August 10, 2007
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Following Scripture Verses
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- Behold, the LORD'S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear:
- But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.
- For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath muttered perverseness.
- None calleth for justice, nor any pleadeth for truth: they trust in vanity, and speak lies; they conceive mischief, and bring forth iniquity.
- They hatch cockatrice' eggs, and weave the spider's web: he that eateth of their eggs dieth, and that which is crushed breaketh out into a viper.
- Their webs shall not become garments, neither shall they cover themselves with their works: their works are works of iniquity, and the act of violence is in their hands.
- Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood: their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; wasting and destruction are in their paths.
- The way of peace they know not; and there is no judgment in their goings: they have made them crooked paths: whosoever goeth therein shall not know peace.
- Therefore is judgment far from us, neither doth justice overtake us: we wait for light, but behold obscurity; for brightness, but we walk in darkness.
- We grope for the wall like the blind, and we grope as if we had no eyes: we stumble at noonday as in the night; we are in desolate places as dead men.
- We roar all like bears, and mourn sore like doves: we look for judgment, but there is none; for salvation, but it is far off from us.
- For our transgressions are multiplied before thee, and our sins testify against us: for our transgressions are with us; and as for our iniquities, we know them;
- In transgressing and lying against the LORD, and departing away from our God, speaking oppression and revolt, conceiving and uttering from the heart words of falsehood.
- And judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter.
- Yea, truth faileth; and he that departeth from evil maketh himself a prey: and the LORD saw it, and it displeased him that there was no judgment.
- And he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore his arm brought salvation unto him; and his righteousness, it sustained him.
- For he put on righteousness as a breastplate, and an helmet of salvation upon his head; and he put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloke.
- According to their deeds, accordingly he will repay, fury to his adversaries, recompence to his enemies; to the islands he will repay recompence.
- So shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him.
- And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the LORD.
- As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the LORD; My spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed's seed, saith the LORD, from henceforth and for ever.
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- Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee.
- For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee.
- And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.
- Lift up thine eyes round about, and see: all they gather themselves together, they come to thee: thy sons shall come from far, and thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side.
- Then thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee.
- The multitude of camels shall cover thee, the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah; all they from Sheba shall come: they shall bring gold and incense; and they shall shew forth the praises of the LORD.
- All the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered together unto thee, the rams of Nebaioth shall minister unto thee: they shall come up with acceptance on mine altar, and I will glorify the house of my glory.
- Who are these that fly as a cloud, and as the doves to their windows?
- Surely the isles shall wait for me, and the ships of Tarshish first, to bring thy sons from far, their silver and their gold with them, unto the name of the LORD thy God, and to the Holy One of Israel, because he hath glorified thee.
- And the sons of strangers shall build up thy walls, and their kings shall minister unto thee: for in my wrath I smote thee, but in my favour have I had mercy on thee.
- Therefore thy gates shall be open continually; they shall not be shut day nor night; that men may bring unto thee the forces of the Gentiles, and that their kings may be brought.
- For the nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted.
- The glory of Lebanon shall come unto thee, the fir tree, the pine tree, and the box together, to beautify the place of my sanctuary; and I will make the place of my feet glorious.
- The sons also of them that afflicted thee shall come bending unto thee; and all they that despised thee shall bow themselves down at the soles of thy feet; and they shall call thee, The city of the LORD, The Zion of the Holy One of Israel.
- Whereas thou hast been forsaken and hated, so that no man went through thee, I will make thee an eternal excellency, a joy of many generations.
- Thou shalt also suck the milk of the Gentiles, and shalt suck the breast of kings: and thou shalt know that I the LORD am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob.
- For brass I will bring gold, and for iron I will bring silver, and for wood brass, and for stones iron: I will also make thy officers peace, and thine exactors righteousness.
- Violence shall no more be heard in thy land, wasting nor destruction within thy borders; but thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise.
- The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: but the LORD shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory.
- Thy sun shall no more go down; neither shall thy moon withdraw itself: for the LORD shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended.
- Thy people also shall be all righteous: they shall inherit the land for ever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified.
- A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation: I the LORD will hasten it in his time.
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- The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;
- To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;
- To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.
- And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations.
- And strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, and the sons of the alien shall be your plowmen and your vinedressers.
- But ye shall be named the Priests of the LORD: men shall call you the Ministers of our God: ye shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, and in their glory shall ye boast yourselves.
- For your shame ye shall have double; and for confusion they shall rejoice in their portion: therefore in their land they shall possess the double: everlasting joy shall be unto them.
- For I the LORD love judgment, I hate robbery for burnt offering; and I will direct their work in truth, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them.
- And their seed shall be known among the Gentiles, and their offspring among the people: all that see them shall acknowledge them, that they are the seed which the LORD hath blessed.
- I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.
- For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.
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- For Zion's sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth.
- And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory: and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the LORD shall name.
- Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the LORD, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God.
- Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate: but thou shalt be called Hephzibah, and thy land Beulah: for the LORD delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married.
- For as a young man marrieth a virgin, so shall thy sons marry thee: and as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee.
- I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that make mention of the LORD, keep not silence,
- And give him no rest, till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth.
