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

Happy studying!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Isaiah Chapter 8:1-10

Isaiah Chapter 8:1-10
vs. 1-2

- “Then the Lord said to me, “Make a large signboard and clearly write this name on it: Maher-shalal-hash-baz.” I asked Uriah the priest and Zechariah son of Jeberekiah, both known as honest men, to witness my doing this.”

- Okay... couple of things. Maher-shalal-hash-baz (man what a word...) means “Swift to plunder and quick to carry away”.

- And Isaiah asked for witnesses to corroborate what he was doing. In Jewish tradition “The facts of every case must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.” (II Corinthians 13:1)

- If there was a question about anything that was done, then there needed to be two witnesses present to testify either on your behalf, or against you. Without at least two witnesses, the allegations would be thrown out.

- This is where surrounding yourself with godly people is a good thing... if there's any question about your character, or your actions... there should be somebody standing by who can vouch for you. Otherwise... you end up with people who maybe just want to see you fall... to see how you're going to react when your character is attacked... Or who just want your name to be less-than-spotless...

- I had a friend who, every time we'd hang out or anything, he'd try and get me to cuss, or drink, or... any number of random things... and at one point he told me that his goal was to see me do something I knew I wasn't supposed to... Great friend right?

- I had class with a guy... I think in high school... it's been a while, but he said his goal was to see me get angry... he wanted to know what I'd do when I got mad. So every day... he'd try and push buttons... just to see what would happen...

- If we're not careful about who we put around us... and we still try to take a stand for something... then that's the kind of characters we're going to end up with... As opposed to Isaiah.... putting men who were “known to be honest” around him.

- Jeremiah 15:15-21
- III John 1:11
- Deuteronomy 18:9-14
- Ephesians 4:11-5:20

vs. 3-4

- “Then I slept with my wife, and she became pregnant and gave birth to a son. And the Lord said, Call him Maher-shalal-hash-baz. For before this child is old enough to say “papa” or “mama,” the king of Assyria will carry away both the abundance of Damascus and the riches of Samaria.”

- What a name for the poor kid to be saddled with...

- OK, now we have two prophecies involving newborn children and their names. The last chapter we had, Immanuel was prophesied as a sign that deliverance was coming. This chapter, Isaiah's child is prophesied as a sign that destruction is coming... “Swiftly plundered and quickly carried away.”

- Judah is still refusing to turn away from their idols and their sin, to God. So... destruction is on its way. He's given them every chance He could. He even gave an evil king an obvious sign that there would be deliverance, and then brought deliverance! And even though they cannot deny His presence... cannot deny His existence... They still choose to turn away.

- When our hearts become hardened against the things of God... He can't speak to them anymore. The more He speaks, the more we turn away... And when we get to the place where we absolutely refuse to hear the voice of God...

- Well, okay... let me give you this example.

- We found out this week that our state education department has decided to put into policy a new discipline edict. It is based around the premise that positive reinforcement is the only way to go. We will not be allowed to “take” anything from students. For example, recess. Students can earn things, like reward trips, or play days, but we can't do anything that is a negative reaction to a behavior.

- Okay, well that's all well and good... however... as you can see in this article ( sometimes... positive reinforcement isn't a move you can make... This is a story about a 6 year old who was taken out of school in handcuffs in Florida. She was basically pitching a fit and going off the wall... and they couldn't restrain her. So for her safety and the safety of the people around her... they finally put her in handcuffs cause she refused to settle down enough to be allowed back into the regular population. Her mother is pitching a fit... and honestly... it's ridiculous.

- When the kids are going off the wall and become a danger to themselves or to others... as we have seen and heard many times before... there comes a time to take drastic measures. When you are not allowed to discipline... things get out of hand. Had there been a discipline system in place that would have allowed the school to restrain this child... I don't think there would have been a problem... however... we as teachers are told many times not to touch a child no matter what because of the impending doom of lawsuits by parents... Even if the child is a danger to another kid... we're told not to touch them if at all possible.

- In my own state we've had elementary students removed from the school grounds in handcuffs due to violent outbreaks. And it shouldn't be that way... There's no reason that a child, who is supposed to be learning from their elders... who's supposed to be under our authority... should be running all over us...

- In my opinion... in general... kids are becoming less and less well-behaved... and more and more difficult to control in any way... and I think that can be correlated to the lack of allowed discipline on the teacher's part... as well as the want of discipline within the home.

- I had an education professor who once said that we needed to discuss things with kids and let them decide on their punishment and basically talk them out of being bad... except that we had just went over I think the Piaget theory that said that the reasoning ability of a child did not fully develop until around age 10 or so. Up until that point, they're not really capable of successful reasoning on moral issues. So... why are we TALKING to and REASONING with the screaming 3 year old????

