Category Archives: Major Prophets

Proverbs 6:12-19 — Acting as God’s children, or as the devil’s?

In this passage, Solomon talks about the “scoundrel,” or as the NASB puts it the “worthless person.”  In other words, a man of no use to man or God because they live only for themselves and place themselves under no … Continue reading

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Daniel 11-12 — Those who are wise

I suppose that for those who are skeptics, these chapters take the cake in terms of prophesy, so detailed and accurate as they are. Here, Daniel talks first about what was to come in the Persian and Greek Empires, and … Continue reading

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Daniel 10 — War

A long time ago, a book came out called “This Present Darkness,” by Frank Peretti.  It was a fiction book, but after reading it, it really made me think about the the spiritual warfare that goes on that we can’t … Continue reading

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Daniel 6 — Integrity

We now come back to Babylon where Daniel was still residing.  A man named Darius was ruling as king there.  This is not, by the way, Darius the Great who is later mentioned in the book of Ezra.  It is … Continue reading

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Daniel 9:20-27 — The coming of Messiah, the coming of Antichrist

Before I go to today’s blog, I just noticed a mistake from my last blog which has now been corrected.  I had said that Daniel had recalled the words of Isaiah concerning the 70 year exile, and it should have … Continue reading

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Daniel 9:1-19 — When your life has been shattered by sin

Shortly after Babylon fell to the Persians, Daniel remembered the words of Jeremiah saying that the exile of the Israelites would last 70 years.  With the 70 years up, it caused Daniel to hit his knees.  The interesting thing to … Continue reading

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Daniel 5 — Numbered and weighed

We now come to the end of the Babylonian empire in this chapter as Daniel had prophesied in chapters 2, 7, and 8. Belshazzar, the co-regent of Nabonidus, was reigning in Babylon at the time, and was holding a party … Continue reading

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Daniel 8 — Fleeting power

Two years after Daniel’s vision of the four beasts, he has another vision of two beasts which in many ways is similar to the first. Here he dreams of a ram with two horns, with one horn longer than the … Continue reading

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Daniel 7 — The God who will reign over all

Daniel is a bit out of order chronologically, so we’re going to skip chapters 5 and 6 for the time being.  Belshazzar was now king of Babylon.  He was the son of Nabonidus who had apparently married a daughter of … Continue reading

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II Kings 25:27-30; Jeremiah 52:31-34 — Grace

And with one fell swoop, we finish two books, which happen to end with the same story.  We started II Kings way back in June of 2012, and many major and minor prophets later, we finally come to a close … Continue reading

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Daniel 4 — The God who is sovereign

We now return to the book of Daniel, and close up the story of Nebuchadnezzar.  This is the famous story of how Nebuchadnezzar lost his sanity, acting basically like a cow for 7 years before finally acknowledging that God alone … Continue reading

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Ezekiel 47-48 — A new inheritance

We wrap up Ezekiel today and as we do, God outlines the new inheritance that will be received by the Israelites.  Or shall we say a renewed inheritance.  God promised to bring his people back to the land he had … Continue reading

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Ezekiel 47:1-12 — Living water

On the right, you can see a body of water called the Dead Sea.  It is so called because the water is so salty, that no animals can survive there.  The only signs of life there are tiny quantities of … Continue reading

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Ezekiel 45-46 — Setting apart our hearts for God

In these two chapters, God gives the people instructions for when they return to the land.  A lot of this (as well as the things in chapters 43-44) are repetitions of instructions God had originally given Moses. But as I … Continue reading

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Ezekiel 44 — What we let enter our hearts

When I was a kid, there was a song we used to sing in Sunday school.  “Oh be careful little eyes what you see.”  And “Oh be careful little ears what you hear.” Basically, it was a simple song about … Continue reading

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Ezekiel 40-43 — Made anew

I feel like I’m going back to the book of Exodus, plowing through these chapters.  Here, as in Exodus, we see extremely detailed information for the temple (albeit in Exodus, it was a tabernacle not a temple). With the current … Continue reading

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Ezekiel 38-39 — For His purposes, for His glory, that all may know…

In this passage, Ezekiel looks to the last days when nations will rise up against Israel and try to destroy it, only to be thrust back and destroyed by God.  There’s quite a bit of debate as to when this … Continue reading

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Ezekiel 37 — The God who raises what’s dead

Well, winter’s almost over, and spring is almost here.  Which mean that Easter is right around the corner.  And here we get a vivid picture of what Easter is all about. In this passage, Ezekiel is given a vision of … Continue reading

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Ezekiel 35-36 — Though we have fallen

In chapters 35 and 36, we once again see God condemning the nations around Judah for celebrating Jerusalem’s fall.  He first directs his judgment against Edom for harboring hostility, jealousy, and anger against the people of Judah and for trying … Continue reading

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Ezekiel 34 — A leader?

