Sabbatical 2017

Sabbatical 2017
Arc de Triumph

Monday, July 25, 2016

Chronological Reading Plan for July 26, Isaiah 44-48.

Today's readings are Isaiah 44-48. Tomorrow's are 2 Kings 19, Psalms 36, 80, 135. 

Isaiah 44 reinforces the idea that Israel is the servant and God is the King. Is 44:7 tells them to fear not, a wise bit of guidance given their precarious position. The destiny of those who worship idols (those who have subjugated God's people) is secure. They will pay for their rejection of God and the oppression of His people and He will redeem Israel.  

The way God will redeem Israel is by a king named Cyrus (Is 45). This will be King Cyrus of Persia, who God will raise up for the specific purpose of delivering Israel and Judah out of captivity and sending them back to Jerusalem. Lest there be any misunderstanding, Isaiah makes it clear that the Lord is the only savior, all salvation happens by His hand alone. 

Is 46-47 are prophecies against Babylon and the Chaldeans, the warrior nations that have taken Israel and Judah into captivity. God asserts Himself in these passages bringing Babylon's reign down to a very short seventy years. 

We find that all this happens to Israel and Judah to refine them in Is 48:7-11. God refines His chosen people for His own sake, to put His glory on display (Is 48:9-11). 

In the rest of the chapter, He calls them to obey His commandments, flee for Babylon and return to Him. From here on through the rest of the Scriptures, Babylon will become synonymous with sin and the fallen world. 

We would do well to remember the reason Israel is refined. It is for the sake of God's reputation. While this may seem rather selfish to some, it is actually an assurance of our own sanctification and salvation. As we have seen repeatedly in the Scriptures, God is faithful and true. He promises to refine and bring home all of His faithful children. We can count on Him being true to that promise for the sake of His name and reputation. This takes the burden of maintaining our salvation, or trying to accomplish our own sanctification, out of our hands and places it securely in His. 

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