Today’s devotion comes from Isaiah chapter 52.  Here is a link to this chapter – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah+52&version=NASB

I quote only the following verses.

7 How lovely on the mountains
Are the feet of him who brings good news,
Who announces peace
And brings good news of happiness,
Who announces salvation,
And says to Zion, “Your God reigns!”
Listen! Your watchmen lift up their voices,
They shout joyfully together;
For they will see with their own eyes
When the Lord restores Zion.
Break forth, shout joyfully together,
You waste places of Jerusalem;
For the Lord has comforted His people,
He has redeemed Jerusalem.
10 The Lord has bared His holy arm
In the sight of all the nations,
That all the ends of the earth may see
The salvation of our God.”  Isaiah 52:7-10.

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Is the gospel of other doctrine truly “good news” in which salvation is dependent on man providing works or at least will to be saved?

Or is the gospel of Reformed Doctrine truly “good news” in which salvation is dependent upon God alone to provide all that is needed for salvation?

Does the god of other doctrine truly redeem or purchase any for salvation if he provides only part of the purchase price and must wait to see if man will provide the other part of purchase price whether it be works or at least will?

Or does the God of Reformed Doctrine truly redeem for salvation if He provides all that is needed in the purchase price? 

Does the god of other doctrine truly reign if he must defer to the alleged free-will of man?

Or, does the God of Reformed Doctrine truly reign if He does whatever He pleases in heaven and earth and He has mercy on whomever He chooses such that salvation does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on Himself Who has mercy?

Scripture shows that the God of Reformed Doctrine alone truly reigns.  

“Whatever the Lord pleases, He does,
In heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deeps.”  Psalm 135:6.

“The Lord has established His throne in the heavens,
And His sovereignty rules over all.”  Psalm 103:18.

For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”  So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy.  For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I raised you up, to demonstrate My power in you, and that My name might be proclaimed throughout the whole earth.”  So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires.”  Romans 9:15-18.

“The Lord has bared His holy arm
In the sight of all the nations,
That all the ends of the earth may see
The salvation of our God.”  Verse 10.

Scripture shows that the Reformed Doctrine of Salvation alone is the only “good news”, because salvation is dependent on God alone to provide all that is needed for salvation from the beginning to the end:  from the beginning of  “Unconditional Election” through “Limited Atonement” through “Irresistible Grace” to the end of “Preservation of the Saints”, the “U”, “L”, “I”, and “P” of “TULIP”, the Five Points of Calvinism, the Reformed Doctrine of Salvation.

But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, so that, just as it is written, “Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord.”  1 Corinthians 1:30-31.

Get yourself up on a high mountain,
O Zion, bearer of good news,
Lift up your voice mightily,
O Jerusalem, bearer of good news;
Lift it up, do not fear.
Say to the cities of Judah,
“Here is your God!”
10 Behold, the Lord God will come with might,
With His arm ruling for Him.
Behold, His reward is with Him
And His recompense before Him.
11 Like a shepherd He will tend His flock,
In His arm He will gather the lambs
And carry them in His bosom;
He will gently lead the nursing ewes.”  Isaiah 40:9-11.

“How lovely on the mountains
Are the feet of him who brings good news,
Who announces peace
And brings good news of happiness,
Who announces salvation,
And says to Zion, “Your God reigns!”  Verse 7.

Today’s devotion comes from Isaiah 51:12-23.  Here is a link to this Scripture – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah+51&version=NASB

I quote only the following verses.

12 “I, even I, am He who comforts you.
Who are you that you are afraid of man who dies
And of the son of man who is made like grass,
13 That you have forgotten the Lord your Maker,
Who stretched out the heavens
And laid the foundations of the earth,
That you fear continually all day long because of the fury of the oppressor,
As he makes ready to destroy?
But where is the fury of the oppressor?

