Today’s devotion comes from Isaiah chapter 17.

“The oracle concerning Damascus.

“Behold, Damascus is about to be removed from being a city
And will become a fallen ruin.
2 “The cities of Aroer are forsaken;
They will be for flocks to lie down in,
And there will be no one to frighten them.
3 “The fortified city will disappear from Ephraim,
And sovereignty from Damascus
And the remnant of Aram;
They will be like the glory of the sons of Israel,”
Declares the Lord of hosts.

4 Now in that day the glory of Jacob will fade,
And the fatness of his flesh will become lean.
5 It will be even like the reaper gathering the standing grain,
As his arm harvests the ears,
Or it will be like one gleaning ears of grain
In the valley of Rephaim.
6 Yet gleanings will be left in it like the shaking of an olive tree,
Two or three olives on the topmost bough,
Four or five on the branches of a fruitful tree,
Declares the Lord, the God of Israel.
7 In that day man will have regard for his Maker
And his eyes will look to the Holy One of Israel.
8 He will not have regard for the altars, the work of his hands,
Nor will he look to that which his fingers have made,
Even the Asherim and incense stands.
9 In that day their strong cities will be like forsaken places in the forest,
Or like branches which they abandoned before the sons of Israel;
And the land will be a desolation.
10 For you have forgotten the God of your salvation
And have not remembered the rock of your refuge.
Therefore you plant delightful plants
And set them with vine slips of a strange god.
11 In the day that you plant it you carefully fence it in,
And in the morning you bring your seed to blossom;
But the harvest will be a heap
In a day of sickliness and incurable pain.

12 Alas, the uproar of many peoples
Who roar like the roaring of the seas,
And the rumbling of nations
Who rush on like the rumbling of mighty waters!
13 The nations rumble on like the rumbling of many waters,
But He will rebuke them and they will flee far away,
And be chased like chaff in the mountains before the wind,
Or like whirling dust before a gale.
14 At evening time, behold, there is terror!
Before morning they are no more.
Such will be the portion of those who plunder us.”  Isaiah chapter 17.

———–

Today’s Scripture moves back and forth between the prophecy of destruction of Damascus to the prophecy of punishment of Israel.

But, Israel will be left a remnant.  In figurative and fruitful language, the Scripture states:

“6 Yet gleanings will be left in it like the shaking of an olive tree,
Two or three olives on the topmost bough,
Four or five on the branches of a fruitful tree,
Declares the Lord, the God of Israel.
7 In that day man will have regard for his Maker
And his eyes will look to the Holy One of Israel.
8 He will not have regard for the altars, the work of his hands,
Nor will he look to that which his fingers have made,
Even the Asherim and incense stands.”  Verses 6-8.

Israel’s hope, and our hope, is not based in ourselves.

“For you have forgotten the God of your salvation
And have not remembered the rock of your refuge.
Therefore you plant delightful plants
And set them with vine slips of a strange god.”  Verse 10.

We forget the God of our salvation.  We make spiritual idols in our hearts (if not earthly idols made of stone).  We chase after other gods.  
 
We prefer the god of our alleged free-will which we can manipulate rather than the Sovereign God of Scripture Who dictates the terms of His salvation.  “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.  …  So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires.”  Romans 9:15-18.

Scripture is summarized by Reformed Doctrine in “TULIP”.  Man’s natural condition is “Total Depravity”, the “T” of “TULIP”.  We are dead in sin and hostile to God.  We do not understand.  We do not seek God.  We do not do good.

Our only hope is that God will unconditionally elect us to salvation and do everything that is needed for our salvation from beginning to 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.

Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | March 28, 2017

“he will seek justice And be prompt in righteousness.”

Today’s devotion comes from Isaiah chapter 16.  Here is a link to this chapter – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah+16&version=NASB

I quote only the following verses.

A throne will even be established in lovingkindness,
And a judge will sit on it in faithfulness in the tent of David;
Moreover, he will seek justice
And be prompt in righteousness.

We have heard of the pride of Moab, an excessive pride;
Even of his arrogance, pride, and fury;
His idle boasts are false.
Therefore Moab will wail;  everyone of Moab will wail.
You will moan for the raisin cakes of Kir-hareseth
As those who are utterly stricken.

