KG July 17-23

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July 17, Sunday

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Purified by Judgment — This chapter looks far ahead to a future rule in Jerusalem of the Messiah (“the branch of the LORD”—v. 2).  The city’s inhabitants “will be called holy” and are “recorded for life” (v. 3) because “the Lord shall have washed … and cleansed [them] … by a spirit of judgment” (v. 4).  This is not a punishing judgment, but a purifying one.  The judgment would burn away the entanglements of sin and leave a cleansed saint.  That is also what happened to us at conversion, although it will happen again, more completely, when Jesus returns.  Salvation was offered to Israel earlier, at Jesus’ Incarnation, but it was largely rejected.  Jesus cried out, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem … How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!” (Matt. 23:37).  The cleansing of Judah referred to in our psalm for today will not be fully realized until after Jesus’ Second Coming. 

The Cleansing Stream – YouTube

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July 18, Monday

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The Party’s Over — Most of the people of Judah were living for themselves with abandon and with a disregard for God, but judgment was on the way: “They have lyre and harp, tambourine and flute and wine at their feasts, but they do not regard the deeds of the LORD, or see the work of his hands” (v. 12).  They needed a drastic change of their life-focus, and God was about to provide it for them through eventual destruction and exile to Babylon.  God not only used severe punishment to reorient them, but He showed them something of His character: His justice, holiness, and righteousness (v. 16).  While Israel wouldn’t acknowledge what God did (“the deeds of the LORD”—v. 12), He was about to demonstrate to them who He was (“…shows himself holy”—v. 16).  It was a painful wake-up call—God’s alarm clock of justice.  They had to exchange a party for exile.  Why does mankind test God’s justice?!  It is so much more satisfying to live in obedience and devotion toward God.  God is just; why dare Him to prove it?!

The Kingdom of God is Justice and Joy – YouTube

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July 19, Tuesday

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The Touch of Forgiveness — The Lord provided Isaiah with a vision of heaven in preparation for his call to be God’s prophet.  This scene showed the holiness of God—majestic, set apart from His creation, and morally pure.  The seraphim (meaning “flames”) were angelic creatures who humbled themselves before God and emphasized His holiness with the repetitious call, “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts” (v. 2).  When humans catch a glimpse of the holiness of God, they are made painfully aware of their own sinfulness.  The reason Isaiah cried, “I am a man of unclean lips,” was because he said, “my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!” (v. 5).  It was a striking contrast.  Thankfully, God has a solution for our sin: His touch.  When people recognize their own sin and confess it, God meets them in a personal way to bring forgiveness: “…your guilt is taken away, and your sin is atoned for” (v. 7).  Our recognition and confession of sin brought us into the family of God, and it is the same thing that makes us fit to be God’s messengers to others: “Here I am!  Send me” (v. 8).

He Touched Me – YouTube

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July 20, Wednesday

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A Sanctuary or a Snare? — God strongly warned Isaiah “not to walk in the way of this people” (v. 11).  We need the same warning today.  Peer pressure is powerful, but it is also dangerous.  The way of the world is popular, but it is deadly.  In fact, God will even assist those who are bent on going on their own desired trail: “…he will become … a stone of offense and a rock of stumbling … and a snare” (v. 14).  We should not fear being unpopular in the eyes of the world around us.  We are different!  We are “signs and portents” (v. 18) for lost people around us.  Some will be attracted to what they see in us, and will turn toward God.  For us, God is not a snare but a sanctuary, a place of safety and peace: “…him you shall honor as holy.  Let him be your fear, and let him be your dread.  And he will become a sanctuary…” (vv. 13-14).  One of the ways we honor Him is to be attentive to His Word, “To the teaching and to the testimony!” (v. 20).  Let His words challenge, guide, and empower us!

The Secret Place – YouTube

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July 21, Thursday

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Not Exempt — These selected short passages are in the midst of a long list of God’s judgments for the countries surrounding Judah and Israel.  But the people of God get their evaluation here.  God chose the Jews to be His people.  It was a privilege and a blessing, but it was not without responsibility.  They had been given the Law of God and they were required to obey its commands.  God pronounced judgment on the surrounding nations because they rebelled against the moral code God had placed in their hearts, but the Jews were judged by how obedient they were to the written commands of God.  Most of the Jews had slipped into the attitude that since they were God’s chosen people, they were safe from His wrath, but God’s message through Amos shows that was not true: “You only have I known of all the families of the earth; therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities” (3:2).  They were not exempt.  Many Christians today have developed the same privileged attitude, feeling that since Jesus died for all my sins, I can treat lightly the sins I commit.  It is true that Jesus paid our penalty, but we will be held accountable before God: “…we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil” (2 Cor. 5:10; cf. Rom. 3:19).

We Are Called to Be God’s People – YouTube

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July 22, Friday

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Be Careful What You Ask For — The people of Israel were probably feeling pretty good about themselves, worshiping God with their “feasts … solemn assemblies … offerings … [and] songs” (vv. 21-23).  However, God’s response to their activities was this: “I hate, I despise … I take no delight … I will not accept them … I will not listen” (vv. 21-23).  The problem was that their hearts and hands were soiled with sin.  Instead, what they should have done was this: “Seek good, and not evil … hate evil, and love good, and establish justice” (vv. 14-15).  The people also were longing for “the day of the LORD” (v. 18, chronologically the first time this expression is used in the Bible).  The Jews were probably anticipating the time when God would establish His worldwide rule, setting Israel above all nations, but God warned them that His coming would also bring judgment to His own people.  The “day of the LORD” was to be a day of judgment.  The same idea is carried into the New Testament, where “the day of the Lord will come like a thief … and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed” (2 Pet. 3:10).

Meditation: The command to the people was to “establish justice in the gate” (v. 15, the location of the civil courts of that time).  Fairness needed to be established.  Our passage ended with the command to “let justice roll down like waters…” (v. 24).  This was a favorite verse of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and he used it often in speeches that pleaded for racial equality.  In his famous 1963 “I Have a Dream” speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, he said, “Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksand of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children.”  We need justice to be established in all areas of our culture because the negative side of God’s justice will be shown when He returns to earth at the Second Coming of Jesus.

Let Justice Flow Like Streams – YouTube

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July 23, Saturday

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Powerful, Preserving, and Punishing — God’s might and sovereignty are stressed in vv. 5-6 in this passage.  He is both the Creator and the Controller—making the earth and watering it with rain.  He is the all-powerful God.  The second stanza of the above poem emphasizes His desire and ability to save.  He rescued Israel from the slavery of Egypt (v. 7), and although He would later destroy it as a kingdom, He would save a remnant of His people (v. 8).  He is a God who preserves His own.  The last section shows that He is also a punishing God.  He would scatter the people of Israel “among all the nations” (v. 9), putting to death those who insisted on going their own sinful way (v. 10).  We appreciate the first two of these characteristics of God, but cringe at the last one.  All of them are motivating for us, however.  We worship Him because of His infinite might and loving salvation, but the threat of His discipline for sin can also help motivate us to be faithful in obedience.

Saved by Grace – YouTube

Published by abibleread

This website honors the Bible as the inspired Word of God through which God speaks to us as we read and study it.

2 thoughts on “KG July 17-23

  1. Today’s passage (Saturday) reminds me I need to pray for rain for California! In the past, I have prayed that prayer but then, for some reason, it got set aside… until today.

    Liked by 1 person

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