros, from Cush,[a] from Elam, from Shinar, from Hamath, and from the coastlands of the sea. 12 He will raise a signal for the nations and will assemble the banished of Israel, and gather the dispersed of Judah  from the four corners of the earth.

“In that Day” No matter how bad a situation you are going through we know we can get through it as long as we focus on the finish line and not our current situation. The world focuses on the here and now but we are called to place our eyes on Jesus and the future hope that we have. No matter how difficult this life can be we know that Jesus died on the cross for us so that we can spend eternity with God for all who place their faith and hope in Him. We know that no matter what we are going through one day it will end.

1 Peter 1:13 Therefore, preparing your minds for action,[a] and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

If you have lost hope then you are looking in the wrong direction and focusing on the wrong things. You need to place your focus not on the things of this world but on the world to come when Jesus makes all things new.

The Nations will rally to Him and His place of rest will be glorious. The Lord will reach out His hand.

Salvation has always been about God stepping into our world and now we see on the last days Jesus will reach out His hand and collect His people. The verse does not say all people it says only the remnant because unfortunately not everyone who thinks they are a Christian belongs to God. (Psalm 95:11)  God will reclaim His people who He paid for to have back from all over the world.  The Bible used corners symbolically not that the world is a square but it does indicate that no believer will be left behind.

Matthew 24:31 And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

Isaiah 11:13-14 The jealousy of Ephraim shall depart, and those who harass Judah shall be cut off;
Ephraim shall not be jealous of Judah, and Judah shall not harass Ephraim. 14 But they shall swoop down on the shoulder of the Philistines in the west, and together they shall plunder the people of the east. They shall put out their hand against Edom and Moab, and the Ammonites shall obey them.

Feelings of Jealousy, inferiority or superiority will be done away with in the new Kingdom. The division of the people took place since the time of King David (2 Samuel 2:8-11) of the Northern and Southern Kingdoms but God promises a renewal of not just them but everyone worldwide.  The unity that will take place in the new kingdom will be like no other as we gather together from all over the world to worship God. No more racism, no more bigotry no more fighting but all of us focused on God.

Anyone or anything that is hostile to the people of God will be removed.

Revelation 7:9 After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands,

Isaiah 11:15-16 And the Lord will utterly destroy[a] the tongue of the Sea of Egypt,
and will wave his hand over the River[b] with his scorching breath,[c and strike it into seven channels, and he will lead people across in sandals.16 And there will be a highway from Assyria
for the remnant that remains of his people, as there was for Israel when they came up from the land of Egypt.

The Lord will destroy Using language from the Exodus Isaiah reiterates that nothing can stand in the way of God and what He is going to accomplish. Our hope is in God who is more powerful than any obstacle we face and He is the one who provided salvation and it is in Him that we place our trust. Our present problems must be evaluated in light of who God is and His promises. We do not lose hope in this world because we know that one day God is going to make all things new.

And there will be a Highway

“The “highway” is one of Isaiah’s favorite images. Those who obey the Lord have a level and smooth road to walk (Isaiah 26:7-8). When God calls His people back to their land, He will prepare the way for them. (Isaiah 40:3-4) and lead them safely (Isaiah 42:16). He will remove obstacles so the people can travel easily. (Isaiah 49:11;57:14; 62:10). God’s highway will be called “The way of Holiness” (Isaiah 35:8)”  Be Comforted, Warren W. Wiersbe, Pg. 50-51)

God has made salvation possible but many will still choose not to accept it even though God has made the way, God has paid the way and God has shown us the way. (John 14:1-6)  Only a remnant will return because many will not place their hope in God. Many people struggle and strain to make sure they are going to Heaven but the way has already been provided through Jesus death and resurrection.(Acts 16:31)  People have been taught that God is here to meet all of our needs in our way but the reality is we have been separated from God by sin and the truth is we needed to be restored to a relationship with God if we are going to spend eternity with Him.  When you have the wrong view of God you have the wrong view of salvation and many churches are even teaching Christianity as something you add to your life and even some Christian missionaries are encouraging Muslims to not leave their faith but only place their faith in Jesus Christ.  Syncretism is when you add Jesus to what you already believe instead of a radical change in thinking and in your life in following Him. Jesus calls us to deny ourselves (Luke 9:23) and place our faith and hope in Him. (Hebrews 12:2)

 

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