- A CLOSER WALK WITH GOD (2)
- BELIEVER'S AUTHORITY (35)
- BIBLICAL PROSPERITY-a Balanced Approach (36)
- BOOK OF ACTS OF THE APOSTLE (45)
- BOOK OF HEBREWS (41)
- BOOK OF REVELATION (35)
- FAITH (23)
- FIRST AND SECOND CORINTHIANS (45)
- FOLLOWING GOD'S PLAN FOR YOUR LIFE (42)
- HOLY SPIRIT (22)
- IN-DEPTH STUDY OF EPHESIANS (19)
- IN-DEPTH STUDY OF THE BOOK OF GALATIANS (21)
- IN DEPTH STUDY OF THE BOOK OF ROMANS (38)
- PROSPERITY (18)
- PROVERBS CHALLENGE (5)
- PROVERBS CHALLENGE 2024 (4)
- STUDY OF ISAIAH (39)
- THE GREAT SHEPHERD (20)
Wednesday, March 29 2023
Contributor: Ngozi Roberts
SECTION 1: JUDGEMENT OF OPPRESSORS/EVIL LEGISLATORS JUDGED (VERSES 1-4)
They made unrighteous laws (vs 1) note that even though they had righteous commandments /laws yet they had corrupt judges that were able to find a way of making unrighteous decrees that is contrary to the good laws God already made.
They deprived the poor (v2) – by perverting justice in the way they interpret and carry out the laws, thereby turning aside the poor from judgement so that they do not get what is due to them. It was so bad that they enriched themselves through evil means like bribery and made the poor ones like the widows, fatherless to be at their mercy! See Isa 5:23. Refers to the injustice of the rich and powerful exploiting the poor and weak.
They are interrogated (Vs 3) - The prophet then challenged them on what will become of them with their power and pride when the real judgment of God comes upon them.
Sentence passed on them (Vs 4) – The prophet went to confirm their judgement and the kind of sentence that befalls them. They will be doomed, imprisoned or sent to captivity! Showing that Gods anger is still very hot on them. The same phrase occurs in 5:25.
Lesson For Us
Destruction of Israel by King of Assyria
Verse 5 Assyria, the rod of my anger. Yahweh used Assyria to punish Israel. Victory in the ancient world was often attributed to the superiority of one’s god. Yahweh is thus presented as truly superior—He, not Assyria’s god, is behind their success. The foreign nations are simply tools in the hands of God
Isaiah does not explicitly identify the king of Assyria in this passage, though 2 Kgs 17–18 identifies the king who attacked Israel as Sennacherib. The omission is likely intentional, as the prophet wants this oracle against Assyria to apply equally to all of Assyria’s kings. The cities listed in Isa 10:9–11 seem to reflect the conquests of several Assyrian kings who were active during Isaiah’s ministry.
Verse 6 - A godless nation. Israel is considered godless since it had turned away from Yahweh. See 9:17. the clay of the streets Assyria will trample everything in its path like dirt on the roads, leaving behind a muddy mess.
Lesson For Us
Assyria’s arrogance is revealed in this self-confident speech. The king of Assyria believes his military victories represent spiritual victories over the idols of the cities he has conquered. He also elevates himself to demigod status, boasting in his own strength, wisdom, and understanding.
Verse 8 Are not my commanders altogether kings ..The Assyrian Empire turned conquered kings into subject vassals, so the king of Assyria could rightly boast that his subject commanders were kings in their own right.
Verse 9 Are not Samaria like Damascus … The king boasts over the cities he has conquered. Each pair moves geographically closer to Israel.
Verse 10 Outlines images …Assyria has already conquered stronger city-states than Israel and Judah. The boast is asserted in a religious sense—the cities with the most powerful gods already fell. See 37:12–13.
Verse 12 All his work refers to the predicted judgment. Mount Zion Yahweh’s holy mountain, the location of the temple. Symbolically, Zion often refers to the city of Jerusalem. Here they are mentioned separately.
