Isaiah 22:1-24:23 ~ Galatians 2:17-3:9 ~ Psalm 60:1-12 ~ Proverbs 23:15-16
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Old Testament - Today in Isaiah chapter 23 we read a message about Tyre. Ancient Tyre was a city on the seacoast of Phoenicia and is still a city today in modern day southern Lebanon. In the days of the prophet Isaiah, it was a major trading center, wealthy and full of corruption. Tyre was also rebuked by the prophets Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Joel, Amos, and Zechariah - books that we'll read later this year in the One Year Bible. A good history & overview of ancient and modern day Tyre is at this website link. Below is a map of modern day Lebanon that shows the location of Tyre. And below that is a modern day picture of Tyre's ancient ruins. Some more great images of ancient Tyre's ruins are at this link.
Isaiah chapter 24 today begins 4 chapters of judgment and blessing in the final days! The time of God's final victory over evil. There is some pretty "heavy" stuff to consider about the last days when reading this chapter, to say the least. But, I absolutely love the way the chapter ends - as God's story truly will end as we'll read about more in the book of Revelation later this year - with verses 21 through 24: "In that day the LORD will punish the fallen angels in the heavens and the proud rulers of the nations on earth. They will be rounded up and put in prison until they are tried and condemned. Then the LORD Almighty will mount his throne on Mount Zion. He will rule gloriously in Jerusalem, in the sight of all the leaders of his people. There will be such glory that the brightness of the sun and moon will seem to fade away." Are you looking forward to this moment of the Lord's final victory?
New Testament - Paul's message in Galatians chapter 3 verses 6 through 9 is very good news to the 1st century Gentiles and to you and me today too! "In the same way, "Abraham believed God, so God declared him righteous because of his faith." The real children of Abraham, then, are all those who put their faith in God. What's more, the Scriptures looked forward to this time when God would accept the Gentiles, too, on the basis of their faith. God promised this good news to Abraham long ago when he said, "All nations will be blessed through you." And so it is: All who put their faith in Christ share the same blessing Abraham received because of his faith." Do you believe that you can share in the same blessing Abraham received? How? Are you a spiritual descendent of Abraham? Why? What do Paul's words "faith in Christ" mean to you? Is this all very good news to you? Below is a painting from the year 1850 by Hungarian artist Jozsef Molnar of "Abraham's journey from Ur to Canaan":
Bible.org's commentary on today's readings in Galatians titled "The Cost of Changing Course" is at this link. Below is a great image - nice take off from the "Intel Inside" graphic! - from Galatians 2:20 in today's readings:
Psalms - I like the imagery of Psalm 60 verse 4 a lot - "But you have raised a banner for those who honor you -- a rallying point in the face of attack." I do believe that if we honor God, he will in some profound way "raise up a banner" for us. A banner that will rally and encourage us in the face of attack - in the face of doubt or despair or sickness or just plain old fashioned attack from the Enemy - I believe God will give us a banner of hope. This banner could end up being one of a million different things I think, depending on the circumstances. For me, certainly a banner that rallies me each and every day is God's very Word, the Bible. I believe the Bible is indeed a banner that rallies us in the face of attack... What are some banners in your life that God is providing to rally you in the face of attack? Uh-oh, this whole banner imagery has reminded me of an old childhood song... :) Remember that children's song that goes something like this (over and over and over again...) - "Peter built the church on the rock of our faith. HIS banner over me is love."? What a great simple song! God's love very well should be a banner in our lives!
Proverbs - When I read Proverbs 23 verses 15 & 16 today I felt like God was saying this directly to me - "My child, how I will rejoice if you become wise. Yes, my heart will thrill when you speak what is right and just." Yes, it's true that I do not believe I am wise! Isn't it a Proverb that says something like "be not wise in thine own eyes"? Wise advice... :) Truly, I love the thought of actually someday being wise. On my better days, I seek after wisdom. But I'm not there yet by a long shot. So, I guess today's Proverb seemed to be a bit of encouragement to me from God. Do you believe that God will rejoice if you become wise? Do you believe that God's heart will thrill when you speak what is right and just?
Worship God: Okay, I am having way too much fun with YouTube these days! Based on my Psalm reflection above, I went hunting for my old childhood song "His Banner Over Me Is Love" and found out that this song is alive and well today! I found a ton of great videos of people singing this song, but it came down to 1 video I just had to share with you. The video is about 90 seconds long and just incredibly cute as you'll see.
Is God's banner over you? Click here and get under God's banner of love!
Please join us in memorizing and meditating on a verse of Scripture today: "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." Galatians 2:20 (NIV)
Prayer Point: Pray that you have been crucified with Christ. Pray that Christ lives in you. Pray that you are living this life in your body by faith in Jesus, who loves you and gave Himself for you. Pray that your friends, family, and neighbors would come to fully know this Truth.
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!
ISAIAH 23:8, 9
"Who has brought this disaster on Tyre, empire builder and chief trader of the world? The LORD Almighty has done it to destroy your pride and show his contempt for all human greatness."
This makes me think of this passage in Ezekiel:
Ezekiel 28:11 – 17 (Amplified)
** NOTE in these verses in Ezekiel how the prophet is speaking about the human king of Tyre, and then shifts to speaking about a heavenly being.
