Old Testament: Isaiah 6:1-7:25
Isaiah 6:1-7:25 A Hearing Aid
Chap. 6: Isaiah’s Call to Ministry: Isaiah saw a vision of God in the Heavenly Temple surrounded by seraphim, a special type of angel with six wings. They are only found here in Scripture unless the angels in Revelation 4:6-9 are seraphim. Verse 3, the triple refrain by the angels is the source of our hymn, “Holy, Holy, Holy.”
Isaiah realizes that he is a sinner like his fellow Israelites. He has a problem with his mouth which he figures would exclude him from duty as a prophet (v. 5). But God has an angel cleanse His mouth with hot coals (v. 6). When God asks who will go for him, he says, “Send me” (v. 8).
Verses 9-10 are quoted six times in the New Testament (Matt. 13:13-15; Mark 4:12; Luke 8:10; John 12:40; Acts 28:25-28; Rom. 11:8). This explains a lot of my ministry. People sometimes just do not seem to “get it.” It could be because the more they hear it, the more they block their hearing. Isaiah might feel like a failure but God encouraged Isaiah that it would be a long time and the people would suffer a lot before he would see the fruit of his work. A remnant of Israel would survive like the shoot that comes from the stump of a tree (vv. 11-13).
Chap. 7: Prophets often would prophesy about their own times. Then, if the prophecy didn’t turn out to be true, the people would know they did not have to listen to the prophet. In fact, they could be offed for bad prophecies (cf. Deut. 18:20-22). In verse 14 of this chapter, we have a very interesting verse. It has both a near (contemporary) fulfillment as well as a distant fulfillment. King Ahaz had made a pact with Assyria to save the nation, relying on his own resources rather than trusting the Lord. Isaiah came to him and offered a proof that God would help. Ahaz said, “No, thanks.” Of course, he might have sounded spiritual but was really being a hypocrite. He was already working without God’s help.
So Isaiah gives the sign to the nation rather than the king (v. 13, “O, house of David”). A “virgin” (Hebrew, almah, a young woman of marrying age and, of course in that day would have been a “virgin”) will have a baby boy. By the time the boy is old enough to know right from wrong, about two years old, the two kings opposing Israel will be nullified (v. 14). Isaiah prophesied in 734 BC, Assyria defeated Syria in 732 BC and Assyria invaded the northern kingdom of Israel in 722 BC. He came as a sign to Israel as well as to take away our sins.
The distant fulfillment of the verse, of course, was in Christ, our Emmanuel. He was born of a virgin (Matt. 1:18-25; Luke 1:31-35 ). The Messiah had to be born of a virgin to be sinless. God was His Father. (I hate to admit it but original sin, cf. Rom. 5:12, is passed down through our fathers). In this way, Christ was able to be our representative as a man. He was also a perfect sacrifice, as God, to appease the wrath of His Father. He was God-man. We are saved by personally trusting in Him for what He did for us (Rom. 5:8; Eph. 2:8-9).
A few years back, I had a ministry in an apartment complex in Texas. The apartment manager asked me why Israel was called “the land of milk and honey” since it seemed so barren compared to much that we have in America. I wish I had had a better answer for her back then. The answer is found in verses 17-25 in this chapter. The Assyrians ravaged the land, leaving only a barren wasteland and thorns (v. 23). Israel had been a land of milk and honey but because of their disobedience they would only be able to eat meat and dairy products. They probably all died of heart attacks like Dr. Atkins.
New Testament: 2 Corinthians 11:16-23
2 Corinthians 11:16-23 Paul, Off The Wall
Paul goes on to explain to the Corinthians that they can trust him and should distrust the false prophets in their midst. He uses sarcasm to say he was ashamed that he wasn’t abusing them like his competitors.
He, then, recites his credentials from being a descendant of Abraham to being scourged to being shipwrecked (vv. 21-28). He says he will boast in his “weakness” (v. 30). He even had to escape the city of Damascus by being dropped over the wall in a basket (vv. 32-33). Paul related all these examples to show his love for the Lord and his commitment to them. The Judaizers would not be able to make such claims.
Psalm 54:1-7 Zippos Get Lit Up A Lament Psalm by David
Proverbs 23:1-3 A Big Mouth
Years ago when I worked at a radio station, I quit. The boss wanted me to stay. He had gotten a beautiful pen and pencil set in exchange for commercial time. I said if he’d get me a set like that then I would come back. So I went back to work for him. He used the pen as an instrument to insert into my back when I was called into the ministry and left.
It’s not good to deal with “rulers” if you have too big of an appetite.
When I was a kid my dentist used to say, “Open your big mouth. I mean, open your mouth big.” He thought it was funny. Sometimes it’s not good to open your mouth too big (vv. 1-3).
Choose Life: Scripture: Isaiah 7:14 NASB “God With Us”
“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.” Isaiah 7:14 NASB
This is a prophecy that Jesus will be born. Isaiah prophesied it in 734 BC. Jesus arrived between 6 and 4 BC, over 700 years later!
Jesus was to be known as “Immanuel,” that is, “God with us.”
Do you ever think when you get up in the morning that God is with you? We should always be sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s presence (cf. blog Practicing His Presence, Spiritual Sensitivity, Sensitivity To The Holy Spirit) but we should also be aware that since we have trusted Christ, God Himself is with us all day long.
How would you know if you were aware of God’s presence today? During the day today, try to be conscious of God’s presence.
If you do, you will find that you are choosing life (Deut. 30:19)!
Did you read the Bible today? Not just this blog but did you read an actual Bible?
Has God ever given you a “check” in your spirit? Have you ever felt like God was “leading” you in a certain direction?
Experiencing God’s presence is not just about feelings. It can also be simply a matter of faith. But it must be faith in God’s Word. Then you might experience a feeling. Read your Bible and then be sensitive to how the Spirit may be communicating through your feelings.
You may feel nothing. Sometimes you might feel something. Either way, God’s Word assures us that God is with us.
Can you take that by faith?
The purpose of the Choose Life is to pick a positive help out of the One Year Bible (OYB) reading plan for the day. There is always something positive in the Word of God to cheer us and give us strength. For more on today’s reading, check out my One Year Bible blog: A Hearing Aid