Introduction

Hi there. Thanks for reading. I have a story to tell. It is the story of me, and my relationship with my best friend, who is awesome. It includes my hopes for my loved ones, family and friends.

I have knowledge and lessons to share. I have Biblical wisdom and practical applications. I have learned many of life’s big lessons flat on my face and maybe I can help you avoid them.

God is: Elohim (Isa.40:1), El Shaddai (Prov. 3:27), Jehovah-Jireh (Gen. 22:14), my redeemer (Isa. 41:14), my way, my truth, my life (John 14:6), and my beginning and my end (Rev. 22:13). The bible says it, I believe it – its good enough for me.

If you read these posts and want to develop your own relationship with God through Christ Jesus, it is easy to do. He wants to have a relationship with you. At the end of this post is a prayer, you can pray.

“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. 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 who you said 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 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.
Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. Please reveal yourself and your ways to me and in my life.
In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

I pray you find a good church near you and let them help you grow after you decide to follow Him. I hope you are blessed. Thank you for reading. Have a wonderful day.

Bind and Loose

And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” Matthew 16:19 NKJV

If I give you the keys to my home, then you can come and take anything you want, you can invite people over and hang out there, you can treat it like you treat your own home. It is not just handing you an object – it is also giving you authority. You have the authority to come and go from my presence and from my safe and even sacred space. Jesus was given all authority (even in human form) and He used that authority to give us the keys, the grace, the ability to come and go from heaven and our Holy Father! We have the keys!

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 Second Chronicles chapters 32-33 (embedded below the image below for your convenience).

In today’s opening verse we see a repeat of our memory verse for this month.  And whenever something is in the Bible more than once, it is because God is trying to make us perk up and pay attention. Today’s Bible reading is a repeat like this as well – when you read it, pay special attention to what God is trying to get us to remember. 

The concept of binding and loosing originates in the Targum and became a Jewish Mishnaic phrase meaning forbidding and permitting with authority. For example, a passage we read late last week:
“Is it a fast that I have chosen, A day for a man to afflict his soul? Is it to bow down his head like a bulrush, And to spread out sackcloth and ashes? Would you call this a fast, And an acceptable day to the Lord? Is this not the fast that I have chosen: To loose the bonds of wickedness, To undo the heavy burdens, To let the oppressed go free, And that you break every yoke?” Isaiah 58:5-6 NKJV

Side note – you may have been taught that when you bind you must also loose – and when you loose you must also bind and here we only see the loosing. The Sanhedrin Priests had divided their thoughts and practices between these two concepts and the school of Shammai only binds and the school of Hillel looses. This occurred in history during the time Jesus walked the earth making it the contemporary language, reuniting the division, and restoring the correct authority (within balance).  So yes, if we bind we must loose and vice versa however, if something is already bound and should be loose, we should loose it and if something is already loose and should not, we should bind it because the opposite is already present. Granted it almost sounds like I made it more complicated – but the things of the spirit are simpler – so simple a child could reason it and this actually uncomplicates it. So, here is: if it needs to be forbidden – then you have the authority to forbid it and God will forbid it. And the same goes for something that should be loose – should be permitted!

Why did we ever make it so complicated – I’m looking at you competitive Priests in the Sanhedrin, maneuvering for position and in competition of who knows the word and their God better!  (This very spirit has been loosed in our modern churches, causing disrespect to the leadership and who should speak against or touch the Lord’s anointed?! Gasp!)

We must bind up that complication, bind up that pridefulness, bind up dependence on Biblical knowledge and loose the Holy Spirit to have His way unhindered by these fleshly desires which had overtaken the people of the Lord! (Did you see that? It binds and does not permit the works of the flesh – we aren’t binding demons!!)

We bind the works and plans of the enemy – we bind it’s temptation in the house of the Lord. We bind, aka hindering, the plans for the one world order or great reset. We bind or hinder the political posturing of those trying to oppress the civilians into submission. We loose the arrows of the Lord (Psalm 64). We loose the exposing light of the Lord to reveal truth. We loose the tongue of the liar to expose him/herself. We loose the will of the Lord! We loose the workings of the holy spirit of revelation and knowledge.

We all know I am a “Repent the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand” end time crier.  But the truth is – if we humble ourselves and seek him, maybe the end can forbear!  So humbly loose awakening and revival.

And of course forgiveness. We are told to forgive others as we are forgiven and if we do not we won’t be forgiven – but forgiveness is a binding and loosing action!  We often forget in the Book of John, where if we withhold forgiveness it is withheld in heaven! Gasp! Are we standing in the way of the marvelous works of grace in someone else’s life?!

“If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.”  John 20:23 ESV

We also seem to forget that we have the author to forgive sins.  We think that is God’s job, but we partner and share in the work of the Lord.  Today I cannot get into the ins and out of this controversial verse as many call the concept of us forgiving sins as heresy! But I present it as a way to show we can loose forgiveness or bind someone by not forgiving their trespasses.  We may want to punish them for what they did to us, but the judgment of the Lord and wrath of God and wave of unforgiveness upon our self is far too great a risk. The Bible proclaims a woe against anyone who stands in God’s way or in the way of His will to seek and save.  We can however stand in the gap against the Lord’s wrath and judgment and pray for a forbearance, pray for grace, pray for more mercy – pray for more time in hopes that at least one more might be saved!

Anyway – the binding and loosing is NOT in relationship to demons or the satan himself. They in their being have other consequences and permission as the Lord has set out for them. In their appointed time they will be sent to hell – not to party and rule it as cartoons depict, but they are there for punishment – it will not be pleasant for humans or demons.

Then someone will inevitable quote this verse to show we can bind demons:

“Or how can someone enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? Then indeed he may plunder his house.” Matthew 12:29 ESV (which repeats in Mark 3:27)

But you have taken it out of context or misunderstood if you think this means we can bind the evil spirits.  We can bind their work, their authority over the house.  Binding is NOT tying up, but it is forbidding.  We can forbid the enemy to have any authority: Over the house. Over the statuary in the house of the Lord. Over the building or hallways or property of the Church – and over the people who comprise the church and body of Christ.  We cannot tie up a devil and send that knot into outer darkness and some abyss in our imagination (oh do not send him into your own head!) know the Word and our authority – do not add or subtract, it is enough and it is living and powerful all by its self – the Word of the Lord doesn’t need your help!

“But if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.” Matthew 12:28 ESV

Therefore, for the record – we cast demons out. Period. The end. Not bind – just “cast out”.

Finally in relationship to binding and loosing – there are good things which shall be bound and loosed as well.

“Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart.” Proverbs 3:3 ESV

Bind the word of the Lord to you along with love, joy, peace, longsuffering…. Etc. Bind yourself to God – and if binding is a forbidding – this then mean forbid yourself to be separated (and it is sin which separates us from God, nothing separates us from His love, but sin separates us from his presence). And in our relationship with Him we want to be caught up in His presence with His plans loosed in our lives!

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: As I promised, this year is full of memory verses that when the enemy comes up against us we can quote: It is written! Just as Jesus did when the devil tempted him.I know I have the victory and I must just stand fast and continue to submit to God… so let us memorize and quote this with authority! So as we submit, we can remind the old devil where he can go!

Matthew 18:18-19

NKJV – “Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven.”
NAS – “Truly I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven. Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven.”
ESV – “Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.”
AMP – “I assure you and most solemnly say to you, whatever you bind [forbid, declare to be improper and unlawful] on earth shall have [already] been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose [permit, declare lawful] on earth shall have [already] been loosed in heaven. Again I say to you, that if two believers on earth agree [that is, are of one mind, in harmony] about anything that they ask [within the will of God], it will be done for them by My Father in heaven.”
NIV – “Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will bebound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will beloosed in heaven. Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.”

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: 2 Chronicles 32-33 NKJV

Sennacherib Boasts Against the Lord

32 After these deeds of faithfulness, Sennacherib king of Assyria came and entered Judah; he encamped against the fortified cities, thinking to win them over to himself. And when Hezekiah saw that Sennacherib had come, and that his purpose was to make war against Jerusalem, he consulted with his leaders and [a]commanders to stop the water from the springs which were outside the city; and they helped him. Thus many people gathered together who stopped all the springs and the brook that ran through the land, saying, “Why should the [b]kings of Assyria come and find much water?” And he strengthened himself, built up all the wall that was broken, raised it up to the towers, and built another wall outside; also he repaired [c]the Millo in the City of David, and made [d]weapons and shields in abundance. Then he set military captains over the people, gathered them together to him in the open square of the city gate, and gave them encouragement, saying, “Be strong and courageous; do not be afraid nor dismayed before the king of Assyria, nor before all the multitude that is with him; for there are more with us than with him. With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the Lord our God, to help us and to fight our battles.” And the people were strengthened by the words of Hezekiah king of Judah.

After this Sennacherib king of Assyria sent his servants to Jerusalem (but he and all the forces with him laid siege against Lachish), to Hezekiah king of Judah, and to all Judah who were in Jerusalem, saying, 10 “Thus says Sennacherib king of Assyria: ‘In what do you trust, that you remain under siege in Jerusalem? 11 Does not Hezekiah persuade you to give yourselves over to die by famine and by thirst, saying, “The Lord our God will deliver us from the hand of the king of Assyria”? 12 Has not the same Hezekiah taken away His high places and His altars, and commanded Judah and Jerusalem, saying, “You shall worship before one altar and burn incense on it”? 13 Do you not know what I and my fathers have done to all the peoples of other lands? Were the gods of the nations of those lands in any way able to deliver their lands out of my hand? 14 Who was there among all the gods of those nations that my fathers utterly destroyed that could deliver his people from my hand, that your God should be able to deliver you from my hand? 15 Now therefore, do not let Hezekiah deceive you or persuade you like this, and do not believe him; for no god of any nation or kingdom was able to deliver his people from my hand or the hand of my fathers. How much less will your God deliver you from my hand?’ ”

16 Furthermore, his servants spoke against the Lord God and against His servant Hezekiah.

17 He also wrote letters to revile the Lord God of Israel, and to speak against Him, saying, “As the gods of the nations of other lands have not delivered their people from my hand, so the God of Hezekiah will not deliver His people from my hand.” 18 Then they called out with a loud voice in [e]Hebrew to the people of Jerusalem who were on the wall, to frighten them and trouble them, that they might take the city. 19 And they spoke against the God of Jerusalem, as against the gods of the people of the earth—the work of men’s hands.

Sennacherib’s Defeat and Death

20 Now because of this King Hezekiah and the prophet Isaiah, the son of Amoz, prayed and cried out to heaven. 21 Then the Lord sent an angel who cut down every mighty man of valor, leader, and captain in the camp of the king of Assyria. So he returned shamefaced to his own land. And when he had gone into the temple of his god, some of his own offspring struck him down with the sword there.

22 Thus the Lord saved Hezekiah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem from the hand of Sennacherib the king of Assyria, and from the hand of all others, and [f]guided them on every side. 23 And many brought gifts to the Lord at Jerusalem, and presents[g] to Hezekiah king of Judah, so that he was exalted in the sight of all nations thereafter.

Hezekiah Humbles Himself

24 In those days Hezekiah was sick and near death, and he prayed to the Lord; and He spoke to him and gave him a sign. 25 But Hezekiah did not repay according to the favor shown him, for his heart was lifted up; therefore wrath was looming over him and over Judah and Jerusalem. 26 Then Hezekiah humbled himself for the pride of his heart, he and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the wrath of the Lord did not come upon them in the days of Hezekiah.

Hezekiah’s Wealth and Honor

27 Hezekiah had very great riches and honor. And he made himself treasuries for silver, for gold, for precious stones, for spices, for shields, and for all kinds of desirable items; 28 storehouses for the harvest of grain, wine, and oil; and stalls for all kinds of livestock, and [h]folds for flocks. 29 Moreover he provided cities for himself, and possessions of flocks and herds in abundance; for God had given him very much property. 30 This same Hezekiah also stopped the water outlet of Upper Gihon, and [i]brought the water by tunnel to the west side of the City of David. Hezekiah prospered in all his works.

31 However, regarding the ambassadors of the princes of Babylon, whom they sent to him to inquire about the wonder that was done in the land, God withdrew from him, in order to test him, that He might know all that was in his heart.

Death of Hezekiah

32 Now the rest of the acts of Hezekiah, and his goodness, indeed they are written in the vision of Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, and in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel. 33 So Hezekiah [j]rested with his fathers, and they buried him in the upper tombs of the sons of David; and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem honored him at his death. Then Manasseh his son reigned in his place.

Manasseh Reigns in Judah

33 Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned fifty-five years in Jerusalem. But he did evil in the sight of the Lord, according to the abominations of the nations whom the Lord had cast out before the children of Israel. For he rebuilt the [k]high places which Hezekiah his father had broken down; he raised up altars for the Baals, and made wooden images; and he worshiped all [l]the host of heaven and served them. He also built altars in the house of the Lord, of which the Lord had said, “In Jerusalem shall My name be forever.” And he built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of the Lord. Also he caused his sons to pass through the fire in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom; he practiced soothsaying, used witchcraft and sorcery, and consulted mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the sight of the Lord, to provoke Him to anger. He even set a carved image, the idol which he had made, in the [m]house of God, of which God had said to David and to Solomon his son, “In this house and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, I will put My name forever; and I will not again remove the foot of Israel from the land which I have appointed for your fathers—only if they are careful to do all that I have commanded them, according to the whole law and the statutes and the ordinances by the hand of Moses.” So Manasseh seduced Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to do more evil than the nations whom the Lord had destroyed before the children of Israel.

Manasseh Restored After Repentance

10 And the Lord spoke to Manasseh and his people, but they would not [n]listen. 11 Therefore the Lord brought upon them the captains of the army of the king of Assyria, who took Manasseh with [o]hooks, bound him with [p]bronze fetters, and carried him off to Babylon. 12 Now when he was in affliction, he implored the Lord his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers, 13 and prayed to Him; and He received his entreaty, heard his supplication, and brought him back to Jerusalem into his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the Lord was God.

14 After this he built a wall outside the City of David on the west side of Gihon, in the valley, as far as the entrance of the Fish Gate; and it enclosed Ophel, and he raised it to a very great height. Then he put military captains in all the fortified cities of Judah. 15 He took away the foreign gods and the idol from the house of the Lord, and all the altars that he had built in the mount of the house of the Lord and in Jerusalem; and he cast them out of the city. 16 He also repaired the altar of the Lord, sacrificed peace offerings and thank offerings on it, and commanded Judah to serve the Lord God of Israel. 17 Nevertheless the people still sacrificed on the [q]high places, but only to the Lord their God.

Death of Manasseh

18 Now the rest of the acts of Manasseh, his prayer to his God, and the words of the seers who spoke to him in the name of the Lord God of Israel, indeed they are written in the [r]book of the kings of Israel. 19 Also his prayer and how God received his entreaty, and all his sin and trespass, and the sites where he built [s]high places and set up wooden images and carved images, before he was humbled, indeed they are written among the sayings of [t]Hozai. 20 So Manasseh rested with his fathers, and they buried him in his own house. Then his son Amon reigned in his place.

Amon’s Reign and Death

21 Amon was twenty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned two years in Jerusalem. 22 But he did evil in the sight of the Lord, as his father Manasseh had done; for Amon sacrificed to all the carved images which his father Manasseh had made, and served them. 23 And he did not humble himself before the Lord, as his father Manasseh had humbled himself; but Amon trespassed more and more.

24 Then his servants conspired against him, and killed him in his own house. 25 But the people of the land executed all those who had conspired against King Amon. Then the people of the land made his son Josiah king in his place.

Footnotes

  1. 2 Chronicles 32:3 Lit. mighty men
  2. 2 Chronicles 32:4 So with MT, Vg.; Arab., LXX, Syr. king
  3. 2 Chronicles 32:5 Lit. The Landfill
  4. 2 Chronicles 32:5 javelins
  5. 2 Chronicles 32:18 Lit. Judean
  6. 2 Chronicles 32:22 LXX gave them rest; Vg. gave them treasures
  7. 2 Chronicles 32:23 Lit. precious things
  8. 2 Chronicles 32:28 So with LXX, Vg.; Arab., Syr. omit folds for flocks; MT flocks for sheepfolds
  9. 2 Chronicles 32:30 Lit. brought it straight to (cf. 2 Kin. 20:20)
  10. 2 Chronicles 32:33 Died and joined his ancestors
  11. 2 Chronicles 33:3 Places for pagan worship
  12. 2 Chronicles 33:3 The gods of the Assyrians
  13. 2 Chronicles 33:7 Temple
  14. 2 Chronicles 33:10 obey
  15. 2 Chronicles 33:11 Nose hooks, 2 Kin. 19:28
  16. 2 Chronicles 33:11 chains
  17. 2 Chronicles 33:17 Places for pagan worship
  18. 2 Chronicles 33:18 Lit. words
  19. 2 Chronicles 33:19 Places for pagan worship
  20. 2 Chronicles 33:19 LXX the seers

Suddenly – After some prayer

Hear my voice, O God, in my complaint; Guard my life from the [fear] of the enemy. Psalm 64:1 AMP

Please hear me out for a minute. There are crazy things happening in our world and I am not going to pretend I understand it all. I know I understand a great deal, because God’s word has prepared me for lots of it, but there is a lot unknown.  Unknown is scary. There is no denying that. AND the most frightening is the enemy is part of the unknown.  Spirits at work behind the scene which you cannot see touch or physically combat are a scary thing. And it seems everything is in some way an enemy of God or of Christians. And knowing only in part – it is unsettling to say the least.

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 Second Kings chapters 20-21 (embedded below the image below for your convenience).

Please stay with me here – David (in the Bible) is one of the roughest, toughest warriors recorded – but is also known for being tender and a man after God’s own heart. His raw honesty in his prayers in the psalms is known to all of us. Many times we as people aren’t that honest with ourselves let alone God – or to write them down, as David did.  I noticed that in the psalms – MANY TIMES – David wrote that he was afraid or asked God to deliver him from fear.  This guy took out Goliath with a pebble, and yet, he knows, understands, hides and cries out to God in fear.  So human. 

God gave us a type of fear (which is not a spirit but an instinct). It is not bad or good and it is not wrong or right – it is a tool He gave us. With it we know when to run and hide or when to fight. Then God gave us wisdom and armor so we can be brave when we need to stand, and not hide – and what is the right way to use the tool and the wrong way to use the tool. With the armor we are invincible – sadly Christian fail to believe this which is a faith issue. We believe a lie and not believe what the word of God says. 
AND EVEN KING DAVID HAD THIS PROBLEM. It is a normal human struggle.  But once we know it is a normal growth process, we can begin to make peace with it and stop struggling.  Because human fear is NOT the same as the demon of fear who is destroying the world.  Human fear is made by God as an instinct and tool to keep us alive and keeps us from touching fire or being outside in a thunderstorm or trying to pet a wild lion – you get the point. 

Psalm 64 – stems from David praying out of fear. Human fear – not demonic fear. He is praying that he is protected from the wrong fear. And strengthened in faith to overcome the human fear – so he can be brave. What is interesting is he doesn’t know who the enemy is – he calls it the secret counsel.  That could be an actual conspiracy group. It could be his own imagination. It could be he was overcome with all the mix information like we are getting in our current world – and there were prophecies already spoken in his time and interpretations of those prophesies and the chaos – it just boils down to this unknown.  So David was afraid.

