Archive for August 31st, 2008

Importance of Good Choices

Well, I’ve been torn as to whether I should stay my own course of Bible reading and blogging, or let St. Philip’s 3-year-bible-reading-plan dictate what passage I should read for the day. I’ve decided to follow St. Philip’s reading plan.

So you may get a few missed chapters along the way (especially when they ask for more than one chapter a day!). Otherwise, if I fall one or two chapters behind, I have tendency to just skip it all together. So, God and I shall rendezvous around the chapter given by St. Philip’s for the day.

So today I am sacrificing the hope-giving story of Esther 3 for the fierce warning of judgment against Judah and Jerusalem in Isaiah 3.

God, in no uncertain terms, is letting them (and us) know that obsessing over extreme luxury while stealing from the poor shall NOT be tolerated. No wonder He responds with a shortage competent leaders.

He shall give the people what their wicked hearts desire, ungodly, incompetent leaders. Things can become so bad, that in the minds of the people, the smallest achievement will qualify a man for leadership. (you can read 2 Kings 24:14 for the fulfilled account of God’s warning…guess He wasn’t kidding). The lack of strong godly leaders will lead to shortage of water, food and justice.

Governor of the Universe and hearts of mankind, I pray for the United States and the upcoming election. May your choice (and not our own) be elected. Grant us a person who will lead us on in righteousness.

I’m struck, that if Jerusalem and Judah could have sinned against God in what they say and in what they do, does that necessarily mean that we can glorify God by what we say just as much as by what we do?

Guardian of my Life, I pray that You would set up a centurion over my mouth and lips so that I will only say that which glorifies You and edifies others. May my deeds and words be pleasing to You.

It seems to me as if God is rather passive in judgment (though we know He is always in control). For example, in today’s passage all He does is leave Judah alone, and they end up bringing evil upon themselves. Often times we choose pain and heartbreak rather than follow His guidance.

Great Shepherd, I pray that where You lead, I will follow. I know if left to myself I will surely fall headlong into evil, so I pray, keep close to You and Your flock.

Wow! When you look at the list of accessories that the women devoted too much of their lives too, you can’t help but imagine the size of the malls they must have had in Jerusalem! Though it is often argued that the fact these accessories are mentioned in regards to judgment, that they are wicked in and of themselves, that doesn’t seem to be the case.

Isaiah tells them this is for oppressing the poor and making them pay for your luxuries. You might say even in their day, there were the ‘have’s’ and the ‘have-not’s’ with the rich taking from the poor more and more.

And as it always seems to be, He drives us yet again to Himself for direction. We can’t get it from anyone else, or from headquarters to inquire just exactly where that fine balance is. We must get it for ourselves from the Creator and Designer.

But there is one apparel that we can be confident that is pleasing to God as He commends it in 1 Peter 3:3-4:

Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel—rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.

BTW: verse 17 makes me wonder if the last part of the verse refers to rape. It does make me wonder about that life-long question: “where is God when something as atrocious as rape is occurring?”

Lord Jesus, thank You that You are in control, and thank You for taking the time to communicate with us Your ways. I pray that we will always find ourselves running to You, our Creator and Designer, for guidance and direction, rather than to some rule book or person or board of directors. We want to use our ignorance as just another excuse to come and rendezvous with You. Thank You for Your warnings. Strengthen us all to choose the way that is right in Your eyes. In Jesus’ name. Amen