Take a look around you … do you see what is happening? do you see what has taken place? do you see the efforts around division? do you see the efforts around breaking apart? do you see the efforts of trying to hide lies? do you see the efforts of trying to deceive? do you see the efforts to try and hide the truth? do you see the efforts to replace the truth or modify the truth with lies?
Is there anything that can be done to be able to cut through the lies? Is there anything that can be done to bring people back together? Is there anything that can be done to hold those in authority accountable for their words and their actions? Is there anything that can be done to hold those in authority accountable for the actions they do and create? Is there anything that can be done to recreate unity? Is there anything that can be done to unify the people?
How bad does it have to get before people turn back to God? How bad does it have to get before people realize that we need God? How bad does it have to get before people give up self in order to allow God’s way to rule? How bad does it have to get before…
As new as some of the struggles we see around us, it seems that life is like a pendulum or a merry go round that goes round and round or back and forth. Consider in the Bible when people walked away from God and the behavior they exhibited to where we are today. Consider in the Bible when people finally got to the end of their rope and finally turned back and cried out to God to save them. God’s Word reminds us how if we will humble ourselves and turn from our wicked ways and pray, God will hear our prayers and heal our land!
How bad does it have to get before…
Today’s reading begins in Isaiah…
1The burden of Moab. For in the night that Ar is devastated, Moab is ruined; for in the night that Kir is devastated, Moab is ruined. 2He has gone up to the shrine, to Dibon, to the high places to weep. Moab wails over Nebo and Medeba. Every head is bald, every beard shaven. 3In their streets they wear sackcloth. On their housetops and in their plazas, everyone wails, weeping profusely. 4Heshbon and Elealeh cry out. Their voice is heard as far as Jahaz. Therefore the soldiers of Moab cry aloud, his soul faints within him. 5My heart cries out for Moab. Her fugitives are as far as Zoar as a three year old heifer, for by the ascent of Luhith they go up with weeping, for on the way of Horonaim they raise a cry of distress. 6The waters of Nimrim are desolate. The grass is withered away, the new grass withers, there is nothing green. 7Therefore the riches they had gotten and whatever they have stored, they carry over the Wadi of Willows. 8For the cry has gone around the borders of Moab, the wailing to Eglaim, and the wailing to Beer-elim. 9For the waters of Dimon are full of blood, but I will bring on Dimon even more— a lion for those escaping from Moab, and for those remaining in the land.
–from Isaiah 15
When will truth reign? When will mercy be established? When will justice be provided? When will we be ready for righteousness? When will joy and gladness return? When will we get past the haughtiness, arrogance, insolence, and dishonest boasting?
When will we humble ourselves? When will we turn from our wicked ways? When will we pray?
How big will the remainder be? How many people will hold onto the truth? How many will not lose hope and not lose faith in God? How many will stick close to God through it all?
1Send lambs to the ruler of the land from Sela in the desert to the mountain of the Daughter of Zion. 2For like fluttering birds, scattered from a nest, so will the daughters of Moab be at the fords of Arnon. 3‘Give counsel, execute justice. Cast your shadow like night at noonday. Hide the refugees, do not betray the fugitive. 4Let My refugees stay with you. Be for Moab a hiding place from the face of the destroyer. For the extortion is at an end, devastation ceases, oppressors are gone from the land. 5A throne will be established in mercy, and One will sit on it in truth —in the tent of David— One who seeks justice and is ready for righteousness. 6We have heard of the pride of Moab— very proud is he—of his haughtiness, his arrogance, his insolence, and his dishonest boasting. 7Therefore Moab will wail for Moab— everyone will wail! For the sweet cakes of Kir-hareseth you will moan, utterly stricken. 8For the fields of Heshbon have withered, as well as the vine of Sibmah. Rulers of nations have trampled the choice clusters, that reached as far as Jazer and into the desert, its branches spread out and crossed to the sea. 9Therefore I will weep bitterly for Jazer, for the vine of Sibmah. I will drench you with my tears, O Heshbon and Elealeh. For on your summer and your harvest the battle cry has fallen. 10Gladness and joy are taken away from the fruitful field. In the vineyards, no singing for joy no happy shouting, no treading wine in the presses. I have made the shouting stop. 11Therefore my heart moans for Moab like a lyre, and my inward part for Kir-heres. 12So it will be, when Moab is weary upon the high place and comes to his sanctuary to pray, it will do him no good. 13This is the word that Adonai spoke concerning Moab in the past. 14But now Adonai has spoken, saying: “Within three years (as with the years of a hired worker), the glory of Moab will be disgraced; for all his large population, the remnant will be very small and feeble.”
