God is Setting All Things Right. So I am Blogging Through the Bible in a Year.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

July 18 - Isaiah 23-27: God Purifies His Chosen People and His Earth

Today’s Reading: Isaiah 23-27

The Message

English Standard Version

Thought to Guide Your Reading

God punished Israel to take their guilt away.

Summary in 100 Words or Less

Tarshish would return to a bankrupt city along the sea.
Tyre's earnings from prostitution would go to God.
No green leaf would survive. Polluted by its people's sin, the earth would be silent.
Some praise God, but not in Israel's neighborhood.
"God, my god, how wonderful is Your Name! Your enemies are in ruin! The poor will stand in comfort before You."
God's people will praise Him for their salvation!
God's people sing of the easy path for God-followers. The dead are gone, but God makes the living larger than life.
Israel would return—their punishment took their guilt away.

How Today’s Reading Contributes to the Gospel: God is Setting All Things Right

Earth would be purified from human sin.

In the Garden of Eden, God told Adam to take care of His Earth. When humans take dominion over the earth, it becomes like us—righteous or polluted. God told Israel the earth would join Him in removing the Canaanites. Now the earth is joining God once again, this time against Israel. When we sin, the earth is polluted. Eventually, it will be punished along with us.

"When your decisions are on public display, / everyone learns how to live right" (26:9, The Message).

We have recently lived through the controversial verdict of a very public trial. Although the debate is highly emotional and there are too many unsettling details which will never be fully known, one thing remains sure—when the world sees God's justice, it understands righteousness. There will be no arguments against God's decisions. All learn how to set all things right through them.
What does this mean for us today? We do not need to "defend" God's decisions to those who do not like or appreciate them. If we publicize God's decisions to the world, they will know how to set all things right. However, we must separate God's decisions from our own. How can we tell which is which? If it is plain in God's Word, it is God's decision. If we have to use logic or reason to get there (or a few verses here and there), it may be ours.

Israel has their guilt taken away.

Israel's enemies were punished and wiped out completely. Israel, however, was purified of their sin. They had a harsh punishment, true, but they were able to live and stand before God once again. God's Chosen People will never be completely destroyed. God will purify them to take away their guilt. We should stand before God as purified people, not beggars hoping for a handout! Our guilt is gone!

Are you showing everyone God's decisions?

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