Wednesday, September 9, 2015, 5:36 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the songs “Blessed Are You” and “Believe Him.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Isaiah 15-16 (selected vv. NASB).
In Distress (15:1-3, 5)
The oracle concerning Moab.
Surely in a night Ar of Moab is devastated and ruined;
Surely in a night Kir of Moab is devastated and ruined.
They have gone up to the temple and to Dibon, even to the high places to weep.
Moab wails over Nebo and Medeba;
Everyone’s head is bald and every beard is cut off.
In their streets they have girded themselves with sackcloth;
On their housetops and in their squares
Everyone is wailing, dissolved in tears…
My heart cries out for Moab;
His fugitives are as far as Zoar and Eglath-shelishiyah,
For they go up the ascent of Luhith weeping;
Surely on the road to Horonaim they raise a cry of distress over their ruin.
The Moabites were enemies of God and of his people. In Psalm 83 Asaph lamented how God’s enemies, which included Moab, had reared their heads against God and against his people. He said, “With cunning they conspire against your people; they plot against those you cherish. ‘Come,’ they say, ‘let us destroy them as a nation, that the name of Israel be remembered no more.’ With one mind they plot together; they form an alliance against you…” (vv. 3-5). They were a proud people who worshiped false gods. Their eyes were full of idolatry. They were oppressors of God’s people, and were aggressive in their attacks against the children of God. Now they were under the judgment of God, and were weeping over their calamity, yet they turned to their false gods for comfort, but received none.
Today the church, the body of Christ, are the people of God. Only those who put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of their lives are the children of God. As Christ’s followers we, too, have enemies, sometimes, or most especially even within the church, which is a very sad reality. Our enemies may be worldly governments, which is certainly the case here in the USA, as well as they will be those who falsely call themselves followers of Christ but who live just like the world does. They may even be leaders within our churches who are following after the ways of this world, and of humans, in marketing the church just like big business. We who are following Jesus and the true gospel and who hold to the Word of Truth may serve as threats to their worldly goals and objectives, and so they are trained in how to “sift out” those who “don’t fit” and to encourage them to go “someplace else” where they might be a “better fit.” But, we don’t fit, and we don’t belong in a worldly church. And, so we will be rejected and ostracized because we don’t conform.
There is a plot afoot today within the US government and their political allies in the New World Order, including within the false and/or idolatrous church, to silence those of us who still follow the teachings of Christ and those of his NT apostles, and to try to get us to compromise with the worldly church in agreeing to join together with people of all faiths or of no faith in turning the church into a community center for good works and the gospel of salvation into a social gospel, absent of the cross of Christ in our lives. They want to remove all that divides us as a people in the world, which means removing the gospel. This gospel says that faith in Jesus Christ is the only way to God and to eternal life, and that we must die to sin and live to righteousness, for that is why Jesus died, to save us not just from the penalty of sin, but to deliver us out of slavery to sin and to make us into servants of righteousness. Yet, this offends them, and it divides people, so it must go, according to them, which means also removing those of us who still teach the true gospel of salvation.
Yet, we should love our enemies, forgive them and pray for them, weep over their sins and even over their punishment, do good to them, and speak kindly of them (not curse them).
Call on God (16:1-4)
Send the tribute lamb to the ruler of the land,
From Sela by way of the wilderness to the mountain of the daughter of Zion.
Then, like fleeing birds or scattered nestlings,
The daughters of Moab will be at the fords of the Arnon.
“Give us advice, make a decision;
Cast your shadow like night at high noon;
Hide the outcasts, do not betray the fugitive.
“Let the outcasts of Moab stay with you;
Be a hiding place to them from the destroyer.”
For the extortioner has come to an end, destruction has ceased,
Oppressors have completely disappeared from the land.
We should counsel those who oppose God and who oppose his people and his gospel, whether outright or whether by denying Christ by their lifestyles, to offer their lives to God as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God, which is their reasonable service of worship of God, no longer conformed to the patterns of this sinful world, but transformed of the Spirit of God in the renewing of their minds (See: Ro. 12:1-2). For, this is what it means to be saved. This is what our response should be to the gospel of our salvation, to be crucified with Christ in death to sin so that we might live with Christ in his righteousness (See: Ac. 26:16-18; Ro. 6:1-23; Gal. 2:20; Eph. 2:8-10; 4:17-24; 1 Pet. 2:24).
