Wednesday, February 22 2023
Contributor: Peter Folikwe
We shall be reviewing Chapter 5 - the six woes/curses pronounced on Israel, borne out of their defiance to God’s commandments. And in Chapter 6, we shall x-ray the birth of prophet Isiah’s ministry and a call to service.
Societal decadence of morals and spirituality in Isiah’s time is not any different from what we see around us today.
Is 5:1-7. It begins with a very sorrowful, bitter and heart-breaking song. Here the song composer (God Almighty) who gave a description of a vineyard that He had invested in.
Verses 1-2 - He bought a land, removed stones that will hinder the roots of the vine from nourishment, He planted special breed of vines/not genetically modified, ensured there is wall of protection around the vine, and employed experienced vine dressers to keep it.
He expected bumper harvest of sweet choice grapes, but on the contrary He harvested useless and sour grapes.
In Verse 3, God asked His people to judge between Himself and the vineyard he had planted (the people of a Israel). He asked why the vineyard produce sour grapes against His expectation.
In Verse 5, God describes what will happen to this fruitless vineyard; destruction and curses await them. God tearing down the hedge that was meant to protect it, and dressers will no longer prune/hoe it. It was left for weeds and thorns to choke it to death till it becomes stone dried.
In Verses 5 & 6, God pronounced His judgment on the vineyard.
He will tear down its hedges and let it be destroyed. He will break down its walls and let the animals trample it. He will make it a wild place where the vines are not pruned and the ground is not hoed, a place overgrown with briers and thorns. Rain to cease from falling.
Now God itemizes specific sins, 6 in number, for which curses “WOEs” are pronounced in V8, V11, V18, V20, V21, & V22.
Verse 7 tells us, who this vineyard of the Lord is. The vineyard is the people of Israel and by extension the body of Christ, living unrighteous. God chose the most fertile piece of land - Israel. He dug a trench around them, because they are surrounded by enemies. Removal of the stones may well indicate how God empowered them to eliminate the Canaanites in order for His people to give undiluted service to Him. They are the choicest vine.
The expectation God from them, for all the privileges (provision, protection, nourishment, etc.) enjoyed by these chosen people, is that they produce excellent fruits.
The expectations of God of them is holiness, righteousness, justice and love for mankind.
God asked in Verse 3, what else was expected of Him to do for them, reason He asked that they judge between Himself and they - the vineyard.
Verse 8: The focus here is on how His people have abandoned the faith and focused on material possessions.
God pronounced a curse Verses 9 & 10 reminiscent of famine conditions, where many of the land and houses they acquired illegally will become desolate and yield very little fruits.
The next “WOE” - curse is directed at the sin of drunkenness and pleasure seeking in
Verses 11 & 12. Within the body of Christ some defend their position on strong drinks with the popular quote by Apostle Paul 1Tim 5:23 “Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach's sake and thine often infirmities.”
In Verses 14 & 15 this class of sinners (drunks and pleasure seekers) are condemned to death. The mouth of hell is open to swallow them in large numbers.
God in Verse 16, vindicates Himself of their judgement as He remains holy and righteous.
We see the next judgement - “WOE” in Verse 18. It paints a picture of those who have truck load of sin, evil, iniquity immortality and wickedness: yet they drag their sins all over the place with impunity and without shame.
Verse 19 states that not only are they shamelessly exhibiting their folly, they have the audacity to challenge God to do His worst.
I struggled to exonerate the church from this group, but having pondered over the list, I asked sincerely, don’t we still have pride, deceit, envy, unforgiving and disobedience to parents, still prevalent with the church - I want to believe that Miracle Land is absolved in Jesus name.
We find the next category of “WOE” in Verse 20 where everything is made contrary to the norm. This seems familiar to what is happening in our world today. What is evil they call good and vice-versa. What was light they call dark, what was bitter they call sweet. I want us to critically review this with practical examples in our world today.
The next curse “WOE” in Verse 21 is matted to those who indulge in the sin of arrogance - what we call back home as “ITK”. They have a very arrogant disposition to life. They are highly opinionated of themselves. They hate being corrected and do not heed advice. One of the learnings from our Proverbs challenge is Prov. 24:6.” No wonder the arrogant goof always.
Verses 22 & 23 reel out the final curse “WOE” upon leaders in government, the society the church who take bribes to pervert justice, and take away the rights of the righteous. These are leaders who are corrupt and lack integrity.