13 This is the word which the Lord spoke earlier concerning Moab.  14 But now the Lord speaks, saying, “Within three years, as a hired man would count them, the glory of Moab will be degraded along with all his great population, and his remnant will be very small and impotent.”  Isaiah 16:5-7 and 13-14.

—————————

When we read prophecies of God’s destruction of nations in the book of Isaiah, such as the prophecy about Moab in today’s Scripture, let us be reminded and meditate of God’s justice in doing so.

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;  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.”  Jeremiah 9:23-24.

And yet, other doctrine only focuses on the lovingkindness of God.  Other doctrine teaches that God loves everybody and Christ died for everybody.  Their god is some kind of Santa Claus.  But, their god is not the God of Scripture Who hates all who do iniquity and Who seeks justice.

In sharp contrast to other doctrine, Reformed Doctrine teaches the God of Scripture Who is a sovereign God (The LORD reigns!) and Who loves justice and righteousness (in addition to lovingkindness) and exercises them on earth.  

For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness;
No evil dwells with You.
The boastful shall not stand before Your eyes;
You hate all who do iniquity.
You destroy those who speak falsehood;
The Lord abhors the man of bloodshed and deceit.”  Psalm 5:4-6.

Today’s Scripture reminds us of that God the Son, Jesus Christ, seeks justice:

“…  he will seek justice
And be prompt in righteousness.”  Verse 5.

And, today’s Scripture discloses some of the reasons why it was just for God to punish Moab:

“We have heard of the pride of Moab, an excessive pride;
Even of his arrogance, pride, and fury;
His idle boasts are false.”  Verse 6.

For the Lord loves justice
And does not forsake His godly ones;
They are preserved forever,
But the descendants of the wicked will be cut off.”  Psalm 37:28.

“The Lord reigns, let the earth rejoice;
Let the many islands be glad.
Clouds and thick darkness surround Him;
Righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne.
Fire goes before Him
And burns up His adversaries round about.”  Psalm 97:1-3.

Today’s devotion comes from Isaiah chapter 15.

“The oracle concerning Moab.

Surely in a night Ar of Moab is devastated and ruined;
Surely in a night Kir of Moab is devastated and ruined.
2 They have gone up to the temple and to Dibon, even to the high places to weep.
Moab wails over Nebo and Medeba;
Everyone’s head is bald and every beard is cut off.
3 In their streets they have girded themselves with sackcloth;
On their housetops and in their squares
Everyone is wailing, dissolved in tears.
4 Heshbon and Elealeh also cry out,
Their voice is heard all the way to Jahaz;
Therefore the armed men of Moab cry aloud;
His soul trembles within him.
5 My heart cries out for Moab;
His fugitives are as far as Zoar and Eglath-shelishiyah,
For they go up the ascent of Luhith weeping;
Surely on the road to Horonaim they raise a cry of distress over their ruin.
6 For the waters of Nimrim are desolate.
Surely the grass is withered, the tender grass died out,
There is no green thing.
Therefore the abundance which they have acquired and stored up
They carry off over the brook of Arabim.
8 For the cry of distress has gone around the territory of Moab,
Its wail goes as far as Eglaim and its wailing even to Beer-elim.
9 For the waters of Dimon are full of blood;
Surely I will bring added woes upon Dimon,
A lion upon the fugitives of Moab and upon the remnant of the land.”  Isaiah chapter 15.

———————-

“Therefore the abundance which they have acquired and stored up
They carry off over the brook of Arabim.”  Verse 7.

The abundance of Moab did not save them, and our abundance does not save us. 

“As he had come naked from his mother’s womb, so will he return as he came.  He will take nothing from the fruit of his labor that he can carry in his hand.”  Ecclesiastes 5:15.

“For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either.”  1 Timothy 6:7.

“Then He said to them, “Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed;  for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions.”  And He told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man was very productive.  And he began reasoning to himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no place to store my crops?’  Then he said, ‘This is what I will do:  I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods.  And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come;  take your ease, eat, drink and be merry.”’  But God said to him, ‘You fool!  This very night your soul is required of you;  and now who will own what you have prepared?’  So is the man who stores up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”  Luke 12:15-21.

