Thursday, July 26, 2012

THE BOOK OF ISAIAH // Chapters 13-14: God's Anger and Wrath

Chapter 13
-       Shift back now to Isaiah foretelling the coming destruction of Babylon, or Assyria.
o   Assyria can be assumed as the subject when the text says Babylon. Assyria has been talked about previously in Isaiah and intermixed within this coming section about being the subject of the Lord’s anger 14:24-27. Also, the kings of Assyria commonly took the title, “king of Babylon.”
-       Verse 3: God uses armies, warriors, and warfare to accomplish His purposes.
-       Verse 6: God’s anger and wrath are terrifying. This is not something to be taken lightly.
-       Verse 8: We are helpless in response to God’s wrath.
-       Verse 11: God withholds the right and the power to punish the wicked for their sin. He has every right to be the just, righteous judge of the world.
-       Verse 16: Children killed, homes sacked, and wives raped. God’s wrath is rough.

Chapter 14
-       Chapter 14 is entitled ‘A taunt for Babylon’s King.’ Literally the whole chapter talks about the coming fall of Babylon, and that’s about it.
-       Verse 2: As God is calling his chosen nation of Israel back to Him; he is also bringing in many people of other nations to join them, so called Gentiles.
o   Bringing outsiders into the covenant community.
-       Verse 14: describes what selfish ambition looks like that leads one to this type of fall. The kings of Babylon/Assyria desired to be like God, they wanted power and control, and instead they were destroyed.
-       Verse 27: God is omnipotent. No one can stop Him. When He desires to do something, it will be done. 

It's chapters like these two that often aren't so fun to read. Here you see God taking his anger and frustration out on nations of people that have chosen not to follow Him and to ignore Him. You see God punishing people for their sin. You see Him bringing the justice for our sins down that we deserve, instead of the grace that He has shown for us through Jesus. In Chapter 14 you see God destroying the Kings of Babylon because of their desire for power and control and their will to follow after their own ambition. Ooooo Jesus that hurts. Thats me. Thats so many of us going after our own selfish ambitions. But you see God's response to that right here. It's not fun. It's not pretty to read. But it's God's word. It is how he dealt with those people in that time. God give me the humility and the selflessness to not chase after my own ambition. Help me chase after you instead. Thank you for sending Jesus to die on the cross for my sins so that I could be seen as righteous in Your eyes, and not as the wicked who deserve your wrath and anger. Help me to look more and more like Him each day.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

THE BOOK OF ISAIAH // Chapter 12: God came to save me

Chapter 12
-       Chapter 12 is a resulting song of praise from what Isaiah promised in the previous chapter, the coming servant of the Lord out of the line of King David that would come bearing the Spirit of the Lord in all wisdom, understanding, counsel, might, knowledge, and fear of the Lord. Jesus the Christ. 
-       Verse 2: Jesus’ coming will be with the purpose of a personal salvation.
o   “God has come to save me.”
-       Verse 4: Our response from that is to rejoice, and tell the world what he has done.

Jesus came to save me. It's that simple. So often I forget that. So often I get caught up thinking about the world and how big it is. The billions of people in the world. Those who know Jesus, those who don't know Jesus, and those who have heard about Him and decidedly turned away from Him. The world is huge. I think about my own life, the place I grew up, the people I used to know, the people I meet each day. It's hard to for me to wrap my mind around the fact that God has made each and every person on this earth, that He loves each and every person on this earth, and that He desires each and every person on this earth to know Him and love Him in return. But what a reminder about those truths than what you find here in Isaiah chapter 12, than the fact that as it says in verse 2, Jesus came to save each and every person on this earth. If Isaiah could sit there 700 years before Jesus even came, and praise God for coming to save him personally, through Jesus, before it even happened, then I can sit here however many years after it happened and praise Jesus for coming to save me personally. And if I can sit here and say it, a man with a sinful heart that constantly struggles in his flesh every day, then you can sit there and say it, regardless of who you are, where you live, what you've done, or whatever other reason you can think of. Jesus came to save me. And He came to save you... Wow. I don't know what else you or I could need, want, or desire. I Praise You Jesus. I Praise You.