Choices- Benefits or Consequences. You Choose!

Isaiah 56 gives us a picture of what God desires and the benefits of following Him. It also shows the plight of the ungodly and the consequences of their choices.

Isaiah 56:1-8 starts out with God’s admonistion to do what is right, be just, avoid evil and follow God’s commands. The command example is keeping the Sabbath. God promises rescue for His followers and this is provided through faith in Jesus’ death and resurrection and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

This is what the Lord says: “Be just and fair to all.
    Do what is right and good,
for I am coming soon to rescue you
    and to display my righteousness among you.
Blessed are all those
    who are careful to do this.
Blessed are those who honor my Sabbath days of rest
    and keep themselves from doing wrong.

God goes on to say that foreigners should not be afraid of exclusion, 3, and if they bind themselves to God in service, worship and love, He will bring them into His house. His house will be a house of prayer for all nations, 6-8.

“Don’t let foreigners who commit themselves to the Lord say,
    ‘The Lord will never let me be part of his people.’
“I will also bless the foreigners who commit themselves to the Lord,
    who serve him and love his name,
who worship him and do not desecrate the Sabbath day of rest,
    and who hold fast to my covenant.
I will bring them to my holy mountain of Jerusalem
    and will fill them with joy in my house of prayer.
I will accept their burnt offerings and sacrifices,
    because my Temple will be called a house of prayer for all nations.
For the Sovereign Lord,
    who brings back the outcasts of Israel, says:

I will bring others, too,
    besides my people Israel.”

Even the eunuchs, those who are symbolically cut off from God’s house, need not worry as they wll be given His everlasting name by choosing Him and holding fast to His Word.,4-5.

For this is what the Lord says:
I will bless those eunuchs
    who keep my Sabbath days holy
and who choose to do what pleases me
    and commit their lives to me.
I will give them—within the walls of my house—
    a memorial and a name
    far greater than sons and daughters could give.
For the name I give them is an everlasting one.
    It will never disappear!

These ancient words are comforting to us today as no matter what our situation is, God will be there for us. Whether we are in His family already, are outsiders- unbelievers as were the Gentiles, or if we think we are totally isolated from God and His family. God promises to rescues us with benefits! We need to trust in Him, walk in the light of His Word and seek to serve Him. This is God’s remedy for our lostness and is filled with hopefulness and promise.

The remainder of Chapter 56 speaks of the plight of the unrepentant who seek the world and are blinded by its allure. They seemingly love to sleep and dream, lack understanding and seek their own gain. God also warns the one who leads others down that pathway. Beware of ungodly leaders- check their motives and their hearts. Sounds like the world around us today where people live with the illusion that tomorrow will be like today or even better as they party through life on their own. They seek to live life in the moment and don’t consider the eternal consequences.

Isaiah 56:9-12 Come, wild animals of the field!
    Come, wild animals of the forest!
    Come and devour my people!
10 For the leaders of my people—
    the Lord’s watchmen, his shepherds—
    are blind and ignorant.
They are like silent watchdogs
    that give no warning when danger comes.
They love to lie around, sleeping and dreaming.
11     Like greedy dogs, they are never satisfied.
They are ignorant shepherds,
    all following their own path
    and intent on personal gain.
12 “Come,” they say, “let’s get some wine and have a party.
    Let’s all get drunk.
Then tomorrow we’ll do it again
    and have an even bigger party!”

Which sounds better to you? Following and serving God, being cared for by Him now and throughout eternity or going it alone? The choice is yours. Seek Him as the benefits far outway the consequences.


A Great Promise, Plus more…

After a bit of a hiatus from my blogging during Lent, I am looking forward to continuing and finishing the book of Isaiah. The passage for today is Isaiah 55:10-13. God has been telling the Isaralites, who will be exiled to Babylon, that their days there will end and that they again will florish.

“The rain and snow come down from the heavens
    and stay on the ground to water the earth.
They cause the grain to grow,
    producing seed for the farmer

    and bread for the hungry. The seasons will come and go replenishing the earth and providing fruit. It is like God is telling them- things will return to normal and go on as before your exile. You will live, enjoy the land and florish- just like I planned. Like my land and seasons God continues in verse 11, my Word will be sent out and will always produce fruit! It will do exactly that which God desires it to do among men.

11 It is the same with my word.
    I send it out, and it always produces fruit.
It will accomplish all I want it to,
    and it will prosper everywhere I send it.
This is an amazing promise we can claim in our lives. We can trust God to produce results from giving out His Word. We don’t have to worry about where it is going or to whom, our job is to give it out. I claimed this verse for my first book, Fearless Living. I can trust God to fulfill His promise and use His Word in the lives of men. Praise God!

