The righteous perish,
11 Whom did you dread and fear
About 4200 years ago, God called the man Abraham out of what is now Iraq. He was to herald the people now known as Israel--and to announce the identity of the one true God. The rest of the world was thoroughly pagan, following many false gods.
God's Land, God's People
Israel: The Key to World Peace
Israel, the Church and the U.S. Compared
But Israel failed miserably! Her story is echoed in the history of every nation down through the years. For example, the United States enjoyed a great beginning but is now falling. Isaiah was called to speak to Israel in her declining years (c. 740-690 BC)
Isaiah never received the Nobel Prize, nor a Medal of Honor from any king and probably died a martyr at the hands of his own people. The Talmud [Yevamot 49b] says that he suffered martyrdom by being sawn in two under the orders of Manasseh. He had his great vision of the holiness of God, in the year King Uzziah died (in 740 BC after a mostly benevolent reign of 52 years).
Isaiah served God from about 740 to about 680 BC, so he was probably only a boy when he was called. This man Isaiah is a wonderful role model for any aspiring disciple of Jesus who wants to serve the living God over a lifetime. He was married, by the way, and had a least three children.
Jesus would say seven hundred years later, "What a burden for this most eloquent and evangelical “Prince of Prophets” to bear — to know from the very outset that his words would be enjoyed but disobeyed, and that his people (God’s People!) would be almost entirely destroyed! And to persevere in his mission for so many decades! What a man, and what a minister, who obviously preached not for acceptance or for profit, but for the Lord! Isaiah’s experience was also an enacted prophetic foretaste (no less than for Hosea or Jeremiah) of what Jesus Himself would encounter. And Jesus was conscious of fulfilling the pattern demonstrated by Isaiah:
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were not willing! (Luke 13:34)
"He answered and said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written:
The Acts 15 passage is apropos, with the understanding that the “fallen tabernacle of David” has reference first and foremost to the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ. Then, secondarily, and because of that, it applies also to the continuing stump-remnant of Israel and that People’s eventual restoration to the Lord.
'This people honors Me with their lips,
But their heart is far from Me.
And in vain they worship Me,
Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’"
"Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says:
'Hearing you will hear and shall not understand,
And seeing you will see and not perceive;
For the hearts of this people have grown dull.
Their ears are hard of hearing,
And their eyes they have closed,
Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears,
Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn,
So that I should heal them.’
But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear; for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it."
Despite the clamoring din of gazillions of assertions from false prophets and apostles in recent decades, it has not one iota of anything to do at the most remote remove with the introduction of a “new” - or renewed - “Davidic” or “Hebraic” style of worship that will result in “an open heaven” so that the Kingdom of God may come “on earth as it is in heaven” due to the church’s efforts in this present age.
The application James makes is that the “residue” of mankind (the Church’s elect from among the nations) are now to be added to the believing remnant of God’s ancient Hebrew people to become the “tabernacle” of God on earth during this present age (just as Jesus “tabernacled among us” as the Word made flesh), until Jesus returns in great power and glory to personally inaugurate the Kingdom of God. “Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God."
All that God has planned and done since before the creation has been toward that one ultimate teleological goal: “Known to God from eternity are all His works.” This is one of my favorite Scripture passages, and a largely neglected key to understanding the Lords purposes and doing through the ages, including the present. By and large, the Church has lost sight of “the Gospel of the Kingdom.”" (Comments from Bryce Self)
"What a burden for this most eloquent and evangelical “Prince of Prophets” to bear — to know from the very outset that his words would be enjoyed but disobeyed, and that his people (God’s People!) would be almost entirely destroyed! And to persevere in his mission for so many decades! What a man, and what a minister, who obviously preached not for acceptance or for profit, but for the Lord!
Isaiah’s experience was also an enacted prophetic foretaste (no less than for Hosea or Jeremiah) of what Jesus Himself would encounter. And Jesus was conscious of fulfilling the pattern demonstrated by Isaiah:
To be certain that our meanings are clear, "masculinity" is not identical with "manliness" and "femininity" is not identical with being all-woman. Masculinity and femininity are abstract qualities. For example we have stated by means of the above table that masculinity specializes in initiating and femininity specializes in responding. It is obvious that both men and women constantly both initiate and respond. But we can say that God is the most fully masculine Being who exists because "from him...are all things." God is also love, according to the Apostle John. This means that the Persons of the godhead dwell together in relationships of love. The universe is designed to operate on the principle of both giving and receiving love. Thus initiating and responding are complementary opposites.
