Isaiah 49 & 50 by Pastor Don Moore
I missed one Friday Bible study. Pastor Don recounted a few thoughts from the previous Bible study on Isaiah 49.
These are wonderful chapters about God’s promises.
God promises to save the Gentiles, not just the Israelites.
Isaiah 49:8-9a Thus says the LORD: “In an acceptable time I have heard You, and in the day of salvation I have helped You; I will preserve You and give You as a covenant to the people, to restore the earth, to cause them to inherit the desolate heritages; that You may say to the prisoners, ‘Go forth,’ to those who are in darkness, ‘Show yourselves.’ “
God is speaking about His promises to the people, and in the prophetic about saving the Gentiles, the Messiah, teaching the Gospel. This will be fulfilled.
Isaiah 49:6 Indeed He says, ‘It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles, that You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth.
God planned for the Israelites to be a light to the Gentiles.
Isaiah 49:15-19 “Can a woman forget her nursing child, and not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely they may forget, yet I will not forget you. See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; your walls are continually before Me. Your sons shall make haste; your destroyers and those who laid you waste shall go away from you. Lift up your eyes, look around and see; all these gather together and come to you. As I live,” says the LORD, “you shall surely clothe yourselves with them all as an ornament, and bind them on you as a bride does. For your waste and desolate places, and the land of your destruction, will even now be too small for the inhabitants; and those who swallowed you up will be far away.”
Wonderful, glowing promises from God.
We read the whole Isaiah 50 chapter.
Isaiah 50:1-11 Thus says the LORD: “Where is the certificate of your mother’s divorce, whom I have put away? Or which of My creditors is it to whom I have sold you? For your iniquities you have sold yourselves, and for your transgressions your mother has been put away. Why, when I came, was there no man? Why, when I called, was there none to answer? Is My hand shortened at all that it cannot redeem? Or have I no power to deliver? Indeed with My rebuke I dry up the sea, I make the rivers a wilderness; their fish stink because there is no water, and die of thirst. I clothe the heavens with blackness, and I make sackcloth their covering.” The Lord GOD has given Me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him who is weary. He awakens Me morning by morning, He awakens My ear to hear as the learned. The Lord GOD has opened My ear; and I was not rebellious, nor did I turn away. I gave My back to those who struck Me, and My cheeks to those who plucked out the beard; I did not hide My face from shame and spitting. For the Lord GOD will help Me; therefore I will not be disgraced; therefore I have set My face like a flint, and I know that I will not be ashamed. He is near who justifies Me; who will contend with Me? Let us stand together. Who is My adversary? Let him come near Me. Surely the Lord GOD will help Me; who is he who will condemn Me? Indeed they will all grow old like a garment; the moth will eat them up. Who among you fears the LORD? Who obeys the voice of His Servant? Who walks in darkness and has no light? Let him trust in the name of the LORD and rely upon his God. Look, all you who kindle a fire, who encircle yourselves with sparks: walk in the light of your fire and in the sparks you have kindled— this you shall have from My hand: you shall lie down in torment.
The last clause says, “you shall lie down in torment.” We want it to say you shall not lie down in torment. In this prophetic story of Israel, God has just signed the divorce certificate. In Isaiah 47-48 God promises never to abandon Israel, now He is signing a divorce certificate. God says he sends the Messiah, and what they did to them, the fruit of that will be torment. They ignored the prophets and did evil on purpose. It will get tough for Israel until something happens in the divorce.
God says, He hates divorce, but he issues a divorcement. How can this seeming contradiction exist? We went to Matthew to begin to find the answer.
Matthew 19:1-2 Now it came to pass, when Jesus had finished these sayings, that He departed from Galilee and came to the region of Judea beyond the Jordan. And great multitudes followed Him, and He healed them there.
Jesus healed the people and will now be asked His views on divorce.
Matthew 19:3 The Pharisees also came to Him, testing Him, and saying to Him, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason?”