In this passage, God really comes down hard on the people who had been the political and spiritual leaders of Judah.  What was their problem? God told them, Woe to the shepherds of Israel who only take care of themselves!  … Continue reading

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Ezekiel 33 — How then shall we live?

In this passage, Ezekiel repeats some themes from earlier in the book. God once again warns Ezekiel, “Don’t be silent when I tell you to speak.  I will hold you accountable if  a person dies in their sin and you … Continue reading

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Ezekiel 29-32 — A fragile thing to lean on

I find it kind of ironic that despite having subjected Israel to slavery for years, the Egyptians became the people that Israel turned to in order to deliver them from the Babylonians.  But that’s exactly what they did. During the … Continue reading

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Ezekiel 28 — Only One

In the midst of the passages condemning Tyre, we find an interesting passage concerning the king of Tyre. Many people have said the “ruler of Tyre” in verses 1- 10 was the literal human ruling over Tyre, while the “king of … Continue reading

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Ezekiel 25-29 — A heart of malice

We now shift the scene back to Babylon.  The prophesies here, for the most part, happened during the time of Jerusalem’s siege and fall. In these passages, Ezekiel prophesies against some of the enemies around Judah, the Ammonites, Moabites, Edomites, … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 43-44 — Sliding back

For those of you who have been following this blog through Jeremiah, you know that we’ve done quite a bit of jumping around the book just to stay roughly chronological.  That said, it may come as a bit of a … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 41-43 — Whether favorable or unfavorable

Let’s face it.  Sometimes God’s will is not convenient for us.  There are times we’d much rather do something other than what God has asked us to do.  And it’s so easy to focus on what we want or what … Continue reading

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Lamentations — Mourning unto repentance

I could go chapter by chapter through Lamentations, but I think I’ll take it as a whole.  The major themes are pretty consistent throughout (at least to me), and I see no need to get too repetitive going through this … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 39:11-18; 40:1-6 — Because you trust in me

One of the nice things of trying to do things chronologically in this blog is that it gives me a better perspective of Biblical events and where everyone fits in history.  It also causes me to speculate a bit more … Continue reading

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II Kings 25:1-21; II Chronicles 36:11-21; Jeremiah 39: 1-10; Jeremiah 52 — Reasons for the fall

This is one of the few times in scripture that the same event is talked about in four different places.  Jeremiah 52 appears to be a historical appendix, however, and seems to have been added by someone other than Jeremiah.  … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 33 — Great and unsearchable things

I love verse 3 in this chapter. Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know. Honestly, I need to do a lot more seeking of God in my life.  … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 32 — For our good

In this passage, Jerusalem is still under siege, and for that matter, Jeremiah is still in prison.  Still, God told him, “When your cousin comes here to tell you about an opportunity to buy land from him, buy it.” Under … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 37-38 — A futile hope

Zedekiah is kind of a difficult guy to figure out.  Here is the son of the last good king of Judah, Josiah.  So he had an example of what a good king was.  He also saw how two of his … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 34 — Temporary repentance

And so we continue jumping through Jeremiah to somewhat keep our chronological order.  It’s a bit unclear when these events happened, but it appears to be before Jeremiah was put in prison (where he was in chapters 32-33). Jeremiah first … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 31:27-40 — A new covenant

This is another one of my favorite passages.  As with Ezekiel, Jeremiah quotes a proverb that had become quite common among the Israelites, The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge.  (29) The idea … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 31:1-26 — The heart of a Father

This passage has one of my all-time favorite verses in it.  I like it because it really shows the heart of our Father. The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying:  “I have loved you with an everlasting love; … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 30 — One who would dare approach the Father

In the midst of all the prophesies of Jerusalem’s fall, Jeremiah does not leave the people without hope.  God assures his people here that though he will discipline them, and not let them go entirely unpunished, yet he would not … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 21 — No genie

We now shift scenes from Babylon, where Ezekiel was, back to Jerusalem, where Nebuchadnezzar had started his siege against Jerusalem. When he came, Zedekiah panicked, and immediately sent messengers to Jeremiah, asking him to pray for them.  This, after years … Continue reading

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Ezekiel 24 — When weeping does no good

We are truly reaching the end of Judah as a nation at this point.  After years of warning from Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and many others, Babylon was now on the doorstep of Judah, ready to destroy it once and for all. … Continue reading