We are defined masculinity in our table as characterized by Logos truth. Jesus is called the Word of God (logos) in John's Gospel. Logos truth is truth spelled out in logical, rational statements. Jesus is the Word of God, He is the Truth because in Him God has spelled out truth in human form. The Bible is called the written Word of God. Scripture consists of sequential statements, one following another, all self-consistent, all designed to appeal to the logical mind. This is especially true of the New Testament. (The Old Testament relies on stories and historical narratives to illustrate truth in preference to doctrinal statements strung out in logos fashion).
The Bible also presents truth in the form of pictures. Truth can be intuitively perceived, or revealed as direct inner experience in the heart. (In fact we must understand truth in our hearts if it is to do us any good, head knowledge in and of itself is of no avail. Also, truth which is not acted upon is lost). Truth perceived in its non-verbal, intuitive mode can we called Wisdom. Hence we have characterized femininity as specializing in Sophia knowledge. In Solomon's Proverbs Wisdom is personified as a woman. The closer interconnected wiring between the two halves of the brain in women causes them to think more holistically. Because of the fall, when "Eve was deceived" a woman's intuition is not infallible. Hence God has assigned Adam, and male elders in the church the task of comparing truth in Logos form in order to guard the family and the church from error which creeps in constantly. Men specialize in being "logical" and most men can set aside their intuition and emotions and the entire right-side of their brains in the process. Of course this means that men are vulnerable to pride and stubbornness, and so on.
Masculinity specializes in "doingness" and femininity in "bindingness." Men derive a great deal of their sense of purpose in the world from their work, their competitive strivings in the world. Men are therefore hunters and warriors who engage in hunting, thrusting and ranging. This comes easily to them---by nature---because such characteristics are archetypically masculine. Archetypal femininity in contrast specializes in nurturing, sheltering, nesting, healing. Men tend to measure themselves by how much they accomplish. Women tend to measure themselves by the quality of their relationships.
Our premise is that men come equipped with a dominant set of masculine characteristics and a recessive set of feminine characteristics. A whole man gets in touch with his "other half within himself." A whole man succeeds in integrating these "two halves" of his psycho-sexual inheritance.
A man who is only in touch with his masculinity is likely to be driven, cold, hard-nosed, uncompromising, overly competitive. A woman who knows nothing of her masculine heritage is likely to be a passive wall-flower, helpless, driven by her emotions and often depend on others for almost everything.
Men who "get in touch" with their femininity do not become effeminate. In fact effeminacy in men means a man is especially unaware and usually enslaved by his inner feminine inheritance. Whole men are strong and brave and assertive when the situation demands strength, courage, and self-sacrifice. But he is also tender, meek, humble, able to cry and show compassion and tenderness. From the Bible we immediately recognize that Jesus is the whole man with whom we are to identify.
Women who get in touch with the masculine heritage, which they have received from their fathers as it were, do not become coarse and tough and competitive as if they were as male as any man. Integration of the other half adds poise, self-confidence, and dignity to a woman's life actually enhancing her true femininity and causing men to respect her even more highly and to seek her wisdom and help in making life's decisions.
The human race is fallen, self-centered, corrupted and mortally damaged by the sin of Adam. All aspects of our humanity have been affected. For the sake of discussion one can make a table of what might be considered archetypal aspects of our fallen sexuality. The table below is suggested as a model for discussion purposes and is not a description of specific men or women, obviously!
|NEGATIVE MASCULINITY||NEGATIVE FEMININITY|
The Condition Prevailing in Israel when Chapter 57 was written
The leaders of Israel were responsible for the people’s failure to appreciate the difference between a real relationship with God and membership in the covenant community of Israel. "The critique of leadership offered here is wholly one of character not of policy. The opinion that from the point of view of the public it matters only what the government’s policy is, but the private lives of leaders is their own affair, finds no support. The juxtaposition of Isaiah 56:9-12 with The righteous man perishes, and no man takes it to heart; And devout men are taken away, while no one understands. For the righteous man is taken away from evil, 2 He enters into peace; They rest in their beds, Each one who walked in his upright way. 3 'But come here, you sons of a sorceress, Offspring of an adulterer and a prostitute. 4 'Against whom do you jest? Against whom do you open wide your mouth And stick out your tongue? Are you not children of rebellion, Offspring of deceit, 5 Who inflame yourselves among the oaks, Under every luxuriant tree, Who slaughter the children in the ravines, Under the clefts of the crags? 6 'Among the smooth stones of the ravine Is your portion, they are your lot; Even to them you have poured out a drink offering, You have made a grain offering. Shall I relent concerning these things? …Isaiah 57:1-21 insists that private wrong and public right do not co-exist."
