Isaiah predicts destruction of many cities. Isaiah foretells destruction of many cities.

Day 181 (June 30): Isaiah predicts destruction of many cities: Babylon, Assyria, Philistine, Moab, Ahaz dies, Israel raiders to be servants

Sweet Publishing / FreeBibleimages.org

Welcome to Livin’ Light’s Bible-In-A-Year challenge of discovering God’s love for us and His purpose for our lives. Here is the format for this great adventure: The daily reading assignment is posted at 5 a.m. After each day’s reading, Leigh An Coplin, the blog host, shares observations and poses questions about difficult passages to Rob Fields, who studied Christian Education at Asbury Seminary and currently teaches Biology in the Orlando area. To start from the beginning, click on 365 Bible Readings and scroll down to Day 1. The reading schedule is taken from The One Year Chronological Bible NLT. 

Today’s Reading
2 Kings 16:19-20
2 Chronicles 28:26-27
Isaiah 13-16
(725 BC) Click here for a timeline of the entire Bible.

Questions & Observations

Q. (Isaiah 13:4): Who are these armies?  Those who still believe in God?

A. Though the title of the section refers to the Babylonian army, it is actually referring to what we have been calling the Assyrians.  Babylon was their most important city, and so this section (13:1-14:27) all pertains to the Assyrian people, army, and king.  But there will be another Babylon that will come onto the scene and be a very important player in future events for Judah.

Q. (13:16,18): OK, it doesn’t look like these people are followers of God if they are raping women and killing children.  I guess God just mobilized these wicked soldiers so Babylon could look evil in the eye?

A. Isaiah is talking about the same armies we have already been seeing in the story.  The Assyrian army routed the nation of Israel and pretty much everything in their path, and did so with bloodthirsty gusto.

Q. (14:1-23): We haven’t heard much about Babylon, right?  We have mostly heard of Samaria and Jerusalem.  Why Babylon now?  What was the city known for … not counting the evil?

A. For the moment, it is known for being the capital of Assyria.  Hold onto this question, and let’s revisit it later.

Q. (15:1-16:14): And why is destroying Moab important?  What is its relationship to Israel?  It seems like I remember battles between the two ever since the Israelites arrived in Canaan.

A. This section of Isaiah contains prophecy against many other nations — i.e., he’s going to talk about Damascus and Egypt next, for example.  So in that sense, there’s nothing special about Moab, other than it was a nation that God told Isaiah to prophesy to.  This section of Isaiah is all about God calling the nations in this part of the world to account for their sins — like Jonah was called to — while keeping the long-term focus unto the people of God.

For further study
— All about Isaiah? https://lifehopeandtruth.com/prophecy/prophets/prophets-of-the-bible/isaiah-the-prophet/
— Have Bible prophecies been realized? https://www.kcmifm.com/blog/2019/10/14/does-the-bible-have-prophecies-which-have-actually-come-true

Spread the Word! Christian shirts get noticed.  Check out these conversation starters: https://livinlight.org/shop/

Tomorrow’s reading: 2 Chronicles 29:3-31:21

Hope for Jerusalem ruins

Day 180 (June 29): Jerusalem will return, God will reign, Israel will be humbled, Jerusalem will fall, Jerusalem’s warning, Judah’s judgment

Welcome to Livin’ Light’s Bible-In-A-Year challenge of discovering God’s love for us and His purpose for our lives. Here is the format for this great adventure: The daily reading assignment is posted at 5 a.m. After each day’s reading, Leigh An Coplin, the blog host, shares observations and poses questions about difficult passages to Rob Fields, who studied Christian Education at Asbury Seminary and currently teaches Biology in the Orlando area. To start from the beginning, click on 365 Bible Readings and scroll down to Day 1. The reading schedule is taken from The One Year Chronological Bible NLT. 

Today’s Reading
Isaiah 1:21-5:30
(739 BC) Click here for a timeline of the entire Bible.

Questions & Observations

Q. (Isaiah 1:23): Dare I say that this sounds like our country.  I can’t stand seeing so much government waste, so much corruption and our tax money being tangled up and not going to the places that truly need help.  Is this a fair comparison to back in the OT?

A. What caught my eye was the portion that talked about not seeking justice for the poor and widowers.  I think there are certain comparisons, but don’t forget we live in a very different world than they did, and not everyone in our society can be expected to be held to Judeo-Christian values.  Part of the reason the light of the gospel is so important to share is that until people see this light, they are often unaware of how dark their world really is.