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.  But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal;  for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”  Matthew 6:19-21.

But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”  Matthew 6:33.

Today’s devotion comes from Isaiah chapter 14.  Here is a link to this chapter – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah+14&version=NASB

I quote only the following verses.

“The Lord of hosts has sworn saying, “Surely, just as I have intended so it has happened, and just as I have planned so it will stand, to break Assyria in My land, and I will trample him on My mountains.  Then his yoke will be removed from them and his burden removed from their shoulder.  This is the plan devised against the whole earth; and this is the hand that is stretched out against all the nations.  For the Lord of hosts has planned, and who can frustrate it?  And as for His stretched-out hand, who can turn it back?”  Isaiah 14:24-27.

—————————

Other doctrine teaches that man can frustrate the plan of God.

Other doctrine teaches that although God loves everyone and Christ died for everyone, man can frustrate the plan of God by his alleged free-will.

But, Reformed Doctrine teaches that God only loves His elect and Christ died only for God’s elect and that man cannot frustrate the plan of God.

Reformed Doctrine teaches that despite man’s natural condition of “Total Depravity” (dead in sin, hostile to God, who does not understand, who does not seek God, and who does not do good), God can and does fully and exactly accomplish His plan of saving every one of His elect 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.

This is the Gospel, the Good News of Salvation!

Article 8.  For this was the sovereign counsel, and most gracious will and purpose of God the Father, that the quickening and saving efficacy of the most precious death of his Son should extend to all the elect, for bestowing upon them alone the gift of justifying faith, thereby to bring them infallibly to salvation:  that is, it was the will of God, that Christ by the blood of the cross, whereby he confirmed the new covenant, should effectually redeem out of every people, tribe, nation, and language, all those, and those only, who were from eternity chosen to salvation, and given to him by the Father;  that he should confer upon them faith, which together with all the other saving gifts of the Holy Spirit, he purchased for them by his death;  should purge them from all sin, both original and actual, whether committed before or after believing;  and having faithfully preserved them even to the end, should at last bring them free from every spot and blemish to the enjoyment of glory in his own presence forever.

Article 9.  This purpose proceeding from everlasting love towards the elect, has from the beginning of the world to this day been powerfully accomplished, and will henceforward still continue to be accomplished, notwithstanding all the ineffectual opposition of the gates of hell, so that the elect in due time may be gathered together into one, and that there never may be wanting a church composed of believers, the foundation of which is laid in the blood of Christ, which may steadfastly love, and faithfully serve him as their Savior, who as a bridegroom for his bride, laid down his life for them upon the cross, and which may celebrate his praises here and through all eternity.  SECOND HEAD OF DOCTRINE Of the Death of Christ, and the Redemption of Men Thereby of Canons of Dordt.

“9 “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.”  Isaiah 46:9-11.

Today’s devotion comes from Isaiah chapter 13.  Here is a link to this chapter – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah+13&version=NASB

I quote only the following verses.

“6 Wail, for the day of the Lord is near!
It will come as destruction from the Almighty.
7 Therefore all hands will fall limp,
And every man’s heart will melt.
8 They will be terrified,
Pains and anguish will take hold of them;
They will writhe like a woman in labor,
They will look at one another in astonishment,
Their faces aflame.
9 Behold, the day of the Lord is coming,
Cruel, with fury and burning anger,
To make the land a desolation;
And He will exterminate its sinners from it.
10 For the stars of heaven and their constellations
Will not flash forth their light;
The sun will be dark when it rises
And the moon will not shed its light.
11 Thus I will punish the world for its evil
And the wicked for their iniquity;
I will also put an end to the arrogance of the proud
And abase the haughtiness of the ruthless.
12 I will make mortal man scarcer than pure gold
And mankind than the gold of Ophir.
13 Therefore I will make the heavens tremble,
And the earth will be shaken from its place
At the fury of the Lord of hosts
In the day of His burning anger.”  Isaiah 13:6-13.

———————–

“Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming?   For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation.”   For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water, through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water.  But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.

But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day.  The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.

But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.

Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat!  But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.

Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless, and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation;  just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction.  You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness, but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity.  Amen.”  2 Peter 3:3-18.

Today’s devotion comes from Isaiah chapter 12.