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Ezekiel 23 — Lusting after what destroys

Ezekiel continues his rebuke of Israel and Judah here by telling a parable about two prostitutes named Oholah and Oholibah.  Oholah represented Samaria, the capital of the former northern kingdom of Israel.  After breaking off from the southern kingdom, they … Continue reading

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Ezekiel 21-22 — Standing in the gap

So many times, we complain about the evil that we see in this world.  But do we really care?  Do we care enough to do something about it? God in this passage tells Ezekiel to warn the people of the … Continue reading

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Ezekiel 20 — God of judgment and mercy

I’ve mentioned this before, but going through the prophets can be somewhat wearying at times, the reason being that much of their messages seem to be the same, namely messages of judgment. The same can be said here.  Here the … Continue reading

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Ezekiel 19 — Where a nation puts its hope

Where is hope for a nation found? For the Israelites, they put their hope in their leaders, hoping they could bring them prosperity.  And when the Assyrians came against them, and then the Babylonians, they looked to their leaders for … Continue reading

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Ezekiel 18:25-29 — A warped sense of justice

“God’s not fair.” It is a little ironic that people sometimes say this.  Why?  Basically because God’s way of thinking is perfect and holy, and ours has been corrupted by sin. Yet we dare, with our corrupted judgment, to disagree … Continue reading

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Ezekiel 18 — Accountable

If there’s one thing I get from this passage, it’s that each of us stands accountable before God.  The day will come when we will have to answer to him for our actions and decisions. At this time, the Israelites … Continue reading

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Ezekiel 17:22-24 — The tender one

So many times we get the image of God, especially the “God of the Old Testament” as a hard-liner.  Someone who is ready to blast us for every sin that we commit. But here, God talks of a “tender one” … Continue reading

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Ezekiel 17 — Breaking your word

Being able to trust someone is one of the most important things in a relationship.  I think it’s one reason why God looks for us to be honest, both in our relationship with him, and with others. In this passage, … Continue reading

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Ezekiel 16 — Adulterous

In many ways this passage reminds me of Hosea.  Hosea cast Israel as an adulterous wife, and Ezekiel here casts Jerusalem as the same. Ezekiel starts by showing the love that God had for Jerusalem.  That though it had been … Continue reading

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Ezekiel 15 — Fruitless

I’m not a farmer nor am I a carpenter, so I learned something about the wood from grapevines when reading this passage.  It’s absolutely useless for anything except for bearing fruit. Now that I think about it, I’ve never heard … Continue reading

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Ezekiel 14:12-23 — Saving ourselves, saving others

When I was younger, I remember reading a book that said that if we became Christians, it meant that God guaranteed that our families would be saved too, and they quoted Acts 16:31, where Paul said, Believe in the Lord … Continue reading

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Ezekiel 14:1-11 — Two-faced

Nobody likes a two-faced person.  Least of all God. And that’s what he addresses here when some elders of Israel came to find out if God had something to say to them.  He told Ezekiel, Son of man, these men … Continue reading

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Ezekiel 13 — Whitewashing the truth

”Do I really need to share the gospel with my grandma? Sure, she’s not a Christian, but she’s a really nice person. Surely God will accept her.” How often do we hear Christians say this? Or maybe they won’t say … Continue reading

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Ezekiel 12 — True to his word

In this passage, we see how true to his word God is.  He starts by talking about the exile of Jerusalem, and namely that of Zedekiah, the last king of Judah. God had Ezekiel do a little drama to show … Continue reading

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Ezekiel 10-11 — A true temple, a true people

One of the things that I learned way back in Sunday school was, “The church is not a building.  It’s people.”  That’s true, but not quite complete.  The church is a people whose hearts belong to God. Unfortunately, Israel’s heart … Continue reading

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Ezekiel 8-9 — He who sees what is hidden

Sometimes we wonder if God truly sees or cares about what we’re doing.  But in this passage, God makes very clear that he does see and that he does care. Ezekiel in this vision was taken to Jerusalem, and was … Continue reading

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Ezekiel 7 — The end

When I was a kid, there was a Japanese superhero show I used to always watch called Kikaida.  If you think he looks cheesy, you should’ve seen the monsters and special effects.  (I’m sure you can find this on youtube … Continue reading

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Ezekiel 4-6 — Finding out too late

I used to like playing with Lego sets when I was a kid, but I don’t think I’d like to do what Ezekiel had to do.  He had to build his own “Lego” set, with Jerusalem at the center, a … Continue reading

