INTERESTING FACTS : Gouverneur Morris, REVOLUTIONARY OFFICER; MEMBER OF THE CONTINENTAL CONGRESS; SIGNER OF THE CONSTITUTION; "PENMAN OF THE CONSTITUTION"; DIPLOMAT; U. S. SENATOR
"There must be religion. When that ligament is torn, society is disjointed and its members perish… [T]he most important of all lessons is the denunciation of ruin to every state that rejects the precepts of religion. Your good morals in the army give me sincere pleasure as it hath long been my fixed opinion that virtue and religion are the great sources of human happiness. More especially is it necessary in your profession firmly to rely upon the God of Battles for His guardianship and protection in the dreadful hour of trial. But of all these things you will and I hope in the merciful Lord."
DAILY READING : Isaiah 5 – 8; 9 - 12
TEXT : Isa 5:12 And the harp, and the viol, the tabret, and pipe, and wine, are in their feasts: but they regard not the work of the LORD, neither consider the operation of his hands. 5:13 Therefore my people are gone into captivity, because they have no knowledge: and their honourable men are famished, and their multitude dried up with thirst. 5:14 Therefore hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure: and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it. Isa 6:1 In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Isa 6:2 Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. Isa 6:3 And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. Isa 7:10 Moreover the LORD spake again unto Ahaz, saying, Isa 7:11 Ask thee a sign of the LORD thy God; ask it either in the depth, or in the height above. Isa 7:12 But Ahaz said, I will not ask, neither will I tempt the LORD. Isa 7:13 And he said, Hear ye now, O house of David; Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will ye weary my God also? Isa 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
THEME : THE GLORY OF GOD
Ignorance is not bliss. At least, it is not when it comes to the knowledge of God. God is not hiding from you. He wants you to know him. He wants to be "found." Yet, during the time of Isaiah, the Jews had lost the knowledge of the LORD and His Law. Further, they had traded their great inheritance of the knowledge of God – a knowledge no other nation on earth had, and bartered it for money, wealth, and "partying." One cannot help but to see the parallel between ancient Judah and America. Thus, it is in your best interest to seek the LORD diligently since He always protects, provides, and preserves those who trust in Him.
"Here is a woe to those who set their hearts on the wealth of the world. Not that it is sinful for those who have a house and a field to purchase another; but the fault is, that they never know when they have enough. Covetousness is idolatry; and while many envy the prosperous, wretched man, the Lord denounces awful woes upon him. How applicable to many among us! God has many ways to empty the most populous cities. Those who set their hearts upon the world, will justly be disappointed. Here is woe to those who dote upon the pleasures and the delights of sense. The use of music is lawful; but when it draws away the heart from God, then it becomes a sin to us. God's judgments have seized them, but they will not disturb themselves in their pleasures. The judgments are declared. Let a man be ever so high, death will bring him low; ever so mean, death will bring him lower. The fruit of these judgments shall be, that God will be glorified as a God of power. Also, as a God that is holy; he shall be owned and declared to be so, in the righteous punishment of proud men. Those are in a woful condition who set up sin, and who exert themselves to gratify their base lusts. They are daring in sin, and walk after their own lusts; it is in scorn that they call God the Holy One of Israel. They confound and overthrow distinctions between good and evil. They prefer their own reasonings to Divine revelations; their own devices to the counsels and commands of God. They deem it prudent and politic to continue profitable sins, and to neglect self-denying duties. Also, how light soever men make of drunkenness, it is a sin which lays open to the wrath and curse of God. Their judges perverted justice. Every sin needs some other to conceal it." [Matthew Henry]
We see the application of how God encourages those who serve Him in Isaiah chapter 6, when others who make the same claim [that is – "we know God"] do not possess a true knowledge of God and His glory. Specifically, Isaiah states he saw "also" the LORD in the year Uzziah died. Uzziah was one of Judah's godly kings, and his death brought, no doubt, a measure of sadness or discouragement to Isaiah. Difficult times were coming on Judah, which Isaiah knew and thus prophesied. Therefore, he was perhaps, a bit downhearted when Uzziah died. For about fifty years, Judah enjoyed a godly king and government.
Nevertheless, God chooses to reveal Himself to Isaiah, as Isaiah sees this tremendous vision and revelation of the One True God. Note the fact the LORD is - "holy, holy, holy." This characteristic of the LORD is the only attribute of God accented to the matchless degree of being announced as threefold. Thus, God is not only "Holy," but, He is "holy, holy, holy!" This vision of Isaiah's is identical to the one given to the Apostle John in The Revelation of Jesus Christ.
Rev_4:8 And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.
Further, in the proclamation of God as "holy, holy, holy," we see reference to God as being triune. That is, God is One, but in His Nature He possess "tri-unity." We read in the first epistle of John -
1Jn_5:7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. 1Jn_5:8 And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.