- Positive reinforcement only goes so far... eventually... you gotta have strong discipline. Especially with kids. Because kids aren't dumb... they learn REAL fast what they can get away with... they learn what buttons to push and what cards to play to ALMOST get in big trouble... They hang on the outskirts of going too far... they might even tip toe across the line every now and again... but they figure out really fast how to get out of actually needing to apologize... and mean it... crocodile tears...

- God loves positive reinforcement. He loves to reward us for doing good. He loves to give good gifts to His children. When Israel and Judah were turning away, He still tried to bless them. Still tried to make them see that He loved them... Tried to prove that He was able to do anything for them... if they would only turn back to Him....

- Matthew 7:9-11
- Luke 11:11-13

- Instead... they pushed too far. They kept trying to push the boundaries...

- God sees the heart... and what He saw in the hearts of His people... was wicked and dark. He could no longer speak to them. They had stopped their ears and turned their thoughts to other things. It was time for them to stop taking sucker punches at God. He'd been taken advantage of and abused enough. It was time for them to receive their just desserts.

- And yet He still sent warnings. He still tried to change their minds and hearts... Isaiah posted this huge, public sign so all could see it...

- Where are you in your walk? Have you allowed your heart to grow hard towards the things of God? Are you taking God for granted? Do you abuse the Grace and Mercy of God? What kind of warning signs has God placed in your life? Are you paying attention? Or choosing to ignore them when they come?

- “All of us must die eventually. Our lives are like water spilled out on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again. But God does not just sweep life away; instead, He devises ways to bring us back when we have been separated from Him.” (II Samuel 14:14)

vs. 5-8

- “Then the Lord spoke to me again and said, “My care for the people of Judah is like the gently flowing waters of Shilaoh, but they have rejected it. They are rejoicing over what will happen to King Rezin and King Pekah. Therefore, the Lord will overwhelm them with a mighty flood from the Euphrates River—the king of Assyria and all his glory. This flood will overflow all its channels and sweep into Judah until it is chin deep. It will spread its wings, submerging your land from one end to the other, O Immanuel.”

- okay... bear with me... A little history on Shiloh. Man there's a lot here...

- Okay... In Joshua 18, the setting of the Tabernacle was moved from Gilgal, to Shiloh. It was situated in the land of Ephraim and was kind of central for the people.

- Ephraim, at this point in Israel's history, was the strongest of the tribes. Ephraim was the youngest son of Joseph. One place it says that Ephraim had 10 thousands of men, and his brother tribe, Manasseh, had only thousands.

- If you remember, Jacob switched hands and blessed Ephraim above his elder brother Manasseh. (Genesis 48)

- Shiloh was a place of worship. It was known as a place of rest. So... the city that is for peace and rest... have turned away.

- Ephraim is sometimes used in place of Israel. Because it was a focal point for Israel. And remember that Shiloh was in Ephraim.

- In Hosea 13, God says this: “When the tribe of Ephraim spoke, the people shook with fear, for that tribe was important in Israel. But the people of Ephraim sinned by worshiping Baal and thus sealed their destruction. Now they continue to sin by making silver idols, images shaped skillfully with human hands. “Sacrifice to these,” they cry, “and kiss the calf idols!” Therefore, they will disappear like the morning mist, like dew in the morning sun, like chaff blown by the wind, like smoke from a chimney.”

- and in Hosea 5, “The leaders of Judah have become like thieves. So I will pour my anger on them like a waterfall. The people of Israel will be crushed and broken by my judgment because they are determined to worship idols. I will destroy Israel as a moth consumes wool. I will make Judah as weak as rotten wood.”

- Once a place of worship... now a place of sin... When Jeroboam first set up the gold calves so the people wouldn't go to Judah to worship, (I Kings 12) he set one up in Bethel... which wasn't that far from Shiloh. By then the temple was in Jerusalem and Shiloh was destroyed (it is assumed that Shiloh was destroyed by the Philistines following their capture of the ark of the covenant- I Samuel 4 and 5) So Bethel and Dan became the new places of worship.

- Oh... and by the way... Jeroboam was of the tribe of Ephraim (I Kings 11:26)

- So... In Shiloh... a place of rest... a place of peace... A place where God's house had been built in the middle of the nation so that anybody at any time could come to seek His presence... A place where God could actively show His people that He cared for them... This is the place... in which they chose to reject Him.

