Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Psalm 44:2-27 (Daily Bread 20/2/2018)

YOU ARE OUR PRIDE

Key verse  44:2
Once again, this psalm is a song of the sons of Qore. They praise the Lord God with their voices and their instruments . They want to praise Him for His works in the past, which their fathers told them.
1. Our fathers told us about it (1-9)
The psalmists raise their voices to exalt the name of God who saved their people in the past. Their fathers told them that. It was through God's mighty hand that their enemies were cast into the pit of death and the abyss of the sea were there is only darkness. Thereafter, the psalmist who barely had any strength left, was revitalised and he exalted God for this marvellous restauration. In memory of this, they exalt God as they recognize that it was only by His strength that they were able to fend off their enemies. All of their weapons are useless if God is not with them. They thus want to exalt the name of God wholeheartedly throughout their lives. He is their king who protects them, and in whom there is no need to be afraid, for He covers their enemies with shame. They lift up His name every day.   

2.     However, you have rejected us. (10-27)  

After the time of exaltation, comes the time of the abyss and suffering. This time is very painful, for it seems that God has totally rejected them. They grumble when they say , "You do not go out and fight with us anymore". It makes the people dishonorable, an object of mockery. He lets them suffer the stigma. However, during this time of pain when it seems that the psalmists have nothing to do, they cling on to one thing. They keep the past in mind and they be wary not to sin as they fear God's judgement. Paul quotes verse 23 in Romans 8:36 when he speaks of the love of Christ from which no external force can separate us. Evil men keep throwing stones against the righteous. However, the love of God is unchangeable for His people. The psalmists cry out to God to come and save them. God's people have the right to claim salvation, saying ," Arise, Lord, for you are righteous." He cannot wait to rescue us.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Isaiah 27:2-13 (16/2/2018 Daily Bread)

THE GUARDIAN OF THE VINE
Verse Key 27:3
Isaiah says he is a keeper of the vine. It's the same as the sentinel. He watches over the vines so that nothing can harm them.
1.     I am the Peacekeeper (1-11)
Isaiah keeps the vine and cultivates it and defends it from danger. Night and day, he keeps watch. He is a sentinel and a fighter for God, protecting his people from ferocious animals and weeds. He does not express any feeling such as anger, but he goes boldy forward once it is a cause for God and for his people. He would persevere in this mission even if his life depended. Unless you make peace with him, you cannot have a place in the neighbourhood once he is protecting it. Israel sinned, as did the wicked nations. But as God struck them without mercy, God struck Israel with restraint. However, if God struck them, it was so that their faults might be atoned and their sins forgiven. Nevertheless forgiveness, however merciful it may be, results in something else. Love and justice should not be confused. It is difficult to teach justice if you are too compromising (26:10). Idolatry will be destroyed. The city where it was practiced will be devastated. It will also be burned as the dry branch is burned by the woman. What does that mean? The creator who made it will turn his back on it and walk away totally indifferent.
2.     On that day (12-13)  

In the midst of God's burning anger against the practice of idolatry, God does not completely punish the people of Israel. His love towards His people is still unchangeable. He therefore punishes them with moderation. He will spare the trees so that the remaining ones can grapple unto it. He will pick them up one by one from the west and east to take them to Palestine. He will sound the horn to call back  those who were scattered in Egypt and Assyria. Then fully repented of their sins of the past, and cleansed from their old habits of idolaters, they will turn around and bow down before the Lord and pay homage to him. It will all happen on Mount Zion, the holy city of Jerusalem. When we were idolaters, God punished us, but by His great mercy, He saved us through Jesus so that we might be His people. Glory to God!

