Tag Archives: immorality

Visions of a Prophet – Isaiah

We start this week with the reading of the book of Isaiah. This prophets writings will carry us into April. Isaiah is a major prophet, and one that is not without controversy. You may have heard of Deutro-Isaiah, which is basically Isaiah 40-66. Some scholars think that the restoration prophecies of Isaiah are too long after the prophet lived to be attributed to him. Isiah ministered under five kings of Judah, a period of about 110 years. To look more closely at the events Isaiah writes about, read 2 Kings 14:17-20:21. This passage takes in the reigns of the kings mentioned in Isaiah 1:1.
The time frame of Isaiah is before the Assyrians defeat Samaria and the Northern Kingdom fall; with this in mind, Isaiah writes of the “vision of the LORD for Judah.” The time frame of the Kings mentioned put Isaiah preaching long before the 10 tribes of Israel fall. One would think that the judgment messages would be to the Northern Kingdom at this time not the Southern kingdom. We could look at the dynasties of each Northern and Southern kingdoms; specifically 19 kings, and 19 dynasties in the North. But 19 Kings and 1 dynasty in the South, the Davidic Kingdom Dynasty. Remember the promise of God to David that there would not cease to be one of his heirs sitting on his throne. Ultimately, Jesus the “Lion of Judah” will sit eternally on David’s throne. Could it be that with Jeroboam and his successors, that led the apostasy and anarchy of Baalism be already rejected and judgment pending from God? We know that Judah is God’s chosen people [not to say the other 10 tribes were not part of the original plan] where He will bring forth the Savior/Messiah Jesus.
Obviously from the 1st chapter there is a “worship that has gone wrong.” People have turned from God, and gone their own way. While they continued to worship in Jerusalem, they added worship “on the high places” also. The sin of idolatry has saturated the holy Zion. Even though indictment after indictment is given in chapter one, we still observe the “hope of restoration” in verses 18-19. Of course this is not without warning, if they refuse to return and repent in verse 20. The worship in Judah had become so infiltrated with pagan rituals of new moons, and festivals. The problem was even though the nation Judah continued worshiping at the Temple; God was repulsed by their actions. Judah was acting like as long as they kept God happy in the Temple sacrifices, they could do whatever else their hearts desired. Now things are not as bad as things will get, but they are bad enough. During the reigns of Manasseh and Amon, the sons of Hezekiah, Judah will hit an all-time low in morality; capped by the sacrifices to the fire god Molech.
Indictment after indictment, Isaiah brings against Judah. The description of Jerusalem in 1:21-23, speaks of the polluted, mixed religion of the day. In a constant barrage of evil adjectives, Isaiah identifies both the depth and extent of the “failed worship.” This should cause us today to think of what we have made worship in our churches to be. Do we think we can just “do something” and expect it to be acceptable to Jehovah God? 1:24-26; hints at the cleansing that Yahweh will accomplish in His judgment. It is a sad testimony of God’s people to realize that they have the One and Only True God; yet they were never satisfied, seeking after more sensual gods to their liking. We [mankind,churches] are guilty today of desiring not God, but our own form of worship, a worship that feeds our more basic instincts and animistic desires. [Michael W. Smith – Coming back to the Heart of worship, it’s all about You Jesus]
We find quickly that God is not pleased with His people. He is sovereign, He is in control and He will rule without equal. God is going to judgment Judah and Jerusalem in the future. Even though there was ample warning, Judah didn’t listen. While God is long-suffering and merciful, people take it for granted that they “got away with sin.” Not so, Yahweh see all.
Jehovah will direct the future events of rulers and conquests for His own will. Judgment is coming and judgment must begin at the house of God. Today in America, we must consider our own ways – is judgment pending for America? Assyrian kings will devastate the Northern Kingdom and Samaria in the near future of Isaiah’s writings. Will Judah take heed to the fallen Northern Tribes? No is the answer. Just because Judah gets a reprieve, doesn’t mean that God will now justifiably send them into captivity. The waywardness of Israel/Judah is evident. They were cautioned not to “engage with the Canaanite nations, lest they be duped into following their immorality and idolatry – they did it anyway. God is a jealous God – He will not shrug His shoulders at our unrighteousness!. Isaiah 5 speaks clearly about the reasonable expects that God should have for Judah or any nation that has benefited from His providence to them. A sad story will unfold – yet it will not be without hope of tomorrow.

