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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.

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Posted by on June 26, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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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.

 
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Posted by on June 25, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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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.

 
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Posted by on June 24, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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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).

 
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Posted by on June 21, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Is. 57:7-10

5/18/13 V. 6, The language of adultery and prostitution in prophecy is always a metaphor for what we are doing to God in our unfaithfulness to him. And the metaphor is often graphic. Here the picture is of a woman who plies her trade at a high place, where sacrifices were made.

V. 7, In Deut 6:9 God had commanded his people to write his commandments on their doors and doorposts to help them remember. Instead, they had put cultic symbols to remember.

In separating from God it is as though we are undressing. Adam and Eve discovered the same thing when they ate the forbidden fruit and discovered that they were naked. Laodicea, in Rev 3:17 thought that they were rich and in need of nothing, when in reality they were pitful, poor, blind, and naked.

God’s people can become so blatant in their unfaithfulness to God by following other gods that we become bold in our adultery, throwing open wide our bed, so to speak, making agreements with godless people, and loving our intimate relationship with them.

V. 9, We actually go far out of our way in order to cultivate more godlessness, searching far and wide for new ways to sin and meanwhile bring others down to hell along with us.

V. 10, We will even go through difficulties and hardship in our pursuit of ungodly pleasure. If we were to go through such trials in pursuit of spiritual things we would be full of complaints against God, but in quest of other gods we don’t complain. We find strength and go forward in our misguided ways.

 
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Posted by on May 18, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Is. 56:9-12

5/16/13 V. 9, Then there is the other group, the wicked. They also will be gathered together (Rev 14:18-19, 16:14-16, 19:17-19, 20:8). The call goes out to the scavengers to come and feast, which calls to mind Rev 19:17-18, the great supper of God at judgment.

V. 10, The food for the scavengers will be the blind (Rev 3:17), the unwise, the dogs (Rev 22:15), dreamers, and the lazy sleepers (Mt 25:1-13, 1Th 5:6-8). As discussed before, these are spiritual conditions, not literal ones. And these aren’t different categories of the wicked because it says that all of them are all of these things.

V. 11, They are also greedy and covetous. They are shepherds who are supposed to care for sheep, but they do not understand their responsibility, therefore they look after only themselves. They go their own ways of selfishness, of grasping for themselves. This is the big deciding question at judgment, “How did you treat those around you,” (Mt 25:31-46).

V. 12, The wicked like to be drunk, spiritually speaking (Rev 17:6, 18:3). The senses are numbed, the mental faculties are confused. They expect life to go on as always so might as well live it up. As it was in the days of Noah…(Mt 24:37-39).

 
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Posted by on May 16, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Is. 52:7-12

5/4/13 V. 7, In the Hebrew the messenger is singular not plural as some translations make it. So Isaiah is seeing in his imagination a runner coming across the mountains with the good news for Jerusalem. It’s a message of peace, happiness, and salvation because God is coming to deliver his people (Rev 11:15). This could easily be applied to every gospel worker who is delivering the messages of the three angels (Rev 14:6).

V. 8, As the messenger runs toward the city the watchmen see him and shout for joy because they know he brings good news that the Lord will restore his people.

V. 9, God’s people have great reason to rejoice in the news that the times of suffering will soon be over. God has redeemed his people and we take great comfort in that.

V. 10, And God is preparing his vengeance upon all those who have opposed him and his people, so that everyone will recognize the salvation of our God (Rev 11:15-17, 15:4).

V. 11, This verse is definitely in the background of Rev 18:4. It’s the call to leave Babylon, the land of idols, to leave her uncleanness (unholiness) and purify ourselves. We cannot keep a little bit of Babylon with us because we like it. We are called to reject everything that the world without God considers important and with all thoroughness take on what is holy because we have been called to be holy even as he is holy.

V. 12, Our rescue from Babylon isn’t going to be a narrow escape, however. We will march out with our victorious Lord. He will lead us and be our rear guard.

 
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Posted by on May 4, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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