Archive for the ‘Isaiah’ Category

Little Miracles

December 22, 2015

 

Have you ever seen, heard of, or experienced a spiritual message from God?  I have!   They are not easily forgotten and when I share them with other believers, they often share a little miracle with me that had happened to them.

Today, a blogger in my Reader feed shared how prayer healed a young girl of a tumor. Now THAT’S a huge miracle! Praise God and His Son, Jesus Christ, for that answer to prayer!

I have experienced both little miracles and spiritual messages in my life. When I shared my journey to Christ years ago at my former blog, I left out an early miracle that had happened when I was a teenager.

I lived in N.J. back then. Shortly after getting my license to drive, I asked my parents if I could take the old station wagon down the shore with one of my female friends from high school. They said no. My parents went away that weekend and so I decided to disobey them and drive down the shore anyway.

As I recall, the houses that we visited were filled with drunk teenagers and it wasn’t much fun. My friend was hoping to find this guy that she was crazy about, and I don’t recall whether or not he was at any of the parties we attended. I knew that I would be driving to the house where we would stay the night so I didn’t drink alcohol. By the time my friend was ready to leave, it was 1:00 a.m. and it was raining.

I was driving through a green lighted intersection on a divided highway.   The road had two lanes in each direction. I was chatting with my friend, looking straight ahead when all of a sudden she turned to look at me and grabbed my arm, pulling me hard over towards her seat. Suddenly, we were hit broadside on my driver’s side with a loud crashing sound!   We  began spinning around on the slick highway. I was screaming! It felt like an eternity before the car banged up against the right side curb and came to a stop. I continued to scream and cry.  My friend was hurt. She had hit the windshield with her forehead and a little blood trickled down her face. Glass was strewn about inside the car.  Her knee banged up under the passenger side dash board. We sat there for the longest time waiting for someone to come along and get us out of the car. The station wagon was totaled in the crash! I can still remember sitting on the curb weeping and saying, “my parents are going to kill me!” I worried more and more about what they would say and do once they found out that I had disobeyed them and had taken the station wagon down the shore when they had forbid me not to.

When the police and paramedics arrived, I recall hearing several of them saying, “It’s a miracle that the driver wasn’t killed.” This made me shudder in the rain and cold night air even more! My friend Debbie was taken to the hospital as a precaution for observation. Hours later, my parents showed up to take me home. Of course, they were very glad that I wasn’t seriously hurt. My neck bothered me a bit and my back ached days later, but there was not a scratch on me.

The next day, the man at the repair shop where the station wagon was towed gave my dad his evaluation. It was totaled. Then, he said something else. “It’s a miracle that the driver of this car wasn’t killed.”

I had heard this several times and now it was irking me! I wasn’t a born again Christian yet at this point in my life.  Within my teenage arrogant thoughts at the time I said to myself, “why is everyone saying that?!”

Years later, I had accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. I started to look at this incident in a completely different way. I realized that if Debbie had not been looking my way, she would have never seen the car running the red light and heading towards the station wagon. I also thought about the fact that seat belts were not mandatory yet back in the 1970’s. This was another reason why I wasn’t killed. Debbie was able to grab me and pull me across the bench seat towards her so that the mangled side of the wagon didn’t impale me. Being an old vehicle, the steel frame that separated the front from the back seats took the brunt of the impact. However, if I had been in the driver seat instead of pulled away by my friend, that v-shaped steel frame would have gone right into my flesh.

I know. Some people may not consider this a “miracle,” but I do. I think that one of God’s angels was in the car that night, protecting me from deadly harm! Of course I can’t prove this, but recalling all of the events of that horrible night causes me to pause and thank the Lord for His mercy and protection!

Another incident and one of the most riveting moments of my life happened when my dad was dying of mesothelioma – an inoperable lung cancer caused by asbestos exposure. You can read about that in my Remembering Dad post.

I often thought, why did God spare me and not others? Was it because He knew that my journey to Christ was down the road of my life and for this reason He protected me during that dreadful accident? Was it because my destiny was laid out for me and I was meant to marry, have two children, and (so-far) one grandchild?

These are questions that we can only answer with faith on this side of heaven! If you read my journey to Christ, you would have seen that my life included some tragic circumstances.

Jesus told us:

Jhn 16:33

“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you willfn have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

Galatians 5 informs us that the fruit of the Spirit does contain one negative – that of longsuffering.