The basis of rejection and cursing 56:9-57:13:Whereas heartfelt love for and trust in the Lord make anyone acceptable to Him, reliance on one’s position or ability for acceptance will not.
1. As the leadership of the nation grew worse, the number of righteous people shrank, without people perceiving what was happening. God allowed this disappearance of the devout to spare them the judgment He would bring on the evil nation and its ungodly rulers. Few people in the nation, however, understood this reason for the depletion of the righteous.
"Such deaths are not understood by the godless, for they do not realize that God in His goodness often takes righteous men to Himself to deliver them from some impending catastrophe."
God will do this when He removes the church from the earth before He brings the Tribulation on it. He did it in the past when he removed Lot before He destroyed Sodom.
2. The righteous person entered a condition of peace by dying and going to his or her eternal reward. The end of the righteous, then, contrasts with that of the wicked leaders (Isaiah 56:9-12).
3. God summoned the idolatrous Israelites, in contrast to the righteous (Isaiah 57:1-2), to come before Him for judgment. Rather than behaving like descendants of Abraham and Sarah (cf. Isaiah 51:2), these wicked Israelites were acting as though their father was an adulterer and their mother a sorceress and a prostitute. That is, they were congenitally selfish, unfaithful to God, and wayward.
"Adultery . . . expresses the principle (unfaithfulness to the covenant); prostitution the practice (devotion to lovers other than the Lord). The adulterer gives his love elsewhere; the prostitute takes other lovers."
Rampant apostasy 57:3-13
3-13. Isaiah identified another mark of Israel, which boasted in its election by God and viewed righteousness in terms of correct worship ritual. This was the widespread departure of the nation from God (apostasy). She had forsaken God and had pursued idols.
4. Evidently the people these wicked Israelites mocked were the righteous minority among them. Like children, they ridiculed the righteous for being different from themselves. They were rebellious and deceitful in their relationship to the Lord.
5. They were rebellious and deceitful in that they practiced fertility worship and child sacrifice. They believed connection with nature, rather than a spiritual relationship with the Creator, would yield fertility. They also believed that sacrificing the next generation would guarantee the preservation of the present generation. Of course, the opposite is true. God’s people burned with lust as they carried out these pagan rites in the places thought to be most conducive to their success. "Oaks" (terebinths, Heb. ’elim) may refer to large trees, not a particular variety of tree. These trees were the places and objects of idol worship. [Note: See The New Bible Dictionary, 1962 ed., s.v. "Trees," by F. N. Hepper.] How different a relationship with Yahweh based on trust would have been.
6. Having chosen to worship in the wadis, the apostate Israelites would have to be content to have the rocks of the wadis as their gods (cf. Romans 1:20-25>). A wadi (Heb. nahal) is a streambed that is dry most of the year but in the rainy season becomes a rushing torrent. As mountaintops became places of worship because they were close to heaven and the gods, so wadis in valleys became places of worship because they were close to Sheol and the dead. The unfaithful in Israel even made drink and grain offerings to these rocks. This was not the kind of behavior that would cause God to change His mind about bringing judgment on His people.
7. The Israelites also worshipped idols on mountains, as the pagans did to get closer to their gods. Such worship constituted infidelity to the Lord and adultery with loved idols. Thus Israel had made her bed and slept with another man when she worshipped as she did. However, Isaiah’s language was more than figurative since worship of these nature deities involved sacred prostitution.
8. The unfaithful Israelites were evidently setting up memorial objects to the idols in their homes as well. The Scripture portions that they were to place on their door frames (Deuteronomy 6:9; >Deuteronomy 11:20) were to remind them of the Lord, but they had installed rival reminders inside their homes. The holder of these Scripture portions is called a mezuzah, and many observant Jews still install them on their door frames, even today. The Lord’s "wife" had turned her back on Him and had gone to bed with other lovers. She had been unfaithful to her covenant with Yahweh and had covenanted to worship idols, since she loved the physical aspects of their worship.