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Isaiah 24:1-23 (daily Bread of 13/2/2018)

THE LORD WILL JUDGE THE EARTH.
Key Verse  24:1
Isaiah had a vision of the end of time. It has to do with the fate that the whole world will suffer if it goes deeper and deeper into apostasy. Isaiah spoke of it before he spoke of the judgment on Judah and Israel.  
1.     The Lord will devastate the earth (1-13)
God destroys and depopulates the earth. There is no consideration of any person; He is impartial and judges all categories of the population (2). It comes from God who judges the world because of its wickedness. The earth is defiled by the sin of the inhabitants. Due to their disobedience, the earth is tired (5). The earth is cursed. God's punishment falls upon the inhabitants who are eaten away by their guilt. There are only a few left. The wine that must delight the hearts of men ceases to do so. Joy changes into the breath of suffering. The sound of music with the tambourine and zither ceases. The fact that joy disappears from their hearts is a premonitory phenomenon of hell. God's judgment will strike the earth like boiling olives. This would put the earth in great confusion.
2.     The cries of joy (14-23)  

However, those who remain will raise their voices to sing glory to God. All over the earth there shall be songs proclaming God's glory and honour, and the righteous shall be honored. However, the prophet totally fell into depression because the current situation is more than catastrophic. He shouts,"I'm lost!" The inhabitants are engulfed by fear and anguish. The crash, the pit and the net chase after them. The torrential rain and the earthquake come after. The land is wobbling with the crimes of the inhabitants. Once ruined, it doesn't get up again. This vision refers to the second coming of Jesus. When Jesus comes on the cloud, he will judge the fallen angels and also the mighty of the world. As Satan is chained by God and waiting for the last day, all those who follow his path will share the same fate. They will be imprisoned for a little while, after which they will be eternally punished . Then the glory of God will shine forth, and all the stars will lose their brightness.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Isaiah 22:15-25

Key verse: 15-20

TWO BAD OFFICIALS

Isaiah fortells of political change in the country, especially in the upper administration. Two leaders were alternated, though God reveal His will in this passage. The future of the country depends on the behavior of these leaders.

1. Shebna (15-19)

The first person is called Shebna, the palace governor. He was an ambitious man, but all that he did served to dig his grave deeper, just like Haman in the story of Esther. In abusing his power, he built his own gallows. All human exploits prepare a suitable grave. A famous author wrote, "I am disgusted with myself. I have only to return to my chapel, where I have a tomb and six seats." God will throw this corrupt politician away like garbage, like something insignificant. He was gaged and killed, though he had magnificent chariots and personal wealth. In the end, he was shamefully chased out of office. The Eternal God judged and chastised the wrongdoers.

2. Eliakim (20-25)

In place of the corrupt Shebna, God established a different person. This man seemed to be good. God gave him absolute power, fine clothes, and above all, the key to the city, so that no one would open or close it without his permission. He established him securely and he became the pride of his family. All the tools, large and small, of the royal house were annointed by glory. However, this glory was fundamentally human and not divine because this man did not seek glory for God, but rather for his family. The end was tragic. The peg will be taken away and beaten. The responsibility given by God will also be taken away. The end of wrongdoers is frightening. We must all serve in our God-given functions with fear and trembling. Otherwise, we will fall like these two bad officials.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Isaiah 20:1-17 (DB of 8/2/2018)

FALLEN IS BABYLON

key verse: 9

Finally, Babylon will fall. The nations of the earth were shocked that she would fall. The prophet Isaiah announces it solemnly. 

1. Babylon has fallen (1-10)

The Elamites and Medianites will attack and surpise the watchmen of Babylon in the midst of their festivities (5). Isaiah saw a vision with great treason and devastation in the land brought by the Lord of armies, just like grains winnowed in the fields (10). This vision overwhelmed Isaiah's heart, so that he was filled with suffering and the pangs of a woman in labor. His heart is terrified. Soldiers from all nations get drunk the night before the attack (4). The Lord orders Isaiah to post a watchman to observe what will happen. The watchman then cries aloud at what he sees. It's a mighty cavalry invading. The watchman says, "She has fallen, Babylon". The fall of Babylon is accompanied by the fall of its idols. Babylon is always considered as representing the world without God (Rev. 18:2).

2. Dumah and Arabia (11-17)

Dumah, a city of Edom, means "silence". The verse asks how much time is left until the morning, which indicates suffering. All rest will be temporary. Three verbs: inquire, convert, come back. These represent the divine call to seek, repent and come. Next, Arabia is dealt with. The purpose of this oracle is to give warning to the most free and inaccessible of the tribes. Even that one will be caught by the long arm of Assyria when the Lord orders it. The cities of Dedan and Tema will have to bring aid to the tribe of Kedar. Its glory will disappear, being ravaged by war and its people will return with empty hands, dying of hunger. In 715 B.C., Arabia was invaded by Sargon. The fugitives of this city then faced a direct attack. 