I will punish… Assyria will also be judged for pride and arrogance once Israel’s punishment is complete. .
Verse 13 ….by the strength of my hand ….The king of Assyria believes his victory is the result of his own strength and cunning. Psalm 9: 20 Strike them with terror, LORD; let the nations know they are only mortal.
Lesson For Us
SECTION 2 : JUGEMENT ON ASSYRIA – SENNACHERIB (VERSES 12-19)
Isaiah have outlined in his prophesy the use of the king of Assyria by God and went on to prophesy how God was going to deal with him. He would have served the purpose for which he was raised by God. So now we are going to see how God in his Justice reproves his pride and prophesies his fate. God by His servant Isaiah shows that God is above him.
Verse 15 The axe boast against the one who cuts. God used Assyria to bring judgment on rebellious Israel and Judah, but the Assyrians are still accountable for their actions and their arrogance. A tool is useless on its own. Assyria is judged for not recognizing that it is only a tool in the hand of God.
Verse 16 will send leanness See 37:36.
Verse 17 in one day See 9:14. The Assyrian king Sennacherib abruptly leaves his siege of Jerusalem. See 37:37 and 2 Kings 19:15-21. So due to his evil doings the prophet prophesies his down fall and destruction – it’s important to note that when God has finished doing his work of salvation on his people as we shall see in the chapter 37:37 and 2 Kings 19:15-37. Hezekiah and the children of Israel eventually repented.
Verse 20 the remnant of Israel Contrasts with the imagery in v. 19, which depicts the destruction of Assyria until only a remnant of forest remains, the survivors of the house of Jacob See 1:9 and 4:2.
Verse 21 A remnant will return referring to a spiritual, not necessarily physical, return. The phrase “a remnant will return” is also the name of Isaiah’s first son, Shear-Jashub. See 7:3 and 8:18.
Verse 22 like the sand of the sea …The Apostle Paul quotes this verse in Rom 9:27–28. overflowing with righteousness See Isa 28:22. God’s judgment is righteous and necessary.
Isaiah had foretold that the Lord himself will perform his work on mount Zion which we saw done by Sennacherib invading the land. Vs 20-23 elaborates how Gods promise of grace to His people and their suffering under affliction. The suffering indeed yielded some fruit as the remaining children of God eventually returned and repented as we shall see later in Chapter 37:14-37 Then the second part of the Vs 12. We see the punishment of King Assyria for his pride being elaborated which later came to pass in 37:38.
SECTION 3: GOD’S CHILDREN ENCOURAGED (VERSES 24 - 34)
The prophet now comforts the sincere ones. He encourages them not be afraid. He gives them hope promising them that all will eventually end well.
Verses 24 - 34
Verse 24 Assyria -This group of people came from central Mesopotamia on the Tigris River. They were the dominant power in the ancient Near East during the eighth and seventh centuries BC.
Verse 26 - Assyrians will be dealt with just as when Midian was defeated. The coming deliverance is compared to God’s victory over Midian in Judges 7:19–25. Also just as he did in Egypt. Referring to the parting of the Red Sea in Exodus 14:15–31.
Verses 28–32 The path of the Assyrian invaders is laid out from the northeast part of Judah to the vicinity of Jerusalem. The place names are mentioned in order, drawing geographically closer and closer to the immediate vicinity of Jerusalem.
Verse 32 he will shake his fist at the mountain of Assyria gets close enough to threaten Jerusalem, but does not conquer her. Zion Refers to Jerusalem. Isa 1:8.
Verse 33 is about to lop off the branches with great power. Assyria was metaphorically depicted as a tool in the hand of God.
Verse 34 He will cut down the thickets of the forest with iron, And Lebanon will fall by the Mighty One. That metaphor is turned about as a cut down to size.