9. Some Israelites had also traveled far from home to worship other gods. This may be a reference to making political alliances with other nations and then worshiping their gods with them (cf. Ezekiel 23). The king in view may be the most prominent foreign ruler at the time Isaiah wrote this prophecy. These political trips involved great distances. The negotiators would take the oils and perfumes used in the worship of foreign gods with them. Over time these instances of idolatry had increased. But instead of going to foreign nations, Isaiah said these envoys were really going to Sheol because God would slay His people for their unfaithfulness to Him.
10. These trips to obtain political security through idolatry wore the envoys out. Rather than ensuring that security did not come in that way, however, they persevered in their wickedness in spite of their weariness.
"As with any addiction, the memory of former gratification drives one on, even when the gratification grows steadily less and less. To admit that the quest is hopeless would be to drive one back into the arms of God, whose invitation to surrender all control and live in trust one has already rejected."
11. Yahweh asked the Israelites a question. Who had terrified them that they betrayed the truth (cf. Proverbs 30:6, their covenant partner, and their concern for Him (cf. Isaiah 57:1)? Obviously it was not a great threat that had made them unfaithful, but neglect of Him. Perhaps if He had been more active in judging their sins they would have remembered Him. But, graciously, He had been silent about their sins, and so they had not paid attention to Him.
"Possibly we have here an example of Isaiah’s preaching during the long dark days of Manasseh."
12. God would bring Israel into judgment and make known her "righteous" deeds (cf. Jesus presented another parable to them, saying, 'The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 But while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went away. 26 But when the wheat sprouted and bore grain, then the tares became evident also. 27 The slaves of the landowner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?' 28 And he said to them, ‘An enemy has done this!' The slaves *said to him, ‘Do you wan\Revelation 20:12 (NAS) 12 And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. (Revelation 20:12). What she considered righteousness, the blending of her elect calling and paganism, was anything but that (cf. Isaiah 56:1). She would come out lacking in that reckoning.
13. In that day of judgment, the idols that the Israelites had trusted in, even in captivity, would be of no help. They would be as useless and lightweight as what the winds blow away. In contrast, those who made Yahweh their refuge from the storms of life would inherit the land and possess the Zion of the future Millennium (cf. Isaiah 11:9; Isaiah 24:23; The Lord of hosts will prepare a lavish banquet for all peoples on this mountain; A banquet of aged wine, choice pieces with marrow, And refined, aged wine. 7 And on this mountain He will swallow up the covering which is over all peoples, Even the veil which is stretched over all nations. 8 He will swallow up death for all time, And the Lord God will wipe tears away from all faces, And He will remove the reproach of His people from all the earth; For the Lord has spoken. Isaiah 25:6-8; Isaiah 65:25; Isaiah 66:20; Matthew 5:5).
"One of the best ways to find out whether we have idols in our lives is to ask ourselves, ’Where do I instinctively turn when I face a decision or need to solve a problem?’ Do we reach for the phone to call a friend? Do we assure ourselves that we can handle the situation ourselves? Or do we turn to God to see[k] His will and receive His help?"
14. In the future, someone would give an order to prepare the way for the Israelites to return to their land and to their God (cf. Isaiah 40:3; Isaiah 62:10). Watts took this as an exhortation to the Jews in Babylonian exile to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the temple. [Note: Watts, Isaiah 34-66, p. 262.] The speaker is probably God, but the speech is more important than the speaker. The figure is of building a roadbed for a highway that would become the route of the Israelites.
14-21. This pericope concludes the section begun at 1 Thus says the Lord, 'Preserve justice and do righteousness, For My salvation is about to come And My righteousness to be revealed. Isaiah 56:1 dealing with the need for humility and holiness in the redeemed people of God. Isaiah explained that the basis of God’s acceptance and blessing of His redeemed people was righteousness (Isaiah 56:1-8). Then he showed that Israel lacked that righteousness (9 All you beasts of the field, All you beasts in the forest, Come to eat. Isaiah 56:9 to Isaiah 57:13 (NAS) 13 'When you cry out, let your collection of idols deliver you. But the wind will carry all of them up, And a breath will take them away. But he who takes refuge in Me will inherit the land And will possess My holy mountain.' Isaiah 57:13). Her leadership was wicked. He enters into peace; They rest in their beds, Each one who walked in his upright way.Isaiah 57:2 and her populace was apostate 3 'But come here, you sons of a sorceress, Offspring of an adulterer and a prostitute. 4 'Against whom do you jest? Against whom do you open wide your mouth And stick out your tongue? Are you not children of rebellion, Offspring of deceit, 5 Who inflame yourselves among the oaks, Under every luxuriant tree, Who slaughter the children in the ravines, Under the clefts of the crags? 6 'Among the smooth stones of the ravine Is your portion, they are your lot; Even to them you have poured out a drink offering, You have made a grain offering. Shall I relent concerning these things? 7 'Upon a high and lofty mountain You have made your bed. You also went up there to offer sacrifice. 8 'Behind the door and the door post You have set up your sign; Indeed, far removed from Me, you have uncovered yourself, And have gone up and made your bed wide. And you have made an agreement for yourself with them, You have loved their bed, You have looked on their manhood. (Isaiah 57:3-13). Now he explained that the solution to Israel’s predicament was Yahweh’s enablement (grace). The only way she could be what she should be was with the Lord’s help. This section explains how the promise that ended Isaiah 57:13 could possibly come to pass.
