Isaiah Chapter 1
We were running out of time at Bible study but Pastor Don wanted to do a quick overview of part of Chapter 1 to set us up for next week’s study.
Isaiah begins with complaining and upset and ends with a silver lining of happiness and joy.
Isaiah 1:1 The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.
In previous teachings Pastor Don covered a basic history of the Kingdoms – the Northern and the Southern. Isaiah is written for the Southern Kingdom – Judah. This is a vision Isaiah saw, the Northern kingdom (Israel) and the southern Kingdom (Judah and Benjamin). The Northern Kingdom constantly did what was evil in God’s sight, and resorted to idolatry. Judah had several kings who were pleasing to God, and the priests stayed in the Southern Kingdom. The Southern Kingdom obeyed the Torah more.
Reheboam, Solomon’s son caused trouble in the Kingdom by intensifying the oppression on the people and caused division in the Kingdoms. This prophecy covers the Southern Kingdom and the kings mentioned in verse 1.
Isaiah 1:2 Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth! For the LORD has spoken: “I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebeled against Me;
God is speaking to the heavens and the earth.
Isaiah 1:3 The ox knows its owner and the donkey its master’s crib; but Israel does not know, My people do not consider.”
Pastor Don’s comment, “What a way to start a book!”
Isaiah 1:4 Alas, sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a brood of evildoers, children who are corrupters! They have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked to anger the Holy One of Israel, they have turned away backward.
They have turned away BACKWARD.
Isaiah 1:5 Why should you be stricken again? You will revolt more and more. The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faints.
My goodness, the whole heart faints, the whole head is sick. They were so caught up in idol worship and wrong thinking and were so far gone that not a right thought was in their head.
Isaiah 1:6 From the sole of the foot even to the head, there is no soundness in it, but wounds and bruises and putrefying sores; they have not been closed or bound up, or soothed with ointment.
There is no soundness, sad at the direction the country is heading toward. The scepter is passing, even in our country. We need to pray for our leaders even more than before.
Isaiah 1: 7-9 Your country is desolate, your cities are burned with fire; strangers devour your land in your presence; and it is desolate, as overthrown by strangers. So the daughter of Zion is left as a booth in a vineyard, as a hut in a garden of cucumbers, as a besieged city. Unless the LORD of hosts had left to us a very small remnant, we would have become like Sodom, we would have been made like Gomorrah.
A VERY small remnant, and without that then Judah would have been just like Sodom and Gomorrah.
Pastor Don told us, if we see the same pattern we will know that God will do the same thing again. Some say that, if God does not judge America, He will have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah.
Isaiah 1:10-11 Hear the word of the LORD, you rulers of Sodom; give ear to the law of our God, you people of Gomorrah: “To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices to Me?” says the LORD. “I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams and the fat of fed cattle. I do not delight in the blood of bulls, or of lambs or goats.
With all the sin going on they were still doing sacrifice to God, but why? They were not living a Godly life.
Isaiah 1:12-15 When you come to appear before Me, who has required this from your hand, to trample My courts? Bring no more futile sacrifices; incense is an abomination to Me. The New Moons, the Sabbaths, and the calling of assemblies— I cannot endure iniquity and the sacred meeting. Your New Moons and your appointed feasts My soul hates; they are a trouble to Me, I am weary of bearing them. When you spread out your hands, I will hide My eyes from you; even though you make many prayers, I will not hear. Your hands are full of blood.
They took the sacrifice and feasts of God and added their stuff to them and that made it an abomination to God. The Sabbaths and the feasts are God ordained. In the book of Samuel we see Eli and his sons die. The reason is Eli added the practice of baal and molloch worship. There were prostitutes in the temple in Jerusalem and there was sex with men, boys and women, and it was done under the guise of temple worship.
In Russia and Yugoslavia they still practice that today. Eli’s sons did not honor God in the sacrifice, for they would take a meat hook and pull out the best pieces of meat from the sacrifice, from the portion that belonged to God.
1 Samuel 2:12-17 Now the sons of Eli were corrupt; they did not know the LORD. And the priests’ custom with the people was that when any man offered a sacrifice, the priest’s servant would come with a three-pronged fleshhook in his hand while the meat was boiling. Then he would thrust it into the pan, or kettle, or caldron, or pot; and the priest would take for himself all that the fleshhook brought up. So they did in Shiloh to all the Israelites who came there. Also, before they burned the fat, the priest’s servant would come and say to the man who sacrificed, “Give meat for roasting to the priest, for he will not take boiled meat from you, but raw.” And if the man said to him, “They should really burn the fat first; then you may take as much as your heart desires,” he would then answer him, “No, but you must give it now; and if not, I will take it by force.” Therefore the sin of the young men was very great before the LORD, for men abhorred the offering of the LORD.
