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Bible 2016: 8 September Daily Bible Reading

Context and Comment:

Today’s Bible reading begins the Book of Isaiah. God sent Isaiah to the royal court of Judah at a time when the northern kingdom of Israel had been carried into captivity (722 B.C.), and the kingdom of Judah was in the middle of idolatry and evil. The kingdom of Assyria had dominated the Fertile Crescent and posed a major threat to both kingdoms; and the kingdom of Babylon was gaining power and would replace Assyria as the dominant threat.

There would be a purging of the nation because God is holy. Before the nation could inherit the promises made to the fathers, it would have to be made holy. So God would use the pagan nations to chasten Israel for its sins and cleanse it from iniquity. And even though the judgment of the captivity would punish sin and destroy the wicked unbelievers, the removal of iniquity would ultimately be the work of the Servant of the LORD, the promised Messiah. On the basis of such cleansing and purification, God would then establish the golden age, a time of peace and prosperity that the world has never known. When the holy God would make the remnant holy, then He would use them to rule over the nations rather than allow the nations again to discipline them.

The messenger of the message of salvation is the prophet Isaiah, whose name means “salvation of Yahweh,” or “Yahweh saves.” He was the son of Amoz; he may also have been related to the royal family, perhaps King Manasseh. He prophesied in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, and also may have lived past Hezekiah into the reign of Manasseh. Assuming that he was a young man at the death of Uzziah in 742 B.C.when his official ministry began, he might have been 70 or 80 at the time of his death (ca. 680 B.C.). Therefore, the prophet would have ministered for at least 60 years in an effort to bring the nation back to God.

Isaiah 1-2
1 The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem, in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.
2 Hear, heavens,
and listen, earth; for Yahweh has spoken:
“I have nourished and brought up children,
and they have rebelled against me.
3 The ox knows his owner,
and the donkey his master’s crib;
but Israel doesn’t know,
my people don’t consider.”
4 Ah sinful nation,
a people loaded with iniquity,
offspring of evildoers,
children who deal corruptly!
They have forsaken Yahweh.
They have despised the Holy One of Israel.
They are estranged and backward.
5 Why should you be beaten more,
that you revolt more and more?
The whole head is sick,
and the whole heart faint.
6 From the sole of the foot even to the head there is no soundness in it:
wounds, welts, and open sores.
They haven’t been closed, neither bandaged, neither soothed with oil.
7 Your country is desolate.
Your cities are burned with fire.
Strangers devour your land in your presence,
and it is desolate,
as overthrown by strangers.
8 The daughter of Zion is left like a shelter in a vineyard,
like a hut in a field of melons,
like a besieged city.
9 Unless Yahweh of Armies had left to us a very small remnant,
we would have been as Sodom;
we would have been like Gomorrah.
10 Hear Yahweh’s word, you rulers of Sodom!
Listen to the law of our God, you people of Gomorrah!
11 “What are the multitude of your sacrifices to me?”, says Yahweh.
“I have had enough of the burnt offerings of rams,
and the fat of fed animals.
I don’t delight in the blood of bulls,
or of lambs,
or of male goats.
12 When you come to appear before me,
who has required this at your hand, to trample my courts?
13 Bring no more vain offerings.
Incense is an abomination to me;
new moons, Sabbaths, and convocations:
I can’t bear with evil assemblies.
14 My soul hates your New Moons and your appointed feasts.
They are a burden to me.
I am weary of bearing them.
15 When you spread out your hands, I will hide my eyes from you.
Yes, when you make many prayers, I will not hear.
Your hands are full of blood.
16 Wash yourselves, make yourself clean.
Put away the evil of your doings from before my eyes.
Cease to do evil.
17 Learn to do well.
Seek justice.
Relieve the oppressed.
Judge the fatherless.
Plead for the widow.”
18 “Come now, and let us reason together,” says Yahweh:
“Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.
Though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
19 If you are willing and obedient,
you shall eat the good of the land;
20 but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be devoured with the sword;
for the mouth of Yahweh has spoken it.”
21 How the faithful city has become a prostitute!
She was full of justice; righteousness lodged in her,
but now murderers.
22 Your silver has become dross,
your wine mixed with water.
23 Your princes are rebellious, and companions of thieves.
Everyone loves bribes, and follows after rewards.
They don’t judge the fatherless,
neither does the cause of the widow come to them.
24 Therefore the Lord, Yahweh of Armies,
the Mighty One of Israel, says:
“Ah, I will get relief from my adversaries,
and avenge myself on my enemies;
25 and I will turn my hand on you,
thoroughly purge away your dross,
and will take away all your tin.
26 I will restore your judges as at the first,
and your counselors as at the beginning.
Afterward you shall be called ‘The city of righteousness,
a faithful town.’
27 Zion shall be redeemed with justice,
and her converts with righteousness.
28 But the destruction of transgressors and sinners shall be together,
and those who forsake Yahweh shall be consumed.
29 For they shall be ashamed of the oaks which you have desired,
and you shall be confounded for the gardens that you have chosen.
30 For you shall be as an oak whose leaf fades,
and as a garden that has no water.
31 The strong will be like tinder,
and his work like a spark.
They will both burn together,
and no one will quench them.”
2 This is what Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.
2 It shall happen in the latter days, that the mountain of Yahweh’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains,
and shall be raised above the hills;
and all nations shall flow to it.
3 Many peoples shall go and say,
“Come, let’s go up to the mountain of Yahweh,
to the house of the God of Jacob;
and he will teach us of his ways,
and we will walk in his paths.”
For out of Zion the law shall go out,
and Yahweh’s word from Jerusalem.
4 He will judge between the nations,
and will decide concerning many peoples;
and they shall beat their swords into plowshares,
and their spears into pruning hooks.
Nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
neither shall they learn war any more.
5 House of Jacob, come, and let us walk in the light of Yahweh.
6 For you have forsaken your people, the house of Jacob,
because they are filled from the east,
with those who practice divination like the Philistines,
and they clasp hands with the children of foreigners.
7 Their land is full of silver and gold,
neither is there any end of their treasures.
Their land also is full of horses,
neither is there any end of their chariots.
8 Their land also is full of idols.
They worship the work of their own hands,
that which their own fingers have made.
9 Man is brought low,
and mankind is humbled;
therefore don’t forgive them.
10 Enter into the rock,
and hide in the dust,
from before the terror of Yahweh,
and from the glory of his majesty.
11 The lofty looks of man will be brought low,
the haughtiness of men will be bowed down,
and Yahweh alone will be exalted in that day.
12 For there will be a day of Yahweh of Armies for all that is proud and haughty,
and for all that is lifted up;
and it shall be brought low:
13 For all the cedars of Lebanon, that are high and lifted up,
for all the oaks of Bashan,
14 For all the high mountains,
for all the hills that are lifted up,
15 For every lofty tower,
for every fortified wall,
16 For all the ships of Tarshish,
and for all pleasant imagery.
17 The loftiness of man shall be bowed down,
and the haughtiness of men shall be brought low;
and Yahweh alone shall be exalted in that day.
18 The idols shall utterly pass away.
19 Men shall go into the caves of the rocks,
and into the holes of the earth,
from before the terror of Yahweh,
and from the glory of his majesty,
when he arises to shake the earth mightily.
20 In that day, men shall cast away their idols of silver,
and their idols of gold,
which have been made for themselves to worship,
to the moles and to the bats;
21 To go into the caverns of the rocks,
and into the clefts of the ragged rocks,
from before the terror of Yahweh,
and from the glory of his majesty,
when he arises to shake the earth mightily.
22 Stop trusting in man, whose breath is in his nostrils;
for of what account is he?