12 You will live in joy and peace.
    The mountains and hills will burst into song,
    and the trees of the field will clap their hands!
13 Where once there were thorns, cypress trees will grow.
    Where nettles grew, myrtles will sprout up.
These events will bring great honor to the Lord’s name;
    they will be an everlasting sign of his power and love.”
Isaiah’s words of prophecy were to be like a balm to the exiled Jews. They were given hope and reassurance that God’s love and power will remain and bring forth good things for them again.

Where do you need that hope today? Are you thinking things are futile and the cycle you are caught in is endless? The Jews must have thought that too, but God gave them hope by looking at the seasons and reassuring them fullness of life would return. Look around and see where God is sending encouragement into your life. Are you concerned about ministy and where you are giving out God’s Word? Be encouraged and don’t fret over the who and where, just trust God to bring the harvest when the Word is given out. He is a Promise-Keeping God! Are you looking for times of joy and restoration? Look to Jesus as He alone can and will restore us. Pray for restoration and pray for the faith and restoration of other Christians as Peter asked in 1 Peter 5:5-9 “Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. 10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 11 To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.” Pray, pray, pray.

In accordance with Isaiah 55:11-13: live with and in hope, continue giving out God’s Word and pray for restoration for the areas of weakness in your own life and in the lives of others.


He Did It All for You and Me! Thank You Jesus!

This last portion in the 4th Song in Isaiah continues to show the suffering servant and how He fulfilled the Father’s will to save us. Isaiah 53:9-12

He had done no wrong
    and had never deceived anyone.
But he was buried like a criminal;
    he was put in a rich man’s grave.
Luke 23:32 tells us that the 2 men crucified alongside Jesus were criminals. “Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed.” After Jesus death, Joseph of Arimathea a rich man who was a follower of Jeus and was on the Council but had not agreed to Jesus’ death went to Pilate. He asked for Jesus’ body so he could bury him in a tomb he had had made. Mark 15:46 So Joseph bought some linen cloth, took down the body, wrapped it in the linen, and placed it in a tomb cut out of rock. Then he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb.”

10 But it was the Lord’s good plan to crush him.
    and cause him grief.
Yet when his life is made an offering for sin,
    he will have many descendants.
He will enjoy a long life,
    and the Lord’s good plan will prosper in his hands.
God’s plan was one of love for the lost whi He sought to redeem through His Son. Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 8:3 “For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh,”

11 When he sees all that is accomplished by his anguish,
    he will be satisfied.
And because of his experience,
    my righteous servant will make it possible
for many to be counted righteous,
    for he will bear all their sins.
The phrase Victory in Jesus comes to mind as I see these words. 1 Corinthians 15:54-58 “When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” 55 “Where, O death, is your victory?     Where, O death, is your sting?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”

12 I will give him the honors of a victorious soldier,
    because he exposed himself to death.
He was counted among the rebels.
    He bore the sins of many and interceded for rebels.
He bore our sins and will be exalted for all eternity. Philippians 2:9-11 “Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,  in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,   to the glory of God the Father.

I pray that the study of Isaiah 53 has added a new dimension to your Holy Week observances.


God’s Word Protects

The majority of our time this week will be spent in Isaiah 53, or the 4th Song within Isaiah. However, before we get to Isaiah 53 we encounter some incredibly rich and beautiful passages in Isaiah 51-52. Isaiah 51:7-8 is where Isaiah encourages the Israelites to have a NO Fear attitude towards the adversities that surround them now and those they will face in the future.

“Hear me, you who know what is right,
    you people who have taken my instruction to heart:
Do not fear the reproach of mere mortals
    or be terrified by their insults.
For the moth will eat them up like a garment;
    the worm will devour them like wool.
But my righteousness will last forever,
    my salvation through all generations.”

I love the fact that God’s Words that He has given us to live by in the Bible are our protection against those who would seek to intimidate or ridicule us. God says they will be devoured and His righteousness will endure forever. Take lessons to heart from this passage and be encouraged.

  • Knowing God and having His words in my heart protects me!
  • Others seek to put me down, scorn, terrorize and hurt me, but God promises to deal with them, devouring them.
  • God promises to put holes in them, either literally or figuratively, so that the will be destroyed.
  • God promises His righteousness and salvation are eternal.

What do you know about God’s Word? Here are a few verses to show you that the Word of God has power. *Psalm 119:105 “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” God’s Word gives guidance and direction.