14 The exile will soon be set free, and will not die in the dungeon, nor will his bread be lacking. 15 For I am the Lord your God, who stirs up the sea and its waves roar (the Lord of hosts is His name). 16 I have put My words in your mouth and have covered you with the shadow of My hand, to establish the heavens, to found the earth, and to say to Zion, ‘You are My people.’”   Isaiah 51:12-16.

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The source of our comfort is Almighty God, our Faithful Father. 

Because God is both Almighty God and our Faithful Father (we are His people), we can totally trust God to comfort us.

“I, even I, am He who comforts you.  …”  Verse 12.

Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh;  is anything too difficult for Me?”  Jeremiah 32:27.

“…  ‘You are My people.’”  Verse 16.

Here is what the Reformed Creed Heidelberg Catechism states in its very first Question and Answer about what is our only comfort and later in Question and Answer 26 about what we believe about God the Father and why we believe that He will comfort us.

Q. 1.  What is thy only comfort in life and death?

 A.  That I with body and soul, both in life and death, am not my own, but belong unto my faithful Savior Jesus Christ;  who, with His precious blood, hath fully satisfied for all my sins, and delivered me from all the power of the devil;  and so preserves me that without the will of my heavenly Father, not a hair can fall from my head;  yea, that all things must be subservient to my salvation, and therefore, by His Holy Spirit, He also assures me of eternal life, and makes me sincerely willing and ready, henceforth, to live unto Him.

Q. 26.  What believest thou when thou sayest, “I believe in God the Father, Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth”?

A.  That the eternal Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (who of nothing made heaven and earth, with all that is in them;  who likewise upholds and governs the same by His eternal counsel and providence) is, for the sake of Christ His Son, my God and my Father;  on whom I rely so entirely, that I have no doubt but He will provide me with all things necessary for soul and body;  and further, that He will make whatever evils He sends upon me, in this valley of tears, turn out to my advantage;  for He is able to do it, being Almighty God, and willing, being a faithful Father.

We are also reminded of are some verses that we have seen in a recent devotion.

13 “As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you;
And you will be comforted in Jerusalem.”
14 Then you will see this, and your heart will be glad,
And your bones will flourish like the new grass;
And the hand of the Lord will be made known to His servants,
But He will be indignant toward His enemies.”  Isaiah 66:13-14.

22 The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease,
For His compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.”  Lamentations 3:22-23.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”  2 Corinthians 1:3-4. 

Shout for joy, O heavens!  And rejoice, O earth!
Break forth into joyful shouting, O mountains!
For the Lord has comforted His people
And will have compassion on His afflicted.”   Isaiah 49:13.

Today’s devotion comes from Isaiah 51:1-11.

“Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness,
Who seek the Lord:
Look to the rock from which you were hewn
And to the quarry from which you were dug.
“Look to Abraham your father
And to Sarah who gave birth to you in pain;
When he was but one I called him,
Then I blessed him and multiplied him.”
Indeed, the Lord will comfort Zion;
He will comfort all her waste places.
And her wilderness He will make like Eden,
And her desert like the garden of the Lord;
Joy and gladness will be found in her,
Thanksgiving and sound of a melody.

“Pay attention to Me, O My people,
And give ear to Me, O My nation;
For a law will go forth from Me,
And I will set My justice for a light of the peoples.
“My righteousness is near, My salvation has gone forth,
And My arms will judge the peoples;
The coastlands will wait for Me,
And for My arm they will wait expectantly.
“Lift up your eyes to the sky,
Then look to the earth beneath;
For the sky will vanish like smoke,
And the earth will wear out like a garment
And its inhabitants will die in like manner;
But My salvation will be forever,
And My righteousness will not wane.
“Listen to Me, you who know righteousness,
A people in whose heart is My law;
Do not fear the reproach of man,
Nor be dismayed at their revilings.
“For the moth will eat them like a garment,
And the grub will eat them like wool.
But My righteousness will be forever,
And My salvation to all generations.”

Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the Lord;
Awake as in the days of old, the generations of long ago.
Was it not You who cut Rahab in pieces,
Who pierced the dragon?
10 Was it not You who dried up the sea,
The waters of the great deep;
Who made the depths of the sea a pathway
For the redeemed to cross over?
11 So the ransomed of the Lord will return
And come with joyful shouting to Zion,
And everlasting joy will be on their heads.
They will obtain gladness and joy,
And sorrow and sighing will flee away.”  Isaiah 51:1-11.

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“Pay attention to Me, O My people,
And give ear to Me, O My nation;  …”  Verse 4.

And yet, other doctrine continually looks inside to itself and pays attention to its own works and its own will and how it can improve itself. 

But, Reformed Doctrine continually looks up to God and pays attention to God and God’s works and God’s will.  

“Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness,
Who seek the Lord:
Look to the rock from which you were hewn
And to the quarry from which you were dug.”  Verse 1.

Other doctrine considers the rock from which they were hewn in this verse 1 to be their family, their friends, their social groups, and their national origin. 

But, Reformed Doctrine considers that rock to be “the Rock of Ages”, namely the LORD God, the rock of its salvation. 

“The Lord lives, and blessed be my rock;
And exalted be God, the rock of my salvation,”  2 Samuel 22:47.

Other doctrine seeks to develop its own righteousness so that it can earn its own salvation. 

But, Reformed Doctrine seeks the righteousness of God and the salvation of God.   

“My righteousness is near, My salvation has gone forth,
And My arms will judge the peoples;
The coastlands will wait for Me,
And for My arm they will wait expectantly.”  Verse 5.

“… But My salvation will be forever,
And My righteousness will not wane.”  Verse 6.

“…  But My righteousness will be forever,
And My salvation to all generations.”  Verse 8.

“So the ransomed of the Lord will return
And come with joyful shouting to Zion,
And everlasting joy will be on their heads.
They will obtain gladness and joy,
And sorrow and sighing will flee away.”  Verse 11.

Today’s devotion comes from Isaiah chapter 50.

“Thus says the Lord,

“Where is the certificate of divorce
By which I have sent your mother away?
Or to whom of My creditors did I sell you?
Behold, you were sold for your iniquities,
And for your transgressions your mother was sent away.
“Why was there no man when I came?
When I called, why was there none to answer?
Is My hand so short that it cannot ransom?
Or have I no power to deliver?
Behold, I dry up the sea with My rebuke,
I make the rivers a wilderness;
Their fish stink for lack of water
And die of thirst.
“I clothe the heavens with blackness
And make sackcloth their covering.”

The Lord God has given Me the tongue of disciples,
That I may know how to sustain the weary one with a word.
He awakens Me morning by morning,
He awakens My ear to listen as a disciple.
The Lord God has opened My ear;
And I was not disobedient
Nor did I turn back.
I gave My back to those who strike Me,
And My cheeks to those who pluck out the beard;
I did not cover My face from humiliation and spitting.
For the Lord God helps Me,
Therefore, I am not disgraced;
Therefore, I have set My face like flint,
And I know that I will not be ashamed.
He who vindicates Me is near;
Who will contend with Me?
Let us stand up to each other;
Who has a case against Me?
Let him draw near to Me.
Behold, the Lord God helps Me;
Who is he who condemns Me?
Behold, they will all wear out like a garment;
The moth will eat them.
10 Who is among you that fears the Lord,
That obeys the voice of His servant,
That walks in darkness and has no light?
Let him trust in the name of the Lord and rely on his God.
11 Behold, all you who kindle a fire,
Who encircle yourselves with firebrands,
Walk in the light of your fire
And among the brands you have set ablaze.
This you will have from My hand:
You will lie down in torment.”  Isaiah chapter 50.

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Today’s Scripture contains prophecies about Jesus Christ (God the Son) and also reminds us of reasons to trust God.  In today’s devotion, we will focus on reasons to trust God. 

First, God is our Husband.  Although we are unfaithful, He is faithful.  We can trust him.  

“Thus says the Lord,

“Where is the certificate of divorce
By which I have sent your mother away?  …”  Verse 1.

Second, God is Almighty in power.  He can and will save us.

