The LORD, the God of Israel has spoken.
Whether a prophecy of destruction as we see in Chapter 21, or a promise such as the one in Isaiah 41:10 So do not fear for I am with you, do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand, or the promise of salvation and eternal life, when the LORD, the God of Israel has spoken, it will be accomplished. Ps. 95: 7 for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care.
Then the LORD said, “Just as my servant Isaiah has gone stripped and barefoot for three years, as a sign and portent against Egypt and Cush, …”
We see this in the book of Ezekial as well, where the prophet becomes the actual, physical representation of the humiliation that will befall a nation. Three years Isaiah bore the shame of nakedness, and he was a CHOSEN man of God. We are ambassadors for Christ. If He asks us to suffer for his name sake, shall we refuse, and kick against Him? Reminder: Isaiah was representing the interests of God; he spoke God’s words,; he preached God’s wisdom and proclaimed His glory.
One thing I learned from this chapter: No matter how wicked a nation, God is able to make Himself known to them. He is able to bring them to repentance and to a place where the people of that nation acknowledge Him and worship Him. This should give us hope.
All you people of the world, you who live on the earth, when a banner is raised on the mountains, you will see it, and when a trumpet sounds, you will hear it. This is what the LORD says to me; “I will remain quiet and will look on from my dwelling place, like shimmering heat in the sunshine, like a cloud of dew in the eat of harvest.”
It seems we are in this time when God is remaining quiet, looking out at all the activities of man. We long for the banner to be raised and the trumpet to sound. It is our comfort, though, to know He is looking on, seeing it all, watching over us. We need not be anxious. When you see the heat shimmering in the sunshine, remember God is ever watchful.
In that day men will look to their Maker and turn their eyes to the Holy One of Israel. They will not look to the altars, the work of their hands, and they will have no regard for the Asherah poles and the incense altars their fingers have made.
God removes everything that will hinder our relationship with Him. If we rely on work, on material things, on stuff our hands have made, on money or on human relationships instead of Our Saviour, we can expect that He will strip those things from us. Then, we will turn to Him – the Only One we need for LIFE and godliness.
In love a throne will be established; in faithfulness a man will sit on it – one from the house of David – one who in judging seeks justice and speeds the cause of righteousness.
This is an oasis of promise in the dry desert of a prophecy of destruction. The idea is clear – a throne will be established in love. It is Christ Who came and showed us the love of God. It is He Who comes from the house of David and will judge with justice and righteousness. With our hope set firmly in Christ, we look forward to the fulfillment of this prophecy.
I commend to you our sister Phoebe a servant of the church in Cenchrea. I ask you to receive her in the Lord in a way worthy of the saints and to give her any help she may need from you, for she has been a great help to many people, including me.
This lady comes with a letter of reference, a credential given by Paul. She is a valuable person in the work of God and a servant to the Body of Christ. Treat her well, he says, in a way worthy of the saints. What does this mean? How would we treat a fellow believer in this situation? Certainly offering hospitality, whether that would be a bed for the night, a meal, or taking time to listen if they need to talk. There are marching orders here. Provide for those who are part of God’s work, who serve the Body of Christ. Be those who encourage. Be generous. Be a blessing.
vs. 1 We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. vs. 7 Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.
vs. 1 bear with those who are weak, not look down on them. The idea here is holding the weaker person up. vs. 7 Why bear with the weak and accept one another? To bring praise to God. How can this be? Christ accepted us. Through we were sinners, He fulfilled he law for us and provided salvation to us through His death on the cross. By His grace and power we can accept and bear with one another. The ultimate goal? To bring praise to our God.
For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit,…
The kingdom of God, then, is not a matter of how long or how short your skirt is or whether or not you enjoy a glass of wine with dinner, or what is your favorite type of music. The kingdom of God is a matter of peace, righteousness, and joy in the Holy Spirit. We, who are card-carrying citizens of this kingdom, must daily seek God’s help to live and walk in this way – practically, and in every situation. Micah 6:8 says it perfectly, “He has shown you, oh man, what is good and what the Lord requires of you: to act justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”
Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law.
I have always enjoyed the feeling you get when you pay a debt in full. It is a good thing not to owe money to someone or some institution. Here, though, is a debt that is never paid in full. It is continuing and never ending, but it is not a burden to owe this debt. It is a JOY and we make payments on it for the rest of our lives on earth – LOVE ONE ANOTHER!