Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral virtue, and in your moral virtue,
knowledge ;

Monday, March 25, 2013

Isaiah chapter 2

Isaiah Chapter 2  doesn't seem to have any connection with chapter 1. It is another record of a vision that Isaiah saw. As we progress through the book, we will see chapters in this book that will actually record history for us. But much of this chapter is taken up with a prophetic vision involving the Millennium.

The Millennium is the word given to the thousand year reign of Christ upon the earth. It will be a time after, the anti-christ is revealed, and after, people will be required to choose or resist the mark of the beast. I will not go into too much detail about when and how this will all take place because many people disagree about the sequence of these events.  I would like to simply explore what a wonderful time it will be for all who claim Christ as savior.  

The Millennium is the time on earth when the "wolf will dwell with the lamb, the leopard will lay down with the kid, and the calf, the young lion and the fatling, and a little child will lead them" (Isaiah 11:6-9).

.. It is when the "They will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks" (Micah 4:3)..
This is long awaited time of "Peace on Earth"

It is the time that one of the most recognized scripture in the United States is describing, " For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government shall rest upon His shoulders; And His name shall be called, Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal father, Prince of Peace " (Isaiah 9:6)..

It is a time when there will be peace on Earth. Most people Know about these ideas, especially at Christmas time and embrace them as wonderful ideas and wishful happenings but they have no idea where these ideas came from or that they are all attributed to the reign of Christ upon the earth during the Millennium. They do not know or understand that Christ needs to rule as king of their lives for them to be able to participate in these wonderful days.

In order to get a good mental picture of the millennium, we will have to look at scriptures scattered through out the old testament. It is kind of like a glorious puzzle that rewards us with a beautiful picture of our future with Jesus. 
The way that I'm going to explain this study is to write the verse and then list corresponding verses that support and clarify this information in Isaiah. The  verses may not include every verse that corresponds to the verse in Isaiah, but it will help clarify what the verse in Isaiah is talking about.

Chapter 2:2  Now, it will come about in the last days,
The mountain of the house of the Lord will be established as chief of the mountains, it will be raised above the hills; and all the nations will stream to it.
Read, Micah 4:1-4 (starts the same way) , Zech.14:3-4 and Zech. 2:10-11.

2:3-4 and many people will come and say, "come let us go up to the  mountain of the Lord, to the house of Jacob.
That He may teach us concerning His ways and that we may walk in His paths".For the law will go forth from Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem, And He will judge between the nations, and will render decisions for many people, . And they will hammer their swords into plow shares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, and never again will they learn war.(peace on earth)
Read; psalm 72:11, Zech. 2:10, and Micah 4:2-3 (these verses are very similar to this)

Here  in verse 2:5, we leave off the millennium for a little while, but there are so many more fascinating scripture passages that deal with the 1000 year reign of Christ on the earth. Here are a few if you want to do further reading on the subject. 
Ezekiel chapters 40-48 are a detailed description of the temple that will stand in Jerusalem during the millennium. It will literally be the Lord's house. There will be no Holy of Holies because the Lord will finally be dwelling in His house. There will be animal sacrifices again.  And precious water will flow from the new temple (Ezek.43) This water is also mentioned in Zech. 14:8. It is amazing and fascinating reading. Also, Zech. 14 is incredible. You get a real sense of God's heart for us and the promises of that wonderful time.

Ok, so back to Isaiah chapter 2. In verse 2:6 he Tells them that the Lord has abandoned them because they are filled with the influences from the east, and they were involved in getting predictions about the future like the Philistines. We have a brief mention of the Philistine diviners in 1Sam. 6:2. We know that Uzziah conquered 3 of the Philistine cities, (2Chron. 26:6) which put the Israelites  in closer contact with the Philistines.** Apparently the Philistines had a big influence on them instead of the other way around. **

 Verse 2:7 speaks of the land being filled with silver, gold and horses. This verse is the Lord expressing His distaste of luxurious, ostentatious living. They had been warned in  Duet. 17:16-17  not to multiply silver and gold, wives or horses  to themselves. The Lord knew that they would have to bargain and become friendly with other nations to get these things and in the natural progression of man, they would adopt the ways of these foreign people.

Verse 2:8 says that their land was full of idols and they worshiped the work of their hands, that which their fingers had made. This verse is interesting because both  kings, Uzziah and Jotham, forbade idol worship and and maintained the worship of Jehovah (2Kings 15:34) but idol worship continued on the high places and in the peoples hearts.

In verses 2:10-11 He tells them to enter the rocks, hide in caves from the terror of the Lord. There will be a humbling of man in that day. He was warning them.

