Isaiah 3:1-5:30 ~ 2 Corinthians 11:1-15 ~ Psalm 53:1-6 ~ Proverbs 22:28-29
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Old Testament - Powerful readings in Isaiah today... The southern Kingdom of Judah is getting a stern warning from the prophet today! A scary warning to the people of Judah for their disobedience comes at the end of our readings today in chapter 5 verses 26 through 30: "He will send a signal to the nations far away. He will whistle to those at the ends of the earth, and they will come racing toward Jerusalem. They will not get tired or stumble. They will run without stopping for rest or sleep. Not a belt will be loose, not a sandal thong broken. Their arrows will be sharp and their bows ready for battle. Sparks will fly from their horses' hooves as the wheels of their chariots spin like the wind. Roaring like lions, they will pounce on their prey. They will seize my people and carry them off into captivity, and no one will be there to rescue them. The enemy nations will growl over their victims like the roaring of the sea. A cloud of darkness and sorrow will hover over Israel. The clouds will blot out the light." A random side note here, and definitely an indication of how much I'm swimming in our culture... (as we all do to some extent - like fish surrounded by water - though, I think the Lord of the Rings has many redeeming values to it) As I read these verses above, I thought of the orc armies from the Lord of the Rings running amuck over Middle Earth...
This map below gives a good overview of the growth of the Assyrian empire between 824 B.C. and 640 B.C. and how it engulfs Judah during this time period. The prophet Isaiah was preaching his stern warnings right in the middle of this time period!
Isaiah chapter 5 verse 20 was directed at Judah in the 8th century B.C., but I wonder if this verse can have application to our world today? "Destruction is certain for those who say that evil is good and good is evil; that dark is light and light is dark; that bitter is sweet and sweet is bitter." Can you think of any examples in our modern world where evil is portrayed as good and good is portrayed as evil? I can think of far too many examples unfortunately. This twisting of good and evil, light and dark, bitter and sweet did not make God happy back in eighth century B.C. Think God is happy about this twisting of good and evil today?
New Testament - Paul's words in Second Corinthians chapter 11 verse 14 are some of the scariest words in Scripture for each of us to take to heart: "Even Satan can disguise himself as an angel of light." Do you believe these words of Paul's are true? How would you know if something that appears to be good on the surface is not really good at all? Let us pray for discernment in this regards! Let us not ever be fooled by Satan and his disguises! (Okay, I found this scary picture below for this verse... what do you think? Too scary for this blog? Or maybe we should get a bit scared by this verse??)
Bible.org's commentary on today's readings in Second Corinthians titled "The Father of the Bride Exposes the Master of Deceit" is at this link.
Psalms - If you've ever asked yourself - or ever been asked - why do we need a Messiah? What is our need of Jesus? Well, I think this question is clearly answered in verses 2 & 3 of Psalm 53: "God looks down from heaven on the entire human race; he looks to see if there is even one with real understanding, one who seeks for God. But no, all have turned away from God; all have become corrupt. No one does good, not even one!" This is why we need Jesus. With Jesus, we indeed seek for God. With Jesus, we are blessed with the Holy Spirit to begin to have some real understanding. But without Jesus.... well, it reminds me of the old DC Talk song "In the Light" - "What's going on inside of me? I despise my own behavior. This only serves to confirm my suspicions, that I'm still a man in need of a Savior!" Amen...
Proverbs - Today in Proverbs chapter 22 verse 29 we read: “Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will serve before kings; he will not serve before obscure men.” The thing I love about this Proverb is that it encourages us to be skilled in our work. Whether we are teachers, or bus drivers, or accountants, or technicians, or full time moms, I do strongly believe we are called to be skilled in our work! Do you really focus on your work and make sure you give 100% to your job? Do you avoid surfing the internet at work or chit-chatting for too long or checking personal emails? Do you work for your employer as if you were literally working for God? Do you believe that indeed no matter what your job is that you are really working for God? Do you want to give God your all? Will you give work your all? Don’t get me wrong – I’m not encouraging us to be workaholics. I just think that too often we can slack off a bit at work and think it’s no big deal. I think it is just the opposite. I believe if we slack off at work we’ll be more likely to slack off in other areas of our life, including our relationship with God. Are you skilled in your work? Do you realize that through your work you are not serving before obscure men, but you are indeed serving the King?
Worship God: Based on my Psalm comments above about the old-school DC Talk song "In the Light," here is a live version of the song in this video below! This song has some powerful lyrics, some of which I noted above. Another great line in this song is: "The disease of self runs through my blood. It's a cancer fatal to my soul... Every attempt on my behalf has failed, to bring this sickness under control!" Amen. Let us each give the disease of self over to the only One who can heal us of it - Jesus!
Are you in the Light? Click here to meet the Light of the World!
Please join us in memorizing and meditating on a verse of Scripture today: "Do you see those who are skilled in their work? They will serve before kings; they will not serve before officials of low rank." Proverbs 22:29 TNIV
Prayer Point: Pray that you are skilled in your work. Pray that you continually grow in your skills in your work. Pray that you don't ever slack off or steal time or anything else from your employer. Pray that you are serving your King Jesus in your work.
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!