:) Finally had some time! Next week should be fun... we're heading into some messianic prophecies... :)

Happy studying!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Isaiah Chapter 8 (part 2)

Isaiah Chapter 8:11-14

vs. 11-14

- “The Lord has given me a strong warning not to think like everyone else does. He said, “Don't call everything a conspiracy, like they do. And don't live in dread of what frightens them. Make the Lord of Heaven's Armies holy in your life. He is the one you should fear. He is the one who should make you tremble. He will keep you safe.”

- Oh boy... So coming at a time when in the US, our elections are coming up... this really speaks to me.

- Politics always breeds conspiracy theories. TV always shows the crazy conspiracy theorists who wear tin foil on their heads and swear the aliens are coming at any moment to destroy the earth...

- In our country right now... honestly... we have a lot to fear. Our president is in the middle of basically trying to change our entire constitution. The things that our country was founded upon... he's trying to take out of the law books.

- (To read further on some of these actions... here are a few articles.)

- Late in 2011, Obama signed an act that will allow the detention of anyone... including citizens, for as long as necessary, and for no justified cause.

- There was also policy up for vote in congress this week... it was applying the child labor laws to farms. Basically it was going to do away with 4-H and FFA (agricultural kids programs) and said that no child under the age of 18 would allowed to in any way shape or form work on their own family's farm. So... we're not even going to be allowed to teach our children how to work on the land... we can't grow up the next generation to know how to take care of themselves... I mean, what kid at 18 is suddenly going to find in themselves a huge desire to learn how to care for animals etc.?

- Happily, due to public outrage against the policy, it was withdrawn. However, here's a link anyway if you would like to read.

- Dept. of Labor press release from this weekend:
- Article:

- Now here's the kicker... our president has like 20 something court cases pending to verify his eligibility to even hold the office... A few cases have already been tried... and failed... I have included the transcripts below... The first one... Obama and his attorney's refused to even show up for the hearing... which... normally would mean contempt of court and prison time... however... somehow... he got out of that one...

- (same day, second case)
- (also same day, third case) (and this one... is the kicker...)
- The GA court cases in article form:


- And yet this man... is leading our nation... hmmm...

- For me this week, reading about all this stuff... and knowing that it's basically being swept under the rug... (no major news network is really hitting on this hard AT ALL...) Knowing that elections are coming up and this guy is probably going to make it to the presidency... again...

- There's reason to fear if you forget who is in control...

- Ugly truths that people want to keep secret come out of closets for all to see. God said He sees all the secret thoughts of our hearts... So even if no one else knows... God knows...

- So reading this passage this week... I was just struck by how nuts this all is...

- I was thinking about the church as a whole... living in a world that is not so receptive to the gospel. And I was thinking about all the things that the rumor mill spits out about things that are happening, or going to happen...

- What it ultimately boils down to is this... God's on the throne. He's always been on the throne, and He's not going anywhere. He's in charge... even when it seems like there's no way He can be.

- Last week I was reading a little in Daniel...

- Chapter 7 talks about the 4 beasts that Daniel saw in a vision.

- “Then I wanted to know the true meaning of the fourth beast, the one so different from the others and so terrifying. It had devoured and crushed its victims with iron teeth and bronze claws, trampling their remains beneath its feet..... As I watched, this horn was waging war against God's holy people and was defeating them, until the Ancient One—the Most High—came and judged in favor of His holy people..... This fourth beast is the fourth world power that will rule the earth. It will be different from all the others. It will devour the whole world, trampling and rushing everything in its path. Its ten horns are ten kings who will rule that empire. Then another king will arise, different from the other ten, who will subdue three of them. He will defy the Most High and oppress the holy people of the Most High. He will try to change their sacred festivals and laws, and they will be placed under his control for a time, times, and half a time.. But then the court will pass judgment, and all his power will be taken away and completely destroyed. Then the sovereignty, power, and greatness of all the kingdoms under heaven will be given to the holy people of the Most High. His kingdom will last forever, and all rulers will serve and obey Him.” (vs. 19-27)

- Sounds pretty rough right? In chapter 8 it talks about the small horn even attacking the heavenly army and throwing some of the heavenly beings to the earth. He challenges the Commander of heaven's army by canceling the daily sacrifices and by destroying the Temple.

- And yet... in all of this... God's still in control. The devouring of a whole world... the trampling of God's people... the oppression of God's people... Changing everything about the way we worship our God....

- God's still in control.

- Jesus in Mark 13 gave an answer that... definitely says that this walk is not easy... it's no picnic...

- “Don't let anyone mislead you, for many will come in my Name, claiming, 'I am the Messiah.' They will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and threats of wars, but don't panic. Yes, these things must take place, but the end won't follow immediately. Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in many parts of the world, as well as famines. But this is only the first of the birth pains, with more to come. When these things begin to happen, watch out! You will be handed over to the local councils and beaten in the synagogues. You will stand trial before governors and kings because you are my followers. But this will be your opportunity to tell them about Me. For the Good News must first be preached to all nations. But when you are arrested and stand trial, don't worry in advance about what to say. Just say what God tells you at that time, for it is not you who will be speaking, but the Holy Spirit. A brother will betray his brother to death, a father will betray his own child, and children will rebel against their parents and cause them to be killed. And everyone will hate you because you are my followers. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.” (vs. 5-13)

- Jesus didn't say it would be easy... but He said He would never leave us nor forsake us...

- In Isaiah 44:6-8, God says: “I am the First and the Last; there is no other God. Who is like me? Let him step forward and prove to you his power. Let him do as I have done since ancient times when I established a people and explained its future. Do not tremble; do not be afraid. Did I not proclaim my purposes for you long ago? You are my witnesses—is there any other God? No! There is no other Rock—not one!”

- So God in Isaiah 8 says don't worry about it! You're worrying about earthly things... when you should be worried about heavenly things.

- I read a story about a song a few weeks ago... The guys wrote it for a friend who had a habit of randomly locking himself in his house for months at a time and darkening all the windows with pillows and blankets etc. so that he literally lived in complete darkness for a while.

- Fear can be a crippling thing... it can make us not want to go anywhere... or do anything.

- My mom at one point in her life let fear take over her life. She was scared to death to leave the house to go anywhere by herself. She avoided going to events if everybody wasn't going with her. When she started substitute teaching, she said she literally had to get down and pray every morning for the strength to leave the house.

- II Peter 2:19 says that we are slaves “to whatever controls you.”

- If we sit around thinking about all the bad things that COULD happen... or all the things that the government COULD do... then we are putting fear on the throne ahead of God. We are allowing something other than God to direct the paths of our lives.

- But Isaiah says that only God should make us tremble (with holy fear). Only God should be the one we fear. For He will keep us safe. Without His protection... we are lost... But with Him... all things are possible.

- So even if we end up in persecution, or tribulation, or prison, or whatever else could happen... we can't sit around and worry about what they're going to do to us. In the Mark verses it said that we would be arrested so that we would have a platform to speak to our captors. Which is what Paul did... time after time.

- So even if we're experiencing pain galore... whether it is physical or emotional... God is still on the throne... and He's not going anywhere. Call upon He who holds the past, present and future... and worry not about the barbs of the enemy.