Wednesday, August 8, 2012

SIN AND SACRIFICE...REPEATEDLY

                                                      SECOND MOST QUOTED MAN IN SCRIPTURE
Most books of the Bible start out slowly...The true message or messages do not reveal themselves until later in each book. Born approximately 750 years before Christ, Isaiah's visions and prophetic communication lasted 64 years. If you add 20 years for his youth, you can estimate that he lived just over 80 years, dying in about 670 BC. This time frame is important so that we can approximate who his contemporaries were at the time. He had two sons, neither of which followed in his footsteps.

Most scholars believe that Isaiah did not write all 66 chapters of his book. Comparing the writing styles uncovers three distinct different methods, which ostensibly account for the opinions. I have read it several times recently, and frankly, it never crossed my mind that he did not write the whole thing. Whether or not there is some truth to the changes in writing style, the book has some amazing passages that we will be looking at for application in the 21st century. And Isaiah starts right out of the box in Chapter I...

Keep in mind that we are talking about Hebrew scripture written about 2800 years ago or the span of some fifty (50) lifetimes. When I contemplate lifetimes, I get a whole different sense of how long we are talking about. Today we think about the moment. We don't want to miss the Olympic games...We want to know the winner down to one thousandth (1/1000) of a second. We are clock watchers with second hands, so that we can see the seconds, minutes and hours tick off, all the time knowing that the sands of our personal time shrink every hour.

God thinks in lifetimes. If you talk about a generation of people, you are getting warm. You see, God's existence does not revolve around our sun or our moon. Our calendar by which we organize ourselves, ad nauseum, does not apply to our Creator. Generational thinking is not a usable format for us, any more than counting seconds and minutes is to Him. For example, we marvel at the fact that we turn away from Him for hours, days, weeks or months at a time, and yet, he is always there when we return. You may choose to ignore Him, but you can never be "away" from His presence. 
                                                                               ISAIAH THE MAN
Chapter 1:1 begins with a vision from God to Isaiah that spans four (4) generations, including the lifetimes of these kings, Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah. So this vision is not about last night, last week or last year. It's about 4 lifespans. God says that he nourished and brought up the Hebrew nation as "children." Despite that effort they continued to rebel against our Lord. This is a glance at the Hebrew people back then:

  1. Not only was God a part of their history and heritage, but He was a household name that was used daily.
  2. God speaks directly to them through Isaiah, and they know that what he says is true and righteous.
  3. God nourishes both kingdoms (Judah & Jerusalem).
  4. God protects both kingdoms from the non-Jewish kingdoms surrounding them.
  5. With all of the above, "Israel doth not know, my people do not consider."
Despite God's judgement of the people for their endless iniquity, He steps back to lament the situation, because "their whole head is sick, and whole heart faint." They go through the religious motions by SINNING AND SACRIFICING, to assuage their own conscience, and the wrath of the Almighty. Isaiah says it best when he compares these Jews to Sodom & Gomorrah...Repeated sinfulness under God's protective cover is a dangerous place to live. That's what they were doing, and that's what most of us do as well. Think about your personal sin, and how you have gotten comfortable with it over time, because Christ has redeemed your soul. Initially, you were repentant and full of remorse, as you admitted to your Heavenly Father your transgression. 
                                                                  JESUS READING FROM ISAIAH
The Hebrew nation did the same thing...The more they sinned,  the more they sacrificed according to the Law of Moses. The bigger the sin, the bigger the offering. Initially, the Law worked in their hearts and minds, but eventually, like life in the 21st century, it got old and boring. If you committed adultery again and again, why not just keep killing all of the young bullocks to keep God happy? You get what you want, and God gets what he wants! Such a deal!! I like to call it The New Covenant method of sin and sacrificing or SAS. I admit to three (3) SAS's in my life. They are tough, they are ingrained, and what's worst of all, they are no longer painful. When you can sin and feel no pain, you are Stage #3 of spiritual ill, and the only effective remedy is to stand firm and cut it out of your soul and mind. If you do nothing the infection will spread, shutting down your access and relationship to God.

Only by slaying the SAS's in your life, will you live long and prosper with your Lord & Saviour.


The Digital Disciple


                                                             PENNING HIS GREAT BOOK FOR GOD

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Hearing from you is certainly not a requirement. Consideration of what is researched and written is all I ask of anyone who stumbles upon my writings. I believe that my God will take it from there. With His help I try to separate fact from fiction, sense from nonsense, and ultimately clarity from chaos.

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