The Best Laid Plans of Man

“Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help, And rely on horses, Who trust in chariots because they are many, And in horsemen because they are very strong, But who do not look to the Holy One of Israel, Nor seek the Lord!” Isaiah 31:1 NKJV

When a passage begins with the word “WOE” I always take notice. I want to ensure that woe isn’t for me. This really is a woe to anyone who trusts their own ways, man’s wisdom, over God’s – and in that (at some point or another) we all have fallen under this woe! Lord help us!

Dear Heavenly Father – As always, please open eye to see and our ears to hear what you are saying! Lord – open our understanding that we may know you and give us wisdom. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is from the book of Isaiah chapters 31-34 (embedded below the image below for your convenience).  As I read it I cannot help but think about current events in world news. I cannot help but be concern for those who have been lulled to sleep after being “woke” (which seems to mean has fallen asleep under a lie).

The chapter about the empty cities is an eerie reminder of life during the “shut down” phase of flattening the curve.  With empty streets and wildlife reclaiming the land and area. And it always amazes me how prophesy is always so specific to multiple times in life as God is pointing out the END and giving us these glimpses.

If we have a relationship with Him and we trust His ways over man’s we will be saved.  We may be spared in the middle of the storm. But spared none the less.  It may not look like it looks in your mind when you think and plan out how it will be… because God’s ways are not our ways (as we have discussed so many times before).  

The MOST important part of today’s reading is the same message we see regularly – it is answered in how we will respond.  Will we respond with humility? Will the complacent put on sackcloths and seek God? Will the diligent also humble themselves and seek his face.  Are we all, each and every one of us, stripping away our own pride of self will and stubbornness and getting humble?? Who are we to think we know better than God? Especially this late in history – this close to the day of the Lord.

It would be safer to just get naked in the emotional way – being raw and honest with God. And seeking Him and trying to have a relationship with Him. And trying to read and pray and learn His ways. It is safer than being wrongs about God and going through such a time as this alone – trusting in the might of men and the fallible plans of men.

RELATIONSHIP:
Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.
9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

MEMORY WORK: James 4:7 
NKJV – “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”
NAS – “Submit therefore to God. But resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
ESV – “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
NLT – “So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
NIV – “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

Thank you for reading.
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus! 

BIBLE READING: Isaiah 31-34 NKJV

The Folly of Not Trusting God

31 Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help,
And rely on horses,
Who trust in chariots because they are many,
And in horsemen because they are very strong,
But who do not look to the Holy One of Israel,
Nor seek the Lord!
Yet He also is wise and will bring disaster,
And will not [a]call back His words,
But will arise against the house of evildoers,
And against the help of those who work iniquity.
Now the Egyptians are men, and not God;
And their horses are flesh, and not spirit.
When the Lord stretches out His hand,
Both he who helps will fall,
And he who is helped will fall down;
They all will perish together.

God Will Deliver Jerusalem

For thus the Lord has spoken to me:

“As a lion roars,
And a young lion over his prey
(When a multitude of shepherds is summoned against him,
He will not be afraid of their voice
Nor be disturbed by their noise),
So the Lord of hosts will come down
To fight for Mount Zion and for its hill.
Like birds flying about,
So will the Lord of hosts defend Jerusalem.
Defending, He will also deliver it;
Passing over, He will preserve it.

Return to Him against whom the children of Israel have deeply revolted. For in that day every man shall throw away his idols of silver and his idols of gold—sin, which your own hands have made for yourselves.

“Then Assyria shall fall by a sword not of man,
And a sword not of mankind shall devour him.
But he shall flee from the sword,
And his young men shall become forced labor.
He shall cross over to his stronghold for fear,
And his princes shall be afraid of the banner,”
Says the Lord,
Whose fire is in Zion
And whose furnace is in Jerusalem.

A Reign of Righteousness

32 Behold, a king will reign in righteousness,
And princes will rule with justice.
A man will be as a hiding place from the wind,
And a [b]cover from the tempest,
As rivers of water in a dry place,
As the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.
The eyes of those who see will not be dim,
And the ears of those who hear will listen.
Also the heart of the [c]rash will understand knowledge,
And the tongue of the stammerers will be ready to speak plainly.

