Saturday, October 21, 2006

Devotional Note for Isaiah 28-29

Psalm 73:28: “It is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge; I will tell of all Your deeds.”

Mark 1:35: “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where He prayed.”

Deuteronomy 8:3, Matthew 4:4: “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”

Date: 21st October 2006 (Saturday)
Text: Isaiah 28-29 (Analyse only 28:1-13, read the rest)

Discovery through A.C.T.I.O.N.S. (Psalm 119:18-Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in Your Law)

Adoration-for who God is
28:2-4: The Lord is sovereign and just, He would use pagan country like Assyria to punish the evil deeds and indulgence of His people (in the Northern Kingdom Israel). The king of Assyria was depicted as “the one who is powerful and strong”, sent by God “like a hailstorm and a destructive wind, driving rain and flooding downpour” to trample underfoot the pride of Ephraim.

28:5-6: The Lord Almighty at the Day of Judgment will be a glorious crown, a beautiful wreath for the remnant of His people (those who have been faithful in all circumstances). God will be a spirit of justice to him who sits in judgment (means that God will give a sense of justice to those who serve as judges), a source of strength to those who turn back the battle at the gate, which is the most vulnerable part of the city (means God gives courage to those who defend the city gates from attack).

Confession-for what I sin
28:1: For pride and ‘drunkenness’, forgive me and my nation, O Lord. The wreath refers to the capital city of the Northern Kingdom---Samaria, which was a beautiful city on a prominent hill. It was a city of luxury and indulgence in the 8 B.C.

28:7-8: For spiritual leaders that are filled with wine and beer, not be filled by the Holy Spirit’s fruit and gifts, thus showing perverted conduct and filthy lifestyle, no teaching, no modeling, no direction, forgive us O Lord. Leviticus 10:9: “You (Aaron) and your sons are not to drink wine or other fermented drink whenever you go into the Tent of Meeting, or you will die. This is a lasting ordinance for the generations to come.” Numbers 11:29: “Moses replied…I wish that all the Lord’s people were prophets and that the Lord would put His Spirit on them!” Ephesians

5:18: “Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.”

28:9-10: For hypocrite’s mocking response to and complaint about faithful preaching of God’s Word by a true prophet, forgive us, O Lord! The hypocritical religious leaders in Isaiah time complained about Isaiah’s serious teaching of God’s judgment and said that Isaiah’s teaching was only good for babies that have just stopped nursing! In other words, they said that the prophet was speaking nonsense. What a mock! They said that Isaiah was trying to teach them letter by letter, line by line, lesson by lesson.

28:12b: For not listening to God’s voice and appreciating God’s invitation for rest, restoration and renewal, forgive me O Lord!

Thanksgiving-for what God does
28:12: God gives resting place for the weary to rest. God is the Lord of Sabbath! He wants all his people to live a life of toil and rest, work and worship.

28:9: God sent prophet Isaiah to speak and to teach the corrupted nations, God never forsook them!

28:11: God sent also ‘foreign lips and strange tongues’ (the Assyrian) to speak and to punish the rebellion Israelites. When we are stubborn, God our Father would discipline us for good, that we may share in His holiness. “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” (Hebrews 12:11)

Inspiring verse(s)-for what help it gives
28:5-6: “…The Lord Almighty …will be a spirit of justice,…a source of strength to those who turn back the battle at the gate.”
28:12: “…God said, this is the resting place, let the weary rest…”

Obedience-for what it teaches or orders
28:1: Renounce pride and take Jesus’ york of humility and gentleness upon me.
28:6: Be just and draw strength from God.
28:7: I must be a spiritual leader that see and understand the visions that God sends, and not be stumbled in confusion, make right decision in ministry.
28:9-10: I must continue to preach God’s Word faithfully, boldly, and accurately, not to please men, but to please God.
28:12: I must rest in God in order to experience restoration.

Now-action-for what I must do
1. REST in the remembrance of God’s goodness and greatness; rest in the presence and peace of God; rest through regular exercise, rest in devotion, rest to experience the Lord of Sabbath (28:12, refer Genesis 2:2). Rest is God’s command, I must obey. Rest to enrich my marriage and family life. Rest to stay fit for a lifetime of ministry! ENJOY RESTING to know that God is in control of all things, to listen to God. He never slumbers!

2. Spiritual leadership includes four 'S':
2.1 Spirit of justice and Strength of God fill us day by day (28:6),
2.2 See God-given vision and teach boldly the corrupted people (28:7-10),
2.3 Spur the ‘weary’ (the burn out, rust out and die out groups) to rest in God and be revived for life mission and church ministry (28:12).

Supplication-for strength and wisdom to do

Bible Content of 28:1-13 written as Bible Messages (Easily remembered to be applied)

v.1: Pride and drunkenness ruin you!

vv.2-4: Punishment from God would refine you!

vv.5-6: Promises of God would revive you!

vv.7-10: Perverted leaders resist you!

vv.11-13: Pain of God reforms you!
(God feel painful because of people’s perverted lifestyle and attitude)


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