September 30

Isaiah 60:1–62:5

Isaiah 60 speaks of the many blessings Israel will experience, especially in the city of Jerusalem, Zion. We have hints of their history throughout the ages, from the regathering of Israel, to the Millennial Kingdom. There are even aspects of heaven woven into this chapter.

The day would come for the Jews to rise and shine, they would be a blessing to the whole world, a light in the darkness. Their sons and daughters would be regathered to the land from afar (Isaiah 60:4, 9). The Gentiles will acknowledge this special place on earth, the “holy land,” and bring gifts, and wealth to God.

All these promises would be a much needed encouragement to the people one day. When Jerusalem was leveled by the Babylonians, they needed to know that God still had good plans. When the Jews were scattered throughout the world, they needed to know that God still had good plans.

Isaiah 60:10 (NKJV) “The sons of foreigners shall build up your walls, and their kings shall minister to you; for in My wrath I struck you, but in My favor I have had mercy on you.”

Isaiah 60:14 (NKJV) “Also the sons of those who afflicted you shall come bowing to you, and all those who despised you shall fall prostrate at the soles of your feet; and they shall call you the City of the LORD, Zion of the Holy One of Israel.”

There would be the restoration the nation (something we witnessed as recently as 1948). There would be the exaltation of the nation (something we’ll see in the Millennial Kingdom). This will spill over, even into heaven when all of Gods people will dwell in Zion, the city of Jerusalem, and there will be no need for the sun, for the Lamb, the Lord Jesus will be the Light, He will illuminate heaven (Isaiah 60:19-20; Revelation 21:23; 22:5).

In Luke 4:17-21 we have the account of Jesus Christ entering the synagogue, opening up the scroll and reading Isaiah 61:1-2a. After reading the passage Jesus sat down and informed the people that, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing…” This was the beginning of Jesus’ ministry who WAS the anointed one and DID come to heal the brokenhearted, to bring liberty to the captives, and freedom to those who were bound. 

Jesus came to bring salvation.

If you’re saved you know what He’s done for you, beauty for ashes, joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. God would save Israel…even as He has saved us.

Isaiah 61:10 (NKJV) “I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.”

In Isaiah 62 we once again see the passion that God has for His people and the city of Jerusalem. It appeared as if they had been forsaken – through all the trials throughout the ages, but God would not rest until they were blessed. His love is described as the love of a bridegroom towards his bride:

Isaiah 62:5b (NKJV) “So shall your God rejoice over you.”

Philippians 1:27–2:18

Paul calls us in Philippians 1:27-30 to let our conduct be Christlike, let’s be united, striving together to get the gospel out. May we never be intimidated by our enemies and their threats, for if we need to suffer for Christ, or like Christ, as Paul did…it’s all to the glory of God!

The Philippian church was a tremendous blessing to Paul. They weren’t like some of the others who had given him problems, but that doesn’t mean they were a church without their issues. There was some sort of division among them (see Philippians 4:2) so Paul encourages them to seek unity through humility…a humility that was demonstrated so beautifully by Christ.

Let NOTHING be done through selfish ambition (Philippians 2:3). Let’s not limit ourselves to ourselves, let’s be “others-oriented.” I believe that selfishness is the antithesis to love, it’s an awful place to live. Thomas Merton said, “To consider persons and events and situations only in the light of their effect upon myself is to live on the doorstep of hell.”

This section seems to say that our minds have a lot to do with it (see Philippians 1:27; 2:3, 5, 20; 3:15, 16, 19; 4:2, 7). Do we think of others before ourselves? Do we have the mind of Christ?

Jesus is God, the Second Person of the Trinity, but He humbled Himself, became a man, a servant, obedient to the point of death and even the death of the cross. If Jesus humbled Himself to such an extent, why do we have problems with humility? Over the years I’ve learned the beauty of humility and the ugliness of pride. F.B. Meyer said, “I used to think that God’s gifts were on shelves one above the other, and that the taller we grew in Christian character the more easily we could reach them. I now find that God’s gifts are on shelves one beneath the other and that it is not a question of growing taller but of stooping lower.”

God the Father loves humility and will reward humble hearts in eternity. Because Jesus humbled Himself from the highest place in the universe, all the way to the lowest place of all (when He bore our sins), the Father has exalted His Son to His right-hand and given Him the name above ALL names, that at the name of Jesus, EVERY knee will bow, and EVERY tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father. If we bow and confess now, we go to heaven; but those who reject Jesus now will confess Him then,  (but it will be too late).

Paul loves the Philippians (verse 12) and encourages them to work out their own salvation. That doesn’t mean they work FOR salvation, it just means they work OUT what God has worked IN. What has God saved me to be? To do? He guides us by His Spirit, who uses His Word, and even the different desires He’s placed within our hearts (Philippians 2:13).

Through love and humble obedience Christians are to shine as the moon and stars shine in the dark skies, every night (Philippians 2:15).

Psalm 72:1-20

This Psalm is probably a combination of three things – a prayer of David for His son Solomon (Psalm 72:20), a prayer of Solomon for himself (Psalm 72:1), and a picture of the King of kings, Jesus Christ who would one day rule all nations and endure, forever and ever (Psalm 72:11, 17).

It’s good to pray for our leaders, we are even commanded to do so in:

1 Timothy 2:1–2 (NKJV) “Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.

Do you pray for your leaders? President, Governor, Mayor, etc.?

It’s also good to ponder the day when King Jesus rules – first the Millennial Kingdom, then the New Heavens and the New Earth, when the whole planet will be filled with His glory (Psalm 72:19). Do you look forward to that day? Ever think about it?

Something else you may have noticed woven into the background of the Psalmist’s pen, and clearly emphasized here is the poor…and how the King would rule them with justice and deliver the helpless (Psalm 72:2, 4, 12-13).

All “leaders” should take this literally, and help the helpless physically, while all people should understand this “spiritually” and thank God He has helped us eternally. Jesus said:

Matthew 5:3 (NKJV) “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

Proverbs 24:11-12

Proverbs 24:11-12, “Deliver those who are drawn toward death, and hold back those stumbling to the slaughter. 12 If you say, “Surely we did not know this,” Does not He who weighs the hearts consider it? He who keeps your soul, does He not know it? And will He not render to each man according to his deeds?”

This passage speaks of delivering those destined to die.

Bible Knowledge Commentary, “People here who are being taken to death and slaughter probably are victims of unjust oppression rather than guilty people being condemned.”

Every day 35,000 people die of starvation around the world; 85% of them children. If you add the statistics of contaminated water and just one epidemic you’ll find that dirty water causes the death of a human being every 10 seconds. Every year 3,575,000 people die from water related diseases. This is equivalent to a jumbo jet crashing every hour. Most of these people are children (2.2 million).

Bible Knowledge Commentary, “Some people may claim they are ignorant of others’ plights, but God knows who is guilty of willful ignorance and He will judge (repay) it (cf. Matt. 25:41–46). He…weighs the heart (cf. Prov. 21:2), that is, He knows and considers peoples’ inner motives and thoughts. God is concerned about the plight of the poor and the helpless (cf. 22:22–23; 23:10–11).”

Another application to this passage is abortion. This is what immediately comes to my mind, the millions of babies that have been slaughtered. In the U.S. since Roe vs. Wade over 62 million babies have been executed.

Show us Lord how we can make a difference.

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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