KG July 31 – August 6

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July 31, Sunday————————–ACCOUNTABLITY DEADLINE!

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Glorious Past and Future — The poetry of this chapter is divided into two sections.  The first (vv. 1-5) rehearses some of what God had done in the past (“…you have done wonderful things”—v. 1).  Those were miraculous deeds that showed God’s power and love for Israel.  He had planned them (v. 1b), defeated enemies (v. 2), and gave relief to those who were oppressed and needy (v. 4).  It is also good for us to review the past, looking for ways God has helped us.  That is our glorious history.  The second half of this chapter looks ahead toward our glorious future when God “will make for all peoples a feast of rich food…” (v. 6).  That sounds like the vision God gave the Apostle John of “the marriage supper of the Lamb” (Rev. 19:9), when the Lamb of God will be joined together with His Bride, the Church.  Another statement from this forward-looking section of Isaiah promises that “He will swallow up death forever; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from all faces” (Isa. 25:8).  That points ahead to the future resurrection of believers: “Death is swallowed up in victory” (1 Cor. 15:54), and “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes” (Rev. 21:4).  This is the glorious past of God’s history and the glorious future of God’s heaven.  From beginning to end, God has planned unimagined good for us.

Death Swallowed in Victory – YouTube

ACCOUNTABILITY DEADLINE! — If you did not report in the last two days,
please let me know today where you are in your reading for this month,
whether you are caught up or not (accbibleread@gmail.com).  Thanks.

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August 1, Monday

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Perfect Peace — This chapter opens with some future situation when Israel will be safe: “In that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah…” (v. 1).  It includes this positive prophetic view: “O LORD, you will ordain peace for us…” (v. 12).  But within this nationalistic view, there seems to be a more individual, personal, inner peace that is promised: “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you” (v. 3).  This may apply to everyone, everywhere, and at any time.  Peace follows trust.  God has made us to find our peace in Him.  Jesus said, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me … and you will find rest for your souls” (Matt. 11:29).  When we long for peace, we usually focus on our problems instead of on God.  It is only in Him, the “Prince of Peace” (Isa. 9:6), that we can find “perfect peace,” and we find that by fixing our minds on Him and trusting in Him.

Thou Wilt Keep Him in Perfect Peace – YouTube

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Meditation:  We are seeing something here for the first time in our readings this year.  If fact, it only appears twice, and both places are in Isaiah.  It is a doubling of the name of God.  The name of God, YHWH (Yahweh), is used over 6,500 times in the Old Testament, and it is almost always represented by “the LORD,” like in our reading, where it says, “Trust in the LORD forever…” (v. 4a).  However, that verse continues with, “…for the LORD GOD is an everlasting rock …”  Here, “the LORD” is not YHWH, but the shortened form YH (always translated as “the LORD” by the ESV in the 50 places it is used).  Then, “GOD” is YHWH.  More literally, it might be translated, “Trust in Yahweh forever … for Yah Yahweh is an everlasting rock…”  Why the doubling?  Perhaps for emphasis.  The only other place this doubling appears, reads, “…for the LORD GOD is my strength…” (Isa. 12:2).  The word combination, “Lord God,” does appear many other times in the OT, but not with both words having all capital letters, indicating the name of God.

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August 2, Tuesday

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Great and Greatly Praised — The statement, “great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised” (v. 1), was first expressed by King David in a song of praise after the ark of the covenant was moved to the tabernacle on Mount Zion in Jerusalem (1 Chron. 16:25).  It is repeated in our psalm for today and in Psa. 96:4 and 145:3.  It expresses two important things about God: His infinite greatness and our need to recognize and respond to it with praise.  It is difficult to try to comprehend how great God is, but it should be easier for us to measure how greatly we praise Him.  We don’t give Him nearly the credit He deserves.  Many things we think we accomplished were directed and empowered by Him.  Things that seem like coincidences were orchestrated by God.  How about making today a “praise day” for you?  Concentrate on relating all that you have and all that happens to you as being part of His gracious goodness!  He should be greatly praised.