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Ezekiel 1-3 — Whether they listen or not

Hey, a chronological book!  What a unique concept!  And quite refreshing considering all the time jumping going on in Jeremiah. Ezekiel comes on to the scene at about this time of history.  It was the fifth year after Jehoiachin, the … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 50-51 — Run

In this passage God turns from pronouncing judgment on the conquered nations to pronouncing judgment on their conqueror Babylon.  Here, God tells them that their reign will come to a crashing end by nations from the North, that is, the … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 48-49; Obadiah — Reasons for judgment

I know.  At first glance, it seems a bit strange to combine Jeremiah and Obadiah.  But there is some method to my madness.  If you look at Obadiah, it actually has a lot in common with Jeremiah 49:7-22.  A lot … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 29 — While we’re still here

I’ve been thinking a lot of about life and death recently.  One of the pillars of my church here in Japan, a woman named Kathleen Benton, passed away last week due to cancer.  She wasn’t a pastor, but what she … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 27-29 — Testing the prophets

With the final king of Judah, Zedekiah now on the throne, Judah was on its last legs.  And Jeremiah had a very unpopular message to give them and the surrounding nations:  Submit to Babylon.  If you will submit to Babylon, … Continue reading

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II Kings 24:8-17; II Chronicles 36:9-10; Jeremiah 24 — God’s choice, our choice

The sovereignty of God and the free will of man is one of those things that has been a long-standing debate in the Christian world.  We see this tension in this passage, so we’ll discuss it a bit here, but … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 46-47 — Judgment and discipline

It was at this time in history that Nebuchadnezzar was really rattling the cages of the nations around.  He had already rattled the cage of Judah, and now he was rattling the cage of Egypt. In these two passages, we … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 23 — Who to listen to

None of us like to feel uncomfortable, especially when we’re listening to messages at church.  But a good pastor will not only give messages of comfort and encouragement, but will also give messages that challenge us to grow.  And for … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 45 — Seeking what’s temporary. Seeking what’s eternal

Baruch, Jeremiah’s scribe, was throwing a pity party for himself.  He had delivered Jeremiah’s words to King Jehoiakim, but Jehoiakim merely took the scroll, cut it into pieces, and burned it. As a result, Baruch was totally discouraged, saying, Woe … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 35 — The blessing that comes from obedience

So many times we know what God says, but don’t obey him.  One reason is that we feel like we’ll “miss out on all the fun.”  Or that we’ll find more happiness if we do things our way instead of … Continue reading

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Daniel 3 — Even if…

You have to admire the faith and commitment Daniel and his friends had toward God.  To stand against the tide is no easy thing, especially when it threatens to crash down on you. I’m not sure, but I kind of … Continue reading

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Daniel 2 — The God who walks among men

Here we have one of the most famous prophetic passages in the Bible.  In this passage, God reveals to Nebuchadnezzar the future of his empire, as well as of the Medo-Persian, Greek, and Roman empires. Ultimately, God makes clear to … Continue reading

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Daniel 1 — Resolved

I have to admit that trying to keep the chronology of Israel’s history is a bit like juggling balls.  There were so many books being written at about the same time, it’s difficult to keep every thing straight.  At the … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 25-26; 36 — Responding to hard words

Nobody likes discipline.  Nobody likes hearing hard words.  But how we respond to them can shape our lives for the good or the bad. Jeremiah had many hard words for the people of Judah, namely words of judgment for their … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 19-20 — A word like a fire

“Why don’t you just shut up?  All this preaching and prophesying ever does is get you in trouble.” Jeremiah’s own family probably asked him this question.  Jeremiah himself asked this question.  God told him to take a pot and break … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 18:7-23 — Turn

When I was in Hawaii, I often had Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons come to my door.  Even in Japan, I had Jehovah’s Witnesses come to my door, although since I’ve moved to my condo 6 years ago, I’ve had no … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 18:1-6 — Marred

It’s hard to believe another year is coming to a close.  Mine is not exactly coming to an ideal end.  I caught my third cold in the past month or so.  I suppose it doesn’t help to have a daughter … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 17:19-27 — Honor, trust, and obedience

I suppose it would be easy to just skip over this section in which God tells the Israelites to keep the Sabbath.  Easy because Paul wrote to the Christians at Colosse not to let people judge them concerning the Sabbath.  … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 17:9-15 — The need for a cure

The human condition can probably be summed up in verse 9 of this chapter. The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure.  Who can understand it? If you think about all the problems in this world, it comes … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 17:1-8 — Remaining fruitful in difficult times