Gal 5:22

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

Gal 5:23

gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

Gal 5:24

And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

Gal 5:25

If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

The ultimate end of the suffering portions of my life was that God saw me through them and they all actually ended up strengthening my faith in Christ!

There is a quote from Dr. David Jeremiah that seems appropriate to share here. He said:

“God’s man or woman in the center of God’s will is immortal until God is finished with him or her.”

I think that Jeremiah’s quote is in line with Roman’s 8.

Our lives on this earth are but a brief moment in time compared to eternity! As Isaiah 64:6 tells us, “we all fade as a leaf” in our earthly existence.   Yet, Romans 8:37-39 tells us the rest of the story because Christ is our ultimate hope!

Rom 8:37

Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.

Rom 8:38

For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come

Rom 8:39

nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

In closing, I want to take this opportunity to wish all of my readers and visitors to this blog a Merry and Blessed Christmas, and a Happy New Year!

In Christ’s service,

~Christine

Hat tips to all links.

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There’s One Way to Peace…

September 15, 2015

This morning, I ran across a worship song and music video that sounded vaguely familiar.  However, the lyrics were a bit different.

Then, I recalled that another longer version of the song was often sung at the church’s children’s AWANA program!  I was an AWANA leader for three years back when my now-adult daughter attended.   It has probably been over 20 years since I have heard this beautiful song!

If the music video does not play at this blog, please go to the Youtube link:

Youtube: His Banner Over Me is Love.

The children’s version contained the following additional lyrics:

The Lord is mine and I am His,
His banner over me is love.
The Lord is mine and I am His,
His banner over me is love.
The Lord is mine and I am His,
His banner over me is love.
His banner over me is love!

He brought me to His banqueting table,
His banner over me is love.
He brought me to His banqueting table,
His banner over me is love.
He brought me to His banqueting table,
His banner over me is love.
His banner over me is love!

He lifted me up into heavenly places,
His banner over me is love.
He lifted me up into heavenly places,
His banner over me is love.
He lifted me up into heavenly places,
His banner over me is love.
His banner over me is love!

He is the vine and we are the branches,
His banner over me is love.
He is the vine and we are the branches,
His banner over me is love.
He is the vine and we are the branches,
His banner over me is love.
His banner over me is love!

Jesus is the rock of my salvation,
His banner over me is love.
Jesus is the rock of my salvation,
His banner over me is love.
Jesus is the rock of my salvation,
His banner over me is love.
His banner over me is love!

There’s one way to peace through the power of the cross,
His banner over me is love,
There’s one way to peace through the power of the cross,
His banner over me is love,
There’s one way to peace through the power of the cross,
His banner over me is love.
His banner over me is love!

*******

Yes!  There IS ONE WAY TO PEACE – and it is through Jesus Christ and the power of the Cross!

The text from the song comes from the Song of Solomon:

Sng 2:4

The Shulamite to the Daughters of Jerusalem
He brought me to the banqueting house,
And his banner over me was love.

The beautiful commentary HERE describes how this Scripture applies to Jesus Christ, our Bridegroom for eternity, and His Church – the Bride.

The banqueting table spoken of in the song can also be applied towards the future marriage supper of the Lamb as recorded and described in Revelation 19.
Rev 19:9

Then he said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’ ” And he said to me, “These are the true sayings of God.”

 

Hat tips to all links.

The Question of Goodness

March 16, 2015

As a Christian, have you ever been confronted with questions regarding the goodness of people?  I have.  Many times I’ve heard, “well, I think that most people are good, don’t you?”  It can be difficult to quickly answer such a question.  If I had replied, “yes, most people are good” then I would be rejecting the truth of Christian doctrine.  If I had replied, “no, most people (or all people) are not good” then the non-Christian who asked such a question would most likely get upset and call me names – if not to my face then silently within his or her mind.

One of the Bible verses that can be bothersome to non-Christians is:


Jer 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things,
And desperately wicked;
Who can know it?”

That verse certainly doesn’t fit the narrative that “most people are good.”

When a guest that we brought to our church stated that it was offensive for the pastor to make the claim that “all people are bad” (because the pastor quoted that verse), I tried to ease the situation by sharing the very next verse:

Jer 17:10

I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind,
Even to give every man according to his ways,
According to the fruit of his doings.

Jesus Christ reiterated this truth about goodness while answering the rich man’s question.

