Sunday, July 08, 2012

July 8, 2012 … God’s Refining Fire

Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: Isaiah, Chapter 1-4 [NIV] To study these chapters, go to this link -

  Highlight Passage: Isaiah 1: 1; 21; 24-25 : [NIV] … 1 The vision concerning Judah and Jerusalem that Isaiah son of Amoz saw during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah. … 21 See how the faithful city has become a prostitute! She once was full of justice; righteousness used to dwell in her — but now murderers! … 24 Therefore the Lord, the Lord Almighty, the Mighty One of Israel, declares: "Ah! I will vent my wrath on my foes and avenge myself on my enemies. 25 I will turn my hand against you; I will thoroughly purge away your dross and remove all your impurities. … 30 You will be like an oak with fading leaves, like a garden without water. 31 The mighty man will become tinder and his work a spark; both will burn together, with no one to quench the fire." 
  Highlight Passage #2: Isaiah 2: 8-12; 22 : [NIV] … 8 Their land is full of idols; they bow down to the work of their hands, to what their fingers have made. 9 So people will be brought low and everyone humbled — do not forgive them. 10 Go into the rocks, hide in the ground from the fearful presence of the Lord and the splendor of his majesty! 11 The eyes of the arrogant will be humbled and human pride brought low; the Lord alone will be exalted in that day. 12 The Lord Almighty has a day in store [i.e., “The Day of the Lord”] for all the proud and lofty, for all that is exalted (and they will be humbled),… 22 Stop trusting in mere humans, who have but a breath in their nostrils. Why hold them in esteem? 
  Highlight Passage #3: Isaiah 3: 8-11 : [NIV] … 8 Jerusalem staggers, Judah is falling; their words and deeds are against the Lord, defying his glorious presence. 9 The look on their faces testifies against them; they parade their sin like Sodom; they do not hide it. Woe to them! They have brought disaster upon themselves. 10 Tell the righteous it will be well with them, for they will enjoy the fruit of their deeds. 11 Woe to the wicked! Disaster is upon them! They will be paid back for what their hands have done. 
  Highlight Passage #4: Isaiah 4: 2-4 : [NIV] … 2 In that day the Branch of the Lord will be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the land will be the pride and glory of the survivors in Israel.3 Those who are left in Zion, who remain in Jerusalem, will be called holy, all who are recorded among the living in Jerusalem.4 The Lord will wash away the filth of the women of Zion; he will cleanse the bloodstains from Jerusalem by a spirit of judgment and a spirit of fire. 

My Journal for Today: Okay, my reading plan again has me drinking God’s truth from a fire hydrant, taking in a big gulp of God’s story today in the Book of Isaiah and studying from the writings of the Prophet considered by Bible scholars as being one of the greatest of all the prophets. Isaiah proclaimed God’s word and warning to the people of Israel, especially when the tribes in the northern regions of Israel and Judah in the south had divided. And Isaiah came along chronologically in the times I’ve been reading about in the last few days with a tough message for the believers in Judah, confronting them with their disobedience and idolatry, which was a message they really didn’t want to hear.

 And so, if you’re reading along in these journal entries, I charge you to read/study from the link above the messages Isaiah gave to the Jews in his day; and when you do I’m sure you will be note one overriding – VERY LOUD – message; and that is God’s warning for His disobedient children with a prophesy of their ultimate doom if they did not repent and live in obedience to God’s word and His will and His ways.

 But right in the midst of all of this doom and gloom prophesy, there is a ray of light and a glimpse of glory for the remnant in Israel who have remained faithful and had walked in obedience to God’s truth and His proclaimed ways; and that glimmer of hope is found in the one verse above which I have copied in bold/red above (see Isaiah 3: 10). And when I see what is going on in our times and in this country, I see a culture and a people who are living in parallel with the unbelieving, recalcitrant Jews in Isaiah’s time.

 We are living in a time which very likely could be the times when Jesus, the Messiah prophesied by Isaiah and many other of the Prophets in those days, is about to return and set up His millennial rule prior to that great time of judgment which one can read about in today’s reading. But, as a Christian believer, though it is very hard to take in all the idolatry and unGodly disobedience in my day, I’m uplifted by the hope and the promise of The Messiah’s return and the truth that the remnant of believers and those who seek His righteousness, in any age, will be protected and delivered from God’s wrath; … BUT, sadly, not so with those who’ve mocked our Lord with their rejection.

 Therefore, to this truth and promise, I give thanks.

  My Prayer Today: … Oh, God, … thank You for watching over, guiding, and protecting Your remnant of believers. And we pray, Lord Jesus, that You come soon to deliver us from evil. Amen

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