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Is. 66:1-4

7/1/13 V. 1, In Rev 4:2 and 20:11 John saw God sitting on his throne in heaven as king and judge of all. God is so exalted that the entire created universe isn’t enough to contain him. So for human beings to imagine that we could ever make a place worthy of him is ridiculous.

V. 2, Everything that exists does so because God created it by his own power. And even though God did give us directions for building him a house and rituals for worshiping him, what he is actually looking for are not the house and the rituals. He is looking for humility and submission and respect for his word.

V. 3, Those who participate in the rituals of worship without humility, submission, and respect are actually being sacrilegious. To kill an ox for sacrifice when our hearts are disloyal to God is like murder. For the insincere to sacrifice a lamb is as much an insult to God as sacrificing a dog. For the impenitent to offer God a gift is a desecration to his temple. Why? Because rather than choosing God’s ways, the wicked, even while purporting to be loyal to God, in fact choose their own ways. Their delight isn’t in the Lord it’s in their own abominations.

V. 4, Therefore, since they have chosen their own ways God will choose for them their punishment. The very things they dread God will bring upon them. God has called but they refused to answer or even listen, choosing instead to do evil and everything displeasing to the Lord. This is the picture we see in Rev 3:20 where God is standing at the door knocking. If we will listen he will come in.

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Posted by on July 2, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Is. 53:10-12

5/8/13 V. 10, Even though innocent, the Lord was pleased (lit. to delight) to crush him. The choice of the Hebrew word chafetz is an interesting choice. It’s sometimes translated will, which seems to fit the context better  because we are loath to think of God delighting in the suffering of his Servant. And we have good reason for this. After all, Eze 33:11 states clearly that God does not take pleasure (chafetz) in the death of the wicked. How much more the death of the righteous. And yet, Isaiah chose this word and set it against the same word later in the verse with the opposite effect when God delights in the prospering his Servant.

It seems that we are to understand that the sacrifice of God was not a reluctant sacrifice. It was painful and he suffered, but he made the sacrifice on our behalf not only willingly but delighted in doing it. We might be able to understand to some degree if a father were to be able to take his child’s suffering onto himself. The suffering would be real and couldn’t be called “fun” but the father would still be delighted to do it in order to spare his child the suffering, which is exactly what God was doing for us.

And the reward of giving himself as a guilt offering would pay off big in the end. God’s Servant would see offspring. In other words, people would give their lives over to God and be saved. Also, God’s Servant would not be left to the grave (Rev 18:1) because his days would be prolonged.

And the chafetz of the Lord will prosper in his hand. As a result of the voluntary sacrifice of God’s Servant the delight of the Lord would grow. He considered this sacrifice an investment in the future. In the same way we, who are also God’s servants, may understand that we may delight to suffer for God, recognizing that there will be a big pay off in the end and that our sacrifice is an investment in the future as well.

V. 11, The effect of God’s Servant’s suffering is that in the end he will see the results and be satisfied with them. Rev 5:9-10 and 7:9-17 give a glimpse of what these results will be.

By his knowledge (lit. sweat) God’s righteous Servant justifies many. HALOT supports the literal reading, which in some ways makes sense. The result of his suffering (sweating blood under the weight of the iniquities of the world) will justify many. But NIDOTTE argues that the traditional reading of knowledge is more accurate.

V. 12, As part of the reward for his suffering the Lord will allot his Servant a share with the great (Rev 3:21, 5:5-9). As conquerer (Rev 6:2, 17:14) he will divide the spoil (the rewards) with those who overcome. Incredibly, again it seems that he plans to include his people in the glory that really only belongs to him.

God’s Servant bore the sin of the world. Although innocent, he became sin itself in our place, interceding for us to the point of death. Every bit of reward coming to him he justly deserves for he is worthy.

 
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Posted by on May 8, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Is. 53:4-9

5/7/13 V. 4, Our sin-sickness and painful sorrows God’s Servant took upon himself, while we the people considered it the punishment of God upon him.

V. 5, Of course, it was no such thing. The reality was that he was pierced, crushed, chastened, whipped, and punished for our sakes, not because he deserved it. And because he did this for us we have peace and healing (Rev 22:2).

V. 6, Everyone of us has and continues to live selfishly for ourselves. And in spite of the fact that we do not deserve this grace, God caused our sin to fall upon his Servant.

V. 7, And through all of his oppression and cruel treatment God’s Servant didn’t complain. Even as he was led away to death he was silent. He was willing to be the Lamb (Rev 5:6, 6:1, 7:9, 12:11, 13:8, 14:1, 15:3, 17:14, 19:9, 21:22) of God who takes away the sin of the world.

V. 8, He was unjustly judged and with no one to continue on his family line–a terrible thing in those days–he was cut off from the land of the living. In other words, he was unfairly tried and executed, and all by those and in the place of those who justly deserved death.

V. 9, For anyone dying such an ignominious death, an improper burial was the final insult. But something happened. Once the Lamb of God had died for the sins of the world all was finished. There was no more reason for God’s Servant to be insulted and humiliated. So in sudden peripety, everything about his situation reversed. He was given the burial of a rich and honored man because the reality was that he was innocent of any violence or lie.

 
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Posted by on May 7, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Is. 43:22-28

4/6/13 V. 22, God’s disappointment is palpable. He was and is and will be ready to rescue us, his people, and we need rescuing, but we do not call on him for deliverance. Instead, we have become weary of him. We must not even recognize our own condition, or captivity and slavery to sin.

V. 23, We have not worshiped God in the way he has prescribed. That’s no longer sacrifices like in OT times, but we still owe God the worship he is due with our tithes and offerings and the living sacrifice of ourselves (Rom 12:1-2). God didn’t places these requirements upon us as burdens. He gave them to us for our good, not his. God doesn’t need anything from us for everything is his. But he knows that we need these requirements.

V. 24, We have robbed him of his due (Mal 3:10) and in so doing have robbed ourselves of God himself. Instead of bringing him our offerings, our worship, and our ourselves as living sacrifices, we have burdened and wearied him with our sins and wickedness.

V. 25, And yet God stands ready to forgive us of all of this. He is prepared to wipe clean our record and forget our past sins, not just for our sake but for his sake. He wants to do this, because this will restore our relationship with him.

V. 26, This verse can be understood two ways it seems. Either God is calling his people to judgment and asks us to defend our innocence, which of course we cannot do. Or, as the LXX makes it sound like, God calls us to a discussion where we can reason together, then we will see the error of our ways, confess our transgressions, and be forgiven and justified.

V. 27, Everyone is guilty before God from beginning to now. We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.

V. 28, Therefore, because we will not listen to our God, he will pollute the princes of the sanctuary. That’s an interesting phrase. God has allowed the leaders of his people (possible reading “holy princes”) to pollute the sanctuary. This could call to mind the abomination that causes desolation in Dan 9:27, 11:31, 12:11, Matt 24:15, Mk 13:14, because that’s the scenario that takes place. God’s people, and especially those who lead his people, apostatize and lead his church astray.

Therefore, God will allow the destruction of his people.

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Posted by on April 6, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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