Isaiah 12:1-14:32 ~ 2 Corinthians 13:1-14 ~ Psalm 57:1-11 ~ Proverbs 23:9-11
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We wrap up the book of Second Corinthians today! Paul's letter to the church in Galatia begins tomorrow!
Old Testament - Today Isaiah chapter 12 is a very short chapter. But it is a wonderful song of praise to God! Verse 2 reads: “Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The LORD, the LORD, is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation." How does this verse resonate with you? Do you frequently sing songs of praise to the Lord? Do you trust in God? Are you not afraid? Is God your strength and your song?
In Isaiah chapter 13 we are beginning a new section of the book. Chapters 1 through 12 were primarily chapters of judgment against the southern kingdom of Judah, as well as some mentions of the northern kingdom of Israel. Chapter 13 begins 11 chapters of judgment on other nations, beginning with Babylon. At this time in history (early 700's B.C.) Babylon was still part of the Assyrian empire. So this oracle from Isaiah was incredible in that it spoke of Babylon's destruction even before Babylon became a world power! Babylon brought about the downfall of Judah and Jerusalem later between the years of 605 and 586 B.C. But then Babylon would be conquered by Cyrus the Persian in 539 B.C. Below is a map of the Babylonian empire from the late 7th / early 6th centuries B.C. You'll note in this map below that the actual city of Babylon is located in modern day Iraq, about 90 kilometers south of Baghdad. An interesting quick history of the city of Babylon, along with some pictures, is at this website link.
An interesting commentary I read on chapter 14 verses 12 through 15 is that some think Isaiah is giving a description of the fall of Satan from heaven in these verses. However, most commentaries seem to say contextually that these verses are about the king of Babylon. I do see how some could think that these 4 verses could apply to the fall of Satan - ""How you are fallen from heaven, O shining star, son of the morning! You have been thrown down to the earth, you who destroyed the nations of the world. For you said to yourself, `I will ascend to heaven and set my throne above God's stars. I will preside on the mountain of the gods far away in the north. I will climb to the highest heavens and be like the Most High.' But instead, you will be brought down to the place of the dead, down to its lowest depths." Below is an engraving titled "Satan Falls" by the artist Gustave Dore:
New Testament - I love Paul's words today in Second Corinthians chapter 13 verse 11! "Dear brothers and sisters, I close my letter with these last words: Rejoice. Change your ways. Encourage each other. Live in harmony and peace. Then the God of love and peace will be with you." Imagine that these words were written to you. Are you rejoicing? Are you changing your ways? Are you encouraging others? Are you living in peace? Is God's love with you this very moment? Is God's peace with you now?
Bible.org's commentary on today's (and yesterday's) readings in Second Corinthians titled "Paul's Closing Argument, Appeal, and Blessing" is at this link.
Psalms - Psalm 57 verse 8 is amazing - "Wake up, my soul!" What 4 great words. . . wake up my soul! Do you ever feel like you need to say this to your soul? I know that I have in my past. There have been times in my life where I have felt spiritually asleep. Just completely slumbering. . . and I have begged my soul to wake up! Fortunately, I finally learned that I could not wake up my soul on it's own. I needed the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit to wake up my soul. . . and being in relationship with our Triune God keeps it awake today. If you feel that you need your soul to wake up, will you prayer to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit to indwell your soul and to wake it up?
Proverbs - Proverbs 23 verse 9 is one of those verses in the Bible that really makes you think about your own life - "Don't waste your breath on fools, for they will despise the wisest advice." This is very wise advice. But it is hard advice at times. I think each of us often will want to give advice to others. But truly, some people do not want to hear what we have to say - no matter how wise the advice is. I struggle with this. I don't want to ever think that I am "wasting my breath on fools"... That seems so harsh. But if we do persist in giving wise advice to those that absolutely don't want to hear it, they will end up despising us as this Proverb says. How does this proverb speak to you? In any areas of your life, are you wasting your breath?
Worship God: Psalm 57 verse 8's call to the soul to wake up reminded me of the Jars of Clay song "Something Beautiful." I love the chorus to this song: "Close my eyes and hold my heart. Cover me and make me something. Change this something normal into something beautiful... "
Has God changed your something normal into something beautiful? Click here for your spiritual makeover!
Please join us in memorizing and meditating on a verse of Scripture today: "My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast; I will sing and make music. " Psalm 57:7 NIV
Prayer Point: Pray that your heart is steadfast before the Lord. Pray that you are singing and making music in your life that brings glory to the Lord.
Comments from You: What verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!