:) Finally had some time! Next week should be fun... we're heading into some messianic prophecies... :)

Happy studying!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Isaiah Chapter 10:1-11

vs. 1-4

- “What sorrow awaits the unjust judges and those who issue unfair laws. They deprive the poor of justice and deny the rights of the needy among my people. They prey on widows and take advantage of orphans. What will you do when I punish you, when I send disaster upon you from a distant land? To whom will you turn for help? Where will your treasures be safe? You will stumble along as prisoners or lie among the dead. But even then the Lord's anger will not be satisfied. His fist is still poised to strike.”

- These verses are a continuation of the previous chapter.

- The wickedness of the people started with the leaders. Some of those leaders were the judges... the guys who made the laws and executed their judgment according to the law.

- These judges had become a corrupt faction. They were solely concerned with themselves. They were going so far as to condemn the widows and orphans, those who were most in need of help, to extreme poverty.

- In Exodus 22:22-24, the people had been given an edict about widows and orphans: “You must not exploit a widow or an orphan. If you exploit them in any way and they cry out to me, then I will certainly hear their cry. My anger will blaze against you, and I will kill you with the sword. Then your wives will be widows and your children fatherless.”

- From the beginning of the law, the people had been given very specific directions about widows and orphans... I mean... the fact that God said He'd kill them if they exploited the weaker members of society... that's pretty cut and dried...

- I Timothy 5:1-16
- James 1:19-27
- Proverbs 23:10-11

- These judges had ceased to care for their fellow man. They were using their position to take advantage of other people.

- We are all in positions that allow us to help or harm the people around us, whether we are judges or bosses, or teachers, or parents, or garbage men.

- Now, not all of us may come into contact with specifically widows and orphans, but we do come into contact with broken people. People who... whether materially, emotionally, or spiritually... NEED something from us. They need our support, our help, our comfort... our faith.

- What happens when we turn away from them? Or use their pain or weakness to our advantage? Oh maybe we don't steal their money, maybe we don't take their possessions... but... maybe we use them when WE need emotional support... and then in turn... refuse to give honest support when they need it.

- I have a friend with whom I had that kind of relationship. Any time something was going wrong in our lives, we would run to the other for support... and totally drain them dry... And as soon as we felt secure enough in ourselves to move on or at least live life without breaking down... we would stop talking to each other, or at least stop being true friends... we'd fight, we'd argue, we'd verbally beat up on each other... tear each other apart... and then when we needed that emotional support... we'd be right back there... draining them dry... but never really forming a relationship out of it. It was more like having an acquaintance that you occasionally poured your heart out to about specific situations... but never REALLY got to know them. We knew the hard parts of the others' life... but we didn't know the rest.

- When I realized one day that I didn't even know if they had siblings... or how many they had... that was a turning point in my way of thinking... I didn't know basic details of their life... but I knew all their relationship issues... How messed up is that? Usually that's the LAST thing you talk about...

- Using someone like that, just hurts both parties. It makes you both vulnerable, without the security of having anything to fall back on. And it creates anger instead of compassion.

- So again... you may not be taking material things from those around you... it might be something emotional.

- Any time you take advantage of someone else, you are going against God's command to “love your neighbor as yourself.”

- Romans 13:8-10
- James 2:1-13

- These judges were doing the same thing... they weren't loving their neighbor... they were looking at the things their neighbor had and trying to figure out how to get it away from him. They were taking bribes... convicting the innocent and freeing the guilty. They were only making judgments according to what THEY themselves would get out of the verdict.

- Do we judge people like that? You bet.

- How about cliches in school... remember those? Oh yeah... the preppy kids, the cheerleaders, the jocks, the nerds, the music/theater geeks... not much has changed over the last 50 years... oh sure, they have some new titles... emo, goth, skater... cliches are still cliches.

- How about using someone to gain entry into the cliche? Using them to gain popularity... and then leaving them along the roadside... ever been there?

- We do the same thing in our workplaces... you know you do... there's cliches there, just like there was in middle school... You have the workaholics, the slackers, the brown-nosers, and the ones that will do ANYTHING to get ahead...

- How do you treat the people around you? Do you use them for a purpose and then leave them to sort out the pieces of their wrecked and broken life? Do you leave them wondering “what just happened?” Do you find yourself looking for ways to gain something for yourself... no matter the cost to others? Does your heart harden when you think about the pain in eyes of another because of YOUR actions?

- What kind of consequences will there be for your actions? Considering that God was ready to kill these people off because of their abuse of others...

- Jeremiah 17:5-13
- Habakkuk 2:4-20
- Ezekiel 22
- I Peter 3:8-12
- II Peter 2

vs. 5-11

- “What sorrow awaits Assyria, the rod of my anger. I use it as a club to express my anger. I am sending Assyria against a godless nation, against a people with whom I am angry. Assyria will plunder them, trampling them like dirt beneath its feet. But the king of Assyria will not understand that he is my tool; his mind does not work that way. His plan is simply to destroy, to cut down nation after nation. He will say, 'Each of my princes will soon be a king. We destroyed Calno just as we did Carchemish. Hamath fell before us as Arpad did. And we destroyed Samaria just as we did Damascus. Yes, we have finished off many a kingdom whose gods were greater than those in Jerusalem and Samaria. So we will defeat Jerusalem and her gods, just as we destroyed Samaria with hers.'”

- (Before we get into this... I just have to say... these verses SCREAM arrogance and pride...)

- Assyria was one of the many nations that fought against Israel. It was an incredibly strong nation... that at one point... actually repented and followed God.

- Do you remember the story of Jonah? Well... Nineveh... was the capitol of Assyria. God sent Jonah to the capitol to preach repentance. The city did indeed repent and God prospered them. Later, they started to turn back to their old sinful ways. God's prophets often prophesied the destruction of Assyria if they did not repent... but Assyria turned their hearts away.

- However, here, this nation was used of God. Eventually, because of their sin, they were going to be destroyed... but God can use many things... even vessels that don't know they're being used of God...

- Because of their sin, Assyria had started to devour their neighboring nations... they had become power hungry. They were destructive... and many of their nation's practices are said to have been nothing short of barbaric. They were cocky. They thought that nothing could be higher than they.

- Isaiah here says that they were talking about how weak the gods were. All these places had their own gods that they worshiped. The gods were reflected in the people of the nation. So if the nation was strong... so were the gods... So here stands Assyria, thinking that they are the best thing since sliced bread... thinking that their gods... are most DEFINITELY the strongest right now... and they're getting ready to go up against the ALMIGHT GOD!? Oh boy...

- God knew their hearts. They weren't listening to Him anymore. They had turned away. And they had set their sights on defeating Israel. And while God could have stopped them... Israel was deserving of their punishment. The consequences for sin eventually find you out... no matter what you do...

- So God didn't stop Assyria. He allowed them to take Israel captive. Eventually, tough love is the only option. When God blessed Israel... and they still turned away... time and time again... obviously... blessings weren't working. They were using God... but not loving Him.

- And while God allowed Assyria to conquer Israel... their actions did not go unpunished. They themselves were later destroyed... to a massive extent. Nineveh never rose again... you can barely tell there was ever anything on the site at all... There are mounds of dirt... but no foundations of anything... The people were scattered... and the nation completely crumbled. Leaving no trace of its existence behind...

- Whereas Israel has risen from the ashes... because they eventually repented... and God still honors His covenant. Assyria, on the other hand, threw away the only chance they had... all because of their pride and arrogance.

- II Thessalonians 1:3-10
- Ezekiel 34
- Hebrews 12:5-13

1 comment:

  1. Interesting article..Thanks for sharing such a wonderful article..
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