The Isrealites were very familiar with this idea of hiding in caves. They had hidden in caves many times when they were oppressed by their enemies (judges 6:2, 1sam. 13:6, 22:1). As a matter of fact. There is a 5 acre, underground Limestone cavern that runs below the ancient part of the city, Jerusalem. It has been carved out over a period of thousands of years. 

   He is making a point when He told them to hide in the caves. He wanted them to understand that it was going to get bad for them. That, as in the past, He was going to bring judgement on them to the point of oppression and misery. 

Now that Isaiah has announced  that God is about to visit His people in anger, in verses 2:12-16, he starts to describe all of the things that His anger will be focused against. 

Cedars of Lebanon
 The day of the Lord will be against everyone and everything who is proud, lofty and lifted up. He says that the trees that they are so proud of , that are desired by the rich, and prized among the people, will be destroyed (2:23). These trees were a source of pride to the Israelites. Solomon used them to build the temple (1Kings 5:9-10) . The wood from these trees is mentioned in  the scripture mourning the destruction of Tyre in Ezekiel 27:5-6. In Isaiah 37:24, we read of the words of Sennacherib as he brags about cutting down their beloved trees.

In verse 2:14 he says His anger will be against the lofty mountains, against all the hills that are valued by the people of Israel. This is amazing. The mountains and high places were very important to them. Read Chapter 19 of the book of Exodus, and take special note of the importance of the mountains in that chapter.
 Also, as a side note...Solomon built the Temple for the god Chemosh on a mountain to please his foreign wives (1Kings 11:7).  Worship of the god Chemosh involved putting their little children through fire.

Verse 2:15 says against the towers and fortified walls. King Uzziah and King Jotham, were big builders and built many fortified towers  (2nd Chron 26:9-10, 27:4).  Their trust was not in God, but in their towers. Which of course, could not save them from the judgment of God.

 This brings up a very important question for all of us, are we wisely preparing for our future or are we trusting in our own strength?

Verse 2:16 God is still listing, in great detail, all of the ways that His children have disappointed Him. These are not lofty metaphors, it is an actual list of things they treasured, trusted in and idolized.

He was going to act against their fleet of ships. The biggest and most powerful of the fleet.
According to Eerdmans, the "ships of Tarshish", were originally ships built to withstand the trip to Tarshish, which was especially long and dangerous. Ezekiel 27:25 talks about these ships. In 2nd Kings 14:22, it says Uzziah built "Elath" (Errdaman's says : should say "rebuilt") . Elath was a massive ship taken from Edom. Ist Kings 22:48, says that it remained with the Jews until the reign of Ahaz and then it was taken by Rezin and given back to Edom. Their fleet of  big ships was a source of pride and security for them

The second part of this verse is very interesting, "And against all the beautiful craft". Eerdmans says that this is referring to the beautiful things that they decorated their homes and palaces with. Wall mosaics and paintings, carvings and beautiful pottery.

Verse 2:17, all the things that man takes pride in, including himself, will be humbled before the mighty God.
In verse 2:18, He is referring to idols they worshiped being wiped away in every way, physically and from their hearts.

Then in verse  2:19, He brings them back to the original thought starting in verse 2:10 That things will be so bad for them that they will once again be desperate enough to go into hiding in their caves. He again talks of their idols and possessions  becoming worthless to them and how they will  cast them away for the privilege of making it into the caves alive. The Lord will again take center stage in their thoughts as they witness His awesome power and judgement.

Verse 2:22 ends this chapter but it is obvious that this break in the text was not put there by Isaiah.
This verse is the beginning of sentence which starts chapter 3.

This verse has been very special to me since early in my Christianity. "STOP REGARDING MAN, WHOSE BREATH OF LIFE IS IN HIS NOSTRILS FOR WHY SHOULD HE BE ESTEEMED?"

wHy InDeeD? aNd YeT IsN't ThAt WhAt kEePS Us fROM sHaRiNg JeSuS WiTH aLl wHO NeEd TO hEaR. oUr WoRrY oF ofFeNdINg ThEM Or tHeM rEjEcTiNg us!!!!

We have to get over ourselves and them. Eternity is coming, we can't stop it or delay it. We are not in control and neither are they. They need Jesus above all things, even if they don't know it. The Holy Spirit is waiting to give us the power and the words. Pray for boldness. Pray to live out  verse 2:22!!

Ascribe strength to God;
His majesty is over Israel,
And His strength is in the skies.
O God, Thou art awesome from
Thy sanctuary,
The God of Israel Himself gives
strength and power to the people,
Blessed be God!
Psalm 68:34-35

Dear ladies, keep reading! Go on to chapter 3 and read it every day, over and over. The goal is to know Isaiah when we are finished. The ladies at church are going to help me come up with chapter remembering tools, until then, keep reading. I am praying for every one of you!






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