Mat 19:16

Now behold, one came and said to Him, “Good [fn] Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?”

(19:17)

NU-Text reads Why do you ask Me about what is good?

(19:17)

NU-Text reads There is One who is good.

Mat 19:17

So He said to him, “Why do you call Me good? [fn] No one is good but One, that is, God. [fn] But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.”

Mar 10:18

So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God.

Luk 18:19

So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God.

It helps to read the entire account in Matthew 19. We find out that the rich man claimed to “keep the commandments” that Jesus listed. [Notice, “do not lie” wasn’t in the examples]. So the rich man asked, “what do I lack?”

Jesus challenged him even further, knowing that this young rich man was relying on his riches and possessions.

Mat 19:22

But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.

Mat 19:23

Then Jesus said to His disciples, “Assuredly, I say to you that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.

Mat 19:24

“And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”

You see, we can’t be perfect, as only God is perfect. The Sermon of the Mount challenges us to be perfect, but if we are honest with ourselves, we all fail The Good Test. This is the entire reason why Jesus Christ had to come to this earth to die for our sins, rise from the dead, and tell us our need to be spiritually born again. The Gospel needs to be shared all around the world for the salvation of men.

Back to the goodness question.

I would like to share an essay written back in 2010 at my former blog.  It may help explain the goodness question.

~  Christine

*******

[Originally written October 1, 2010 and updated]

Now, this post will not be an extensive expose’ on “the question of goodness.” That would take many pages. However, what I want to share here may help explain why what man regards as “goodness” within himself, may not be in line with what God describes as Good in His Word.

I realize that non-believers who make the claim of people being good may be thinking in more of a socially acceptable, politically correct motivated type of  reasoning;  which is meant which is meant for the purpose of  bringing people together in a positive way.  I mean, people DO good things in this life.  We all like praise for our good deeds.  We have our good actions and  instances in life.  However, don’t we all need to admit that we also have our bad instances and choices in this life too?  No matter how good someone claims to be (or how good a person acts in front of the public eye),  can any of us match up to the holy and righteous goodness of God?  The Bible says something very different about our “goodness.”

Please see The Good Test at NeedGod.com in order to understand the details about our spiritual condition without Christ.

This week, I started reading Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God written by Francis Chan. I have only completed reading chapter one, but the message fits with this post.

Chan encourages us to stop talking at God for a while and instead, take a long, hard look at Him before you speak another word.

I read that section on Wednesday night. By Thursday evening, I was on my way, in traffic and in the rain, to pick up something that I would much rather have picked up on another day. The situation was such that I was told that I must get these items today. [Grrr….!]

During the drive, I said to myself, “If the person asks me ‘how are you today?’ I thought about saying, ‘Do you want a typical response of fine or the truth about how I’m really feeling?'” I had a complete diatribe ready to be unleashed towards the unfortunate person who would be handing me the items that I really didn’t want to pick up in the first place.

My trip already started out bad. First, the road to the freeway was jammed and backed up. Who leaves their house at 5:00 p.m. during rush hour traffic and expects not to hit traffic? Then, it started to rain again on the way there. Next, the sun started to break through the clouds and the glare into the car and on the wet pavement as I was driving west on a side road made it difficult to see. I proceeded to turn left again and traveled the speed limit of 25 mph around a park playground area. My final turn approached and I headed up the hill to my destination. I had just about completed what I was going to say in my mind, but became absolutely awestruck when I witnessed one of the most beautiful (and complete!) rainbows I have ever seen! I chuckled to myself. My heart melted my pride, anger, and annoyance that had built up over the 35 minute ride to my destination. I got out of my car and tried to take a picture of the rainbow with my old and crappy cell phone camera (small voice: complaining again, Chris?) Of course, I could not capture the beauty in a photograph that I was witnessing! A man approached and was saying how awesome the rainbow looked! He asked me my name and went inside to get the items that I came to pick up.

When he and an assistant came back out to the car to put the items in my trunk, he asked, “so how are you today?” “How is your family?” My planned diatribe turned into a confession that some individuals in my family were experiencing difficulty, but God is so good! Look at that rainbow! It is a symbol of His eternal promises for us.”

GodHe’s something isn’t He??? He keeps teaching me every single day. That rainbow was a gentle reminder that I am slow to listen, quick to speak, and quick to become angry.

