Isaiah 40:20 Be Careful of Cunning

Isaiah 40:20 (KJV)
He that is so impoverished that he hath no oblation chooseth a tree that will not rot; he seeketh unto him a cunning workman to prepare a graven image, that shall not be moved.

I’ll need to be careful not to over stress my thought today, but I saw a contrast in this passage between the workers of religion and the servants of the Lord. 

Notice that the impoverished person[1]finds a cunning workman to prepare his false god. The craftsman is skilled, talented, trained but he is all of that on his own. He is a creation of human genius. What he makes is perhaps impressive but it is powerless. 


The servant of the Lord is no craftsman. He is saved, filled with the Holy Spirit and commissioned for his calling but he is powerless on his own. What he accomplishes is the result of God using him. 

  • The religious one uses skill to draw impoverished souls into idolatry. 
  • The spiritual one is used of God to rescued perishing souls to heaven. 

[1]I think it would be best for us to view this as spiritual poverty, especially in our own day. The spiritually impoverished go to the wrong sources for their faith.

To my readers:
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Isaiah 40:20 Be Careful of Cunning

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Isaiah 36:1 History Is…

Isaiah 36:1 (KJV)
Now it came to pass in the fourteenth year of king Hezekiah, that Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the defenced cities of Judah, and took them.

The Assyrian threat had begun years before it became a reality. Isaiah had prophesied concerning it during the reign of Ahaz. It did not happen until Hezekiah was king. My thought today is simply how much worse things would have been had Ahaz still been king. 

Truly, history is the providence of God written in the notebook of man. Jerusalem would eventually be overtaken but it would not be now and it would not be by the Assyrians. God dictated these affairs to inform us of His rule, even in the most certain of matters. Sennacherib had no reason to believe he could be stopped. Hezekiah had no reason to believe he would be spared. But God spared him just the same. 

A believing soul has no reason to ever let the course of this world influence his faith. 

To my readers:
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For this and more than 4400 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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Isaiah 36:1 History Is…

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Isaiah 18:1 Whom or What Do You Trust?

Isaiah 18:1 (KJV) Woe to the land shadowing with wings, which is beyond the rivers of Ethiopia: Barnes says this is the most difficult expression in the chapter to interpret. Gill says various interpretations as to whom this refers range as far north of Jerusalem as Assyria and as far south of Jerusalem as Ethiopia. Some even say it is Jerusalem. To what it refers is suggested as anything from birds, to mountains, to sailboats. One thing is for sure, this is a curse and not a blessing. I am reminded (and I am not the only one) of Psalms 57:1 Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until thesecalamities be overpast. David led God’s people to trust in the shadow of God’s wings. I can’t help but think that the judgment in the passage is for trusting in some other, any other refuge than God. Perhaps these people trusted in the mountains surrounding them for refuge, safety and provision. One day the Bible says people will flee to the mountains and beg the rocks to fall upon them. Perhaps they trusted in idols of their own making Men have set up gods of every sort. From carvings they have created to deifying the creation, none of these can stand before God. Perhaps these wings are indeed sailing vessels, the fastest in the world of their time. They might have trusted in their technology and military might. But God has demonstrated time and again that no power created by man has any power against Almighty God. To trust in anyone or anything other than God is foolish and destined for destruction.   To my readers: First of all, thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments. For this and more than 4400 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006. If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others. For more resources from Pastor Marvin McKenzie visit http://puyallupbaptistchurch.com. My books are available at: My author spotlight at Lulu.com: http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/marvinmckenzie My author Page for Kindle/Amazon http://www.amazon.com/author/marvinmckenzie

Isaiah 18:1 Whom or What Do You Trust?

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Isaiah 16:14 Small But With Limitless Resources

Isaiah 16:14 (KJV)
But now the LORD hath spoken, saying, Within three years, as the years of an hireling, and the glory of Moab shall be contemned, with all that great multitude; and the remnant shall be very small and feeble.

I once read of a WWII Medal of Honor recipient[1]who singlehandedly rescued captured American soldiers and captured the platoon that had them.

It was, as I recall, all an accident. He had accidentally run into the platoon. But, instead of sinking in fear, he began barking orders to what sounded to the enemy like multitudes of Americans hidden away all around them. Believing themselves to be surrounded they surrendered to what turned out to be an unarmed, lost and all alone, but full of bravado America soldier.

