September 13

Isaiah 12:1–14:32

Isaiah 12 is a chapter of personal praise for the salvation of the Lord. It may very well be from the heart of Isaiah, declaring the God of his salvation to be his strength and his song. Times were crazy, but he chose to trust the LORD, and NOT be afraid. 

Because we’re saved we have reason for joy, something Isaiah expresses in such a beautiful way:

Isaiah 12:3 (NKJV) “Therefore with joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.”

Is that me? Am I drawing from God’s wells? If I am, I will be filled and flooded with joy – with Spiritual abundance (John 10:10). If I am, I will have a heart to declare God’s deeds, to sing to the Lord, for He has done excellent things! How awesome it is that God is in our midst! (Isaiah 12:6)

As we continue our adventure through the book of Isaiah we now begin to see fascinating aspects of prophecy and divine insight into the future as well as the past.

Isaiah spoke of the fall of Babylon even before the rise of Babylon. Isaiah spoke of something that would take place when the Medo-Persians conquered Babylon, but he also spoke of other aspects of fulfillment. I believe you can see partial fulfillment of when the nations of the world conquered Iraq in the 1991 Gulf War. As you read through the chapter, you’ll also see aspects of God’s judgment on the entire world. It’s important for us as believers to simply know that God will bring justice (judgment) to everyone and every nation one day, somehow, someway.

Isn’t it fascinating how Isaiah is able to weave in (by the Holy Spirit) the fall of Lucifer in Isaiah 14:12-17? Who is pulling the strings behind these wicked world-rulers? It’s the devil himself (Luke 4:6). Isaiah reveals the fact that Lucifer fell  from heaven because he wanted to exalt himself and be like the most high God…it was something he said in his heart (see Isaiah 14:13-14 – for the five “I wills”). One day we will see Satan and ask, “Is this the one who made the earth tremble?” Of course at that time we will be in our glorified bodies. For more on the fall of Satan also see Ezekiel 28:11-19.

Isaiah goes on to declare that God would judge Assyria, God would judge Babylon, God would judge Philistia…and with this understanding of God’s holiness – yes, God will judge our nation the United States of America and God will judge the world.

2 Corinthians 13:1-14

As Paul closes the letter, he ends it with the hopes that what he has written will bring about a change of heart in those people who doubted that he was an Apostle. He’s hoping that by the time he arrives in Corinth (this would be his third visit) there wouldn’t be any confrontations necessary.

I don’t know about you, but I hate drama. I’m uncomfortable with confrontations – but I also realize that there are going to be those times when we have no other option, we must deal with the sin in the camp. If we don’t address it, if we allow it to fester, it will ruin the flock. We read in:

Galatians 5:9 (NKJV) “A little leaven leavens the whole lump.”

Paul challenges the Corinthians to take a long look in the mirror, “Are you truly saved?” It appears that some were slanderously saying that Paul was disqualified – but maybe they were the ones who were disqualified, counterfeit Christians. They needed to get their lives right with God, we all do, because there’s someone else who’s coming again. Even today we are expecting another “visit” from someone much more important than Paul the Apostle – Jesus is coming!The first time He came in relative weakness, as a Lamb to save. The next time He comes it will be in absolute power, as a Lion to judge. Are we really ready for HIS coming?

Paul was hoping that things would be ironed out by the heat of his letter as opposed to the heat of his presence. Sometimes God has a tough message for us to hear and it hurts, but that’s only intended to protect us from harming ourselves and others. I love the way Paul repeatedly said that this “authority” he’d been given was intended for their edification. This is what “positions” of leadership are all about, that we might use that place for the better and benefit of the people.

In 2 Corinthians 13:9 Paul prays for the people to be made “complete.” He uses the same word in 2 Corinthians 13:11. And what we discover as Christians is that “positionally,” we are already complete in Christ (Colossians 2:10), but “practically,” we are a work in progress. To be “complete” in this sense is to grow to maturity. That’s my prayer for me, and that’s my prayer for the family and the flock.

