"God's Word is Living & Active!" ~ Hebrews 4:12
Isaiah 6:1-7:25 ~ 2 Corinthians 11:16-33 ~ Psalm 54:1-7 ~ Proverbs 23:1-3
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Old Testament – Wonderful readings today in Isaiah chapter 6 as Isaiah is commissioned as a prophet by the Lord! Great stuff!
The seraphim mentioned in this chapter are not mentioned elsewhere in the Bible by name, though they do seem similar to the “living creatures” described in Revelation 4:6-9. It is intriguing to note that even the seraphim with two of their wings “covered their faces” (verse 2) before God. No wonder Isaiah got very scared in verse 5 because he saw the Lord with his own eyes in this vision! It is thought by some commentaries that this vision of Isaiah’s may have taken place in the Temple in Jerusalem. Below are two pieces of artwork depicting the seraphim and verse 3: “In a great chorus they sang, “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty! The whole earth is filled with his glory!”” Amen…
In Isaiah chapter 7 today we read about the sign of Immanuel in verses 14 through 16! “All right then, the Lord himself will choose the sign. Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel–`God is with us.’ By the time this child is old enough to eat curds and honey, he will know enough to choose what is right and reject what is wrong. But before he knows right from wrong, the two kings you fear so much–the kings of Israel and Aram–will both be dead.” I don’t know about you, but when I read this today I immediately thought of the virgin Mary and Jesus. With good reason, as we’ll recall from the gospel of Matthew chapter 1 verse 23: “All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”—which means, “God with us.” Commentaries suggest that yes, indeed, these passages in Isaiah are ultimately wholly fulfilled in Jesus, who truly is “God with us.” But, commentaries also suggest that this prophecy in Isaiah had a double fulfillment – first in a young woman from the house of Ahaz who was not married, but would marry and then have a son – and by the time the son was the age 2, the two invading kings would be destroyed. Then, the second fulfillment of this prophecy was indeed in the One we now celebrate as the true Immanuel, Jesus Christ, God with us!
New Testament – Amazing words from Paul today in Second Corinthians chapter 11 verse 30! “If I must boast, I would rather boast about the things that show how weak I am.”
Psalms – I like Psalm 54 verse 4 a lot – “But God is my helper. The Lord is the one who keeps me alive!” I believe it is such a blessing to surrender more and more to God until we get to the point where truly this true for us – God is the one – and only – who keeps us alive. I am not saying I am there yet – but I’m trying to get there. I’m trying to surrender more and more each day to God and to Jesus – all that I am – all that I am living for. I pray that in your life and in mine God will be the one who keeps us alive!
Proverbs – Proverbs 23 verses 1 through 3 today teach us: “When dining with a ruler, pay attention to what is put before you. If you are a big eater, put a knife to your throat, and don’t desire all the delicacies–deception may be involved.” This is a fascinating Proverb. I think the key to remember here is that if you are dining with a ruler that you really need to be very well prayed-up! Seriously. Rulers don’t just mean presidents or politicians. I think of rulers as perhaps our bosses or key people in our community who are well known, but whom perhaps we don’t know that well. If one of these people invites you to dinner, very simply put – beware. Why? Because… deception may be involved. It may not be involved – it may be a very innocent invite to dinner – but you should be cautious. If you are a woman and a well-known man invites you to a one-on-one dinner, and it seems out of context or strange in some way, my first inclination would be to not go. We all obviously know the risk in a situation like this. But men being invited to dinner by men, or men being invited to dinner by women, or women being invited to dinner by women all need to be careful too. One-on-one dinners with someone other than your spouse, someone you are courting, or a good friend could be risky business. I’ll briefly share with you that I got put into a crazy bad situation once being invited to a dinner by a “ruler” in my community. I didn’t see at all what was coming. (I’ll spare you the details…) By the grace of God it all turned out fine in the end – in fact, in some ways I have never felt the Spirit of God rushing through me as powerfully as when I was in that horrible situation over dinner. But, it was a lesson learned! When dining with a ruler – pay attention to what is before you! Not only the food & drink… but the psychological game of deception that may very be before you as well…
Please join us in memorizing and meditating on a verse of Scripture today: “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” Isaiah 6:8 NIV
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