QT – Isaiah 16

Vs. 14, “But now the LORD says: “Within three years, as a servant bound by contract would count them, Moab’s splendor and all her many people will be despised, and her survivors will be very few and feeble.”  Moab was given a chance by God, but refused.  So now we sadly see the consequences come upon Moab.  It was as if God were streaching out His hand, and yet Moab would not trust Him enough.
Regarding application.  Limited Chances.  If anything…Moab can teach us that our chances are limited.  There is a story when President Andrew Jackson extended a pardon to a thief…a pardon from being hung.  But the theif would not take the pardon.  He gave up his last chance.  The Bible speaks to us with a sense of urgency.  “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.”  (Both OT & NT).  That is why we must not give up in our task at hand.  Think of the people in your life who need to know the Lord today!!!!  Their chances are limited…we never know when their number is up.  Let us not put off and procrastinate because eternal lives are at stake! 

QT – Isaiah 15

Vs. 1, “An oracle concerning Moab…”   Question: How did Moab come about?  The shameful incest of Lot & his offspring.  These people would sadly become the enemies of the nation of Israel. Their King Balak hired Balaam the prophet, to curse Israel.  Balak feared Israel as they passed through the land of Moab.  And we read here how Moab will suffer at the hands of the Assyrians too.

Regarding application…Close But Far.  Vs. 5, “My heart cries out over Moab...”  Moab was so close to God’s people…they were neighbor’s of God’s people, but would never turn to God.  It reminds me of the two theives hanging next to Jesus…the thief who rejected Jesus was so close to salvation.  While the Moabites are now long gone…think of the symbolic “moabites” that you may know.  It could be a teacher, classmate, friend, and even family member.  They are in close proximity to God’s people…but they are blind to God’s love.  Let us have compassion upon the suffering…even though they may reject our Lord.

QT – Isaiah 14

Vs. 14, “I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.”  Who is this?  None other than Satan himself…in the form of the Babylonian king.  Babylon was more than just an evil nation, it was influenced by the enemy.  But God would have compassion upon His people.  This passage not only is speaking of Babylon the nation and it’s fall….but also speaking of Satan’s demise.  It was the swelling of pride that would bring such a downfall.  The Assyrian’s come from the North and take out the city of Babylon…But God wil also crush Assyria for they tried to take out Jerusalem.  We also see the Philistines affected by the Assyrian invasion.
Regarding application…Pride.  Look at vs. 14 from above again.  It was pride that brought Satan down.  It was pride that brought Adam & Eve down.  It was pride that caused Cain to kill.  It was pride that cause Jacob’s son’s to sell Joseph into slavery.  It was pride that caused all but two of the original Exodus members to enter the promised land.  It was pride that was Israel’s downfall.  It was pride that caused the the Teachers of the Law to kill Jesus…and so on and so forth.  Yet we still are so foolish.  Our culture no matter what ethnicity…ignorantly boasts of it’s pride.  Our society (American) honors & salutes the pride!  Jesus would remind us, “For he who is least among you all–he is the greatest.”  (Luke 9:48b).  John the Baptist was right…Each day we must strive to become less so He can become greater.

QT – Isaiah 13

Vs. 1, “An oracle concerning Babylon that Isaiah son of Amoz saw.”  Over the next 10 chapters we will see Isaiah announce God’s judgment on the Gentile nations who have turned from Him but also His own people too.  He begins with Babylon, which would one day swallow up the Assyrians, take Judah captive and then itself be defeated by the Medes and Persians.  Realize that God is in control even during wars.  In the defeat of Babylon, Isaiah saw a picture of the final “day of the Lord” when the world will taste the judgment of God. God is patient with sinners, but there comes a time when His judgment must come.  Isaiah’s message against Babylon was fulfilled, and the city and empire was obliterated.  In Scripture, Babylon symbolizes the world system united against God (Gen. 11). Like Babylon in Isaiah’s day, the world today seems so successful and invincible; but one day, the whole system will fall (we’ve seen this happen in the economy). That is why God calls His people to separate themselves from it. (II Cor. 6:4-18).
Regarding application…Depravity.  Vs. 16, “Their infants will be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their houses will be looted and their wives ravished.”  This is the ugliness of sin that we don’t like to think about.  This is ultimately why we needed Jesus to come save us.  The real victims of war are the women & children.  It is a chilling thought to think fellow human beings could do such things…yet it happens today!  In Libya, Syria, Jordan, etc…there are women who are being raped.  Children in war torn countries sold into slavery.  The stories are horrific and mirrored that which we had just read.  Before we are quick to judge the depravity of others…we must take a hard look within ourselves.  Given such circumstances…it could easily be us who would do such atrocities.  The other week, I saw one of the students mentioned they had just seen Schindler’s List.  This is also a stark reminder of the depravity of what we can do to each other.  We need the Lord now more than ever!