“Hide me from the secret counsel and conspiracy of the ungodly, From the scheming of those who do wrong, Who have sharpened their tongues like a sword. They aim venomous words as arrows, To shoot from ambush at the blameless [one]; Suddenly they shoot at him, without fear. They encourage themselves in [their pursuit of] an evil agenda; They talk of laying snares secretly; They say, “Who will discover us?” They devise acts of injustice, saying, “We are ready with a well-conceived plan.” For the inward thought and the heart of a man are deep (mysterious, unsearchable).” Psalm 64:2-6 AMP

So David begins with Lord save me from fear, essentially. Then he describes people and/or spirits who are plotting against him.  And “Him” represents the Kingdom of God – as Jesus comes from David’s seed. This stretches the passage out over all of time! Therefore it applies to us.  We can pray against being unduly afraid – as it is ok to have a human fear that is tempered with wisdom (for the physical world) and armor (for the spiritual world).  We can also pray against people and/or spirits that plot against the kingdom of God.

Jesus said to seek first the Kingdom of God (Matt 6:33) – so if something is plotting against it and maybe us and we are triggered into fear (God using our fight of flight to make us aware) then we should pray! If David did, then so should we. 

And David wasn’t very sweet about blessing his enemies – yet His prayers are set as a record to guide our prayers.  He prayed their own tongues would reveal them! Yes, Lord! That they would expose themselves as the ones plotting! David prayed it – so should we – NO, not should let us use the word MUST! We MUST pray like David!  David continued to ask God to shoot them suddenly! Suddenly!!!

But God will shoot them with an [unexpected] arrow; Suddenly they will be wounded. So they will be caused to stumble; Their own tongue is against them; All who gaze at them will shake the head [in scorn].” Psalm 64:7-8 AMP

We know that no weapon formed against us shall prosper and that means it will be formed – but suddenly, God will wound our enemy and the lies will be exposed.  And David asks that it all goes down in such a way – everyone sees that it was God! (so that God gets the glory)!

I was asking for the mouth of the liar to be shut – but that is NOT how David prayed! LET THEIR OWN TONGUE BEAR WITNESS AGAINST THEM! And then Lord, please wound them and/or their plans SUDDENLY! Because, Lord, IT IS WRITTEN! I believe, help my unbelief! In the mighty name of Jesus! Amen

Them. I still do not know with certainty who the “them” is in my life.  It also seem to change based on situation and scenario (sorta – I am not paranoid but just trying to explain an unknown enemy).

Remember when I got fired from my job – all of the people involved have lost their jobs, except one and that was the one I thought lead the fight against me. And their own mouths got them exposed. And suddenly they were replaced. I share this as a witness to this prayer of David being prayed and God moving suddenly and vindicating me – while He has also already moved me into a new place with new blessings and a new path in His will.

David finishes the psalm in acknowledgement that it is done, just because David prayed it – strengthening his own unbelief by just praying. Banishing fear by believing it is so. You and I have an advantage – we can also swing our sword and say this is written! As it is written!

Then all men will fear [God’s judgment]; They will declare the work of God, And they will consider and wisely acknowledge what He has done. The righteous will rejoice in the Lord and take refuge in Him; All the upright in heart will glory and offer praise.” Psalm 64:9-10 AMP

Starting on Friday of last week. I am reading and praying Psalm 64 daily – sometimes multiple times – sometimes in different versions of the Bible. My goal is to pray it every day until the feast of trumpets.  Please join me and let us see what comes of it. If we pray it believing, so much will change in our own lives – if we pray it in agreement with each other and change the first person to mean the body of Christ or the Kingdom of God – Oh in agreement we can change this world!  Yes, prophesy must be fulfilled but this is our role to play – to pray. Not to be overtaken by fear – just to give it to God and focus on God in prayer like David. Not to be overstimulated by distractions – just to focus on God and pray. Not to worry and be filled with anxiety – NOPE. It is to have peace knowing we aren’t wrong to have fear as a response but peace to know what to do with it and peace in giving it to God because here is a formula – pray this and it happens and it has in the past and it will in the future and it will happen, right now, if you pray it. 

So I encourage you to pray it every day with me until September 7th.  And let us believe God will move and change things.

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: As I promised, this year is full of memory verses that when the enemy comes up against us we can quote: It is written! Just as Jesus did when the devil tempted him.I know I have the victory and I must just stand fast and continue to submit to God… so let us memorize and quote this with authority! So as we submit, we can remind the old devil where he can go!

Matthew 18:18-19

NKJV – “Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven.”
NAS – “Truly I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven. Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven.”
ESV – “Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.”
AMP – “I assure you and most solemnly say to you, whatever you bind [forbid, declare to be improper and unlawful] on earth shall have [already] been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose [permit, declare lawful] on earth shall have [already] been loosed in heaven. Again I say to you, that if two believers on earth agree [that is, are of one mind, in harmony] about anything that they ask [within the will of God], it will be done for them by My Father in heaven.”
NIV – “Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will bebound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will beloosed in heaven. Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.”

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: 2 Kings 20-21 NKJV

Hezekiah’s Life Extended

20 In those days Hezekiah was sick and near death. And Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, went to him and said to him, “Thus says the Lord: ‘Set your house in order, for you shall die, and not live.’ ”

Then he turned his face toward the wall, and prayed to the Lord, saying, “Remember now, O Lord, I pray, how I have walked before You in truth and with a loyal heart, and have done what was good in Your sight.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.

And it happened, before Isaiah had gone out into the middle court, that the word of the Lord came to him, saying, “Return and tell Hezekiah the leader of My people, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of David your father: “I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; surely I will heal you. On the third day you shall go up to the house of the Lord. And I will add to your days fifteen years. I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria; and I will defend this city for My own sake, and for the sake of My servant David.” ’ ”

Then Isaiah said, “Take a lump of figs.” So they took and laid it on the boil, and he recovered.

And Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “What is the sign that the Lord will heal me, and that I shall go up to the house of the Lord the third day?”

Then Isaiah said, “This is the sign to you from the Lord, that the Lord will do the thing which He has spoken: shall the shadow go forward ten degrees or go backward ten degrees?”

10 And Hezekiah answered, “It is an easy thing for the shadow to go down ten [a]degrees; no, but let the shadow go backward ten degrees.”

11 So Isaiah the prophet cried out to the Lord, and He brought the shadow ten [b]degrees backward, by which it had gone down on the sundial of Ahaz.

The Babylonian Envoys

12 At that time [c]Berodach-Baladan the son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent letters and a present to Hezekiah, for he heard that Hezekiah had been sick. 13 And Hezekiah was attentive to them, and showed them all the house of his treasures—the silver and gold, the spices and precious ointment, and [d]all [e]his armory—all that was found among his treasures. There was nothing in his house or in all his dominion that Hezekiah did not show them.

14 Then Isaiah the prophet went to King Hezekiah, and said to him, “What did these men say, and from where did they come to you?”

So Hezekiah said, “They came from a far country, from Babylon.”

15 And he said, “What have they seen in your house?”

So Hezekiah answered, “They have seen all that is in my house; there is nothing among my treasures that I have not shown them.”

16 Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Hear the word of the Lord: 17 ‘Behold, the days are coming when all that is in your house, and what your fathers have accumulated until this day, shall be carried to Babylon; nothing shall be left,’ says the Lord. 18 ‘And they shall take away some of your sons who will [f]descend from you, whom you will beget; and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.’ ”

19 So Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “The word of the Lord which you have spoken is good!” For he said, “Will there not be peace and truth at least in my days?”

Death of Hezekiah

20 Now the rest of the acts of Hezekiah—all his might, and how he made a pool and a [g]tunnel and brought water into the city—are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? 21 So Hezekiah [h]rested with his fathers. Then Manasseh his son reigned in his place.

Manasseh Reigns in Judah

21 Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned fifty-five years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Hephzibah. And he did evil in the sight of the Lord, according to the abominations of the nations whom the Lord had cast out before the children of Israel. For he rebuilt the [i]high places which Hezekiah his father had destroyed; he raised up altars for Baal, and made a [j]wooden image, as Ahab king of Israel had done; and he worshiped all [k]the host of heaven and served them. He also built altars in the house of the Lord, of which the Lord had said, “In Jerusalem I will put My name.” And he built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of the Lord. Also he made his son pass through the fire, practiced soothsaying, used witchcraft, and consulted spiritists and mediums. He did much evil in the sight of the Lord, to provoke Him to anger. He even set a carved image of [l]Asherah that he had made, in the [m]house of which the Lord had said to David and to Solomon his son, “In this house and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, I will put My name forever; and I will not make the feet of Israel wander anymore from the land which I gave their fathers—only if they are careful to do according to all that I have commanded them, and according to all the law that My servant Moses commanded them.” But they paid no attention, and Manasseh seduced them to do more evil than the nations whom the Lord had destroyed before the children of Israel.

10 And the Lord spoke by His servants the prophets, saying, 11 “Because Manasseh king of Judah has done these abominations (he has acted more wickedly than all the Amorites who were before him, and has also made Judah sin with his idols), 12 therefore thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘Behold, I am bringing such calamity upon Jerusalem and Judah, that whoever hears of it, both his ears will tingle. 13 And I will stretch over Jerusalem the measuring line of Samaria and the plummet of the house of Ahab; I will wipe Jerusalem as one wipes a dish, wiping it and turning it upside down. 14 So I will forsake the remnant of My inheritance and deliver them into the hand of their enemies; and they shall become victims of plunder to all their enemies, 15 because they have done evil in My sight, and have provoked Me to anger since the day their fathers came out of Egypt, even to this day.’ ”

16 Moreover Manasseh shed very much innocent blood, till he had filled Jerusalem from one end to another, besides his sin by which he made Judah sin, in doing evil in the sight of the Lord.

17 Now the rest of the acts of Manasseh—all that he did, and the sin that he committed—are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? 18 So Manasseh [n]rested with his fathers, and was buried in the garden of his own house, in the garden of Uzza. Then his son Amon reigned in his place.

Amon’s Reign and Death

19 Amon was twenty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned two years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Meshullemeth the daughter of Haruz of Jotbah. 20 And he did evil in the sight of the Lord, as his father Manasseh had done. 21 So he walked in all the ways that his father had walked; and he served the idols that his father had served, and worshiped them. 22 He forsook the Lord God of his fathers, and did not walk in the way of the Lord.

23 Then the servants of Amon conspired against him, and killed the king in his own house. 24 But the people of the land executed all those who had conspired against King Amon. Then the people of the land made his son Josiah king in his place.

25 Now the rest of the acts of Amon which he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? 26 And he was buried in his tomb in the garden of Uzza. Then Josiah his son reigned in his place.

Footnotes

  1. 2 Kings 20:10 Lit. steps
  2. 2 Kings 20:11 Lit. steps
  3. 2 Kings 20:12 Merodach-Baladan, Is. 39:1
  4. 2 Kings 20:13 So with many Heb. mss., Syr., Tg.; MT omits all
  5. 2 Kings 20:13 Lit. the house of his armor
  6. 2 Kings 20:18 be born from
  7. 2 Kings 20:20 aqueduct
  8. 2 Kings 20:21 Died and joined his ancestors
  9. 2 Kings 21:3 Places for pagan worship
  10. 2 Kings 21:3 Heb. Asherah, a Canaanite goddess
  11. 2 Kings 21:3 The gods of the Assyrians
  12. 2 Kings 21:7 A Canaanite goddess
  13. 2 Kings 21:7 Temple
  14. 2 Kings 21:18 Died and joined his ancestors

Weekend Reading (August 1)

Dear Heavenly Father, Please open my understanding as I read the Bible so that I may be able to know you better. Please help your word be planted in my mind, so I may recall it as needed. Bless me with wisdom and knowledge, please. We also pray for Israel and the peace of Jerusalem. In the name of Jesus we pray ~ amen

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: Matthew 18:18-19 (New Memory Verses – another 2 for 1, but this time we only have a month to learn both!)
NKJV – “Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven.”
NAS – “Truly I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven. Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven.”
ESV – “Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.”
AMP – “I assure you and most solemnly say to you, whatever you bind [forbid, declare to be improper and unlawful] on earth shall have [already] been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose [permit, declare lawful] on earth shall have [already] been loosed in heaven. Again I say to you, that if two believers on earth agree [that is, are of one mind, in harmony] about anything that they ask [within the will of God], it will be done for them by My Father in heaven.”
NIV – “Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will bebound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will beloosed in heaven. Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.”

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 64-66 NKJV

A Prayer for Help

64 Oh, that You would [a]rend the heavens!
That You would come down!
That the mountains might shake at Your presence—
As fire burns brushwood,
As fire causes water to boil—
To make Your name known to Your adversaries,
That the nations may tremble at Your presence!
When You did awesome things for which we did not look,
You came down,
The mountains shook at Your presence.
For since the beginning of the world
Men have not heard nor perceived by the ear,
Nor has the eye seen any God besides You,
Who acts for the one who waits for Him.
You meet him who rejoices and does righteousness,
Who remembers You in Your ways.
You are indeed angry, for we have sinned—
In these ways we continue;
And we need to be saved.

But we are all like an unclean thing,
And all our righteousnesses are like [b]filthy rags;
We all fade as a leaf,
And our iniquities, like the wind,
Have taken us away.
And there is no one who calls on Your name,
Who stirs himself up to take hold of You;
For You have hidden Your face from us,
And have [c]consumed us because of our iniquities.

But now, O Lord,
You are our Father;
We are the clay, and You our potter;
And all we are the work of Your hand.
Do not be furious, O Lord,
Nor remember iniquity forever;
Indeed, please look—we all are Your people!
10 Your holy cities are a wilderness,
Zion is a wilderness,
Jerusalem a desolation.
11 Our holy and beautiful [d]temple,
Where our fathers praised You,
Is burned up with fire;
And all our pleasant things [e]are laid waste.
12 Will You restrain Yourself because of these things, O Lord?
Will You [f]hold Your peace, and afflict us very severely?

The Righteousness of God’s Judgment

65 “I was sought by those who did not ask for Me;
I was found by those who did not seek Me.
I said, ‘Here I am, here I am,’
To a nation that was not called by My name.
I have stretched out My hands all day long to a rebellious people,
Who walk in a way that is not good,
According to their own thoughts;
A people who provoke Me to anger continually to My face;
Who sacrifice in gardens,
And burn incense on altars of brick;
Who sit among the graves,
And spend the night in the tombs;
Who eat swine’s flesh,
And the broth of [g]abominable things is in their vessels;
Who say, ‘Keep to yourself,
Do not come near me,
For I am holier than you!’
These [h]are smoke in My nostrils,
A fire that burns all the day.

“Behold, it is written before Me:
I will not keep silence, but will repay—
Even repay into their bosom—
Your iniquities and the iniquities of your fathers together,”
Says the Lord,
“Who have burned incense on the mountains
And blasphemed Me on the hills;
Therefore I will measure their former work into their bosom.”

Thus says the Lord:

“As the new wine is found in the cluster,
And one says, ‘Do not destroy it,
For a blessing is in it,’
So will I do for My servants’ sake,
That I may not destroy them all.
I will bring forth descendants from Jacob,
And from Judah an heir of My mountains;
My elect shall inherit it,
And My servants shall dwell there.
10 Sharon shall be a fold of flocks,
And the Valley of Achor a place for herds to lie down,
For My people who have sought Me.

11 “But you are those who forsake the Lord,
Who forget My holy mountain,
Who prepare a table for [i]Gad,
And who furnish a drink offering for [j]Meni.
12 Therefore I will number you for the sword,
And you shall all bow down to the slaughter;
Because, when I called, you did not answer;
When I spoke, you did not hear,
But did evil before My eyes,
And chose that in which I do not delight.”

13 Therefore thus says the Lord God:

“Behold, My servants shall eat,
But you shall be hungry;
Behold, My servants shall drink,
But you shall be thirsty;
Behold, My servants shall rejoice,
But you shall be ashamed;
14 Behold, My servants shall sing for joy of heart,
But you shall cry for sorrow of heart,
And wail for [k]grief of spirit.
15 You shall leave your name as a curse to My chosen;
For the Lord God will slay you,
And call His servants by another name;
16 So that he who blesses himself in the earth
Shall bless himself in the God of truth;
And he who swears in the earth
Shall swear by the God of truth;
Because the former troubles are forgotten,
And because they are hidden from My eyes.

The Glorious New Creation

17 “For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth;
And the former shall not be remembered or [l]come to mind.
18 But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create;
For behold, I create Jerusalem as a rejoicing,
And her people a joy.
19 I will rejoice in Jerusalem,
And joy in My people;
The voice of weeping shall no longer be heard in her,
Nor the voice of crying.

20 “No more shall an infant from there live but a few days,
Nor an old man who has not fulfilled his days;
For the child shall die one hundred years old,
But the sinner being one hundred years old shall be accursed.
21 They shall build houses and inhabit them;
They shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit.
22 They shall not build and another inhabit;
They shall not plant and another eat;
For as the days of a tree, so shall be the days of My people,
And My elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.
23 They shall not labor in vain,
Nor bring forth children for trouble;
For they shall be the descendants of the blessed of the Lord,
And their offspring with them.

24 “It shall come to pass
That before they call, I will answer;
And while they are still speaking, I will hear.
25 The wolf and the lamb shall feed together,
The lion shall eat straw like the ox,
And dust shall be the serpent’s food.
They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain,”
Says the Lord.

True Worship and False

66 Thus says the Lord:

“Heaven is My throne,
And earth is My footstool.
Where is the house that you will build Me?
And where is the place of My rest?
For all those things My hand has made,
And all those things exist,”
Says the Lord.
“But on this one will I look:
On him who is poor and of a contrite spirit,
And who trembles at My word.

“He who kills a bull is as if he slays a man;
He who sacrifices a lamb, as if he breaks a dog’s neck;
He who offers a grain offering, as if he offers swine’s blood;
He who burns incense, as if he blesses an idol.
Just as they have chosen their own ways,
And their soul delights in their abominations,
So will I choose their delusions,
And bring their fears on them;
Because, when I called, no one answered,
When I spoke they did not hear;
But they did evil before My eyes,
And chose that in which I do not delight.”

The Lord Vindicates Zion

Hear the word of the Lord,
You who tremble at His word:
“Your brethren who hated you,
Who cast you out for My name’s sake, said,
‘Let the Lord be glorified,
That we may see your joy.’
But they shall be ashamed.”

The sound of noise from the city!
A voice from the temple!
The voice of the Lord,
Who fully repays His enemies!

“Before she was in labor, she gave birth;
Before her pain came,
She delivered a male child.
Who has heard such a thing?
Who has seen such things?
Shall the earth be made to give birth in one day?
Or shall a nation be born at once?
For as soon as Zion was in labor,
She gave birth to her children.
Shall I bring to the time of birth, and not cause delivery?” says the Lord.
“Shall I who cause delivery shut up the womb?” says your God.
10 “Rejoice with Jerusalem,
And be glad with her, all you who love her;
Rejoice for joy with her, all you who mourn for her;
11 That you may feed and be satisfied
With the consolation of her bosom,
That you may drink deeply and be delighted
With the abundance of her glory.”

12 For thus says the Lord:

“Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river,
And the glory of the Gentiles like a flowing stream.
Then you shall feed;
On her sides shall you be carried,
And be dandled on her knees.
13 As one whom his mother comforts,
So I will comfort you;
And you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.”

