Past Unbelief to Mockery

Daily Scripture readings for February, set # 13:

Isaiah, chapters 34-36
Proverbs 24:23-34
Luke 22:63-71
Hebrews 8:1-6

Note the staggering arrogance of Assyria’s army commander as he speaks to Judah: “Beware lest Hezekiah mislead you by saying, ‘The Lord will deliver us.’ Has any of the gods of the nations delivered his land out of the hand of the king of Assyria?” (36:18).

It’s worth noting that though riches are far from something to be desired, poverty is likewise not to be desired. Here the Wisdom literature gives instruction on how to avoid it: “A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man” (Prov 24:33-34).

“But he said to them, ‘If I tell you, you will not believe'” (Luke 22:67). Some, even if told directly by Jesus himself, still won’t believe.

“But as it is, Christ has obtained a ministry that is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant he mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises” (Heb 8:6). Better promises = not the frequent “If you, then I” statements of the OT Law, but rather God taking full action himself (see Jer 31:31-34).

Daily Scripture readings for February, set #14:

Isaiah, chapters 37-39
Proverbs 25:1-15
Luke 23:1-12
Hebrews 8:7-13

Note the Lord’s response to Assyria’s arrogance: “I know your sitting down and your going out and coming in, and your raging against me. Because you have raged against me and your complacency has come to my ears, I will put my hook in your nose and my bit in your mouth, and I will turn you back on the way by which you came” (Isa 38:28-29). The six verses prior to these expand on the same theme: Syria is a puppet in the Lord’s hand, and the puppet would dare to boast against its master?

Oh, how valuable wise speech is! “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver” (Prov 25:11). “With patience a ruler may be persuaded, and a soft tongue will break a bone” (Prov 25:15).

Again, not just mere unbelief, but mockery: “And Herod with his soldiers treated him with contempt and mocked him. Then, arraying him in splendid clothing, he sent him back to Pilate” (Luke 23:11).

More explanation of the Old vs New covenants: “For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion to look for a second” (Heb 8:7). So the old covenant is flawed. But where is the flaw? It is with us and our unfaithfulness. “For they did not continue in my covenant, and so I showed no concern for them, declares the Lord” (Heb 8:13).

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