I appreciate all of you who have read through the book of Romans with me on Facebook during June-November 2015, and look forward to your prayers and insights - and "amen"s - as we read through Isaiah together for the next several months.
God bless our reading, understanding, and applying what we get from the book of Isaiah.
DAY 2 - (Nov 16, 2015 on Facebook)
READING THROUGH ISAIAH 1:1-7
* Isaiah saw visions about Judah and Jerusalem during the reigns of 4 kings of Judah
* How was Judah sinful? The people were loaded with guilt, evil doers, and corrupt
* The people forsook, spurned, and turned from God
* So the Lord spoke out against the people of Judah rebelling against Him, refusing His striking them as corrective punishment
* They are so sick.
ISAIAH 1:1-7 (NKJV)
1 The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz,
which he saw
concerning Judah and Jerusalem
in the days of Uzziah, Jotham,
Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.
2 Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth!
For the Lord has spoken:
“I have nourished and brought up children,
And they have rebelled against Me;
3 The ox knows its owner
And the donkey its master’s crib;
But Israel does not know,
My people do not consider.
4 Alas, sinful nation,
A people laden with iniquity,
A brood of evildoers,
Children who are corrupters!"
They have forsaken the Lord,
They have provoked to anger
The Holy One of Israel,
They have turned away backward.
5 Why should you be stricken again?
You will revolt more and more.
The whole head is sick,
And the whole heart faints.
6 From the sole of the foot even to the head,
There is no soundness in it,
But wounds and bruises and putrefying sores;
They have not been closed or bound up,
Or soothed with ointment.
7 Your country is desolate,
Your cities are burned with fire;
Strangers devour your land in your presence;
And it is desolate, as overthrown by strangers."
DAY 3 - Nov 17, 2015
READING THROUGH ISAIAH 1:8-15
* Judah is left alone, like temporary housing
* The Lord left a very small remnant to which Paul referred in Romans 9-11 (will Israel be saved?)
* Hear the Lord, then give Him what He wants, not what Judah wants to give Him
* The Lord is not impressed with the increasing numbers of sacrifices - they have become futile
* He will stop listening to Judah because they flaunt their guilt like bloody hands
"8 So the daughter of Zion is left
as a booth in a vineyard,
as a hut in a garden of cucumbers,
as a besieged city.
9 Unless the Lord of hosts
Had left to us a very small remnant,
We would have become like Sodom,
We would have been made like Gomorrah.
10 Hear the word of the Lord,
You rulers of Sodom;
Give ear to the law of our God,
You people of Gomorrah:
11 "To what purpose is the multitude
of your sacrifices to Me?” says the Lord.
“I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams
And the fat of fed cattle.
I do not delight in the blood of bulls,
Or of lambs or goats.
12 When you come to appear before Me,
Who has required this from your hand,
To trample My courts?
13 Bring no more futile sacrifices;
Incense is an abomination to Me.
The New Moons,
and the calling of assemblies—
I cannot endure iniquity and the sacred meeting.
14 Your New Moons and your appointed feasts
My soul hates;
They are a trouble to Me,
I am weary of bearing them.
15 When you spread out your hands,
I will hide My eyes from you;
Even though you make many prayers,
I will not hear.
Your hands are full of blood."
DAY 4 - Nov 18, 2015
READING THROUGH ISAIAH 1:16-20
* Clean up your lives
* Stop doing evil; learn to do good
* Seek and participate in justice
* The Lord invites you to reason together with Him
* Your sins have a solution in God
* If you are willing and obedient, good will follow
* If you refuse and rebel, you will be devoured
16 “Wash yourselves,
make yourselves clean;
Put away the evil of your doings
from before My eyes.
Cease to do evil,
17 Learn to do good;
Rebuke the oppressor;
Defend the fatherless,
Plead for the widow.
18 “Come now, and let us reason together,”
says the Lord,
“Though your sins are like scarlet,
They shall be as white as snow;
Though they are red like crimson,
They shall be as wool.
19 If you are willing and obedient,
You shall eat the good of the land;
20 But if you refuse and rebel,
You shall be devoured by the sword”;
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken."
* What causes a faithful city,
known for being righteous,
to become unfaithful,
to destroy life,
to cheapen what once was quality,
to increasingly find ways to undermine justice?
* What was faithful has become unfaithful
* In so many ways, things once right have gone so wrong
* Look around. Don't you get it?
"21 How the faithful city
has become a harlot!
It was full of justice;
Righteousness lodged in it,
But now murderers.
22 Your silver has become dross,
Your wine mixed with water.
23 Your princes are rebellious,
And companions of thieves;
Everyone loves bribes,
And follows after rewards.
They do not defend the fatherless,
Nor does the cause of the widow
come before them."
* And then the Lord of Israel speaks.
* What His enemies have undermined, the Mighty One of Israel is willing to repair bit by bit.
* Vengeance is His to take on enemies
* He will turn against and purge the enemies in Jerusalem.
* Dross - something of low value to be removed from a high value metal, such as gold
* Alloy - "a metallic substance made by mixing and fusing two or more metals, or a metal and a nonmetal, to obtain desirable qualities such as hardness, lightness, and strength. Brass, bronze, and steel are all alloys." dictionary.com
* He will restore judges and counselors who are obedient to God
24 Therefore the Lord says,
The Lord of hosts,
the Mighty One of Israel,
“Ah, I will rid Myself of My adversaries,
And take vengeance on My enemies.
25 I will turn My hand against you,
And thoroughly purge away your dross,
And take away all your alloy.
26 I will restore your judges as at the first,
And your counselors as at the beginning.
Afterward you shall be called the city of righteousness, the faithful city.”
* Zion is another name for Jerusalem and area
* Zion will be redeemed with justice
* Zion's penitents will be redeemed with righteousness
* Those who forsake the Lord will be consumed
* The terebinth trees refer to tree worship Tree worship, JewishEncyclopedia
* Redeeming will make God's people ashamed of what they have added (the dross and alloy) and how they have changed Zion
* What will be consumed with fire by the Eternal is illustrated by the trees and gardens fading, drying up, and burning forever.
"27 Zion shall be redeemed with justice,
And her penitents with righteousness.
28 The destruction of transgressors
and of sinners shall be together,
And those who forsake the Lord
shall be consumed.
29 For they shall be ashamed
of the terebinth trees
Which you have desired;
And you shall be embarrassed
because of the gardens
Which you have chosen.
30 For you shall be as a terebinth
whose leaf fades,
And as a garden that has no water.
31 The strong shall be as tinder,
And the work of it as a spark;
Both will burn together,
And no one shall quench them."