- “.... But they kept testing and rebelling against God Most High. They did not obey His laws. They turned back and were as faithless as their parents. They were as undependable as a crooked bow. They angered God by building shrines to other gods; they made Him jealous with their idols. When God heard them, He was very angry, and He completely rejected Israel. Then He abandoned His dwelling at Shiloh, the Tabernacle where He had lived among the people. He allowed the Ark of His might to be captured; He surrendered His glory into enemy hands. He gave His people over to be butchered by the sword, because He was so angry with His own people—His special possession. Their young men were killed by fire; their young women died before singing their wedding songs. Their priests were slaughtered, and their widows could not mourn their deaths.” (Psalm 78)

- Since they had rejected His healing waters... He will now flood them out. They will be washed in the water of destruction instead of cleansed in the water of holiness. They will be submerged just as in the first flood... to rid the nation of sin. To drown out that which holds them back from communion with God.

vs. 5-8 (Second Take)

- Now... looking at Israel's history... indeed... that is exactly what happened... however... I want to also look at the Messianic side of this portion...

- In Genesis 49, Jacob is blessing his sons before he dies. For Judah, he says this: “Judah, your brothers will praise you. You will grasp your enemies by the neck. All your relatives will bow before you. Judah, my son, is a young lion that has finished eating its prey. Like a lion he crouches and lies down; like a lioness—who dares to rouse him? The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler's staff from his descendants, until the coming of the one to whom it belongs, the one whom all nations will honor.”

- “until the coming of the one to whom it belongs” in the Hebrew reads “until Shiloh comes”.

- Christ, the Messiah is referred to as “The Lion of the Tribe of Judah”. Here, He is referred to as Shiloh. The God of peace and rest... hmm... sounds good huh? :)

- Now looking back at Psalm 78 again. This is Israel's history in a nutshell... all the times that they rebelled against God... and God took them back. Now... “He abandoned His dwelling at Shiloh, the Tabernacle where He had lived among the people.”

- The old covenant... replaced with a new one...

- “He allowed the Ark of His might to be captured...”

- Oh God! Christ came of His own free will! He delivered Himself up and “surrendered His glory into enemy hands.”

- “Then the Lord rose up as though waking from sleep...”

- Christ rose from the dead! Did He not!? Is He not alive still!?

- “He routed His enemies and sent them to eternal shame.”

- In Revelation 1:18, Christ says “I am the living One. I died, but look—I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and the grave.”

- Did He not conquer death! And Satan!

- Revelation 12 speaks about the battle between the angels and the dragon. “And they have defeated him by the Blood of the Lamb and by their testimony.”

- In John 1 the first little bit very much sums this up... As you read... replace “The Word” with “Jesus”... see how that reads to you. :)

- “In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. God created everything through Him, and nothing was created except through Him. The Word gave life to everything that was created, and His life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.... He came into the very world He created, but the world didn't recognize Him. He came to His own people, and even they rejected Him. But to all who believed Him and accepted Him, He gave the right to become children of God....”

- If we believe... we will be saved... maybe not from pain... maybe not from agony... in this life anyway... but definitely from the second death... the everlasting, spiritual death.

- But to those who have rejected Christ as Lord and King... destruction will come. Judgment comes to all men... and God is a just judge.

- “And I saw a great white throne and the One sitting on it. The earth and sky fled from His presence, but they found no place to hide. I saw the dead, both great and small, standing before God's throne. And the books were opened, including the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to what they had done, as recorded in the books. The sea gave up its dead, and death and the grave gave up their dead. And all were judged according to their deeds. Then death and the grave were thrown into the lake of fire. This lake of fire is the second death. And anyone whose name was not found recorded in the Book of Life was thrown into the lake of fire.” (Revelation 20:11-15)

- ALL were judged... not just the bad ones... not just the good ones... ALL. And there's no escaping...

- Mark 8:31
- Luke 17:20-37
- Matthew 21:33-44

vs. 9-10

- These verses to me... are those who have rejected Christ.

- “Huddle together, you nations, and be terrified. Listen, all you distant lands. Prepare for battle, but you will be crushed! Call your councils of war, but they will be worthless. Develop your strategies, but they will not succeed. For God is with us!”

- No matter how big the enemy looks... no matter if we die in the process of trying... GOD IS WITH US!!!! It is not us who should fear... but rather they... for THEY have no hope... all of their efforts are in vain... for even if they win every earthly battle... they have lost the eternal one. They have lost their souls...

- The enemy has many plans to thwart God... but none of them will succeed... In Daniel 8 when it's talking about the antichrist coming... verse 12 says “The army of heaven was restrained from responding to this rebellion.”

- God might even hold back His anger from the enemy... but only to give them another chance to change... just as He held His anger back from Israel, time and time again...

- But eventually... we read in verse 15, “He will even take on the Prince of princes in battle, but he will be broken, though not by human power.” Eventually... God's gonna take care of business. Maybe not in the way we expect Him to... cause... God generally never does things the way we think He should... but He WILL win in the end...

- Jeremiah 6
- I Peter 2:4-10; 4:12-19
- John 12:44-50
- Job 34:10-37:24