Thursday, October 14, 2010

Strange Parallels

Whew!  I have been battling a bad double ear infection.  Also, we are so excited about our new (and 1st) granddaughter.  We now have a grandson and granddaughter.

While I was at the hospital for her delivery, I spent time reviewing chapters 2-4 of Isaiah.  These three chapters are one oratory about Jerusalem.  It breaks down into three sections.  Chapter 2:2-4 speaks of what God wanted Israel to be and what it will be soon.  It is a backward/forward look that only God, who dwells outside of time and space, could give.  From Chapter 2:5 to 4:1 we see the sad reality of what Jerusalem had become due to sin and selfishness.  It reveals that God will send strong judgement to purge the land of sin.  The section ends with chapter 4:2-6.  Here, we are given a glimpse into the millennial reign of Jesus.  It is a great section and wonderful study.

In the midst of this section, we read these verses in 2:6-8.  "Therefore thou hast forsaken thy people the house of Jacob, because they be replenished from the east, and are soothsayers like the Philistines, and they please themselves in the children of strangers.  Their land also is full of silver and gold, neither is there any end of their treasures; their land is also full of horses, neither is there any end of their chariots: Their land also is full of idols; they worship the work of their own hands, that which their own fingers have made:"

Religious Israel was rebuked for several reasons in these verses.  First, they were accepting of foreign practices and customs that were not part of the covenant established between them and God.  Look at verse 6b in the NASB, " Because they are filled with influences from the east, And they are soothsayers like the Philistines, And they strike bargains with the children of foreigners."  Next, Isaiah indicts them for making political pacts with foreign powers rather than trust God through the calamitous political times in the region.  He went on to make a point of their sin in trusting in riches and wealth while holding that this was a sign of God's blessing though they were not following close.  Israel was rebuked for trusting in their military power and might rather than relying on their Almighty God.  Finally, they are upbraided for gross idolatry.  This idolatry was the base of all of the above sins mentioned.

Go back through those same sins and compare America to each of them.  While you are at it, compare it to the American church which has began to incorporate elements of Eastern religions into practice.  Look at the church making political pacts with unbelievers to make sure their darling political party wins.  Should not the people of God trust in the power of God?  What is the majority of the preaching about in America today?  Wealth, luxury, pleasure!  Maybe we are falling into the same idolatry that the Israelites were judged for many years ago?  Just a thought! 

News will follow tomorrow.

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