God Intervenes- Isaiah- Week 3- Day 2

For the head of Syria is Damascus, and the head of Damascus is Rezin; and within threescore and five years shall Ephraim be broken, that it be not a people. And the head of Ephraim is Samaria, and the head of Samaria is Remaliah’s son. If ye will not believe, surely ye shall not be established.

Isaiah 7:8-9

Explanation:
Today’s text continues a poetic statement that Isaiah started in verse 7. He is speaking to Ahaz, King of Judah, the words of God Himself. He has already told Ahaz of the plot of the kings of Syria and Ephraim (the northern kingdom of Israel) to overthrow Judah and Jerusalem in verses 1-6. He had also assured Ahaz that their plot would not come to pass. God was intervening both by telling him what was happening and what would happen. In this part of the poem (v.8-9) God foretells of the breaking of Ephraim. There would be an exile of those people. Eventually there would also be foreign settlers that come in, all within 65 years.
The end of the statement, in verse 9, is interesting. “If ye will not believe, surely ye shall not be established.” God was telling Ahaz that if he were to believe God and act based on what God was telling him then his actions and leadership would be established. He’d make the right decisions moving forward. If he would not believe God, then his decisions would be wrong. Unless Ahaz decided to trust God, he would find himself continuing to lead in fear, without confidence, and from a state of panic.

Application:
It is so important that we trust God. When it comes time to make the right decisions in life we will be panicked, live in fear, and live without confidence if we put our trust in anything less than God Himself. When it is time to make decisions we ought to trust God. What are some ways we can show that we trust God?

  1. Consult and Obey His Word. God’s Word speaks directly to so many decisions we must make. It also gives us principles that help us make decisions that may not be as clear.
  2. Pray about the decisions we make. When we pray about our decisions we put ourselves in a posture of submission to God. We are opening our minds and hearts to God’s direction for our lives.
  3. Ask for wisdom. God’s Word tells us that He desires to give us wisdom. He gives it out liberally!
    James 1:5

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

James 1:5

When we seek God’s will through His Word, seek God’s will through prayer, and seek God’s will through wisdom, we are showing that we trust God. When we do trust God our way is established.
God is working. We must trust His plan.

Response:
Would you say that you are trusting God right now?

God Intervenes- Isaiah- Week 3- Day 1

Thus saith the Lord GOD, It shall not stand, neither shall it come to pass.

Isaiah 7:7

Explanation:
At this point in Israel’s history, Israel was divided in two. 10 tribes of Israel, sometimes referred to as Ephraim which was one of those tribes, made up the northern kingdom. Judah was the southern kingdom, and was made up of the two tribes of Judah and Benjamin. King Ahaz was the king of Judah at this time. In verse 1 we learn that the northern kingdom and the nation of Syria had gone to Jerusalem to make war. They had made a pact together to fight Judah. When King Ahaz heard this he and his people were quite fearful (v.2). God tells Isaiah to take his son Shearjashub and go speak to Ahaz while he is inspecting the water supply (v3). He tells him to tell Ahaz not to fear (v.4). He tells Ahaz of their plot (v.5-6). Their plan was to defeat Judah and set up a new kingdom and then share in the spoils. They even have an idea of who the king of the new kingdom could be.

Now if you were the king of a kingdom, finding out that there is a plot to war with your people and take over is never a fun message to receive. If you were ever going to receive this message, to receive it this way would be the best. Why? God was the one telling him, through the prophet Isaiah, exactly what was going to happen. Why was this good?

  1. God always tells the truth. Any military leader will tell you that a large part of warfare is having the right intelligence. Much of the information you receive you may not be able to trust. In this situation the person giving the information could be fully and completely trusted.
  2. God was intervening. Not only was God telling him what had happened, He was also telling Ahaz what was going to happen. In today’s verse Isaiah makes it clear that according to God the plans of these two kings will not stand, and will not come to pass. God was intervening by communicating this to Ahaz and by making sure that this plot would not happen.

Application:
Two truths we can say at this point in the passage that would apply to our lives are as follows:
First, God can be trusted. If God says something to us it is true. If he says something will happen, it will happen. He cannot lie. If we build our lives on what He has said our ways will be established.
Second, God is active. Sometimes we think that God is up in heaven, unconcerned with what is going on in our lives. We tend to think that there are so many “important” things happening in the world, how can God be concerned with the things that concern us? The truth is that God is big enough to handle everything. He tells us to cast our cares on Him. Although sometimes we feel like God is silent we should not take his silence as absence. He has spoken to us through His Word. Even though it may not seem like He is working, it does not mean that He is absent. He loves us and wants what is best for us and that which will bring Him glory in our lives.

Response:
• What has caused you to believe that God is not trustworthy?
• What has tempted you to believe that God is not active?

God’s Sovereignty- Proverbs Week 8- Day 1

The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the LORD. (2) All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the LORD weigheth the spirits.

Proverbs 16:1-2

Explanation:
As we have been studying the book of Proverbs, all of the passages before this week had some kind of structure that connected verses. These verses come in one verse format. Even though each verse isn’t necessarily connected to the verse before and after in terms of flow of thought, there is a thematic connection in this passage.

In these two verses we learn about the sovereignty of God.
Verse 1 could be interpreted in a deterministic way. One could interpret it to mean that everything that happens in a man’s heart and everything a man says was determined by God. I do not believe that this is the proper interpretation of the passage. The idea here is that a man can plan and prepare, a man can give an answer, and in the end trust God to guide our actions.

Verse 2 tells us that God sovereignty means He can see the heart. He knows our thoughts and our motives. We may think that what we are doing is right, but ultimately God is the judge of our actions and our motives.

Application:
On the one hand it is good to rest in God’s sovereignty. We have the responsibility to think wisely about how we ought to live. When we make plans and devise a way, we must do so wisely, looking to God for direction and trusting that He will intervene and guide our paths.

On the other hand it is important for us to understand that God’s sovereignty means we cannot outwit, hide from, out-maneuver God. He is omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent. This truth should cause us to fear him.

Response:

  1. How does God’s sovereignty impact the way you plan?
  2. How does God’s sovereignty impact the way you think about your sin?

Trial? Read this #devotionalthought

Job 2:10 “But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.”

As difficult as things got, Job never pretended that he wasn’t hurting or always understood what was happening, but he also avoided the other extreme of blaming God for what happened.

Are you going through a tough time right now? Look to God!