The Reign and Indignation of God

14 When you see this, your heart shall rejoice,
And your bones shall flourish like grass;
The hand of the Lord shall be known to His servants,
And His indignation to His enemies.
15 For behold, the Lord will come with fire
And with His chariots, like a whirlwind,
To render His anger with fury,
And His rebuke with flames of fire.
16 For by fire and by His sword
The Lord will judge all flesh;
And the slain of the Lord shall be many.

17 “Those who sanctify themselves and purify themselves,
To go to the gardens
[m]After an idol in the midst,
Eating swine’s flesh and the abomination and the mouse,
Shall [n]be consumed together,” says the Lord.

18 “For I know their works and their thoughts. It shall be that I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come and see My glory. 19 I will set a sign among them; and those among them who escape I will send to the nations: to Tarshish and [o]Pul and Lud, who draw the bow, and Tubal and Javan, to the coastlands afar off who have not heard My fame nor seen My glory. And they shall declare My glory among the Gentiles. 20 Then they shall bring all your brethren for an offering to the Lord out of all nations, on horses and in chariots and in litters, on mules and on camels, to My holy mountain Jerusalem,” says the Lord, “as the children of Israel bring an offering in a clean vessel into the house of the Lord. 21 And I will also take some of them for priests and Levites,” says the Lord.

22 “For as the new heavens and the new earth
Which I will make shall remain before Me,” says the Lord,
“So shall your descendants and your name remain.
23 And it shall come to pass
That from one New Moon to another,
And from one Sabbath to another,
All flesh shall come to worship before Me,” says the Lord.

24 “And they shall go forth and look
Upon the corpses of the men
Who have transgressed against Me.
For their worm does not die,
And their fire is not quenched.
They shall be an abhorrence to all flesh.”

Footnotes

  1. Isaiah 64:1 tear open
  2. Isaiah 64:6 Lit. a filthy garment
  3. Isaiah 64:7 Lit. caused us to melt
  4. Isaiah 64:11 Lit. house
  5. Isaiah 64:11 have become a ruin
  6. Isaiah 64:12 keep silent
  7. Isaiah 65:4 Unclean meats, Lev. 7:1819:7
  8. Isaiah 65:5 Cause My wrath to smoke
  9. Isaiah 65:11 Lit. Troop or Fortune; a pagan deity
  10. Isaiah 65:11 Lit. Number or Destiny; a pagan deity
  11. Isaiah 65:14 Or a broken spirit
  12. Isaiah 65:17 Lit. come upon the heart
  13. Isaiah 66:17 Lit. After one
  14. Isaiah 66:17 come to an end
  15. Isaiah 66:19 So with MT, Tg.; LXX Put (cf. Jer. 46:9)

Weekend Reading (July 31)

Dear Heavenly Father, Please open my understanding as I read the Bible so that I may be able to know you better. Please help your word be planted in my mind, so I may recall it as needed. Bless me with wisdom and knowledge, please. We also pray for Israel and the peace of Jerusalem. In the name of Jesus we pray ~ amen

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 59-63 NKJV

Separated from God

59 Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened,
That it cannot save;
Nor His ear heavy,
That it cannot hear.
But your iniquities have separated you from your God;
And your sins have hidden His face from you,
So that He will not hear.
For your hands are defiled with [a]blood,
And your fingers with iniquity;
Your lips have spoken lies,
Your tongue has muttered perversity.

No one calls for justice,
Nor does any plead for truth.
They trust in empty words and speak lies;
They conceive [b]evil and bring forth iniquity.
They hatch vipers’ eggs and weave the spider’s web;
He who eats of their eggs dies,
And from that which is crushed a viper breaks out.

Their webs will not become garments,
Nor will they cover themselves with their works;
Their works are works of iniquity,
And the act of violence is in their hands.
Their feet run to evil,
And they make haste to shed innocent blood;
Their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity;
Wasting and destruction are in their paths.
The way of peace they have not known,
And there is no justice in their ways;
They have made themselves crooked paths;
Whoever takes that way shall not know peace.

Sin Confessed

Therefore justice is far from us,
Nor does righteousness overtake us;
We look for light, but there is darkness!
For brightness, but we walk in blackness!
10 We grope for the wall like the blind,
And we grope as if we had no eyes;
We stumble at noonday as at twilight;
We are as dead men in desolate places.
11 We all growl like bears,
And moan sadly like doves;
We look for justice, but there is none;
For salvation, but it is far from us.
12 For our transgressions are multiplied before You,
And our sins testify against us;
For our transgressions are with us,
And as for our iniquities, we know them:
13 In transgressing and lying against the Lord,
And departing from our God,
Speaking oppression and revolt,
Conceiving and uttering from the heart words of falsehood.
14 Justice is turned back,
And righteousness stands afar off;
For truth is fallen in the street,
And equity cannot enter.
15 So truth fails,
And he who departs from evil makes himself a prey.

The Redeemer of Zion

Then the Lord saw it, and [c]it displeased Him
That there was no justice.
16 He saw that there was no man,
And wondered that there was no intercessor;
Therefore His own arm brought salvation for Him;
And His own righteousness, it sustained Him.
17 For He put on righteousness as a breastplate,
And a helmet of salvation on His head;
He put on the garments of vengeance for clothing,
And was clad with zeal as a cloak.
18 According to their deeds, accordingly He will repay,
Fury to His adversaries,
Recompense to His enemies;
The coastlands He will fully repay.
19 So shall they fear
The name of the Lord from the west,
And His glory from the rising of the sun;
When the enemy comes in like a flood,
The Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him.

20 “The Redeemer will come to Zion,
And to those who turn from transgression in Jacob,”
Says the Lord.

21 “As for Me,” says the Lord, “this is My covenant with them: My Spirit who is upon you, and My words which I have put in your mouth, shall not depart from your mouth, nor from the mouth of your descendants, nor from the mouth of your descendants’ descendants,” says the Lord, “from this time and forevermore.”

The Gentiles Bless Zion

60 Arise, shine;
For your light has come!
And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you.
For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth,
And deep darkness the people;
But the Lord will arise over you,
And His glory will be seen upon you.
The Gentiles shall come to your light,
And kings to the brightness of your rising.

“Lift up your eyes all around, and see:
They all gather together, they come to you;
Your sons shall come from afar,
And your daughters shall be nursed at your side.
Then you shall see and become radiant,
And your heart shall swell with joy;
Because the abundance of the sea shall be turned to you,
The wealth of the Gentiles shall come to you.
The multitude of camels shall cover your land,
The dromedaries of Midian and Ephah;
All those from Sheba shall come;
They shall bring gold and incense,
And they shall proclaim the praises of the Lord.
All the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered together to you,
The rams of Nebaioth shall minister to you;
They shall ascend with acceptance on My altar,
And I will glorify the house of My glory.

“Who are these who fly like a cloud,
And like doves to their roosts?
Surely the coastlands shall wait for Me;
And the ships of Tarshish will come first,
To bring your sons from afar,
Their silver and their gold with them,
To the name of the Lord your God,
And to the Holy One of Israel,
Because He has glorified you.

10 “The sons of foreigners shall build up your walls,
And their kings shall minister to you;
For in My wrath I struck you,
But in My favor I have had mercy on you.
11 Therefore your gates shall be open continually;
They shall not be shut day or night,
That men may bring to you the wealth of the Gentiles,
And their kings in procession.
12 For the nation and kingdom which will not serve you shall perish,
And those nations shall be utterly ruined.

13 “The glory of Lebanon shall come to you,
The cypress, the pine, and the box tree together,
To beautify the place of My sanctuary;
And I will make the place of My feet glorious.
14 Also the sons of those who afflicted you
Shall come bowing to you,
And all those who despised you shall fall prostrate at the soles of your feet;
And they shall call you The City of the Lord,
Zion of the Holy One of Israel.

15 “Whereas you have been forsaken and hated,
So that no one went through you,
I will make you an eternal excellence,
A joy of many generations.
16 You shall drink the milk of the Gentiles,
And milk the breast of kings;
You shall know that I, the Lord, am your Savior
And your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.

17 “Instead of bronze I will bring gold,
Instead of iron I will bring silver,
Instead of wood, bronze,
And instead of stones, iron.
I will also make your officers peace,
And your magistrates righteousness.
18 Violence shall no longer be heard in your land,
Neither [d]wasting nor destruction within your borders;
But you shall call your walls Salvation,
And your gates Praise.

God the Glory of His People

19 “The sun shall no longer be your light by day,
Nor for brightness shall the moon give light to you;
But the Lord will be to you an everlasting light,
And your God your glory.
20 Your sun shall no longer go down,
Nor shall your moon withdraw itself;
For the Lord will be your everlasting light,
And the days of your mourning shall be ended.
21 Also your people shall all be righteous;
They shall inherit the land forever,
The branch of My planting,
The work of My hands,
That I may be glorified.
22 A little one shall become a thousand,
And a small one a strong nation.
I, the Lord, will hasten it in its time.”

The Good News of Salvation

61 “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me,
Because the Lord has anointed Me
To preach good tidings to the poor;
He has sent Me to [e]heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives,
And the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord,
And the day of vengeance of our God;
To comfort all who mourn,
To [f]console those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”

And they shall rebuild the old ruins,
They shall raise up the former desolations,
And they shall repair the ruined cities,
The desolations of many generations.
Strangers shall stand and feed your flocks,
And the sons of the foreigner
Shall be your plowmen and your vinedressers.
But you shall be named the priests of the Lord,
They shall call you the servants of our God.
You shall eat the riches of the Gentiles,
And in their glory you shall boast.
Instead of your shame you shall have double honor,
And instead of confusion they shall rejoice in their portion.
Therefore in their land they shall possess double;
Everlasting joy shall be theirs.

“For I, the Lord, love justice;
I hate robbery [g]for burnt offering;
I will direct their work in truth,
And will make with them an everlasting covenant.
Their descendants shall be known among the Gentiles,
And their offspring among the people.
All who see them shall acknowledge them,
That they are the posterity whom the Lord has blessed.”

10 I will greatly rejoice in the Lord,
My soul shall be joyful in my God;
For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation,
He has covered me with the robe of righteousness,
As a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments,
And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
11 For as the earth brings forth its bud,
As the garden causes the things that are sown in it to spring forth,
So the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.

Assurance of Zion’s Salvation

62 For Zion’s sake I will not [h]hold My peace,
And for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest,
Until her righteousness goes forth as brightness,
And her salvation as a lamp that burns.
The Gentiles shall see your righteousness,
And all kings your glory.
You shall be called by a new name,
Which the mouth of the Lord will name.
You shall also be a crown of glory
In the hand of the Lord,
And a royal diadem
In the hand of your God.
You shall no longer be termed Forsaken,[i]
Nor shall your land any more be termed Desolate;[j]
But you shall be called [k]Hephzibah, and your land [l]Beulah;
For the Lord delights in you,
And your land shall be married.
For as a young man marries a virgin,
So shall your sons marry you;
And as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride,
So shall your God rejoice over you.

I have set watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem;
They shall [m]never hold their peace day or night.
You who [n]make mention of the Lord, do not keep silent,
And give Him no rest till He establishes
And till He makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth.

The Lord has sworn by His right hand
And by the arm of His strength:
“Surely I will no longer give your grain
As food for your enemies;
And the sons of the foreigner shall not drink your new wine,
For which you have labored.
But those who have gathered it shall eat it,
And praise the Lord;
Those who have brought it together shall drink it in My holy courts.”

10 Go through,
Go through the gates!
Prepare the way for the people;
Build up,
Build up the highway!
Take out the stones,
Lift up a banner for the peoples!

11 Indeed the Lord has proclaimed
To the end of the world:
“Say to the daughter of Zion,
‘Surely your salvation is coming;
Behold, His reward is with Him,
And His [o]work before Him.’ ”
12 And they shall call them The Holy People,
The Redeemed of the Lord;
And you shall be called Sought Out,
A City Not Forsaken.

The Lord in Judgment and Salvation

63 Who is this who comes from Edom,
With dyed garments from Bozrah,
This One who is [p]glorious in His apparel,
Traveling in the greatness of His strength?—

“I who speak in righteousness, mighty to save.”

Why is Your apparel red,
And Your garments like one who treads in the winepress?

“I have trodden the winepress alone,
And from the peoples no one was with Me.
For I have trodden them in My anger,
And trampled them in My fury;
Their blood is sprinkled upon My garments,
And I have stained all My robes.
For the day of vengeance is in My heart,
And the year of My redeemed has come.
I looked, but there was no one to help,
And I wondered
That there was no one to uphold;
Therefore My own arm brought salvation for Me;
And My own fury, it sustained Me.
I have trodden down the peoples in My anger,
Made them drunk in My fury,
And brought down their strength to the earth.”

God’s Mercy Remembered

I will mention the lovingkindnesses of the Lord
And the praises of the Lord,
According to all that the Lord has bestowed on us,
And the great goodness toward the house of Israel,
Which He has bestowed on them according to His mercies,
According to the multitude of His lovingkindnesses.
For He said, “Surely they are My people,
Children who will not lie.”
So He became their Savior.
In all their affliction He was [q]afflicted,
And the Angel of His Presence saved them;
In His love and in His pity He redeemed them;
And He bore them and carried them
All the days of old.
10 But they rebelled and grieved His Holy Spirit;
So He turned Himself against them as an enemy,
And He fought against them.

11 Then he remembered the days of old,
Moses and his people, saying:
“Where is He who brought them up out of the sea
With the [r]shepherd of His flock?
Where is He who put His Holy Spirit within them,
12 Who led them by the right hand of Moses,
With His glorious arm,
Dividing the water before them
To make for Himself an everlasting name,
13 Who led them through the deep,
As a horse in the wilderness,
That they might not stumble?”

14 As a beast goes down into the valley,
And the Spirit of the Lord causes him to rest,
So You lead Your people,
To make Yourself a glorious name.

A Prayer of Penitence

15 Look down from heaven,
And see from Your habitation, holy and glorious.
Where are Your zeal and Your strength,
The yearning of Your heart and Your mercies toward me?
Are they restrained?
16 Doubtless You are our Father,
Though Abraham was ignorant of us,
And Israel does not acknowledge us.
You, O Lord, are our Father;
Our Redeemer from Everlasting is Your name.
17 O Lord, why have You made us stray from Your ways,
And hardened our heart from Your fear?
Return for Your servants’ sake,
The tribes of Your inheritance.
18 Your holy people have possessed it but a little while;
Our adversaries have trodden down Your sanctuary.
19 We have become like those of old, over whom You never ruled,
Those who were never called by Your name.

Footnotes

  1. Isaiah 59:3 bloodshed
  2. Isaiah 59:4 trouble
  3. Isaiah 59:15 Lit. it was evil in His eyes
  4. Isaiah 60:18 devastation
  5. Isaiah 61:1 Lit. bind up
  6. Isaiah 61:3 Lit. appoint
  7. Isaiah 61:8 Or in
  8. Isaiah 62:1 keep silent
  9. Isaiah 62:4 Heb. Azubah
  10. Isaiah 62:4 Heb. Shemamah
  11. Isaiah 62:4 Lit. My Delight Is in Her
  12. Isaiah 62:4 Lit. Married
  13. Isaiah 62:6 not be silent
  14. Isaiah 62:6 remember
  15. Isaiah 62:11 recompense
  16. Isaiah 63:1 Or adorned
  17. Isaiah 63:9 Kt., LXX, Syr. not afflicted
  18. Isaiah 63:11 MT, Vg. shepherds

So Many Good Words For Today!

“So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:11 NKJV

So many amazing scripture verses in today’s reading – I must open with this reminder to never dilute or muddy the scriptures. They are more powerful as a two edges sword! They will accomplish God’s will on this earth. Speak and pray them, clean and pure, into our world and situations and watch what the Lord can do! And now let’s pray and read and think about all the blessed scriptures for today!!! God surely has blessed 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! We also pray for Israel and the peace of Jerusalem. – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is from the book of Isaiah chapters 54-58 (embedded below the image below for your convenience).  What amazing chapters we have today!!! GLORY!!!

54 – while the prime minister calls a slight majority of the Israeli nation enemies of the state for not receiving something that Israeli funded independent studies have proved unsafe and ineffective.  Oh Israel, we pray for you! May the Lord bless you and keep you – may you return to Him quickly. But remember the blessings and promises like the promise to Noah – Oh cling to these beautiful promises. No weapon formed against you shall prosper, oh Israel!!! As well as not prospering against us.

55 – hunger and thirst? Watch how you spend money. His ways are better than our ways!  Oh Lord, help us hear clearly from you and it may not make sense in our minds but let us do it your way.

56 – The foreigner, the gentile, ME (Yes, even me) are accepted into the family and blessed under the blessings if we also commit to the covenant of the Lord!!

57 – the evils of idolatry and need for humility!  God will heal the backsliders!!!
OK – ladies and gentlemen!!! Here it is!!! I promised to make a note of it at a later date and today is that day.  When praying for the backslidden, particularly the children – and we hear people pray the verse in proverbs which provided instruction and not promise (to raise a child in the way they should go).  Yes, it is parental instruction and NOT promise.  Jesus’s parable of the prodigal son… And this prophesy of Isaiah’s about God’s commitment to heal the backsliding… these are where you find your clean verses, your sharp swords to pray. Praying the will and words of the Lord. Like a sword piercing into the spirit world and cutting the captives free, free to be healed, freeing the seeds to grow, watering the spirit side of the seeds!! This is your weapon and your promise: IT IS WRITTEN!

And finally 58 – The acceptable fast – since today I am starting a 40 day fast it is interesting that this is the day I read what the LORD says is acceptable to do during a fast. Fasts are not always food, sackcloth, and throwing dust on yourself. Nope.  Fasting is sacrifice and giving to others with a contrite and consecrated spirit.  Keep me in prayer these next 40 days as I fast – I know God has been pulling me to fast and I have had a few false starts and a huge battle.  I found a ministry called Radiant Israel who are calling for a 40 day fast that starts today as well and the spirit bears witness to me to join them. I shared it on our Facebook wall. And here is their website:  https://www.radiantisrael.com/  

So many good things today!! Blessed be the Lord!! You see, this is how God speaks to us (oh Lord speak clearly through your word!) and this is how we listen (by reading). Then we pray to speak back. Sometimes God speaks directly to us but if He does it is confirmed by two witnesses and one is always the scriptures.  Behold he is doing a new thing – but yet His methods haven’t changed and His character never changes.  God cares about my little things like the blister on my figure which hurts and He cares about the big things like house repairs and provisions I require. He also cares about the great reset and the president, kings/queens and prime ministers and the event in our world.  God has a plan for good for us – to prosper (but HIS definition of prosper and not our definition).  We just need to draw close to Him. Sometimes, He says to draw close through prayer and fasting – so that is what I will do.  Feel free to join us (check out the post on our Facebook page).

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 54-58 NKJV

A Perpetual Covenant of Peace

54 “Sing, O barren,
You who have not borne!
Break forth into singing, and cry aloud,
You who have not labored with child!
For more are the children of the desolate
Than the children of the married woman,” says the Lord.
“Enlarge the place of your tent,
And let them stretch out the curtains of your dwellings;
Do not spare;
Lengthen your cords,
And strengthen your stakes.
For you shall expand to the right and to the left,
And your descendants will inherit the nations,
And make the desolate cities inhabited.