The above are the specific sins in Chapter 5 that propelled God to bring judgement’s upon the children of Israel.
And in Verse 24, it reels out the unavoidable punishment where all that fall into the above categories are consumed like grass in a summer bonfire, because they all have rejected the word of the Lord and despised God.
Verse 25 says God is furious against these people. He promised to whisper to the enemies of Israel to go into a battle with them and destroy, and even the remnants captured by the enemy.
This above prophecy of Isiah was fulfilled during the Babylonian destruction of Israel and captivity of remnants into exile. The Babylonian captivity or Babylonian exile is the period in Jewish history during which a large number of Judeans from the ancient Kingdom of Judah were captives in Babylon, the capital city of the Neo-Babylonian Empire, following their defeat in the Jewish–Babylonian War and the destruction of Solomon's Temple in Jerusalem.
Isaiah must have struggled with this prophecy of doom and gloom. He must have asked, if God was still in charge and in control. This led to the birth of Isiah’s ministry in Chapter 6.
The opening verses 1-4 gave vivid account Isaiah’s visit to the temple to seek the face of God, after the death of king Uzziah. King Uzziah became king at age 16 (2 Chron. 26:1-4).
God showed Isaiah a vision of His throne, that in spite the confusion, He - God is still on His throne, in control and He reigns in His majesty. Angels are at His beck and call. That He - God remains Holy.
In Verse 5, the awesome wonders of God’s majesty, His power, glory and honour in His throne Isaiah was faced with no choice than to curse himself, just as he had been instructed to curse the people of Israel in chapter 5. How filthy, unrighteous and sinful natured he was as a human being became glaring to him as he compared himself with God in His throne room.
Isaiah admitted that he is a man of unclean lips, living in the mist of unclean people.
Verse 6: Isaiah had to go through a purification process after a genuine repentance. The coal touching his lips portrays atonement of sin, purification and cleansing from all forms of unrighteousness
Verse 8: The question here is who is God looking to send into a world in crisis and confusion as we have today? As we have learnt, this person must have a clear vision of God’s glory, majestic splendour, His holiness and unshakable kingdom.
This person must be broken, having an awareness of his sinful nature.
The person should be humbled enough to admit his sins and ask for forgiveness. Only such will be willing to Go.
Verse 9: Having displayed his preparedness and willingness to Go, Isaiah was asked to keep preach until there will be no one left to hear it.
Finally in Verse 13: Despite the confusion, impunity and blatant disregard for God’s commands, God still kept His 10%, His holy seed who will hear, see and understand with a brokenness of heart.My prayer is that Miracle Land will be among the holy seed of God in Jesus name.
Wednesday, February 15 2023
Contributor: Clem Roberts
The first chapter of Isaiah serves as a summary vision and presents the major themes of the book: judgment on Judah for rebelliousness and hope for the future restoration of Zion.
Verse 1- The vision of Isaiah This opening heading identifies the book as prophetic revelation associated with Isaiah the prophet.
Isaiah The prophet’s name means “Yahweh’s is salvation.” Or “The Lord shall save”.
Isaiah’s ministry spans the reigns of four kings of Judah over a period of several years, but most of his prophetic activity relates to the crisis during the reign of Ahaz or the Assyrian king Sennacherib’s invasion and siege of Jerusalem during the reign of Hezekiah. His access and relationship to the royal court seems similar to that of Nathan, Elijah, or Elisha (2 Sam 7; 1 Kings 18–19; 2 Kings 6).
Judah and Jerusalem The northern kingdom of Israel fell to Assyria, during Isaiah’s lifetime. This and other traumatic events provide the dramatic backdrop for Isaiah’s warning of impending judgment against the southern kingdom of Judah.
Verses 2–20 God’s formally brings a legal suit against Judah for a breach of contract (breaking their covenant with Him). The accusation appears in Isa 1:2–3, followed by a direct address to the people outlining the charges detailed in Verses 4–20.
SUMMARY OF CHAPTER 1 - God’s Case Against Judah
Verses 1- 9
• Jerusalem is called by more than 30 different names in the book Isaiah.
• The chastening of the Lord (re: Deut. 28-29) has been visited upon the land and the time of expulsion is near.
• Total destruction: Deut. 29:22; Amos 9:11; Isa 13; Jer. 50.