“… Is My hand so short that it cannot ransom?
Or have I no power to deliver?  …”  Verse 2.

Third, God knows how to sustain us.  Although we are weak and wander, He can and will preserve us to salvation.

The Lord God has given Me the tongue of disciples,
That I may know how to sustain the weary one with a word.  …”  Verse 4.

Fourth, God helps us.

For the Lord God helps Me,
Therefore, I am not disgraced;  …”  Verse 7.

Behold, the Lord God helps Me;
Who is he who condemns Me?  …”  Verse 9.

What then shall we say to these things?  If God is for us, who is against us?  He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?  Who will bring a charge against God’s elect?  God is the one who justifies;  who is the one who condemns?  Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.”  Romans 8:31-34. 

Fifth, God is the Light of the World.  

Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world;  he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”  John 8:12.

There are those who trust God and walk in His light …

“Who is among you that fears the Lord,
That obeys the voice of His servant,
That walks in darkness and has no light?
Let him trust in the name of the Lord and rely on his God.”  Verse 10.

And, there are those who do not trust God and walk in their own light …

“Behold, all you who kindle a fire,
Who encircle yourselves with firebrands,
Walk in the light of your fire
And among the brands you have set ablaze.
This you will have from My hand:
You will lie down in torment.”  Verse 11.

Today’s devotion comes from Isaiah 49:14-26.

14 But Zion said, “The Lord has forsaken me,
And the Lord has forgotten me.”
15 “Can a woman forget her nursing child
And have no compassion on the son of her womb?
Even these may forget, but I will not forget you.
16 “Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands;
Your walls are continually before Me.
17 “Your builders hurry;
Your destroyers and devastators
Will depart from you.
18 “Lift up your eyes and look around;
All of them gather together, they come to you.
As I live,” declares the Lord,
“You will surely put on all of them as jewels and bind them on as a bride.
19 “For your waste and desolate places and your destroyed land—
Surely now you will be too cramped for the inhabitants,
And those who swallowed you will be far away.
20 “The children of whom you were bereaved will yet say in your ears,
‘The place is too cramped for me;
Make room for me that I may live here.’
21 “Then you will say in your heart,
‘Who has begotten these for me,
Since I have been bereaved of my children
And am barren, an exile and a wanderer?
And who has reared these?
Behold, I was left alone;
From where did these come?’”

22 Thus says the Lord God,

“Behold, I will lift up My hand to the nations
And set up My standard to the peoples;
And they will bring your sons in their bosom,
And your daughters will be carried on their shoulders.
23 “Kings will be your guardians,
And their princesses your nurses.
They will bow down to you with their faces to the earth
And lick the dust of your feet;
And you will know that I am the Lord;
Those who hopefully wait for Me will not be put to shame.

24 “Can the prey be taken from the mighty man,
Or the captives of a tyrant be rescued?”

25 Surely, thus says the Lord,

“Even the captives of the mighty man will be taken away,
And the prey of the tyrant will be rescued;
For I will contend with the one who contends with you,
And I will save your sons.

26 “I will feed your oppressors with their own flesh,
And they will become drunk with their own blood as with sweet wine;
And all flesh will know that I, the Lord, am your Savior
And your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.”  Isaiah 49:14-26.

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The LORD does not secretly save His chosen people;  He shows His saving grace upon His chosen people for all to see.

“… And all flesh will know that I, the Lord, am your Savior
And your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.”  Verse 26.  

“Kings will be your guardians,
And their princesses your nurses.
They will bow down to you with their faces to the earth
And lick the dust of your feet;
And you will know that I am the Lord;
Those who hopefully wait for Me will not be put to shame.”  Verse 23.

The Lord will establish you as a holy people to Himself, as He swore to you, if you keep the commandments of the Lord your God and walk in His ways.  So all the peoples of the earth will see that you are called by the name of the Lord, and they will be afraid of you.”  Deuteronomy 28:9-10. 

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You have anointed my head with oil;
My cup overflows.”  Psalm 23:5.