What a beautiful benediction Paul shares in 2 Corinthians 13:11, become complete, be encouraged and encourage others, be united by putting on the mind of Christ, don’t just speak peace – live peace – and guess who shows up? The God of love and peace will “come” and bless our lives.

2 Corinthians 13:14 is another one of those explicit examples of the Trinity at work – grace, love, and fellowship, from the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. “One God in three Persons – equal in essence and nature, but different in function and office.”

Psalm 57:1-11

Some believe David was on the run for ten years from Saul, even though David had done nothing wrong. Living life in the caves of Adullam, hunted down like a beast, it must have had some very, very dark times. As we read the Psalms, David is honest about those trying times, but we also see his faith shine.

David didn’t just hide in the caves, he hid in the shadow of God’s wings – and he knew it would one day pass.

Psalm 57:1 (NKJV) “Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me! For my soul trusts in You; and in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge, until these calamities have passed by.”

It’s important for us to know where we are (in God’s hands, under His protection) and to know that it’s only for a season. God will lift us up one day. David was hurting but David was confident of his eventual victory. He knew God would perform all things for good for him, that God would send from heaven and save him.

Notice David’s heart and determination to praise, even in the pit, confident – even in the crisis, that God would deliver him:

Psalm 57:7–8 (NKJV) “My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast; I will sing and give praise. 8 Awake, my glory! Awake, lute and harp! I will awaken the dawn.”

Proverbs 23:9-11

Proverbs 23:9 (NKJV) “Do not speak {NLT don’t waste your breath} in the hearing of a fool, for he will despise the wisdom of your words.”

So, you try sharing wise words of truth, and the truth is, the scoffer will hate you (Proverbs 9:8). Jesus said they’ll trample the truth under their feet, and afterwards turn and tear you in pieces. (Matthew 7:6)

There is a time to speak and a time to be silent. Jesus didn’t even waste His breath with Herod (Luke 23:8-9). In all honesty that “time” would be better invested somewhere else or in someone else who is genuinely open to God’s Word.

So as Charles Bridges said, “…the safe rule will be, never to speak without prayer for divine guidance…”

Proverbs 23:10-11 (NKJV) “Do not remove the ancient landmark, nor enter the fields of the fatherless; 11 For their Redeemer is mighty; He will plead their cause against you.”

We saw this prohibition in Proverbs 22:28 which basically means don’t steal another man’s land, by moving those ancient landmarks.

Don’t even enter…the fields of the fatherless with bad intentions. The Hebrew word speaks of encroaching or intruding on a person’s territory. It’s hard to believe, but many would not dare to touch the rich, or strong, or powerful, but they’ll come against the poor, or the humble in heart.

There’s a heavy warning here! Similar to: 

Proverbs 22:22–23 (NLT) “Don’t rob the poor just because you can, or exploit the needy in court. 23 For the Lord is their defender. He will ruin anyone who ruins them.”

NET Notes, “The Hebrew term describes a “kinsman-redeemer.” That individual would be a rich or powerful relative who can protect the family; he does this by paying off the debts of a poor relative, buying up the property of a relative who sells himself into slavery, marrying the widow of a deceased relative to keep the inheritance in the family, or taking vengeance on someone who harms a relative, that vengeance often resulting in delivering (“redeeming”) the relative from bondage. If there was no human “kinsman redeemer,” then the defenseless had to rely on God to perform these actions (e.g., Genesis 48:16; Exodus 6:6; Job 19:25; Isaiah 41–63). In the prophetic literature God is presented as the Redeemer in that He takes vengeance on the enemies (the Babylonians) to deliverer His people (kin). In this proverb the Lord is probably the Protector of these people who will champion their cause and set things right.”

If you have any questions or comments on today’s reading, or you’d like to share something the Lord showed you, feel free to leave a reply below. I’d love to hear from you as we grow forward in 2021.

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