Psalm 119:120 “My flesh trembles in fear of you;  I stand in awe of your laws.” God’s Word is worthy of our awe.

Psalm 18:30 “As for God, his way is perfect: The Lord’s word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him.” God’s Word is our flawless shield provided by God.

Ephesians 6:17-18  In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” God’s Word is included in the armor given to all believers and it is one of our offensive weapons to strike at the heart of unbelief.

Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” God’s Word is alive, penetrating and helps us discern truth.

1 Peter 1:23 “For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.” God’s Word is eternal; it will never be out of date in any circumstance.

God and His Word will last forever and He will be victorious over any and all circumstances we may encounter in life. Fear does not come from God. He wants us to stand for Him with NO FEAR in our hearts and minds.


Oops! God’s Word as my Shield

Chapter 44 of Isaiah begins with another powerful No Fear passage. God is sending the Israelites more encouragement to help them face those long years that were coming during their exile in Babylon. The words of encouragement are just as real and profound for us today! Ancient words with help and love written all over them from our God. Isaiah 44:1-3

“But now listen, Jacob, my servant,
    Israel, whom I have chosen.

This is what the Lord says—
    he who made you, who formed you in the womb,
    and who will help you:

Do not be afraid, Jacob, my servant,
    Jeshurun, whom I have chosen.
For I will pour water on the thirsty land,
    and streams on the dry ground;
I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring,
    and my blessing on your descendants.

Here are truths and promises I can claim as a believer in Jesus from this passage:

  1. I am chosen by God and special to Him verse 1. 1 Thessalonians 1:4 “For we know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you
  2. God created me and knew me before I was even born verse 2. Psalm 139:13 “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.”
  3. God promises to help me during my life verse 2. Psalm 28:7 “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helpme. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.
  4. God says I can live without fear because He chose me, blesses and helps me verse 2. Romans 8:15 “The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” Galatians 3:26 “So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith,”
  5. God promises to pour out His Spirit upon me and bless me verse 3. John 16:3 “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.”
  6. As a child of God, my descendants and I will receive blessings verse 3. Deuteronomy 30:19 “This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.”

God meant for us to find and claim these verses as God had placed them repeatedly throughout scripture. Which of these will you claim in your life today? Are you in need of feeling special to God? See verse 1. Are you doubting that God created you for a purpose in a special way? See verse 2. Are you doubting God will help you in your current circumstances? See verse 2. Are you living in fear because of your current situation or pressures in your life? See verse 2. Do you need an outpouring of God’s Holy Spirit upon you today? See verse 3. Are you concerned about your children and grandchildren? See verse 3.

God’s Word is complete and has answers and hope for all of life’s situation! Praise God 2 Samuel22:31 speaks of the flawlessness of God’s Word and how it can be our shield for living. “As for God, his way is perfect: The Lord’s word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him.” David gives the same idea in Psalm 18:30,“As for God, his way is perfect: The Lord’s word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him.” Solomon also says in Proverbs 30:5 “Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.” Why not claim God’s promises over you life today and use His word as your shield for living?


Isaiah 40, Treasures for Living

Before I leave Chapter 40 of Isaiah, I want to draw your attention to my favorite verses that give me strength, courage and a feeling of being loved by God.

Isaiah 40:8 shows me the strength I am assured of through God’s Word. “The grass withers and the flowers fall,  but the word of our God endures forever.” God and His Word are eternal and will not change, fade or die out. I can use His Word as an anchor for my soul as God and His Word do not change. Hebrews 13:8 speaks of the immutability of Jesus and confirms our trust in Him. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Proverbs 30:5 speaks of the perfection of God’s Word and its ability to protect us. “Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.” Hebrews 4:12 speaks of how the Word of God is alive and will help us discern our own hearts and the world around us. “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” The Word of God is eternal and provides grounding and hope in any situation.

Isaiah 40:11 “He tends his flock like a shepherd:
    He gathers the lambs in his arms
and carries them close to his heart;
    he gently leads those that have young.”
This verse is very comforting as God reveals his heart of compassion and love for me. I know that in times of heartache, joy and desperation He will hold me close to His heart and never let me go. There is no one or nothing like our God. He alone can hold and comfort me. However, He uses other believers to come alongside me and bring tangible comfort right when I need it. Thank you God for you exquisite care of me.

Lastly, I love Isaiah 40:28-31. This portion of scripture is a favorite of so many. Do you not know?
    Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
    and his understanding no one can fathom.
29 He gives strength to the weary
    and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
    and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.