“Do not fear, for you will not be ashamed;
Neither be disgraced, for you will not be put to shame;
For you will forget the shame of your youth,
And will not remember the reproach of your widowhood anymore.
For your Maker is your husband,
The Lord of hosts is His name;
And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel;
He is called the God of the whole earth.
For the Lord has called you
Like a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit,
Like a youthful wife when you were refused,”
Says your God.
“For a mere moment I have forsaken you,
But with great mercies I will gather you.
With a little wrath I hid My face from you for a moment;
But with everlasting kindness I will have mercy on you,”
Says the Lord, your Redeemer.

“For this is like the waters of Noah to Me;
For as I have sworn
That the waters of Noah would no longer cover the earth,
So have I sworn
That I would not be angry with you, nor rebuke you.
10 For the mountains shall depart
And the hills be removed,
But My kindness shall not depart from you,
Nor shall My covenant of peace be removed,”
Says the Lord, who has mercy on you.

11 “O you afflicted one,
Tossed with tempest, and not comforted,
Behold, I will lay your stones with colorful gems,
And lay your foundations with sapphires.
12 I will make your pinnacles of rubies,
Your gates of crystal,
And all your walls of precious stones.
13 All your children shall be taught by the Lord,
And great shall be the peace of your children.
14 In righteousness you shall be established;
You shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear;
And from terror, for it shall not come near you.
15 Indeed they shall surely assemble, but not because of Me.
Whoever assembles against you shall fall for your sake.

16 “Behold, I have created the blacksmith
Who blows the coals in the fire,
Who brings forth an [a]instrument for his work;
And I have created the [b]spoiler to destroy.
17 No weapon formed against you shall prosper,
And every tongue which rises against you in judgment
You shall condemn.
This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord,
And their righteousness is from Me,”
Says the Lord.

An Invitation to Abundant Life

55 “Ho! Everyone who thirsts,
Come to the waters;
And you who have no money,
Come, buy and eat.
Yes, come, buy wine and milk
Without money and without price.
Why do you [c]spend money for what is not bread,
And your wages for what does not satisfy?
Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good,
And let your soul delight itself in abundance.
Incline your ear, and come to Me.
Hear, and your soul shall live;
And I will make an everlasting covenant with you—
The sure mercies of David.
Indeed I have given him as a witness to the people,
A leader and commander for the people.
Surely you shall call a nation you do not know,
And nations who do not know you shall run to you,
Because of the Lord your God,
And the Holy One of Israel;
For He has glorified you.”

Seek the Lord while He may be found,
Call upon Him while He is near.
Let the [d]wicked forsake his way,
And the unrighteous man his thoughts;
Let him return to the Lord,
And He will have mercy on him;
And to our God,
For He will abundantly pardon.

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts.

10 “For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven,
And do not return there,
But water the earth,
And make it bring forth and bud,
That it may give seed to the sower
And bread to the eater,
11 So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth;
It shall not return to Me [e]void,
But it shall accomplish what I please,
And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.

12 “For you shall go out with joy,
And be led out with peace;
The mountains and the hills
Shall break forth into singing before you,
And all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
13 Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress tree,
And instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree;
And it shall be to the Lord for a name,
For an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.”

Salvation for the Gentiles

56 Thus says the Lord:

“Keep justice, and do righteousness,
For My salvation is about to come,
And My righteousness to be revealed.
Blessed is the man who does this,
And the son of man who lays hold on it;
Who keeps from defiling the Sabbath,
And keeps his hand from doing any evil.”

Do not let the son of the foreigner
Who has joined himself to the Lord
Speak, saying,
“The Lord has utterly separated me from His people”;
Nor let the eunuch say,
“Here I am, a dry tree.”
For thus says the Lord:
“To the eunuchs who keep My Sabbaths,
And choose what pleases Me,
And hold fast My covenant,
Even to them I will give in My house
And within My walls a place and a name
Better than that of sons and daughters;
I will give [f]them an everlasting name
That shall not be cut off.

“Also the sons of the foreigner
Who join themselves to the Lord, to serve Him,
And to love the name of the Lord, to be His servants—
Everyone who keeps from defiling the Sabbath,
And holds fast My covenant—
Even them I will bring to My holy mountain,
And make them joyful in My house of prayer.
Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices
Will be accepted on My altar;
For My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations.”
The Lord God, who gathers the outcasts of Israel, says,
“Yet I will gather to him
Others besides those who are gathered to him.”

Israel’s Irresponsible Leaders

All you beasts of the field, come to devour,
All you beasts in the forest.
10 His watchmen are blind,
They are all ignorant;
They are all dumb dogs,
They cannot bark;
[g]Sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber.
11 Yes, they are greedy[h] dogs
Which never[i] have enough.
And they are shepherds
Who cannot understand;
They all look to their own way,
Every one for his own gain,
From his own territory.
12 “Come,” one says, “I will bring wine,
And we will fill ourselves with intoxicating drink;
Tomorrow will be as today,
And much more abundant.”

Israel’s Futile Idolatry

57 The righteous perishes,
And no man takes it to heart;
Merciful men are taken away,
While no one considers
That the righteous is taken away from [j]evil.
He shall enter into peace;
They shall rest in their beds,
Each one walking in his uprightness.

“But come here,
You sons of the sorceress,
You offspring of the adulterer and the harlot!
Whom do you ridicule?
Against whom do you make a wide mouth
And stick out the tongue?
Are you not children of transgression,
Offspring of falsehood,
Inflaming yourselves with gods under every green tree,
Slaying the children in the valleys,
Under the clefts of the rocks?
Among the smooth stones of the stream
Is your portion;
They, they, are your lot!
Even to them you have poured a drink offering,
You have offered a grain offering.
Should I receive comfort in these?

“On a lofty and high mountain
You have set your bed;
Even there you went up
To offer sacrifice.
Also behind the doors and their posts
You have set up your remembrance;
For you have uncovered yourself to those other than Me,
And have gone up to them;
You have enlarged your bed
And [k]made a covenant with them;
You have loved their bed,
Where you saw their [l]nudity.
You went to the king with ointment,
And increased your perfumes;
You sent your messengers far off,
And even descended to Sheol.
10 You are wearied in the length of your way;
Yet you did not say, ‘There is no hope.’
You have found the life of your hand;
Therefore you were not grieved.

11 “And of whom have you been afraid, or feared,
That you have lied
And not remembered Me,
Nor taken it to your heart?
Is it not because I have [m]held My peace from of old
That you do not fear Me?
12 I will declare your righteousness
And your works,
For they will not profit you.
13 When you cry out,
Let your collection of idols deliver you.
But the wind will carry them all away,
A breath will take them.
But he who puts his trust in Me shall possess the land,
And shall inherit My holy mountain.”

Healing for the Backslider

14 And one shall say,
“Heap it up! Heap it up!
Prepare the way,
Take the stumbling block out of the way of My people.”

15 For thus says the High and Lofty One
Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy:
“I dwell in the high and holy place,
With him who has a contrite and humble spirit,
To revive the spirit of the humble,
And to revive the heart of the contrite ones.
16 For I will not contend forever,
Nor will I always be angry;
For the spirit would fail before Me,
And the souls which I have made.
17 For the iniquity of his covetousness
I was angry and struck him;
I hid and was angry,
And he went on [n]backsliding in the way of his heart.
18 I have seen his ways, and will heal him;
I will also lead him,
And restore comforts to him
And to his mourners.

19 “I create the fruit of the lips:
Peace, peace to him who is far off and to him who is near,”
Says the Lord,
“And I will heal him.”
20 But the wicked are like the troubled sea,
When it cannot rest,
Whose waters cast up mire and dirt.

21 There is no peace,”
Says my God, “for the wicked.”

Fasting that Pleases God

58 “Cry aloud, [o]spare not;
Lift up your voice like a trumpet;
Tell My people their transgression,
And the house of Jacob their sins.
Yet they seek Me daily,
And delight to know My ways,
As a nation that did righteousness,
And did not forsake the ordinance of their God.
They ask of Me the ordinances of justice;
They take delight in approaching God.
‘Why have we fasted,’ they say, ‘and You have not seen?
Why have we afflicted our souls, and You take no notice?’

“In fact, in the day of your fast you find pleasure,
And [p]exploit all your laborers.
Indeed you fast for strife and debate,
And to strike with the fist of wickedness.
You will not fast as you do this day,
To make your voice heard on high.
Is it a fast that I have chosen,
A day for a man to afflict his soul?
Is it to bow down his head like a bulrush,
And to spread out sackcloth and ashes?
Would you call this a fast,
And an acceptable day to the Lord?

Is this not the fast that I have chosen:
To loose the bonds of wickedness,
To undo the [q]heavy burdens,
To let the oppressed go free,
And that you break every yoke?
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,
And that you bring to your house the poor who are [r]cast out;
When you see the naked, that you cover him,
And not hide yourself from your own flesh?
Then your light shall break forth like the morning,
Your healing shall spring forth speedily,
And your righteousness shall go before you;
The glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.
Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer;
You shall cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.

“If you take away the yoke from your midst,
The [s]pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness,
10 If you extend your soul to the hungry
And satisfy the afflicted soul,
Then your light shall dawn in the darkness,
And your [t]darkness shall be as the noonday.
11 The Lord will guide you continually,
And satisfy your soul in drought,
And strengthen your bones;
You shall be like a watered garden,
And like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.
12 Those from among you
Shall build the old waste places;
You shall raise up the foundations of many generations;
And you shall be called the Repairer of the Breach,
The Restorer of [u]Streets to Dwell In.

13 “If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath,
From doing your pleasure on My holy day,
And call the Sabbath a delight,
The holy day of the Lord honorable,
And shall honor Him, not doing your own ways,
Nor finding your own pleasure,
Nor speaking your own words,
14 Then you shall delight yourself in the Lord;
And I will cause you to ride on the high hills of the earth,
And feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father.
The mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

Footnotes

  1. Isaiah 54:16 Or weapon
  2. Isaiah 54:16 destroyer
  3. Isaiah 55:2 Lit. weigh out silver
  4. Isaiah 55:7 Lit. man of iniquity
  5. Isaiah 55:11 empty, without fruit
  6. Isaiah 56:5 Lit. him
  7. Isaiah 56:10 Or Dreaming
  8. Isaiah 56:11 Lit. strong of soul
  9. Isaiah 56:11 Lit. do not know satisfaction
  10. Isaiah 57:1 Lit. the face of evil
  11. Isaiah 57:8 Lit. cut
  12. Isaiah 57:8 Lit. hand, a euphemism
  13. Isaiah 57:11 remained silent
  14. Isaiah 57:17 Or turning back
  15. Isaiah 58:1 do not hold back
  16. Isaiah 58:3 Lit. drive hard
  17. Isaiah 58:6 Lit. bonds of the yoke
  18. Isaiah 58:7 wandering
  19. Isaiah 58:9 Lit. sending out of
  20. Isaiah 58:10 Or gloom
  21. Isaiah 58:12 Lit. Paths

Today’s Favor

“Thus says the Lord: “In an acceptable time I have heard You, And in the day of salvation I have helped You; I will preserve You and give You As a covenant to the people, To restore the earth, To cause them to inherit the desolate heritages; That You may say to the prisoners, ‘Go forth,’ To those who are in darkness, ‘Show yourselves.’…” Isaiah 49:8-9a NKJV

When I returned to the Lord, He gave me a few verses and I studied them over and over. I traced them back to their original Hebrew and Greek. I traced them from Old Testament to New Testament and back again. I can see the greater prophesy how it applies to this world, in such a time. I can see how they related to me and my own salvation. And this, right here is one that God gave me – but the New Testament version…

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! We also pray for Israel and the peace of Jerusalem. – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is from the book of Isaiah chapters 49-53 (embedded below the image below for your convenience).  

“But my prayer to You, O LORD, is for a time of favor. In Your abundant loving devotion, O God, answer me with Your sure salvation.” Psalm 69:13

When you cross reference the time of favor – oh the grace of it!!! And if you have read this blog for any time we all know I absolutely melt into worship at the mere mention of God’s grace!!!  All the glory goes to Him as grace transformed me! It was in HIS TIME OF FAVOR that I was saved. In this dispensation of grace that this blog is written – submerged in the favor and grace I speak (through written word) and somehow through that same grace moving this – it gets to you. So God can let you know that in His grace He loves you!

“For He says: “In the time of favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.” Behold, now is the time of favor; now is the day of salvation!” 2 Corinthians 6:2

Now is the time. You have heard me recite this section over and over because NOW IS THE TIME. We were made for such a time as this and now is that exact time. Today is the day! Our salvation, our eternity is secured through grace – now in this time of grace. But also in this time we have favor and grace – so our Father defends us, He rescues us, and He saves us… and in this political environment – we need actual physical saving as well as spiritual. If we recognize it or not.

In a time such as this – the best thing to do is just seek God. Everything else will be fine and will work out when we stay in His will and in His hands in in our relationship with Him. We have the favor, we have the grace – so now in this time it is vital we draw close to Him.

If you do not have a relationship with the one true living God…

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 49-53 NKJV

The Servant, the Light to the Gentiles

49 “Listen, O coastlands, to Me,
And take heed, you peoples from afar!
The Lord has called Me from the womb;
From the [a]matrix of My mother He has made mention of My name.
And He has made My mouth like a sharp sword;
In the shadow of His hand He has hidden Me,
And made Me a polished shaft;
In His quiver He has hidden Me.”

“And He said to me,
‘You are My servant, O Israel,
In whom I will be glorified.’
Then I said, ‘I have labored in vain,
I have spent my strength for nothing and in vain;
Yet surely my [b]just reward is with the Lord,
And my [c]work with my God.’ ”

“And now the Lord says,
Who formed Me from the womb to be His Servant,
To bring Jacob back to Him,
So that Israel is [d]gathered to Him
(For I shall be glorious in the eyes of the Lord,
And My God shall be My strength),
Indeed He says,
‘It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant
To raise up the tribes of Jacob,
And to restore the preserved ones of Israel;
I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles,
That You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth.’ ”

Thus says the Lord,
The Redeemer of Israel, [e]their Holy One,
To Him [f]whom man despises,
To Him whom the nation abhors,
To the Servant of rulers:
“Kings shall see and arise,
Princes also shall worship,
Because of the Lord who is faithful,
The Holy One of Israel;
And He has chosen You.”

Thus says the Lord:

“In an acceptable[g] time I have heard You,
And in the day of salvation I have helped You;
I will [h]preserve You and give You
As a covenant to the people,
To restore the earth,
To cause them to inherit the desolate [i]heritages;
That You may say to the prisoners, ‘Go forth,’
To those who are in darkness, ‘Show yourselves.’

“They shall feed along the roads,
And their pastures shall be on all desolate heights.
10 They shall neither hunger nor thirst,
Neither heat nor sun shall strike them;
For He who has mercy on them will lead them,
Even by the springs of water He will guide them.
11 I will make each of My mountains a road,
And My highways shall be elevated.
12 Surely these shall come from afar;
Look! Those from the north and the west,
And these from the land of Sinim.”

13 Sing, O heavens!
Be joyful, O earth!
And break out in singing, O mountains!
For the Lord has comforted His people,
And will have mercy on His afflicted.

God Will Remember Zion

14 But Zion said, “The Lord has forsaken me,
And my Lord has forgotten me.”

15 “Can a woman forget her nursing child,
[j]And not have compassion on the son of her womb?
Surely they may forget,
Yet I will not forget you.
16 See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands;
Your walls are continually before Me.
17 Your [k]sons shall make haste;
Your destroyers and those who laid you waste
Shall go away from you.
18 Lift up your eyes, look around and see;
All these gather together and come to you.
As I live,” says the Lord,
“You shall surely clothe yourselves with them all as an ornament,
And bind them on you as a bride does.

19 “For your waste and desolate places,
And the land of your destruction,
Will even now be too small for the inhabitants;
And those who swallowed you up will be far away.
20 The children you will have,
After you have lost the others,
Will say again in your ears,
‘The place is too small for me;
Give me a place where I may dwell.’
21 Then you will say in your heart,
‘Who has begotten these for me,
Since I have lost my children and am desolate,
A captive, and wandering to and fro?
And who has brought these up?
There I was, left alone;
But these, where were they?’ ”

22 Thus says the Lord God:

“Behold, I will lift My hand in an oath to the nations,
And set up My [l]standard for the peoples;
They shall bring your sons in their [m]arms,
And your daughters shall be carried on their shoulders;
23 Kings shall be your foster fathers,
And their queens your nursing mothers;
They shall bow down to you with their faces to the earth,
And lick up the dust of your feet.
Then you will know that I am the Lord,
For they shall not be ashamed who wait for Me.”

24 Shall the prey be taken from the mighty,
Or the captives [n]of the righteous be delivered?

25 But thus says the Lord:

“Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away,
And the prey of the terrible be delivered;
For I will contend with him who contends with you,
And I will save your children.
26 I will feed those who oppress you with their own flesh,
And they shall be drunk with their own blood as with sweet wine.
All flesh shall know
That I, the Lord, am your Savior,
And your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.”

The Servant, Israel’s Hope

50 Thus says the Lord:

“Where is the certificate of your mother’s divorce,
Whom I have put away?
Or which of My creditors is it to whom I have sold you?
For your iniquities you have sold yourselves,
And for your transgressions your mother has been put away.
Why, when I came, was there no man?
Why, when I called, was there none to answer?
Is My hand shortened at all that it cannot redeem?
Or have I no power to deliver?
Indeed with My rebuke I dry up the sea,
I make the rivers a wilderness;
Their fish stink because there is no water,
And die of thirst.
I clothe the heavens with blackness,
And I make sackcloth their covering.”

“The Lord God has given Me
The tongue of the learned,
That I should know how to speak
A word in season to him who is weary.
He awakens Me morning by morning,
He awakens My ear
To hear as the learned.
The Lord God has opened My ear;
And I was not rebellious,
Nor did I turn away.
I gave My back to those who struck Me,
And My cheeks to those who plucked out the beard;
I did not hide My face from shame and spitting.

“For the Lord God will help Me;
Therefore I will not be disgraced;
Therefore I have set My face like a flint,
And I know that I will not be ashamed.
He is near who justifies Me;
Who will contend with Me?
Let us stand together.
Who is [o]My adversary?
Let him come near Me.
Surely the Lord God will help Me;
Who is he who will condemn Me?
Indeed they will all grow old like a garment;
The moth will eat them up.

10 “Who among you fears the Lord?
Who obeys the voice of His Servant?
Who walks in darkness
And has no light?
Let him trust in the name of the Lord
And rely upon his God.
11 Look, all you who kindle a fire,
Who encircle yourselves with sparks:
Walk in the light of your fire and in the sparks you have kindled—
This you shall have from My hand:
You shall lie down in torment.

The Lord Comforts Zion

51 “Listen to Me, you who [p]follow after righteousness,
You who seek the Lord:
Look to the rock from which you were hewn,
And to the hole of the pit from which you were dug.
Look to Abraham your father,
And to Sarah who bore you;
For I called him alone,
And blessed him and increased him.”

For the Lord will comfort Zion,
He will comfort all her waste places;
He will make her wilderness like Eden,
And her desert like the garden of the Lord;
Joy and gladness will be found in it,
Thanksgiving and the voice of melody.