Francis Chan writes:

The wise man comes to God without saying a word and stands in awe of Him. It may seem a hopeless endeavor, to gaze at the invisible God. But Romans 1:20 tells us that through creation, we see His “invisible qualities” and “divine nature.”

I realize that how a rainbow forms can be explained scientifically. But can its beauty be explained? Or, is it a representation of God’s “invisible qualities” and “divine nature?”

Chan goes on to describe how God is holy, God is eternal, God is all-knowing, God is all-powerful and God is fair and just. He quotes Colossians 1:16 – which tells us that everything was created for God: “For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.”

Chan asks:

Can you worship a God who isn’t obligated to explain His actions to you? Could it be your arrogance that makes you think God owes you an explanation?

Wow. That gives each of us a verbal whoopin’ – doesn’t it?!

But the Bible takes it even further:

All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back his hand or say to him: “What have you done?” – Daniel 4:35

Chan asks:

Do you really believe that compared to God, “all the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing,” including you?

These are hard sayings. But some might wonder, can it get any worse?

Answer: yes. Just take a look at Chan’s section about God is fair and just:

One definition of justice is “reward and/or penalty as deserved.” If what we truly deserved were up to us, we would end up with as many different answers as people who responded. But it isn’t up to us, mostly because none of us are good.

Let’s hold up here for just a moment.  Chan disagrees with the typical claim that “most people are good.” Again, it is possible that when anyone uses the term “good,”  it is a political term and not in the moral or spiritual sense. We all want to perceive ourselves as good, but compared to Holy God, we are not good.

Chan:

God is the only Being who is good, and the standards are set by Him. Because God hates sin, He has to punish those guilty of sin. Maybe that’s not an appealing standard. But to put it bluntly, when you get your own universe, you can make your own standards. When we disagree, let’s not assume it’s His reasoning that needs correction.

It takes a lot for us to comprehend God’s total hatred for sin. We make excuses like, “Yes, I am prideful at times, but everyone struggles with pride.” However, God says in Proverbs 8:13, “I hate pride and arrogance.” You and I are not allowed to tell Him how much He can hate it. He can hate and punish it as severely as His justice demands.

God never excuses sin. And He is always consistent with that ethic. Whenever we start to question whether God really hates sin, we have only to think of the cross, where His Son was tortured, mocked, and beaten because of sin. Our sin.

No question about it: God hates and must punish sin. And He is totally just and fair in doing so.

In the final segment of Chapter One, Chan describes the reactions of both John in the book of Revelation and Isaiah who saw God on His throne. We learn that there are many facets of God that expand beyond our comprehension. God cannot be contained in this world, explained by our vocabulary, or grasped by our understanding.

I would imagine that each and every one of us will be speechless at first – admiring the King of the Universe with awestruck silence when we see Him! Both John and Isaiah found it difficult to describe seeing God in mere words. They tried to describe Him and the experience in ways that they, and we, could relate to and understand. For example – in Revelation, John describes the One seated on the throne with two gems, “jasper and carnelian,” and the area around the throne as a rainbow that looked like an emerald.

Isaiah describes the seraphim appearing above and said they called out to one another saying, “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.”

Yes! It certainly is! And we only get just a glimpse of His glory in all that He has created!

Recall that Isaiah’s reaction was, “Woe is me…I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty.”

Isaiah didn’t feel worthy. But as the Scriptures report, one of the seraphim touches Isaiah’s mouth with a hot coal and tells him that his guilt is taken away.

Mercy is God withholding what you (we, I) deserve.
Grace is God giving you (us, me) what you don’t deserve.

As Isaiah believed in God the Father and was waiting expectantly for the Savior of the world, he reminds us of what our only response to God’s provision for our salvation – Jesus Christ – should be!
*******

How To Know God Personally [Click on link to discover the principles!]

What does it take to begin a relationship with God? Devote yourself to unselfish religious deeds? Become a better person so that God will accept you?

You may be surprised that none of those things will work. But God has made it very clear in the Bible how we can know Him.

The following principles will explain how you can personally begin a relationship with God, right now, through Jesus Christ…

Spiritual Apostasy Leads to Moral Awfulness and Political Anarchy

February 26, 2015

H/T for graphic:  prophecynewsandviews

As a Christian, do you feel that this particular generation is highly deceived and living in an era of spiritual apostasy?

I certainly do!

People are so upset and angry; feeling like there is nothing that they can do to stem the tide of moral awfulness and political anarchy happening today.  It is so disheartening that many are blinded by evil and just refuse to see what is coming.