The foolish person will no longer be called [d]generous,
Nor the miser said to be bountiful;
For the foolish person will speak foolishness,
And his heart will work iniquity:
To practice ungodliness,
To utter error against the Lord,
To keep the hungry unsatisfied,
And he will cause the drink of the thirsty to fail.
Also the schemes of the schemer are evil;
He devises wicked plans
To destroy the poor with lying words,
Even when the needy speaks justice.
But a [e]generous man devises generous things,
And by generosity he shall stand.

Consequences of Complacency

Rise up, you women who are at ease,
Hear my voice;
You complacent daughters,
Give ear to my speech.
10 In a year and some days
You will be troubled, you complacent women;
For the vintage will fail,
The gathering will not come.
11 Tremble, you women who are at ease;
Be troubled, you complacent ones;
Strip yourselves, make yourselves bare,
And gird sackcloth on your waists.

12 People shall mourn upon their breasts
For the pleasant fields, for the fruitful vine.
13 On the land of my people will come up thorns and briers,
Yes, on all the happy homes in the joyous city;
14 Because the palaces will be forsaken,
The bustling city will be deserted.
The forts and towers will become lairs forever,
A joy of wild donkeys, a pasture of flocks—
15 Until the Spirit is poured upon us from on high,
And the wilderness becomes a fruitful field,
And the fruitful field is counted as a forest.

The Peace of God’s Reign

16 Then justice will dwell in the wilderness,
And righteousness remain in the fruitful field.
17 The work of righteousness will be peace,
And the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever.
18 My people will dwell in a peaceful habitation,
In secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places,
19 Though hail comes down on the forest,
And the city is brought low in humiliation.

20 Blessed are you who sow beside all waters,
Who send out freely the feet of the ox and the donkey.

A Prayer in Deep Distress

33 Woe to you who plunder, though you have not been plundered;
And you who deal treacherously, though they have not dealt treacherously with you!
When you cease plundering,
You will be plundered;
When you make an end of dealing treacherously,
They will deal treacherously with you.

O Lord, be gracious to us;
We have waited for You.
Be [f]their arm every morning,
Our salvation also in the time of trouble.
At the noise of the tumult the people shall flee;
When You lift Yourself up, the nations shall be scattered;
And Your plunder shall be gathered
Like the gathering of the caterpillar;
As the running to and fro of locusts,
He shall run upon them.

The Lord is exalted, for He dwells on high;
He has filled Zion with justice and righteousness.
Wisdom and knowledge will be the stability of your times,
And the strength of salvation;
The fear of the Lord is His treasure.

Surely their valiant ones shall cry outside,
The ambassadors of peace shall weep bitterly.
The highways lie waste,
The traveling man ceases.
He has broken the covenant,
[g]He has despised the [h]cities,
He regards no man.
The earth mourns and languishes,
Lebanon is shamed and shriveled;
Sharon is like a wilderness,
And Bashan and Carmel shake off their fruits.

Impending Judgment on Zion

10 “Now I will rise,” says the Lord;
“Now I will be exalted,
Now I will lift Myself up.
11 You shall conceive chaff,
You shall bring forth stubble;
Your breath, as fire, shall devour you.
12 And the people shall be like the burnings of lime;
Like thorns cut up they shall be burned in the fire.
13 Hear, you who are afar off, what I have done;
And you who are near, acknowledge My might.”

14 The sinners in Zion are afraid;
Fearfulness has seized the hypocrites:
“Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire?
Who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?”
15 He who walks righteously and speaks uprightly,
He who despises the gain of oppressions,
Who gestures with his hands, refusing bribes,
Who stops his ears from hearing of bloodshed,
And shuts his eyes from seeing evil:
16 He will dwell on [i]high;
His place of defense will be the fortress of rocks;
Bread will be given him,
His water will be sure.

The Land of the Majestic King

17 Your eyes will see the King in His beauty;
They will see the land that is very far off.
18 Your heart will meditate on terror:
“Where is the scribe?
Where is he who weighs?
Where is he who counts the towers?”
19 You will not see a fierce people,
A people of obscure speech, beyond perception,
Of a [j]stammering tongue that you cannot understand.

