Friday, September 30, 2011

Fri.'s Devo Deceived

Read Isa. 39:1-8
After Hezekiah recovered the king of Babylon sent letters and a present to Hezekiah.  Sounds sweet, but the king's name, Merodachbaladan means "rebellion; Baal is lord".  The devil is a deceiver and no matter how good he presents himself, his motives are death and destruction.  Hezekiah was deceived by his acts of kindness and showed his messengers all the wealth and wisdom of his kingdom.  When they left Isaiah paid Hezekiah a visit and asked him about the visitors from Babylon.  When he found out what Isaiah had showed them he gave him a word from the Lord.  In the future everything that he showed them would be carried to Babylon.   He would also take their sons to be eunuchs in his palaces.  I have never been able to process Hezekiah's response and the fact that he got away with it, so I have to think that I'm not seeing it right.  But, this was his response (paraphrased): "good word, just glad there will be peace in my days."  I'm afraid if I was God I would have shortened his 15 years to 15 seconds, but alas, I'm not God.  It is amazing the affect a ruler has on the whole country.  We are seeing that play out right now in our own country. 
Lord, help us to be discerning and recognize the deceits of the enemy.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Thurs.'s Devo - A Powerful Prayer

Read Isa. 38:1-22
Chronologically chapters 38 and 39 come before 36 and 37 so Hezekiah was dying when the Assyrians came up against Jerusalem.  Talk about a hard day for the king.  He had a boil that must have been infected and the poison was killing him.  Isaiah came to him and told him to get ready to die because the Lord was going to take him.  Hezekiah pleaded with the Lord for his life and God heard him and extended his life 15 years.  He also gave him the assurance that He would defend Jerusalem from the king of Assyria.  God gave him a sign that he would move the sundial 10 degrees backward to prove that what he said would happen.  In verses 10-20 we have the prayer he prayed to God and found favor.  God told Isaiah to tell him to take a fig cake and lay it on the boil and he would recover.  Amazing that God would alter time and extend a person's life because he humbled himself and prayed.  What would God do for America if we would truly humble ourselves and pray? 
Lord, our times are in your hands.  Teach us to pray prayers that move your hand. 

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wed.'s Devo - The Angel of the Lord

Read Isa. 37:30-38
Isaiah continues his word.  God is going to give them a sign: for 2 years they will not have to plant because he is going to cause the ground to yield food for them.  Then in the third year they will be able to plant their own seed and eat its fruit.  A remnant of people will survive.  The Assyrian king, Sennacherib will not come back or ever enter the city of Jerusalem because God will be their defense.  After he said this the angel of the Lord went to the Assyrian camp and killed 185,000.  Sennacherib woke up to death all around him and took what was left of his army and went back home.  As he was worshiping his god, Nisroch, two of his sons killed him with a sword and fled.  Another brother took his place as king.  Esarhaddon was his name which means "I will chastise the fierce".  I can't help but think of the angel of the Lord coming to slay those who didn't have the blood on the doorposts during the days of Moses.  He will come again in the end and take the ones who are marked for the Lord up to heaven. 
Lord, thank you for being our deliverer and the captain of the army of the saints.  With you nothing is impossible and we are always safe and secure. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tues.'s Devo - The Right Response

Read Isa. 37:1-29
 When Isaiah heard the news of Rabshekeh's army he rent his clothes, covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the house of the Lord - right response.  He then sent Eliakim to find Isaiah and tell him what was going on and ask him to get God's word.  Rabshekeh had already conquered the Judean cities on his way to Jerusalem.  Would God save the remnant there?  Isaiah told him not to fear the Assyrians that blaspheme Him because he was going to send him a rumor that would make him return to his own land where he would be killed.  Sennacherib, king of Assyria, was fighting Lachish, a Judean town about 30 miles from Jerusalem when Rabshekeh came and reported what was going on in Jerusalem.  They were going to have to shift their strategy to Ethiopia but Sennachrib sent a reminder to Hezekiah that the gods of other nations couldn't deliver them, so neither would their god deliver them.  Little did Sennacherib know that their god was not dead but alive and well able to deliver them.  Hezekiah took this threatening letter into the temple and spread it before the Lord and prayed...once again, right response.  Because of his response, Isaiah sent him a message saying that by mocking the children of Jerusalem, they had mocked the Lord and he was going to bring their arrogance down.  The Lord would take the Assyrians by a hook in the nose and like a wild animal lead them in disgrace back to their land. 
Lord, help us to have the right response when facing attacks of the enemy.  Give us strategies to fight and faith to stand.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Mon.s Devo - The Wiles of the Devil

