Reflections on Isaiah 21-23

Oracles of judgment continue: now against Babylon, Jerusalem, Tyre, and Sidon.

  • The Lord Has Spoken – God has spoken judgment on Babylon and because God has spoken, it will certainly happen (21:17). Do you believe God’s Word?  Are you trusting in his promises?  What he says, he will do.
  • Repentance – God called Jerusalem to repent of their sins, to return to the Lord. Instead, Jerusalem threw a final party before the enemy attacked.  Is God calling you to repent of some sin?  Are you listening?
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Isaiah 21-27: Our Lord Acts

(21-25) Repeatedly in these chapters, God is referred to as the Lord of Hosts.  He has all of the hosts of heaven at his command.  The imagery speaks of his power and rule.  How do we see his strength and sovereignty play out in these chapters?

(21-25) Four times we read that certain things will happen – for the Lord has spoken (21:17, 22:25, 24:3, 25:8).  When God speaks things happen.  Where else in the Bible do we see this?

God’s words define reality.  What significance does this have for our identity?  How we define right and wrong?  Salvation?  The future?  The relevance of the Bible today?

(23-27) Our Lord humbles the proud in 23:9, 25:11.  Why do you think God keeps repeating this theme?

Our Lord helps the poor in 25:4.  How does each picture word: stronghold, shelter, shade – illustrate this truth?  How has he been these things for you?

Our Lord will host people for a great feast (25:6).  What does this tell you about God?

Our Lord will swallow up death forever (25:7-8, 26:19).  How should this truth change our lives?  How was it accomplished?

Our Lord will slay the serpent dragon (27:1, see also Revelation 12:9).  How does this give you hope?

(25-26) How should we respond to our Lord’s actions according to the following verses?  Based on what we have learned about God, why is each response a good response?

25:9a –                                 Why do we struggle to do this?

26:3-4 –                               What will be the result?

26:8b-9a –                           What might this look like?

25:1 –                                   How might you grow in this response?

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Sermon Songs: Revelation 13:11-14:6


See the second beast now arise, False prophet for the Dragon
See the Lamb raised above the skies, True Prophet – God’s only Son
Choose which prophet, You will follow
Come let us follow the Lamb

The Beast fills the world with his lies, Christian – be not led astray
His false ways in pleasant disguise, Christian – walk in the Lord’s way
Read the Bible, Be discerning
Come let us follow the Lamb

To the tune of “Lo, He Comes With Clouds Descending”

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Reflections on Isaiah 17-20

Oracles of judgment continue, now against Damascus, Cush, and Egypt.

  • Look to the Lord – God calls us to look to him for help rather than idols made by men (17:7-8) or powerful nations that God can end in a moment. What help do you need today?  Seek help from the Lord.  Rest in him.
  • Peace and Worship – Again, Isaiah predicts a day of peace – even between enemies like Assyria and Egypt! Peace will reign as people unite in the worship of the true King of Kings. What a glorious hope we have!
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Reflections on Isaiah 13-16

Our passage today begins a series of oracles predicting God’s judgment upon the nations.

  • The Lord Reigns – God is not just the God of Israel, but he reigns over all the nations. He decides when nations form and when they end.  He brings judgment on Judah’s enemies: Babylon, Assyria, Philistia, and Moab.  None can annul God’s purpose or stop his actions (14:27).  How can this truth be an encouragement to you in a world often opposed to God?
  • Proud Humbled – God will humble the proud and the arrogant (13:11, 14:12-15). What pride do you need to confess to the Lord and turn away from?
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Isaiah 13-20: God’s Purpose Stands

(14) What general truth do you learn about God’s purpose in v26-27?  How would that encourage Judah as they are surrounded by hostile nations?  How might that encourage us when we are surrounded by hostile trials of various sorts?

(13-14) What does God purpose for Babylon (13:1-8)?  For the world (13:9-11)?

What three reasons are given (13:11a, 11b; 14:1-2)?  How do all these reasons relate to each other?

(14) Who do you think Isaiah is talking about in v12-15?  Why? What does God purpose for this individual?

How do people in our culture act like this individual?  Give examples.

How should we act differently as Christians, and why (see Philippians 2:1-11)?