We are told ahead of time that the falling away (apostasy) will happen the closer we get to the end times.  It helps to know this, because then we can still be secure in Jesus Christ no matter what happens.

As Christians, we were once lost, confused, unclear, perplexed, disoriented, and bewildered.  But now, we have the Gospel of Christ to share with those who are still searching for truth in an age of lies.

It is like the path to salvation.  First, we must face the “bad” – which is the fact of our sin.  Then we must repent, and turn back to the LORD GOD through His Son, Jesus Christ.  That is the GOOD NEWS that we can rest in despite all the turmoil going on in the world.

In facing what is happening today – scary as they are – (the spiritual apostasy, moral awfulness, and political anarchy going on all around us) we still have access to the solution.  There is hopeThe real kind of hope that we get from God’s Word!

One of the greatest realizations in Christian faith,  commentary, and apologetics is the fact that a Bible teacher, writer, and commentator who once shared Thru the Bible Radio broadcasts forty years ago, turns out to share content that is even more true and relevant today.

J. Vernon McGee was such a writer.  That is why I was excited to find one of his books entitled “Thru the Bible Commentary Series:  The Prophets – Isaiah Chapters 1-35” in a used book store.  I have often quoted the prophecies of Isaiah [e.g. Isaiah 53] regarding the coming of the Messiah – Jesus Christ – but I instinctively knew that there was so much more to glean from Isaiah’s writings.

Today, I will share a few pages of Bible verses along with J. Vernon McGee’s commentary about them.  Perhaps you will notice how very relevant the grace and praise, as well as the admonitions and warnings which were given in Scripture regarding Israel in Isaiah’s day, also apply towards America and should be heeded by us. Dr. McGee shared the ultimate Solution for us to avoid captivity; and to once again be restored, blessed and preserved as a nation.

~ Christine

*******

Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters:  they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward [Isaiah 1:4]

[Israel] is described as “a people laden with iniquity.”  This phrase throws a world of light upon the personal invitation that the Lord Jesus Gave in the New Testament.  He said, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest”  [Matthew 11:28].  Now we know what He meant –“laden with iniquity.”  The people of Israel were laden with sin.  Today His invitation goes out to those who are laden with sin to bring that burden and load to Him and find rest, the rest of redemption.

In this verse God spells out Israel’s condition.  They are backslidden, they have turned away from God, and they are a people laden with iniquity.  Now He is going to spell out in detail the charge that He has made against them.

This brings to mind the philosophy of human government upon which God operates.  This system is presented to us in the Book of Judges, and you see this cycle of the history of human government working itself out in the nation.  In the Book of Judges we saw Israel serving God, being blessed of God, and prospering.  They began, in their prosperity, to turn away from God, and they finally turned to idolatry.  They were in rebellion against God; in fact, they forgot Him.  Then God delivered them into the hands of the enemy.

Doesn’t it seem like we are being delivered into the hands of the enemy today?

Continuing:

In a short time they began to cry out to God for deliverance. When they turned to God, He delivered them from their enemies and put them back in the place of blessing. This picture follows all the way through Scripture, and history corroborates the fact that there are three steps in the downfall of any nation. There is religious apostasy, then moral awfulness, and finally political anarchy. Many people don’t pay any attention to the cycle until the stage of political anarchy is reached, then they cry out that the government should be changed and a new system adopted. Well, the problem is not in the government. The problem with Jerusalem was not in the palace, but the problem was within the temple. The trouble begins when there is spiritual apostasy.

[Suggested additional reading: Isaiah 1:5-17.]

These three things listed – starting with spiritual apostasy – are why America is now also suffering under moral awfulness and political anarchy!

Dr. McGee:

Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD:  though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; through they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool (Isaiah 1:18).

God is saying to Judah, “Do not force Me to render sentence. Settle your case out of court.” In Matthew 5:25 the Lord Jesus said, “Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him…” –don’t wait until he takes you to court. God says that He has a secret formula, a divine alchemy, a potent prescription, a powerful potion, a heavenly elixir that will take out sin. It is not a secret formula like the newest bomb, but it is more potent. You will find it in Isaiah 53 as the One who was more marred, who suffered more, who died differently, who was wounded for our transgressions. Because He paid the penalty, the Judge is able now to extend mercy to us. The blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, keeps on cleansing from all sin.