“Then you will say on that day,
“I will give thanks to You, O Lord;
For although You were angry with me,
Your anger is turned away,
And You comfort me.
2 “Behold, God is my salvation,
I will trust and not be afraid;
For the Lord God is my strength and song,
And He has become my salvation.”
3 Therefore you will joyously draw water
From the springs of salvation.
4 And in that day you will say,
“Give thanks to the Lord, call on His name.
Make known His deeds among the peoples;
Make them remember that His name is exalted.”
5 Praise the Lord in song, for He has done excellent things;
Let this be known throughout the earth.
Cry aloud and shout for joy, O inhabitant of Zion,
For great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.”  Isaiah chapter 12.

———————

Other doctrine anxiously asks:  “How am I feeling?  What am I doing?  What are others doing?”

But, Reformed Doctrine peacefully proclaims:  “Behold, God is my salvation” and “the Lord God is my strength” and “He has done excellent things” and “Make known His deeds among the peoples”.

Even more and ever more:

“Cry aloud and shout for joy, O inhabitant of Zion,
For great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.”  Verse 6.

Today’s devotion comes from Isaiah chapter 11.  Here is a link to this chapter – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah+11&version=NASB

I quote only the following verses.

“Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse,
And a branch from his roots will bear fruit.
The Spirit of the Lord will rest on Him,
The spirit of wisdom and understanding,
The spirit of counsel and strength,
The spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
And He will delight in the fear of the Lord,
And He will not judge by what His eyes see,
Nor make a decision by what His ears hear;
But with righteousness He will judge the poor,
And decide with fairness for the afflicted of the earth;
And He will strike the earth with the rod of His mouth,
And with the breath of His lips He will slay the wicked.
Also righteousness will be the belt about His loins,
And faithfulness the belt about His waist.

And the wolf will dwell with the lamb,
And the leopard will lie down with the young goat,
And the calf and the young lion and the fatling together;
And a little boy will lead them.
Also the cow and the bear will graze,
Their young will lie down together,
And the lion will eat straw like the ox.
The nursing child will play by the hole of the cobra,
And the weaned child will put his hand on the viper’s den.
They will not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain,
For the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord
As the waters cover the sea.

10 Then in that day
The nations will resort to the root of Jesse,
Who will stand as a signal for the peoples;
And His resting place will be glorious.”  Isaiah 11:1-10.

———————-

There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace,
On the throne of David and over his kingdom,
To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness
From then on and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this.”  Isaiah 9:7.

Other doctrine seeks to know man and what man will do.

But, Reformed Doctrine seeks to know the LORD and what the LORD will do.

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;  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.”  Jeremiah 9:23-24.

Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | March 21, 2017

“A destruction is determined, overflowing with righteousness.”

Today’s devotion comes from Isaiah 10:20-34.  Here is a link to this Scripture – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah+10&version=NASB

I quote only the following verses.

“20 Now in that day the remnant of Israel, and those of the house of Jacob who have escaped, will never again rely on the one who struck them, but will truly rely on the Lord, the Holy One of Israel.

21 A remnant will return, the remnant of Jacob, to the mighty God.
22 For though your people, O Israel, may be like the sand of the sea,
Only a remnant within them will return;
A destruction is determined, overflowing with righteousness.

23 For a complete destruction, one that is decreed, the Lord God of hosts will execute in the midst of the whole land.”  Isaiah 10:20-23.

————————–

Other doctrine is satisfied gleaning only that the LORD will provide for a remnant to return.

But, Reformed Doctrine fully trusting in the LORD’s sovereignty, will, and wisdom (truly relying on the LORD) more readily accepts that the LORD can so precisely control even destruction that not only will a remnant be preserved but that the destruction will overflow with righteousness as stated below.

“… A destruction is determined, overflowing with righteousness.”  Verse 22.

Reformed Doctrine meditates:  “How can a destruction be overflowing with righteousness?” and eagerly searches other Scripture.

“The pride of man will be humbled
And the loftiness of men will be abased;
And the Lord alone will be exalted in that day,”  Isaiah 2:17.