Read Isa. 36:1-22
Here is the actual story that I have told many posts before.  The king of Assyria sent Rabshakeh with a great army to the king of Hezekiah to get him to surrender.  They met at the upper pool in the highway of the fuller's field.  In spiritual terms that means the spirits met in a Supreme holy place where conflict brings about cleansing.  Rabshakeh wanted to know what authority they were standing on and tried to use intimidation, bribery, and lies to weaken their resolve.  Hezekiah's counselors tried to get Rabshakeh to speak in Syrian language instead of Hebrew so the people wouldn't hear him and be intimidated but Rabshakeh refused.  Instead he shouted his threats so all the people could hear and blasphemed God saying he could not deliver them.  The people refused to answer him because Hezekiah had told them to keep silent.  Hezekiah's counselors were overwhelmed and told the king all that was going on outside.  When all seems impossible....there is God!
Lord, thank you for stories like today that show us how the enemy works to pull us down and make us afraid.  Help us to be strong when facing the taunts and lies of the devil.  

Friday, September 23, 2011

Fri.'s Devo - Blooming in the Desert

Read Isa 35:1-10
This whole chapter gives us another glimpse into the millennial reign.  The dry dead desert will rejoice and plants will blossom all over it.  The desert is going to actually sing with joy.  What a picture!  To all who are weak and afraid now...don't be because the best is yet to come.  God gives us this picture so that our hope will be renewed during hard times.  The millennial reign is the great Sabbath where the people will rest.  When Jesus healed on the Sabbath day he healed everyone as a type of the millennial sabbath.  The land will be healed and bring forth vegetation and abundance of water.  There will only be one way to walk and that is in righteousness.  There will be no temptation to make us get off the path.  We will walk on God's highway singing the songs of the redeemed.  Every heart will be healed and everyone will rejoice with joy!
When I was a little girl, my family took me to California and on the way we stopped in Arizona at my aunt's house.  They lived in the desert and had a garden in their backyard.  I had never seen plants like that before; they were so bright and beautiful.  The sun makes flowers bloom, so I guess in the desert the flowers are so bright because they are closer to the sun.  That has to be true because the closer we get to God (the sun) the brighter we shine.  I can only imagine what these flowers during the millennial reign will look like. 
Lord, thank you for giving us glimpses into the future to broaden our view of our lives and give us hope.  Today is my Birthday and I pray that I would bloom in the deserts you put me in today. 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Thurs.'s Devo - The Battle of Armeggedon

Read Isa. 34:1-17
It is the end and it is time to judge the nations.  It will be a bloody battle here on earth and in heaven.  Verse 5 says that God's sword will come down upon Idumea or Edom.  Remember Edom is Esau, Jacob's older brother who despised his birthright and sold his inheritance for a bowl of soup.  His appetite was fleshly and totally selfish and unwise.  He had no appetite for the things of God.  He stands for all who have rejected the gift of God and his inheritance promised them, choosing the fleeting pleasures of the world.  They are going to get to see the the price they paid for their soup.  He mentions Bozrah in verse 6 which is a city of palaces in Edom.  It must have been a spiritual stronghold for the enemy because God says it will become a desolation.  The animal kingdom shall join in the battle and the land will respond to the move of God on the earth.  Streams will be turned into asphalt which will mix with the sulfur of the air and combust into fire on the land.   The only thing that will be able to live on the earth will be the scavenger birds and the wild animals.  They will possess the earth and feast on the spoils of the battle. 
Lord, I thank you that your ways are just and right and once again, I am honored and thankful to be on your side.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wed.'s Devo - Great Things Come for Those Who Put Their Trust in You.