The structure of this section is the opposite of the former one. There, threatening ended with a brief promise, but here, promise ends with a short threat.
15. The reason for this proclamation is that God is who He is. He is the utterly transcendent God in relation to space (high and lifted up, cf. Isaiah 6:1; Isaiah 52:13), time (lives forever), and character (holy). Yet He is also immanent, dwelling among repentant and humble people. He dwells among them to encourage and enable them. The holy God is with His humble people. One writer called this verse "one of the finest one-sentence summations of biblical theology in the Bible."
"Earthly sovereigns are thought of as dwelling with the exalted and proud ones; the great Sovereign of all dwells with the humble believer."
16. God will not always be angry with sinners; His anger will come to an end because He has made provision for human sin through the Servant. He becomes angry, but He is love (cf. Psalms 30:5). If God remained angry with sin, humanity could not endure His wrath and everyone would perish (cf. Genesis 6:3). Obviously God remains angry with sinners who refuse His grace, but He does not need to remain angry with the humble who accept His provision for their sins.
17. The Lord had been angry with the proud Israelite because of his desire for unjust gain, namely, for more and more for himself. Greed is the essential sin that results in idolatry (cf. Colossians 3:5; 1 Timothy 6:10). God’s anger led Him to discipline the proud Israelites and to become inaccessible to their calls for help. Israel, instead of repenting and returning to the Lord, continued in her sinful ways.
18. In spite of Israel’s response, Yahweh would heal, lead, and strengthen the nation’s inhabitants who mourned over their sinfulness. He would take the initiative by providing the Servant-to strengthen as well as to save (cf. 18 Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. (2 Corinthians 5:18-19). It is not so much grace for redemption that is in view here, as grace to overcome the attraction of sin for people already redeemed.
"The unmerited nature of God’s favor has rarely been expressed more beautifully than in Isaiah 57:18."
19 The result would be that those delivered would praise the Lord. Consequently, there can be peace for the humble because God would heal them, whether they live near in Israel, or far off among the Gentiles (cf. Ephesians 2:17). The duplication of a word like "peace" is a Hebrew idiom for something superlative in kind and total in extent (cf. Isaiah 6:3; Isaiah 21:9; Genesis 14:11; Deuteronomy 16:20; Revelation 14:8; Revelation 18:2). Since shalom was a conventional word of greeting, the speaker may have intended to give the wayward a warm welcome home (cf. 11 These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full. 12 'This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are My friends if you do what I command you. 15 No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you. …(John 15:11-24).
20-21 The wicked contrast with the humble who take advantage of God’s provision of grace. Far from being at peace, their existence is as tumultuous as the tossing sea, which is incapable of being at rest. Their constant agitation creates many other problems, like the raging sea casts up debris and mud. No shalom is the portion of the wicked (cf. Isaiah 48:22).
"Hence if persons have experienced the unmerited grace of God as mediated through the Savior, and then expect to live lives dominated by greed (Isaiah 57:17) and self-will, propitiating God from time to time with religious behavior, they will find not peace, but constant upheaval."
City Living in New Jerusalem
Therefore prepare your minds for action; discipline yourselves;
set all your hope on the grace that Jesus Christ will bring you when he is revealed.
Like obedient children, do not be conformed to the desires that you formerly had in ignorance.