Let’s be honest.  Life can be difficult.  Sometimes, it’s through no fault of our own.  Other times it’s directly related to bad decisions we make. For the Israelites of Jeremiah’s time, they brought the trouble on their own heads by … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 16:19-21 — The One to whom all nations will come

As Christmas approaches, our eyes turn to Jesus.  But which Jesus do our eyes turn to?  Is it to that cute baby in the manger? That’s a Jesus that people like.  Why?  Because it’s a picture that’s not threatening.  It’s … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 16 — Deliverer and Redeemer

As I write this, Christmas is drawing near.  And as such, my thoughts turn even more than usual to the one who came 2000 years ago.  Why did he come?  He came not to judge, but to deliver and redeem … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 15:18-21 — The trap of self-pity

Sometimes when following God gets hard, it becomes easy to complain.  “Why is this happening to me?  I don’t understand.  I thought that if I followed you, all would go well.  Why are you allowing this to happen?” And that’s … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 15:1-17 — Feeding on the words of God

Things were so bad in Judah, that God told Jeremiah he would not have heeded any intercession even from Moses or Samuel. Basically, after Hezekiah died, Judah went on a downward slide.  His son Manasseh had led the nation back … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 13-14 — Where our hope lies

Here we see more warnings of judgment to come.  Jeremiah first warns the people that they will be taken captive and put to shame because of their sins.  That while they would hope for light, God would cover them in … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 13:1-11 — Making ourselves useless

What are we doing here on earth?  What is God’s purpose for us?  Ultimately it comes down to two things.  First, to know him more.  And second, to touch the world around us for him.  God could take us straight … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 11-12 — Running out of steam

Nobody ever said following the Lord would be easy.  (At least I never have).  And the life of a prophet is much tougher. Jeremiah found that out when he learned that the people of his own hometown of Anathoth were … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 11 — When God won’t listen

“I’m already saved.  So I’ll just sin and God will forgive me.” That’s the unfortunate attitude of many people that say they are Christians, but continue to live their own way.  But God makes clear here that he doesn’t tolerate … Continue reading

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II Kings 22; II Chronicles 34 — Living life without the Book

You know that things were a mess spiritually for the people of Judah when their own priests had no idea where God’s book of the Law was.  It’s utterly inconceivable to me.  How in the world could the priests teach … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 10:1-16 — The God who is awesome

In America, we don’t see many actual idols that people worship.  Of course you have the “idols” of this world.  Fame.  Money.  Power.  Sex. But in Japan, we see idols all over the place, mostly of one Buddha or another.  … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 9:10-26 — Something to boast about

This is what the Lord says:  “Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this:  that … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 9:3-9 — Deceptive hearts, lying tongues

If there’s one thing I try to be, it’s to be honest.  I don’t even care to tell white lies very often.  If I don’t want to do something, I’ll just say so.  Nicely, but honestly.  If I don’t like … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 8-9 — Weeping for the lost

Jeremiah is known as the weeping prophet and you see part of the reason why here.  So often, we look at the prophets and all the fire and brimstone they bring to the table, and think that they almost delighted … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 7 — When the church is not a sanctuary

We often  call the church a sanctuary.  And that’s what it is.  It’s a place where we can find God and find safety in his presence. But it is not a sanctuary for everyone.  And that’s what God tells the … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 6 — A crossroad

I belong to a church in Japan called Crossroad Bible Fellowship.  It’s an appropriate name in more ways than one.  We’re located near a station that’s literally a junction point between several different cities.  But as part of the church … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 5 — Deceiving ourselves

Jeremiah continues to rip the people here in this passage.  It starts with an allusion to Sodom and Gomorrah.  As you may recall, Abraham asked if God would spare them if he found just ten righteous people in the city, … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 4:5-31 — Bringing evil upon ourselves

Why is this happening to me?  People often ask that question when bad things happen in their lives.  Sometimes, bad things happen because we are caught in a world corrupted by sin.  But sometimes, we bring evil upon ourselves.  That’s … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 3-4 — False repentance

Every once in a while, my daughter will do something wrong, and we’ll tell her to apologize.  But when she does, she sometimes makes light of it, almost singing, “I’m sorrryyy.” And that’s how Judah was.  God said of them, … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 2 — Where our worth comes from

Self-esteem.  Self-worth.  These words are often thrown around in society as people try to “find themselves.” But there is only one place you’ll ever find yourself.  And you won’t find it by looking at yourself. That’s what God told the … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 1 — Something more

And so we hit our second major prophet.  This one’s a challenge, and I’m not sure how I want to tackle this yet.  For some reason, Jeremiah keeps switching the chronology of events.  He’ll talk about Josiah, then Zedekiah (the … Continue reading

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Isaiah 66 — Humble before God. Humbled before God.