“Listen to Me, My people;
And give ear to Me, O My nation:
For law will proceed from Me,
And I will make My justice rest
As a light of the peoples.
My righteousness is near,
My salvation has gone forth,
And My arms will judge the peoples;
The coastlands will wait upon Me,
And on My arm they will trust.
Lift up your eyes to the heavens,
And look on the earth beneath.
For the heavens will vanish away like smoke,
The earth will grow old like a garment,
And those who dwell in it will die in like manner;
But My salvation will be forever,
And My righteousness will not be [q]abolished.

“Listen to Me, you who know righteousness,
You people in whose heart is My law:
Do not fear the reproach of men,
Nor be afraid of their insults.
For the moth will eat them up like a garment,
And the worm will eat them like wool;
But My righteousness will be forever,
And My salvation from generation to generation.”

Awake, awake, put on strength,
O arm of the Lord!
Awake as in the ancient days,
In the generations of old.
Are You not the arm that cut Rahab apart,
And wounded the serpent?

10 Are You not the One who dried up the sea,
The waters of the great deep;
That made the depths of the sea a road
For the redeemed to cross over?
11 So the ransomed of the Lord shall return,
And come to Zion with singing,
With everlasting joy on their heads.
They shall obtain joy and gladness;
Sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

12 “I, even I, am He who comforts you.
Who are you that you should be afraid
Of a man who will die,
And of the son of a man who will be made like grass?
13 And you forget the Lord your Maker,
Who stretched out the heavens
And laid the foundations of the earth;
You have feared continually every day
Because of the fury of the oppressor,
When he has prepared to destroy.
And where is the fury of the oppressor?
14 The captive exile hastens, that he may be loosed,
That he should not die in the pit,
And that his bread should not fail.
15 But I am the Lord your God,
Who divided the sea whose waves roared—
The Lord of hosts is His name.
16 And I have put My words in your mouth;
I have covered you with the shadow of My hand,
That I may [r]plant the heavens,
Lay the foundations of the earth,
And say to Zion, ‘You are My people.’ ”

God’s Fury Removed

17 Awake, awake!
Stand up, O Jerusalem,
You who have drunk at the hand of the Lord
The cup of His fury;
You have drunk the dregs of the cup of trembling,
And drained it out.
18 There is no one to guide her
Among all the sons she has brought forth;
Nor is there any who takes her by the hand
Among all the sons she has brought up.
19 These two things have come to you;
Who will be sorry for you?—
Desolation and destruction, famine and sword—
By whom will I comfort you?
20 Your sons have fainted,
They lie at the head of all the streets,
Like an antelope in a net;
They are full of the fury of the Lord,
The rebuke of your God.

21 Therefore please hear this, you afflicted,
And drunk but not with wine.
22 Thus says your Lord,
The Lord and your God,
Who pleads the cause of His people:
“See, I have taken out of your hand
The cup of trembling,
The dregs of the cup of My fury;
You shall no longer drink it.
23 But I will put it into the hand of those who afflict you,
Who have said to [s]you,
‘Lie down, that we may walk over you.’
And you have laid your body like the ground,
And as the street, for those who walk over.”

God Redeems Jerusalem

52 Awake, awake!
Put on your strength, O Zion;
Put on your beautiful garments,
O Jerusalem, the holy city!
For the uncircumcised and the unclean
Shall no longer come to you.
Shake yourself from the dust, arise;
Sit down, O Jerusalem!
Loose yourself from the bonds of your neck,
O captive daughter of Zion!

For thus says the Lord:

“You have sold yourselves for nothing,
And you shall be redeemed without money.”

For thus says the Lord God:

“My people went down at first
Into Egypt to [t]dwell there;
Then the Assyrian oppressed them without cause.
Now therefore, what have I here,” says the Lord,
“That My people are taken away for nothing?
Those who rule over them
[u]Make them wail,” says the Lord,
“And My name is blasphemed continually every day.
Therefore My people shall know My name;
Therefore they shall know in that day
That I am He who speaks:
‘Behold, it is I.’ ”

How beautiful upon the mountains
Are the feet of him who brings good news,
Who proclaims peace,
Who brings glad tidings of good things,
Who proclaims salvation,
Who says to Zion,
“Your God reigns!”
Your watchmen shall lift up their voices,
With their voices they shall sing together;
For they shall see eye to eye
When the Lord brings back Zion.
Break forth into joy, sing together,
You waste places of Jerusalem!
For the Lord has comforted His people,
He has redeemed Jerusalem.
10 The Lord has [v]made bare His holy arm
In the eyes of all the nations;
And all the ends of the earth shall see
The salvation of our God.

11 Depart! Depart! Go out from there,
Touch no unclean thing;
Go out from the midst of her,
Be clean,
You who bear the vessels of the Lord.
12 For you shall not go out with haste,
Nor go by flight;
For the Lord will go before you,
And the God of Israel will be your rear guard.

The Sin-Bearing Servant

13 Behold, My Servant shall [w]deal prudently;
He shall be exalted and [x]extolled and be very high.
14 Just as many were astonished at you,
So His visage[y] was marred more than any man,
And His form more than the sons of men;
15 So shall He [z]sprinkle many nations.
Kings shall shut their mouths at Him;
For what had not been told them they shall see,
And what they had not heard they shall consider.

The Sin-Bearing Messiah

53 Who has believed our report?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant,
And as a root out of dry ground.
He has no [aa]form or [ab]comeliness;
And when we see Him,
There is no [ac]beauty that we should desire Him.
He is despised and [ad]rejected by men,
A Man of [ae]sorrows and acquainted with [af]grief.
And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him;
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

Surely He has borne our [ag]griefs
And carried our [ah]sorrows;
Yet we [ai]esteemed Him stricken,
[aj]Smitten by God, and afflicted.
But He was wounded[ak] for our transgressions,
He was [al]bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes[am] we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned, every one, to his own way;
And the Lord [an]has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
Yet He opened not His mouth;
He was led as a lamb to the slaughter,
And as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
So He opened not His mouth.
He was taken from [ao]prison and from judgment,
And who will declare His generation?
For He was cut off from the land of the living;
For the transgressions of My people He was stricken.
And [ap]they made His grave with the wicked—
But with the rich at His death,
Because He had done no violence,
Nor was any deceit in His mouth.

10 Yet it pleased the Lord to [aq]bruise Him;
He has put Him to grief.
When You make His soul an offering for sin,
He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days,
And the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand.
11 [ar]He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied.
By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many,
For He shall bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great,
And He shall divide the [as]spoil with the strong,
Because He poured out His soul unto death,
And He was numbered with the transgressors,
And He bore the sin of many,
And made intercession for the transgressors.

Footnotes

  1. Isaiah 49:1 Lit. inward parts
  2. Isaiah 49:4 justice
  3. Isaiah 49:4 recompense
  4. Isaiah 49:5 Qr., DSS, LXX gathered to Him; Kt. not gathered
  5. Isaiah 49:7 Lit. his or its
  6. Isaiah 49:7 Lit. who is despised of soul
  7. Isaiah 49:8 favorable
  8. Isaiah 49:8 keep
  9. Isaiah 49:8 inheritances
  10. Isaiah 49:15 Lit. From having compassion
  11. Isaiah 49:17 DSS, LXX, Tg., Vg. builders
  12. Isaiah 49:22 banner
  13. Isaiah 49:22 Lit. bosom
  14. Isaiah 49:24 So with MT, Tg.; DSS, Syr., Vg. of the mighty; LXX unjustly
  15. Isaiah 50:8 Lit. master of My judgment
  16. Isaiah 51:1 pursue
  17. Isaiah 51:6 broken
  18. Isaiah 51:16 establish
  19. Isaiah 51:23 Lit. your soul
  20. Isaiah 52:4 As resident aliens
  21. Isaiah 52:5 DSS Mock; LXX Marvel and wail; Tg. Boast themselves; Vg. Treat them unjustly
  22. Isaiah 52:10 Revealed His power
  23. Isaiah 52:13 prosper
  24. Isaiah 52:13 Lit. be lifted up
  25. Isaiah 52:14 appearance
  26. Isaiah 52:15 Or startle
  27. Isaiah 53:2 Stately form
  28. Isaiah 53:2 splendor
  29. Isaiah 53:2 Lit. appearance
  30. Isaiah 53:3 Or forsaken
  31. Isaiah 53:3 Lit. pains
  32. Isaiah 53:3 Lit. sickness
  33. Isaiah 53:4 Lit. sicknesses
  34. Isaiah 53:4 Lit. pains
  35. Isaiah 53:4 reckoned
  36. Isaiah 53:4 Struck down
  37. Isaiah 53:5 Or pierced through
  38. Isaiah 53:5 crushed
  39. Isaiah 53:5 Blows that cut in
  40. Isaiah 53:6 Lit. has caused to land on Him
  41. Isaiah 53:8 confinement
  42. Isaiah 53:9 Lit. he or He
  43. Isaiah 53:10 crush
  44. Isaiah 53:11 So with MT, Tg., Vg.; DSS, LXX From the labor of His soul He shall see light
  45. Isaiah 53:12 plunder

Humble Response

“And so it was, when King Hezekiah heard it, that he tore his clothes, covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the house of the LORD. 2 Kings 19:1 NKJV

Right responses to God is something we discuss often. What about the right response when the threats come against you? Here we see it is the exact same response – humility before God!

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! We also pray for Israel and the peace of Jerusalem. – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is from the book of Second Kings chapter 18 verse 9 through chapter 19 verse 37, the book of Psalms chapters 46, 80 and 135 (embedded below the image below for your convenience).  This passage shows God’s hand on Isaiah as a prophet – I think we tend to think about all the messianic prophecies and end time prophesies from Isaiah and tend to forget when he was seeking God for the current situations and getting these kinds of responses from God.  Spoiler Alert – it was a miracle.  But I will not spoil the rest.

I will say this is a scary moment as an Israelite – a foreign nation with the capability to destroy them (in man’s eyes) was threatening to do exactly that. The people held their tongue and went to God and His prophet – which would be like us keeping our mouths shut and going to God and the word of God. How often we do not keep our mouths shut.

Then when we do decide to pray – we think it though, we come up with every way it will or won’t work. We pray our plans. Sometimes we limit God by praying our way. This is why I ALWAYS ask for chapter and verse. Show me when and how God did it that way and were it says that is His will to pray for that to happen in your situation.  See King Hezekiah stayed quiet and told all the people to shut their mouths – then they inquired of what the Lord said. For us – that is the Bible, the Word of God, and we need chapter and verse!!! We need to know the will of the Lord. We need to pray the will of the Lord.

Human faith is small by nature and God gave us chapter and verse so we can swing the word of the Lord, which is the sword into the situation and say: It is written! And therefore, God will do it – and our faith grows from a mustard seed into a mustard tree. It is written – and God did it before! Look here in today’s reading how unexplainably God just did what God does and God gets the Glory.  The enemy has no might or power over the will and plans of our Lord!

And the Lord’s ways are not our ways. 

It reminds me to seek God first and then everything else follows. And included in that ‘everything else’ is the answers to our prayers. Seek God – build a relationship with Him. And see His power move in your life like in Isaiah’s life, and like in King Hezekiah’s life.  Stay humble before Him. He is a real and living God and His care, intervention and power are not just for a time long ago – but they are very much for a time such as this!

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: 2 Kings 18:9-19:37, Psalm 46, Psalm 80, & Psalm 135 NKJV

2 Kings 18:9-19:37 

Now it came to pass in the fourth year of King Hezekiah, which was the seventh year of Hoshea the son of Elah, king of Israel, that Shalmaneser king of Assyria came up against Samaria and besieged it. 10 And at the end of three years they took it. In the sixth year of Hezekiah, that is, the ninth year of Hoshea king of Israel, Samaria was taken. 11 Then the king of Assyria carried Israel away captive to Assyria, and put them in Halah and by the Habor, the River of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes, 12 because they did not obey the voice of the Lord their God, but transgressed His covenant and all that Moses the servant of the Lord had commanded; and they would neither hear nor do them.

13 And in the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities of Judah and took them. 14 Then Hezekiah king of Judah sent to the king of Assyria at Lachish, saying, “I have done wrong; turn away from me; whatever you impose on me I will pay.” And the king of Assyria assessed Hezekiah king of Judah three hundred talents of silver and thirty talents of gold. 15 So Hezekiah gave him all the silver that was found in the house of the Lord and in the treasuries of the king’s house. 16 At that time Hezekiah stripped the gold from the doors of the temple of the Lord, and from the pillars which Hezekiah king of Judah had overlaid, and gave [a]it to the king of Assyria.

Sennacherib Boasts Against the Lord

17 Then the king of Assyria sent the [b]Tartan, the [c]Rabsaris, and the [d]Rabshakeh from Lachish, with a great army against Jerusalem, to King Hezekiah. And they went up and came to Jerusalem. When they had come up, they went and stood by the aqueduct from the upper pool, which was on the highway to the Fuller’s Field. 18 And when they had called to the king, Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was over the household, Shebna the [e]scribe, and Joah the son of Asaph, the recorder, came out to them. 19 Then the Rabshakeh said to them, “Say now to Hezekiah, ‘Thus says the great king, the king of Assyria: “What confidence is this in which you trust? 20 You speak of having plans and power for war; but they are [f]mere words. And in whom do you trust, that you rebel against me? 21 Now look! You are trusting in the staff of this broken reed, Egypt, on which if a man leans, it will go into his hand and pierce it. So is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all who trust in him. 22 But if you say to me, ‘We trust in the Lord our God,’ is it not He whose [g]high places and whose altars Hezekiah has taken away, and said to Judah and Jerusalem, ‘You shall worship before this altar in Jerusalem’?” ’ 23 Now therefore, I urge you, give a pledge to my master the king of Assyria, and I will give you two thousand horses—if you are able on your part to put riders on them! 24 How then will you repel one captain of the least of my master’s servants, and put your trust in Egypt for chariots and horsemen? 25 Have I now come up without the Lord against this place to destroy it? The Lord said to me, ‘Go up against this land, and destroy it.’ ”

26 Then Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, Shebna, and Joah said to the Rabshakeh, “Please speak to your servants in Aramaic, for we understand it; and do not speak to us in [h]Hebrew in the hearing of the people who are on the wall.”

27 But the Rabshakeh said to them, “Has my master sent me to your master and to you to speak these words, and not to the men who sit on the wall, who will eat and drink their own waste with you?”

28 Then the Rabshakeh stood and called out with a loud voice in [i]Hebrew, and spoke, saying, “Hear the word of the great king, the king of Assyria! 29 Thus says the king: ‘Do not let Hezekiah deceive you, for he shall not be able to deliver you from his hand; 30 nor let Hezekiah make you trust in the Lord, saying, “The Lord will surely deliver us; this city shall not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.” ’ 31 Do not listen to Hezekiah; for thus says the king of Assyria: ‘Make peace with me [j]by a present and come out to me; and every one of you eat from his own vine and every one from his own fig tree, and every one of you drink the waters of his own cistern; 32 until I come and take you away to a land like your own land, a land of grain and new wine, a land of bread and vineyards, a land of olive groves and honey, that you may live and not die. But do not listen to Hezekiah, lest he persuade you, saying, “The Lord will deliver us.” 33 Has any of the gods of the nations at all delivered its land from the hand of the king of Assyria? 34 Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim and Hena and Ivah? Indeed, have they delivered Samaria from my hand? 35 Who among all the gods of the lands have delivered their countries from my hand, that the Lord should deliver Jerusalem from my hand?’ ”

36 But the people held their peace and answered him not a word; for the king’s commandment was, “Do not answer him.” 37 Then Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was over the household, Shebna the scribe, and Joah the son of Asaph, the recorder, came to Hezekiah with their clothes torn, and told him the words of the Rabshakeh.

Isaiah Assures Deliverance

19 And so it was, when King Hezekiah heard it, that he tore his clothes, covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the house of the Lord. Then he sent Eliakim, who was over the household, Shebna the scribe, and the elders of the priests, covered with sackcloth, to Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz. And they said to him, “Thus says Hezekiah: ‘This day is a day of trouble, and rebuke, and blasphemy; for the children have come to birth, but there is no strength to [k]bring them forth. It may be that the Lord your God will hear all the words of the Rabshakeh, whom his master the king of Assyria has sent to reproach the living God, and will rebuke the words which the Lord your God has heard. Therefore lift up your prayer for the remnant that is left.’ ”

So the servants of King Hezekiah came to Isaiah. And Isaiah said to them, “Thus you shall say to your master, ‘Thus says the Lord: “Do not be afraid of the words which you have heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed Me. Surely I will send a spirit upon him, and he shall hear a rumor and return to his own land; and I will cause him to fall by the sword in his own land.” ’ ”

Sennacherib’s Threat and Hezekiah’s Prayer

Then the Rabshakeh returned and found the king of Assyria warring against Libnah, for he heard that he had departed from Lachish. And the king heard concerning Tirhakah king of Ethiopia, “Look, he has come out to make war with you.” So he again sent messengers to Hezekiah, saying, 10 “Thus you shall speak to Hezekiah king of Judah, saying: ‘Do not let your God in whom you trust deceive you, saying, “Jerusalem shall not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.” 11 Look! You have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands by utterly destroying them; and shall you be delivered? 12 Have the gods of the nations delivered those whom my fathers have destroyed, Gozan and Haran and Rezeph, and the people of Eden who were in Telassar? 13 Where is the king of Hamath, the king of Arpad, and the king of the city of Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivah?’ ”

14 And Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers, and read it; and Hezekiah went up to the house of the Lord, and spread it before the Lord. 15 Then Hezekiah prayed before the Lord, and said: “O Lord God of Israel, the One who dwells between the cherubim, You are God, You alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth. 16 Incline Your ear, O Lord, and hear; open Your eyes, O Lord, and see; and hear the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to reproach the living God. 17 Truly, Lord, the kings of Assyria have laid waste the nations and their lands, 18 and have cast their gods into the fire; for they were not gods, but the work of men’s hands—wood and stone. Therefore they destroyed them. 19 Now therefore, O Lord our God, I pray, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You are the Lord God, You alone.”

The Word of the Lord Concerning Sennacherib

20 Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent to Hezekiah, saying, “Thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘Because you have prayed to Me against Sennacherib king of Assyria, I have heard.’ 21 This is the word which the Lord has spoken concerning him:

‘The virgin, the daughter of Zion,
Has despised you, laughed you to scorn;
The daughter of Jerusalem
Has shaken her head behind your back!

22 ‘Whom have you reproached and blasphemed?
Against whom have you raised your voice,
And lifted up your eyes on high?
Against the Holy One of Israel.
23 By your messengers you have reproached the Lord,
And said: “By the multitude of my chariots
I have come up to the height of the mountains,
To the limits of Lebanon;
I will cut down its tall cedars
And its choice cypress trees;
I will enter the extremity of its borders,
To its fruitful forest.
24 I have dug and drunk strange water,
And with the soles of my feet I have dried up
All the brooks of defense.”

25 ‘Did you not hear long ago
How I made it,
From ancient times that I formed it?
Now I have brought it to pass,
That you should be
For crushing fortified cities into heaps of ruins.
26 Therefore their inhabitants had little power;
They were dismayed and confounded;
They were as the grass of the field
And the green herb,
As the grass on the housetops
And grain blighted before it is grown.

