Archive for September, 2010

Isaiah 1:7-9

Posted in Isaiah with tags , , , , , on September 24, 2010 by paulthepoke

Isaiah 1:7-9 Your land is a desolation; your cities burned with fire. Foreigners devour your land before you; and behold, ruin, as overthrown by foreigners. And the daughter of Zion is left a booth in a vineyard, like a hut in a cucumber field, like a besieged city. Except the Lord of Hosts had left a remnant for us, a few, we would be as Sodom; we would be as Gomorrah.


Verse 7: The foreigners mentioned in this verse are likely the Assyrians. They had come into Judah (southern kingdom) and destroyed their fortified cities. At the time, the Jewish people had already split into two kingdoms. Israel in the north had already fallen.  Their cities, in the south of Judah, had been set on fire and laid to waste. The devastation and destruction were complete and the people could not live in the cities. Their crops had been destroyed leaving the people without food. We live in a culture today where food is plentiful. Can you imagine the social unrest and violence if there was a severe food shortage in the United States? And you think the controversy of who got kicked off American Idol is a big deal.

Verse 8: Here the text uses examples of metaphorical and literal language to express the utter helplessness and vulnerability. Figuratively, the description of a hut in a vineyard and the shelter in a cucumber field is used. The idiomatic language of the vineyard would have hit close to home because of the love of wine in this period of history. This love of wine is noted in Isaiah 5:11. Woe to those who rise early in the morning to go after fermented drink, tarrying in the twilight while wine inflames them! No grapes equals no wine. The southern kingdom has no food and no wine. Literally, this is a besieged city. No matter how you want to look at, literally or figuratively, this place is in serious trouble.

Verse 9: The Lord of Hosts is a term that is noted throughout the Old Testament. It is a military term that communicates that God is the head of the army.

God always sets aside a group of core believers that is called the remnant. There are examples of the remnant in both the Old and New Testaments. Two examples include 2 Kings 19:31 and Romans 11:4-5. Notice, it is God who achieves and chooses this remnant. There are many examples noted throughout the Bible of God choosing a remnant. A couple of others include Isaiah 10:20-22; 11:11.

2Kings 19:31 For out of Jerusalem shall go forth a remnant, and out of Mount Zion they that shall escape; the zeal of Jehovah of Hosts shall do this.


Romans 11:4-5 But what does the Divine answer say to him, “I reserved to Myself seven thousand men who did not bow a knee to Baal.” (paraphrasing  1 Kg. 19:18) So then, also in the present time a remnant according to election of grace has come into being.


If  God had not chosen a remnant, their destiny would have been like Sodom and Gomorrah. We all know how that turned out in Genesis 19:1-29. There was a remnant of three who came out of the total destruction of those two cities, they were Lot and his two daughters. Those three are a sordid story that is for another day.

Isaiah 1:5-6 Picture of Sin

Posted in Isaiah with tags , , , , , on September 17, 2010 by paulthepoke

Isaiah 1:5-6 Why will you be stricken any more? Will you continue the revolt? The whole head is sick, and the whole heart is faint. From the sole of the foot even to the head, no soundness is in it; only a wound and a strip and a fresh blow; they have not been closed, nor bound up; nor was it softened with oil.

Verse 5:God asks a rhetorical question. Why are you obsessed with sin? Why do you add to your lifestyle of sin? It is not enough to just sin a little and be content. You guys just keep adding and piling. The human condition is never satisfied and it has to have more and more. For example, the alcoholic can never just have one drink. We all have our shortcomings.

Here is the idea in the Hebrew language. The reference to the whole head and heart is to the chronic condition of the body. The result of sin is a sick body. It is a massive wound!

Verse 6: This condition is from head to toe. The sickness is complete. There is not one healthy part of the body. These are wounds that can not be healed. Welts and bruises have not been treated. The reference to oil is olive oil. Back in Isaiah’s time, olive oil was used for medicinal purposes. The injury is exposed and there are no bandages or medication. This body is just lying there and has not been sent to the emergency room for treatment. This is just a nasty, bloody mess.

That is what God thinks of sin. Who BECAME sin for us? Jesus.

2 Corinthians 5:21 He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

He is the Father and Him is the Son. The Son was sinless. The Son took our place on our behalf. That is communicated in the original Greek text with the preposition “huper”.

Jesus physically bore the brunt of sin on his body from head to toe. Jesus was blindfolded and beaten (Luke 22:64). He was scourged (Mark 15:15). People spit on Jesus (Mark 14:65). They hit Him in the head repeatedly with a reed (Mark 15:19). His head adorned a crown of thorns (Matthew 27:29). He had nails driven into his feet and hands (Matthew 27:35). His body was pierced with a spear (John 19:34).

The idea of a sacrificial death for sin is noted in both the Old and New Testament. Here are two of many references that communicate this point.

