Isaiah 16 You may or may not remember that slogan from the 1980s, but a marketing idea at the phone company hit home and so began one step closer to the art of instant communication. Instead of waiting days for snail mail now, it is voice mail. The days of rotary phones are over. Now nearly everyone on the planet has a rechargeable cell phone. Now we use our phones to call, do our banking, and read instant messages, but nothing matches a friend’s sweet voice checking in on us. Even though we are more connected than ever before, we still need that personal one on one chat with a precious friend or family member.
In Isaiah 16, God’s heart sighed for the prodigal Moab. They had long ago walked away from Jehovah, but Jehovah had not walked away from them. Yes, they brought this problem on themselves due to their pride and idol worship, yet even in that, God reminds the Israelites to do what He would do: Hide the outcasts from those seeking their demise and do not betray the fugitive. God is saying remember to demonstrate the attribute of compassion to those who are suffering.
Who is in your circle of acquaintances or friends who need that special touch today?
As the Lord has compassion on us, so we are to have compassion for others. It goes both ways, for you never know when you may be facing difficulty and need that special touch.
Isaiah 7:9b and 26:3 Have you ever asked someone what or whom do they fear? What would they be willing to forfeit? Jesus told the disciples that He would always be with them and if that is true why then do we fear? The principle is found in Is 7: “If your faith does not remain firm, then you will not remain secure.” In other words, if your faith is not enough to face the dangers of others or circumstances your faith is not faith at all.
Let me give you an illustration. There was a woman to whom I was speaking and presenting the gospel. Our conversation began with this question: what do you put your faith in? She nodded through it all but when I came to the question about surrendering her life to Jesus she balked—no, in fact she said she would NOT trust Christ. Her reasoning was that she would have to give up her immoral relationship to follow Christ. She was more fearful of losing the man with whom she was now living than spending eternity in hell. Unlike the Samaritan woman at the well, she turned away from salvation.
Perhaps that is you. God is asking you to put your faith in Him. He asks that question so that you would know He will keep you in perfect peace because your faith is holding firm on God and because you chose to trust in Him.
Joshua asked the Israelites to choose whom they would worship, God or the gods of their ancestors. They had to choose between faith or fear. Where are you today?
Isaiah 3 – 6 You may have heard this saying: what goes around, comes around meaning that what has happened will happen again. Isaiah listened to what God said: “Youths will proudly defy the elderly and riffraff will challenge those who were once respected.” God was preparing Isaiah to understand what the Apostle John wrote later: “Therefore, do not be surprised, brothers and sisters, if the world hates you.” and especially when you present Christ. [1 Jn 3] Today, thankfully there are many young people acting righteously. When you see that stop and thank God for them! Better yet, thank them in person.
In chapter 6, God told Isaiah that the people would listen but not understand, see but not comprehend and have hearts that would turn away. God was saying to Isaiah; this is My ministry, and you are My servant and you will experience what I have been experiencing since time began.
Today, if you are in ministry or you are discipling another, know this truth: “the god of this age has blinded the minds of those who do not believe so they would not see the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God.” [2Cor 4:4]. Therefore, we must pray with all boldness: Father, remove the scales of their eyes, open their ears, and give them hearts to understand. Claim the same prayer Paul requested from the Ephesians: “pray that I may be able to speak boldly as I ought to speak.”
Song of Solomon ch 5 to 8 My lover is knocking at the door! Listen! [SoS 5] I am standing at the door and knocking! If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come into him [Rev 3:20]
Is Jesus knocking at the door of your heart?
He desires your heart just as the lover of this poem in the Song of Solomon. But, too often, our answer is tomorrow or the time is inconvenient or when I get closer to my death. Yet, Jesus is saying, “Look, now is the acceptable time; look, now is the day of salvation!” [2 Cor 6:2] Don’t put this day off. As it says, “Oh, that today you would listen as he speaks! Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.” [Heb 3:15]
Jesus is calling you to salvation! Open the door of your heart to Him!
Ecclesiastes 7 to 9 The book of 1 Kings tells us that Solomon loved the Lord, and at Gibeon, as he was dreaming, God tested his heart. “Ask what I shall give you.” Just as God tested Peter, so God was testing Solomon. Who did he really love? Jesus asked Peter three times if he loved him, and each time Peter responded with the “phileo” type of love. That was Solomon’s problem too. Until we have an “agape” type of love, our heart is just as Jeremiah said: desperately wicked. In some ways, that is the same question God asks of us. He essentially asked Solomon to determine the answer to that question, and his life is an open book for us to see. Study his life in the books of 1&2 Kings and then Proverbs and Ecclesiastes.
Although it seems that his answer is true wisdom, we only have to look at his last book to see that Solomon loved himself more than God. He struggled with integrity and having a devoted heart for God.
The test of our heart comes in situations and circumstances over which we have little or no control, and Solomon is not the only one who failed that test. We can study the lives of Noah, Moses, and Abraham and others to see their responses.
God puts everything on his scale. Solomon knew that the Lord weighs the heart, do we?