Sunday, September 18, 2011

September 18- A Deep Sleep

September 18, 2011

Scripture Readings:
Isaiah 28:14-30:11; Galatians 3:23-4:31;
Psalm 62:1-12; Proverbs 23:19-21

I'm not asleep, but that doesn't mean I'm awake. 
 ~Author Unknown

Isaiah 28:14-30:11

Have you ever fallen into a deep sleep where you hear no noise and almost nothing can wake you?  Sometimes that kind of sleep can be achieved when there is a light rain falling outside of your window. Although this type of sleep is nice for the one who is sleeping, it is a bad thing if you are so sleepy you are unaware of impending danger.  Let's say a tornado is heading towards your house.  Being in a deep sleep is a bad thing in that circumstance. Today, the people of Jerusalem are in a deep sleep.  God is warning them through Isaiah of impending judgment.

The imagery used in chapter 28 is that the people have built their faith on lies and deception.  The Lord pronounces that He is sending a foundation stone that can be built upon.  This building can be measured with a measuring line of justice and a plumb line of righteousness.  Do you realize that Jesus Christ is how you and I can measure justice and righteousness on earth and in our lives?  His teachings and His life are the proper measurements for justice and righteousness. It is only through Christ that we avoid the second death, the eternal death.  The leaders of Jerusalem had bargained to avoid capture by the Assyrians, but God is using this situation to picture a future bargaining that the leaders of Jerusalem will do.  In the end times the leaders of Jerusalem will bargain with the Antichrist to avoid death.  This bargain will only insure the death of many.  This portion of Scripture warns of two incidents that show the the people of Jerusalem being crushed.  One is in their near future and the other is in the far future.

Chapter 29 begins with calling Jerusalem "Ariel."  Ariel means lion-like. It also means "altar." God is going to punish the fact that Israel worships God with their mouths, but not their hearts. After bringing disaster upon them, God will then go after Israel's enemies.  This is a picture of the end of time.  When all of the nations of the world will turn on Israel.  God, Himself, will rescue her.  God describes putting the people into a deep sleep, so that they are unable to discern the prophesies of what is to happen.  Because of their deep sleep, they sleep walk right into their judgment.  Are you getting the message that God controls the future?  He describes Himself as the Potter.  He is the creator/artist who forms the peoples of the earth and controls their destinies.  Isaiah admonishes the people to realize that our only proper place in the story as the pot is to be in a place of humility and have reverence for God and His power.  Verse 19 states, "The humble will be filled with fresh joy from the Lord.  The poor will rejoice in the Holy One of Israel."  One day, all of the evil oppressors and and people who pervert justice will be defeated.  This will be during Christ's earthly reign.

The final section is a warning against creating an alliance with Egypt.  Egypt is called a Harmless Dragon.  Egypt will be a witness in the end times to Israel's stubborn rebellion against her God.

Do you heed God's warning to build your life on a firm foundation?  Do you build your life around the teachings of Jesus Christ?  Do you believe that these future events will occur?

Galatians 3:23-4:31

Paul begins this section by clarifying that until it was made clear that faith in Christ was what made a person right with God, the Israelites were guarded by the Law.  The Law was a guardian and teacher to lead the people until Christ came. Now that Christ has come, they no longer need to lean on the Law.  This new era no longer allows for the divisions of Jew and Gentile because everyone is unified in Christ.

Christ was born of a woman, subject to the Law and able to purchase everyone's freedom from the Law for us through His death. We are now adopted children who are able to inherit eternity.

Paul provides a very interesting teaching about how Abraham and his two wives provide a spiritual illustration to mankind.  Hagar was Abraham's slave wife whose son was Ishmael.  He was the first born son.  She represents all who are slaves to the Law.  The Law comes before the promise of grace.  Anyone who is an unbeliever is a slave to the requirements and penalties of breaking the Law.  Sarah is the free wife.  She is the barren woman, who now has more children descended from her than any other. She is the mother of Isaac, who is the child of promise. We are to get rid of the slave woman and her son.  They represent the Law and a life of trying to please God by living under the Law.  We are to embrace the free woman and her son.  This is the idea of embracing Jesus Christ and through faith in His work, embracing the freedom of living in His grace. We please God by our faith in Christ.  This is one of the spiritual truths that Abraham's life teaches us.

Do you feel freedom through Jesus?

Psalm 62:1-12

This psalm speaks of God being the rock and foundation that we can rely upon.  Wait quietly for His strength.

Proverbs 23:19-21

Drunkards and gluttons will lead you astray.  It is wise to avoid them.

What did you notice today?  Please share.


Jubilee Gal
Kathy Fullerton 

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