KG August 14-20

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August 14, Sunday

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Who Is He? — Eight times in this passage, God identifies Himself clearly and repeatedly with the expression, “I am.”  First, He gives His name, Yahweh: “For I am the LORD…” (v. 3; also 11, 15).  He is not one of other gods or even the best of them all; He is the one and only God.  Next, He characterizes Himself in terms of protection and close relationship toward us: “Fear not, for I am with you…” (v. 5; also 13).  As good parents love and protect their children, God is always with us and is watching out for our wellbeing.  Twice, God declared: “You are my witnesses” (vv. 10, 12), and in both places, His people were to be witnesses that they understood that “I am he” or “I am God.”  It is not enough for us to know God; we should also make Him known.  Finally, God said emphatically, “I, I am he who blots out your transgressions…” (v. 25).  He is our Savior, our only Savior, and He is worthy to be praised.

Because of Who You Are – YouTube

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August 15, Monday

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Predictor and Director — Even after severely punishing Israel and Judah for their persistent rebellion, God expressed His great love for them.  The God who had “chosen … made you … [and] formed you” (v. 1-2), “…will help you” (v. 2).  That help would include bringing them back to the Promised Land by using Cyrus the Great “to fulfil all my purpose” (v. 28).  God both predicts and directs history (“…have I not told you from of old and declared it?”—v. 8).  He can do that because He is eternal (“I am the first and I am the last”—v. 6).  More “help” for God’s people would come later when He said, “I will pour my Spirit upon your offspring” (v. 3), a prediction fulfilled at Pentecost (Acts 2:17-18).  The Apostle Paul offered a similar prediction and promise for us Christians: “…he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Phil. 1:6).  God has predicted that for those of us who are truly born again, and He will direct us to that end.

He Who Began a Good Work In You – YouTube

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August 16, Tuesday

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Uniquely Named — The future powerful leader, Cyrus the Great, was named by God through the writings of Isaiah (v. 1), 150 years before Cyrus was born.  How unique is that?!  This demonstrates God’s omniscience (all-knowingness) and His sovereignty (supremely-ruling).  The Lord predicted the rise of Cyrus to great power for this reason: “that you may know that it is I, the LORD … who call you by your name” (v. 3).  God’s purpose was evangelistic: He wanted Cyrus to acknowledge and know Him.  That purpose extended even beyond Cyrus, because God’s prediction was also given and fulfilled widely “that people may know, from the rising of the sun and from the west, that there is none besides me; I am the LORD, and there is no other” (v. 6).  That introduces the other name emphasized in this chapter, the name of God (“the LORD”), Yahweh.  He is absolutely unique.  Six times in this passage, that uniqueness is highlighted with statements like this: “I am the LORD, and there is no other, besides me there is no God” (v. 5; cf. vv. 6, 14, 18, 21, 22).  Yahweh (or Jehovah) is the name above all names, the name at which “every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth” (Phil. 2:10)—the name of Jehovah-Jesus.

Every Knee Shall Bow – YouTube

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August 17, Wednesday

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Knowing and Acting — Babylon had conquered Jerusalem, and many of the people of Israel had been exiled in punishment for their persistent rebellion against God.  They had drifted into idolatry.  So, through Isaiah, God challenged “all the remnant” (v. 3), who were still in the Promised Land, to consider what their idolatry had accomplished for them.  Nothing!  They carried idols while God carried them (v. 4).  Do we sometimes trust in people, government, circumstances, intellect, cleverness, etc., instead of trusting in the loving God who carries us?  Does God really care for us?  Is He really in control?  That must have been what those Israelites thought, because God urged them to “remember the former things of old” (v. 9a).  Look at the history!  God showed Himself to be loving and powerful to Israel for centuries.  He was active on their behalf.  The next verse shows that God was also all-knowing, “declaring the end from the beginning” (v. 10a).  Then, God not only knows the future, but He also directs the future: “I will accomplish all my purpose” (v. 10b).  He knows everything and He can do anything He decides to do.