Isaiah in these last verses prophesied to confirm that all suffering will end soon. These words were intended to encourage the children of Israel. Letting them know that for sure their enemy will be destroyed in the end. That the storm will soon be over. The enemy that has been threatening them will soon come to his doom. Assurance that they will all be delivered from the power of the Assyrians.
Continues to reassure the children of Israel that the more daring the enemy was the more God will be exalted in all his strength. He flies to the defence of his Children in Zion. The power of the enemy will eventually be broken. In all these we should always remember that God does not leave the wicked unpunished.
Lesson For Us
This is an assurance that no matter the challenge that is threatening us , we should not be afraid as God will surely come through for us.
Isaiah predicted that because of the evilness of Judah and Israel, the Assyrians would attack both nations. The Lord would no longer protect and help them. The Assyrian invasion would fulfil the Lord’s purposes in turning Judah to repentance and scattering the nation of Israel. From this chapter we have come to realise that our God is a sovereign God who has the power to make and to kill. Just s Proverbs 21:1 says - In the LORD’s hand the king’s heart is a stream of water that he channels toward all who please him. He did just that with the heart of Assyria King. We are made to understand that walking in disobedience to Gods word can endanger us into the camp of the enemy. It is better to be on the right side of God at all times so that we will not be exposed to evil as we may not even come out of it. God is also a merciful God that forgives once we come to repentance. No matter how far gone or how long it may take. He is always waiting to take us back. We also need to understand that there is nothing too difficult for our God as he is a God of impossibility.
Wednesday, March 22 2023
Contributor: Isekhua Evborokhai
PART I: PROMISES (FROM A LOVING GOD)
From verses 1-2 of this chapter we see that although the land of Zebulun and Naphtali will be under God’s judgment. He now decrees that despite the fact that He has afflicted them for their sins, He will now show them a great light; giving them a way out of the darkness. See Matthew 4:13-16
What does this mean to us?
Verses 3-5: The Lord Will Make Israel Great Again and They Shall be Joyful!
These verses spell out the consequences of the great light the Lord promised. Israel will again be great, filled with joy because God will break the chains binding His people and the whip that scourges them, just like He granted Gideon victory over Midian in Judges 7.
What does this mean to us?
Verses 6-7: The Glory of the Messiah and His Reign
A child is born, . . . a son is given
His name shall be called . . .
What does this mean to us?
PART II: JUDGMENT (FROM A JUST GOD)
Verses 8-12: Because of Their Unholy Pride, Israel Will Be Defeated By Her Enemies
In their pride, the leaders and the people of the Northern Kingdom of Israel said, “Who cares if God judges us? Whatever is torn down, we will rebuild with something better. We have nothing to fear from what God can bring against us.” Instead of humbling themselves before the face of God on account of the many calamities that had already descended on them, they still entertained a light-hearted optimism regarding the future. So, God sent successive waves of enemies against Israel (The Syrians before and the Philistines behind). The destruction of Israel would be complete, and their proud promise to rebuild would be unfulfilled.
What does this mean to us?
Verses 13-17: Because They Refuse To Repent, Their Leaders Will Be Destroyed
Each episode of judgment was followed by Israel’s refusal to turn to the LORD. They refused to turn to God for an explanation of why they were experiencing such evil. They were like dumb animals that resist even more when they are beaten.
What does this mean to us?
Verses 18-21: Because of Their Wickedness They Will Attack Their Own Brothers
The wickedness of Israel was as a raging wildfire: unstoppable, swift, uncontrolled, and devouring everything it touches. However, the people shall themselves by their wickedness, be the fuel for the fire. If they had ceased from their wicked ways, the fire would have no more fuel to continue to burn. But their wickedness prevailed to the point where they lost all sense of reasoning and started attacking each other. Verse 20 says:
What does this mean to us?