God’s condemnation - of sheer outward religion and formalism: Hos. 6:6; Amos 4:4; 5:21-25; Micah 6:6-8; Jer. 7:4, 21; Ps 50:3-15.
• 10 Reference to Jerusalem as Sodom (Rev 11:18).
• 13 “Abomination due to use of images and idolatry (Rev 13).
• 18 - 31 Entreaty and warning.
• 18 An invitation to “Reason together”
• 19 Grace for all which includes full amnesty.
Again another derailment
• 20 - 22 Silver & Harlotry: Ex 34:15; Hos. 1:2; Isa 50:1; 54:1, Ex 30:11-16
• 24 The call of Trinity.
• 25 Dross: Ezek. 22:18-22.
• 26 Judges are to be restored in the future kingdom (Mt 19:28).
• 29 Trees: 2 Kgs 16:4; Hos. 4:13; Jer. 2:20; 3:6-13; 17:2; Ezek. 6:13; Isa 57:5.
• Gardens: Isa 65:3; 66:17.
A CLOSER LOOK
Vs 2 - “I have nourished and brought up children, And they have rebelled against Me;
God is emphasizing His role as caretaker or master over Israel’s well-being; He cared for them like a father. Yet they rebelled against Him. The Hebrew word for “rebel” is used to describe political rebellion (see 2 Kgs 3:5–7). It indicates a breach of contract—when someone has not fulfilled his or her contractual obligation.
In this case, the Israelites are accused of breaking their agreement to obey God. The metaphor of Israel as a rebellious child connects directly to the covenant law in Deut. 21:18–21, where the penalty for disobeying parents was death.
Are we conscious and committed?
1:3 An ox knows its owner God’s children have shown less sense and loyalty than stubborn farm animals, who at least recognize their master’s role in providing for them.
Israel here, refers to God’s people generally, not just the northern kingdom. The vision is addressed to Judah and Jerusalem, the southern kingdom.
1:4 children Indicates that those being addressed are connected to God’s rebellious children in Isa 1:2.
The Holy One of Israel This title for God is frequently used in Isaiah to emphasize the holiness of God. Isaiah’s experience may have profoundly impacted his vision of God, and led him to stress this aspect as central to God’s identity.
Isaiah develops a portrait of God as all powerful and greater than other so-called gods. He also emphasizes God’s separateness and otherness compared to His creation (Hosea 11:9), and His demands for moral perfection and ritual cleanness (Lev 19:2). Isaiah’s dismay in Isa 6:5 is related to his awareness of his own uncleanness for standing before that which was most holy.
As God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah for their wickedness (Gen 19). The prophets frequently referenced the cities to illustrate what God’s judgment looks like (see Isa 13:19; Jer. 49:18; Amos 4:11; Zeph. 2:9).
A small remnant was saved from the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah—only through God’s grace. But Isaiah referenced it and also added a spiritual angle to it.
SUMMARY OF CHAPTER 2 Emphasises On A Vision Of The Coming Kingdom.
• Verses 2-5 similar to Prophet Micah in Micah 4:1-3, 5.
• Mountains an idiomatic expression for kingdom, authority, rule: Dan 2:35, 44-45; Rev 17:9-11; etc.
• 6 - 22 The necessity of humility
• 11 Compare with Isa 14: the fall of Lucifer through pride.
• 17 Only God should be exalted.
• 19 Rev 6:16; Josh 10:16,17.
SUMMARY OF CHAPTER 3 - National And Regional Disintegration Of Israel Due To Sin And Transgression
• Talks about the chaos that will befall those leaders who lead people away from God almighty.
• Obscene nature of the society at large.
SUMMARY OF CHAPTER 4:1-6: We Will See A Vision Of The Coming Kingdom.
• Seven women
• “The Branch of the Lord” to be fully manifested after His return in glory (Mt 25:31);
• “The Branch” of David (Isa 11:1; Jer. 23:5; 33:15), the Messiah, “of the seed of David according to the flesh” (Rom 1:3), revealed in earthly glory as King of Kings.
• The Lord’s “servant, the Branch” (Zech. 3:8), Messiah’s humiliation and obedience unto death (Isa 52:13-53:12; Phil 2:5-8);
• Cloud covering for them that believe: Ex 13:21,22.
What we have learnt in these first four chpaters on the book of Isaiah is a theme pointing towards, a call to righteousness and total reliance on God
Wednesday, February 08 2023
Contributor: Alex Alajiki
We must remember to thank God for our past studies, acknowledge the help of the Holy Spirit; the Spirit of truth and the hard work of our teachers.
