Archive for January, 2012

Isaiah 2:13 Cedars of Lebanon

Posted in Isaiah with tags , , , , on January 29, 2012 by paulthepoke

Isaiah 2:13 And it will be against all the cedars of Lebanon that are lofty and lifted up, against all the oaks of Bashan…

These trees begin a list of items that were revered in Isaiah’s day as great or a show of strength. Lebanon is the country north of Israel on the Mediterranean Sea. Today on Lebanon’s flag is the very Cedar of Lebanon. These trees grow primarily in the mountains of the Mediterranean region. They grow up to 130 feet tall with a trunk of up to 8 feet in diameter. The wood of the cedar is disease resistant and slow to decay. This is a stout tree.

The first mention of cedar wood in the Bible comes in Leviticus 14:1-7. The context is the cleansing of Leprosy. Specifically noted in Leviticus 14:4 then the priest shall give orders to take two live clean birds and cedar wood and a scarlet string and hyssop for the one who is to be cleansed. God recommends the use of cedar wood for the cleansing of a skin condition. This seems to be an odd request? Remember, Moses wrote this approximately 1,400 years before Jesus.

Cedars are by nature antiseptic and have always been used to disinfect wounds and to promote healing. Volatile oils in cedars have the ability to open up the blood vessels and deliver more immune cells to the damaged region, which in turn speeds the healing process. For the most part, cedars are associated with skin healing and the treatment of arthritic joints. The cedars are also used to treat warty conditions of the skin due to the tannins and flavonoids found in the wood. These chemicals attack abnormal tissue and leave normal tissue unmolested, thus warts disappear and the normal tissue remains unscathed. Information obtained from http://www.planetbotanic.ca/fact_sheets/cedar.htm

How would Moses and the Jews know about the healing power of the cedar? God’s word.

Cedar is the chosen wood of God’s temple. The temple built by Solomon was primarily made of cedar. 1 Kings 6 gives significant detail regarding the temple.

Verse 9-10 So he built the house and finished it; and he covered the house with beams and planks of cedar. He also built the stories against the whole house, each five cubits high; and they were fastened to the house with timbers of cedar.

Verse 15a Then he built the walls of the house on the inside with boards of cedar; from the floor of the house to the ceiling he overlaid the walls on the inside with wood…

Verse 16a He built twenty cubits on the rear part of the house with boards of cedar from the floor to the ceiling;

Verse 18 There was cedar on the house within, carved in the shape of gourds and open flowers; all was cedar, there was no stone seen.

Verse 20b He also overlaid the altar made of cedar.

Verse 36 He built the inner court with three rows of cut stone and a row of cedar beams.

All of this said these trees, like proud men, are coming down. Psalm 29:5 confirms this fact. The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars; Yes, the LORD breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon.

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Isaiah 2:11-12 Pride Will Be Humbled

Posted in Isaiah with tags , , on January 22, 2012 by paulthepoke

Isaiah 2:11-12 The proud look of man will be abased and the loftiness of man will be humbled, and the LORD alone will be exalted in that day. For the LORD of hosts will have a day of reckoning against everyone who is proud and lofty and against everyone who is lifted up, that he may be abased.

In general, the remainder of Isaiah Chapter 2 is about those who are going to get knocked off their pedestal. Functional examples in the world (natural or man made) known for their greatness are used as points of comparison. They too will be destroyed. There will be a day or reckoning with the Lord.

V. 11 Notice the description of humanity in this verse. Man is described as haughty, arrogant, proud, and high. This is how God describes humanity. The result is man will be humbled, brought low, abased, and humiliated. Proud man will “bow down”.  But the Lord will be the One bringing about the change. His position is to be inaccessibly high, to be safely set on high, and to be exalted of God.  Definitions in this verse were provided by Strong’s Concordance.

v. 12 The point is restated. The proud will be humbled by the Lord.

God makes direct statements Himself regarding “the proud” in Job and Malachi. These are two of many examples in Scripture. He does not tolerate pride or “ego” as we call it in today’s vernacular.

Job 40:12 “Look on everyone who is proud, and humble him, and tread down the wicked where they stand.”

Malachi 4:1 “For behold, the day is coming, burning like a furnace; and all the arrogant and every evildoer will be chaff; and the day that is coming will set them ablaze,” says the LORD of hosts, “so that it will leave them neither root nor branch.”

Isaiah 2:10 Hide and Seek

Posted in Isaiah with tags , , on January 15, 2012 by paulthepoke

Isaiah 2:10 Enter the rock and hide in the dust from the terror of the LORD and from the splendor of His majesty.

The grammar of the verse in Hebrew is amusing and revealing. “Enter” is a simple action verb. The enemies are entering into the rocks. They think their actions are effective and undetected. The verb “hide” is a reflexive or Niphal verb form. In other words, they were observed going into hiding. This is no secret as far as God is concerned. God is completely aware of the location of these hiders and their intent. Hide and Seek with God is not recommended.

The same mentality is noted in the context of time across Scripture. In the future, this notion is observed in Revelation 6:15-16. Then the kings of the earth and the great men and the commanders and the rich and the strong and every slave and free man hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains; and they said to the mountains and to the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb… We know that Lamb to be Jesus. The context is universal. People from all walks of life, rich or poor, are in hiding.

When we look to the past in Joshua 10:16, we observe hiding in the rocks. Now these five kings had fled and hidden themselves in the cave at Makkedah.  These five kings had formed an alliance against Israel under the leadership of Joshua as the Israelites were entering into the land God had promised. Things did not work out well for those five kings as noted in verses 26-27. So afterward Joshua struck them and put them to death, and he hanged them on five trees; and they hung on the trees until evening. It came about at sunset that Joshua gave a command, and they took them down from the trees and threw them into the cave where they had hidden themselves, and put large stones over the mouth of the cave, to this very day. So they were buried where they were hiding.

This is a pattern of behavior by the enemies God. “Let’s go hide in a cave!” In today’s world, God’s enemies are much more sophisticated (so they think); they hide in cement bunkers deep in the ground. This verse could be stripped from today’s headlines. Here is a headline from Reuters earlier in January 2012, Iran Nuclear Sites May Be Beyond Reach of “Bunker Busters”. One can wonder the destination of those hiding in bunkers today, those who oppose God’s chosen people…

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