20 Look upon Zion, the city of our appointed feasts;
Your eyes will see Jerusalem, a quiet home,
A tabernacle that will not be taken down;
Not one of its stakes will ever be removed,
Nor will any of its cords be broken.
21 But there the majestic Lord will be for us
A place of broad rivers and streams,
In which no [k]galley with oars will sail,
Nor majestic ships pass by
22 (For the Lord is our Judge,
The Lord is our Lawgiver,
The Lord is our King;
He will save us);
23 Your tackle is loosed,
They could not strengthen their mast,
They could not spread the sail.

Then the prey of great plunder is divided;
The lame take the prey.
24 And the inhabitant will not say, “I am sick”;
The people who dwell in it will be forgiven their iniquity.

Judgment on the Nations

34 Come near, you nations, to hear;
And heed, you people!
Let the earth hear, and all that is in it,
The world and all things that come forth from it.
For the indignation of the Lord is against all nations,
And His fury against all their armies;
He has utterly destroyed them,
He has given them over to the slaughter.
Also their slain shall be thrown out;
Their stench shall rise from their corpses,
And the mountains shall be melted with their blood.
All the host of heaven shall be dissolved,
And the heavens shall be rolled up like a scroll;
All their host shall fall down
As the leaf falls from the vine,
And as fruit falling from a fig tree.

“For My sword shall be bathed in heaven;
Indeed it shall come down on Edom,
And on the people of My curse, for judgment.
The sword of the Lord is filled with blood,
It is made [l]overflowing with fatness,
With the blood of lambs and goats,
With the fat of the kidneys of rams.
For the Lord has a sacrifice in Bozrah,
And a great slaughter in the land of Edom.
The wild oxen shall come down with them,
And the young bulls with the mighty bulls;
Their land shall be soaked with blood,
And their dust [m]saturated with fatness.”

For it is the day of the Lord’s vengeance,
The year of recompense for the cause of Zion.
Its streams shall be turned into pitch,
And its dust into brimstone;
Its land shall become burning pitch.
10 It shall not be quenched night or day;
Its smoke shall ascend forever.
From generation to generation it shall lie waste;
No one shall pass through it forever and ever.
11 But the [n]pelican and the [o]porcupine shall possess it,
Also the owl and the raven shall dwell in it.
And He shall stretch out over it
The line of confusion and the stones of emptiness.
12 They shall call its nobles to the kingdom,
But none shall be there, and all its princes shall be nothing.

13 And thorns shall come up in its palaces,
Nettles and brambles in its fortresses;
It shall be a habitation of jackals,
A courtyard for ostriches.
14 The wild beasts of the desert shall also meet with the [p]jackals,
And the wild goat shall bleat to its companion;
Also [q]the night creature shall rest there,
And find for herself a place of rest.
15 There the arrow snake shall make her nest and lay eggs
And hatch, and gather them under her shadow;
There also shall the hawks be gathered,
Every one with her mate.

16 “Search from the book of the Lord, and read:
Not one of these shall fail;
Not one shall lack her mate.
For My mouth has commanded it, and His Spirit has gathered them.
17 He has cast the lot for them,
And His hand has divided it among them with a measuring line.
They shall possess it forever;
From generation to generation they shall dwell in it.”

Footnotes

  1. Isaiah 31:2 retract
  2. Isaiah 32:2 shelter
  3. Isaiah 32:4 hasty
  4. Isaiah 32:5 noble
  5. Isaiah 32:8 noble
  6. Isaiah 33:2 LXX omits their; Syr., Tg., Vg. our
  7. Isaiah 33:8 Tg. They have been removed from their cities
  8. Isaiah 33:8 So with MT, Vg.; DSS witnesses; LXX omits cities
  9. Isaiah 33:16 Lit. heights
  10. Isaiah 33:19 Unintelligible speech
  11. Isaiah 33:21 ship
  12. Isaiah 34:6 Lit. fat
  13. Isaiah 34:7 Lit. made fat
  14. Isaiah 34:11 Or owl
  15. Isaiah 34:11 Or hedgehog
  16. Isaiah 34:14 Lit. howling creatures
  17. Isaiah 34:14 Heb. lilith

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