Isaiah 1:1-9, 10-20, 21-31; Key Verse: Isa 1:18, 3

Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool" (Isa 1:18, ESV). "Let us settle the matter" (NIV). "Let's settle this" (NLT). "Let us discuss this" (HCSB). "Let's argue our case."

"The ox knows its master, the donkey its owner's manger, but Israel does not know, my people do not understand" (Isa 1:3, NIV). This is funny, yet very serious.

Theme of Isa 1:2-9: Despite the magnitude, severity and gravity of our sins, God is ever gracious to us by preserving for us a remnant (Isa 1:9).

Why study Isaiah?

  • My hope and prayer is that you may be inspiried to take the initiative to read and study Isaiah for your own joy and sanctification, and then find opportunities to share the gems you discovered with others.
  • Consider these 7 benefits of studying Scripture with all your heart and 18 questions for HOT (honest, open, transparent) reflection and contemplation: "An Encouragement to Study Scripture (and Isaiah)."

Sun, Feb 22, 2015
Duration: 42 mins 54 secs

Psalm 7:1-17; 8

"The Lord judges the peoples; vindicate me, Lord, according to my righteousness and my integrity" (Ps 7:8, HCSB).

Theme: When (not if) you experience injustice, know for certain that God is NEVER indifferent toward injustice.

What do you do when you feel misunderstood, maligned and marginalized? Psalm 7 is an individual lament, petition and prayer by an innocent person who was slandered, opposed and attacked by those who wanted to disgrace, discredit, dishonor and defeat him.

Psalm 7 is titled in different commentaries as follows:

  1. A Cry for Justice (Ps 7:8-10). [Derek Kidner]
  2. The Blessing of a Good Conscience (Ps 7:3-5, 9-10). [Alec Motyer]
  3. Surviving Slander (Ps 7:1-2, 6, 14; 4:2; 5:6, 9). [George Zemek]

Sun, Feb 08, 2015

Psalm 5:1-12; 7, 11

"But I enter Your house by the abundance of Your faithful love; I bow down toward Your holy temple in reverential awe of You" (Ps 5:7, HCSB). "But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them sing joyful praises forever. Spread your protection over them, that all who love your name may be filled with joy" (Ps 5:11, NLT).

Theme: Enter God's presence by the abundance of his mercy, love and grace, and tell God your honest feelings.

Cry out to God in your distress. Psalm 5 is a lament and a prayer petitioning the Lord in the midst of distress. Why was the psalmist distressed? The psalmist's inner angst was caused by liars and deceitful speech (Ps 4:2; 5:6, 9; 31:13, 18). However, during his morning prayer (Ps 5:3), the psalmist found joy, refuge and favor in the Lord's protection (Ps 5:11-12).

Lies hurt. The devil is the father of lies (Jn 8:44). The destiny of all liars is the second death (Rev 21:8). James understood how destructive lying words can be (Jas 3:5-6). We have all experienced that when lies are spread about you, it hammers, wounds, disheartens and devastates you. David experienced devastating lies said about him (Ps 4:2; 5:6, 9; 31:13, 18). If he allowed the words of liars to get to him he would become bitter and crushed. He would have retaliated in anger and rage (Ps 4:4). But when he entered God's presence and took refuge in the Lord, he found joy amidst the scathing lies (Ps 5:11).