(15-16) What does God purpose for Moab?  Why (16:6)?

Why do you think God hates pride so much?

In 16:5, we see a throne.  Whose throne is it?  How is the throne, and the one who sits on it, described?  Why is each description important and how do they all relate together?

(17) What does God purpose for Damascus (v1-2)?  Who gets lumped in with their judgment (v3)?  What lesson can we learn about making alliances?  In what contexts might we apply that lesson today?

(18-20) What does God purpose for Cush and Egypt?

Where had Judah and their neighbors placed their hope of deliverance from Assyria (20:1-6)?  What warning do you see?

What remarkable promise do we find in 19:18-25?  How do we see this fulfilled throughout church history?  In the future?

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Sermon Songs: Revelation 13


See the Beast follow the Devil, Against the saints making war
Persecutes, imprisons, and kills, Striving always to conquer
We must stand firm, No compromise!
Trust in God and so endure!

Trust in our God’s greater power, Trust in His authority
Trust in His plan for this hour, Trust His work upon the Tree
Your name written, In the Lamb’s Book
Trust in God and so endure!

To the tune of “Lo, He Comes With Clouds Descending”

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Reflections on Isaiah 10-12

God will use Assyria to bring judgment upon Judah, but restoration is ultimately promised.

  • God’s Sovereignty – Assyria’s attack against Judah is not beyond God’s control, but rather Assyria is being used by God to bring judgment on his people. God will judge evil and proud Assyria for their sins too.  God reigns over all the world.  How does this truth encourage you today in the midst of wars and rumors of wars?
  • Messiah’s Coming Reign – Chapter 11 speaks of a Messiah in the line of David who will rise. The Spirit of God will rest upon him.  He will reign with justice and peace.  The earth will be filled with the knowledge of God.  We know that this Messiah has come, and is coming again.  Use chapter 12 to praise the Lord for this certain hope.
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Delaware’s Department of Education has proposed letting all children choose their own gender and race.  They would then be able to use the bathroom of their decided gender, play on the sports of their decided gender, and be able to expect everyone around them to use the pronouns of their decided gender.  All without informing their parents.

Nine observations:

Children simply do not have the cognitive ability to be making these decisions.

No one has the ability to make these decisions as they are defined by genetics, anatomy, and, in the case of race, family ancestry.  Physical reality matters.  Your body matters – it is an essential part of who you are.

The policy itself encourages identity confusion.  I grew up knowing I was a boy in part because my anatomy is male and my culture supported this physical reality. This policy tells children to distrust their physical reality.  Our culture’s ideology no longer agrees with anatomy.  How many otherwise unconfused children are we confusing?

The policy is quite frankly insulting.  It would be highly insulting to women everywhere for me to claim to be a woman, as I have no idea what it means to experience life as a woman (as many a wife has told her husband whenever the subject of giving birth comes up).  It would be highly insulting to African-Americans for me to claim that I am black, as I have no idea what it is like to experience life as a black person.

We should beware of forcing new untested ideas (that past generations would have immediately rejected) on the next generation.  These are unchartered waters, and we have no idea what we are doing.

Safety must come first.  There is a reason we have separate bathrooms and locker rooms for girls and boys.  This policy can so easily be abused by predators, as any boy could claim he is a girl to gain access to the girls’ locker room.

Once again parental rights are being trampled, as if the cultural elites know better how to raise our children.

I understand that some people struggle with their identity.  But the loving answer is not to encourage them to live in a self-made fantasy world.  Rather, the loving answer is encourage them to embrace their physical reality.

These are important issues that require rational consideration and discussion.  And these issues relate to real people who on all sides deserve love and respect.

For another helpful look at some of the issues see here.

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Q&A#5: More Verses

Q: What is the moral character of God?
A: The moral character of God consists of his perfect love and holiness together, displayed in his mercy, grace, patience, faithfulness, righteousness, justice, and wrath.

Memory Verses
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.  – I John 4:7-8

But as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct.  – I Peter 1:15

Further Supporting Verses
But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.   – Psalm 86:15

Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; steadfast love and faithfulness go before you.  – Psalm 89:14

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.  – Romans 1:18

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