27 ‘But I know your dwelling place,
Your going out and your coming in,
And your rage against Me.
28 Because your rage against Me and your tumult
Have come up to My ears,
Therefore I will put My hook in your nose
And My bridle in your lips,
And I will turn you back
By the way which you came.

29 ‘This shall be a sign to you:

‘You shall eat this year such as grows [l]of itself,
And in the second year what springs from the same;
Also in the third year sow and reap,
Plant vineyards and eat the fruit of them.
30 And the remnant who have escaped of the house of Judah
Shall again take root downward,
And bear fruit upward.
31 For out of Jerusalem shall go a remnant,
And those who escape from Mount Zion.
The zeal of the Lord [m]of hosts will do this.’

32 “Therefore thus says the Lord concerning the king of Assyria:

‘He shall not come into this city,
Nor shoot an arrow there,
Nor come before it with shield,
Nor build a siege mound against it.
33 By the way that he came,
By the same shall he return;
And he shall not come into this city,’
Says the Lord.
34 ‘For I will defend this city, to save it
For My own sake and for My servant David’s sake.’ ”

Sennacherib’s Defeat and Death

35 And it came to pass on a certain night that the [n]angel of the Lord went out, and killed in the camp of the Assyrians one hundred and eighty-five thousand; and when people arose early in the morning, there were the corpses—all dead. 36 So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed and went away, returned home, and remained at Nineveh. 37 Now it came to pass, as he was worshiping in the temple of Nisroch his god, that his sons Adrammelech and Sharezer struck him down with the sword; and they escaped into the land of Ararat. Then Esarhaddon his son reigned in his place.

Footnotes

  1. 2 Kings 18:16 Lit. them
  2. 2 Kings 18:17 A title, probably Commander in Chief
  3. 2 Kings 18:17 A title, probably Chief Officer
  4. 2 Kings 18:17 A title, probably Chief of Staff or Governor
  5. 2 Kings 18:18 secretary
  6. 2 Kings 18:20 Lit. a word of the lips
  7. 2 Kings 18:22 Places for pagan worship
  8. 2 Kings 18:26 Lit. Judean
  9. 2 Kings 18:28 Lit. Judean
  10. 2 Kings 18:31 By paying tribute
  11. 2 Kings 19:3 give birth
  12. 2 Kings 19:29 Without cultivation
  13. 2 Kings 19:31 So with many Heb. mss. and ancient vss. (cf. Is. 37:32); MT omits of hosts
  14. 2 Kings 19:35 Or Angel

Psalm 46

God the Refuge of His People and Conqueror of the Nations

To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of the sons of Korah. A Song for Alamoth.

46 God is our refuge and strength,
A[a] very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear,
Even though the earth be removed,
And though the mountains be carried into the [b]midst of the sea;
Though its waters roar and be troubled,
Though the mountains shake with its swelling. Selah

There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God,
The holy place of the [c]tabernacle of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her, she shall not be [d]moved;
God shall help her, just [e]at the break of dawn.
The nations raged, the kingdoms were moved;
He uttered His voice, the earth melted.

The Lord of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah

Come, behold the works of the Lord,
Who has made desolations in the earth.
He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two;
He burns the chariot in the fire.

10 Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!

11 The Lord of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah

Footnotes

  1. Psalm 46:1 An abundantly available help
  2. Psalm 46:2 Lit. heart
  3. Psalm 46:4 dwelling places
  4. Psalm 46:5 shaken
  5. Psalm 46:5 Lit. at the turning of the morning

Psalm 80

Prayer for Israel’s Restoration

To the Chief Musician. Set to [a]“The Lilies.” A [b]Testimony of Asaph. A Psalm.

80 Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel,
You who lead Joseph like a flock;
You who dwell between the cherubim, shine forth!
Before Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasseh,
Stir up Your strength,
And come and save us!

Restore us, O God;
Cause Your face to shine,
And we shall be saved!

O Lord God of hosts,
How long will You be angry
Against the prayer of Your people?
You have fed them with the bread of tears,
And given them tears to drink in great measure.
You have made us a strife to our neighbors,
And our enemies laugh among themselves.

Restore us, O God of hosts;
Cause Your face to shine,
And we shall be saved!

You have brought a vine out of Egypt;
You have cast out the [c]nations, and planted it.
You prepared room for it,
And caused it to take deep root,
And it filled the land.
10 The hills were covered with its shadow,
And the [d]mighty cedars with its boughs.
11 She sent out her boughs to [e]the Sea,
And her branches to [f]the River.

12 Why have You broken down her [g]hedges,
So that all who pass by the way pluck her fruit?
13 The boar out of the woods uproots it,
And the wild beast of the field devours it.

14 Return, we beseech You, O God of hosts;
Look down from heaven and see,
And visit this vine
15 And the vineyard which Your right hand has planted,
And the branch that You made strong for Yourself.
16 It is burned with fire, it is cut down;
They perish at the rebuke of Your countenance.
17 Let Your hand be upon the man of Your right hand,
Upon the son of man whom You made strong for Yourself.
18 Then we will not turn back from You;
Revive us, and we will call upon Your name.

19 Restore us, O Lord God of hosts;
Cause Your face to shine,
And we shall be saved!

Footnotes

  1. Psalm 80:1 Heb. Shoshannim
  2. Psalm 80:1 Heb. Eduth
  3. Psalm 80:8 Gentiles
  4. Psalm 80:10 Lit. cedars of God
  5. Psalm 80:11 The Mediterranean
  6. Psalm 80:11 The Euphrates
  7. Psalm 80:12 walls or fences

Psalm 135

Praise to God in Creation and Redemption

135 Praise the Lord!

Praise the name of the Lord;
Praise Him, O you servants of the Lord!
You who stand in the house of the Lord,
In the courts of the house of our God,
Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good;
Sing praises to His name, for it is pleasant.
For the Lord has chosen Jacob for Himself,
Israel for His [a]special treasure.

For I know that the Lord is great,
And our Lord is above all gods.
Whatever the Lord pleases He does,
In heaven and in earth,
In the seas and in all deep places.
He causes the [b]vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth;
He makes lightning for the rain;
He brings the wind out of His treasuries.

He [c]destroyed the firstborn of Egypt,
[d]Both of man and beast.
He sent signs and wonders into the midst of you, O Egypt,
Upon Pharaoh and all his servants.
10 He defeated many nations
And slew mighty kings—
11 Sihon king of the Amorites,
Og king of Bashan,
And all the kingdoms of Canaan—
12 And gave their land as a [e]heritage,
A heritage to Israel His people.

13 Your name, O Lord, endures forever,
Your fame, O Lord, throughout all generations.
14 For the Lord will judge His people,
And He will have compassion on His servants.

15 The idols of the nations are silver and gold,
The work of men’s hands.
16 They have mouths, but they do not speak;
Eyes they have, but they do not see;
17 They have ears, but they do not hear;
Nor is there any breath in their mouths.
18 Those who make them are like them;
So is everyone who trusts in them.

19 Bless the Lord, O house of Israel!
Bless the Lord, O house of Aaron!
20 Bless the Lord, O house of Levi!
You who fear the Lord, bless the Lord!
21 Blessed be the Lord out of Zion,
Who dwells in Jerusalem!

Praise the Lord!

Footnotes

  1. Psalm 135:4 precious possession
  2. Psalm 135:7 Water vapor
  3. Psalm 135:8 Lit. struck down
  4. Psalm 135:8 Lit. From man to beast
  5. Psalm 135:12 inheritance

Remember Who God Is

“Remember the former things of old, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things that are not yet done, Saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, And I will do all My pleasure,’ Calling a bird of prey from the east, The man who executes My counsel, from a far country. Indeed I have spoken it; I will also bring it to pass. I have purposed it; I will also do it.”  Isaiah 46:9-11 NKJV

Remember He is God – the Only God. Such a pertinent message. Praying for revelation – that He reveals to you His sovereignty and His might – His gentleness and His love.  Sometimes, humans seem to forget who He is. He is bigger. He is more powerful. He has already planned it all out and yet in grace He has given us full choice. And although He does know what we will choose – nothing is settled until you choose it. So there is always hope – and always urgency. 

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! We also pray for Israel and the peace of Jerusalem. – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is from the book of Isaiah chapters 44-48 (embedded below the image below for your convenience).  

Obviously with the history of Israel we see that it is not just a good practice to remind yourself of who God is – But it is also vital to our faith!  Starting early on God encouraged them to set up monuments to events and to have holidays to recall the victories and throughout it all He send men of God to remind them of who God is.  

Sometimes I wonder why I do not have an annual holiday of my Rebirthday? Or invite everyone over to feast on my Deliverance Day? But I do often remind myself of all the amazing miracles God has performed in my life – as well as sharing them with others. Because God is still alive and powerful and the same yesterday, today and forever.  If He could save Israel from Egypt – from Babylon – from all their enemies; then why do we not easily believe He can and will do the same now if we respond with humility as they did in those past situations.  Why is our faith not firm and easily given to understand the following:  

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Hebrews 13:8 NKJV

Or

“But You are the same, And Your years will have no end.” Psalm 102:27 NKJV

If Jesus and God are BOTH the same forever – then it should be easy to believe He can shoot fire down from the sky – or that impossible walls can unexplainably fall (and should logic and science explain some of these event – acknowledge the miracle that these people who did not know these sciences unexplainably had supernatural guidance to do these things at these exact moments when time, nature and science all worked together to make it happen)! Because Our Father was in control of every aspect and still is and forever will be.

Not only does reminding ourselves of who God is encourage our faith. But it is a great tool for getting to know Him better.  Every time I hear someone say they want to know God better, or they want to go deeper – I think they need this very activity. Remember. And then study.

Here we see God is water for the thirsty – this is reiterated in the New Testament when Christ says He is the Living Water. God is my redeemer (and yours if you accept it). He is the first and the last. The one and only God. The only God who has consistently answered and cared and been involved since ancient times….   Well, read today’s passages and see who He is – be reminded and be encouraged and let your faith be built and get to know Him. He is doing a new thing! I know in whom I believe!

And I suppose if we are speaking of getting to know Him and knowing Him then we should quickly discuss the situation in which God places this:

“For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.” 2 Timothy 1:12 NKJV

You see we suffer and are put in a situation to choose being ashamed of our belief or not. In these interesting times – these perilous time – these “such a time as this” kind of times; God has placed each of us here for a reason with a purpose and we MUST know whom I have believed.  I know my Father’s voice and therefore I know a false spirit or false teacher. I know my Father’s actions so I know and have witness in my spirit to confirm the presence of the Lord! I know my Father and I am persuaded that He is able.  (I make sure I commit it all to Him – I give Him my needs, my wants, my hopes and I give Him my son and my friends and my family AND I give Him ME.) I know He is ABLE in all of the situations and things that are represented in everything I have committed to Him.

Remember God – and yes, it builds faith – but let it grow you past simple faith to confidence to KNOWING – to know that you know and the spirit bears witness (and find a verse that also bears witness so you have your two witnesses). And know.

Know he wants to and He will heal you. Know that you and your faith are not at fault for any delay. Know in whom you believe and HE IS ABLE and HE WILL!  Know God – absolutely get to know Him and have a relationship with Him! Everyone needs a God on His side and since there is only one true God: read the Bible, pray, and get to know Him!!!

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 44-48 NKJV

God’s Blessing on Israel

44 “Yet hear now, O Jacob My servant,
And Israel whom I have chosen.
Thus says the Lord who made you
And formed you from the womb, who will help you:
‘Fear not, O Jacob My servant;
And you, Jeshurun, whom I have chosen.
For I will pour water on him who is thirsty,
And floods on the dry ground;
I will pour My Spirit on your descendants,
And My blessing on your offspring;
They will spring up among the grass
Like willows by the watercourses.’
One will say, ‘I am the Lord’s’;
Another will call himself by the name of Jacob;
Another will write with his hand, ‘The Lord’s,’
And name himself by the name of Israel.

There Is No Other God

“Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel,
And his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts:
‘I am the First and I am the Last;
Besides Me there is no God.
And who can proclaim as I do?
Then let him declare it and set it in order for Me,
Since I appointed the ancient people.
And the things that are coming and shall come,
Let them show these to them.
Do not fear, nor be afraid;
Have I not told you from that time, and declared it?
You are My witnesses.
Is there a God besides Me?
Indeed there is no other Rock;
I know not one.’ ”

Idolatry Is Foolishness

Those who make an image, all of them are useless,
And their precious things shall not profit;
They are their own witnesses;
They neither see nor know, that they may be ashamed.
10 Who would form a god or mold an image
That profits him nothing?
11 Surely all his companions would be ashamed;
And the workmen, they are mere men.
Let them all be gathered together,
Let them stand up;
Yet they shall fear,
They shall be ashamed together.

12 The blacksmith with the tongs works one in the coals,
Fashions it with hammers,
And works it with the strength of his arms.
Even so, he is hungry, and his strength fails;
He drinks no water and is faint.

13 The craftsman stretches out his rule,
He marks one out with chalk;
He fashions it with a plane,
He marks it out with the compass,
And makes it like the figure of a man,
According to the beauty of a man, that it may remain in the house.
14 He cuts down cedars for himself,
And takes the cypress and the oak;
He [a]secures it for himself among the trees of the forest.
He plants a pine, and the rain nourishes it.

15 Then it shall be for a man to burn,
For he will take some of it and warm himself;
Yes, he kindles it and bakes bread;
Indeed he makes a god and worships it;
He makes it a carved image, and falls down to it.
16 He burns half of it in the fire;
With this half he eats meat;
He roasts a roast, and is satisfied.
He even warms himself and says,
“Ah! I am warm,
I have seen the fire.”
17 And the rest of it he makes into a god,
His carved image.
He falls down before it and worships it,
Prays to it and says,
“Deliver me, for you are my god!”

18 They do not know nor understand;
For He has [b]shut their eyes, so that they cannot see,
And their hearts, so that they cannot understand.
19 And no one considers in his heart,
Nor is there knowledge nor understanding to say,
“I have burned half of it in the fire,
Yes, I have also baked bread on its coals;
I have roasted meat and eaten it;
And shall I make the rest of it an abomination?
Shall I fall down before a block of wood?”
20 He feeds on ashes;
A deceived heart has turned him aside;
And he cannot deliver his soul,
Nor say, “Is there not a lie in my right hand?”

Israel Is Not Forgotten

21 “Remember these, O Jacob,
And Israel, for you are My servant;
I have formed you, you are My servant;
O Israel, you will not be forgotten by Me!
22 I have blotted out, like a thick cloud, your transgressions,
And like a cloud, your sins.
Return to Me, for I have redeemed you.”

23 Sing, O heavens, for the Lord has done it!
Shout, you lower parts of the earth;
Break forth into singing, you mountains,
O forest, and every tree in it!
For the Lord has redeemed Jacob,
And glorified Himself in Israel.

Judah Will Be Restored

24 Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer,
And He who formed you from the womb:
“I am the Lord, who makes all things,
Who stretches out the heavens [c]all alone,
Who spreads abroad the earth by Myself;
25 Who frustrates the signs of the babblers,
And drives diviners mad;
Who turns wise men backward,
And makes their knowledge foolishness;
26 Who confirms the word of His servant,
And performs the counsel of His messengers;
Who says to Jerusalem, ‘You shall be inhabited,’
To the cities of Judah, ‘You shall be built,’
And I will raise up her waste places;
27 Who says to the deep, ‘Be dry!
And I will dry up your rivers’;
28 Who says of Cyrus, ‘He is My shepherd,
And he shall perform all My pleasure,
Saying to Jerusalem, “You shall be built,”
And to the temple, “Your foundation shall be laid.” ’

Cyrus, God’s Instrument

45 “Thus says the Lord to His anointed,
To Cyrus, whose right hand I have [d]held—
To subdue nations before him
And loose the armor of kings,
To open before him the double doors,
So that the gates will not be shut:
‘I will go before you
And[e] make the [f]crooked places straight;
I will break in pieces the gates of bronze
And cut the bars of iron.
I will give you the treasures of darkness
And hidden riches of secret places,
That you may know that I, the Lord,
Who call you by your name,
Am the God of Israel.
For Jacob My servant’s sake,
And Israel My elect,
I have even called you by your name;
I have named you, though you have not known Me.
am the Lord, and there is no other;
There is no God besides Me.
I will gird you, though you have not known Me,
That they may know from the rising of the sun to its setting
That there is none besides Me.
am the Lord, and there is no other;
I form the light and create darkness,
I make peace and create calamity;
I, the Lord, do all these things.

“Rain down, you heavens, from above,
And let the skies pour down righteousness;
Let the earth open, let them bring forth salvation,
And let righteousness spring up together.
I, the Lord, have created it.

“Woe to him who strives with his Maker!
Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth!
Shall the clay say to him who forms it, ‘What are you making?’
Or shall your handiwork say, ‘He has no hands’?
10 Woe to him who says to his father, ‘What are you begetting?’
Or to the woman, ‘What have you brought forth?’ ”

11 Thus says the Lord,
The Holy One of Israel, and his Maker:
“Ask Me of things to come concerning My sons;
And concerning the work of My hands, you command Me.
12 I have made the earth,
And created man on it.
I—My hands—stretched out the heavens,
And all their host I have commanded.
13 I have raised him up in righteousness,
And I will [g]direct all his ways;
He shall build My city
And let My exiles go free,
Not for price nor reward,”
Says the Lord of hosts.

The Lord, the Only Savior

14 Thus says the Lord:

“The labor of Egypt and merchandise of Cush
And of the Sabeans, men of stature,
Shall come over to you, and they shall be yours;
They shall walk behind you,
They shall come over in chains;
And they shall bow down to you.
They will make supplication to you, saying, ‘Surely God is in you,
And there is no other;
There is no other God.’ ”

15 Truly You are God, who hide Yourself,
O God of Israel, the Savior!
16 They shall be ashamed
And also disgraced, all of them;
They shall go in confusion together,
Who are makers of idols.
17 But Israel shall be saved by the Lord
With an everlasting salvation;
You shall not be ashamed or disgraced
Forever and ever.

18 For thus says the Lord,
Who created the heavens,
Who is God,
Who formed the earth and made it,
Who has established it,
Who did not create it [h]in vain,
Who formed it to be inhabited:
“I am the Lord, and there is no other.
19 I have not spoken in secret,
In a dark place of the earth;
I did not say to the seed of Jacob,
‘Seek Me [i]in vain’;
I, the Lord, speak righteousness,
I declare things that are right.

20 “Assemble yourselves and come;
Draw near together,
You who have escaped from the nations.
They have no knowledge,
Who carry the wood of their carved image,
And pray to a god that cannot save.
21 Tell and bring forth your case;
Yes, let them take counsel together.
Who has declared this from ancient time?
Who has told it from that time?
Have not I, the Lord?
And there is no other God besides Me,
A just God and a Savior;
There is none besides Me.

22 “Look to Me, and be saved,
All you ends of the earth!
For I am God, and there is no other.
23 I have sworn by Myself;
The word has gone out of My mouth in righteousness,
And shall not return,
That to Me every knee shall bow,
Every tongue shall take an oath.
24 He shall say,
[j]‘Surely in the Lord I have righteousness and strength.
To Him men shall come,
And all shall be ashamed
Who are incensed against Him.
25 In the Lord all the descendants of Israel
Shall be justified, and shall glory.’ ”

Dead Idols and the Living God

46 Bel bows down, Nebo stoops;
Their idols were on the beasts and on the cattle.
Your carriages were heavily loaded,
A burden to the weary beast.
They stoop, they bow down together;
They could not deliver the burden,
But have themselves gone into captivity.