We should also counsel them to turn to the Lord Jesus and to seek his counsel. So many people today, including many who profess the name of Jesus, are turning to their idols to satisfy the deep longings of their souls instead of turning to the One True God to fill them to overflowing with his living water. Instead they trust in broken cisterns (their idols) which do not hold water (the Spirit of God and eternal life). They may go through the motions of worshiping the one true God, even, but their worship is in vain because they do not accompany it with true faith, with repentance, with death to sin, and with living to righteousness. They may have all the appearance of godliness, but they deny its power in their lives because they are still being controlled by the flesh and not by the Spirit.
Our Lord Will Come (16:5)
A throne will even be established in lovingkindness,
And a judge will sit on it in faithfulness in the tent of David;
Moreover, he will seek justice
And be prompt in righteousness.
Jesus Christ, God the Son, is our Messiah and Lord. He is the one who sits on the throne, which was established in lovingkindness. He is completely faithful in all that he does. He is a God of love but also of justice and righteousness. He died for the sins of the entire world in order that we might die to sin and live to righteousness, and so we could escape eternal punishment in hell and have the hope of eternal life with God both now and forevermore. By God’s grace, through faith in Jesus Christ, we can be set free from slavery to sin and become servants of righteousness. It is not grace if it still leaves us in our sins.
God’s grace, which brings salvation, is not a free license to continue in willful sin against God. His grace teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives while we wait for Jesus’ return (Tit. 2:11-14). For, Jesus died that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us who walk no longer after the flesh but who conduct our lives according to the Spirit. If we persist in living our lives according to the flesh, we will die, but if by the Spirit we put to death the deeds of the flesh, we will live (Ro. 8:1-14; cf. Lu. 9:23-25). In fact, Jesus died that we might no longer live for ourselves but for him who gave himself up for us (2 Co. 5:15). Coming to faith in Jesus Christ thus means death to sin and living to righteousness; no longer living to please our sinful flesh, but living to please our Lord and Master Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
The Futility of Idolatry (16:6-7, 9-12)
We have heard of the pride of Moab, an excessive pride;
Even of his arrogance, pride, and fury;
His idle boasts are false.
Therefore Moab will wail; everyone of Moab will wail.
You will moan for the raisin cakes of Kir-hareseth
As those who are utterly stricken…
Therefore I will weep bitterly for Jazer, for the vine of Sibmah;
I will drench you with my tears, O Heshbon and Elealeh;
For the shouting over your summer fruits and your harvest has fallen away.
Gladness and joy are taken away from the fruitful field…
Therefore my heart intones like a harp for Moab
And my inward feelings for Kir-hareseth.
So it will come about when Moab presents himself,
When he wearies himself upon his high place
And comes to his sanctuary to pray,
That he will not prevail.
If you are putting your hope and trust in false gods and the idols of mankind instead of in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior (from sin) of your life, then you are trusting in what can never satisfy the deep longings of your soul, and which will always leave you empty, never satisfied, and will leave you craving for more and more of what this sinful world desires, and it will be your ruin; your downfall. Even if you say you have trusted in Jesus Christ to be Savior of your life, but you have persisted in looking to fleshly idols to satisfy you instead of going to the Rock of your salvation to deliver you out of the pit of hell, then you will also come up empty, and your worship of God will be in vain, for you are still being driven by the flesh and are not living (abiding) under the control of the Spirit of God.
If you come to God in prayer, and if you make attempts at worship of him, and even if you read God’s word, but you regard iniquity in your heart, and you turn your back on God’s commandments, and you hold on to the sin which so easily entangles instead of throwing it off, your prayers will go nowhere and your worship will be futile, for your trust is not in the One True God but in yourself, and in satisfying your fleshly desires with all that will only destroy you, and never heal you. You are just spinning your wheels and wasting your time and efforts in meaningless forms of worship which are an offense to God. So, put your all on the altar today, trust God completely with your life, and stop trusting in what will never satisfy but will only bring about destruction and ruin. Do this before it is too late! Please!
Believe Him / An Original Work / July 15, 2013
My heart cries: Lord, won’t You hear me
Seeking You for the answers
To my heartache and questions
I have concerning my life?
Speak, Lord, to me right now.
“Oh, dear one, why don’t you trust Me
With your life’s circumstances?
Give your all on the altar
In submission of your will
To My purpose for you.
“Surrender your life completely
To your Lord and your Savior.
He has all things planned for you
For His glory and honor.
He’ll work all things for good.
“Believe Him. He will fulfill all
Of His promises to you
For your life and your future.
Trust Him. Rest in His love.
He’ll give you peace from above.”