"God's Word is Living & Active!" ~ Hebrews 4:12
Isaiah 3:1-5:30 ~ 2 Corinthians 11:1-15 ~ Psalm 53:1-6 ~ Proverbs 22:28-29
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Old Testament – Powerful readings in Isaiah today… The southern Kingdom of Judah is getting a stern warning from the prophet today! A scary warning to the people of Judah for their disobedience comes at the end of our readings today in chapter 5 verses 26 through 30: “He will send a signal to the nations far away. He will whistle to those at the ends of the earth, and they will come racing toward Jerusalem. They will not get tired or stumble. They will run without stopping for rest or sleep. Not a belt will be loose, not a sandal thong broken. Their arrows will be sharp and their bows ready for battle. Sparks will fly from their horses’ hooves as the wheels of their chariots spin like the wind. Roaring like lions, they will pounce on their prey. They will seize my people and carry them off into captivity, and no one will be there to rescue them. The enemy nations will growl over their victims like the roaring of the sea. A cloud of darkness and sorrow will hover over Israel. The clouds will blot out the light.”
This map below gives a good overview of the growth of the Assyrian empire between 824 B.C. and 640 B.C. and how it engulfs Judah during this time period. The prophet Isaiah was preaching his stern warnings right in the middle of this time period!
Isaiah chapter 5 verse 20 was directed at Judah in the 8th century B.C., but I wonder if this verse can have application to our world today? “Destruction is certain for those who say that evil is good and good is evil; that dark is light and light is dark; that bitter is sweet and sweet is bitter.” Can you think of any examples in our modern world where evil is portrayed as good and good is portrayed as evil? I can think of far too many examples unfortunately. This twisting of good and evil, light and dark, bitter and sweet did not make God happy back in eighth century B.C. Think God is happy about this twisting of good and evil today?
New Testament – Paul’s words in Second Corinthians chapter 11 verse 14 are some of the scariest words in Scripture for each of us to take to heart: “Even Satan can disguise himself as an angel of light.”
Bible.org’s commentary on today’s readings in Second Corinthians titled “The Father of the Bride Exposes the Master of Deceit” is at this link.
Psalms – If you’ve ever asked yourself – or ever been asked – why do we need a Messiah? What is our need of Jesus? Well, I think this question is clearly answered in verses 2 & 3 of Psalm 53: “God looks down from heaven on the entire human race; he looks to see if there is even one with real understanding, one who seeks for God. But no, all have turned away from God; all have become corrupt. No one does good, not even one!” This is why we need Jesus. With Jesus, we indeed seek for God. With Jesus, we are blessed with the Holy Spirit to begin to have some real understanding. But without Jesus…. well, it reminds me of the old DC Talk song “In the Light” – “What’s going on inside of me? I despise my own behavior. This only serves to confirm my suspicions, that I’m still a man in need of a Savior!” Amen…
Proverbs – Today in Proverbs chapter 22 verse 29 we read: “Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will serve before kings; he will not serve before obscure men.” The thing I love about this Proverb is that it encourages us to be skilled in our work. Whether we are teachers, or bus drivers, or accountants, or technicians, or full time moms, I do strongly believe we are called to be skilled in our work!
Please join us in memorizing and meditating on a verse of Scripture today: “Do you see those who are skilled in their work? They will serve before kings; they will not serve before officials of low rank.” Proverbs 22:29 TNIV
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