Leave a comment

Filed under 16 Prophets in 2016

Body Sins and Liberties

This blog entry covers 1 Corinthians 5-9. I briefly mentioned the gross sin of the son sleeping with his step mother and how the church was boasting about it, without correcting the immorality. The allowance of such a sin in the midst of the church is no different from the church today allowing couples living together [members] going unchecked. It is amazing to me how that members will be all up in arms about “other people’s” sins, but when that same sin occurs in their own families, it is accepted because they don’t “want to lose their child.” Wrong is wrong, unchecked sin is cause for the discipline of God upon the church and the person [Joshua 6-7].

In chapter 6, Paul clarifies that we cannot go to court with other believers. Matthew 18 is the biblical method for solving internal problems with each other. When we go to the courts of the world to settle our disputes, the name of Jesus is ridiculed. There are a couple of things that I have found that believers should not do with each other – don’t lend money to each other, don’t sell things to each other and don’t go into business with each other. I have heard of so many situations where what started out as a good venture, turned bad when the two parties started fighting – usually over one or the other getting more/doing less than the other.

Paul begins to describe various bodily sins that should not be found among believers.[6:9-11] Bodily sins have an adverse affect on the person as well as the church. No one sins unto himself. When we commit bodily sins, we sin against ourselves and seek our own pleasure at the expense of immorality. Our bodies are not our own. God created us with a specific design, not for self-pleasure, but pleasure for others [in the right context]. Paul brings the temple practice of prostitutes to mind when he talks about joining ones body to a prostitute. There is no relationship with a prostitute, other than self-gratification for a price. The Corinthians had come out of that environment, why would they think they could re-engage it without repercussions? Key verse – 6:19 – our body belongs to the Lord. To live with a sensual mandate is to live for ones on pleasure. Today we find that homosexuals are trying to relate marriage to love and self-satisfaction. Marriage is not about self, but about the other person. Also for procreation, I know that sounds dumb, but Adam and Eve were to reproduce and fill the land. Same-sex relationships do not reproduce. I think it is absurd that same-sex couples are allowed to adopt children and raise them in such an unnatural environment. Man and woman reproduce together; couples that cannot reproduce on their own should not have the benefit of someone else’s ability. Artificial insemination/surrogates for the purpose of having a child without heterosexual marriage should not be allowed. However, this world has defended and given rights to the absurd desires of changing what God made good, into gross immorality.

There are duties for men and women, the body of the man is for the woman and the woman’s body for the man. The bible is clear that husband and wife relationship is the only proper relationship for the expression of sex. Paul also realizes that if a man or woman doesn’t marry, that problems of passion will develop. A person should marry rather than burn for passion.  Paul continues to reveal the bodily sins that are committed, this should resonate with the Corinthian Church and the immorality they have been delivered from. If one is single they should live as single, if one is married, they should serve the Lord as if they were single. I have found in my own life that there becomes a strain between serving the Lord and marriage. After one is married, often the attention of the wife takes the precedent in the man’s life.

In regard to liberty; believers have liberty in Christ. However, Paul makes sure that the liberty is not used as a stumbling block to a younger believer. I have had people tell me it was okay for them to drink or whatever, and if a brother or sister had a problem with it, then they would just have to get over it. This speaks of the arrogance of self-gratification again. Even though we have liberty, as Jesus said, if anyone causes one of my little ones to stumble, it would be better for them to have a mill stone around their neck and thrown into the deep-sea. Our ability to have freedom is not found in our right to do, but also in our desire not to do, for the sake of another. Chapter 9, Paul speaks of self-control and how that he became all things to all men, that he might win some. The greater good is for the Gospel to be lived and preached. This carnal church was all about itself, rather than being a witness to others. Yes there are still churches today who want to do things their way, regardless of who it might offend. Therein lies the problem, churches do not exist for themselves, but for the work of the Lord.

Leave a comment

Filed under 15 in '15