“Therefore thus says the Lord God,

“Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a tested stone,
A costly cornerstone for the foundation, firmly placed.
He who believes in it will not be disturbed.
17 “I will make justice the measuring line
And righteousness the level;
Then hail will sweep away the refuge of lies
And the waters will overflow the secret place.
18 “Your covenant with death will be canceled,
And your pact with Sheol will not stand;
When the overwhelming scourge passes through,
Then you become its trampling place.
19 “As often as it passes through, it will seize you;
For morning after morning it will pass through, anytime during the day or night,
And it will be sheer terror to understand what it means.”
20 The bed is too short on which to stretch out,
And the blanket is too small to wrap oneself in.
21 For the Lord will rise up as at Mount Perazim,
He will be stirred up as in the valley of Gibeon,
To do His task, His unusual task,
And to work His work, His extraordinary work.
22 And now do not carry on as scoffers,
Or your fetters will be made stronger;
For I have heard from the Lord God of hosts
Of decisive destruction on all the earth.”  Isaiah 28:16-22.

And, Reformed Doctrine also considers Romans 9:27-33.

“27 Isaiah cries out concerning Israel, “Though the number of the sons of Israel be like the sand of the sea, it is the remnant that will be saved;  28 for the Lord will execute His word on the earth, thoroughly and quickly.”  29 And just as Isaiah foretold,

“Unless the Lord of Sabaoth had left to us a posterity,
We would have become like Sodom, and would have resembled Gomorrah.”

30 What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, attained righteousness, even the righteousness which is by faith;  31 but Israel, pursuing a law of righteousness, did not arrive at that law.  32 Why?  Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as though it were by works.  They stumbled over the stumbling stone, 33 just as it is written,

“Behold, I lay in Zion a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense,
And he who believes in Him will not be disappointed.”  Romans 9:27-33.

In summary, through these Scriptures, we understand that the LORD’s destruction overflows with righteousness.  The LORD’s destruction is righteous, because it humbles the pride, arrogance, and haughtiness of man.  Isaiah 2:17.  The LORD’s destruction is like the work of a righteous level in the sense of the language of “I will make justice the measuring line And righteousness the level;  Then hail will sweep away the refuge of lies And the waters will overflow the secret place.” Isaiah 28:17.    The LORD’s destruction prepares the way for Christ, the Righteous One:  “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a tested stone, A costly cornerstone for the foundation, firmly placed.  …”  Isaiah 28:16.  The LORD’s destruction substitutes man’s sense of justice and righteousness with the true justice and true righteousness accomplished by Christ.  “…  That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, attained righteousness, even the righteousness which is by faith;  but Israel, pursuing a law of righteousness, did not arrive at that law.”  Romans 9:30-31.

Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | March 20, 2017

“Is the axe to boast itself over the one who chops with it?”

Today’s devotion comes from Isaiah 10:1-19.

“Woe to those who enact evil statutes
And to those who constantly record unjust decisions,
2 So as to deprive the needy of justice
And rob the poor of My people of their rights,
So that widows may be their spoil
And that they may plunder the orphans.
3 Now what will you do in the day of punishment,
And in the devastation which will come from afar?
To whom will you flee for help?
And where will you leave your wealth?
4 Nothing remains but to crouch among the captives
Or fall among the slain.
In spite of all this, His anger does not turn away
And His hand is still stretched out.

5 Woe to Assyria, the rod of My anger
And the staff in whose hands is My indignation,
6 I send it against a godless nation
And commission it against the people of My fury
To capture booty and to seize plunder,
And to trample them down like mud in the streets.
7 Yet it does not so intend,
Nor does it plan so in its heart,
But rather it is its purpose to destroy
And to cut off many nations.
8 For it says, “Are not my princes all kings?
9 “Is not Calno like Carchemish,
Or Hamath like Arpad,
Or Samaria like Damascus?
10 “As my hand has reached to the kingdoms of the idols,
Whose graven images were greater than those of Jerusalem and Samaria,
11 Shall I not do to Jerusalem and her images
Just as I have done to Samaria and her idols?”

12 So it will be that when the Lord has completed all His work on Mount Zion and on Jerusalem, He will say, “I will punish the fruit of the arrogant heart of the king of Assyria and the pomp of his haughtiness.”

