Isaiah 54:1-57:14; Ephesians 6:1-24;
Psalm 70:1-5; Proverbs 24:8
Today, we see God's relationship with Israel through the lens of His being her husband. Israel is portrayed as a divorced, adulterous woman who has been unable to have children. God is the angry husband who has had to endure her rebellion. In spite of this negative situation, God (the husband) has made a promise long ago that He intends to fulfill. The woman, who had lived in only 30,000 acres of land (this is the amount of the Promised Land that the Jews actually occupied), will need to extend her borders, one day. In the Millennial Kingdom Israel will be restored as a faithful wife who has had many descendants. Even more descendants than anyone else on earth. Israel will live in all 300,000 acres of the Promised Land. The shame of Israel's adultery with many idols will be forgiven and God will have redeemed His ransomed bride.
God promises to never pour out His anger on Israel again. Just as He promised Noah to never destroy the earth by flood again, Israel will no longer be a scorned and punished people. With compassion God will fulfill his covenant of blessing to Israel.
Jerusalem is described as being rebuilt with a foundation of sapphires and walls of precious jewels. This picture is seen again in Revelation 21. This jumps forward to the New Jerusalem that is part of the new heaven and the new earth.
Chapter 56 reveals that God's promises also extend to the Gentiles and to the handicapped. In the Mosaic Law the eunuch and the Gentile could not participate in the priesthood of the Temple. In God's coming Kingdom God's Temple is open to all. The unbelieving Jewish leaders, who led people astray and wasted their time in greed and drunkenness, will not be part of God's kingdom.
Chapter 57 contrasts the righteous believers with condemned unbelievers. The godly can die in peace. The idol worshipers who have adulterated themselves with Baal, Molech, and Asherah will be found wanting. What they thought were good works will be actions that condemn them.
What do you think about God declaring His faithfulness to the unfaithful Israel? God keeps His promises.
Paul continues to write about how the Christian family should operate. The wife and husband should be in harmony because the wife allows her husband to be the head of the household and the husband sacrificially puts the wife ahead of his own needs. Each one puts the other first. The children are to obey their mother and father. Paul points out that this is the first of the Ten Commandments that comes with a promise of a long life, full of blessing. That should be a motivator!! Fathers are encouraged to not exasperate their children by harshness and hard demands.
Slaves are to obey their masters and masters are to treat slaves fairly, remembering that they are all slaves to Jesus, who is their kind Master.
"Stand firm then, with the belt of Truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place and your feet fitted with the readiness that comes with the gospel of peace. In addition to all of this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all of the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests." Ephesians 6:14-18 NIVDo you rely on truth, righteousness, peace, faith, salvation, the word of God, and prayer to get you through temptations and trials? These are our weapons to fight. Do you know the truth? Do you know God's word? Are you experienced in prayer? This is the only way to stand in the face of adversity.
Here is an example of using prayer and truth to fight off the devil. This psalm is an example of using God's armor.
If you are a person who plans evil, you will get a reputation as a troublemaker.
What did you learn today? Please share.