RSS

Tag Archives: idolatry

Is. 65:11-14

6/27/13 V. 11, But some will not accept the rest that God offers. Some forsake the Lord and forget his holy mountain, which is a figure of speech for the dwelling place of God. Is it possible, too, that there could be an allusion to Mt. Sinai and, therefore, the Ten Commandments? The idea of forsaking the Lord by being disobedient to his commands is entirely consistent with the rest of Scripture.

Those who rebel against God are also pictured here as setting a table for “Gad” and serving wine to “Meni.” YLT keeps the Hebrew usage in translation, KJV translates the words as troop and number, while the NKJV has reverted to the original Hebrew words. Others like NIV, ESV, NASB, and NET translate them as Fortune and Destiny. The Septuagint uses devil and Fortune.

The meaning is clear enough. Those who forsake the Lord are relying on chance.

V. 12, But chance will have nothing to do with the outcome of their lives. Just as God has predestined everyone to be conformed to the image of God and be saved (Rom 8:29-30), those who choose not to avail themselves of so great a salvation will receive a new destiny. God will destine them for death and destruction.

And everyone who comes to this point will be without excuse for God has called but they refused to answer. They refused to listen to him and instead chose to do evil and live in ways displeasing to God.

V. 13-14, God makes a distinction between those who remain loyal to him and those are disloyal. In the end God’s faithful people will eat, drink, rejoice, and shout with joy, while the unfaithful will hunger, thirst, be shamed, and wail. Even when things are difficult and physical food and water and joy are in short supply for God’s people, spiritually speaking we will be filled with “food that you know not of” and filled with joy in the Lord.

Physically speaking, too, God always cares for his people. That doesn’t mean we don’t have wants. Jesus himself experienced hunger and thirst. But ultimately God will take care of our needs.

At the end of time, Revelation presents the scenario of apostate Christianity, in league with the nations of the world, attempting to force its system of worship upon everyone. God’s people resist and they are persecuted and killed for their trouble. They experience hunger and thirst and suffering and mourning. But then the plagues are poured out by God and the tables are reversed. Then it is the wicked who “gnaw their tongues in agony” (Rev 16:10), and who will mourn and cry “Woe!” (Rev 18).

Advertisements
 
Leave a comment

Posted by on June 27, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Is. 65:7-10

6/26/13 V. 7, Because her sins are so many and because they have persisted in them for so long, God will eventually judge her. The sin of bold unfaithfulness to the Lord by following after other gods and blaspheming him is the theme of many OT prophets. The actions of the little horn power in Dan 7:25 and beast in Rev 13:1 and 16:11 are both cross-referenced with this verse.

V. 8, However, not all among apostate Israel have followed after other gods. Among the grape harvest (Rev 14:18-19) there are some good, which God will separate out. He will not destroy the righteous with the wicked. God, who is able to read the heart, will divide the good from the bad, as in Jesus’ parable of separating the good fish from the bad in the net and separating the sheep from the goats. In Mt 24:22 Jesus, speaking of the time of Jacob’s trouble, says that he will cut short those days for the sake of the elect.

V. 9-10, As always, God will have a remnant people that he shall bring through the trials and difficulties. His purpose is to bring from humanity a people whom he will call his own children as heirs to his kingdom. That means that God plans for us to inherit the place he has promised us, which, as we have seen before, is heaven itself. We will dwell with God (Rev 21:3) and rule with him (Rev 1:6, 5:10, 20:6) and we and the whole universe will have rest.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on June 26, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Is. 65:5-6

6/25/13 V. 5, Then we have the arrogance to say to others and perhaps even to God himself to keep away because I am holier than you. Even paganism has its “holy” men whom others fear because of their witch-doctor powers. Evidently, having gone through some pagan rites, they felt themselves holy.

The LXX renders this, “Depart from me, draw not nigh to me, for I am pure.” This changes the tone to more of a rejection of God himself, saying essentially, “I don’t need you for purification. I’m good enough on my own.”

Young’s Literal Translation renders it, “For I have declared thee unholy,” which sounds more like they are declaring God or someone else unholy. Other translations use the word qedashti correctly, but YLT still captures the essence of the situation because to tell someone else that I am holier than you at the same time declares them unholy.

Those who do and say such things, God says, are like a fire that burns all day sending smoke into his nose. That’s an apt description. God’s reaction to such people is immediate and searing to his holy character. He must distance himself from them just as someone standing in smoke has to get out of the smoke in order to breathe.

The high priest of Israel has written on his forehead “Holiness to God.” In Revelation 17 the woman riding the scarlet beast is acting the part of a priest and on her forehead is written “MYSTERY BABYLON THE GREAT THE MOTHER OF PROSTITUTES AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.” It becomes clear in the story that this woman is claiming holiness and is pitting herself against God himself. In the end, she will be burned and the smoke of her torment will rise forever.

Also connect is Rev 2:20 where the woman Jezebel calls herself a prophetess, yet leads God’s people into sexual immorality and eating unclean foods. This ties in with the next verse.

V. 6, All these things are written before God in the books of heaven (Rev 20:12). And God promises that he will not keep silent about this situation. He will repay this people for the evil deeds they are committing. This is the same promise made to Jezebel and everyone who joins with her in Rev 2:23.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on June 25, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Is. 65:1-4

6/24/13 V. 1, God’s highest priority, his greatest desire, is reconciliation with us, in spite of our sinful ingratitude and outright rebellion. It would have been simple and easy for God to just leave us to our choices, but his great love drives him to go to extreme measures to bring us back to himself.