Friday, February 2, 2018

Esaïe 15-16 (PQ de 2/2/2018)

IN ONE NIGHT, HE DISAPPEARED,

Verse Key 15:1
Ch 15:16 talk about the judgment on Moab. However, here we can see that an intense divine sympathy is ready to lighten the judgment. Moab was related to Israel (Genesis 19:36f), and particularly to David (Romans 4:17;1H 22:3b). But he had nothing in common with the faith of Israel. And he appears in the Old Testament as a bad influence (e. g. No. 25) and an inveterate enemy.
1.    In one night the judgment will fall down (15)The judgment will pass very quickly. Moab that was rich and prosperous will become a desert. It will happen in one night. Ar-Moab whose locality is uncertain but Qir-Moab, certainly the capital of the country will disappear in a single blow. The inhabitants will go up to the house of their god, but he will not be able to do anything. They'll lament when they shave their heads to mortify themselves. But it will have no effect. They shall be clothed in sackcloth and mourn the mercy of their god. But he'll keep quiet. The warriors will lose all their courage. God, seeing this, and seeing the people fleeing, will have mercy on them. The waters will be dried up and the severe famine will come. Then there will be blood from the massacre.
2.   Moab will appeal to Israel (16) 
Moab was easy to remain "in the rock." like a dove making its nest. But God will overthrow the nest to make it seek the best refuge in Zion. God gives His people an exhortation when Moab asks for help. Then the throne of Israel will be strengthened and he will welcome the Moabites as refugees. Moab's problem was pride. His country was abundant, especially the precious grape variety full of ramage represents their abundance. But because of this, the country became proud. But God will strike the land, that it may be reduced to very little (14). This will happen in the very next three years. The cries of joy and happiness will disappear at the same time as the disappearance of the harvest, because of the devastation of the vines. But God, because of their kinship with Israel, shows mercy to this people until the bowels tremble for Moab, like a harp. He was idolatrous, so he will pray in their high places, but their god will keep silent.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Isaiah 8:23-10:4 (Daily Bread of 26/1/2018) 

UNTO US A CHILD IS BORN 

Key verse 9:5 

Isaiah speaks about how the light suddenly appears out of the darkness. It's the that Emmanuel will come, God will be with us and He will shine all over the Earth as He delivered from sin. However, the people's situation is very dark.

1.     He sees a great light (8:23-9:8)
Emmanuel is planning the new time. The time of the disciples (8:16) is in allegory the time of the Church. It comes without fault; it is the true Church that is established. But the worshippers of the world make the wrong influence, so that more and more people leave the community of God and the church empties itself. Isaiah says that the judgment against Israel was imminent. In this situation he looked up and looked at the distant future where people will be fully delivered. The nation where people were scattered will again be filled with the inhabitants. Especially there will be joy everywhere. It is because the inhabitants will be forgiven for their sins. These have struck them with their backs cruelly night and day, but the blood of Jesus will save them from sins compared here to the mantle rolled with blood. V. 5 describes the Jesus child par excellence. Whatever baby, he's Counsellor, mighty God, Father and Prince.     
2.     God will judge Israel (7-20)

The people of Judah were extremely arrogant in tempting God (5:19). Here, the arrogance of Israel was no less than Judah. Then the enemies of Israel will triumph over the sovereignty of God. It will be swallowed by enemies. But this defeat comes from God who is angry with them because of their idolatry. Yet, in spite of this fierce and devastating wrath, God will not take away his wrath, for the people will not return to God who strikes. All classes will be punished. God's compassion will be exhausted, for all have become ungodly and wicked. The wicked will burn like fire, then the wrath of God will be kindled. The famine sent by God will be so great that we'll eat the arm. Social injustice through discriminatory legislation will be more than unimaginable. There will no longer be any loopholes for the final judgment. Yet they will not repent or think of returning to their God.