Isaiah 16

Because of the importance of Israel and its people, and my personal love for The Land, I’m inviting you to join me through the key Old Testament book of Isaiah.  Each day I’m posting some simple thoughts about this complex prophet.

Isaiah 16.

More sad news for Moab opens the chapter.

But what follows is another prophecy about Jesus:

“Then a Kingdom of Love will be set up and someone from David’s throne will rule with fairness. He will do what is right and quickly bring justice.” (v5, CEV).

Here’s another version:

“When this is all over,” Judah answers,
    “the tyrant toppled,
The killing at an end,
    all signs of these cruelties long gone,
A new government of love will be established
    in the venerable David tradition.
A Ruler you can depend upon
    will head this government,
A Ruler passionate for justice,
    a Ruler quick to set things right.” (v4-5, MSG)

I’m thankful that Jesus has established a Kingdom of Love for any who choose to be a part of it. Jesus is passionate for justice. He is quick to set things right. He is a ruler you can depend upon. While Jesus doesn’t actually sit on a physical throne in Jerusalem today, His divine Spirit rules those who choose to submit to Him and His love and His plan for their lives.

What does a Kingdom of Love look like? Look at what John writes in the New Testament:

“Love comes from God, and when we love each other, it shows that we have been given new life. We are now God’s children, and we know him. God is love, and anyone who doesn’t love others has never known him. God showed his love for us when he sent his only Son into the world to give us life. Real love isn’t our love for God, but his love for us. God sent his Son to be the sacrifice by which our sins are forgiven. Dear friends, since God loved us this much, we must love each other.” (1 John 4:7-11, CEV).

Read this again: “Real love isn’t our love for God, but His love for us.” (v10, CEV).

Even on our best days, we can’t love like God does. But I believe we can try and show compassion, justice and fairness to one another the way Isaiah describes.

 

(c) 2020. Rich Ronald.

Isaiah 15

Because of the importance of Israel and its people, and my personal love for The Land, I’m inviting you to join me through the key Old Testament book of Isaiah.  Each day I’m posting some simple thoughts about this complex prophet.

Isaiah 15

“Moab is left in ruins.” (v1, CEV). Even its people who flee the land will be attacked.

Moab was what is now mostly the country of Jordan. It is just on the other side of the Dead Sea where many tourists float in South Israel.  It, like so much of the lands from 1000 BC, are in ruins. As will likely our lands be in 3000 years, right?

But what stands the test of time? God’s word.  Jesus says in Matthew 24:35 that even the heavens and earth will pass away but not His words.

We can be assured that His love and His promises for us will never fail. We are why He came. We can always trust the truth of His words! They will never be like the ruins of Moab, Israel or even the future ruins of any town in the USA.

And indeed, Jesus is the Word. “In the beginning was the one who is called the Word. The Word was with God and was truly God. From the very beginning the Word was with God.” (John 1:1-2, CEV). He is the One who came from Bethlehem, the house of bread. He is the one who said, “I am the bread of life.” (John 6:35). He is our sustenance. He is our life. He lives forever!

The soldier of God, Joshua, proclaims: “Not one word failed from all the good words God spoke to the house of Israel. Everything came out right.” (Joshua 21:45, MSG). Everything will come out for you and me as well!

I’m thankful that His words of life are truth. His words will never fail. He keeps His promises. His words stand the test of time. His word is eternal.

 

(c) 2020. Rich Ronald.

Isaiah 14

The wall around of The City of David in Jerusalem.

Because of the importance of Israel and its people, and my personal love for The Land, I’m inviting you to join me through the key Old Testament book of Isaiah.  Each day I’m posting some simple thoughts about this complex prophet.

Isaiah 14.

Remember the doom and gloom for Babylon in Isaiah 13? Today’s chapter starts on an encouraging word: “But not so with Jacob. God will have compassion on Jacob. Once again he’ll choose Israel. He’ll establish them in their own country.” (v1, MSG).

In fact, the prophet encourages the people of Israel and the trees of the field to rejoice: “And now it’s over, the whole earth quietly at rest. Burst into song! Make the rafters ring! Ponderosa pine trees are happy, giant Lebanon cedars are relieved.” (v7, MSG).