The Lord has made known His salvation;
He has revealed His righteousness in the sight of the nations.
He has remembered His lovingkindness and His faithfulness to the house of Israel;
All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.”  Psalm 98:2-3.

“Nevertheless He saved them for the sake of His name,
That He might make His power known.”  Psalm 106:8.

His heart is upheld, he will not fear,
Until he looks with satisfaction on his adversaries.
He has given freely to the poor,
His righteousness endures forever;
His horn will be exalted in honor.

10 The wicked will see it and be vexed,
He will gnash his teeth and melt away;
The desire of the wicked will perish.”  Psalm 112:8-10.

“Then their offspring will be known among the nations,
And their descendants in the midst of the peoples.
All who see them will recognize them
Because they are the offspring whom the Lord has blessed.”  Isaiah 61:9.

“For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent,
And for Jerusalem’s sake I will not keep quiet,
Until her righteousness goes forth like brightness,
And her salvation like a torch that is burning.
The nations will see your righteousness,
And all kings your glory;
And you will be called by a new name
Which the mouth of the Lord will designate.”  Isaiah 62:1-2.

You are the light of the world.  A city set on a hill cannot be hidden;  nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.  Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”  Matthew 5:14-16.

You will know them by their fruits.  Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they?  So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit.  A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit.”  Matthew 7:16-18.

What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction?  And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory,”  Romans 9:22-23.

Today’s devotion comes from Isaiah 49:1-13.

“Listen to Me, O islands,
And pay attention, you peoples from afar.
The Lord called Me from the womb;
From the body of My mother He named Me.
He has made My mouth like a sharp sword,
In the shadow of His hand He has concealed Me;
And He has also made Me a select arrow,
He has hidden Me in His quiver.
He said to Me, “You are My Servant, Israel,
In Whom I will show My glory.”
But I said, “I have toiled in vain,
I have spent My strength for nothing and vanity;
Yet surely the justice due to Me is with the Lord,
And My reward with My God.”

And now says the Lord, who formed Me from the womb to be His Servant,
To bring Jacob back to Him, so that Israel might be gathered to Him
(For I am honored in the sight of the Lord,
And My God is My strength),
He says, “It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant
To raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the preserved ones of Israel;
I will also make You a light of the nations
So that My salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”
Thus says the Lord, the Redeemer of Israel and its Holy One,
To the despised One,
To the One abhorred by the nation,
To the Servant of rulers,
“Kings will see and arise,
Princes will also bow down,
Because of the Lord who is faithful, the Holy One of Israel who has chosen You.”

Thus says the Lord,
“In a favorable time I have answered You,
And in a day of salvation I have helped You;
And I will keep You and give You for a covenant of the people,
To restore the land, to make them inherit the desolate heritages;
Saying to those who are bound, ‘Go forth,’
To those who are in darkness, ‘Show yourselves.’
Along the roads they will feed,
And their pasture will be on all bare heights.
10 “They will not hunger or thirst,
Nor will the scorching heat or sun strike them down;
For He who has compassion on them will lead them
And will guide them to springs of water.
11 “I will make all My mountains a road,
And My highways will be raised up.
12 “Behold, these will come from afar;
And lo, these will come from the north and from the west,
And these from the land of Sinim.”
13 Shout for joy, O heavens!  And rejoice, O earth!
Break forth into joyful shouting, O mountains!
For the Lord has comforted His people
And will have compassion on His afflicted.”   Isaiah 49:1-13.

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God comforts His people and has compassion on them.  God’s comfort and compassion are not just empty best wishes.  God fully provides all that His people needs.

“They will not hunger or thirst,
Nor will the scorching heat or sun strike them down;
For He who has compassion on them will lead them
And will guide them to springs of water.”  Verse 10.

“Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And all that is within me, bless His holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And forget none of His benefits;
Who pardons all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases;
Who redeems your life from the pit,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion;
Who satisfies your years with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle.”  Psalm 103:1-5.