Q. (1:27): What does Zion mean?  We’ll see more of it?

A. Zion is a term that God and others use to describe Jerusalem, and also the hill/mountain within the city itself, which in turn came to be seen as the Mountain of God — or one of them, along with Sinai/Horeb.  It is a shorthand way to refer to both the city and the Kingdom of God.  And yes, it will be seen over and over again.

Q. (2:1-5): God foretells stories, whether it’s destruction or rebuilding.  And the way He talks is that the next phase, whether good or bad, will be the last and final.  He talks of how the people will act here, how they will worship.  But, He can’t force them too, right?  He’s just giving them a picture of what their lives could be if they followed Him?

A. I think that’s correct.  I do not believe that God overrides human will, so if we chose not to follow Him and go our own way, we reap the consequences.

Q. (3:1-1-5): God is making a situation where the leadership is already wicked to one that would be pure chaos.  How does this help them to get better?  Or, is it just punishment?

A. He’s warning them right now to stop it and repent.  If they don’t repent, then it becomes a just punishment.  But as we have seen — and these verses talk about — even the punishment serves His purposes: it forces the people to see the error of their ways that they saw no other way.  When the people are ready to repent, God will restore them.

O. (3:16-4:1): I must say that Isaiah is a very good writer!  What pictures he paints with God’s words.  I guess we could say that it was God who is the great writer.  I was looking at our landscape today in Florida, admiring the trees and the blue skies.  But, it was marred with utility lines.  I’m not saying we should do without them, just that humans do a good job of messing up God’s artistry.  But, here, Isaiah did Him justice!

Q. (4:5): With the cloud and smoke covering, we see a reminder of God guiding the Israelites in the desert for 40 years.

A. It is certainly shades of the Exodus, but the point of this verse is the shelter that God provides His children.  It’s a cool image to me.

Song: Cory Asbury’s song praises God for His Reckless Love! https://www.google.com/search?q=wreckless+love+song&oq=wreckless+love+song&gs_lcrp=EgZjaHJvbWUyBggAEEUYOTIJCAEQLhgKGIAEMgkIAhAAGAoYgAQyCQgDEAAYChiABDIJCAQQABgKGIAEMgkIBRAAGAoYgAQyCQgGEAAYChiABDIJCAcQABgKGIAEMgkICBAAGAoYgATSAQgzNTAzajBqNKgCALACAA&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8#fpstate=ive&vld=cid:df3752e3,vid:6xx0d3R2LoU,st:0

For further study: What does it mean that God’s love never fails?  https://bloggersforthekingdom.com/bible-verses-about-gods-love-never-fails/

Spread the Word! Christian shirts get noticed.  Check out these conversation starters: https://livinlight.org/shop/

Tomorrow’s reading
— 2 Kings 16:19-20
— 2 Chronicles 28:26-27
— Isaiah 13-16

Hosea warns against idols.

Day 179 (June 28): Samaria’s forecast of doom, Samaria falls to Assyria, Israel has foreign settlers, God forewarns Judah

Arabs for Christ / FreeBibleimages.org

Welcome to Livin’ Light’s Bible-In-A-Year challenge of discovering God’s love for us and His purpose for our lives. Here is the format for this great adventure: The daily reading assignment is posted at 5 a.m. After each day’s reading, Leigh An Coplin, the blog host, shares observations and poses questions about difficult passages to Rob Fields, who studied Christian Education at Asbury Seminary and currently teaches Biology in the Orlando area. To start from the beginning, click on 365 Bible Readings and scroll down to Day 1. The reading schedule is taken from The One Year Chronological Bible NLT. 

Today’s Reading
Isaiah 28
2 Kings 17:5
2 Kings 18:9-12
2 Kings 17:6-41
Isaiah 1:1-20
(739-725 BC) Click here for a timeline of the entire Bible.

Questions & Observations

Q. (Isaiah 28:16): What foundation stone is Isaiah talking about?

A. Isaiah is referring to Himself here.  He uses the same reference in Isaiah 8, noting that He is either the Cornerstone of our lives, or the Rock over which we fall.  I suspect what he is talking about is the contrasting vision of the Temple of the true God — and built of stone — with the false gods that the people had been worshipping in Samaria.  Against this standard or plumb line (v. 17), the Israelites do not measure up to God’s standard of justice.

Q. (Isaiah 28:22): This speech makes me think of what I would call a crazy person on a street corner.  Any idea if prophets were thought of as crazy or did everyone know they were holy?

A. Oh I am sure people thought they were crazy, especially when they spoke truth to power as we say.  But they were called to declare God’s word to an unfaithful people — and they did so — even in ways that sound crazy to us.  Some are even more out there than Isaiah.  Wait until you meet Ezekiel!