13 For he has said,

“By the power of my hand and by my wisdom I did this,
For I have understanding;
And I removed the boundaries of the peoples
And plundered their treasures,
And like a mighty man I brought down their inhabitants,
14 And my hand reached to the riches of the peoples like a nest,
And as one gathers abandoned eggs, I gathered all the earth;
And there was not one that flapped its wing or opened its beak or chirped.”

15 Is the axe to boast itself over the one who chops with it?
Is the saw to exalt itself over the one who wields it?
That would be like a club wielding those who lift it,
Or like a rod lifting him who is not wood.
16 Therefore the Lord, the God of hosts, will send a wasting disease among his stout warriors;
And under his glory a fire will be kindled like a burning flame.
17 And the light of Israel will become a fire and his Holy One a flame,
And it will burn and devour his thorns and his briars in a single day.
18 And He will destroy the glory of his forest and of his fruitful garden, both soul and body,
And it will be as when a sick man wastes away.
19 And the rest of the trees of his forest will be so small in number
That a child could write them down.”  Isaiah 10:1-19.

——————————-

The Lord used Assyria as a tool to punish Jerusalem.  But, after the use of Assyria, the Lord punished Assyria for its arrogance and haughtiness.

“So it will be that when the Lord has completed all His work on Mount Zion and on Jerusalem, He will say, “I will punish the fruit of the arrogant heart of the king of Assyria and the pomp of his haughtiness.”  Verse 12.

“Is the axe to boast itself over the one who chops with it?  …”  Verse 15.

The LORD, the GOD of hosts, use individuals and even nations for His sovereign purpose.  But, just because the LORD does so and allows them to survive and even prosper for a while thereafter, does not mean He is necessarily pleased with them.

But, for us as with the Psalmist in the following Scripture, sometimes it is difficult for us to understand.

“2 But as for me, my feet came close to stumbling,
My steps had almost slipped.
3 For I was envious of the arrogant
As I saw the prosperity of the wicked.”  Psalm 73:2-3.

“17 Until I came into the sanctuary of God;
Then I perceived their end.
18 Surely You set them in slippery places;
You cast them down to destruction.
19 How they are destroyed in a moment!
They are utterly swept away by sudden terrors!”  Psalm 73:17-19.

“10 Now therefore, O kings, show discernment;
Take warning, O judges of the earth.
11 Worship the Lord with reverence
And rejoice with trembling.
12 Do homage to the Son, that He not become angry, and you perish in the way,
For His wrath may soon be kindled.
How blessed are all who take refuge in Him!”  Psalm 2:10-12.

Today’s devotion comes from Isaiah chapter 9.  Here is a link to this chapter – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah+9&version=NASB

I quote only the following verses.

“But there will be no more gloom for her who was in anguish; in earlier times He treated the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali with contempt, but later on He shall make it glorious, by the way of the sea, on the other side of Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles.

2 The people who walk in darkness
Will see a great light;
Those who live in a dark land,
The light will shine on them.
3 You shall multiply the nation,
You shall increase their gladness;
They will be glad in Your presence
As with the gladness of harvest,
As men rejoice when they divide the spoil.
4 For You shall break the yoke of their burden and the staff on their shoulders,
The rod of their oppressor, as at the battle of Midian.
5 For every boot of the booted warrior in the battle tumult,
And cloak rolled in blood, will be for burning, fuel for the fire.
6 For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;
And the government will rest on His shoulders;
And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace,
On the throne of David and over his kingdom,
To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness
From then on and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this.”  Isaiah 9:1-7.

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Other doctrine searches the Scriptures focused on man and asking “What should man do?”.

“Therefore they said to Him, “What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?”  John 6:28.

But, Reformed Doctrine searches the Scriptures focused on God and asking “Who is God?” and “What has God done or what will God do?”.

Jesus said:  “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life;  it is these that testify about Me;  and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life.”  John 5:39-40.

“Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.”  John 6:29.

And so, with great delight, Reformed Doctrine finds today’s Scripture which tells us Who God is:

“For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;
And the government will rest on His shoulders;
And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.”  Verse 6.  This verse refers to God the Son, Jesus Christ.

And, with great delight, Reformed Doctrine finds today’s Scripture which tells us what God will do:

“There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace,
On the throne of David and over his kingdom,
To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness
From then on and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this.”  Verse 7.

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