This is a hard question. The wife is the one who suffers in a divorce, and in all cultures except the Hebrew culture at that time, a husband could divorce his wife for inconsequential reasons such as he did not like the way she salted his eggs. The Gentile cultures viewed women as property, and women were despised by men. This was a valid question because cultures surrounding the Israelites placed little value on marriage and divorce was easy. The man’s word was all it took to have a divorce, and the woman could be stoned, killed, sent back home, or just cast out of the house. The children and women were property of the man. In the Muslim culture a husband can marry up to four women, as long as he can support them. The Muslim husband can confine a woman to the couch as punishment or beat her. In a recent news article a Muslim woman had her nose cut off. Many Muslim women face death for small infractions.
Matthew 19:4 And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning‘made them male and female,’
Interesting answer. God made male and female. He could have just made Adam, but realized that something was missing. Adam needed a wife. God could have make a hermaphrodite, but He didn’t.
Matthew 19:5 and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?
Male and female. In other words, father and mother. The husband and wife leaves their parents and join together as one flesh. They were not designed to be under their parent’s house together, but rather their own house. Marriage is not the certificate received from a clerk or a stirring wedding ceremony, but rather a covenant where two are made as one. Sex is to be done under the marriage covenant, under the covering of God, and when bodily fluids are mixed stuff happens. That is why premarital sex is wrong, for you end up leaving parts of yourself with the other partners you have slept with. What happens if you have lived a promiscuous lifestyle before you knew the truth? There is a solution for that, you bring your sins to the altar, and with salvation you leave the altar a spiritual virgin. The slate is erased in Heaven. That does not mean that after your sins are forgiven that you can go back to your former promiscuous lifestyle.
God did not pick your mate, you did. If you selected wrong, you must still stick with your marriage. Make the best of it and turn to God. It is not the devil or God who made me do it, but your choice. We are all under construction. Isaac worked for 7 years to receive Rachel for a wife, but was tricked to have Leah. He worked seven more years for Rachel. He loved her enough to work 14 years for her.
The concept of romantic love is in the mind. We fall in and out of love, but that is really not love but lust. Love is a choice. You choose to love whether times are good or bad. Our culture tells us that if we are unhappy in a relationship, just leave it. Get a different wife. But that is not God’s plan. What happens is that our culture gives us images that are unsustainable in a relationship, and the spouse is not able to live up to media images.
Many are holding out for their soul mate, that is not something that can happen. If you find yourself constantly tempted sexually, find a good spouse, marry and stick with your choice, that way you will not be tempted to sex outside of marriage.
In India and China parents decide who their child will marry. Often the two don’t even meet until the ceremony. Parents have their children’s best interests at heart, so they will pick wisely, not from lust. There are far fewer divorces in India and China than there are when the couples select each other themselves.
Paul recommended that those who burned to get married, should marry. Celibacy is not a path that all can take.
When God set up marriage he wanted one man to be married to one woman. God honored Leah’s (the first one married) marriage. She gave 10 tribes of Israel. Rachel died young and only produced two of the tribes. The tribe of Judah produced the Messiah. Just because the men in the Old Testament married more than one woman does not mean that God was pleased with that choice. His plan was one man one woman one marriage. This is a “dress rehearsal” for the ultimate marriage, the Wedding Supper of the Lamb.
Matthew 19: 6 So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.
God sees the couple as one flesh, but unfortunately we don’t. In our lives we can be depressed, angry, and other times merciful, they are all parts of who we are. In a marriage, where two become one, even the negative traits of the spouse are part of the one body that both of you possess. You can’t cut it off, anymore than you can cut off a part of your individual body, without causing serious repercussions. We fall prey to carnality of mind. As individuals we have negative emotions and positive emotions. We can’t cut away the negative parts of us, we need to work them through to become more positive. In a marriage, if a person has negative traits, you can’t cut them off, and discard the person. You, as part of one flesh, need to work through them with your spouse, not escape from them through divorce.