The same book of the Bible says of Israel, Isaiah 1:9
Except the LORD of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah.

  • There was a very small remnant of Israel.
  • There was a very small remnant of Moab

One is an act of mercy while the other is an act of condemnation. The difference, I believe, might be found in the Word “feeble.”

Moab was left small and feeble.
They were left weak, helpless, powerless.

Israel was very small, but had God.
They had hope, purpose and direction. They had a future. They had a promise. They had a message from God. They were very small but they had the power of God upon them.

  • It is one thing to be outnumbered and without resources.
  • It is entirely another thing to be small but with limitless resources. 

 

[1]I could not find a reference to corroborate this story. I may have many details wrong.

 

To my readers:
First of all, thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.

For this and more than 4400 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

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Isaiah 16:14 Small But With Limitless Resources

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Isaiah 11:16 I’m A Highway Kind of Guy

Isaiah 11:16 (KJV)
And there shall be an highway for the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria; like as it was to Israel in the day that he came up out of the land of Egypt.

I am a highway kind of guy. I like to travel the fastest, straightest most effective road possible. Sometimes life doesn’t work that way. It’s not always the way that is open. It is not always the way that should be taken.[1] Sometimes it is healthful to slow down and enjoy the trip.

So I was intrigued by this promise.

The word highway means, “a raised, public road.” It springs from a word meaning exalted. A highway is built up so rainwater sloughs off to either side. The materials used to raise the road are hard and compact so the road allows for fast travel. It is planned, purposeful and paid for.

God’s promise is that He would give Israel a highway out of Assyria like the one He gave them out of Egypt.

  • Obstacles would be removed
  • Signs would clearly mark the way
  • Provisions would be made on the route and
  • Protection would be available from danger

There is an exalted, well marked and paid for way that exists for all who would travel it.

It is Jesus as He is found in the Word of God.

 

[1] The narrow way that leads to eternal life is the opposite of the highway.

 

To my readers:
First of all, thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.

For this and more than 4400 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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Isaiah 11:16 I’m A Highway Kind of Guy

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Isaiah 9:9-10 Pride Refuses To Accept Judgment

Isaiah 9:9-10 (KJV)
And all the people shall know, even Ephraim and the inhabitant of Samaria, that say in the pride and stoutness of heart,
The bricks are fallen down, but we will build with hewn stones: the sycomores are cut down, but we will change them into cedars.

The pride of Ephraim and Samaria are in view. But the audience God addresses is Judah.[1]It seems appropriate then to give this passage a broad application.

Perhaps the worst thing about pride is that it cannot see God. Pride builds idols of gold and silver, wood and stone, and sometimes of flesh and bone. The gods of pride block the view of the living God. They may even blur the mind so that the one bowing to them believes he is bowing to the true and living God.

Pride seeks to rebuild what God has taken down. Pride refuses to accept judgment. Pride believes that, if God cannot be reached in prayer and holy worship, He can certainly be reached through a Tower of Babel.[2]

  • Pride replaces humility with hard work
  • Pride replaces repentance with reform and religion
  • Pride builds movements rather than churches

The cure for pride is humility. When we accept our judgment He graciously replaces it with Christ.

[1]Isaiah is a prophet in Jerusalem. His ministry is directed, especially early on, to the king in Jerusalem.

[2]Religion of man’s own making.

 

To my readers:
First of all, thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.

For this and more than 4400 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

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Isaiah 9:9-10 (KJV) Pride Refuses To Accept Judgment

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Isaiah 5:21 The One Who Is Wise In His Own Eyes

Isaiah 5:21 (KJV)
Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!

I have a pretty good idea about what this verse means. It would be wise, though, to understand it in its context. The one who is wise in his own eyes:

Has become desensitized to sin
Isaiah 5:18
Woe unto them that draw iniquity with cords of vanity, and sin as it were with a cart rope:

He has sinned little by little almost imperceptibly, until the cords of sin are too strong for him to break.

Has become calloused to the judgment of God.
Isaiah 5:19
That say, Let him make speed, and hasten his work, that we may see it:and let the counsel of the Holy One of Israel draw nigh and come, that we may know it!

I am reminded of Peter’s prophecy “Where is the promise of His coming?[1]

Has become twisted in his conscience
Isaiah 5:19
Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

I have known people who would rather applaud wickedness than righteousness.