There were money changers in the Temple. The priests received bribes from the money changers – who were there to make sure that the currency used in the Temple did not bear a person’s face as was common in the coinage of the Gentiles. But they charged high interest to change coins. They also had papers signed to help pay for the sins of people, things God did not ordain. Their heart was not in the worship and sacrifice to God. They burned incense with wrong fire. God was not pleased.
Isaiah 1:16-18 “Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes. Cease to do evil, learn to do good; seek justice, rebuke the oppressor; defend the fatherless, plead for the widow. Come now, and let us reason together,” says the LORD, “though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”
God tells us we can reason together – this is one of the most powerful and liberating verses in the Bible! Can you imagine God telling us, “Hey, let’s talk, reason it out!.”
Isaiah 1:19-20 If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land; but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be devoured by the sword”; for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.
If we are WILLING and OBEDIENT. There are two parts to it, most of us can understand obedience, but we can be obedient but not always willing. Are we willing to line up our will with God’s will and accept what God has for us? We also have to be obedient. It is easier to yield to obedience. There is a parable that Jesus tells about a man with two sons whom he asked to work in the field. One son said that he would not go, but later thought better of it and went. The other son promised to go, but then did not go into the field to work. Jesus asks which child did the will of the father, and it was the child who went into the field to work. One was not obedient, and one gave obedience but was not willing. God wants us to be both willing and obedient.
Mark 1:40 Now a leper came to Him, imploring Him, kneeling down to Him and saying to Him, “If You are willing, You can make me clean.”
The man came to Jesus and said, “If you are willing.”
Mark 1:41 Then Jesus, moved with compassion, stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, “I am willing; be cleansed.”
Jesus was moved with compassion, and He told the man “I am willing.”
Mark 1:42-45 As soon as He had spoken, immediately the leprosy left him, and he was cleansed. And He strictly warned him and sent him away at once, and said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone; but go your way, show yourself to the priest, and offer for your cleansing those things which Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.” However, he went out and began to proclaim it freely, and to spread the matter, so that Jesus could no longer openly enter the city, but was outside in deserted places; and they came to Him from every direction.
This will free you if you understand this passage, that Jesus is WILLING. There is an error that is taught about Christ’s willingness to heal us, and if we get it we will be liberated for the rest of our life. Some hear Jesus’ prayer and then pray to him, “If you are willing, you can heal me.” That is a negative prayer. We think it makes us sound more holy or it gives us an out if the healing doesn’t come if we pray, “If you are willing.” But that is not Biblical, not Scriptural, and it shows that we are not praying in faith and diligently seeking Him. How can we imagine that God is not willing to heal us? If we think He isn’t willing we don’t know His heart.
God tells us we are to ask and it shall be given to us. Jesus says, “I am willing.” Jesus is willing to make us rich as long as riches do not become an idol. If you know God’s will, your healing will work. Read John Chapters 14-17 to understand.
Often we think Jesus will not heal us. Sometimes we pray for things in our life but we ask amiss, asking what is out of God’s perfect will for our lives or asking out of lust and selfishness. What person who is sick is asking for a healing out of lust? They are asking God to feel better, for wholeness, and that the Lord would heal them. When God heals them do they brag on themselves, or do they brag on the Lord?
What are we saying about God when we say he is not willing to heal us? We are saying He’d rather see us suffer and die. What does that say about God? What is God’s best for me? Faith requires that we step out and believe. Faith is an action word.
What the leper was asking Jesus was, “Are you willing to touch me because I am ceremonially unclean? Are you willing to violate the law?” In those days it meant that a person was unclean if they touched a leper and the disciples were going to worship. The man felt that Jesus had to touch him for him to be healed, but touching a leper would have made Jesus ceremonially unclean. But the truth is the leper was healed when Jesus SPOKE his healing – the healing was done BEFORE Jesus touched the leper. Jesus did not have to touch the leper to heal him, but the leper needed Jesus’ touch.
Remember the Centurion who told Jesus that all you have to do is speak the word and my servant will be healed. The Centurion understood the principle of healing, and Jesus marveled at this man’s faith.
Jesus meets you where your faith is. Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. When Jesus touched the man, the man was no longer a leper.
Jesus had to be perfect according to the law of Moses, and always worked according to the law. The law was fulfilled when the leper was told to go to the temple and make the offerings required for the healing of leprosy. Jesus did not break the ceremonial laws by touching a leper for the leper was already healed.
The man was not asking Jesus if He was willing to heal him. The man was asking Jesus if He was willing to violate tradition and touch an unclean man.
Some say, well I prayed for so long and haven’t gotten results. That is not the way to operate in faith, for the person is questioning the will of God. When faith is released the Lord Jesus can do all that is needed.
The Syro-Phoenician woman had to come to a point of faith in agreement with Jesus before her daughter could be healed.
NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR GOD.
If you question God’s willingness, then you are not in faith for what God can do.
If you are praying for healing and not receiving your healing then you need to find out why it isn’t working for you – what can you do to bring your will in line with God’s will for you and His will is healing.
Praying your day is blessed.
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