We are studying the book of Isaiah until the end of 2023 and I believe that the lessons stored up for us by God will enrich our knowledge of the Bible and transform our lives.
The book of Isaiah was written between 739 and 681 B.C. during the time when Israel was a divided nation. After King Solomon’s death, the ten northern tribes formed Israel, with its capital city being Samaria. The two remaining tribes of Benjamin and Judah united to become the southern kingdom, Judah, with Jerusalem as its capital. Isaiah spoke mainly to Judah (but sometimes also to Israel) “in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah” (Isa.1:1)
His message was to a nation that had turned a deaf ear to the Lord. Instead of serving Him with humility and offering love to their neighbours, the nation of Judah offered meaningless sacrifices in God’s temple at Jerusalem and committed injustices throughout the nation. Prophet spoke mainly to the people of Judah and the message was mostly to ‘repent’ and turn from their wicked ways that the Lord might bless them yet again (Isaiah 1:2; 2:11-20; 5:30; 34:1-2; 42:25).
At the same time, Isaiah understands that God is a God of mercy, grace, and compassion (Isaiah 5:25; 11:16; 14:1-2; 32:2; 40:3; 41:14-16). The nation of Israel (both Judah and Israel) is blind and deaf to God’s commands (Isaiah 6:9-10; 42:7). Judah is compared to a vineyard that should be, and will be, trampled on (Isaiah 5:1-7). Only because of His mercy and His promises to Israel, will God not allow Israel or Judah to be completely destroyed. He will bring restoration, forgiveness, and healing (43:2; 43:16-19; 52:10-12).
More than any other book in the Old Testament, Isaiah focuses on the salvation that will come
through the Messiah. The Messiah will one day rule in justice and righteousness (Isaiah 9:7; 32:1).
The reign of the Messiah will bring peace and safety to Israel (Isaiah 11:6-9). Through the Messiah, Israel will be a light to all the nations (Isaiah 42:6; 55:4-5). The Messiah’s kingdom on earth (Isaiah chapters 65-66) is the goal toward which all of the book of Isaiah points. It is during the reign of the Messiah that God’s righteousness will be fully revealed to the world.
1. The Author (Isaiah 1:1)
The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.
As is the case with nearly all the books of “the prophets,” the book of Isaiah takes its name from its writer. Isaiah was married to a prophetess who bore him at least two sons (Isaiah 7:3; 8:3). He prophesied under the reign of four Judean kings; Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah (1:1).
The name “Isaiah” means “Jehovah saves” or “Salvation of Jehovah.” It is believed that Isaiah
was from a prominent family, or perhaps even related to the royal family of Judah, because of his apparent influence among the rulers of Judah. Isaiah is sometimes called the “prince of prophets” for this reason. He made the most prophecies regarding the Jewish people and Christ. And he is the prophet who is most often quoted in the New Testament.
Isaiah is considered a “major” prophet of the Bible (along with Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel) as opposed to the “minor” prophets (Obadiah, Joel, Jonah, Amos, Hosea, Micah, Nahum,
Zephaniah, Habakkuk, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi). These prophets are not divided based
on significance of the messages, however, but rather simply by the length of their books.
Some scholars debate whether or not one man, Isaiah son of Amoz, actually wrote all sixty-six chapters of this book, dividing the book into three sections: 1–39(Punishment of Jerusalem),
40–55(Captivity in Babylon), and 56–66(Persian Era). These scholars insist multiple authors must have added to the scrolls to account for the fulfilment of the words in the book of Isaiah; in other words, someone snuck in and added prophecies after foretold events had already occurred. However, if you believe in the Holy Spirit and in God’s ability to speak to and through His prophets, you can set aside this reasoning.
2. Historical Perspective (Isaiah 1:2-3)
Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth! For the Lord has spoken: “I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against Me; 3 The ox knows its owner And the donkey its master’s crib; But Israel does not know, My people do not consider.”
Isaiah lived in the eighth century BC, during the time when Israel was a divided nation. After King Solomon’s death, the ten northern tribes formed Israel, with its capital city being Samaria. The two remaining tribes of Benjamin and Judah united to become the southern kingdom, Judah, with Jerusalem as its capital. Isaiah’s ministry as a prophet took place in the range of 740–680 BC, during some very turbulent times for the Jewish people. There were threats to their safety and culture on all sides, including between and among the tribes themselves.