2 Corinthians 10
10 Now I Paul, myself, entreat you by the humility and gentleness of Christ; I who in your presence am lowly among you, but being absent am bold toward you. 2 Yes, I beg you that I may not, when present, show courage with the confidence with which I intend to be bold against some, who consider us to be walking according to the flesh. 3 For though we walk in the flesh, we don’t wage war according to the flesh; 4 for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but mighty before God to the throwing down of strongholds, 5 throwing down imaginations and every high thing that is exalted against the knowledge of God, and bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ; 6 and being in readiness to avenge all disobedience, when your obedience will be made full. 7 Do you look at things only as they appear in front of your face? If anyone trusts in himself that he is Christ’s, let him consider this again with himself, that, even as he is Christ’s, so also we are Christ’s. 8 For though I should boast somewhat abundantly concerning our authority, (which the Lord gave for building you up, and not for casting you down) I will not be disappointed, 9 that I may not seem as if I desire to terrify you by my letters. 10 For, “His letters”, they say, “are weighty and strong, but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech is despised.” 11 Let such a person consider this, that what we are in word by letters when we are absent, such are we also in deed when we are present. 12 For we are not bold to number or compare ourselves with some of those who commend themselves. But they themselves, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves with themselves, are without understanding. 13 But we will not boast beyond proper limits, but within the boundaries with which God appointed to us, which reach even to you. 14 For we don’t stretch ourselves too much, as though we didn’t reach to you. For we came even as far as to you with the Good News of Christ, 15 not boasting beyond proper limits in other men’s labors, but having hope that as your faith grows, we will be abundantly enlarged by you in our sphere of influence, 16 so as to preach the Good News even to the parts beyond you, not to boast in what someone else has already done. 17 But “he who boasts, let him boast in the Lord.” 18 For it isn’t he who commends himself who is approved, but whom the Lord commends.

Psalm 52
For the Chief Musician. A contemplation by David, when Doeg the Edomite came and told Saul, “David has come to Abimelech’s house.”
52 Why do you boast of mischief, mighty man?
God’s loving kindness endures continually.
2 Your tongue plots destruction,
like a sharp razor, working deceitfully.
3 You love evil more than good,
lying rather than speaking the truth.
Selah.
4 You love all devouring words,
you deceitful tongue.
5 God will likewise destroy you forever.
He will take you up, and pluck you out of your tent,
and root you out of the land of the living.
Selah.
6 The righteous also will see it, and fear,
and laugh at him, saying,
7 “Behold, this is the man who didn’t make God his strength,
but trusted in the abundance of his riches,
and strengthened himself in his wickedness.”
8 But as for me, I am like a green olive tree in God’s house.
I trust in God’s loving kindness forever and ever.
9 I will give you thanks forever, because you have done it.
I will hope in your name, for it is good,
in the presence of your saints.

Proverbs 22:26-27
26 Don’t you be one of those who strike hands,
of those who are collateral for debts.
27 If you don’t have means to pay,
why should he take away your bed from under you?

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