Instead, as he who called you is holy, be holy yourselves in all your conduct;
for it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.’ (1 Peter 1:13-16)
Made in the Image of God
Yin, Yang, the Tao and Wholeness
It Takes Three to Tango
Logos and Sophia
The Holiness Papers
The Royal Road to Wholeness I
The Royal Road to Wholeness II
Glimpses of God
Wholeness Of Person
Stumbling Stones on the Road to Wholeness
Yin, Yang, the Tao and Wholeness
God Is Holy
Isaiah as a Young Man
The Unveiling of the Lord
Revelation from God
Theology of Sanctification
God our Father
Meanwhile, when the crowd gathered in thousands, so that they trampled on one another, he began to speak first to his disciples, ‘Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees, that is, their hypocrisy. 2 Nothing is covered up that will not be uncovered, and nothing secret that will not become known. 3 Therefore whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered behind closed doors will be proclaimed from the housetops.
4 ‘I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that can do nothing more. 5 But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him! 6 Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten in God’s sight. 7 But even the hairs of your head are all counted. Do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows.
8 ‘And I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before others, the Son of Man also will acknowledge before the angels of God; 9but whoever denies me before others will be denied before the angels of God. 10 And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven; but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. 11 When they bring you before the synagogues, the rulers, and the authorities, do not worry about how you are to defend yourselves or what you are to say; 12 for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that very hour what you ought to say.’
13 Someone in the crowd said to him, ‘Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me.’ 14 But he said to him, ‘Friend, who set me to be a judge or arbitrator over you?’ 15 And he said to them, ‘Take care! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions.’ 16 Then he told them a parable: ‘The land of a rich man produced abundantly. 17 And he thought to himself, “What should I do, for I have no place to store my crops?” 18 Then he said, “I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.” 20 But God said to him, “You fool! This very night your life is being demanded of you. And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?” 21 So it is with those who store up treasures for themselves but are not rich towards God.’
22 He said to his disciples, ‘Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear. 23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. 24 Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! 25 And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? 26 If then you are not able to do so small a thing as that, why do you worry about the rest? 27 Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. 28 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! 29 And do not keep striving for what you are to eat and what you are to drink, and do not keep worrying. 30 For it is the nations of the world that strive after all these things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31 Instead, strive for his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.
32 ‘Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell your possessions, and give alms. Make purses for yourselves that do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
35 ‘Be dressed for action and have your lamps lit; be like those who are waiting for their master to return from the wedding banquet, so that they may open the door for him as soon as he comes and knocks. 37Blessed are those slaves whom the master finds alert when he comes; truly I tell you, he will fasten his belt and have them sit down to eat, and he will come and serve them. If he comes during the middle of the night, or near dawn, and finds them so, blessed are those slaves.
39 ‘But know this: if the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. 40 You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.’
41 Peter said, ‘Lord, are you telling this parable for us or for everyone?’42 And the Lord said, ‘Who then is the faithful and prudent manager whom his master will put in charge of his slaves, to give them their allowance of food at the proper time? 43 Blessed is that slave whom his master will find at work when he arrives. 44 Truly I tell you, he will put that one in charge of all his possessions. 45But if that slave says to himself, “My master is delayed in coming”, and if he begins to beat the other slaves, men and women, and to eat and drink and get drunk, 46 the master of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour that he does not know, and will cut him in pieces, and put him with the unfaithful. 47 That slave who knew what his master wanted, but did not prepare himself or do what was wanted, will receive a severe beating. 48But one who did not know and did what deserved a beating will receive a light beating. From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required; and from one to whom much has been entrusted, even more will be demanded.
49 ‘I came to bring fire to the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! 50I have a baptism with which to be baptized, and what stress I am under until it is completed! 51 Do you think that I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division! 52 From now on, five in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three; 53 they will be divided:
54 He also said to the crowds, ‘When you see a cloud rising in the west, you immediately say, “It is going to rain”; and so it happens. 55 And when you see the south wind blowing, you say, “There will be scorching heat”; and it happens. 56 You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky, but why do you not know how to interpret the present time?
57 ‘And why do you not judge for yourselves what is right? 58Thus, when you go with your accuser before a magistrate, on the way make an effort to settle the case, or you may be dragged before the judge, and the judge hand you over to the officer, and the officer throw you in prison. 59 I tell you, you will never get out until you have paid the very last penny.’
You've Been a Friend | Take your Shoes off Moses | El Shaddai | Thy Word s a Lamp Unto my Feet... | Marching to Zion
On Jordan's Stormy Banks | There is Power in the Blood| | Diamonds is the Rough | Short Life of Trouble | Canaan's Land
All the Good Times are Over |m All the Good Times are Lost and Gone | Heavenly Sunshine
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June 30, 2022.