- The LORD hath sworn by his right hand, and by the arm of his strength, Surely I will no more give thy corn to be meat for thine enemies; and the sons of the stranger shall not drink thy wine, for the which thou hast laboured:
- But they that have gathered it shall eat it, and praise the LORD; and they that have brought it together shall drink it in the courts of my holiness.
- Go through, go through the gates; prepare ye the way of the people; cast up, cast up the highway; gather out the stones; lift up a standard for the people.
- Behold, the LORD hath proclaimed unto the end of the world, Say ye to the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy salvation cometh; behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him.
- And they shall call them, The holy people, The redeemed of the LORD: and thou shalt be called, Sought out, A city not forsaken.
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- Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save.
- Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat?
- I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment.
- For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come.
- And I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold: therefore mine own arm brought salvation unto me; and my fury, it upheld me.
- And I will tread down the people in mine anger, and make them drunk in my fury, and I will bring down their strength to the earth.
- I will mention the lovingkindnesses of the LORD, and the praises of the LORD, according to all that the LORD hath bestowed on us, and the great goodness toward the house of Israel, which he hath bestowed on them according to his mercies, and according to the multitude of his lovingkindnesses.
- For he said, Surely they are my people, children that will not lie: so he was their Saviour.
- In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old.
- But they rebelled, and vexed his holy Spirit: therefore he was turned to be their enemy, and he fought against them.
- Then he remembered the days of old, Moses, and his people, saying, Where is he that brought them up out of the sea with the shepherd of his flock? where is he that put his holy Spirit within him?
- That led them by the right hand of Moses with his glorious arm, dividing the water before them, to make himself an everlasting name?
- That led them through the deep, as an horse in the wilderness, that they should not stumble?
- As a beast goeth down into the valley, the Spirit of the LORD caused him to rest: so didst thou lead thy people, to make thyself a glorious name.
- Look down from heaven, and behold from the habitation of thy holiness and of thy glory: where is thy zeal and thy strength, the sounding of thy bowels and of thy mercies toward me? are they restrained?
- Doubtless thou art our father, though Abraham be ignorant of us, and Israel acknowledge us not: thou, O LORD, art our father, our redeemer; thy name is from everlasting.
- O LORD, why hast thou made us to err from thy ways, and hardened our heart from thy fear? Return for thy servants' sake, the tribes of thine inheritance.
- The people of thy holiness have possessed it but a little while: our adversaries have trodden down thy sanctuary.
- We are thine: thou never barest rule over them; they were not called by thy name.
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Thought for the day:
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I would like to focus our attention on two sections of today's reading. The first is found in Isaiah 59:1-2, which reads,
"Behold, the LORD'S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear."
Our God is an omniscient, omnipotent God. There is nothing that He can not do, and no problem that we have that He is unfamiliar with. Yet, according to these verses, there is a way that we can limit the power of God. We do this through our sinfulness. Obviously, the power of God is not limited in actuality, but it is limited for all practical purposes. Verse 1 shows that God can still hear and respond. Nothing will ever change that, or God would cease to be. However, when a man sins and refuses to repent of it, he places himself in a position where God will not hear. Men like to think that the Lord is some kind of divine puppet Who responds to us exactly like we want Him to anytime we pull His strings. Nothing could be further from the truth. In the first place, it is God Who is sovereign, not us. It is He Who is the Master; we are simply the servants. In addition, an individual can only expect God to hear and answer when that individual's heart is right before his Lord. Note the impact that our unrighteousness has: it separates us from God, it hides His face from us, and it deafens His ear to our cries. What an awful position to be in! How tragic to be separated from the Lord! We know that the New Testament teaches that we were once separated from God because of our sinfulness before salvation (Hebrews 7:26), but when we got saved we became accepted in the beloved (Eph. 1:6). How foolish to place ourselves back in a position of separateness! Sin is a terrible thing. It brings the punishment of God, and it hinders my prayer life. Confession and repentance are the solution.
A second passage is found in Isaiah 61:1-3. These verses state,
"The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified."
There are two thoughts here. First of all, verses 1and 2 are prophetic concerning the coming of Messiah. Christ Himself quotes most of them in one of His first public sermons, which is found in Luke 4:16-19. It is interesting to note that when Christ read that Scripture passage, He began with verse 1, but stopped in the middle of verse 2 after the phrase, "to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord." Why did He stop there? Because following that reading He told the assembled multitude,
"This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears".
He had come to do all the things that had been mentioned up until that point, but He had not yet come to bring in the day of God's great vengeance upon the unbelievers. That was not to come until His second coming. Therefore, even in the Old Testament the prophecy was there that Christ would come once as Savior and a second time as King.
The second thing that I see here is found in verse 3. God said that He would give His people beauty for ashes, joy for mourning, and praise for heaviness. What a wonderful God! I had nothing to offer Him. My life was nothing but an ash heap, and I was filled with sorrow and heaviness. When the Lord saved me, He not only gave me a home in Heaven, but He gave me beauty, joy, and praises while I live upon this earth. He got nothing when He saved me, but I got everything! Praise be to Him!
Pastor Mark J Montgomery