And so we end the longest book of the Old Testament, save for the Psalms. In this final chapter of Isaiah, we see the distinction God makes between the righteous and the unrighteous.  Who is the righteous person?  God puts … Continue reading

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Isaiah 65:17-25 — All things made new

I recently got a new computer.  My last one was bought way back in 2001, and while it was pretty good at the time, by the end, it was old, slow, and just about dead. It’s pretty amazing how fast … Continue reading

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Isaiah 65:1-16 — Ignoring the call of God

I wonder sometimes how frustrated God gets with us.  I think we see some of his frustration here in this passage.  He’s talking specifically about Israel, but it could easily apply to us.  He said, I revealed myself to those … Continue reading

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Isaiah 63-64 — God of compassion, God of power

It amazes me that the God who created this world could care about me.  That the God who just spoke things into existence could even spare a moment’s thought about me. But that’s what we see here.  Isaiah talks about … Continue reading

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Isaiah 63:1-6 — God of Salvation; God of Judgment

The gospel has, from the beginning, been a double-edged sword.  Salvation for those who will receive Jesus, and judgment for those who reject him.  You see both in this passage. First you see the judgment of Christ on the nations, … Continue reading

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Isaiah 62 — New names

Have you ever wished you had another name?  When I was a kid, I did.  The biggest problem with the name Bruce is that there are too many words that rhyme with it.  Goose, moose, juice, loose.  It’s almost endless.  … Continue reading

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Isaiah 61 — Good news

We live in a world where it seems that most of the news is bad.  Earthquakes, crime, political corruption, the list goes on and on and on.  It’s pretty easy to get depressed. But when Jesus came, he spoke the … Continue reading

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Isaiah 60 — Reflecting the light of God

I love the first 3 verses of this chapter. Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.  See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord … Continue reading

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Isaiah 59 — A God far away?

Sometimes people complain, “Where is God in this world?  I sure can’t see him.  All I see is all the evil that’s here.” Actually, God is here.  But the evil that dwells within us makes it difficult for us to … Continue reading

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Isaiah 58 — Empty religion

One thing that God is not impressed with is empty religion.  We saw that in Micah 6, and we also see it here. Here the Israelites complained to God, ‘Why have we fasted, and you have not seen it?  Why … Continue reading

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Isaiah 57:14-21 — The road to peace

After a serious tongue-lashing on those who persisted in their rebellion against him, God here shows his mercy to those who humbled themselves before him. He said, “Build up, build up, prepare the road!  Remove the obstacles out of the … Continue reading

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Isaiah 57:3-13 — Clinging to what is hopeless

A friend recently asked me, “Why does Satan keep on fighting?  He knows he’s lost.  Why doesn’t he give up?”  Other people have put the question another way, “Why doesn’t Satan repent?  Can he repent?” They are interesting questions, but … Continue reading

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Isaiah 57:1-2 — Why the righteous perish

A year ago at this time, I was standing vigil over my dad in his final days and hours here on earth.  It was a day I had been prepared for, for the previous ten years, actually.  My dad’s heart … Continue reading

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Isaiah 56:9-12 — Leaders?

All of us have known people that were bad leaders.  People who should never have been put in that position.  And unfortunately, Israel had their share of bad leaders as well. In this passage, God calls these leaders out, saying, … Continue reading

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Isaiah 56:1-8 — Salvation without discrimination

One thing about the temple worship in the Old Testament was that it was very exclusive.  You notice this a lot in the books of Moses.  The most obvious example of this is that only the priests could enter the … Continue reading

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Isaiah 55 — A life that really satisfies

There’s an old rock song that goes, “I can’t get no satisfaction.”  And for many people, that’s their complaint as they go through life.  They “try and try and try,” but nothing satisfies them.  Everything they pursue in life ultimately … Continue reading

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Isaiah 54 — Reconciliation

Many times in scripture, God pictures himself as a husband pursuing his wayward wife. That’s pretty amazing to me.  I can’t imagine what I’d do if my wife were unfaithful to me.  If she were always pursuing other men in … Continue reading

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Isaiah 52-53 — Why Jesus came

As I write this, Christmas is about 6 or 7 weeks away.  It’s so amazing how the time just flies by.  It doesn’t seem so long ago that I took our Christmas tree down. But as Christmas draws near and … Continue reading

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Isaiah 51:17-52:12 — Salvation