Yes, there is mocking and deriding the kings of Babylon, Assyria and the Philistines.

Then, for God’s chosen people, His children: “What does one say to outsiders who ask questions? Tell them,“God has established Zion. Those in need and in trouble find refuge in her.”” (v32, MSG).

Hallelujah! Turn to Zion all you who are troubled and heavy-hearted. You can find shelter in the strong tower of Mt. Zion. You can find a safe place in the strong tower of God alone.

“The Lord is a mighty tower where his people can run for safety.” (Proverbs 18:10, CEV)

 

(c) 2020. Rich Ronald.

 

Isaiah 13

Because of the importance of Israel and its people, and my personal love for The Land, I’m inviting you to join me through the key Old Testament book of Isaiah.  Each day I’m posting some simple thoughts about this complex prophet.

Isaiah 13.

Lots of judgment, war, doom and gloom. The earth will shake. The stars will stop shining.  Verse 22: “Babylon is doomed. It won’t be long now.” (MSG)

This all sounds horrible, doesn’t it? “I will punish this evil world
and its people because of their sins. I will crush the horrible pride of those who are cruel.” (v11, CEV).

The New Testament writers confirm God will bring His wrath on the nations, especially those nations who have not been kind to Israel.  Matthew, Mark and Luke all note these things will indeed occur.  And then…

“Right after those days of suffering, “The sun will become dark, and the moon will no longer shine. The stars will fall, and the powers in the sky will be shaken.”  Then a sign will appear in the sky. And there will be the Son of Man. All nations on earth will weep when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. At the sound of a loud trumpet, he will send his angels to bring his chosen ones together from all over the earth.” (Matthew 24:29‭-‬31, CEV).

And Luke says: “Then the Son of Man will be seen, coming in a cloud with power and great glory. When all of this starts happening, stand up straight and be brave. You will soon be set free.” (Luke 21:27‭-‬28, CEV).

My heart grieves that if this doesn’t occur in my lifetime some generation down line from me will experience this torment and doom. Someone within my family’s bloodlines, and within yours, will face the peril of the earth. The good news is: “You will soon be set free!” We will all be set free!

This is the hope we all have! Even when we see the words of the prophets seemingly coming to pass on the nightly news, we will all be set free! That’s news that Isaiah 12 says that we are to shout to the nations! “Shout aloud and sing for joy, people of Zion, for great is the Holy One of Israel among you.” (Isaiah 12:6, NIV).

Isaiah later proclaims that God will bring about new things:

“I am creating new heavens
    and a new earth;
everything of the past
    will be forgotten.
 Celebrate and be glad forever!
I am creating a Jerusalem,
    full of happy people.
I will celebrate with Jerusalem
    and all of its people;
there will be no more crying
    or sorrow in that city.” (Isaiah 65:17-19, CEV).

“We will all be set free!”

 

(c) 2020. Rich Ronald.

Isaiah 12

The Sea of Galilee from the Mount of Beatitudes.

Because of the importance of Israel and its people, and my personal love for The Land, I’m inviting you to join me through the key Old Testament book of Isaiah.  Each day I’m posting some simple thoughts about this complex prophet.

Isaiah 12 speaks for itself!

And you will say in that day, “I thank you, God . You were angry but your anger wasn’t forever. You withdrew your anger and moved in and comforted me. “Yes, indeed—God is my salvation. I trust, I won’t be afraid. God —yes God !—is my strength and song, best of all, my salvation!” Joyfully you’ll pull up buckets of water from the wells of salvation. And as you do it, you’ll say, “Give thanks to God. Call out his name. Ask him anything! Shout to the nations, tell them what he’s done, spread the news of his great reputation! “Sing praise-songs to God. He’s done it all! Let the whole earth know what he’s done! Raise the roof! Sing your hearts out, O Zion! The Greatest lives among you: The Holy of Israel.”

Isaiah 12:1‭-‬6 MSG

Isaiah 11

Olive shoots on a olive tree trunk at the Mt. of Olives in Israel.

Because of the importance of Israel and its people, and my personal love for The Land, I’m inviting you to join me through the key Old Testament book of Isaiah.  Each day I’m posting some simple thoughts about this complex prophet.

Isaiah 11.

