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Isaiah 25:1-28:13


As I read today’s Old Testament passage, I am brought to the Proverb that states,

The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe. The rich man's wealth is his strong city, and as a high wall in his own conceit.
(Proverbs 18:10-11 KJVR)

In today’s reading I am focused on the difference between two means of protection, the use of the world’s natural resources used as a defense to guard households, communities, cities and nations as opposed to those who the name of the Lord, their relationship with God to be their strong tower as stated in the above Proverb.

We take what the creator of the universe, God Himself, has made, claim it as our own, and then use them to both defend and attack others who are using the same resources, as if each groups of people own what belongs to God. Those who have mastered the use of what God has created win the contest, we think. It is only when we are in Christ, under the shelter of God’s wings, in the tower of the name of the Lord where we find safety and protection.


In that day shall this song be sung in the land of Judah; We have a strong city; salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks. Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation which keepeth the truth may enter in. Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the LORD forever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength: (Isaiah 26:1-4 KJV)

A comment: off-topic, at least today’s topic.

I realize that each one of us have differences in how we were parented and how we parent. Many have great parenting skills because great parents have passed down their skills, techniques and wisdom to the children they have parented. There is also a group of us who have had dreadful parents thus we never attained the skills to parent correctly because we had bad examples of what it means to be a parent. Then there are those in the middle, parented by bad parents but managed to go outside the home to get the tools needed to parent successfully. And there are those who had great parents, but never took the time to observe the lessons taught because they fell asleep at their desk of learning.

Yet no matter if we have experienced the worst and been the worst type of parent; or are on the other end, great parents because we have modeled the great parenting skills of those who raised us, we can never be as good of a parent as God the Father. Unfortunately, we bring our ideas of what it means to be a parent, and thus what it means to be a child of that parent to our understanding of God. Whatever the end of the measuring rod we come from, God is not and cannot be measured and perceived by our flawed image of what it means to be a parent.

My prayer for all those who come to OYB site is that in our reading of the Word, the image of God as Father, the understanding of what it means to father and/or our learning of and about God as the perfect Father will change the way we parent. May we not bring the images of flawed parenting skills in our defining of God; but may we learn not only what it means to be a parent and how to parent from our knowledge of God learned through His scriptures. To be a good parent one must know how to be a good son or daughter to a great parent, and that parent is God.

Grace and peace,
Ramona

to whom he said,
“This is the resting place, let the weary rest”;
and, “This is the place of repose”—
but they would not listen.
So then, the word of the Lord to them will become:
Do this, do that,
a rule for this, a rule for that;
a little here, a little there—
so that as they go they will fall backward;
they will be injured and snared and captured.
Isaiah 28:12-13

Are you weary? Are you resting in the Lord, or are you following rules?

What stood out to me in today's reading was in the New
Testament reading. "The Righteous Shall Live by Faith" said
that the law is not of faith, rather the one who does them
shall live by them. This to me meant that the Bible is not
faith, but faith is what people do and how they live it out.
Faith is important to all.

In Galatians 10-12, I think the verses are saying that everyone who just relies on the works of the law, and not faith, is under a curse. "11: Clearly no one who relies on the law is justified before God, because “the righteous will live by faith.”

But later, in verses 13-14 it says that Jesus died on the cross for us so WE could be free of the curse and, by faith, WE could receive the promise of the Spirit. I feel blessed and really thankful that Jesus did that for us. We don't deserve his grace and mercy at ALL.

The verses 15-21 in Galations made me think a bit more. Why did God give us the law, the Ten Commandments, if we should live by faith instead of by law? After rereading the passage a couple of times, my interpretation is that God gave us the law when Jesus, who was the "promise" had not come to earth yet. But when the promised Messiah had come, the previous laws and rituals, like blood sacrifices, were not needed anymore because Christ took away all of our sin and transgressions. We do not need anymore of the old laws and rituals in order to be a Christian and follow Jesus.

Today when I read verses 10-15, I finally understood what Paul meant when he talked about the curse of the law and how Jesus is cursed. I was reminded of a bible-based fictional account of Mary, mother of Jesus, in the book "Unveiled" by Francine Rivers. Joseph was talking to Mary about how he felt unsatisfied after he gave a sacrifice in the temple. He knew that it was temporary, he was going to sin again, make a sacrifice again, and he still had to do it because he was bound by his sin. Reading it today opened my eyes to what Paul meant, that because we are cursed by sin, the law that defines right and wrong is a curse to us too. But Jesus took our sin and the curse when He died on the cross so we don't have to live by constraints but by faith. No wonder Jesus is so amazing!

In the first part of this reading, we see Paul states that you cannot live on faith alone and cursed are those who do not do everything written in the book of law. Later on he states that if the law was not followed then why then were they created.

God had promised the land to Abraham's seed (Jesus) rather than all his offspring. The law was meant for the people between Abraham and Jesus, but not Jesus himself because the promise was meant for him. I think this also shows why some of the things Jesus did were "unlawful" even though he was without sin.

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