Women Embracing Faith

Thinking Through the Bible

Reading Isaiah 30-39 February 4, 2009

Filed under: Isaiah — womenembracingfaith @ 2:30 am
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A FLAG WAVING ON TOP OF A HILL
Remember the battle of Iwo Jima (2/19/45) flag raising photo and statue? It became a symbol of the sacrifice, courage, and victory of the United States’ combatants in the Pacific.

Isaiah wanted us to remember Jerusalem’s protection from the Assyrians like that. A striped pole placed on Mt. Zion with a flag waving in triumph:

“….Til you are left as a pole on top of a mountain And as a banner on a hill. Therefore the Lord will wait, that He may be gracious to you; And therefore He will be exalted, that He may have mercy on you. For the LORD is a God of justice; Blessed are all those who wait for Him.” (Isaiah 30:17-18)

They didn’t deserve to be saved from this huge world power. Everyone else was overpowered by the Assyrians. Judah had not listened; they had not leaned on their LORD’s saving of them but on horses and alliances. God allowed them to suffer the consequences as a disciplinary action, (they were like a pole stripped bare of all bark) but, in the end, He showered them with unmerited favor. That grace and justice is what the waving banner is to remind us of today. It also put fear in the heart of the Assyrian leaders who scurried home to their own waiting destruction (Isaiah 31:8-9). Later, Babylon rose up out of nowhere and destroyed their power and world domination.

“By the way that he came, By the same shall he return; And he shall not come into this city,’ Says the LORD; For I will defend this city, to save it For My own sake and for My servant David’s sake'” (Isaiah 37:34-5).

When you see a flag waving somewhere, let it be a reminder to you and to your children. You could say something like, “In 701 BC, God saved His people by His action alone. It was all of His sovereignty and grace. He protects His people now and works all things out for their good. At the same time, He has a collar of restraint on the nations and will One Day hold all evildoers to an exacting account.”

“If we trust in Jesus, our salvation will also be like a banner waving in the breeze to remind us of His unmerited favor.”

 

Reading Isaiah 25-29 February 2, 2009

Filed under: Isaiah — womenembracingfaith @ 9:28 pm
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LISTEN
Try to read these chapters at the same time if you can–or read a little each day for a week so you are immersed in its concepts. The theme is simple: Since God is wise and excellent in how He guides us, listen to Him!

In chapter 25, we are reminded that God will defend His people. Their enemies will be destroyed! Even that great veil of death covering everyone will be swallowed up forever (25:8). The reproaches, shames, rebukes from unbelievers will be taken away.

SIGNPOSTS
Think back to those historical signposts. In the late 600’s BC, the Assyrian Empire took over every nation around Judah. Only Jerusalem escaped their oppression. Raids and tribute demands were everyday occurrences. Things did not look good for Judah as Isaiah preached these messages! It would be like having our schools or malls threatened by terrorists year after year. The dramatic rescue came in 701 BC when 180,000 Assyrian men died overnight for no apparent reason. (This historical record is found in Isaiah 36-38 and II Kings 19-20.) It should remind us that God is sovereign and will defend His people. And so His people will praise Him and be happy for His defense and their salvation.

DEATH
Of course, death is our last enemy. It separates us from those we love. It causes tears and sorrow. In I Thessalonians 4:13-5:11, Paul brings us hope and comfort with the idea we will all be with the Lord Jesus forever. So we should think right and protect our hearts and minds with faith, love and hope. The battle is for what we love and how we think. Who are your enemies? Busyness…fractured relationships…self-discipline…bad news….one problem after another?

“For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him” (I Thessalonians 5:9-10).