Sunday, February 17, 2008

Day 48/90: Judges 16-19, Isa 31-36, 1 Cor 7-9

Today's highlights for me:
  • The end of Judges repeats the theme with an eerie cadence, "each man did what was right in his own eyes." And we see where that leads - to terrible idolatry and sexual deviancy and violent homicide. The Bible is nothing if not culturally relevant; amazing, how 3000 years later, people have not changed much. Our moral relativism leads us to all kinds of evil in the name of "tolerance."
  • Isaiah challenges Judah in these chapters (and us by association) to not place their trust in alliances with other nations, but to put their complete confidence in their covenant-keeping God. Of course, the challenge here is that trusting in God will always show itself in living according to God's ways - and this is what Isaiah shows in chapter 33 - "who can dwell with the consuming fire?" he asks, "He who walks righteously and speaks what is right." In other words, instead of looking for other nations to deliver them, Judah needs to start drawing close to God and trusting Him for their deliverance.
  • Isaiah 33:22 "the Lord is our king" contrasts with our reading in Judges tonight "there was no king in Israel." - question for us - who is our king? - who are we following?
  • Much to write about in Isaiah tonight - chapter 34 reveals the wrath of God in strikingly powerful imagery. This is not a part of God's character that we typically teach and preach on - but the Bible is full of prophetic words about the coming wrath of God. I did one message on this in the fall when I was preaching through the end of Revelation and I did two teachings on the topic of God's wrath to a youth camp a couple years ago, but I don't know that I have a fully-developed theology of His wrath.
  • Anybody ever taken a 1 Corinthians 7 fast from sexual intercourse with your spouse for a season to commit yourself to prayer? I actually heard about someone doing this last week - with amazing results.
  • I so connect with Paul in 1 Corinthians 9 - "woe is me if I don't preach the gospel." Amen.

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