Both parties of a marriage have carnality of mind. Marriage is the joining of souls (mind, will, emotions) and both parties in a marriage must surrender their souls to form a unified whole. There must be compromise in a marriage. A good example is two people in a rowboat. If one is believing better fishing to the right and the other believes it is to the left, and each rows to their intended destination, the rowboat goes nowhere. The two have to agree to row one way or the other to make progress. If they row to the right and there are no fish, they can then choose to change direction and row to the left. In marriage there may be disagreements over how fiances are spent, tithing, vacation, children, etc. The couple needs to make a decision to compromise, and pull together. If there is a mistake, the couple can change course and try a different route. While the husband is the head of the family and loves his wife like Christ loves the church (willing to lay down his life for his wife), a wise husband listens to the ideas of his wife and takes them in consideration. If there is yielding, even though the idea is not a good one, God will honor that. God will help the couple to make a correction and move forward. But if the two are working at cross-purposes no progress in the relationship will ensue.
Primitive man had no marriage ceremonies. Slaves had to jump the broomstick as a show of marriage. What really makes the marriage is the consummation of the marriage.
God gave the design of the marriage. He was teaching us things through the marriage. It is no accident that the enemy is seeking to destroy marriage. Gentile marriages are not taught about the covenant. Now there are teachings that marriage does not have to be a man and a woman. Some want to have a “marriage” and think God will bless a union that is not what God ordained. It is part of an attack to the family, and to further break down God’s plans.
When challenges come in your marriage, and they will, remember marriage is a covenant, two become one.
Matthew 19:7-8 They said to Him, “Why then did Moses command to give a certificate of divorce, and to put her away?” He said to them, “Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so.
Moses had to give provision for divorce, not because it is God’s idea, but because of man’s hardness of heart (Sklirokardia) Kardia means heart. But from the beginning, God never planned for divorce.
Matthew 19:9 And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery.”
Sin of adultery, and there is punishment for sin.
Matthew 19:10 His disciples said to Him, “If such is the case of the man with his wife, it is better not to marry.”
Better not to marry, his disciples said, if the only reason for divorce is sexual immorality.
Under Moses’ law there is a written certificate of divorce spelling out the reasons for the divorce. If the wife was just thrown out it may have been assumed that she was a harlot and should be stoned to death. Under the Mosaic law, if the husband did not like her, he could divorce her, but that does not mean that she committed a sin to merit the divorce.
Adultery is a sin, just like stealing and lying is a sin. We can ask for forgiveness.
1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
When the Scribes and Pharisees tried to test Jesus by bringing to him a woman caught in adultery, they brought only her to Jesus for judging. If they were following the true Levitical laws, they would have brought the man and the woman to him. Jesus told the people, that whoever was without sin should cast the first stone. No one threw a stone and the only one that could have thrown a stone, Jesus, told the woman to go and sin no more. Divorce is the problem, but there is mercy.
Moses permitted divorce, God accepted it, but hates divorce. If there is a divorce, the person needs to deal with their lives so that they don’t keep sinning. If the person doesn’t repent (turn their lives around), they will keep repeating the same sin. Statistics prove it out. The highest rate of divorce occurs with second marriages, for the couples bring their baggage from previous marriage and also the idea that if this marriage doesn’t work out, that the next one might. Problem is that the person keeps perpetuating the same relationship.
We went back to Isaiah 50 (see above)
The artifact of divorce will be demonstrated by how the Israelites treat the Messiah. God is divorcing Israel for adultery, that they worshipped idols. If we break our covenant with God, God is faithful, even if we are not. God gave the marriage contract with Moses. God provided and prepared for Israel, and then Israel was not faithful.
God was not pleased with the kings that did not place God first. By the 50th Chapter of Isaiah God recognized the divine artifacts of the idolatry of the Israelites, and God removed his covering. What God desires is to be like Hosea and bring back His bride into relationship. God is saying that even though there is divorce, He can restore the covenant. To restore the covenant, God sends Jesus to pay the price. God is a merciful God.
Praying you are abundantly blessed this Thanksgiving!
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