Moreover, the word of the Lord came to me, saying,
Son of man, take up a lamentation over the king of Tyre and say to him, Thus says the Lord God: You are the full measure and pattern of exactness [giving the finishing touch to all that constitutes completeness], full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.
You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering, the carnelian, topaz, jasper, chrysolite, beryl, onyx, sapphire, carbuncle, and emerald; and your settings and your sockets and engravings were wrought in gold. On the day that you were created they were prepared.
You were the anointed cherub that covers with overshadowing [wings], and I set you so. You were upon the holy mountain of God; you walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire [like the paved work of gleaming sapphire stone upon which the God of Israel walked on Mount Sinai].
You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created until iniquity and guilt were found in you.
Through the abundance of your commerce you were filled with lawlessness and violence, and you sinned; therefore I cast you out as a profane thing from the mountain of God and the guardian cherub drove you out from the midst of the stones of fire.
Your heart was proud and lifted up because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor. I cast you to the ground; I lay you before kings, that they might gaze at you.
Whatever the devil uses for evil, God WILL use for good—IF WE CONTINUE TO TRUST JESUS !
PRESS IN, AND PRESS ON !
As Winston Churchill said:
"NEVER GIVE UP! NEVER GIVE UP! NEVER GIVE UP!"
“…And so it is: All who put their faith in Christ share the same blessing Abraham received because of his faith."
I like this question:
Do you believe that you can share in the same blessing Abraham received? How? Are you a spiritual descendent of Abraham? Why?
NOTE: MY ANSWER
Christ purchased our freedom [redeeming us] from the curse (doom) of the Law [and its condemnation] by [Himself] becoming a curse for us, for it is written [in the Scriptures], Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree (is crucified);
To the end that through [their receiving] Christ Jesus, the blessing [promised] to Abraham might come upon the Gentiles, so that we through faith might [all] receive [the realization of] the promise of the [Holy] Spirit.
What does sharing in the faith of Abraham mean?
a. redemption from ALL of the curse of the law, which covers EVERY area of life. The blessing of Abraham is NOT LESS than the curse, but GREATER. Therefore, the blessing of Abraham in Jesus ALSO COVERS EVERY AREA OF LIFE—now on earth and in eternity
b. Receiving the Spirit of God through faith. NOTHING COMES TO US without the personal ministry of the Holy Spirit. THANK GOD !
For if because of one man's trespass (lapse, offense) death reigned through that one, much more surely will those who receive [God's] overflowing grace (unmerited favor) and the free gift of righteousness [putting them into right standing with Himself]
* REIGN AS KINGS IN LIFE THROUGH THE ONE MAN JESUS CHRIST (the Messiah, the Anointed One).
We are called to reign in life through the Man, Jesus Christ! THANK GOD!
But then Law came in, [only] to expand and increase the trespass [making it more apparent and exciting opposition]. But where sin increased and abounded,
* GRACE (GOD'S UNMERITED FAVOR) HAS SURPASSED IT AND INCREASED THE MORE AND SUPERABOUNDED,
So that, [just] as sin has reigned in death,
* [SO] GRACE (HIS UNEARNED AND UNDESERVED FAVOR) MIGHT REIGN ALSO THROUGH RIGHTEOUSNESS (RIGHT STANDING WITH GOD) WHICH ISSUES IN ETERNAL LIFE
through Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) our Lord.
THANK GOD THAT GRACE SUPER ABOUNDS!
"But you have raised a banner for those who honor you -- a rallying point in the face of attack."
This makes me think of the very real and encouraging testimony of Martin Luther, a great man of faith. This was one of his comments on part of Galatians 1:1 which reads: "Who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth?"
“Although I am a doctor of divinity, and have preached Christ and fought His battles for a long time, I know from personal experience how difficult it is to hold fast to the truth. I cannot always shake off Satan. I cannot always apprehend Christ as the Scriptures portray Him. Sometimes the devil distorts Christ to my vision.
But thanks be to God, who keeps us in His Word, in faith, and in prayer.”
The honesty of his struggle and the honesty of his faith in overcoming the struggle is very encouraging!
No matter how hopeless things may feel or look, ALWAYS KEEP BELIEVING GOD! The devil may seem to win a few battles. If so, let those losses become a point of persevering faith. Treat all failure as opportunities to learn to trust Jesus more. PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT !
PROVERBS 23:15, 16
"My child, how I will rejoice if you become wise. Yes, my heart will thrill when you speak what is right and just."
As I am getting older and as my father is over 70 years old, I want to leave a godly legacy. I want to be the son who causes my father to lift his head high in honor. I want my father to say: “That’s my boy!” as he talks to others.
Don’t we want the same thing from our heavenly Father? Yes, we do! And, by God’s grace, we can!
Years ago, the radio program “Focus on the Family” has been doing a series of programs about letter writing—sons writing letters to thank and honor their fathers, and their mothers and other family members. The focus was on men honoring fathers and fathers honoring men because sometimes men need more structure and encouragement than women to be open about love and honor.
Take time TODAY to send a letter of honor to your parents. Take time TODAY to BE a letter of honor to your parents—and to your Lord Jesus—in your life!
Posted by: Vance | September 15, 2013 at 06:59 PM