Read Isa. 33:1- 24
This is the fifth and final woe and it is against Assyria.  Assyria is the destroyer and the traitor.  They destroyed people that were not enemies and had never done anything to them.  When they have finished their ravaging they will be ravaged.  They had demanded money from Hezekiah so that Juda could live.  Hezekiah stripped the gold from the doors of the temple of the Lord, and from the pillars which Hezekiah had overlaid and gave them to the king of Assyria.  King Sennacherib came up against Judah anyway and his army surrounded Judah.  They tormented them and threatened Judah inhibiting their trade, and greatly affecting Judah's economy.  King Hezekiah and the remnant of Judah cried out to the Lord and the Lord heard their cry and sent Isaiah to give them God's word.  He told them to trust in the Lord who would fight for them.  They did and the angel of the Lord came at night and killed 185,000 Assyrian warriors.  King Sennacherib woke to find himself surrounded by corpses and tucked his tail and went back to Assyria.  When he got there he went into his temple of Nisroch and his own sons killed him with a sword.  Everything he had planned for God's people fell back on him.  He went to kill by the sword but he was killed by the sword.  He lost everything.  God is omnipotent and righteous and he will do what he promises.  He promised to forgive the sin of Judah and reestablish them and he will.  
How encouraging to read your Word and see what you do for those who put there whole trust in you.  You are so faithful. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tues.'s Devo Wake Up Out of Your Ease

Read Isa. 32:9-20
The wealthy women of Judah remind me of southern women who lived in plantations years ago.  They seemed to be oblivious to the political situation or their sin of pride and self-indulgence.  God is calling them to repentance but they are careless and deaf.  Little did they know that in less than a year the Assyrians were going to invade their opulent world and it was all coming to an end.  Their palaces and buildings would be left for the animals to occupy and the weeds to invade.  But one day God will visit this land once again and pour out his spirit.  When this happens the land will become fruitful once again, Righteousness and peace will reign and the people will be safe forever.  This wonderful promise is ours today.  We might not see this in our land with our physical eyes but we can have this within ourselves.  We can live in safety and peace and righteousness because the Holy Spirit dwells in our heart.  No matter what goes on around us we can remain fixed and stable in the Lord.  We are hidden away in him.
Lord, thank you for your peace that surpasses all understanding.  Help us to know the times in which we live and not live blindly in ease and carelessness.  Let us be broken before you and quick to repent.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Mon.'s Devo - The Millenial Kingdom

Read Isa. 32: 1-8
We get another glimpse of the kingdom of God in the millenium.  Jesus will rule in righteousness and all his princes will judge fairly.  Men shall live in total peace from any outside force.  Just as Jesus is our hiding place and our refuge and he covers us in the shadow of his wings, so will we be.  We will all be able to see in the spirit, hear the voice of God, understand the things of God, and be able to articulate them.  It will no longer be the wicked that prosper.  Those who walk in freedom will be truly free.  Rev. 5:10 says that we will reign as the kings and priests.  Rev. 22:5-6 says that God will bring healing to the nations.  The curse put over man in the garden of Eden will be gone.  We will see God's throne and the Lamb of God sitting on it.  He will write his name on our foreheads.  There will be no need for a sun or a moon because God's glory will light the sky forever.  What a perfect place to live.  This is our inheritance!
Lord, help us to keep this in mind as we live in a world upside down.  Help us to keep our perspective in you.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Fri.'s Devo - What Do You Trust In?