As we look at this passage where God calls his people out of exile, we also see a picture of salvation.  Isaiah tells the people, Awake, awake!  Rise up, O Jerusalem, you who have drunk from the hand of the … Continue reading

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Isaiah 51 — The legacy we’ve inherited

Some Christians don’t like going through the Old Testament.  Sometimes, they wonder why it’s even worth reading.  I have to admit, this is the longest period of time I’ve spent in the Old Testament for my quiet times.  I believe … Continue reading

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Isaiah 50 — Walking in God’s light, walking in your own

“I know what I’m doing.  Don’t tell me what to do.” So often, we take that attitude and it gets us into trouble.  And then we blame God, and accuse him of abandoning us. That’s what the Israelites did.  By … Continue reading

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Isaiah 49:14-26 — Never forgotten. Never without hope.

Has God forgotten me?  Is there any hope for me? That’s what the Jewish exiles would feel, far from home, captives in a foreign land. They cried out, The Lord has forsaken me, the Lord has forgotten me. (14) And … Continue reading

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Isaiah 49:1-13 — The mission of Messiah, and us

Here in this passage we see the mission of Messiah.   (Don’t you love the alliteration?)  What is it? First, to display the splendor of God (verse 3).  To show Israel who God really was.  And that’s what Jesus did, … Continue reading

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Isaiah 48 — The way to peace

So many times, we struggle to find peace in our lives, and we wonder why.  The people of Israel were no different.  But here in verses 17-18, God gives them the answer. This is what the Lord says – your … Continue reading

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Isaiah 47 — Making ourselves God

The lie that Satan said in the garden of Eden thousands of years ago is the same lie he tells us today.  “You will be like God.” And thoughout history, men (and women) have tried to make themselves god in … Continue reading

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Isaiah 46:5-13 — The God whose purposes stand

As God has done for much for much of the past few chapters, he continues to clearly define the differences between the gods of the nations and himself.  In verse 5, he said, To whom will you compare me or … Continue reading

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Isaiah 46:1-4 — He who sustains you

After all the words of judgment we’ve seen throughout the prophets, I must say that it’s refreshing…and encouraging to see the words of Isaiah in the past few chapters.  Here Isaiah addresses the people who would be exiled to Babylon … Continue reading

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Isaiah 45 — That they may know Me and be saved

The ways of God are hard to grasp sometimes.  Why would he use the Assryians, Babylonians, and Persians to punish his people, when these people were just as bad, if not worse than the Israelites? I don’t know, but perhaps … Continue reading

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Isaiah 44:24-28 — The God who knows the futu…our name

There are a number of non-Christian and “Christian” Biblical scholars that have serious doubts about whether Isaiah wrote chapters 40-66.  There are numerous reasons for this.  One is that Isaiah wrote about the future as if it had already happened.  … Continue reading

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Isaiah 44:6-23 — No other

If there is one thing that God impresses on his people in Isaiah 43-44, it’s this:  “I stand alone.  There is no other God besides me.” In Isaiah 43:10-11, he says, “You are my witnesses,” declares the Lord, “and my … Continue reading

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Isaiah 44: 1-5 — Remembering to whom we belong

My life.  My money.  My things.  My body. How often do we think or say these words?  And how often do we mess up our lives by taking that attitude? When we take that kind of attitude, we only end … Continue reading

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Isaiah 43:14-28 — Forgetting the past, moving forward

The more I read of Isaiah 43, the more I like it.  Starting with verses 18-19, Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.  See, I’m doing a new thing!  Now it springs up; do you not perceive … Continue reading

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Isaiah 43:1-13 — Precious

This is probably one of my favorite if not favorite passages in scripture. But now, this is what the Lord says– he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel:  “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; … Continue reading

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Isaiah 42:18-25 — The blind and the deaf

So often when we think of spiritually blind and deaf people, we think of non-Christians. And that they certainly are. But here we see something shocking. Isaiah says, Hear, you deaf; look, you blind, and see!  Who is blind but … Continue reading

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Isaiah 42:1-17 — The One who brings justice and hope

I love the words concerning Jesus here.  The Father says of him, Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him and he will bring justice to the … Continue reading

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Isaiah 41 — The God who is in control

Sometimes as we look at the news, it seems like the world is going crazy.  We see crime, war, and natural disasters, and we wonder if God is really in control. But God answers here that ultimately he is the … Continue reading

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Isaiah 40:27-31 — The power of hope