The northern kingdom of Israel was taken captive by Assyria in 721 BC. Then, the southern kingdom of Judah was defeated by Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, in 586 BC. At this time, the capital, Jerusalem, major buildings, and the beautiful temple Solomon had built were all destroyed. Thousands of Jewish people were taken to Babylon for seventy years, a key event in the history of the Jewish people, known as the Babylonian captivity or exile.
Isaiah predicted these and other events long before they occurred. These and many other prophecies spoken by Isaiah can be traced through secular, non-Christian sources.
3. The Message or Purpose (Isaiah 42:6-7)
“I, the Lord, have called You in righteousness, and will hold Your hand; I will keep You and give You as a covenant to the people, as a light to the Gentiles 7, To open blind eyes, To bring out prisoners from the prison, Those who sit in darkness from the prison house.
More than any other book in the Old Testament, Isaiah focuses on the salvation that will come through the Messiah. The Messiah will one day rule in justice and righteousness (Isaiah 9:7; 32:1). The reign of the Messiah will bring peace and safety to Israel (Isaiah 11:6-9). Through the Messiah, Israel will be a light to all the nations (Isaiah 42:6; 55:4-5). The Messiah’s kingdom on earth (Isaiah chapters 65-66) is the goal toward which all of the book of Isaiah points. It is during the reign of the Messiah that God’s righteousness will be fully revealed to the world.
Chapter 53 of Isaiah describes the coming Messiah and the suffering He would endure in order to pay for our sins. In His sovereignty, God orchestrated every detail of the crucifixion to fulfil every prophecy of this chapter. The imagery of chapter 53 is poignant and prophetic and contains a complete picture of the Gospel. Jesus was despised and rejected (v. 3; Luke 13:34; John 1:10-11), stricken by God (v.4; Matthew 27:46), and pierced for our transgressions (v. 5; John 19:34; 1 Peter 2:24). By His suffering, He paid the punishment we deserved and became for us the ultimate and perfect sacrifice (v. 5; Hebrews 10:10). Although He was sinless, God laid on Him our sin, and we became God’s righteousness in Him (2 Corinthians 5:21).
Conclusion Isaiah (12:1-3)
Isaiah’s overall theme receives its clearest statement in chapter 12:1-3
Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; ‘For Yah, the Lord, is my strength and song; He also has become my salvation.’ 3 Therefore with joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.
Wednesday, February 01 2023
Contributor: Isekhua Evborokhai
DAY 29 – CHAPTER 29 Verse 17
“Discipline your children, and they will give you peace of mind and will make your heart glad.” NLT
Discipline a child early enough in life to avoid heartache in the future Application Severally in the book of Proverbs we are admonished to discipline our children Many restrain from discipline and indulge them indiscriminately because they think they love their children too much but Proverbs 13:24 says:
“If you withhold correction and punishment from your children, you demonstrate a lack of true love. So prove your love and be prompt to punish them.” TPT
Proverbs 19:18 TPT says “Don’t be afraid to discipline your children while they’re still young enough to learn. Don’t indulge your children or be swayed by their protests.”
Indulgence is not a mark of love but a bait for destruction
DAY 30– CHAPTER 30 Verse 5
“Every word of God proves true. He is a shield to all who come to him for protection.” NLT
Every word of God is tried, tested and proven true
Psalm 12:6 tells us that The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times
I will never doubt God’s Words; especially what it says about me
Lord Jesus please grant me the grace and strength to continually trust in your unfailing Word
DAY 31–CHAPTER 31 Verses 4-5
“It is not for kings, O Lemuel, to guzzle wine. Rulers should not crave alcohol.”
For if they drink, they may forget the law and not give justice to the oppressed.
Respectable people should steer clear of all sorts of intoxicants If you have the ambition to become somebody in this life then you must refrain from certain actions Application There are consequences for all actions we take.
Verse 5 tells us of the consequences.
“they may forget the law and not give justice to the oppressed.”
Although these verses refer to wines and strong drinks, the same applies to things that will impact your judgment, your resolve and your reputation.
Because as long as you remain a nobody no one cares. But as soon as you get out there, ready to, or already making an impact in the world there are those who will go searching for mud to sling at you. And if by your actions either as a youth or past adult life you have by the lack of self-control engaged in anything scandalous, it will come out in the open.