“Listen to Me, O house of Jacob,
And all the remnant of the house of Israel,
Who have been upheld by Me from [k]birth,
Who have been carried from the womb:
Even to your old age, I am He,
And even to gray hairs I will carry you!
I have made, and I will bear;
Even I will carry, and will deliver you.

“To whom will you liken Me, and make Me equal
And compare Me, that we should be alike?
They lavish gold out of the bag,
And weigh silver on the scales;
They hire a goldsmith, and he makes it a god;
They prostrate themselves, yes, they worship.
They bear it on the shoulder, they carry it
And set it in its place, and it stands;
From its place it shall not move.
Though one cries out to it, yet it cannot answer
Nor save him out of his trouble.

“Remember this, and [l]show yourselves men;
Recall to mind, O you transgressors.
Remember the former things of old,
For I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is none like Me,
10 Declaring the end from the beginning,
And from ancient times things that are not yet done,
Saying, ‘My counsel shall stand,
And I will do all My pleasure,’
11 Calling a bird of prey from the east,
The man who executes My counsel, from a far country.
Indeed I have spoken it;
I will also bring it to pass.
I have purposed it;
I will also do it.

12 “Listen to Me, you stubborn-hearted,
Who are far from righteousness:
13 I bring My righteousness near, it shall not be far off;
My salvation shall not [m]linger.
And I will place salvation in Zion,
For Israel My glory.

The Humiliation of Babylon

47 “Come down and sit in the dust,
O virgin daughter of Babylon;
Sit on the ground without a throne,
O daughter of the Chaldeans!
For you shall no more be called
Tender and [n]delicate.
Take the millstones and grind meal.
Remove your veil,
Take off the skirt,
Uncover the thigh,
Pass through the rivers.
Your nakedness shall be uncovered,
Yes, your shame will be seen;
I will take vengeance,
And I will not arbitrate with a man.”

As for our Redeemer, the Lord of hosts is His name,
The Holy One of Israel.

“Sit in silence, and go into darkness,
O daughter of the Chaldeans;
For you shall no longer be called
The Lady of Kingdoms.
I was angry with My people;
I have profaned My inheritance,
And given them into your hand.
You showed them no mercy;
On the elderly you laid your yoke very heavily.
And you said, ‘I shall be a lady forever,’
So that you did not take these things to heart,
Nor remember the latter end of them.

“Therefore hear this now, you who are given to pleasures,
Who dwell securely,
Who say in your heart, ‘I am, and there is no one else besides me;
I shall not sit as a widow,
Nor shall I know the loss of children’;
But these two things shall come to you
In a moment, in one day:
The loss of children, and widowhood.
They shall come upon you in their fullness
Because of the multitude of your sorceries,
For the great abundance of your enchantments.

10 “For you have trusted in your wickedness;
You have said, ‘No one sees me’;
Your wisdom and your knowledge have [o]warped you;
And you have said in your heart,
‘I am, and there is no one else besides me.’
11 Therefore evil shall come upon you;
You shall not know from where it arises.
And trouble shall fall upon you;
You will not be able [p]to put it off.
And desolation shall come upon you suddenly,
Which you shall not know.

12 “Stand now with your enchantments
And the multitude of your sorceries,
In which you have labored from your youth—
Perhaps you will be able to profit,
Perhaps you will prevail.
13 You are wearied in the multitude of your counsels;
Let now the[q] astrologers, the stargazers,
And [r]the monthly prognosticators
Stand up and save you
From what shall come upon you.
14 Behold, they shall be as stubble,
The fire shall burn them;
They shall not deliver themselves
From the power of the flame;
It shall not be a coal to be warmed by,
Nor a fire to sit before!
15 Thus shall they be to you
With whom you have labored,
Your merchants from your youth;
They shall wander each one to his [s]quarter.
No one shall save you.

Israel Refined for God’s Glory

48 “Hear this, O house of Jacob,
Who are called by the name of Israel,
And have come forth from the wellsprings of Judah;
Who swear by the name of the Lord,
And make mention of the God of Israel,
But not in truth or in righteousness;
For they call themselves after the holy city,
And lean on the God of Israel;
The Lord of hosts is His name:

“I have declared the former things from the beginning;
They went forth from My mouth, and I caused them to hear it.
Suddenly I did them, and they came to pass.
Because I knew that you were [t]obstinate,
And your neck was an iron sinew,
And your brow bronze,
Even from the beginning I have declared it to you;
Before it came to pass I proclaimed it to you,
Lest you should say, ‘My idol has done them,
And my carved image and my molded image
Have commanded them.’

“You have heard;
See all this.
And will you not declare it?
I have made you hear new things from this time,
Even hidden things, and you did not know them.
They are created now and not from the beginning;
And before this day you have not heard them,
Lest you should say, ‘Of course I knew them.’
Surely you did not hear,
Surely you did not know;
Surely from long ago your ear was not opened.
For I knew that you would deal very treacherously,
And were called a transgressor from the womb.

“For My name’s sake I will [u]defer My anger,
And for My praise I will restrain it from you,
So that I do not cut you off.
10 Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver;
I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.
11 For My own sake, for My own sake, I will do it;
For how should My name be profaned?
And I will not give My glory to another.

God’s Ancient Plan to Redeem Israel

12 “Listen to Me, O Jacob,
And Israel, My called:
am He, I am the First,
am also the Last.
13 Indeed My hand has laid the foundation of the earth,
And My right hand has stretched out the heavens;
When I call to them,
They stand up together.

14 “All of you, assemble yourselves, and hear!
Who among them has declared these things?
The Lord loves him;
He shall do His pleasure on Babylon,
And His arm shall be against the Chaldeans.
15 I, even I, have spoken;
Yes, I have called him,
I have brought him, and his way will prosper.

16 “Come near to Me, hear this:
I have not spoken in secret from the beginning;
From the time that it was, I was there.
And now the Lord God and His Spirit
[v]Have sent Me.”

17 Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer,
The Holy One of Israel:
“I am the Lord your God,
Who teaches you to profit,
Who leads you by the way you should go.
18 Oh, that you had heeded My commandments!
Then your peace would have been like a river,
And your righteousness like the waves of the sea.
19 Your descendants also would have been like the sand,
And the offspring of your body like the grains of sand;
His name would not have been cut off
Nor destroyed from before Me.”

20 Go forth from Babylon!
Flee from the Chaldeans!
With a voice of singing,
Declare, proclaim this,
Utter it to the end of the earth;
Say, “The Lord has redeemed
His servant Jacob!”
21 And they did not thirst
When He led them through the deserts;
He caused the waters to flow from the rock for them;
He also split the rock, and the waters gushed out.

22 There is no peace,” says the Lord, “for the wicked.”

Footnotes

  1. Isaiah 44:14 Lit. appropriates
  2. Isaiah 44:18 Lit. smeared over
  3. Isaiah 44:24 By Himself
  4. Isaiah 45:1 strengthened or sustained
  5. Isaiah 45:2 Tg. I will trample down the walls; Vg. I will humble the great ones of the earth
  6. Isaiah 45:2 DSS, LXX mountains
  7. Isaiah 45:13 Or make all his ways straight
  8. Isaiah 45:18 Or empty, a waste
  9. Isaiah 45:19 Or in a waste place
  10. Isaiah 45:24 Or Only in the Lord are all righteousness and strength
  11. Isaiah 46:3 Lit. the belly
  12. Isaiah 46:8 be men, take courage
  13. Isaiah 46:13 delay
  14. Isaiah 47:1 dainty
  15. Isaiah 47:10 led you astray
  16. Isaiah 47:11 Lit. to cover it or atone for it
  17. Isaiah 47:13 Lit. viewers of the heavens
  18. Isaiah 47:13 Lit. those giving knowledge for new moons
  19. Isaiah 47:15 own side or way
  20. Isaiah 48:4 Heb. hard
  21. Isaiah 48:9 delay
  22. Isaiah 48:16 Heb. verb is sing.; or Has sent Me and His Spirit

Comfort

“The voice said, “Cry out!” And he said, “What shall I cry?”
“All flesh is grass, And all its loveliness is like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades, Because the breath of the 
Lord blows upon it; Surely the people are grass. The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever.” Isaiah 40:6-8 NKJV

Verse one begins today’s reading with the instructions to comfort God’s people. The opening verse above is the instruction on how to comfort – you, me, all of this (fields and flowers and life) withers and passes away. Now it is our job to pray for the spirit of revelation to reveal this to us and ALSO our job to try diligently to understand it!

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! We also pray for Israel and the peace of Jerusalem. – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is from the book of Isaiah chapters 40-43 (embedded below the image below for your convenience).  

“Comfort, yes, comfort My people!” Says your God. “Speak comfort to Jerusalem” Isaiah 40:1-2a NKJV

Please extend more grace to me while I get terribly honest with you all: I believe Jesus is returning at any moment. I believe end time prophesy is being fulfilled before our very eyes. I believe the tribulation or “Jacob’s Sorrow” is a blink of the eye away from us. I believe in repent NOW, because you many never have another chance. If the world was more opened up I would be on a street corn in New York City with a cardboard sign that said “Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at Hand!”  Because it is! I am labeled a conspiracy theorist (which is apparently what the “woke” liberals in the USA are calling end time prophecy: conspiracy). I am labeled radicalized – not yet in my eyes, but I know I am called to it.  I am labeled an enemy of the state because I logically cannot reason why I MUST have a voluntary shot. I am told I am a liar when I quote their own words and ‘scientific studies’ back at them (like the fact that only those who have received the shot are contracting the delta variant).  I am one of them. Now, you have been warned. But in the eyes of my savior, I am just seeking God’s heart, abiding in His will, and living life in a relationship with Him.

I am careful, I do not want to get censored for those things when I have a message which is MUCH more important and powerful I must spread: God loves you so much He sacrificed His son, in your place – so He can restore you to Him and have a relationship with you! See? It is much more important than my personal convictions. 

But I cannot deny current events – the riots and protest in Israel over the “Happy Badge” with all sorts of horrible flashbacks to the Natzi’s Star of David. I have studied the holocaust in college with a Jewish professor and let me tell you the similarities trigger me – I cannot imagine how unfair this is to the remaining survivors. The world “reset” is written out and the world is moving forward without our consent and our governments are selling us all out.  Death begets death.

And God has us reading Isaiah, a prophet who blurred the timelines of all his prophecies, and his words pierce into our day and age with uncomfortable accuracy.  I am not alone in this – writing devotionals daily is difficult when I am not trying to run around screaming the sky is falling – but even the words of the prophet say it is!  As you read the rest of this book, go ahead and draw the lines to today’s events and understand what God has for us right now!

And God says comfort Jerusalem by saying we are all withering away. We are fighting for our lives or moments away from it all over this globe as the body of Christ and we are supposed to be comforted by the fact that we are all going to die. Oh God your ways are not our ways!!! Because the rest says “THE WORD OF GOD STANDS FOREVER”! Hallelujah!! Do you have comfort in that? You should – Because His very word says we shall rise in Christ and live forever!  

“Therefore comfort one another with these words.” 1 Thessalonians 4:18 NKJV

I am reminded of this verse to the Thessalonian church. The preceding verses scared the dickens out of me as a child, yet Paul says this is comforting. If it is comforting, why was I so scared??? Oh spirit of revelation fall upon us all in the name of Jesus!! I experienced grace, and was given the understanding and I look forward with anticipation of the return of Christ and even try to speed it along by witnessing to others and bringing in the harvest!

13 But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.” 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 NKJV

God loves you. Especially you. Yes, you who are reading this! As I have said before I let this blog and God organically find the right readers to read it. I let this be the work of my God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  He has this find its way to you through your search, through computer algorithms, or through someone being prompted by the Spirit to share it. It is all God that you somewhere in the big world are reading this.   So He must love you a whole lot! 

He also sent His son to be our savior, to save us from our sins, to die in our place as sinners deserve death and it is grace – grace that can transform us from sinners to being counted righteous in the eyes of our God so he can restore having a personal relationship like he had with Adam and Eve in the garden at the beginning of it all.

And through this personal relationship, reading His love letters to us (aka the Bible) and listening for His voice and understanding the ministering the Holy Spirit does inside of us, and through talking with him – we get the directions and instructions on how to manage and maneuver through these perilous times. We cannot without Him. Read chapter 43 below slowly and understand how much He really loves us and call us His, even as a gentile adopted in.

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 40-43 NKJV

God’s People Are Comforted

40 “Comfort, yes, comfort My people!”
Says your God.
“Speak [a]comfort to Jerusalem, and cry out to her,
That her warfare is ended,
That her iniquity is pardoned;
For she has received from the Lord’s hand
Double for all her sins.”

The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
“Prepare the way of the Lord;
Make straight [b]in the desert
A highway for our God.
Every valley shall be exalted
And every mountain and hill brought low;
The crooked places shall be made [c]straight
And the rough places smooth;
The glory of the Lord shall be revealed,
And all flesh shall see it together;
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

The voice said, “Cry out!”
And [d]he said, “What shall I cry?”

“All flesh is grass,
And all its loveliness is like the flower of the field.
The grass withers, the flower fades,
Because the breath of the Lord blows upon it;
Surely the people are grass.
The grass withers, the flower fades,
But the word of our God stands forever.”

O Zion,
You who bring good tidings,
Get up into the high mountain;
O Jerusalem,
You who bring good tidings,
Lift up your voice with strength,
Lift it up, be not afraid;
Say to the cities of Judah, “Behold your God!”

10 Behold, the Lord God shall come [e]with a strong hand,
And His arm shall rule for Him;
Behold, His reward is with Him,
And His [f]work before Him.
11 He will feed His flock like a shepherd;
He will gather the lambs with His arm,
And carry them in His bosom,
And gently lead those who are with young.

12 Who has measured the [g]waters in the hollow of His hand,
Measured heaven with a [h]span
And calculated the dust of the earth in a measure?
Weighed the mountains in scales
And the hills in a balance?
13 Who has directed the Spirit of the Lord,
Or as His counselor has taught Him?
14 With whom did He take counsel, and who instructed Him,
And taught Him in the path of justice?
Who taught Him knowledge,
And showed Him the way of understanding?

15 Behold, the nations are as a drop in a bucket,
And are counted as the small dust on the scales;
Look, He lifts up the isles as a very little thing.
16 And Lebanon is not sufficient to burn,
Nor its beasts sufficient for a burnt offering.
17 All nations before Him are as nothing,
And they are counted by Him less than nothing and worthless.

18 To whom then will you liken God?
Or what likeness will you compare to Him?
19 The workman molds an image,
The goldsmith overspreads it with gold,
And the silversmith casts silver chains.
20 Whoever is too impoverished for such [i]a contribution
Chooses a tree that will not rot;
He seeks for himself a skillful workman
To prepare a carved image that will not totter.

21 Have you not known?
Have you not heard?
Has it not been told you from the beginning?
Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth?
22 It is He who sits above the circle of the earth,
And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers,
Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain,
And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in.
23 He [j]brings the princes to nothing;
He makes the judges of the earth useless.

24 Scarcely shall they be planted,
Scarcely shall they be sown,
Scarcely shall their stock take root in the earth,
When He will also blow on them,
And they will wither,
And the whirlwind will take them away like stubble.

25 “To whom then will you liken Me,
Or to whom shall I be equal?” says the Holy One.
26 Lift up your eyes on high,
And see who has created these things,
Who brings out their host by number;
He calls them all by name,
By the greatness of His might
And the strength of His power;
Not one is missing.

27 Why do you say, O Jacob,
And speak, O Israel:
“My way is hidden from the Lord,
And my just claim is passed over by my God”?
28 Have you not known?
Have you not heard?
The everlasting God, the Lord,
The Creator of the ends of the earth,
Neither faints nor is weary.
His understanding is unsearchable.
29 He gives power to the weak,
And to those who have no might He increases strength.
30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary,
And the young men shall utterly fall,
31 But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.

Israel Assured of God’s Help

41 “Keep silence before Me, O coastlands,
And let the people renew their strength!
Let them come near, then let them speak;
Let us come near together for judgment.

“Who raised up one from the east?
Who in righteousness called him to His feet?
Who gave the nations before him,
And made him rule over kings?
Who gave them as the dust to his sword,
As driven stubble to his bow?
Who pursued them, and passed [k]safely
By the way that he had not gone with his feet?
Who has performed and done it,
Calling the generations from the beginning?
‘I, the Lord, am the first;
And with the last I am He.’ ”

The coastlands saw it and feared,
The ends of the earth were afraid;
They drew near and came.
Everyone helped his neighbor,
And said to his brother,
[l]“Be of good courage!”
So the craftsman encouraged the goldsmith;[m]
He who smooths with the hammer inspired him who strikes the anvil,
Saying, [n]“It is ready for the soldering”;
Then he fastened it with pegs,
That it might not totter.

“But you, Israel, are My servant,
Jacob whom I have chosen,
The descendants of Abraham My friend.
You whom I have taken from the ends of the earth,
And called from its farthest regions,
And said to you,
‘You are My servant,
I have chosen you and have not cast you away:
10 Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’

11 “Behold, all those who were incensed against you
Shall be ashamed and disgraced;
They shall be as nothing,
And those who strive with you shall perish.
12 You shall seek them and not find them—
[o]Those who contended with you.
Those who war against you
Shall be as nothing,
As a nonexistent thing.
13 For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand,
Saying to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you.’

14 “Fear not, you worm Jacob,
You men of Israel!
I will help you,” says the Lord
And your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.
15 “Behold, I will make you into a new threshing sledge with sharp teeth;
You shall thresh the mountains and beat them small,
And make the hills like chaff.
16 You shall winnow them, the wind shall carry them away,
And the whirlwind shall scatter them;
You shall rejoice in the Lord,
And glory in the Holy One of Israel.

17 “The poor and needy seek water, but there is none,
Their tongues fail for thirst.
I, the Lord, will hear them;
I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them.
18 I will open rivers in desolate heights,
And fountains in the midst of the valleys;
I will make the wilderness a pool of water,
And the dry land springs of water.
19 I will plant in the wilderness the cedar and the acacia tree,
The myrtle and the oil tree;
I will set in the desert the cypress tree and the pine
And the box tree together,
20 That they may see and know,
And consider and understand together,
That the hand of the Lord has done this,
And the Holy One of Israel has created it.

The Futility of Idols

21 “Present your case,” says the Lord.
“Bring forth your strong reasons,” says the King of Jacob.
22 “Let them bring forth and show us what will happen;
Let them show the former things, what they were,
That we may [p]consider them,
And know the latter end of them;
Or declare to us things to come.
23 Show the things that are to come hereafter,
That we may know that you are gods;
Yes, do good or do evil,
That we may be dismayed and see it together.
24 Indeed you are nothing,
And your work is nothing;
He who chooses you is an abomination.