Hope. If there is one thing we need when facing the future, it’s hope.  Without hope, all that’s left is despair. And that’s how the Israelites felt.  In despair.  Their lives were falling apart, and God seemed far away.  And … Continue reading

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Isaiah 40:9-26 — The greatness of our God

Who is this God we proclaim?  What is he like?  That’s what Isaiah addresses in this passage.  Isaiah proclaims in verses 9-10, Here is your God!  See, the Sovereign Lord comes with power, and his arm rules for him. What … Continue reading

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Isaiah 40:1-8 — Preparing our hearts for God

And so we begin the New Testament.  Well, kind of.  It has been pointed out that the book of Isaiah itself is kind of a Reader’s Digest version of the whole Bible. Like the Bible, it’s divided into 66 parts.  … Continue reading

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II Kings 20:12-21; II Chronicles 32:24-33; Isaiah 39 — Forgetting God’s grace

It’s amazing to me that after all God had done for Hezekiah, that he still forgot God’s grace in his life.  It says in II Chronicles 32:25 But Hezekiah’s heart was proud and he did not respond to the kindness … Continue reading

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Isaiah 36-37; II Kings 18-19; II Chronicles 32:6-23 — Laying our problems before God

Hezekiah had finally turned his heart back to God, but it was still troubling times for the people of Judah, as Assyria was still bent on taking Jerusalem. But with his faith in God restored and perhaps taking heart from … Continue reading

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II Chronicles 32:1-5, 24-26; II Kings 20:1-11; Isaiah 38 — Humbled

Once again, a small caveat on the chronology of events:  I’m purely guessing here.  Unfortunately, the Bible doesn’t put in one book, the blow by blow events of what happened.  So all I can do is try to piece together … Continue reading

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Isaiah 34-35 — Judgment and redemption

Judgment and redemption.  These two ideas are seen throughout scripture and they are very evident here in these two chapters. First, God metes out judgment against the nations in chapter 34, as all those who come against his people Israel … Continue reading

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Isaiah 33 — The key to life

I love verses 5-6 in this chapter. The Lord is exalted, for he dwells on high; he will fill Zion with justice and righteousness.  He will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom … Continue reading

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Isaiah 33:2 — A prayer

I’ve kind of gotten out of the habit of memorizing scripture and I want to get back into it.  A couple of days ago, I worked on Isaiah 30:15.  Today it’s this verse. O Lord, be gracious to us; we … Continue reading

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Isaiah 32:9-20 — False security

Security.  It’s something that many people seek.  To feel safe.  To feel that their future is in hand. For many people, they seek security in money, and think that if they just have enough, they’ll be okay.  In the 1980s, … Continue reading

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Isaiah 32:1-8 — A true man

What is a true man?  I remember reading a humorous article written about men in America.  And what it basically said was that there were few real men.  Most were in fact, wimps.  A woman that was interviewed said, “I’m … Continue reading

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II Kings 18:13-16; Isaiah 30-31 — Where our strength and salvation come from

It’s hard to match up the events of history to the prophesies, but I’m guessing these two passages roughly go together. The king of Assyria (Sennacharib) was on the move again, and came against Judah, mainly because Hezekiah had rebelled … Continue reading

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Isaiah 29 — Blind and ignorant

Why doesn’t God just show himself?  If he truly exists, why doesn’t he just make it crystal clear so that I can know, not just guess or hope? Sometimes people, both believers and unbelievers ask this question.  There are a … Continue reading

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Isaiah 28:23-29 — Where wisdom comes from

Does God understand advanced physics?  Biology?  Technology?  Are these things beyond him?  Sometimes people tend to think that way. Even in the time of Isaiah, people were questioning the wisdom of God.  It was one of the reasons that so … Continue reading

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Isaiah 28:15-22 — A faulty foundation; a sure foundation

One theme that seems to constantly come up in the prophets is the idea of trust.  Who are we trusting?  What do we set as the foundation of our lives? For Israel, they seemed to put their faith not in … Continue reading

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Isaiah 28:1-13 — An unteachable heart

As a teacher, there are few things more frustrating than having students that don’t want to learn.  I’ve been in classrooms where students show no effort whatsoever, and look almost at shock at you when you try to encourage them … Continue reading

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Isaiah 27 — A people God loves

Does God love me? Sometimes we look at our lives and we wonder.  We go through hard times, and wonder if God really cares.  Or we mess up our lives, and wonder if God has given up on us. And … Continue reading

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Isaiah 26 — When we trust in God

Trusting God can be tough.  And so often as we pray, our goal is to bend God to our will, rather than bending our will to his.  We try to make him do what we want, rather than having a … Continue reading

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