July 28, 2007
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- The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.
- Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the LORD hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me.
- The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider.
- Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward.
- Why should ye be stricken any more? ye will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint.
- From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment.
- Your country is desolate, your cities are burned with fire: your land, strangers devour it in your presence, and it is desolate, as overthrown by strangers.
- And the daughter of Zion is left as a cottage in a vineyard, as a lodge in a garden of cucumbers, as a besieged city.
- Except the LORD of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah.
- Hear the word of the LORD, ye rulers of Sodom; give ear unto the law of our God, ye people of Gomorrah.
- To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the LORD: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats.
- When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts?
- Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting.
- Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them.
- And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood.
- Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil;
- Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.
- Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
- If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land:
- But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.
- How is the faithful city become an harlot! it was full of judgment; righteousness lodged in it; but now murderers.
- Thy silver is become dross, thy wine mixed with water:
- Thy princes are rebellious, and companions of thieves: every one loveth gifts, and followeth after rewards: they judge not the fatherless, neither doth the cause of the widow come unto them.
- Therefore saith the Lord, the LORD of hosts, the mighty One of Israel, Ah, I will ease me of mine adversaries, and avenge me of mine enemies:
- And I will turn my hand upon thee, and purely purge away thy dross, and take away all thy tin:
- And I will restore thy judges as at the first, and thy counsellors as at the beginning: afterward thou shalt be called, The city of righteousness, the faithful city.
- Zion shall be redeemed with judgment, and her converts with righteousness.
- And the destruction of the transgressors and of the sinners shall be together, and they that forsake the LORD shall be consumed.
- For they shall be ashamed of the oaks which ye have desired, and ye shall be confounded for the gardens that ye have chosen.
- For ye shall be as an oak whose leaf fadeth, and as a garden that hath no water.
- And the strong shall be as tow, and the maker of it as a spark, and they shall both burn together, and none shall quench them.
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- The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.
- And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD'S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.
- And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
- And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
- O house of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk in the light of the LORD.
- Therefore thou hast forsaken thy people the house of Jacob, because they be replenished from the east, and are soothsayers like the Philistines, and they please themselves in the children of strangers.
- Their land also is full of silver and gold, neither is there any end of their treasures; their land is also full of horses, neither is there any end of their chariots:
- Their land also is full of idols; they worship the work of their own hands, that which their own fingers have made:
- And the mean man boweth down, and the great man humbleth himself: therefore forgive them not.
- Enter into the rock, and hide thee in the dust, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty.
- The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day.
- For the day of the LORD of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low:
- And upon all the cedars of Lebanon, that are high and lifted up, and upon all the oaks of Bashan,
- And upon all the high mountains, and upon all the hills that are lifted up,
- And upon every high tower, and upon every fenced wall,
- And upon all the ships of Tarshish, and upon all pleasant pictures.
- And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low: and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day.
- And the idols he shall utterly abolish.
- And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth.
- In that day a man shall cast his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which they made each one for himself to worship, to the moles and to the bats;
- To go into the clefts of the rocks, and into the tops of the ragged rocks, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth.
- Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of?
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- For, behold, the Lord, the LORD of hosts, doth take away from Jerusalem and from Judah the stay and the staff, the whole stay of bread, and the whole stay of water,
- The mighty man, and the man of war, the judge, and the prophet, and the prudent, and the ancient,
- The captain of fifty, and the honourable man, and the counsellor, and the cunning artificer, and the eloquent orator.
- And I will give children to be their princes, and babes shall rule over them.
- And the people shall be oppressed, every one by another, and every one by his neighbour: the child shall behave himself proudly against the ancient, and the base against the honourable.
- When a man shall take hold of his brother of the house of his father, saying, Thou hast clothing, be thou our ruler, and let this ruin be under thy hand:
- In that day shall he swear, saying, I will not be an healer; for in my house is neither bread nor clothing: make me not a ruler of the people.
- For Jerusalem is ruined, and Judah is fallen: because their tongue and their doings are against the LORD, to provoke the eyes of his glory.
- The shew of their countenance doth witness against them; and they declare their sin as Sodom, they hide it not. Woe unto their soul! for they have rewarded evil unto themselves.
- Say ye to the righteous, that it shall be well with him: for they shall eat the fruit of their doings.
- Woe unto the wicked! it shall be ill with him: for the reward of his hands shall be given him.
- As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths.
- The LORD standeth up to plead, and standeth to judge the people.