Q. (2 Kings 18:10-12): Is this God’s prophecy of the fall of Israel?

A. No, it is a summary of what happened.  The deed is done, and in our reckoning, Israel has been destroyed.

Q. (2 Kings 17:17): I caution asking this, but … God sacrificed His son so how is this different?

A. I see no harm in the question, but there were very different things at work.  The people, including some of the kings, who sacrificed children to Molech, who “required” a live offering, the child, to be fully consumed by fire, were doing so for the express purpose of manipulating this god to favor their cause.  It’s the same thing we saw in 2 Kings 3:27, when the king of Moab sacrificed his son in order to stop Israel’s troops from conquering him.  Children, as we have seen and discussed, are a blessing of God, and therefore are not to be sacrificed in order for personal gain.  We are disgusted by such a practice today, but in this era children were generally seen as having no value at all, so sacrificing them made them “useful” to the parent, in a way that was surely revolting to God.

But what God did in the sacrifice of Christ was something very different.  God did not offer up Christ for the purpose of personal gain — God needs nothing — but rather so that salvation might be opened up to the entire world.  The sacrifices made to Molech were ultimately selfish and about power and control via manipulation.  The sacrifice of God’s son was the ultimate reversal of this exploitation: in this moment of sacrifice  —and don’t forget, Jesus went willingly to His death — Jesus made it possible for all of us to be children of God.  So in my mind, these two examples of child sacrifice couldn’t be more different!

For further study
— Why was Baal and Asherah so hard for God’s people to resist? https://www.compellingtruth.org/baal-and-asherah.html
— Idol worship takes on a different — yet similar form — today than in the Old Testament, https://churchandfamilylife.com/resources/60ca74f123fa965169a3c944

Spread the Word! Christian shirts get noticed.  Check out these conversation starters: https://livinlight.org/shop/

Tomorrow’s reading: Isaiah 1:21-5:30

Hosea warned against idols people to stop being unfaithful to God by worshipping false gods. He knew that God would need to punish them but there was hope. Israel would one day turn back to the God who loved her. Instead of ‘Not pitied,’ she would be called ‘Pitied’ and instead of ‘Not my people,’ she would be named ‘My people’ again.

Day 178 (June 27): Hosea warns of idols, Israel’s sins, punishment, broken covenant, consequences, God’s wrath, healing for repentant

Arabs for Christ / FreeBibleimages.org

Welcome to Livin’ Light’s Bible-In-A-Year challenge of discovering God’s love for us and His purpose for our lives. Here is the format for this great adventure: The daily reading assignment is posted at 5 a.m. After each day’s reading, Leigh An Coplin, the blog host, shares observations and poses questions about difficult passages to Rob Fields, who studied Christian Education at Asbury Seminary and currently teaches Biology in the Orlando area. To start from the beginning, click on 365 Bible Readings and scroll down to Day 1. The reading schedule is taken from The One Year Chronological Bible NLT. 

Today’s Reading
Hosea 9-14
(753 BC) Click here for a timeline of the entire Bible.

Questions & Observations

Q. (Hosea 9:10): When God first named Israel His people, they were few.  It seems that as they grew in number, like God promised the ancestors, that they fell to evil.  With greater numbers comes a greater chance for evil.  And, as we saw with Adam and Eve who were by themselves, that it doesn’t take much to tempt someone.  With more people, the evil just multiplies.

A. That is certainly true.  But Israel in particular has compounded the problem by putting corrupt and evil men on the throne — like Ahab and Jezebel — and continuously worshipping of other Canaanite gods.  They have abandoned God, just as Moses foresaw and warned the people against way back in Deuteronomy.  He warned them that choosing the path without God had only one end: death.  So Israel has reaped what it has sowed.

Q. (9:15, 10:8, 10:9): The Lord mentions three places where evil started.  Can you refresh our memory of the sins of Gilgal, Aven (Beth-aven) and Gibeah?

A. Gilgal was the place where Israel camped after crossing the Jordan back in Joshua 4 and 5.  It was the place of ceremony where Joshua and the people re-established the covenant with God and remembered His faithfulness.  Apparently this was a place of pagan worship of some sort, but we are not given the details.  Surely it was a great insult to God that a place that had been so significant between God and Israel be used for the spiritual “prostitution” as Hosea has put it.

Beth-Aven is actually making a mockery of the name Bethel.  It is the place where Jacob wrestled with God way back in Genesis 32.  Bethel means “house of God,” Beth Aven means “house of idols” or perhaps “house of nothing,” so you see the mockery of Hosea here.  Beth-Aven is the location of one of the golden calves that Jeroboam established to keep people from returning to Judah back in 1 Kings 12 — it’s the thing that God keeps on referring to as the “original sin” of Israel.  All the problems Israel has come back to that moment.