Even while we are in active rebellion, he allows himself to be sought and found by us. It’s like an adult playing hide and seek with a young child. He hides but only in such a way as to be sure that the child will find him. He makes noise or even places himself directly in the path of the child looking for him.

In the same way God allows us to seek and find him and even comes actively to us, placing himself in our path saying, “Here I am!” It reminds us of Rev 3:20, where God stands at the door knocking. God wants to be found by us, who are not even calling out for him.

V. 2, It’s a heart-rending picture to think of someone who loves someone else so dearly standing there with arms stretched out toward the other pleading with them to return. And the other disdains the pleas. This is truly the situation. God is not beyond taking a humiliating role in order to woo us, his unfaithful bride, back to himself. Yet we insist on continuing in our evil practices, our selfishness, our own foolish wisdom.

V. 3, Over and over again we insult the Lord to his face by our unfaithfulness to him. We give our loyalties to anyone and anything else that suits our fancy, and by so doing we spit upon God.

V. 4, We even dabble in the camp of God’s arch-enemy, Satan. The picture of sitting among graves and spending the night in secret places seems to be occultic. Too often if we seek out spiritual things at all we turn to the spiritual forces that oppose God.

In Rev 18:2 an angel cries out that Babylon is fallen because she has become the dwelling place of demons, unclean spirits, and unclean and hateful birds. Dead bodies and unclean meats, according to the law, made a person unclean. It’s an image of God’s people going out of our way to distance ourselves from him. Anything we can do to avoid and strain our relationship with God we do it.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on June 24, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Is. 64:8-12

6/23/13 V. 8, God is our Father. We are like clay and he is like the potter who made us. But in the end his rod of iron, in Rev 2:27, breaks the vessels that are unfaithful.

V. 9, And so we plead with the Lord not to be too angry with us but to forgive our sins and look upon us once again as his people.

V. 10, Since God has turned away from us his holy cities have become a wilderness. Israel’s enemies conquered all of the cities of Israel, all of which would have been included a holy, since they were part of the inheritance given to Israel by God. However, the Septuagint renders holy city in the singular, which seems to fit the parallelism better since in the following lines it’s Zion or Jerusalem that has become a wilderness desolation. This is as Dan 9:26-17, 11:31, 12:7-11, Mt 24:15, and Mk 13:14 predicted would happen at the end of time, when an abomination that causes desolation would set itself in God’s temple. Rev 11:1-2 foretold the same situation.

V. 11, The holy and beautiful temple where God’s people used to praise him was burned and turned to ruins physically speaking. And spiritually speaking also, (if the reader will understand, Mt 24:15, Mk 13:14) this has happened and will happen in the future.

V. 12, And as the saints under the altar ask in Rev 6:10 we also ask if God will allow these things to happen. How long will God keep silent and allow his people, not to mention his temple, be trampled.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on June 23, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Is. 64:1-4

6/21/13 V. 1, Isaiah gives voice to all of God’s people who want this time of sin to be finished and for God to come to redeem his people. Even though Messiah had not come yet, Isaiah was clearly speaking of the Second Coming because the tearing apart of the heavens and the mountains quaking are associated with the parousia (Rev 6:14, 16:20, 20:11).

V. 2, The LXX also says that the mountains will melt as wax melts before fire and the fire will burn up the enemies, which is consistent with the picture even though it’s not in the Hebrew (Rev 14:11, 18; 19:3; 20:9, 14).

Just as fire kindles and grows so the name of the Lord will become known to God’s enemies. In other words, they will acknowledge him and will tremble in his presence (Rev 3:9, 11:11-13).

V. 3, Any time that God works his awesome deeds it is beyond anything that we are prepared for or expect. In the presence of God even the mountains tremble and quake before him (Rev 16:18).

V. 4, There never has been another God besides the living God of heaven. Nothing else that anyone has ever worshiped has been anything close to a god. And his enemies will see the way that he acts on behalf of those who trust and wait loyally for our God (Rev 3:9).

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on June 21, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Is. 63:17-19

6/20/13 V. 17, It always strikes us as unexpected when God is credited with evil. Here God is blamed for causing his people to stray away and harden their hearts. Ex 4:21 is in the background here when God hardened Pharaohs’ heart. We have also the example in 2 Sam 16:14 where an evil spirit “from the Lord” came upon Saul, and in 2 Chr 18:18ff where God is discussing who will lead Ahab astray. And even in the Lord’s prayer Jesus counseled us to pray that God not lead us into temptation.

However, to pull all of these examples together doesn’t prove that God instigates evil. When we pull together all of the information in the whole Bible we find the opposite picture. After full investigation it becomes clear that this idea of God being behind evil is a figure of speech, which God himself initiated in Ex 4:21. God accepts the blame for that which he doesn’t prevent. Like the plaque on Harry Truman’s desk that read “The Buck Stops Here” God accepts the same responsibility.

He is all-powerful, all-knowing God, therefore anything that happens in his universe, by the very fact that he allows it, makes him culpable, even when it’s outside of his will. And God freely accepts this responsibility and blame until the time when he will be vindicated and the blame will be placed squarely upon the true instigators of evil.

So when the author pleads for God to return to his people he is in the same verse showing that he recognizes that God really is not the one responsible for evil. If he were why would we want him around? Instead, God is the one who can save us from evil, and that is why we want him around.

V. 18, God’s promise to his people to make them into a great nation where God could dwell had started off well because we started off faithful. But in the end our enemies has conquered us because we strayed away from the Lord. The sanctuary of the Lord has been given over the Gentiles to trample (Rev 11:2).

V. 19, And the result of straying away from that which we know to be right and true is that we become worse than those who have never lived in relationship with God.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on June 20, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,