It is interesting to note how God – who is only One, is three [Persons] simultaneously. Notice that the three [always] agree in one. It is a mystery, but not without precedent. For instance, in mathematics you have 1x1x1 = 1. You can "see" three ones on the paper. Yet, there is only one.
Another instance of how three can be one is in chemistry [see illustration below]. It is known as the "triple point,[1
]" of either water or some other element. In the triple point of water, you have three varying phases of water – as gas, liquid, and solid. That is, there are three separate phases yet all of them are H2O. Mercury has the same ability. Therefore, God who created the principles of math and chemistry, and who is infinitely greater than His own creation, is Three, yet One. The triune nature of Man [Spirit, Soul, an Body] is an illustration as well.
In physics, the triple point of a substance is the temperature and pressure at which three phases (gas, liquid, and solid) of that substance may coexist in thermodynamic equilibrium.
Description: Description: A typical phase diagram, with the triple point at the vertex where the three regions meet.
A typical phase diagram, with the triple point at the vertex where the three regions meet[2
"But it was in the counsels of God that His presence should be established in glory in the midst of His people, and this will be accomplished in Christ at the end of the age. Hence the testimony of the progress of the judgments is interrupted after the first general statement, and in chapter 6 the prophet sees this glory. Yet its first effect is judicial, and operates to blind and condemn them. The previous judgment (chap. 5) had been in respect of the breaking of the law and the despising of the word of the Holy One of Israel. But with enmity against Christ and His rejection comes judicial blindness and the separation of a remnant. That it is the glory of Christ is taught us in chapter 12 of John's Gospel. The prophet feels at once the incompatibility of the people's condition with the manifestation of this glory. Unclean lips cannot celebrate it. But a live coal from the altar cleanses his own lips, and he consecrates himself to Jehovah's message; and to that which concerns the glory of Christ. The heart of the people is made fat until there is entire desolation. Nevertheless there shall be a remnant, a holy seed, which shall be like the sap of a tree that has lost its leaves.
We have then in these last chapters the judgment of the people under two aspects: first, that of God's government (in this point of view the people, being altogether guilty, are given up to the Gentiles); secondly, in view of the glory of Jehovah's presence at His coming according to His purposes of grace (for this the people were unfit). But here, as the purposes of God were in question, there is a remnant according to election in whom the glory shall be re-established. This distinction must be made when the government of God and His outward dealings are in question. In chapter 5, which speaks of the former character of judgment, there is no remnant. It is simply the public and complete judgment of the nation; for as to this all rested on their responsibility. In the Gospels this is looking for fruit; Christ might dig about it and dung it, but this was looking for fruit. Hence it is cursed and never to bear fruit. That is Israel (man) under the first covenant. In chapter 6 God acts within, in His own relationship with the people. Hence we find a remnant and the assured re-establishment of the people; for the gifts and calling of God are without repentance. Here also we find Christ. God could not cast off His people for ever, and the prophetic faith is found which says, How long? as elsewhere it is said, There is none to say, How long? For when the Son of man cometh, shall He find faith on earth?" [John Darby]
TRUTH FOR TODAY : "CHRIST, YOUR SAVIOR, IS ABOVE ALL POWERS!"
The Bible is a revelation of God, not an explanation of what you already know. You can know God in some ways through His creation, but in order to know God thoroughly, He must be revealed. This is what the Bible is - a revelation of the One True God. Had God not revealed Himself, you could not know Him.
Still, in this revelation of God in the 66 Books of the Bible, you must believe His Word for Him to bless you. God is most frustrated – in a manner of speaking, by habitual unbelief. Further, when disbelief leads to direct violations of His Law and Nature, serious consequence follow.
"Secret disaffection to God is often disguised with the colour of respect to him; and those who are resolved that they will not trust God, yet pretend they will not tempt him. The prophet reproved Ahaz and his court, for the little value they had for Divine revelation. Nothing is more grievous to God than distrust, but the unbelief of man shall not make the promise of God of no effect; the Lord himself shall give a sign. How great soever your distress and danger, of you the Messiah is to be born, and you cannot be destroyed while that blessing is in you. It shall be brought to pass in a glorious manner; and the strongest consolations in time of trouble are derived from Christ, our relation to him, our interest in him, our expectations of him and from him. He would grow up like other children, by the use of the diet of those countries; but he would, unlike other children, uniformly refuse the evil and choose the good. And although his birth would be by the power of the Holy Ghost, yet he should not be fed with angels' food. Then follows a sign of the speedy destruction of the princes, now a terror to Judah. "Before this child," so it may be read; "this child which I have now in my arms," (Shear-jashub, the prophet's own son, Isa_7:3,) shall be three or four years older, these enemies' forces shall be forsaken of both their kings. The prophecy is so solemn, the sign is so marked, as given by God himself after Ahaz rejected the offer, that it must have raised hopes far beyond what the present occasion suggested. And, if the prospect of the coming of the Divine Saviour was a never-failing support to the hopes of ancient believers, what cause have we to be thankful that the Word was made flesh! May we trust in and love Him, and copy his example." [Matthew Henry]
Yet, the LORD in His merciful kindness, provides deliverance for those who repent and believe. As He did with Judah in eventually leading them back into their land after the 70 years captivity, He did the same for you in sending Christ.