Parts of this wtudy was culled from https://enduringword.com/bible-commentary/isaiah-9/
Wednesday, March 15 2023
Contributor: Alex Kokobili
Isaiah 7: 13-16 Then said Isaiah, Hear ye now, O house of David, Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will ye weary my God also? 14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son and shall call his name Immanuel.15He shall eat butter and honey that he may know to refuse the evil and choose the good.16 For before the child shall know to refuse the evil and choose the good; the land that thou dost abhor shall be forsaken of both her kings).
Despite God’s warning to King Ahaz, he went ahead to make a treaty with the Assyrians for protection. The consequences of Ahaz’s action will be that the Assyrians take over Judah as the waters flood over a territory.
Isaiah 8:1-9 explained God’s message to Judah through Isaiah with instruction that he should write it with a pen on a scroll and also call the priest –Uriah as a witness so that it can be in records for everyone to see and then reveal it to King Ahaz. Why was this done? This was because King Ahaz did not trust God for the salvation of Judah. The Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz was mentioned figuratively as a prophecy which means son of plunder which is opposite to God’s redemption of humanity “IMMANUEL”. God did not take Ahaz’s actions lightly because King Ahaz himself did not trust God to depend on Him for protection for the fear of attack from Syria, Ephraim, and the son of Remaliah despite His assurance of victory to the House of Judah.
2 Kings 8:19 Yet for the sake of His servant David, the Lord was unwilling to destroy Judah, since He had promised to maintain a lamp for David and His descendants forever).
Also, Joshua willed Judah the Southern of the promised land which became part of Jerusalem in Judah (Joshua 15) and this region became the site for the temple in Jerusalem, Mount Moriah, and also Mount Zion, and became the spiritual headquarters and strength of other tribes. We see this in Genesis 22:2, And later David affirmed in Psalm 132:13 that God has chosen Zion as His desired habitation. Bible scholars also tells us that Mount Moriah where God asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac later became known as Zion in Southern Jerusalem. David own his own evolution willed Judah the Southern part of the city to God (2 Samuel 5: 7 Nevertheless, David captured the fortress of Zion—which is the City of David). This region of Judah was also where Solomon built the temple in Jerusalem
2 Chronicles 3: 1 Then Solomon began to build the temple of the LORD in Jerusalem on Mount Moriah, where the LORD had appeared to his father David. It was on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite, the place provided by David.
Despite the good news of God’s redemption that will be pioneered by the House of Judah, God will bring judgment against the House of Judah because of the actions of King Ahaz in which he aligned with the Assyrians to fortify Judah against the aggression of Syria and Ephraim, and the son of Remaliah. King Ahaz was justified and had reasons to be afraid because they had suffered similar situation in the past and the antecedent of the Syrians, Ephraim and Remaliah was enough to frighten King Ahaz.
We notice this in - 2 Chronicles 28:6-8
For Pekah the son of Remaliah killed one hundred and twenty thousand in Judah in one day, all valiant men, because they had forsaken the LORD God of their fathers. 7 Zichri, a mighty man of Ephraim, killed Maaseiah the king’s son, Azrikam the officer over the house, and Elkanah who was second to the king. 8And the children of Israel carried away captive of their brethren two hundred thousand women, sons, and daughters; and they also took away much spoil from them, and brought the spoil to Samaria.
However, we will observe despite Ahaz’s justification in Isaiah 8:7, that God showed displeasure with Judah for King Ahaz’s treaty with the Assyrians and how such an action will be a yoke and snare to them.
The Assyrians were also the enemies of Israel who had invaded them before which also made God not pleased with the actions of Ahaz (2 Chronicles 5: 26 So the God of Israel stirred up the spirit of King Pul of Assyria, the spirit of King Tilgath-pilneser of Assyria, and he carried them away, namely, the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh, and brought them to Halah, Habor, Hara, and the river Gozan, to this day).