–from Isaiah 16
How long will it take before we look beyond what we can do and turn to God for whom all things are possible? How long will it take before we look to the God of our salvation? How long will it take before we look to the God who is our rock?
1The burden of Damascus: Behold, Damascus will cease as a city and will become a ruinous heap. 2The cities of Aroer are forsaken. They will be for flocks—they will lie down and no one will frighten them. 3The fortress will also cease from Ephraim, and the kingdom from Damascus. The remnant of Aram will be like the glory of Bnei-Yisrael. It is a declaration of Adonai-Tzva’ot.
Jacob’s Glory Fades
4Now in that day Jacob’s glory will fade, and the fatness of his flesh grow lean. 5It will be as when the harvester gathers the standing grain and reaps the heads with his arm, as when one gleans grain in the valley of Rephaim. 6Only gleanings will remain, as when beating an olive tree— two or three olives at the very top, four or five on a fruitful tree’s branches. It is a declaration of Adonai God of Israel. 7In that day a man will look to his Maker and his eyes will turn to the Holy One of Israel. 8He will not look to the altars, the work of his hands, nor will he look to what his fingers have made—neither the Asherah poles nor the sun-images. 9In that day the strong cities will be like forsaken forests and treetops that were abandoned, because of Bnei-Yisrael—they will be laid waste. 10For you have forgotten the God of your salvation and you have not remembered the Rock of your strength. Therefore you plant delightful plants and set out exotic vines. 11In the day that you plant, you fence it in, and in the morning you made your seed to sprout— but the harvest will be a heap in a day of grief and incurable pain. 12Oy ! The uproar of many peoples who roar like the roaring of the seas. The rumbling of nations, who rush in like the rumbling of mighty waters! 13The nations will rush in like the rumbling of many waters, but He will rebuke them so they will flee far away, chased like chaff on the hills before the wind, like whirling dust before the storm. 14At evening time—sudden terror! Before morning, they are no more. This is the reward of those who plunder us and the lot of those who pillage us.
–from Isaiah 17
Heavenly Father, You are so awesome and incredible. I pray for Your will to take place today in my life that in and through it all You will be glorified. Provide for me today I pray wisdom for every situation and every decision that will come my way. Lord, You have taught me the importance of forgiveness and releasing the bitterness and anger that I had held onto. Lord I pray in Jesus’ name that You will forgive me for what I have done or left undone as I have forgiven others. Grant me wisdom I pray that I won’t be tempted by the evil one and be lead astray, but will cling onto the truth. I ask all this in Jesus’ name so that in and through it all You will receive, the praise, the honor, and the glory. Amen.
Let’s ask Jesus into our hearts! Let’s ask the Holy Spirit to be our comforter and our guide! Let’s allow God’s way to take root and bring us back to that peace that goes beyond all understanding! Will you believe Him? Will you trust Him? Will you follow Him?
Let’s stop repeating the past and walk forward in faith and hope believing and trusting in God!
Healing on Shabbat
1After this there was a Jewish feast, and Yeshua went up to Jerusalem. 2Now in Jerusalem there is a pool by the sheep gate, called Bethzatha in Aramaic, which has five porches. 3In these a crowd of invalids was lying around—blind, lame, disabled. 4 5Now a certain man had been an invalid there for thirty-eight years. 6Seeing him lying there and knowing he had been that way a long time, Yeshua said to him, “Do you want to get well?” 7The invalid answered Him, “Sir, I have nobody to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up. While I’m trying to get in, somebody else steps down before me!” 8Yeshua tells him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk!” 9Immediately, the man was healed! He took up his mat and started walking around. Now that day was Shabbat, 10so Judean leaders were saying to the man who was healed, “It’s Shabbat! It’s not permitted for you to carry your mat.” 11But he answered them, “The man who made me well told me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’” 12They asked him, “Who is the man who told you, ‘Pick up your mat and walk’?” 13But the man who had been healed didn’t know who it was, for Yeshua had slipped away into the crowd in that place. 14Afterwards, Yeshua finds him in the Temple. He said to him, “Look, you’ve been healed! Stop sinning, so nothing worse happens to you.” 15The man left and told the Judean leaders that it was Yeshua who had made him well.