22 The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease,
For His compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.”  Lamentations 3:22-23.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”  2 Corinthians 1:3-4. 

13 “As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you;
And you will be comforted in Jerusalem.”
14 Then you will see this, and your heart will be glad,
And your bones will flourish like the new grass;
And the hand of the Lord will be made known to His servants,
But He will be indignant toward His enemies.”  Isaiah 66:13-14.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You have anointed my head with oil;
My cup overflows.
Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life,
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”  Psalm 23:5-6.

Shout for joy, O heavens!  And rejoice, O earth!
Break forth into joyful shouting, O mountains!
For the Lord has comforted His people
And will have compassion on His afflicted.”   Verse 13.

Today’s devotion comes from Isaiah 48:12-22.

12 “Listen to Me, O Jacob, even Israel whom I called;
I am He, I am the first, I am also the last.
13 “Surely My hand founded the earth,
And My right hand spread out the heavens;
When I call to them, they stand together.
14 “Assemble, all of you, and listen!
Who among them has declared these things?
The Lord loves him;  he will carry out His good pleasure on Babylon,
And His arm will be against the Chaldeans.
15 “I, even I, have spoken; indeed I have called him,
I have brought him, and He will make his ways successful.
16 “Come near to Me, listen to this:
From the first I have not spoken in secret,
From the time it took place, I was there.
And now the Lord God has sent Me, and His Spirit.”

17 Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel,

“I am the Lord your God, who teaches you to profit,
Who leads you in the way you should go.

18 “If only you had paid attention to My commandments!
Then your well-being would have been like a river,
And your righteousness like the waves of the sea.
19 “Your descendants would have been like the sand,
And your offspring like its grains;
Their name would never be cut off or destroyed from My presence.”

20 Go forth from Babylon!  Flee from the Chaldeans!
Declare with the sound of joyful shouting, proclaim this,
Send it out to the end of the earth;
Say, “The Lord has redeemed His servant Jacob.”
21 They did not thirst when He led them through the deserts.
He made the water flow out of the rock for them;
He split the rock and the water gushed forth.
22 “There is no peace for the wicked,” says the Lord.”  Isaiah 48:12-22.

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God teaches us and leads us.

Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel,

“I am the Lord your God, who teaches you to profit,
Who leads you in the way you should go.”  Verse 17.

Good and upright is the Lord;
Therefore He instructs sinners in the way.
He leads the humble in justice,
And He teaches the humble His way.”  Psalm 25:8-9.

I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go;
I will counsel you with My eye upon you.
Do not be as the horse or as the mule which have no understanding,
Whose trappings include bit and bridle to hold them in check,
Otherwise they will not come near to you.
10 Many are the sorrows of the wicked,
But he who trusts in the Lord, lovingkindness shall surround him.
11 Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you righteous ones;
And shout for joy, all you who are upright in heart.”  Psalm 32:8-11.

“He restores my soul;
He guides me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.”  Psalm 23:3.

“But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth …”  John 16:13.

Today’s devotion comes from Isaiah 48:1-11.

“Hear this, O house of Jacob, who are named Israel
And who came forth from the loins of Judah,
Who swear by the name of the Lord
And invoke the God of Israel,
But not in truth nor in righteousness.
“For they call themselves after the holy city
And lean on the God of Israel;
The Lord of hosts is His name.
“I declared the former things long ago
And they went forth from My mouth, and I proclaimed them.
Suddenly I acted, and they came to pass.
“Because I know that you are obstinate,
And your neck is an iron sinew
And your forehead bronze,
Therefore I declared them to you long ago,
Before they took place I proclaimed them to you,
So that you would not say, ‘My idol has done them,
And my graven image and my molten image have commanded them.’
“You have heard;  look at all this.
And you, will you not declare it?
I proclaim to you new things from this time,
Even hidden things which you have not known.
“They are created now and not long ago;
And before today you have not heard them,
So that you will not say, ‘Behold, I knew them.’
“You have not heard, you have not known.
Even from long ago your ear has not been open,
Because I knew that you would deal very treacherously;
And you have been called a rebel from birth.
“For the sake of My name I delay My wrath,
And for My praise I restrain it for you,
In order not to cut you off.
10 “Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver;
I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.
11 “For My own sake, for My own sake, I will act;
For how can My name be profaned?
And My glory I will not give to another.”  Isaiah 48:1-11.