Has become accustomed to spirits
Isaiah 5:22
Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink:

Alcohol is called a Spirit for a reason. There is no question that the Bible teaches the abstinence of strong drink. A telling sign today is in how many so called Christians approve of the drinking of alcohol. It is a defiance against God and a demonstration that they think they know better than God.

Has become blind morally
Isaiah 5:23
Which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him!

Lawmakers now justify what is opposed to God and count Christians as potential threats.

 

[1]2 Peter 3:4 (KJV)
And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.

To my readers:
First of all, thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.

For this and more than 4400 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

For more resources from Pastor Marvin McKenzie visit http://puyallupbaptistchurch.com.

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Isaiah 5:21 The One Who Is Wise In His Own Eyes

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Isaiah 1:9-10 A Very Small Remnant

Isaiah 1:9-10 (KJV)
Except the LORD of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah.
Hear the word of the LORD, ye rulers of Sodom; give ear unto the law of our God, ye people of Gomorrah.

Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed entirely. Only Lot, his wife and two of his daughters survived.[1]God’s grace had done a different thing in Israel. He had left a remnant. Though their own evil had left them destroyed, they were not utterly consumed.

Still, the symbol was near enough the prophet was compelled to liken Judah to these wicked cities. He did not preach to the literal cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, long since punished and gone. He preached to the rulers of Judah and the people of Israel. Dare these people liken their sins to those of Sodom and Gomorrah?

Surely the discerning Christian can see the same likeness in our own day. The evil, the sin, the ignorance of all things God, is rampant to the point we cannot but expect that God will once again rain judgment.

In my own area of the Pacific Northwest scientists warn of an imminent disaster involving volcanoes, earthquakes and violent seas. Most people ignore these prophets of doom. I can’t help but wonder whether God won’t judge the wickedness so openly practiced in Seattle and Olympia with just such a disaster.

Perhaps God’s grace will leave a remnant of His own to minister to the survivors.

[1]If you can call it that. Lot’s wife died just after leaving the city and his daughters were as good as dead spiritually.

 

To my readers:
First of all, thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.

For this and more than 4300 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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Isaiah 1:9-10 A Very Small Remnant

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Ecclesiastes 7:2-5 Make The Heart Better

Ecclesiastes 7:2-5 (KJV)
It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart.
Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better.
The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.
It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise, than for a man to hear the song of fools.

Though most of what is found in Ecclesiastes must be read carefully and in context (the preacher frequently projects the cynicism of his worldly years into this book) my gut tells me what we read here is on the money.

Modern man places a premium on happiness, ease and comfort. Unfortunately modern Christianity, at least the American version, does too. I am convinced that joy, contentment and blessing are biblical goals for any Christian. But I don’t necessarily agree with the current tactics many Christians embrace to get them. Hardship, it turns out, is a valid means to blessedness.

Notice in verse three, “by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better.” Could it be that the moral climate of our world has been stunted precisely because we have grown too comfortable, too full, and too rich with joy? Could it be that, as our focus has been increasingly upon preventing anyone from suffering, we have produced degeneracy of heart?

I am not calling for a lack of compassion for the hurting but for a greater sacrifice from the comfortable. Only by visiting in the house of the mourning may we better our hearts and improve our character.

 

To my readers:
First of all, thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.

For this and more than 4300 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

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Ecclesiastes 7:2-5 Make The Heart Better

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Ecclesiastes 5:8 Higher Than The Highest

Ecclesiastes 5:8 (KJV)
If thou seest the oppression of the poor, and violent perverting of judgment and justice in a province, marvel not at the matter: for he that is higher than the highest regardeth; and there be higher than they.

It seems obvious doesn’t it? Indeed God is “higher than the highest.”

  • He is higher than all the angels 
  • He is higher than Satan and his devils
  • He is higher than the earth and the power of disasters 
  • He is higher than kings and all who are in authority 
  • He is higher than the wicked who oppress the faith of Christ and
  • He is higher than the violent who attack without provocation 

We know God is higher than the highest but, when trouble comes, it’s good to be reminded. 

 

To my readers:
First of all, thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.

For this and more than 4300 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

For more resources from Pastor Marvin McKenzie visit http://puyallupbaptistchurch.com.

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Ecclesiastes 5:8 Higher Than The Highest

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