QT – Isaiah 12

Vs. 2, “Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The LORD , the LORD , is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.” Remember, that this is all future prophecy at this point. We see a glorious moment…the tribulation is past…Jesus is reigning on earth during the 1000 years. This is a victory song…God’s people sang it when they were delivered from Israel, when they returned from Babylon, and now when they come together in the Millenieum. Wow…What a glorious moment! Guess what? You and I (WE) will witness this event one day!

Regarding application…Witnessing. Vs. 5, “Sing to the LORD , for he has done glorious things; let this be known to all the world.” Ask anyone who is in love and guess what they want to do? They want to proclaim it to the world! They want to share show their parents, family, friends…that this is the person they want to share their life with! That’s why we celebrate weddings…because that couple is letting the world know they love each other and are committed forever! Likewise….we should proclaim to the world of our love for our Lord Jesus Christ! Jesus is our Salvation! Salvation is found in Jesus alone! His love for us was shown to the world on the cross. Our love for Jesus must also be known to the world by our life! Our actions, our careers, our family life, our social life, our hobbies…everything! May the world know Jesus is our true love as we start the new week.

QT – Isaiah 11

Vs. 1, “A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.” This can be a very confusing chapter. Jesse is the father of David…and Jesus is from the line of David. Jesus is the Branch. This chapter is one of the great messianic prophecies of Scripture. It speaks of the coming of Christ to establish His kingdom and the type of program He will have. God’s people have been chopped down, but we see Jesus coming from the stump, to save the tree! Not long ago, naysayers would scoff at this because Israel wasn’t even a nation for over 1900 years after Christ. But now, the end days…it is soon going to be a reality. We live in a time where Israel is officially a nation. We live in a time, where Jesus has told us we better be ready for his return!

Regarding application…Judgment. Vs. 3-4 “He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears; but with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked.” We serve a God who one day will judge both the living and the dead. Unlike judges today…we won’t have to worry about corrupt judges. Jesus is going to be the perfect judge. He knows each person’s heart & will judge accordingly. One day, we will stand before the Lord Jesus! As Christians we need not fear this time of judgment, but I also urge each of us to search within ourselves and make clean what is unclean. Strive each day for holiness. Turn to the Lord and let him transform your life. Then one day, we each can go confidently heavenbound to our Lord & Savior!

QT – Isaiah 10

Vs. 2, “to deprive the poor of their rights and withhold justice from the oppressed of my people, making widows their prey and robbing the fatherless.” The leaders in Israel were greedy for gain and they exploited the poor. Unfortunately, not much has changed in human history over the years. Although God allowed Assyria to attack his people, Assyria began to get so big-headed that they bragged & boasted of their power. God would destroy them too. Nations may boast through the years, but God has the last say. But yet in the midst of the carnage, we find hope. A Remnant of Israel …a few who survived would be able to come back to the promised land by the grace of God. This Remnant is most definitely prophetic and continues through tribulation, thousand year reign of Christ and the War of Armageddon.

Regarding application…Arrogant Pride. Vs. 15, “Does the ax raise itself above him who swings it, or the saw boast against him who uses it? As if a rod were to wield him who lifts it up, or a club brandish him who is not wood.” Imagine an ax out in the woods. You are walking through the woods and hear something patting itself on the back and saying, “Look at this big tree I cut down.” You walk over to the ax and find nothing but the ax. You say to the ax, “What do you mean, you cut down the tree?” The ax replies, “The tree is down, and I did it.” You say that is silly. Somebody had to be using the ax, and that is exactly how it was with Assyria and other nations of the world. God uses nations…God uses people. It is so silly for us to arrogantly take credit where credit is not due. “Not to us, but to His name be the Glory!”

QT – Isaiah 9

Vs. 6, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”  Isaiah gives another prediction of our Lord Jesus.  What a wonderful promise in a time of rebellion!  What a difference it makes in our lives that Jesus Christ came and died for our sins!  Jesus is the difference between light and darkness, life and death (vs. 2). He is also the difference between joy and sorrow, freedom and bondage (vs. 3-4). As you wait for His return, be sure your life is on His shoulders.   But Isaiah must also warn Israel and all of us of the danger of turning away from the Lord.  Yet, we still have hope…vs. 21, “…Yet for all this, his anger is not turned away, his hand is still upraised.” 
 