—————————-

There were many in Israel who superficially claimed to be the people of God and who superficially worshipped God: 

“… Who swear by the name of the Lord
And invoke the God of Israel,
But not in truth nor in righteousness.”  Verse 1.

And, God acted in ways that benefited Israel, but it was not for Israel’s sake.  Israel had been “a rebel from birth”, “obstinate”, fond of idols, and dealt “very treacherously”.  See verses 4, 5, and 8. 

God acted for His own sake.

For My own sake, for My own sake, I will act;
For how can My name be profaned?
And My glory I will not give to another.”  Verse 11.

Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for My holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you went.  I will vindicate the holiness of My great name which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst.  Then the nations will know that I am the Lord,” declares the Lord God, “when I prove Myself holy among you in their sight.”  Ezekiel 36:22-23.

Today, there are also many who superficially claim to be the people of God and who superficially worship God.  But, God knows who are truly His people, and God knows all the actions and all the thoughts of man.  

Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Everyone who names the name of the Lord is to abstain from wickedness.”  2 Timothy 2:19.

The god of other doctrine reacts to man for man’s sake.

But, the God of Reformed Doctrine initiates for God’s sake.

For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”  So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy.  For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I raised you up, to demonstrate My power in you, and that My name might be proclaimed throughout the whole earth.”  So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires.”  Romans 9:15-18.

but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God.  But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, so that, just as it is written, “Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord.”  1 Corinthians 1:27-31.

But, God does not only initiate to give mercy for His sake, God initiates to render justice for His sake as shown by “the bookend verses 22 and 25” surrounding the much quoted Jeremiah 9:23-24.  

22 Speak, “Thus says the Lord,
‘The corpses of men will fall like dung on the open field,
And like the sheaf after the reaper,
But no one will gather them.’”

23 Thus says the Lord, “Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches;  24 but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth;  for I delight in these things,” declares the Lord.

25 “Behold, the days are coming,” declares the Lord, “that I will punish all who are circumcised and yet uncircumcised—”  Jeremiah 9:22-25.

But, for God’s chosen people whom He chose for His own sake to proclaim His excellencies, it is written:

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;  for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God;  you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.”  1 Peter 2:9-10.

Today’s devotion comes from Isaiah chapter 47.  Here is a link to this chapter – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah+47&version=NASB

I quote only the following verses.

“Come down and sit in the dust,
O virgin daughter of Babylon;
Sit on the ground without a throne,
O daughter of the Chaldeans!
For you shall no longer be called tender and delicate.
“Take the millstones and grind meal.
Remove your veil, strip off the skirt,
Uncover the leg, cross the rivers.
“Your nakedness will be uncovered,
Your shame also will be exposed;
I will take vengeance and will not spare a man.”
Our Redeemer, the Lord of hosts is His name,
The Holy One of Israel.
“Sit silently, and go into darkness,
O daughter of the Chaldeans,
For you will no longer be called
The queen of kingdoms.
“I was angry with My people,
I profaned My heritage
And gave them into your hand.
You did not show mercy to them,
On the aged you made your yoke very heavy.
“Yet you said, ‘I will be a queen forever.’
These things you did not consider
Nor remember the outcome of them.

“Now, then, hear this, you sensual one,
Who dwells securely,
Who says in your heart,
‘I am, and there is no one besides me.
I will not sit as a widow,
Nor know loss of children.’
“But these two things will come on you suddenly in one day:
Loss of children and widowhood.
They will come on you in full measure
In spite of your many sorceries,
In spite of the great power of your spells.
10 “You felt secure in your wickedness and said,
‘No one sees me,’
Your wisdom and your knowledge, they have deluded you;
For you have said in your heart,
‘I am, and there is no one besides me.’
11 “But evil will come on you
Which you will not know how to charm away;
And disaster will fall on you
For which you cannot atone;
And destruction about which you do not know
Will come on you suddenly.”  Isaiah 47:1-11.