There is such strength in knowing God is creator of all, sovereign and everlasting. Nothing can outlast God. He is tireless and in my human weariness I can know that God will not give up or not help because He is too tired or preoccupied. He gives strength and power in Jesus’ name. He uplifts when I grow tired and always will renew my strength. He will cause me to soar and not grow faint. God is an amazing God who loves me and will always support me. I am reminded of Lamentations 3:21-23 when reading these verses, “But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: 22 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; 23 they are new every morning;  great is your faithfulness.” We know that God always loves us and each and every day His mercies are new for us. We can count on His Faithfulness!

I pray you have seen God in new ways as we have spent time in Isaiah Chapter 40.


God Promises a Remnant

Amidst all the turmoil for Israel foretold by Isaiah in chapter after chapter, God lists the sins of not only Israel but the nations around them and still God provides a note of hope. God tells Isaiah that there will be a remnant of His people that will remain or return. In Hezekiah’s day a small group remained faithful and survived the Assyrian invasion in 701 B.C. Later in exile with the Babylonians there was a remnant that would return as recorded in Nehemiah. God promises a remnant of the faithful believers will return to rebuild and from them will come the Messiah.

Isaiah 10: 20-23 In that day the remnant of Israel,
    the survivors of Jacob,
will no longer rely on him
    who struck them down
but will truly rely on the Lord,
    the Holy One of Israel.
21 A remnant will return, a remnant of Jacob
    will return to the Mighty God.
22 Though your people be like the sand by the sea, Israel,
    only a remnant will return.
Destruction has been decreed,
    overwhelming and righteous.
23 The Lord, the Lord Almighty, will carry out
    the destruction decreed upon the whole land

What does this hope mean for us today? As we look around, like the people of Isaiah’s day did, we see a world filled with corruption and evil. Yes, there is good too but sin is rampant and it seems that it has the upper hand. God was consoling Isarel, and us too, that no matter how it looks or seems, God is in control. He is sovereign and there will always be a remnant of believers that hold Him to be the Lord Almighty, the Holy One.

What is a remnant? As a seamstress, it is a piece of cloth left over. You cut the majority of the bolt of fabric for use and then what is left over is the remnant. It is just as beautiful and the whole piece of cloth, same width, and depth but just smaller in size. God promises there will always be believers no matter how small the group, they will be present. They will hold onto His light, His Word and His truths. They will walk with Him in His power. Paul gave an example in his letter to the Romans. He was speaking about the prophet Elijah and his complaint to God that there were not any believers left in Israel. Romans 11:2-6 “Don’t you know what Scripture says in the passage about Elijah—how he appealed to God against Israel: “Lord, they have killed your prophets and torn down your altars; I am the only one left, and they are trying to kill me”? And what was God’s answer to him? “I have reserved for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.” There is always a remnant chosen by God, by His grace, to remain. Jesus spoke encouraging words in John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Praise God! 1 John 4:4 “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”

Take heart and put your trust in the Holy One of Israel who is Sovereign over all. The Lord Almighty will preserve us in Him. We are sealed by His Holy Spirit and belong to Him!


He Is Who He Says He Is!

Prophecies from Chapter 9 of Isaiah continue in verses 6-7. Let the beauty of God’s Word fill you as you read.

For to us a child is born, He (Messiah, Savior) will come as a child.
    to us a son is given,
    and the government will be on his shoulders.
He will be a king.
And he will be called
    Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
He will be given glorious names.
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the greatness of his government and peace
    there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
He will reign on David’s throne.
    and over his kingdom,
His will be a kingdom of peace.
establishing and upholding it
    with justice and righteousness
He will reign with justice and righteousness.
    from that time on and forever.
His is an eternal kingdom.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty The Lord will bring this about by His passion
    will accomplish this. and purpose.

All of the above prophecies were fulfilled by Jesus when He came to Earth. The culmination of His kingdom and reign will be fully accomplished when He returns. To increase your faith in who Jesus is, what He did and what He plans to do, let me give you some New Testament references that show the fulfillment of these prophesies.

Jesus was born as a child and was the son of God. Luke 1:35 “The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.” Luke 2:6-7  While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.”

Jesus would be king. John 18:36 Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.” Luke 1:32-33 “She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).

Jesus would be given glorious names. John 14:26 “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit—the Father will send Him in My name—will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have told you.” Matthew 20:30 “Two blind men were sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was going by, they shouted, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!” Philippians 2:9-11 “Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
    and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
    in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
    to the glory of God the Father.”