Isaiah 53:5 But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed.

1 Corinthians 15:3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures …

So one man died for the sins of the world? When you read that, what do you do with that? Do you believe it? If you do, God says you have eternal life. If you believe that to be true, how do you respond to that in your personal life from day-to-day? What is your attitude toward Jesus?



Isaiah 1:2-4

Posted in Isaiah on September 9, 2010 by paulthepoke

Isaiah 1:2-4 Hear, O heavens, and listen, O earth! For Jehovah has spoken: I have nursed and brought up sons, but they have rebelled against Me. The ox knows his owner, and the ass his master’s manger, but Israel does not know; My people have not understood. Woe, sinful nation, a people heavy with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, sons who corrupt! They have forsaken Jehovah; they have scorned the Holy One of Israel. They are estranged backward.

Verse 2: God calls the creation and nation Israel to attention. The earth and the heavens are witnesses to Israel. This concept of the earth and heaven as witnesses is noted previously on multiple occasions. Three examples are noted in:

Deuteronomy 4:26 I call the heavens and the earth to witness against you today…

Deuteronomy 30:19 I call Heaven and earth to witness against you today that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse…

Deuteronomy 31:28 Assemble to me all the elders of your tribes, and your officers, and I shall speak in their ears these words, and cause the heavens and the earth to testify against them.

The introduction is emphatic in the Hebrew. In our culture, a shouting “HEY!” is the idea. This is a reminder. The point is to pay attention and follow what God says. God personally raised and nourished this nation from its infancy both physically and spiritually. There is a familial relationship in that God refers to Israel as his children. The result of the child is rebellion.

Verse 3: The reference in the verse is towards two beasts of burden, the ox and the donkey. In the culture of the day, these animals were sources of labor. The ox was used in plowing and threshing. The donkey was a pack animal who labored on the farm, in milling operations, and on the water wheel. A point of comparison to Israel is that at least these two animals know who their source of nutrition and survival is. The animals know who their owners are and where their bread is buttered. Israel does not know they belong to God and they do not understand God’s Word, their source of sustenance.

In verses 4-9, a brief outline of the complete depravity of nation Israel is described. Depravity of the nation is described in verse 4.  Personal depravity is noted in verses 5-6. The result of the sin on the land is described in verses 7-9. Yes, there are consequences to the earth for sin. Don’t forget about the fall of man and the curse on the ground. A second example of this is the global flood on the earth in Genesis. Future consideration of this same concept is the Tribulation period described throughout the text of the Bible. The focus in this study is on verse 4. Verses 5-9 will be discussed in subsequent studies.

Verse 4: God’s introduction to the nation of Israel is essentially, “Hello sinners!” Observe the mental attitude and actions of the people: iniquity, evil doers, and corruption. These are family traditions of the people of Israel. Sin is passed down to subsequent generations. Is this any different today? What do we know about deviant behavior and the statistical likelihood of their children engaging in deviant behavior? Pick a vice, go look it up.

The result of turning from God’s Word is noted in verse 4. Israel abandons the Lord and rejects. This was true during this specific time of history. It was true when Christ came to earth and was crucified. It is true now. As a result, Israel is alienated from God and the result is depravity and sin. This will ultimately change for Israel in the future when they will turn to God and be restored.

These concepts are consistent from the Old Testament to the New Testament. Be careful what you ask for. God tends to give you exactly what you want.  If you want to turn from God, He will let you. God does not force you to behave or read His Book. Make no mistake, there are consequences. God wants willful obedience to His Word.

Rom 1:21-32  Because knowing God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful. But they became vain in their reasonings, and their undiscerning heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became foolish and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into a likeness of an image of corruptible man, and of birds, and four-footed animals, and creeping things. Because of this, God gave them up to impurity in the lusts of their hearts, their bodies to be dishonored among themselves, who changed the truth of God into the lie, and worshiped and served the created thing more than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

Because of this, God gave them up to dishonorable passions, for even their females changed the natural use to that contrary to nature. And likewise, the males also forsaking the natural use of the female burned in their lust toward one another, males with males working out shamefulness, and receiving back within themselves the reward which was fitting for their error.

And even as they did not think fit to have God in their knowledge, God gave them up to a reprobate mind, to do the things not right, having been filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, iniquity, covetousness, malice, being full of envy, murder, quarrels, deceit, evil habits, becoming whisperers, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, proud, braggarts, devisers of evil things, disobedient to parents, without discernment, covenant breakers, without natural affection, unforgiving, unmerciful, who knowing the righteous order of God, that those practicing such things are worthy of death, not only do them, but also approve those practicing them.

Look at what man (present author included) is capable of when they are separated from God on their own personal terms. This is the result of refusing to have God in your knowledge. This is the resume of man apart from God’s Word. It is not pleasant to read but it is reality. The results speak for themselves.

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