“A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse, from his roots a branch will bear fruit. The Spirit of the LORD – Adonai – will rest on Him. The Spirit of wisdom, understanding, counsel, might, knowledge, fear (awe) of the LORD. Fear-of-God will be all his joy and delight.” (v1, MSG).

Remember Isaiah 6:13? “But there’s a holy seed in those stumps.” The olive tree is fascinating and prolific in The Land. Even when an old tree dies, the roots are still alive. And new shoots rise up, sometimes many feet away from the old tree. And there are so many connections between the olive tree and Jesus. Again, our Messiah shows up on the pages of the Old Testament!

The Jewish word for olive press is transliterated into English “Get-She’me.” Do you remember what happened to Jesus on the night He was betrayed? He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane on the Mt. of Olives.  See how similar “Get-She’me” is to “Gethsemane?” The weight of what He was going to do in the next 24 hours for you and me caused Him to sweat drops like blood as He prayed. “And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.” (Luke 22:44 NIV). He was being crushed in the Garden of Gethsemane as if in an olive press.

Here’s another connecting point to the olive tree branches and shoots. The word for “shoot” is transliterated “netzer.”   Jesus was from “Netzer-eth.” Nazareth.

Now look again at the second half of verse 1: “The Spirit of the LORD – Adonai – will rest on Him. The Spirit of wisdom, understanding, counsel, might, knowledge, fear (awe) of the LORD. Fear-of-God will be all his joy and delight.” Jesus was full of the Spirit. It began with His baptism. Here’s what John the Baptizer said about Him: I was there and saw the Spirit come down on him like a dove from heaven. And the Spirit stayed on him. Before this I didn’t know who he was. But the one who sent me to baptize with water had told me, “You will see the Spirit come down and stay on someone. Then you will know that he is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.” I saw this happen, and I tell you that he is the Son of God.” (John 1:32-34 CEV).

Three years later we see this: “Then He took a deep breath and breathed into them. “Receive the Holy Spirit.”” (John 20:22 MSG). When Jesus breathed on His disciples, He breathed on us! So, this same Spirit of wisdom, understanding, counsel, might, knowledge, fear/awe, joy and delight are ours too!

Thanks to the shoot from the stump of Jesse as foretold in Isaiah 11!

 

(c) 2020. Rich Ronald.

Isaiah 10

God’s grace is as dependable and regular as the ocean waves.

Because of the importance of Israel and its people, and my personal love for The Land, I’m inviting you to join me through the key Old Testament book of Isaiah.  Each day I’m posting some simple thoughts about this complex prophet.

Isaiah 10.

More challenging words of gloom and destruction… My study today took me from Isaiah 10:3 to a couple of places in Matthew and to Revelation.

Isaiah warns about those who make laws that harm widows and orphans and asks: “What will you have to say on Judgment Day?” (v3, MSG).

Then I’m reminded of Jesus’ encouragement to us: “Whenever you did one of these things (acts of care) to someone overlooked or ignored (or widows or orphans, “the least of these”) that was me — you did it to me.” Matthew 25:40.  While the grace of Jesus always trumps good deeds, on the Day of Judgement we will want to be able to humbly answer that we were one of the few who responded with action and helped to care for the impoverished.

“Lord, how can we serve you today?”

Isaiah also reminds us that God will use other nations to bring justice and repentance to the people of Israel who have refused to repent on their own. And it may not be pretty for His children. But the good news? “A time is coming when the survivors from Israel and Judah will completely depend on the holy Lord of Israel, instead of the nation that defeated them.” (v20 CEV).

And there is this future promise: “Then they (the Assyrians) will no longer rule your nation. All will go well for you, and your burden will be lifted.” (v 27 CEV.)

Who will lift their burden? Jesus is coming soon! We can see it later in Isaiah (chapter 63) and in John’s Revelation (chapter 19). We can be assured our burdens will be lifted as well. Jesus promises this is Matthew 11:  “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (Matthew 11:28-30 MSG).

Let Jesus take your burdens today. The rhythms of His grace are like the waves of the ocean. They keep coming… day after day.  You can depend on it! You can depend on Him. It will go well for the people of Israel, eventually. That is a promise the people of The Land count on. It will go well for you and me too!

 

(c) 2020. Rich Ronald.