|Katherine came back from camp, she had some high adventure. The camp was near a town that got flooded out, and she talked about one group of kids having to evacuate their cabin, wade across waist high water and come to another cabin. In fact, at one point I called the camp when I saw on the news that in a nearby town a 15 year old girl was killed in a house that was swept away. Roads were still closed when we drove to pick Katherine up this morning. The floods here in the east were incredible.
Because it was an environmental camp they did all the outdoor activities even in the rain. She is happy, proud of surviving and tired. I am glad she is home. For awhile I was thinking, because of all the rain we had, 11 inches in two days, that she might be building an ark and collecting species two by two as her environmental activity.
Are you ready for what blew me away yesterday from Pastor Don Moore’s Friday Bible study?
Isaiah 41:15-16 Behold, I will make you into a new threshing sledge with sharp teeth; you shall thresh the mountains and beat them small, and make the hills like chaff. You shall winnow them, the wind shall carry them away, and the whirlwind shall scatter them; you shall rejoice in the LORD, and glory in the Holy One of Israel.
At times mountains are considered to be problems in life – remember that Jesus told us to speak to the mountain, and it will be removed and cast into the sea. We are all in some phase of our ministry. It could be a beginning phase or it could be pretty finalized. And every step of our path we will at times encounter mountains, obstacles. But we have God and the Holy Spirit to help us with our challenges.
A wheat berry is first beaten to loosen the chaff. (That is like the problems, the challenges we face, and the hurts). Then comes the wind to carry away the chaff. Often in the Bible the wind is the Holy Spirit, or God breathing life into something – like when God breathed life into Adam. So when we have our problems that cause bruising and hurting, God comes in and breathes life to us, blowing away the chaff. (Heather’s note: that in itself is cool).
But remember what Jesus talked about in John 12:24 Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies it produces much grain.
Since we are likened to kernels of wheat, we must die to ourselves, become the servant that Jesus tells us to become, and then we can be fruitful, producing much grain.Jesus died to His self, and His sacrificial death produced the fruit of our forgiveness and our becoming the Body of Christ. In Acts, the Holy Spirit comes as a wind and in John chapter 20 verse 22 Jesus breathes on the disciples so that they could receive the Holy Spirit. So when the wind comes, it blows away what is not of God, and the kernel falls to the ground, and produces much fruit with the help of the Holy Spirit.
Isaiah 41:17 – 20 talks about the poor and needy that seek water. They are thirsty, and God will hear them. And another great promise Isaiah 41:17-19 The poor and needy seek water, but there is none, their tongues fail for thirst. I, the LORD, will hear them; I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them. I will open rivers in desolate heights and fountains in the midst of the valleys; I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water. I will plant in the wilderness the cedar and the acacia tree, the myrtle and the oil tree; and the box tree together. That they may see and know, and consider and understand together, that the hand of the LORD has done this, and the Holy One of Israel has created it.
There are many trees mentioned here, and Pastor Don said that even the kinds of trees had meaning, but he didn’t go into that. I was trying hard to find out some of the meanings and could only find a few. Cedar is purification, acacia comes from a root that means pierce, scourge, oil is the olive oil tree – and that is anointing and the olive tree also represents Israel, Cypress is noble, stable, material for the temple. Pine means run, dash and gallop. Box is blessed, happy, walking straight. But I am not certain about them all
What an abundant promise, and we will see rivers of living water coming from the throne of God, and the tree of life for the healing of nations in Revelation.
In the mid 90’s there was a misinterpretation of the scriptures, where everywhere that the word “water” was used, it was thought to be the Holy Spirit. While water can symbolize the Holy Spirit, it is also water. God has many levels of meaning in each passage of scripture. During this period there were many movements of the Holy Spirit, and people started looking for obvious signs that the Holy Spirit was there, so you had the laughing churches, barking churches, gold dust, etc. It is true that sometimes these signs and wonders would happen, but we cannot forget that satan can imitate anything that God does. We have to realize that whenever a miracle or effect happens, if it truly is of God, the end goal is always that God is glorified. It is not just the person receiving, but that God is wanting to pour out clarity on the divinity of His Word. When the Spirit of God and the applied Word of God come together, then the Spirit is increased, and God gets the glory. We should not be looking just to have signs and wonders, but beyond the signs and wonders there needs to be permanent fruit.