Mark this – Christ, your Savior, is above all powers! Born supernaturally of a young, Jewish virgin, Jesus of Nazareth worked miracle cures, resurrected the dead, died on a Roman cross for your sins, rose from the dead, and is coming again to take you home! You are saved, truly saved, and saved by a Triune God – the One True God, who revealed Himself in the Bible. Among the many "signs" in the Bible, one of the greatest was the birth of Jesus through Mary ["Miriam" in Hebrew]. Pregnant without any human intercourse, Mary gave birth to God's [Only] Son! He is the Savior of the world, and He shall reign forever and forever!
Now, you can rest – eternally, for God has come and is "with us" [Immanuel]. He is with you today. Rest, and trust in Him, for He will never let you down!
"Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign,.... Whether they would ask one or not; a sign both in heaven and earth, namely, the promised Messiah; who being the Lord from heaven, would take flesh of a virgin on earth; and who as man, being buried in the heart of the earth, would be raised from thence, and ascend up into heaven; and whose birth, though it was to be many years after, was a sign of present deliverance to Judah from the confederacy of the two kings of Syria and Israel; and of future safety, since it was not possible that this kingdom should cease to be one until the Messiah was come, who was to spring from Judah, and be of the house of David; wherefore by how much the longer off was his birth, by so much the longer was their safety.
Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son; this is not to be understood of Hezekiah, the son of Ahaz, by his wife, as some Jewish writers interpret it; which interpretation Jarchi refutes, by observing that Hezekiah was nine years old when his father began to reign, and this being, as he says, the fourth year of his reign, he must be at this time thirteen years of age; in like manner, Aben Ezra and Kimchi object to it; and besides, his mother could not be called a "virgin": and for the same reason it cannot be understood of any other son of his either by his wife, as Kimchi thinks, or by some young woman; moreover, no other son of his was ever lord of Judea, as this Immanuel is represented to be, in Isa_8:8 nor can it be interpreted of Isaiah's wife and son, as Aben Ezra and Jarchi think; since the prophet could never call her a "virgin", who had bore him children, one of which was now with him; nor indeed a "young woman", but rather "the prophetess", as in Isa_8:3 nor was any son of his king of Judah, as this appears to be, in the place before cited: but the Messiah is here meant, who was to be born of a pure virgin; as the word here used signifies in all places where it is mentioned, as Gen_24:43 and even in Pro_30:19 which is the instance the Jews give of the word being used of a woman corrupted; since it does not appear that the maid and the adulterous woman are one and the same person; and if they were, she might, though vitiated, be called a maid or virgin, from her own profession of herself, or as she appeared to others who knew her not, or as she was antecedent to her defilement; which is no unusual thing in Scripture, see Deu_22:28 to which may be added, that not only the Evangelist Matthew renders the word by παρθενος, "a virgin"; but the Septuagint interpreters, who were Jews, so rendered the word hundreds of years before him; and best agrees with the Hebrew word, which comes from the root עלם, which signifies to "hide" or "cover"; virgins being covered and unknown to men; and in the eastern country were usually kept recluse, and were shut up from the public company and conversation of men: and now this was the sign that was to be given, and a miraculous one it was, that the Messiah should be born of a pure and incorrupt virgin; and therefore a "behold" is prefixed to it, as a note of admiration; and what else could be this sign or wonder? not surely that a young married woman, either Ahaz's or Isaiah's wife, should be with child, which is nothing surprising, and of which there are repeated instances every day; nor was it that the young woman was unfit for conception at the time of the prophecy, which was the fancy of some, as Jarchi reports, since no such intimation is given either in the text or context; nor did it lie in this, that it was a male child, and not a female, which was predicted, as R. Saadiah Gaon, in Aben Ezra, would have it; for the sign or wonder does not lie in the truth of the prophet's prediction, but in the greatness of the thing predicted; besides, the verification of this would not have given the prophet much credit, nor Ahaz and the house of David much comfort, since this might have been ascribed rather to a happy conjecture than to a spirit of prophecy; much less can the wonder be, that this child should eat butter and honey, as soon as it was born, as Aben Ezra and Kimchi suggest; since nothing is more natural to, and common with young children, than to take down any kind of liquids which are sweet and pleasant.
And shall call his name Immanuel; which is, by interpretation, "God with us", Mat_1:23 whence it appears that the Messiah is truly God, as well as truly man: the name is expressive of the union of the two natures, human and divine, in him; of his office as Mediator, who, being both God and man, is a middle person between both; of his converse with men on earth, and of his spiritual presence with his people. See Joh_1:14." [John Gill]