God Omniscient, God All-Knowing – YouTube

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August 18, Thursday

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Old Testament Trinity — There are many things mentioned in this chapter about who God is and what He does: He is “the God of Israel; the LORD of hosts” (v. 2); He prophesies, displaying His omniscience and sovereignty, and declaring things “before they came to pass” (v. 5); He does everything “for my own sake … [because] My glory I will not give to another” (v. 11); He is the Creator of all things in heaven and earth (v. 13); He uses kings to accomplish His purposes (vv. 14-15); He is the Redeemer who teaches and leads (v. 17).  But another thing about God that stood out to me in this chapter is an apparent reference to the Trinity: “And now the Lord GOD has sent me, and his Spirit” (v. 16b).  The “me” is not identified in this verse but the context of this section of Isaiah’s prophecy has many references to the future “my servant” (e.g., 42:1), One who will also be emphasized in our reading when we get to the next chapter in Isaiah.  If this “me” is referring to the Messiah, then we have the Father (“the Lord GOD”), the Son (“sent me”), and the Spirit (“his Spirit”) in this single verse.  That is unusual for the Old Testament.  Blessed Trinity.

O Triune God – YouTube

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August 19, Friday

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Protection and Peace — At the end of two sections of this psalm, we see this theme-statement: “The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress” (vv. 7, 11).  First, this psalm shows us that God is a fortress of protection (“our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble”—v. 1).  Notice that He is our help “in trouble,” not necessarily “from” trouble.  So, when we find ourselves in trouble, we should turn to God.  Many years ago, I was driving with my family in a mountainous area.  There was a pickup truck in front of us filled with children and young teens in the open bed.  As we were going down a long slope, the truck driver tried to slow down using his brakes, but the truck started fish-tailing, throwing the children back and forth.  It was dangerous.  It was desperate.  That is when I heard the world’s shortest prayer, coming from my wife: “Jesus…!”  She didn’t even include “…Help!”  Just then, the driver saw an area off to the right side of the road where a hill sloped up.  He headed for it and the truck was able to stop with no accident or injuries.  Then we all said, “Thank you, Lord!”  He is our “ever present help in trouble.”  This psalm also says that He is a fortress of peace: He is “a river whose streams make glad the city of God” (v. 4), and “He makes wars cease…” (v. 9a).  Therefore, the concluding instruction to us is this: “Be still, and know that I am God” (v. 9b).  Be still … be safe!  We can live in peace because God is our protection.

When Peace Like a River – YouTube

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August 20, Saturday

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Praise and Bless — Nineteen times in these 21 verses, the name of “the LORD” (Yahweh) is used.  Four times in the first three verses, we are told to “praise the LORD” (Hebrew: hallelu-yah).  Then, in the last three verses, we are told to “bless the LORD.”  How is “praising” different from “blessing” the Lord?  Since the Hebrew word for “bless” is sometimes translated “kneel” (e.g., Psa. 95:6), this activity might be thought of in a more physical way, i.e., being humble and submissive in the presence of a superior.  On the other hand, the Hebrew word for “praise” is somewhat connected to “light,” so we might think of this activity as pointing the spotlight on someone of importance.  Since this focus of attention is very often presented in Scripture in a verbal context, we might think of praising in terms of what we say (our expression toward God), and blessing in terms of what we feel (our attitude toward God).  We are to do both—recognize and express our appreciation for who God is and what He does.

Praise the Lord, Ye Heavens Adore Him – YouTube

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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 August 14-20

  1. In today’s reading (Aug. 16), from Isaiah 45:7 – “I form light and create darkness,…” It has been my understanding that God is never in darkness. If that’s the case, what an amazing God – that He could create darkness yet never be IN darkness. It was ‘food for thought’ for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I had the same sort of thought. Darkness could be thought of in different ways; certainly, literal darkness and spiritual darkness would be different. John said that “God is light, and in him is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5), but when God gave Moses the Ten Commandments, it says that “Moses drew near to the thick darkness where God was” (Exodus 20:21). There is still a lot for us to understand about God!

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