Sent by the Father
16Because Yeshua was doing these things on Shabbat, the Judean leaders started persecuting Him. 17But Yeshua said to them, “My Father is still working, and I also am working.” 18So for this reason the Judean leaders kept trying even harder to kill Him—because He was not only breaking Shabbat, but also calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God. 19Therefore Yeshua answered them, “Amen, amen I tell you, the Son cannot do anything by Himself. He can do only what He sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son does likewise. 20For the Father loves the Son and shows Him everything He does. He will show Him even greater works than these, so that you will be amazed. 21For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whomever He wants. 22The Father does not judge anyone, but has handed over all judgment to the Son 23so that all should honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him. 24“Amen, amen I tell you, whoever hears My word and trusts the One who sent Me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed over from death into life. 25Amen, amen I tell you, an hour is coming and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of Ben-Elohim. Those who hear will live! 26For just as the Father has life in Himself, so also He has granted the Son to have life in Himself. 27Also He has given the Son authority to judge, because He is the Son of Man. 28“Do not be amazed at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in their graves will hear His voice 29and come out! Those who have done good will come to a resurrection of life, and those who have done evil will come to a resurrection of judgment. 30I can do nothing on My own. Just as I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, for I do not seek My own will, but the will of the One who sent Me.”
The Father Testifies about the Son
31“If I testify about Myself, My witness is not valid. 32There is another who testifies about Me, and I know that the testimony He gives is true. 33You have sent to John, and he has testified to the truth. 34I do not receive the testimony of man, but I say these things so that you may be saved. 35He was the lamp that was burning and shining, and you wanted to rejoice for a while in his light. 36“But the testimony I have is greater than that from John. The works the Father has given Me to finish—the very works I am doing—testify about Me, that the Father has sent Me. 37And the Father who sent Me has testified concerning Me. You have never heard His voice nor seen His form. 38Nor do you have His Word living in you, because you do not trust the One He sent. 39You search the Scriptures because you suppose that in them you have eternal life. It is these that testify about Me. 40Yet you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life! 41“I do not accept glory from men. 42But I know you, that you do not have the love of God in yourselves. 43I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me. But if another comes in his own name, you will receive him. 44How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and you do not seek the glory that comes from God alone? 45“Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father. The one who accuses you is Moses, in whom you have put your hope. 46For if you were believing Moses, you would believe Me—because he wrote about Me. 47But since you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?”
–from John 5
So will you go beyond knowledge and ask God for wisdom? Will you look beyond self and look to God and His Word? Rulers of the past as rulers of the present may not understand it or get it, but the truth never changes! Will you give yourself up to God and allow the Holy Spirit to come into your life to lead you and guide you through every step of every day?
Wisdom that Rests on God’s Power
1When I came to you, brothers and sisters, I did not come with excellence of speech or wisdom, proclaiming to you the mystery of God. 2For I decided not to know about anything among you except Yeshua the Messiah—and Him crucified. 3I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling. 4My speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power— 5so that your faith would not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. 6We do speak wisdom, however, among those who are mature—but not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. 7Rather, we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery—a wisdom that has been hidden, which God destined for our glory before the ages. 8None of the rulers of this age understood it—for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9But as it is written, “Things no eye has seen and no ear has heard, that have not entered the heart of mankind— these things God has prepared for those who love Him.” 10But God revealed these things to us through the Ruach. For the Ruach searches all things—even the depths of God. 11For who among men knows the things of a man, except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way, no one knows the things of God except the Ruach Elohim. 12Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God—so we might come to know the things freely given to us by God. 13These things we also speak—not in words taught by human wisdom but in words taught by the Ruach, explaining the spiritual to the spiritual. 14Now a natural man does not accept the things of the Ruach Elohim, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15But the one who is spiritual discerns all things, and he himself is discerned by no one. For 16“who has known the mind of Adonai, that he will instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Messiah.
–from 1 Corinthians 2