25 “I have raised up one from the north,
And he shall come;
From the [q]rising of the sun he shall call on My name;
And he shall come against princes as though mortar,
As the potter treads clay.
26 Who has declared from the beginning, that we may know?
And former times, that we may say, ‘He is righteous’?
Surely there is no one who shows,
Surely there is no one who declares,
Surely there is no one who hears your words.
27 The first time I said to Zion,
‘Look, there they are!’
And I will give to Jerusalem one who brings good tidings.
28 For I looked, and there was no man;
I looked among them, but there was no counselor,
Who, when I asked of them, could answer a word.
29 Indeed they are all [r]worthless;
Their works are nothing;
Their molded images are wind and confusion.

The Servant of the Lord

42 “Behold! My Servant whom I uphold,
My [s]Elect One in whom My soul delights!
I have put My Spirit upon Him;
He will bring forth justice to the Gentiles.
He will not cry out, nor raise His voice,
Nor cause His voice to be heard in the street.
A bruised reed He will not break,
And [t]smoking flax He will not [u]quench;
He will bring forth justice for truth.
He will not fail nor be discouraged,
Till He has established justice in the earth;
And the coastlands shall wait for His law.”

Thus says God the Lord,
Who created the heavens and stretched them out,
Who spread forth the earth and that which comes from it,
Who gives breath to the people on it,
And spirit to those who walk on it:
“I, the Lord, have called You in righteousness,
And will hold Your hand;
I will keep You and give You as a covenant to the people,
As a light to the Gentiles,
To open blind eyes,
To bring out prisoners from the prison,
Those who sit in darkness from the prison house.
am the Lord, that is My name;
And My glory I will not give to another,
Nor My praise to carved images.
Behold, the former things have come to pass,
And new things I declare;
Before they spring forth I tell you of them.”

Praise to the Lord

10 Sing to the Lord a new song,
And His praise from the ends of the earth,
You who go down to the sea, and [v]all that is in it,
You coastlands and you inhabitants of them!
11 Let the wilderness and its cities lift up their voice,
The villages that Kedar inhabits.
Let the inhabitants of Sela sing,
Let them shout from the top of the mountains.
12 Let them give glory to the Lord,
And declare His praise in the coastlands.
13 The Lord shall go forth like a mighty man;
He shall stir up His zeal like a man of war.
He shall cry out, yes, shout aloud;
He shall prevail against His enemies.

Promise of the Lord’s Help

14 “I have held My peace a long time,
I have been still and restrained Myself.
Now I will cry like a woman in [w]labor,
I will pant and gasp at once.
15 I will lay waste the mountains and hills,
And dry up all their vegetation;
I will make the rivers coastlands,
And I will dry up the pools.
16 I will bring the blind by a way they did not know;
I will lead them in paths they have not known.
I will make darkness light before them,
And crooked places straight.
These things I will do for them,
And not forsake them.
17 They shall be turned back,
They shall be greatly ashamed,
Who trust in carved images,
Who say to the molded images,
‘You are our gods.’

18 “Hear, you deaf;
And look, you blind, that you may see.
19 Who is blind but My servant,
Or deaf as My messenger whom I send?
Who is blind as he who is perfect,
And blind as the Lord’s servant?
20 Seeing many things, but you do not observe;
Opening the ears, but he does not hear.”

Israel’s Obstinate Disobedience

21 The Lord is well pleased for His righteousness’ sake;
He will exalt the law and make it honorable.
22 But this is a people robbed and plundered;
All of them are [x]snared in holes,
And they are hidden in prison houses;
They are for prey, and no one delivers;
For plunder, and no one says, “Restore!”

23 Who among you will give ear to this?
Who will listen and hear for the time to come?
24 Who gave Jacob for plunder, and Israel to the robbers?
Was it not the Lord,
He against whom we have sinned?
For they would not walk in His ways,
Nor were they obedient to His law.
25 Therefore He has poured on him the fury of His anger
And the strength of battle;
It has set him on fire all around,
Yet he did not know;
And it burned him,
Yet he did not take it to heart.

The Redeemer of Israel

43 But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob,
And He who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by your name;
You are Mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned,
Nor shall the flame scorch you.
For I am the Lord your God,
The Holy One of Israel, your Savior;
I gave Egypt for your ransom,
Ethiopia and Seba in your place.
Since you were precious in My sight,
You have been honored,
And I have loved you;
Therefore I will give men for you,
And people for your life.
Fear not, for I am with you;
I will bring your descendants from the east,
And gather you from the west;
I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’
And to the south, ‘Do not keep them back!’
Bring My sons from afar,
And My daughters from the ends of the earth—
Everyone who is called by My name,
Whom I have created for My glory;
I have formed him, yes, I have made him.”

Bring out the blind people who have eyes,
And the deaf who have ears.
Let all the nations be gathered together,
And let the people be assembled.
Who among them can declare this,
And show us former things?
Let them bring out their witnesses, that they may be justified;
Or let them hear and say, “It is truth.”
10 “You are My witnesses,” says the Lord,
“And My servant whom I have chosen,
That you may know and believe Me,
And understand that I am He.
Before Me there was no God formed,
Nor shall there be after Me.
11 I, even I, am the Lord,
And besides Me there is no savior.
12 I have declared and saved,
I have proclaimed,
And there was no foreign god among you;
Therefore you are My witnesses,”
Says the Lord, “that I am God.
13 Indeed before the day was, I am He;
And there is no one who can deliver out of My hand;
I work, and who will reverse it?”

14 Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer,
The Holy One of Israel:
“For your sake I will send to Babylon,
And bring them all down as fugitives—
The Chaldeans, who rejoice in their ships.
15 am the Lord, your Holy One,
The Creator of Israel, your King.”

16 Thus says the Lord, who makes a way in the sea
And a path through the mighty waters,
17 Who brings forth the chariot and horse,
The army and the power
(They shall lie down together, they shall not rise;
They are extinguished, they are quenched like a wick):
18 “Do not remember the former things,
Nor consider the things of old.
19 Behold, I will do a new thing,
Now it shall spring forth;
Shall you not know it?
I will even make a road in the wilderness
And rivers in the desert.
20 The beast of the field will honor Me,
The jackals and the ostriches,
Because I give waters in the wilderness
And rivers in the desert,
To give drink to My people, My chosen.
21 This people I have formed for Myself;
They shall declare My praise.

Pleading with Unfaithful Israel

22 “But you have not called upon Me, O Jacob;
And you have been weary of Me, O Israel.
23 You have not brought Me the sheep for your burnt offerings,
Nor have you honored Me with your sacrifices.
I have not caused you to serve with grain offerings,
Nor wearied you with incense.
24 You have bought Me no sweet cane with money,
Nor have you satisfied Me with the fat of your sacrifices;
But you have burdened Me with your sins,
You have wearied Me with your iniquities.

25 “I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake;
And I will not remember your sins.
26 Put Me in remembrance;
Let us contend together;
State your case, that you may be [y]acquitted.
27 Your first father sinned,
And your [z]mediators have transgressed against Me.
28 Therefore I will profane the princes of the sanctuary;
I will give Jacob to the curse,
And Israel to reproaches.

Footnotes

  1. Isaiah 40:2 Lit. to the heart of
  2. Isaiah 40:3 So with MT, Tg., Vg.; LXX omits in the desert
  3. Isaiah 40:4 Or a plain
  4. Isaiah 40:6 So with MT, Tg.; DSS, LXX, Vg. I
  5. Isaiah 40:10 in strength
  6. Isaiah 40:10 recompense
  7. Isaiah 40:12 So with MT, LXX, Vg.; DSS adds of the sea; Tg. adds of the world
  8. Isaiah 40:12 A span .5 cubit, 9 inches; or the width of His hand
  9. Isaiah 40:20 an offering
  10. Isaiah 40:23 reduces
  11. Isaiah 41:3 Lit. in peace
  12. Isaiah 41:6 Lit. Be strong
  13. Isaiah 41:7 refiner
  14. Isaiah 41:7 Or The soldering is good
  15. Isaiah 41:12 Lit. Men of your strife
  16. Isaiah 41:22 Lit. set our heart on them
  17. Isaiah 41:25 East
  18. Isaiah 41:29 So with MT, Vg.; DSS, Syr., Tg. nothing; LXX omits first line
  19. Isaiah 42:1 Chosen
  20. Isaiah 42:3 dimly burning
  21. Isaiah 42:3 extinguish
  22. Isaiah 42:10 Lit. its fullness
  23. Isaiah 42:14 childbirth
  24. Isaiah 42:22 Or trapped in caves
  25. Isaiah 43:26 justified
  26. Isaiah 43:27 interpreters

Weekend Reading (July 25)

Dear Heavenly Father, Please open my understanding as I read the Bible so that I may be able to know you better. Please help your word be planted in my mind, so I may recall it as needed. Bless me with wisdom and knowledge, please. We also pray for Israel and the peace of Jerusalem. In the name of Jesus we pray ~ amen

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 37-39 & Psalm 76 NKJV

Isaiah 37-39

Isaiah Assures Deliverance

37 And so it was, when King Hezekiah heard it, that he tore his clothes, covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the house of the Lord. Then he sent Eliakim, who was over the household, Shebna the scribe, and the elders of the priests, covered with sackcloth, to Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz. And they said to him, “Thus says Hezekiah: ‘This day is a day of trouble and rebuke and [a]blasphemy; for the children have come to birth, but there is no strength to bring them forth. It may be that the Lord your God will hear the words of the Rabshakeh, whom his master the king of Assyria has sent to reproach the living God, and will rebuke the words which the Lord your God has heard. Therefore lift up your prayer for the remnant that is left.’ ”

So the servants of King Hezekiah came to Isaiah. And Isaiah said to them, “Thus you shall say to your master, ‘Thus says the Lord: “Do not be afraid of the words which you have heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed Me. Surely I will send a spirit upon him, and he shall hear a rumor and return to his own land; and I will cause him to fall by the sword in his own land.” ’ ”

Sennacherib’s Threat and Hezekiah’s Prayer

Then the Rabshakeh returned, and found the king of Assyria warring against Libnah, for he heard that he had departed from Lachish. And the king heard concerning Tirhakah king of Ethiopia, “He has come out to make war with you.” So when he heard it, he sent messengers to Hezekiah, saying, 10 “Thus you shall speak to Hezekiah king of Judah, saying: ‘Do not let your God in whom you trust deceive you, saying, “Jerusalem shall not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.” 11 Look! You have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands by utterly destroying them; and shall you be delivered? 12 Have the gods of the nations delivered those whom my fathers have destroyed, Gozan and Haran and Rezeph, and the people of Eden who were in Telassar? 13 Where is the king of Hamath, the king of Arpad, and the king of the city of Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivah?’ ”

14 And Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers, and read it; and Hezekiah went up to the house of the Lord, and spread it before the Lord. 15 Then Hezekiah prayed to the Lord, saying: 16 “O Lord of hosts, God of Israel, the One who dwells between the cherubim, You are God, You alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth. 17 Incline Your ear, O Lord, and hear; open Your eyes, O Lord, and see; and hear all the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to reproach the living God. 18 Truly, Lord, the kings of Assyria have laid waste all the nations and their lands, 19 and have cast their gods into the fire; for they were not gods, but the work of men’s hands—wood and stone. Therefore they destroyed them. 20 Now therefore, O Lord our God, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You are the Lord, You alone.”

The Word of the Lord Concerning Sennacherib

21 Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent to Hezekiah, saying, “Thus says the Lord God of Israel, ‘Because you have prayed to Me against Sennacherib king of Assyria, 22 this is the word which the Lord has spoken concerning him:

“The virgin, the daughter of Zion,
Has despised you, laughed you to scorn;
The daughter of Jerusalem
Has shaken her head behind your back!

23 “Whom have you reproached and blasphemed?
Against whom have you raised your voice,
And lifted up your eyes on high?
Against the Holy One of Israel.
24 By your servants you have reproached the Lord,
And said, ‘By the multitude of my chariots
I have come up to the height of the mountains,
To the limits of Lebanon;
I will cut down its tall cedars
And its choice cypress trees;
I will enter its farthest height,
To its fruitful forest.
25 I have dug and drunk water,
And with the soles of my feet I have dried up
All the brooks of [b]defense.’

26 “Did you not hear long ago
How I made it,
From ancient times that I formed it?
Now I have brought it to pass,
That you should be
For crushing fortified cities into heaps of ruins.
27 Therefore their inhabitants had little power;
They were dismayed and confounded;
They were as the grass of the field
And the green herb,
As the grass on the housetops
And grain blighted before it is grown.

28 “But I know your dwelling place,
Your going out and your coming in,
And your rage against Me.
29 Because your rage against Me and your tumult
Have come up to My ears,
Therefore I will put My hook in your nose
And My bridle in your lips,
And I will turn you back
By the way which you came.” ’

30 “This shall be a sign to you:

You shall eat this year such as grows of itself,
And the second year what springs from the same;
Also in the third year sow and reap,
Plant vineyards and eat the fruit of them.
31 And the remnant who have escaped of the house of Judah
Shall again take root downward,
And bear fruit upward.
32 For out of Jerusalem shall go a remnant,
And those who escape from Mount Zion.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.

33 “Therefore thus says the Lord concerning the king of Assyria:

‘He shall not come into this city,
Nor shoot an arrow there,
Nor come before it with shield,
Nor build a siege mound against it.
34 By the way that he came,
By the same shall he return;
And he shall not come into this city,’
Says the Lord.
35 ‘For I will defend this city, to save it
For My own sake and for My servant David’s sake.’ ”

Sennacherib’s Defeat and Death

36 Then the angel[c] of the Lord went out, and [d]killed in the camp of the Assyrians one hundred and eighty-five thousand; and when people arose early in the morning, there were the corpses—all dead. 37 So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed and went away, returned home, and remained at Nineveh. 38 Now it came to pass, as he was worshiping in the house of Nisroch his god, that his sons Adrammelech and Sharezer struck him down with the sword; and they escaped into the land of Ararat. Then Esarhaddon his son reigned in his place.

Hezekiah’s Life Extended

38 In those days Hezekiah was sick and near death. And Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, went to him and said to him, “Thus says the Lord: ‘Set your house in order, for you shall die and not live.’ ”

Then Hezekiah turned his face toward the wall, and prayed to the Lord, and said, “Remember now, O Lord, I pray, how I have walked before You in truth and with a [e]loyal heart, and have done what is good in Your sight.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.

And the word of the Lord came to Isaiah, saying, “Go and tell Hezekiah, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of David your father: “I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; surely I will add to your days fifteen years. I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria, and I will defend this city.” ’ And this is the sign to you from the Lord, that the Lord will do this thing which He has spoken: Behold, I will bring the shadow on the sundial, which has gone down with the sun on the sundial of Ahaz, ten degrees backward.” So the sun returned ten degrees on the dial by which it had gone down.

This is the writing of Hezekiah king of Judah, when he had been sick and had recovered from his sickness:

10 I said,
“In the prime of my life
I shall go to the gates of Sheol;
I am deprived of the remainder of my years.”
11 I said,
“I shall not see [f]Yah,
The Lord in the land of the living;
I shall observe man no more [g]among the inhabitants of [h]the world.
12 My life span is gone,
Taken from me like a shepherd’s tent;
I have cut off my life like a weaver.
He cuts me off from the loom;
From day until night You make an end of me.
13 I have considered until morning—
Like a lion,
So He breaks all my bones;
From day until night You make an end of me.
14 Like a crane or a swallow, so I chattered;
I mourned like a dove;
My eyes fail from looking upward.
[i]Lord, I am oppressed;
[j]Undertake for me!

15 “What shall I say?
[k]He has both spoken to me,
And He Himself has done it.
I shall walk carefully all my years
In the bitterness of my soul.
16 O Lord, by these things men live;
And in all these things is the life of my spirit;
So You will restore me and make me live.
17 Indeed it was for my own peace
That I had great bitterness;
But You have lovingly delivered my soul from the pit of corruption,
For You have cast all my sins behind Your back.
18 For Sheol cannot thank You,
Death cannot praise You;
Those who go down to the pit cannot hope for Your truth.
19 The living, the living man, he shall praise You,
As I do this day;
The father shall make known Your truth to the children.

20 “The Lord was ready to save me;
Therefore we will sing my songs with stringed instruments
All the days of our life, in the house of the Lord.”

21 Now Isaiah had said, “Let them take a lump of figs, and apply it as a poultice on the boil, and he shall recover.”

22 And Hezekiah had said, “What is the sign that I shall go up to the house of the Lord?”

The Babylonian Envoys

39 At that time [l]Merodach-Baladan the son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent letters and a present to Hezekiah, for he heard that he had been sick and had recovered. And Hezekiah was pleased with them, and showed them the house of his treasures—the silver and gold, the spices and precious ointment, and all his armory—all that was found among his treasures. There was nothing in his house or in all his dominion that Hezekiah did not show them.

Then Isaiah the prophet went to King Hezekiah, and said to him, “What did these men say, and from where did they come to you?”

So Hezekiah said, “They came to me from a far country, from Babylon.”

And he said, “What have they seen in your house?”

So Hezekiah answered, “They have seen all that is in my house; there is nothing among my treasures that I have not shown them.”

Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Hear the word of the Lord of hosts: ‘Behold, the days are coming when all that is in your house, and what your fathers have accumulated until this day, shall be carried to Babylon; nothing shall be left,’ says the Lord. ‘And they shall take away some of your sons who will descend from you, whom you will beget; and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.’ ”

So Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “The word of the Lord which you have spoken is good!” For he said, “At least there will be peace and truth in my days.”

Footnotes

  1. Isaiah 37:3 contempt
  2. Isaiah 37:25 Or perhaps Egypt
  3. Isaiah 37:36 Or Angel
  4. Isaiah 37:36 Lit. struck
  5. Isaiah 38:3 whole or peaceful
  6. Isaiah 38:11 Heb. YahYah
  7. Isaiah 38:11 LXX omits among the inhabitants of the world
  8. Isaiah 38:11 So with some Heb. mss.; MT, Vg. rest; Tg. land
  9. Isaiah 38:14 So with Bg.; MT, DSS Lord
  10. Isaiah 38:14 Be my surety
  11. Isaiah 38:15 So with MT, Vg.; DSS, Tg. And shall I say to Him; LXX omits first half of this verse
  12. Isaiah 39:1 Berodach-Baladan, 2 Kin. 20:12

Psalm 76

The Majesty of God in Judgment

To the Chief Musician. On [a]stringed instruments. A Psalm of Asaph. A Song.

76 In Judah God is known;
His name is great in Israel.
In [b]Salem also is His tabernacle,
And His dwelling place in Zion.
There He broke the arrows of the bow,
The shield and sword of battle. Selah

You are more glorious and excellent
Than the mountains of prey.
The stouthearted were plundered;
They [c]have sunk into their sleep;
And none of the mighty men have found the use of their hands.
At Your rebuke, O God of Jacob,
Both the chariot and horse were cast into a dead sleep.

You, Yourself, are to be feared;
And who may stand in Your presence
When once You are angry?
You caused judgment to be heard from heaven;
The earth feared and was still,
When God arose to judgment,
To deliver all the oppressed of the earth. Selah

10 Surely the wrath of man shall praise You;
With the remainder of wrath You shall gird Yourself.

11 Make vows to the Lord your God, and pay them;
Let all who are around Him bring presents to Him who ought to be feared.
12 He shall cut off the spirit of princes;
He is awesome to the kings of the earth.

Footnotes

  1. Psalm 76:1 Heb. neginoth
  2. Psalm 76:2 Jerusalem
  3. Psalm 76:5 Lit. have slumbered their sleep