Old Testament: Isaiah 25:1-28:13
Isaiah 25:1-28:13 It’s Hymn
Chaps. 25 and 26: These chapters are a hymn of praise to God by the remnant of Israel for bringing them into the Millennium. I memorized Isa. 26:3 early in my Christian life. What a wonderful promise! “The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace,Because he trusts in You.”
Chapter 26: 4 is the basis for the hymn, “Rock of Ages” by Augustus Toplady.
Chap. 27: Satan is going to “get his.” Everyone will be judged ultimately. Christians will be judged at the bema seat for rewards based on their deeds for the Lord in the power of the Holy Spirit (Rom. 14:10; 1 Cor. 3:10-15). Unbelievers will be judged at the White Throne (Rev. 20:10-12). Verses 12 -13, taken literally, indicate that Israel will regather as a nation in the Millennium.
Chap. 28: (1-13) Ephraim aka Israel aka the northern kingdom aka Samaria will be captured in Isaiah’s time (v. 1-3). Ephraim aka Israel aka the northern kingdom will also be judged in the future (vv. 4-13).
Verse 10 and 13 are a good way to learn the Bible, “precept upon precept” (KJV) and “line upon line.” There are no shortcuts.
Verse 11 is quoted by Paul in 1 Cor. 14:21 to indicate that tongues-speaking is a judgment on the Jews, that they should accept Christ. Here it is a warning of judgment on Israel by Assyria.
New Testament: Galatians 3:10-22
Galatians 3:10-22 Laying Down The Law
James said that anyone who didn’t keep all the law but failed even in one small point was condemned (cf. Ja. 2: 10). Paul says the same thing in verse 10.
“The righteous” have always “lived by faith” (v. 11). The law can only condemn us. It is like a spotlight that shows up our sin. On the other hand, Christ has set us free from that curse, having become a curse for us by being crucified. Crucifixion is being hung on a tree which was the curse for various offenses in the Old Testament (v. 13, cf. Deut. 21:23). Faith is what allows us today to share in the blessing of Abraham (v. 14).
Paul wants to make clear that the blessing of Abraham was always for one particular person, Jesus Christ. The blessing was not for the amalgam of individual Jews. It was for Jesus and then He would be the blessing for many (vv. 15-18). The point is that we don’t have to keep the law to be saved. It is not by works. You do not have to “clean up” your life beforehand to trust Christ. Salvation is purely by promise and faith in Christ (v. 18).
The law was given to us by angels and through Moses (“a mediator,” v. 19) to keep sin in check (“because of transgressions”) until Christ came. The promise to Abraham was given directly from God to Abraham without a mediator (v. 20). The law cannot yield life but the Bible shows that everyone has sinned (vv. 21-22a). Atonement can only be made through the perfect God-man, Jesus Christ (v. 22b). And it can only be appropriated through faith (v. 22c).
Psalm 61:1-8 A Wing And A Prayer A Lament Psalm by David
Proverbs 23:17-18 All Or Nothing
Asaph wrote quite a few of the psalms, believe it or not. We don’t mention him often but he had a lot of wisdom. One thing he knew well was the value of wealth. He didn’t consider it very important. He wrote Psalm 73, for example. I wrote about it in the commentary All You Need Is Yah (April 1). The theme is similar to Solomon’s in verse 17. We should not envy people who don’t serve the Lord. We should envy people who are wholeheartedly working for Jesus. Who are your mentors? Who are you looking up to?
Do they just believe in stuff? Is that all they are seeking?
I’m currently watching a movie about an author from the 90’s. Like many of his generation, he did not believe in God. He did not believe in anything. That particular philosophy is called nihilism. Nothing is anything. Anything is nothing. Nada. How depressing! Most of them don’t even realize that that is what they believe. Or more accurately, they don’t realize that they believe in nothing . . . or they don’t believe in anything. You get my gist, I think.
Trust in the Lord (cf. Prov. 3:5-6) and believe His Word. You will have hope, even when things seem hopeless. You will have a future (cf. Jer. 29:11, seriously, check it out).
Grace is something for nothing. Jesus’ death on our behalf is a lot for us. In fact, it is everything. Trusting Him is the meaning of life (cf. John 17:3).
Don’t despair. Trust Him.
Choose Life: Isaiah 26:3 NASB “Give Peace A Chance”
“Thou dost keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee, because he trusts in thee.” Isaiah 26:3 RSV
In the New Testament, Paul said, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:6-7).
Isaiah 26:3 is like the Old Testament version of that, Readers Digest style. Keep your mind on the Lord and you’ll have peace. The NIV and NASB have minds that are “steadfast.” Holman Christian Standard has “mind that is dependent on You.” NET renders, “You keep completely safe the people who maintain their faith.” You get the idea.
I like RSV that our minds should be “stayed” on Him. How can we keep our minds “stayed” on Him? 1 Thess. 5:17 tells us to be praying continually (NIV). That would do it. Ps. 119:11 tells us to “lay up the Word in our hearts” (KJV, RSV) That would do it, too.
Want peace? Keep your mind on the Lord today.
If you do, you will find that you are choosing life (Deut. 30:19)!
What causes your mind to stray away from Christ? Can you identify what makes your mind wander? It’s OK to think about most things. But, of course, if we start thinking about sinning, that’s out! Many times it is our emotions and feelings that cause our minds to go in the wrong direction. Our minds should rule our emotions.
Look at this diagram:
This blog may help: Feeling Vs. Thinking
Don’t let your emotions get ahead of your head. Filling your mind with Scripture will also help.
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: It’s Hymn