This is God’s charge against His people, and this is the basis on which they may turn to Him. If they will turn to Him, He will preserve the nation–He will give them almost one hundred years–then if they don’t turn to Him and change their ways, He will send them into captivity.

We see an application of this to our own country. In my beloved country I see political anarchy. It is obvious to most of us that men cannot solve the problems of this nation, and certainly not of the world.

The historian, Gibbon, gives five reasons for the decline of the Roman Empire in his book, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.  As the first step towards decline, he lists the undermining of the dignity and the sanctity of the home, which is the basis of human society.  The second step includes higher and higher taxes and the spending of public money for free bread and circuses for the populace.  The third was the mad craze for pleasure and sports becoming every year more exciting, more brutal, and more immoral.  The fourth step was the building of great armaments when the real enemy was within:  the decay of individual responsibility.  The fifth was the decay of religion, fading into mere form, losing touch with life, and losing power to guide the people.

You see, a nation’s decline begins with spiritual apostasy, which is followed by moral awfulness, and results in political anarchy.

Is there spiritual apostasy in this land of ours?  Every informed Christian is aware that modernism [Christine adds the new term of “progressivism” which is even worse!] has taken over most of the great denominations of America today; and, in this dire day, modernism, by its own confession, has failed.  Dr. Reinhold Niebuhr, one of the mouthpieces of liberalism, is quoted as saying that liberal Protestantism has been inclined to sacrifice every characteristic Christian insight if only it could thereby prove itself intellectually respectable, but that liberalism finds itself unable to cope with the tragic experiences of our day.

[America’s] problem is the same today; it is a spiritual problem.

Let’s stop there for a moment. I could easily insert links of articles and blog posts that cover many of the points that Dr. McGee was making within his commentary above. I would like to invite readers here to share any links that they think would apply in the comment section, and I will add them into the commentary. Some of my own will be forthcoming, as well.

Dr. McGee continues:

There is a way out for America, and there is a way out for you and for me. Someone has stated it this way:

Philosophy says: Think your way out.
Indulgence says: Drink your way out.
Politics says: Spend your way out.
Science says: Invent your way out.
Industry says: Work your way out.
Communism says: Strike your way out.
Fascism says: Bluff your way out.
Militarism says: Fight your way out.
The Bible says: Pray your way out, but
Jesus Christ says: “I am the way (out)…”

After the Lord brings His charges against Judah and offers them salvation and a way out of their trouble, He continues gently with a warning.

If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land:

But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it [Isaiah 1:19-20].

The government of God and the grace of God are two aspects emphasized in the Book of Isaiah. During the remainder of chapter 1 God is attempting to move Judah back to Himself. He is giving the people a warning.

Therefore saith the Lord, the LORD of hosts, the mighty One of Israel, Ah, I will ease me of mine adversaries, and avenge me of mine enemies:

And I will turn my hand upon thee, and purely purge away thy dross, and take away all thy tin:

And I will restore they judges as at the first, and they counselors as at the beginning: afterward thou shalt be called, The sity of righteousness, the faithful city [Isaiah 1:24-26].

Judah’s destiny depends upon the people’s response to God’s offer of forgiving grace. If they are willing to turn from their sin and obey God, He will bestow His favor upon them materially and spiritually and protect them from their enemies.

Zion shall be redeemed with judgment, and her converts with righteousness.

And the destruction of the transgressors and of the sinners shall be together, and they that forsake the LORD shall be consumed.

For they shall be ashamed of the oaks which ye have desired, and ye shall be confounded for the gardens that ye have chosen [Isaiah 1:27-29].

I had to catch my breath after reading those verses and the next sentence that explained what the “oaks” and the “gardens” meant…that they had chosen!

Dr. McGee:

This has to do with idolatry because the idols were placed under the oak tress, and a garden was planted around them.

For ye shall be as an oak whose leaf fadeth, and as a garden that hath no water.

And the strong shall be as tow, and the maker of it as a spark, and they shall both burn together, and none shall quench them [Isaiah 1:30-31].

Wow!  Powerful insight here in the book of Isaiah!  Such verses can be applied during the time of Isaiah, and also during our current era!

