C2C July 24-30

July 24 — Fallen Babylon — Isaiah 20-23.  Much of the OT shows Babylon as a powerful human force that dominated a huge expanse of people groups.  They were even used by God to defeat and deport most of the rebellious people Judah to their eastern land.  But in Isa. 21:9, its dramatic end is predicted: “Fallen, fallen is Babylon; and all the carved images of her gods.”  A similar prediction is given in Jeremiah 51:8, 44, 49.  At the end of the NT, Babylon still stands symbolically as the grand representation of the sinful world of mankind.  The same phrase Isaiah used is repeated in Rev. 14:8: “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, she who made all nations drink the wine of the passion of her sexual immorality.”  Sin won’t win and its wages are death.

July 25 — Perfect Peace — Isaiah 24-26.  In the past three days, we have read about God’s judgment of individual nations (ch. 13-23), but today we read most of a section (ch. 24-27) devoted to the whole world near the end of time on earth.  The reason for judgment is that “they have transgressed the laws, violated the statutes, [and] broken the everlasting covenant” (24:5).  But in the midst of this judgment comes a song from those who have been redeemed: “From the ends of the earth we hear songs of praise, of glory to the Righteous One” (24:16).  And later, “This is the LORD; we have waited for him; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation” (25:9).  You can also rejoice today because, “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you” (26:3).  We are blessed in that many of the anticipated joys of heaven can be experienced by Christians on earth today.

July 26 — Real Worship — Isaiah 27-29.  God predicted that in the end times, not only His people of Judah, but also the “lost tribes” of northern Israel will be restored (27:6).  “Those who were lost in the land of Assyria and … Egypt will come and worship the LORD on the holy mountain at Jerusalem” (27:13).  There is also a spiritual kind of “lostness” described where “people draw near with their mouth and honor me with their lips, while their hearts are far from me” (29:13).  Mere mechanical worship is something we need to guard against today.  Instead, in genuine worship, we should “sanctify the Holy One … stand in awe of the God of Israel … come to understanding, and … accept instruction” (29:23-24).

July 27 — Guidance — Isaiah 30-32.  I saw much in our reading today about looking for and following God’s direction.  The people of Judah were called “stubborn children” for not doing that, being determined to “carry out a plan, but not mine .. without asking my direction” (30:1-2).  They were not only stubborn but they were also “a rebellious people” who were “unwilling to hear the instruction of the LORD” (30:9).  Later, they are seen as people “who trust in chariots … but do not look to the Holy One of Israel or consult the LORD!” (31:1).  In contrast, we should be those who hear the loving voice of God saying, “This is the way, walk in it” (31:21), whenever we get off course.  Be conscious today about making decisions.  Ask God to guide you in going the way He knows is best for you.

July 28 — Some Day — Isaiah 33-36.  Most of our reading for today is couched in the invading threat of Assyria, but they will be turned away by the mighty hand of God (tomorrow’s reading).  Isaiah also gave us a breath of far-future hope in chapter 35 as he saw ahead to a time following Christ’s Second Coming when there will be no blindness, deafness, or lameness (35:5-6).  For “the ransomed of the LORD … everlasting joy shall be upon their heads … and sorrow and sighing shall flee away” (35:10).  We experience joy today but, on that day, it will be ALL joy with no sadness of disappointment, conflict, sickness, or death.

What a day that will be,
    When my Jesus I shall see,
And I look upon His face,
    The One who saved me by His grace.
When He takes me by the hand
    And leads me through the Promised Land,
What a day, glorious day that will be.

–Jim Hill

July 29 — Hezekiah — Isaiah 37-39.  Hezekiah was one of the good kings of Judah.  He showed humility in the face of the Assyrian threat when he tore his clothes and wore sackcloth (37:1).  He showed his dependence on God as he spread out the enemy’s blasphemous letter before the LORD in the temple (37:14) and prayed, desiring that other nations would come to know that Yahweh alone is God (37:20).  God answered his prayer by delivering Jerusalem from the surrounding Assyrian army by miraculously wiping them out while Jerusalem slept (37:21).  Hezekiah was not all good, however.  He showed himself to be selfish in several ways, the last being when Isaiah predicted the later Babylonian exile and Hezekiah declared the prophecy to be “good … For he thought, ‘There will be peace and security in my days’” (39:8).  We are not all good either, and should guard against selfishness and other sins that often lie below the surface in our lives.

July 30 — Future Hope — Isaiah 40-41.  You will notice a decided shift in tone as we begin a new section in Isaiah today (ch. 40-55).  The ESV Study Bible notes that these chapters look ahead nearly 200 years to the time when Israel would be in captivity in Babylon.  It anticipates the destruction of the Babylonian kingdom by the Medo-Persian Empire described as coming from the east (41:2) and the north (41:25).  We see in these chapters many positive notes, like the one claimed by John the Baptist as a voice crying in the wilderness: “prepare the way of the LORD; make straight in the desert a highway for our God” (40:3); another one reminds us that “the word of our God will stand forever” (40:8); another says that “those who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength” (40:31); a final one declares, “fear not, for I am with you … for I am your God” (41:10).

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.

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