Assyria: The Lord’s Tool

Daily Scripture readings for February, set #3:

Isaiah, chapters 6-8
Proverbs 19:15-29
Luke 21:1-19
Hebrews 2:1-9

“And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’ Then I said, ‘Here I am! Send me'” (Isa 6:8). This is a familiar verse to me, but it’s context within the next few verses isn’t as familiar to me. “And he said, ‘Go, and say to this people: ‘Keep on hearing, but do not understand; keep on seeing, but do not perceive.’ Make the heart of this people dull, and their ears heavy, and blind their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed.’ Then I said, ‘How long, O Lord?’ And he said: ‘Until cities lie waste without inhabitant, and houses without people, and the land is a desolate waste, and the Lord removes people far away, and the forsaken places are many in the midst of the land. And though a tenth remain in it, it will be burned again, like a terebinth or an oak, whose stump remains when it is felled.’ The holy seed is its stump” (vs 9-13). So… Isaiah is being sent out to proclaim continued blindness and destruction on his people… not to proclaim the Gospel. The familiar verse 8 is often referenced at ministry commissionings and what not, but the context is less appropriate than I would have thought.

Another reminder from the Proverbs that learning is a non-stop, life-long endeavor: “Cease to hear instruction, my son, and you will stray from the words of knowledge” (19:27).

Oh man… I love these verses: “But before all this they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors for my name’s sake. This will be your opportunity to bear witness. Settle it therefore in your minds not to meditate beforehand how to answer, for I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict” (Luke 21:12-15). Goold paraphrase: “When you are persecuted for your faith it is a great opportunity for proclaiming Christ to your persecutors. But don’t try to plan out something fancy to say. Trust God to speak THROUGH you, because HIS words are infinitely more powerful than you words.”

“Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it” (Heb 2:1). Be sure your understanding of your faith includes the possibility that you might drift away from it. Being mindful of that fact will help you to stay focused and give proper attention to it.

Daily Scripture readings for February, set #4:

Isaiah, chapters 9-10
Proverbs 20:1-15
Luke 21:20-28
Hebrews 2:10-18

“When the Lord has finished all his work on Mount Zion and on Jerusalem, he will punish the speech of the arrogant heart of the king of Assyria and the boastful look in his eyes”(Isa 10:12). Do not miss the staggering sovereignty of the Lord in this chapter. The destruction of Israel at the hands of Assyria is described as the Lord’s work, something that he himself has decreed. But the Lord intends to hold Assyria accountable for it’s arrogance, and punish it in return… FOR DOING THE THING THAT THE LORD DECREED THAT IT WOULD DO.

 “The righteous who walks in his integrity—blessed are his children after him!” (Prov 20:7). As a dad, I want to be a blessing to my children. My task, therefore: walk in righteousness and integrity.

Today’s section in Luke chapter 20 is filled with prophecy, where future “fulfillments” of predictions and times are declared (vs 22, vs 24, vs 28). This reminds me of Acts 17:26.

In the ever-complicated discussion of how the Trinity actually works, verses 10-11 of Hebrews 2 are standing out to me as suggesting a hierarchy between the Father and the Son. “For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering. For he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one source.” These verses, by themselves, leave me somewhat sympathetic (thought not in agreement with) Arius’ teachings about the Trinity.


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