Dr. McGee:

God has been misrepresented in the sense that He has been pictured as losing His temper and breaking forth in judgment.  That is never a true picture of God.  The fact is that our sin is like a wick, and when we play with the spark of sin, the fire will follow.  “Be not deceived; God is not mocked:  for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” [Galatians 6:7]

Reference Source:

J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible Commentary Series:  The Prophets – Isaiah Chapters 1-35,  Nashville, Tennessee, by Thomas Nelson, Inc. 1991 reprint, originally published 1975.  pp. 22-31

Hat tips to all links.


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Faith in Jesus Christ is our response to God's elective purpose in our life. These two truths--God's initiative and man's response--co-exist throughout the Bible. The gospel is "the message of truth" because truth is its predominant characteristic. Salvation was conceived by the God of truth (Ps. 31:5); purchased by the Son, who is the truth (John 14:6); and is applied by the Spirit of truth (John 16:13). To know it is to know the truth that sets men free (John 8:32). Believers are people of the truth (John 18:37), who worship God in spirit and in truth (John 4:24), and who obey the Word of truth (John 17:17). People have rejected, neglected, redefined, and opposed God’s truth for centuries. Some cynically deny that truth even exists or that it can be known by men (John 18:38). Others foolishly think that denying truth will somehow make it go away. Truth determines the validity of one's belief. Believing a lie doesn't make it true. Conversely, failing to believe the truth doesn't make it a lie. The gospel is true because Jesus is true, not simply because Christians believe in Him. His resurrection proved the truth of His claims and constitutes the objective basis of our faith (Rom. 1:4; 1 Pet. 1:3). Truth is our protection and strength (Eph. 6:14). Throughout history, people have tried everything imaginable to gain favor with God. Most turn to religion, but religion apart from Christ is merely a satanic counterfeit of the truth. At the heart of every false religion is the notion that man can come to God by any means he chooses--by meditating, doing good deeds, and so on. But Scripture says, "There is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). That name is Jesus Christ, and we come to Him by confessing and repenting of our sin, trusting in His atoning death on the cross, and affirming His bodily resurrection from the grave (cf. Rom. 10:9-10). There is no other way to God. False religious leaders and teachers talk much about God’s love, but not His wrath and holiness; much about how deprived of good things people are, but not about their depravity; much about God’s universal fatherhood toward everyone, but not much about his unique fatherhood toward all who believe in His Son; much about what God wants to give to us, but nothing about the necessity of obedience to Him; much about health and happiness, but nothing about holiness and sacrifice. Their message is full of gaps, the greatest of which leaves out a biblical worldview of the saving gospel and replaces it with the worldview of postmodernism with its dominant ethical system of relativism. The Bible describes mankind in the end times: “always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Tim. 3:7). Spiritual answers cannot be deduced by human reason alone (1 Cor. 2:14). It’s not that spiritual truth is irrational or illogical, but that human wisdom is defective, because it’s tainted by man’s sinfulness, and unable to perceive the things of God. That is why the Bible is so important. It gives us the answers we can’t find on our own. It is God’s Word to mankind. Scripture is divinely revealed truth that fills the vacuum of spiritual ignorance in all of us. Post-truth is the word of the year for 2016 and also the philosophy of the day, According to the dictionary, “post-truth” means, “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” Simply put, we now live in a culture that seems to value experience and emotion more than truth. In a “post-truth” world, people make choices based on emotion and experience rather than objective fact. So in a post-truth world, truth is irrelevant. What exactly is a post-truth culture? It’s a culture where truth is no longer an objective reality. It has become subjective. It’s what’s true for me—my beliefs, my opinions, determine my truth. So in our post-truth culture, man determines truth. Man makes himself the ultimate authority. This starting point, which rejects God’s Word and the idea of moral absolutes, makes truth subjective. Truth will never go away no matter how hard one might wish. Christianity is grounded in objective truth. “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). Objective truth exists because we have God’s Word. In the Gospel of John, Jesus says, “Sanctify them by Your truth. Thy word is truth” (John 17:17), and Paul and James describe the Bible as “the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15; James 1:18). The Psalmist says, “The entirety of your word is truth” (Psalm 119:160). Jesus Himself said, “For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice” (John 18:37). When Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except by me” (John 14:6), He wasn’t expressing His personal belief or opinion. He was speaking the truth, a fundamental reality that doesn’t change from person to person. It doesn’t matter if our culture thinks all roads lead to God. The truth of the matter is “no one comes to the Father but by [Jesus].” This blogs goal is to, in some small way, put a plug in the broken dam of truth and save as many as possible from the consequences—temporal and eternal. "The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those who speak it." - George Orwell

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