Regarding application…Underestimate.  Vs. 18, “Surely wickedness burns like a fire; consumes briers and thorns, it sets the forest thickets ablaze, so that it rolls upward in a column of smoke.”  Every summer down here in So. Cal., we have to deal with brush fires.  A simple irresponsible camping trip can turn into a blaze that devastates thousands of acres of trees, all because someone dropped their cirggerate butt, or didn’t douse their campfire properly.  Likewise…if we begin to underestimate the wildfires of sin…we could find ourselves consumed by the world’s fires.
 
Take for example the power of the internet.  It’s a wonderful tool for good (just like a fire)…but it can ruin so many people (just like a fire).  With a  simple click of a mouse, you can find yourselves on websites that are literally evil.  Porn, online gambling, websites promoting hate groups, websites teaching you how to make bombs, or drugs…etc.  All in the comfort of your homes and some of you your own bedrooms.  The internet is awesome, but let us be very careful & not underestimate the enemy and what he can do with the things of this world to turn us from God.

QT – Isaiah 8

Vs. 7, “therefore the Lord is about to bring against them the mighty floodwaters of the River— the king of Assyria with all his pomp…”  Isaiah’s prophecy comes true as Assyria invades Judah .  For five hundred years, the LORD had protected them, but now their lack of faith opens the door to the enemy.  Isaiah attempts to remind God’s people to stop fearing the enemy and what they could do…but rather fear God!  But they would turn to even worse things like mediums & spiritis, people who call upon the spirits of the dead.
Regarding application…Seeking World Answers.  Vs. 19, “When men tell you to consult mediums and spiritists, who whisper and mutter, should not a people inquire of their God? Why consult the dead on behalf of the living?”  Just as it was in the days of Isaiah, so we find ourselves in ironically similar situations.  When times are tough, we try to figure things out through other methods.  Today, the occult, ouija boards, tarot cards, horoscopes, satanic movies & the like are all very negative influences for us today.  Yet, we must be careful not to find ourselves consulting or finding entertainment in such things.  They say, “curiosity kills the cat.”, and I second that.  We may go into these types of things with curiosity (much like back in Isaiah’s time), but that curiosity is a slippery slope we try to walk on.

QT – Isaiah 7

Vs. 1, “When Ahaz son of Jotham, the son of Uzziah, was king of Judah, King Rezin of Aram and Pekah son of Remaliah king of Israel marched up to fight against Jerusalem, but they could not overpower it.”  It was time of civil war between Israel & Judah .  Uzziah has long gone as well as his son Jotham.  It is now Uzziah’s grandson Ahaz who reigns in Judah .  Syria & Israel have joined forces to overtake Judah .  In spite of the fact that Ahaz is a godless king, God is not yet ready to let the people of Judah go into captivity.  God would show faithfulness even in Ahaz’s doubt and speak of the coming Messiah through the virgin birth!  Isaiah goes on to prophecy of the time of judgment that is put upon Judah as another foe the Assyrians attack.
Regarding application…Faith.  Vs. 13, “Then Isaiah said, “Hear now, you house of David! Is it not enough to try the patience of men? Will you try the patience of my God also.”  While Ahaz tried to appear pious and not ask for a sign…it was his rejection of the sign that ended up showing the rejection of the One who would come.  Ahaz ruled for 16 years and those years were not living for the Lord.  He allowed the storms around him to dictate his life rather than allow the Creator of the World.  He lacked faith.  He easily gave up because he looked at the environment around him.

I was in the 7th grade. It was during the wrestling season and so far I had been undeafeated.  We went to a 6 team tourney one Saturday and I had met one of my competitors.  He had scars on his body & looked much stronger than me.  I was scared.  My coach kept telling me that I could beat this guy.  I just had to believe in myself.  I went out there worried about my enemy on the mat…and that caused me to lose.  It was a tough loss, he was very strong and I took a sound beating.  After the match was over, I went straight to the locker room and began crying.  I wasn’t crying out of physical pain, but more out of emotional pain.  I was so upset at myself that I was so scared of him.  I promised myself that day that I would never cry again after a wrestling match.  I made good to my promise from that point on.  When our enemies or circumstances seem to overpower us, let us have faith that God will deliver us!