Read Isa. 31:1-9
Isaiah is rebuking them for trusting in the world's strength. Egypt has horses and chariots but Judah had the Lord who made the horses and chariots and they chose the physical instead of the spiritual. God has promised to protect them but they must turn to him. God protected Jerusalem when the Assyrians came against them. Hezekiah turned to the Lord and he killed 185,000 during the middle of the night and Israel didn't have to lift a weapon. He would do the same for Judah if they would trust him and stop looking to the Egyptians for help. How many times do we choose man's way first and forget that we have a god who promises to heal our diseases, clothe us, feed us, protect us, and comfort us. Did we take his name in vain or did we mean it? One thing Jesus rebuked the people of was unbelief. We don't want to fall into that sin.
Lord, help us to remain steadfast and unshakable in our trust in you. Show us where we trust in the world first. We make you first in our lives.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Thur.'s Devo - First Judgment, Then Comes Blessing

Read Isa. 30:18-33
God is very patient and he judges and disciplines waiting for the desired result he knows will come. He longs to restore and bless us. Today's scripture gives us a great description of this. When Judah's time of judgment is over He promises to be gracious and come to their aid. He will answer their prayers, send them teachers to teach them His ways, and to lead them by his Holy Spirit. In return his people will become aware of the idols they have and want to get rid of them. Then we will become fruitful. God will water the seeds the planted and they will become prosperous and lacking nothing. God will bless the land and it will bring forth bountifully. The sky will even be brighter and the air clearer. God will heal every wound.
This is a perfect description of what happens to a person that God delivers from bondage. Freedom clears the air for God to bless and cause us to grow and prosper as our soul prospers. The moon in verse 26 refers to the church. It will become a light on the earth and shine with the light of God and God will shine brighter than ever.
Lord, we praise you because you are so worthy and so good. Your judgments are righteous and good altogether.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Wed.'s Devo - To No Avail

Read Isa. 30:1-17
Sennacherib and the Assyrians are threatening to attack Judah and instead of turning to the Lord for help, they go to the Egyptians. Egypt always represents bondage and oppression. Didn't they live there under adverse treatment from the Egyptians for 400 years until God raised up Moses to deliver them? And now they want to go back. Isaiah warns them that trusting in Egypt will be to their shame and Egypt's defense will only bring confusion. Verse 6 describes the Judeans sending donkeys and camels, loaded with gifts to pay the Egyptians to help them - all to no avail. They endured the snake-infested desert to get there - all to no avail. Going back to our comfort zones will only be stepping back - never forward and it will no avail. Instead of trusting in a perverse nation like Egypt all they had to do was to return to the Lord and rest in his strength. Our temptation is to do something when we are backed against a wall. God's way is to trust in him and do nothing unless he says to. That is the hardest thing for us to do....nothing. God says, "in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength". But Judah wouldn't turn to the Lord, so he made them to be an example for all to see what happens when they don't turn to Him.
Lord, we put our confidence in you and will try not to move until you tell us to.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Tues.'s Devo - Blinded

Read Isa. 29: 9-24
The nation of Judah had blinded itself to its sins so God blinded them from being able to find him. This caused them to ignore the prophets and the word of the Lord. Even if they tried to understand it would be like someone handing them a book in another language, they wouldn't be able to understand it. What a picture of today! They even said they wanted to draw near to God but their hearts were not saying that. Your actions follow your heart, not your words. They only knew God through what was taught them but had no experience of their own. Wisdom is taught by experience and with out experience there is no wisdom. The evil they plot in secret is open to the Lord. They have turned their backs on the one who made them and somehow think the clay is greater than the potter. At the end of the chapter there is hope. In the end Judah will turn back to God and fear him then God will take the veil off of their eyes and give them a heart to understand.
Lord, forgive us for thinking we can do anything apart from you. You are the potter and we are the clay. Give us a heart to understand.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Mon.'s Devo Judgment on Ariel

Read Isa. 29:1-8
Ariel means either "Lion of God" or "Altar of Burnt Offering". She stands for Jerusalem, so once she was a lion of God but because of her sin she will be like an altar of burnt offering. God is going to punish her with fire. Sennacherib led the Assyrian army to Jerusalem where they surrounded the city and shouted insults to the people. They were so humiliated that they could only whisper. Hezekiah turned to the Lord for help and God delivered Jerusalem. God sent his angel and he killed 185,000 Assyrians during the night. When Sennacherib saw what had happened he returned home with his army. They, and all that come against Jerusalem shall "be as a dream of a night vision." Any nation that hungers for Jerusalem's destruction will fail. At the end of the age, when the nations come against Jerusalem, the Lord himself will fight them like he did for Hezekiah.
God really is in control and he will win in the end. He is in control in our lives too and he will fight for us if we turn to him in our time of trouble.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Fri.'s Devo - Judah's Judgment

