Thursday, October 7, 2010

This Week's Suggested Reading - Isaiah 59

Greetings brothers and sisters in Christ. This week the suggested reading for Project Ezra is Isaiah 59. This is out of order form our normal book list, but since we missed this list one month a while back, and since Proverbs has a limited number of passages that stay on a single topic or line of thought for any length of time, I have decided to use this chapter instead. But we will not be using Isaiah 59 alone, but in concert with Isaiah 53. We have read Isaiah 53 before, but I think these two chapters together have a great impact.

Chapter 59 talks about separation from God for those may claim His name, but through willful sin have separated themselves from Him. This described all of us at one point. But chapter 53 talks about a redeemer, who will take our iniquity so we can be made right with God. Consider the points in the outline below:

Introduction and read Isaiah 59

Please consider this passage and look at yourselves in truth. We are not passing judgment, but pleading with you to judge yourselves by the truth of God’s word, the only true standard for judgment. You may have a religion, or a spirituality, which is devoid of power, because it is nothing but words.
Titus 1:16 - They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work.

God is not unable to save, but your sins have separated you from God so that He does not hear you. Your sins have defiled you.
Proverbs 28:9 - If one turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer is an abomination.

Isaiah talks of those who are swift to shed innocent blood. Their feet run to evil, and they do not know peace or justice. Are you swift to run to evil? Do you find pleasure in the things God hates?

You may one who stumbles even in the daylight. You may have grown up around church and may have an idea who God is and some of what the bible say. But, if you are living for sin you are blind to the truths of God.
2 Cor 4:4 – The god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers

1 John 2:11 – The darkness has blinded his eyes

Are you willfully blind to the truths of God, including his hatred of sin?

Our sins testify against us. We are transgressing and denying the Lord, and turning back from following our God.

Go through God’s law, and be specific about sin. People need to feel the weight of their sin personally.

At the end of the chapter God is described as a warrior preparing for battle, putting on His armor, and His garments of vengeance. God will repay the wicked according to their deeds, and there will be wrath for His adversaries.

You shall fear the name of the lord
Matt 10:28 - And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

You deserve God’s justice and wrath. But this chapter says a redeemer will come to Zion, to those who turn from transgression.

Isaiah 53 tells us of that redeemer! This chapter very clearly refers to Jesus Christ, although it was written 700 years before His birth.

Read Isaiah 53

The transgressions and iniquities which separate us from God in Isaiah 59 are borne by Jesus in Isaiah 53. Listen to the contrast between these passages:
Isa 59:8 - The way of peace they do not know, and there is no justice in their paths; they have made their roads crooked; no one who treads on them knows peace.
Isa 59:12 - For our transgressions are multiplied before you, and our sins testify against us; for our transgressions are with us, and we know our iniquities:
Isa 59:13 - transgressing, and denying the LORD, and turning back from following our God, speaking oppression and revolt, conceiving and uttering from the heart lying words.

Isa 53:5 - But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed.
Isa 53:6 - All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned--every one--to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

Every one of us will receive either God’s justice and wrath, or God’s grace and mercy. Claiming the name of God is not enough, if our actions show that our claim is a lie. But through repentance and trust in Jesus Christ, who bore the sins of many and makes intercession for the transgressors, we can be made right with God. Don’t presume on God’s patience. Repent and trust in Christ while He has given you time.

I pray that this will be helpful and encouraging to you.

We have just over 50 people signed up for our Halloween Reading so far. The chapters for this reading will be Revelation 20-22. There’s still plenty of time to prepare, and I guarantee there will be plenty of lost people out and about to talk to, so why wait? Start getting your team together and preparing now! This time of year is very spiritually dark, so the light of God’s truth will shine that much more brightly. So, as Matthew 5 says, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

For the praise of His glory,


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