Jesus will reign on David’s throne. Revelation 22:16 ““I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.” Hebrews 12:2 “fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Matthew 1:1 “This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham:…”

Jesus’ kingdom is one of peace. John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” Romans 5:1 “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,”

Jesus will reign in justice and righteousness. Romans 3:22 “This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile,” Matthew 12:18 ““Here is my servant whom I have chosen, the one I love, in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will proclaim justice to the nations.”

Jesus’ kingdom is eternal. Romans 5:8 “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” 2 Peter 2:10-11 “Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, 11 and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” John 10:28 “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.”

The Lord will see that all is accomplished. Job 42:2 “I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted.” Revelation 17:4 “They will wage war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will triumph over them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings—and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers.”

Wow! I don’t know if you are as blessed as I am reading through these scriptures. This just touches the surface of how Jesus fully fulfilled the will of the Father. He is who He says He is and will return. You can count on it as God keeps His Promises! Step out in faith today uplifted by God’s eternal promises fixed in Jesus our Savior.


Here is link to hear these words of prophecy as written in Handel’s Messiah. Enjoy!

No Fear, just Trust in Almighty God!

Today’s passage is from Isaiah 8:11-13. God is giving words of warning and advice to King Ahaz through his prophet Isaiah.

11 This is what the Lord says to me with his strong hand upon me, warning me not to follow the way of this people:

12 “Do not call conspiracy
    everything this people calls a conspiracy;
do not fear what they fear,
    and do not dread it.

13 The Lord Almighty is the one you are to regard as holy,
    he is the one you are to fear,
    he is the one you are to dread.

In this passage God is seeking to turn the king and his people to Himself. He is desiring that they see Him as the one to be feared and not the neighbors or the enemies that surround them. Their hope and salvation rests in the Lord Almighty. Here are some lessons and truths I gleaned from this passage about God that can and do apply to our lives:

*God wants me to rely on Him alone. No alliance or compromises are needed to defeat my enemies. God alone is sufficient.

*Knowing God, I do not need to fear the world and circumstances like non-believers do.

*God is holy.

*My reverence (fear) should be reserved for God alone.

*God will literally trip up my enemies and defeat them.

*God is my refuge.

Ask yourself today- do I see my circumstances through God or God through my circumstances? Do I believe Deuteronomy 31:6 wholeheartedly or not? “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Take a leap of faith today and seek to live by God’s Words to Isaiah. No fear allowed. Replace that fear with trust in God. He will not let you down and He will see you through.


Doom to Bloom, God’s desired way for Us

The book of Isaiah is filled with prophesies pointing the people of Judah to their near future along with the distant future. The amazing thing about these is we can see many of them already fulfilled in their history and in Christ’s coming. Along with these are prophesies that are still future to us. We can see God keeps His promises, and we can look forward with hope to the future outlined for us in scripture.

In today’s passage from Isaiah 5 we have a series of ‘Woes’ delivered by Isaiah to the people of Israel. He gives God’s the charges against them and the result of their disobedience. The Message translation uses the word doom which I think aptly describes their problems.

5:8 Doom to you who buy up all the houses
    and grab all the land for yourselves—
Evicting the old owners,
    posting no trespassing signs,

5:11 Doom to those who get up early
    and start drinking booze before breakfast,
Who stay up all hours of the night
    drinking themselves into a stupor.

5:18 Doom to you who use lies to sell evil,

5:20 Doom to you who call evil good
    and good evil,
Who put darkness in place of light
    and light in place of darkness,
Who substitute bitter for sweet
    and sweet for bitter!

5:21 Doom to you who think you’re so smart,
    who hold such a high opinion of yourselves!

These warnings were given about 100 years before the destruction of Jerusalem and the deportation of the Jews to Babylon. If we look at each one- these same accusations could be leveled against people in our day. Sin is sin – it has not changed over the centuries. What has changed is the ‘fix’ for our sinful condition. Jesus came to bring light, hope and redemption for our sin sick souls. We do not have to settle for treating others poorly, being addicted, wallowing in evil and lies, doing evil instead of good and over thinking ourselves! Jesus came to save us from our sins and call us to repentance. He came to provide a way for us to rid ourselves of these sinful habits and replace them with justice, mercy and hope. Christ is the Holy one, the Only one, who can Save us. Cling to that truth and place your hope in Him. God keeps His promises and we’ll see his plan of redemption unfold in the next chapters as we receive prophesy after prophecy about Messiah, our Savior.

I love the words of Micah 6:8 which stand in contrast to these woes in Isaiah 5. “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
  And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
 and to walk humbly with your God.”
These words and actions lead to life, hope and blessings from God. God wants so much more for us than the Woe’s of the world.