Read Isa. 28:14-29
Now Isaiah is talking to the Southern Kingdom where Jerusalem lies. They, like the Northern Kingdom have scorned Isaiah's prophecies. They chose death over life and believed the lie that everything would work out. They lived in denial and now the truth is breathing down their backs. Judgment brings truth and humility; they will not be able to hide from it. "The bed is shorter than a man can stretch himself" is metaphorically speaking meaning that there will be great lack and shortage. This happened in 701 B.C. when the Assyrian army marched into Judah destroying 46 towns and villages. This is a picture of the judgment that will fall on the whole earth in the last days. But.... God will not continually judge Judah. There will rise a godly remnant and to them God offers hope. Just like a farmer does not continue to fallow his ground, he will plant again and restore. Don't you love how God always leaves us with hope for a brighter future? That is what He is all about.
Lord, thank you for your redeeming love. You love to bless and even in your judgments there is love and hope.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Thurs.'s Devo -

Read Isa. 28:1-13
Ephraim is a picture of the church. Ephraim was the son of Joseph and not one of the original sons of Abraham. Ephraim is a branch from Abraham's tree. Like Ephraim, we are a branch that has been grafted into God's family after the Jews. Ephraim is a large tribe that represented the whole Northern Kingdom. God started his judgment with them and filtered down. Her sin was pride and drunkenness. With judgment always comes redemption, promise, and hope. Verses 5 and 6 are the hope of the remnant "in that day". He will be their strength and glory through it all. After that he goes back to describe the conditions of his day. Those who judge will be judged. The nation has turned to drunkenness and those that are suppose to be the spiritual leaders are leading drunk so their judgment is impaired. They drink till they vomit. They loathe Isaiah's chastisement and feel like they are being talked to like children. They refuse to listen or heed the words of Isaiah so God says that he will speak to them in another language - the Assyrian language. He gives them an awesome truth: "precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept: line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little." This is how we learn the Bible. We build a strong foundation then build upon it. But every block in it must be a line of the Bible.
Lord, help us to build our foundation on your truths. Keep us from being intoxicated by the things of the earth.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Wed.'s Devo - Like Israel - Like America

Read Isa. 27:1-13
Once again we are "in that day" meaning millennial reign. Israel's enemy is like the "piercing serpent" that will be ultimately destroyed by the Lord. At the end of the tribulation, God will rescue Israel and destroy its enemies. Then Israel will blossom and be very fruitful. God had to discipline Israel by sending the "east wind" which were the Babylonians who took them into captivity. This was fulfilled in 586 B.C. when Jerusalem's inhabitants were carried into captivity in Babylon. Jerusalem would be desolate and abandoned for a time. There Israel would be purified until all the harlotry was out of her heart. When she repents God will restore her and bring her back to her land. We have been privileged in our lifetime to see Israel rise up to become a nation. We are watching our own nation go into captivity to sin and idolatry. We are witnessing disaster after disaster as God is trying to get our attention and get us to repent and turn around. If we don't we will be taken over by a stronger nation like China. I'm not prophesying I am just looking at the past pattern. I pray we repent and fall into the hands of a merciful God.
Lord, you are our only hope and you have all the answers to get us out of the mess we are in. We acknowledge that you are the God of America. We pray for the spirit of cleansing and repentance to fall on our hearts.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Tues.'s Devo - The Millennium