—————————–

“Why do you boast in evil, O mighty man?
The lovingkindness of God endures all day long.
Your tongue devises destruction,
Like a sharp razor, O worker of deceit.
You love evil more than good,
Falsehood more than speaking what is right.  Selah.
You love all words that devour,
O deceitful tongue.

But God will break you down forever;
He will snatch you up and tear you away from your tent,
And uproot you from the land of the living.  Selah.
The righteous will see and fear,
And will laugh at him, saying,
Behold, the man who would not make God his refuge,
But trusted in the abundance of his riches
And was strong in his evil desire.”

But as for me, I am like a green olive tree in the house of God;
I trust in the lovingkindness of God forever and ever.
I will give You thanks forever, because You have done it,
And I will wait on Your name, for it is good, in the presence of Your godly ones.”  Psalm chapter 52.

Today’s devotion comes from Isaiah chapter 46.  Here is a link to this chapter – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah+46&version=NASB

I quote only the following verses.

“Listen to Me, O house of Jacob,
And all the remnant of the house of Israel,
You who have been borne by Me from birth
And have been carried from the womb;
Even to your old age I will be the same,
And even to your graying years I will bear you!
I have done it, and I will carry you;
And I will bear you and I will deliver you.

“To whom would you liken Me
And make Me equal and compare Me,
That we would be alike?
“Those who lavish gold from the purse
And weigh silver on the scale
Hire a goldsmith, and he makes it into a god;
They bow down, indeed they worship it.
“They lift it upon the shoulder and carry it;
They set it in its place and it stands there.
It does not move from its place.
Though one may cry to it, it cannot answer;
It cannot deliver him from his distress.

“Remember this, and be assured;
Recall it to mind, you transgressors.
“Remember the former things long past,
For I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is no one like Me,
10 Declaring the end from the beginning,
And from ancient times things which have not been done,
Saying, ‘My purpose will be established,
And I will accomplish all My good pleasure’;
11 Calling a bird of prey from the east,
The man of My purpose from a far country.
Truly I have spoken; truly I will bring it to pass.
I have planned it, surely I will do it.

12 “Listen to Me, you stubborn-minded,
Who are far from righteousness.
13 “I bring near My righteousness, it is not far off;
And My salvation will not delay.
And I will grant salvation in Zion,
And My glory for Israel.”  Isaiah 46:3-13.

——————————-

Other doctrine teaches its disciples to be independent.

But, Reformed Doctrine teaches its disciples to be dependent on God.

“Listen to Me, O house of Jacob,
And all the remnant of the house of Israel,
You who have been borne by Me from birth
And have been carried from the womb;
Even to your old age I will be the same,
And even to your graying years I will bear you!
I have done it, and I will carry you;
And I will bear you and I will deliver you.”  Verses 3-4.

Other doctrine teaches its disciples about the alleged free-will of man.

But, Reformed Doctrine teaches its disciples about the Almighty Will of God.

“Remember the former things long past,
For I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is no one like Me,
10 Declaring the end from the beginning,
And from ancient times things which have not been done,
Saying, ‘My purpose will be established,
And I will accomplish all My good pleasure’;
11 Calling a bird of prey from the east,
The man of My purpose from a far country.
Truly I have spoken; truly I will bring it to pass.
I have planned it, surely I will do it.”  Verses 9-11.

Other doctrine teaches its disciples about the righteousness of man.

But, Reformed Doctrine teaches its disciples about the righteousness of God.

12 “Listen to Me, you stubborn-minded,
Who are far from righteousness.
13 “I bring near My righteousness, it is not far off;
And My salvation will not delay.
And I will grant salvation in Zion,
And My glory for Israel.”  Verses 12-13.

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