- The LORD will enter into judgment with the ancients of his people, and the princes thereof: for ye have eaten up the vineyard; the spoil of the poor is in your houses.
- What mean ye that ye beat my people to pieces, and grind the faces of the poor? saith the Lord GOD of hosts.
- Moreover the LORD saith, Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, and walk with stretched forth necks and wanton eyes, walking and mincing as they go, and making a tinkling with their feet:
- Therefore the Lord will smite with a scab the crown of the head of the daughters of Zion, and the LORD will discover their secret parts.
- In that day the Lord will take away the bravery of their tinkling ornaments about their feet, and their cauls, and their round tires like the moon,
- The chains, and the bracelets, and the mufflers,
- The bonnets, and the ornaments of the legs, and the headbands, and the tablets, and the earrings,
- The rings, and nose jewels,
- The changeable suits of apparel, and the mantles, and the wimples, and the crisping pins,
- The glasses, and the fine linen, and the hoods, and the vails.
- And it shall come to pass, that instead of sweet smell there shall be stink; and instead of a girdle a rent; and instead of well set hair baldness; and instead of a stomacher a girding of sackcloth; and burning instead of beauty.
- Thy men shall fall by the sword, and thy mighty in the war.
- And her gates shall lament and mourn; and she being desolate shall sit upon the ground.
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- And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach.
- In that day shall the branch of the LORD be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel.
- And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, even every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem:
- When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning.
- And the LORD will create upon every dwelling place of mount Zion, and upon her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night: for upon all the glory shall be a defence.
- And there shall be a tabernacle for a shadow in the daytime from the heat, and for a place of refuge, and for a covert from storm and from rain.
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Thought for the day:
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Immediately upon starting his prophecies, Isaiah goes straight to the problem that Israel had. It is, unfortunately, also a problem that many Christians have as well. In Isaiah 1:3 the prophet writes,
"The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider."
Israel was a rebellious nation, but the problem was rooted in an unwillingness to know and respond to Jehovah. Isaiah contrasts Israel with farm animals by pointing out that even oxen and donkeys know their master's voice when they hear it, and they respond to it. Farm animals, through repetition and instinct, learn what it is that their owners expect. They know when it is time to be fed because of the things that they see their owner doing. They know that it is time for work because they see him carrying the harnesses. Israel considered itself to be intelligent. The Jews were not ignorant animals, but human beings made in the image of God. Yet when it came time to make decisions, they performed far worse than the beasts did, because they refused to learn what it was that their Master wanted.
I do not believe that Israel's problem was their complete ignorance of truth. In Hosea 4:6 God states,
"My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee."
Israel had a lack of knowledge, but it was a self-induced lack. They had been given the Word of God, and they had access to It. Many of them could probably quote portions of It. The problem was that they had rejected what they knew. An unbeliever of a previous generation made this statement: "It's not what I don't know about the Bible that worries me, it's what I do know." This man's problem was that he was unwilling to believe and practice that which he knew the Scriptures taught. Israel was in the same situation. Their lack of knowledge was based upon a rejection of the information that they had already been given, and it was going to destroy them. In Mark 12:24, Jesus told the Sadducees,
"Do ye not therefore err, because ye know not the scriptures?"
The Sadducees were religious leaders in Israel, and they had a head knowledge of the Bible. Their problem was that they did not believe what they had read. In fact, in His response to them, Christ quotes an Old Testament passage that they certainly had read and probably memorized, but obviously never applied to their beliefs.
Many Christians today do not really know God. Perhaps they have heard some things about Him, but they don't KNOW Him. They pay lip service to His holiness, but they choose not to grasp the reality that His holiness needs to motivate us to holiness. They can talk about the love of God, but they choose not to understand that His love ought to motivate us to give Him our lives. They talk about the judgement of God, but they choose not to let that interfere with their worldly lifestyle. They give testimony about the wonderful saving grace of God, but they choose not to believe that their friends and family need to hear the Gospel message from their lips. In I Thessalonians 4:4-5 Paul writes to the church reminding them to maintain moral purity "not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God." A true understanding of Who God is and what He has said will change the way a man thinks and lives.
How well do you know God? I knew my wife before we got married, but I know her far better now, and that knowledge has changed the way I do some things. You may know something about the Lord, but do you know Him on an intimate level? Is that knowledge changing your life? If not, take the time to find out about our wonderful Lord, and allow that wisdom to guide your thoughts, words, and deeds.
Pastor Mark J Montgomery