Read Isa. 26:1-21
We are back "in that day" speaking of millennium. I can't imagine what that is going to look like during millennium but today's scripture says that the protection of the city is salvation instead of man-made walls. The gates are open and only truth can come in. Our gates are our eyes, ears, mouth, heart and they are open to all sorts of lies but in millennium they will only hear, see, feel truth. There will be no stress because our mind will be set on Jesus. God will be our strength. Finally God's ways will be THE way and all our enemies will be defeated. We will not even be able to remember their power over us. There will be a righteous government where Jesus is the king. Finally, the land promised to Abraham will be given back to God's people. In verses 16-21 Israel is pictured as a woman in labor who can barely whisper a prayer through her pain. During tribulation, Israel's suffering will be that intense but following tribulation there will be resurrection! He compares the tribulation for the righteous to hiding away till it is over. That is exactly what we do in hard times: we hide ourselves in the Lord.
How God wrote this book from beginning to end before it happened is incomprehensible but true. God you are truely amazing. We are so blessed to have you as our God.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Monday's Devo - The Song of the Redeemed

Read Isa. 25:1-12
This is the song of the redeemed. They are the ones that came out of the tribulation and live in the millennial reign. They have seen God tear down mighty nations and turn thriving cities into a heap of ashes. But to the remnant, God was strength to the poor and needy and a refuge from all the horrible tribulation. "In this mountain" in verse 6 is talking about Jerusalem where Gentiles from all over the earth will come and enjoy a banquet of the finest food. Jesus will once and for all end death and we will celebrate victory. Every hurt, abuse, sorrow or sadness will be taken away and all our disappointments will be fulfilled. God will fulfill all his promises and it will be better than we could ever imagine. God will bring down the strongholds of the enemy forever. What a day that will be! I keep thinking about the people who don't like parties or large groups of people who might read this and want to panic. The glorious thing is that we will all be healed of all our hang-ups and insecurities. We will all know each other and love each other with Jesus' love. He was never afraid of people.
Lord, thank you for writing all this in a book and letting us know the end so we can have hope. All our hope is in you.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Fri.'s Devo The Final Days

Read Isa. 24:14-23
All over the earth, the godly remnant that survives the tribulation will cry out and praise the Lord for His righteous judgments. Revelation 7 tells us what is going on in heaven during this time. Four angels will stand on the four corners of the earth holding the wind back from blowing. That wind is total destruction. Another angel will come down from the east carrying the seal of God and tell the angels to wait until he has sealed the remnant with a seal on their foreheads. One hundred and forty-four thousand will be sealed and taken to join the hosts of heaven gathered around the throne. Rev. 15:3-4 says that they will sing the song of Moses and the song of the Lamb praising God for his mighty acts. As Isaiah sees a glimpse of the future he is reminded of the sin of his day and cries out woe and judgment. Just like in the end, it will be impossible to escape God's judgment. If you try to escape one terror, another will find you. God will also punish "the host of heaven" which is Satan. According to Rev. 19:19 the antichrist and the beast will be cast into the lake of fire. Their followers will be slain by Jesus' sword and the birds will eat their remains. Then Jesus will reign on his throne and even the light of the sun will pale to his glory and majesty
Wow Lord! We are so humbled to be your chosen children, sealed by the Holy Spirit. Help us, as your remnant stand strong in tribulation.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Thurs.'s Devo - Future Judgment 9-1-11

Read Isa. 24:1-13
"Behold" means "look at what will happen in the future". At the end of time the whole earth will be judged. Everyone, no matter their age, occupation, rich or poor - they will all be judged. The earth will be emptied and plundered. Verse 5 tells us why: all the people have broken God's laws, changed their meaning, and violated God's covenant with man. They brought a curse of the earth that caused the earth to be consumed and whoever was still left to burn. In the Old Testament God destroyed the earth by water; it is prophesied that he will destroy it again by fire. (2 Pet. 3) Isaiah gives us a picture of what it will look like. Joy and prosperity is a thing of the past. Fear is everywhere and people have shut themselves up in their homes. There is no hope. All I can say is, I hope the church has been raptured out by this time. But even through the tribulation their will be those who turn to the Lord and these people will be comforted. We will see this in tomorrow's reading.
Lord, we are so sheltered here in America but there are Christian brothers and sisters all over the world who live in war, fear and uncertainty. Help them be strong and protect them. Be their deliverer.