Isaiah 8:10-16 – At this point, God makes a demand on King Ahaz to ask for a sign as an assurance over His people. God’s intention was for King Ahaz to understand that He will be an everlasting savior over the people of Israel and Judah, and also out of the tribe of Judah comes forth salvation “IMMANUEL”. This prophecy was beyond the immediate threat of the Syrians and Israel against the House of Judah. As a people the task of trusting God for the fulfilment of His word means not settling for Ismael because of the NOW situation of temporary comfort which is short sightedness and only an opposition to God’s everlasting blessing of Isaac that requires our faith and complete obedience to Him.
Isaiah 8:16-20, God warns Isaiah not to focus on the conspiracy against Judah but to tell the people to adhere to His law but regardless Ahaz put his trust and that of His people in the might of the Assyrians. Furthermore, the people Judah continued in their ways and then God tells Isaiah to pay attention to the testimony (law) of the Lord; wait on Him and position himself and his children as God’s sign and wonder which the people will now read because they have derailed to seeking mediums and fortune tellers. The became a case of backsliding and complete derailment from the only true God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The failed to come to the understanding their action of seeking other gods through mediums was a rejection of God’s law and also an abomination before Him.
Isaiah 8:21-22 The consequences of Judah’s level rejection of God will bring His God’s judgment and hardship on both Israel and Judah which prevailed for many years until the fulfilment of the coming of Jesus Christ, Immanuel (Mathew 1: 23) whose coming reconciled humanity to God.
Hebrews 1: 1-3 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.2 For by it the elders obtained a good report.3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear).
This is a life void of sentiment, because life of sentiment focuses on reality and pragmatism which cannot pass the test of faith in God. Did you wonder why God’s rebuke of Judah and Israel was so severe? This is because God does not spare His own when it comes to complete adherence. He expects us to trust Him in order to bring out the best in us even though the process might seem unrealistic just as He assured King Ahaz of the safety Judah and His redemption “Immanuel”, but Ahaz was shortsighted by aligning with the Assyrians.
Proverbs 3: 5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight)
Wednesday, March 08 2023
Contributor: Isekhua Evborokhai
IMPORTANT LEARNING POINTS
As we see in verse 2, Bad news had come that Israel and Syria had formed an alliance to fight against Judah and they were terrified. Just like Israel at the walls of Jericho who said they were like grasshoppers in the eyes of the Anak (Numbers 13:33) the people were terrified. But the Almighty has this to say in verse 4
God called the two kings burned-out embers. All smoke no fire. All bark no bite. Here is an unfailing truth. “Everything fades into irrelevance when they come in contact with the Almighty.” So whose report will you believe? Isaiah 53: 1
2. Point 2 (Verse 7-9a): Sometimes God Does Things For His Namesake
Psalms 23: 4 says: “He leads me in the path of righteousness for His namesake”
3. Point 3 (Verse 9b): We Need Faith to Stand Firm
This statement stands true even to today. It is very important for us as Christians to in faith, stand up for what we believe
4. Point 4 (Verses 10-12): Faith and Trust is better than Signs and Wonders
5. Point 5 (Verse 14): The Significance of the Virgin Birth
Why was the birth of Christ through a virgin very important?
6. Point 6 (Verses 15-16) Assurance of Safety
Here again is where the prophecy of Isaiah spans two eras. He prophesies the birth of a miraculous child and that before that child will attain maturity, Israel and Syria would have been dealt with by the Assyrians and will no longer be a threat. Although the virgin birth refers to Jesus here, but it was 730 years after this prophecy that Jesus was born. However, if Jesus had been born at that time, the time frame would still have been valid!
7. Point 7 (Verses 17-25): God Does Not Compromise When It Comes To Consequences
“But also be warned: God will bring on you and your people and your government a judgment worse than anything since the time the kingdom split, when Ephraim left Judah. The king of Assyria is coming!” MSG
This prophecy came to pass as recorded in 2 Kings 18:13, when the new Assyrian King Sennacherib led a powerful invasion force to suppress Judah’s revolt. He came up against all the fortified cities of Judah and captured them.