Great is the Lord and Most Worthy of Praise – YouTube

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August 3, Wednesday

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Return and Know — Poor Hosea was told by God to marry a disloyal prostitute in order to show Israel how unfaithful they had been to God and how lovingly He wanted to bring them back to Himself.  Hosea’s call to God’s people was this: “Come, let us return to the LORD…” (v. 1).  They had experienced God’s discipline for their rebellious ways, but they were not beyond rescue.  None of us are hopeless either.  God lovingly calls us to Himself.  Then, assuming that Israel would respond positively, Hosea challenged them on another level: “Let us … press on to know the LORD” (v. 3).  There are two steps here: return and know, then, repent and grow.  When we fall into some sin or gradually drift away from God, we need to heed the call to return.  And then we need to grow in our knowledge of Him to increase the likeliness of staying close to Him.  God continues to call lovingly.

Here is an old hymn based on this passage in Hosea.
Come, Let Us to the Lord Our God Return – YouTube

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August 4 , Thursday

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Listening to God — This chapter begins with God’s warning to Judah and Jacob (Israel) that “he will repay him according to his deeds” (v. 2), and it ends with another warning to Ephraim (also Israel): “…his Lord … will repay him for his disgraceful deeds” (v. 14).  These were God’s chosen people, but His judgment was hanging over their heads.  God will not tolerate the sin of His people.  He spoke to them repeatedly.  The Lord spoke through the angel who wrestled with Jacob (“…there God spoke to us”—v. 4), through the prophet Moses (v. 13), and through His many subsequent prophets (v. 10).  Long after Israel was punished by deportation to Assyria and Judah to Babylon, God initiated His broader plan: “…in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son…” (Heb. 1:2).  In our times, we have not only the words of God through the prophets, but also through the apostles—the whole Bible.  God has spoken.  Will we listen obediently?

Give Me Ears to Listen – YouTube

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Meditation: After saying that “God spoke with us” through His meeting with Jacob (v. 4b), Hosea further identified God as “the LORD, the God of hosts, the LORD is his memorial name” (v. 5).  That name, Yahweh (YHWH), was the name revealed to Moses at the burning bush: “The LORD [YHWH] … This is my name forever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations” (Ex. 3:15).  Yahweh is the name we were told to remember.  Then, Hosea challenged us to “return, hold fast to love and justice, and wait continually for your God” (Hosea 12:6).  Since that is a command, we are expected to obey it, but it cannot be done by willpower alone, which is why he said, “So you, by the help of your God, return…” (v. 6a).  God helps us to do what He commands us to do.  Isn’t that encouraging?

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August 5, Friday

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The Crowned Cornerstone — God’s message through Isaiah was directed at both the northern kingdom of Israel (“the proud crown … of Ephraim,” referring to the capital city of Samaria—v. 1), and the southern kingdom of Judah (“…you scoffers, who rule this people in Jerusalem”—v. 14).  God’s purpose was to reveal the pride and sin of His people, to announce His coming judgment against them, and to give hope to the faithful remnant who maintained their faith in Him.  He expanded on this last message by looking far ahead to the coming Messiah, when He would reveal His “crown of glory” (v. 5), His “tested stone, a precious cornerstone, of a sure foundation” (v. 16).  Jesus claimed to be that cornerstone when He quoted Psalm 118:22 (“The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone”—Matt. 21:42), and Paul confirmed it in Ephesians 2:20.  God is able to look even further ahead, “when the chief Shepherd appears, [and] you will receive the unfading crown of glory” (1 Peter 5:4).  Then, at the end, the One called “Faithful and True … [and] The Word of God” will come, and on his head will be “many diadems,” and on His robe will be written, “King of kings and Lord of lords” (Rev. 19:11-16).  The Crowned Cornerstone!

Cornerstone – YouTube

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August 6, Saturday

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Softened Hearts — The people of Israel had drifted away from God.  They still went through the motions of worship, but it was lacking in sincerity and feeling: “…this people draw near with their mouth … while their hearts are far from me” (v. 13).  The problem seems to be that they were hiding sin in their hearts (“…whose deeds are in the dark … ‘Who sees us?’”—v. 15).  That might be a good reminder for us when we sing songs of worship at church and are not touched emotionally.  Could we be harboring some sin in our lives?  But God had a plan for Israel in the future: “I will again do wonderful things with this people” (v. 14).  That plan involved the coming Messiah, when God’s people would “obtain fresh joy in the LORD and … exult in the Holy One of Israel” (v. 22).  Although we Christians are experiencing that joy now, most of Jacob (Israel) is still “in the dark.”  The Apostle Paul called this a “mystery [in that] … a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.  And in this way all Israel will be saved…” (Rom. 11:25-26).  Hardened Israel will be softened; God sees that far in the future.  He also sees when our hearts become somewhat hardened toward Him.

Soften My Heart – 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.

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