No Escape

Isaiah 13:7-8. “Therefore shall alll hands be faint, and every man’s heart shall melt: And they shall be afraid; pangs and sorrows shall take hold of them; they shall be in pain as a woman that travaileth: they shall be amazed one at another: their faces shall be as flames.”

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The judgment of God is nothing to be shrugged at. It will be terrible. There will be great fear, such fear that people will experience pain similar to that of a woman in childbirth.  Their faces will be red with shame as their sin is dealt with. There will be no escape.

The Day of the Lord

Isaiah 13:6. “Howl ye: for the day of the Lord is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty.”

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If you will keep in mind that “the Day of the Lord” is a reference to the future, the Second Advent,  it will help you to understand that these are far-future prophecies. Babylon is going to be rebuilt at some point. There are those who believe Saddam Hussein tried to get that project  underway. Babylon is always representative of the rise of godlessness and evil, and in the Day of the Lord its destruction will be complete.

Those who mock at God and deny His existence will learn to their horror that He is indeed the only God, the Holy One of Israel. His judgments upon the world are sure, and those who have persecuted His people, Israel, are going to suffer for their pride and their hatred.  God’s judgments will be upon the whole world (tebel, the whole earth). 

Scriptures  for comparison: Is. 34:1-8; Joel 2:31; 3:15; Matt. 24:29; Mark 13:24; Luke 21:35.

The Gentile Nations

Isaiah 13:1-5. “The burden of Babylon, which Isaiah the son of Amoz did see. Lift ye up a banner upon the high mountain, exalt the voice unto them, shake the hand, that they may go into the gates of the nobles.  I have commanded My sanctified ones, I have also called My mighty ones for Mine anger, even them that rejoice in My highness.  The noise of a multitude in the mountains, like as of a noise of the kingdoms of nations gathered together: the Lord of hosts mustereth the host of the battle. They come from a far country, from the end of heaven, even the Lord, and the weapons of His indignation, to destroy the whole land.”

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Chapters 13-23 consist of prophecies about Israel’s  surrounding Gentile nations. Coming after the prophecies of the Millenial Kingdom, in which Jesus Christ, Messiah, will have all authority over the entire world, the doom of these nations under His anger is listed.

Babylon comes first. It includes the rule of the Chaldeans, which succeeded that of Assyria.  Verses 2-5 are descriptive of the Medes, who are mentioned in verse 17, and of the Persians; verse 4 mentions  kingdoms (plural). These powers are called “My consecrated ones” because they were chosen by God for the fulfillment  of the destruction of Babylon (verse 3). They didn’t necessarily know that they were being used of God, but the Persians did destroy idols , and Cyrus the Persian did rejoice in the recognition of God (ch. 44:28; 45:1, and Ezra 1:1-4). The Medo-Persian powers were to be “the weapons of His indignation, to destroy the whole land,” the land of the Chaldeans.

You can verify all this by reading about the history of Babylon, including its present state of non-existence.  God used other countries to bring Israel back to Himself, but those countries paid the price according to their mistreatment of His people.

Cry Out and Shout!

Isaiah 12:5-6. “Sing unto the Lord: for He hath done excellent things: this is known in all the earth. Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee.”

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When I was in the touring choir in Bible college, we sang a piece of music from this passage that has been haunting me.  I can’t pull it up; can’t remember if it’s from Handel’s Messiah or not. I remember that the line “therefore with joy shall ye draw water from the wells of salvation” was in the song; also, “Cry out and shout,  ye people of God!”  But that’s it.  Anyone who may have been in the Pillsbury Baptist Bible College choir from 1965-67, if you can help me out, maybe I could get some sleep 🙂

These two verses wrap up this short but powerful and very exciting chapter. It has been such a blessing to me to take my time through these verses, dwelling on each phrase, sometimes each word. To consider the freedom all people will have in the Millenial Kingdom to praise God without restraint; to have Him dwelling among us!

It’s something to sing about!

This isn’t the music I’m thinking of, but it’s pretty, and I like it:

And here is the one I was remembering. My son Mike found it.  Don’t think he was in the choir back then, but he sure knows how to search 🙂

He is Lord!

Isaiah 12:4. “And in that day shall ye say, Praise the Lord, call  upon His Name, declare His  doings among the people, make mention that His Name is exalted.”

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For the first time in the history of the world, all people everywhere will acknowledge the glory of the Lord God, Jehovah, Messiah!  There will be complete freedom to praise Him, and to talk about His amazing goodness. His Name will be exalted above all other names.

Makes me want to be there, right now!

Sunday Morning Coffee: Recovery

For the last five months or so, I’ve been  pretty useless.  Terry’s had to take over the housekeeping while I sat or lay in bed, nursing my aching back.  I’m definitely better now, with one little setback three weeks ago, and this last few days I’ve resumed some chores as my strength and energy permit.

Do you know what happens to your muscles when you do nothing?  It isn’t pretty. They get flabby, and you don’t have a lot of get-up-and-go. If your lifestyle doesn’t include some purposeful physical activity,  your muscles are going to turn to mush.

It’s not pretty.

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We have a multi-purpose cable  gym downstairs, so I’ve put myself back on the track of better muscles, more strength, more energy.

Friday I did some leg lifts. Thought I was going to die.  But I did them again yesterday, and it was a little better. This is just for starters.  I need to work my arms, shoulders, my core–everything.  And I have to do it carefully so as not to wake the sleeping monster in my lower back.

Thinking about all that, I thought about how quickly we can become spiritually flabby. Skip your Bible reading and Bible study for a week, put aside prayer, miss church?  It’s going to be very easy for Satan to pay you a little visit and direct your thinking to an unhealthy place.  I hate missing church.  I’ve missed more church in the last five months than in my entire life up to now. Breaking that pattern of church attendance can cause a spiritual ennui that drives you right down into depression.

Combine all that spiritual neglect with chronic pain, poor sleep, lack of fellowship with other believers, and you have a recipe for disaster.  It’s time to put yourself back on a spiritual exercise regimen, because you can’t fight Satan if your spiritual armor is missing.

Am I saying this has happened to me?  Yes, absolutely, to a degree. Anyone who thinks that being physically inactive sounds like a wonderful vacation?  Has never been forced into physical inactivity.  Partly because of the work I do with people who are suffering depression, I’ve been aware of my own tendency in that direction.  I’ve been purposeful about keeping up with my Bible study blog because it helps me stay in the Word. I chose to spend more time in prayer, because–not much else to do, right?  Use the time wisely.

Some days it’s been a battle, and some days I’ve just given up and wallowed in the muck, Not often, though.  I don’t like muck.

I am keenly aware that it could–and probably will–happen again. The conditions in my lower back aren’t things that can be cured.  I don’t look forward to the next event, but I’ve learned a little bit about how to deal with it.