Old Testament: Isaiah 15:1-18:7
Isaiah 15:1-18:7 A Cush Job
Chap. 15: The Moabites were a result of Lot having “relations” with his daughters (ick, cf. Gen. 19:30-38). They hated the Jews (Num. 25:31; Deut. 23:3). This chapter is an oracle against them.
Chap. 16: Moab wanted Israel’s protection but not their God. Israel did not accommodate them. Verse 5 is the promise of the Messiah and His future kingdom.
Chap. 17: Damascus and the northern kingdom of Israel aka Ephraim were opposed to Assyria and Judah. Isaiah addresses both of them in one oracle. They will be judged.
Chap. 18: Cush is modern-day Ethiopia, Sudan and Somalia. It is the land of “whirring wings” symbolizing not only insects but “frantic diplomatic activity” (Wiersbe). They will be humbled and when the Messiah sits on His throne in Jerusalem, they will bring him tribute (v. 7, cf. Isa. 60:1-7).
New Testament: Galatians 1:1-24
Galatians 1:1-24 More Turkeys
The book of Galatians is about beings saved by grace apart from works. This is a similar problem in Galatia as there was in Corinth. Galatia was in modern-day Turkey. Judaizers have infiltrated the body, teaching that believers have to keep the law to be saved.
The first two chapters of Galatians is personal (ch. 1-2), the next two are doctrinal (ch. 3-4), and the last two are practical (ch. 5-6).
Paul was amazed that the Galatians were deserting grace for law so quickly (v. 6). The false teachers were preaching a “different gospel” (v. 6b) and, in fact, was not a gospel at all (v. 7).
Paul said that even if an angel were to preach a message contrary to what he had brought them, they were not to be believed (v. 8). Further, they were to be “accursed”! (v. 9).
Paul didn’t care what anyone might think, his message was received directly from God (v. 11-12). Paul said that no one knew better than he did that the false teachers were wrong. He had persecuted the church before he was saved and was a legalist himself (vv. 13-16). He didn’t check with any men after encountering Christ but went away into Arabia and then to his home in Damascus (vv. 15-17).
Three years later he traveled to Jerusalem and met Peter aka Cephas. He talked with him for fifteen days (vv. 18-19). The only other apostle he met was James, Jesus’ brother (v. 19). No one had met him in the district of Judea, around Jerusalem, though they had heard about him. They couldn’t believe that the man who had been persecuting Christians had himself trusted Christ. They praised God when they heard about it (v. 24).
Psalm 58:1-11 Slug ‘Em A Lament Psalm by David
Proverbs 23:12 Bummer Or Blessing?
Anyone who is successful in life, is someone who has disciplined himself. No athlete, certainly, becomes successful without training. No musician in an orchestra becomes employed without a lot of practice. No disciple can serve the Lord in a meaningful way without learning the Scriptures and bearing suffering to teach life experience.
That is why Solomon exhorts us to be disciplined and to learn the Bible (cf. Heb. 12:5-11).
That is the only way to be a successful disciple.
And to be a successful disciple is the only way to be a success in life. You might think you’re living for all the pleasure you can garner in life. The truth is that you have a Lord who will evaluate your life as a disciple (cf. 2 Cor. 5:10; Rom. 14:10; 1 Cor. 3:10-15).
You might think that is a bummer but, actually, it’s a blessing. It is a win for eternity but it is also a blessing for this life as well (cf. Gen. 15:1; Col. 3:23-24; 2 John 8; Rev. 22:12).
Choose Life: Scripture: Galatians 1:6 NASB “Be Free”
“I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel . . .” Galatians 1:6 NASB
The Galatians had received Christ by faith in grace. Judaizers entered their fellowship and began preaching legalism and living by the law. Some of the Galatians were seduced away from the gospel of grace.
Paul expressed surprise. If you received Christ by faith, have you allowed any bad teachings to lure you away from the Lord? Do you believe that you have to do good works to maintain your salvation or you will lose it? Do you believe you have to “persevere” to the end or you weren’t really saved? Both of these extremes are false gospels.
God wants us to be free to serve Him out of love and out of grace. He does not want us to have burdens placed on us by men.
Is there any false doctrine weighing you down today?
If not, rejoice in Christ that you can serve Him in grace!
And be free!
If you do, you will find that you are choosing life (Deut. 30:19)!
If you read your Bible through every year, you will be less prone to false doctrine.
At the beginning of the 1900’s Christianity was being attacked. The result was the formulation of “five fundamentals” to keep the church straight. These are a good starting point to check your own theology and make sure you are on a straight course. Here they are:
- The inerrancy of the Bible, that is, that it is inspired by God and perfect when it was first written down
- Christ was born through a virgin (Mary)
- Christ is the substitute for us, in that He took our sin and paid its penalty on the cross
- Christ rose from the dead in a body and will return someday in a body
- Christ is God
Those are good starting points. If a church doesn’t want you to know their doctrine, that’s a good sign that you should quickly abscond!!
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: More Turkeys