Verse 20 is important it is that we may see and know and UNDERSTAND TOGETHER. The purpose of the move of the Spirit is to bring the Body of Christ together and increase our understanding of God. To make us realize that it is God and GOD ALONE who has done this. So often many who are caught in signs and wonders forget that the purpose is unity in the Body of Christ and glorifying God.
Verse 21: “Present your case,” says the LORD. “Bring forth your strong reasons” says the King of Jacob. The king of Jacob is the flesh (remember God called Jacob “Jacob” when he acted in the flesh, Isaiah when he acted in a spiritual manner) – and we so often talk our case over with God. But often our arguments are flesh based, and we forget that God is a BIG God and has many ideas beyond our fleshly limitations.
Verse 22: Let them bring forth and show us what will happen; let them show the former things, what they were, that we may consider them, and know the latter of them, or declare to us things to come. Show the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that you are gods; yes, do good or do evil that we may be dismayed and see it together. Indeed you are nothing, and your work is nothing. He who chooses you is an abomination.
What a strong indictment against the idols. They cannot predict what will happen, show the former things, or do great things. They are limited, crafted and created by man’s hands and imaginations. God sees idols as an abomination. They are NOTHING – no thing. (Heather’s note – in fact, any idols that are constructed are constructed using materials that God created, the trees, silver, gold, they are crafted by human hands (humans are created by God)) there is nothing that an idol does that is original.
Verse 25 talks about one from the north, that will come from the rising of the son and call on God’s name. He will come against princes as a potter treads the clay. This verse is a Messianic verse, but it also had a near prophecy for that time. Many times the prophecies in the Bible have a near fulfillment to the time they were spoken, and a far fulfillment for some time in our future. This is one of the ones with a near and far fulfillment. But we will see more about who this person from the north is in a few weeks when Pastor Don gets to that point in Isaiah. If you want to peek ahead you can find out more about him in Chapter 44 – it is a cool part of a deliverance for the nation Israel. I do not want to spoil Pastor Don’s teaching by going ahead in Isaiah.
God continues to talk against idols and ends in verse 29 Indeed they are all worthless, their works are nothing: Their molded images are wind and confusion.”
Heather’s note – in essence they are a bunch of hot air. God sees idols as worthless, and nothing. I have to concur. As many of you know, I spent 40 years avoiding God and of that time 30 was spent in the occult. Now that I have come to Christ, I realize that what the occult did was to imitate what is true and holy and from God. It is satan’s plan to cause us to turn to a partial truth. Remember, a partial truth, the same as Sarah saying she is Abraham’s sister (when she was his 1/2 sister- see my studies in Genesis of a few days ago) is a lie, and a lie is a lie is a lie. Satan will not come out and appear totally evil in most instances, he will sugar coat the lie, in a lot of words that sound true and holy. The love walk, the three fold law, that what you do comes back to you three fold, you are the master of your destiny, you are god, you are good, if you do enough good works God will surely accept you. This is so contradictory to His word of truth. Satan is smart and he has had thousands of years observing us, he knows how to reach us at our weaker moments, at our points of doubt, at those areas where we can be tempted, in our pride. He will use what it takes to pull us away from God just a little, then he will wedge a greater hole in our relationship by heaping guilt and shame.
As Joy says, when you are in a hole, stop digging – reach out to God, ask for forgiveness, ask for the light of God’s word to illuminate your path, and obey God. If we ask God’s forgiveness and repent He is faithful and just to forgive us. God will then forget as far as the east is from the west our sins, and we will walk righteously IN CHRIST. Do not let satan steal God’s blessing. Stand in the light of the truth, in the light of the Word of God, in the light of the blood of Jesus Christ.
I read somewhere that when a person is learning to detect counterfeit money, they are put in a room and examine minutely real money for hours and hours. They become so familiar with real money that a counterfeit stands out. If we become so familiar with God’s Word, His truth, His love, His way of being with us, we will see the counterfeit in those false voices that appear, those idols that are nothing. I pray that we become good students of the Word so that the lies of satan fall barren to the ground.
Have a blessed Sunday.
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