Lastly, Gibeah, one of your favorite stories as I recall (note: Rob is being sarcastic!), was the place back in Judges 19-21 where the tribe of Benjamin went to war with the rest of the tribes over the killing of a concubine by the priest.  The tribe was nearly wiped out, and the other tribes had to resort to basically letting them kidnap virgin women in order to survive.  It was one of the most corrupt moments in Israel’s history, and one that God is recalling now to basically say that nothing has changed.

Q. (10:1): I think this is true today.  The richer we get, the more arrogant we get and think we are self-sufficient, self-motivated and successful.  We worship things like work, TV, luxury, status, etc.  But, why would the Israelites turn to other gods?  Oh, right, because you said when creating a god, you can try to control it.  Whereas with God, He is in control: We lean on him for solely for guidance through the Holy Spirit and His Word.

A. I think you’ve got your answer.  Don’t forget also, that Israel’s problem started with the king trying to control the people — don’t miss the irony of that statement as it relates to God — via idols.  Jeroboam wanted the people to worship gods he could control, not the true God that he couldn’t.

Q. (11:8): I think we have found an answer here to the question of “Why did God not give up on the Israelites?”  He has given them so many chances because He remembers the companionship and trust that He had from Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and David.  Maybe He longs for that hoping Israel will turn around.  And, I’m sure that He wants to share His kingdom with them.

A. One of the central concepts of covenant is the idea that if one side of the parties involved does not keep its end of the bargain, the other party does not walk away.  God is demonstrating His faithfulness to His people, by giving them every chance to repent of their sin and return to Him.  But since they will not, they have repentance forced upon them, as we will see.

Q. (14:4): Why is God no longer angry?

A. Once the people have paid their penalty — and they will — then God’s wrath is complete. He can restore them to a right relationship with Him.  When there is right relationship between God and man — as Jesus will establish for each of us — there is no need for God to be wrathful.

Videos: The Bible Project does a great job of explaining the covenants God made with humans throughout the Bible, https://bibleproject.com/articles/covenants-the-backbone-bible/

Spread the Word! Christian shirts get noticed.  Check out these conversation starters: https://livinlight.org/shop/

Tomorrow’s reading:
— Isaiah 28
— 2 Kings 17:5
— 2 Kings 18:9-12
— 2 Kings 17:6-41
— Isaiah 1:1-20

 

Gomer redeemed. God told Hosea to get Gomer back.

Day 177 (June 26): God’s mercy for Israel, Hosea’s wife redeemed, wicked Israel, leaders judged, call to repentance, impending doom

Arabs for Christ / FreeBibleimages.org

Welcome to Livin’ Light’s Bible-In-A-Year challenge of discovering God’s love for us and His purpose for our lives. Here is the format for this great adventure: The daily reading assignment is posted at 5 a.m. After each day’s reading, Leigh An Coplin, the blog host, shares observations and poses questions about difficult passages to Rob Fields, who studied Christian Education at Asbury Seminary and currently teaches Biology in the Orlando area. To start from the beginning, click on 365 Bible Readings and scroll down to Day 1. The reading schedule is taken from The One Year Chronological Bible NLT. 

Today’s Reading
Hosea 2:14-8:14
(753 BC) Click here for a timeline of the entire Bible.

Questions & Observations

Q. (Hosea 2:14-23, Hosea 3:5): I can guess that this is a metaphorical story for Christ coming?

A. You could make that argument, but I think that it most likely is about the restored nation of Israel that will be established after the captivity.

O. (4:12): I see humor in this that God is accusing them of making an idol out of wood and thinking it can help them.

O. (5:15): God points out how Israel and Judah are predictable in their pattern of sin and punishment, followed by crying to God to bring them out of their despair.

Q. (6:10): God calls Israelites “prostitutes,” referring to their attitude toward Him.  They should be like a bride and groom with God.  It’s a sacred relationship and when the Israelites seek another God, it’s like cheating on a spouse — God being the offended spouse — prostituting themselves out to a false god — a prostitute is a false substitute for genuine love).  I see more relationship comparisons.  In a marriage, the relationship may not always provide everything we want.  There are times that the romance is gone, sometimes for a reason, but we have to stick with it and wait for it to come back around.  If we can’t wait and seek something else to fill that void, then the marriage will be ruined.  Same with God.  If we do not abide by his rules, then our life goes down the wrong path because we are not including Him in the relationship.  We may seek other things, work, alcohol, possessions, luxury that get in the way.  Then when we realize that the void cannot be filled with other things and return to God, He may wait for us to show repentance before He returns to our life.

A. The idea of Israel and Judah being required to “earn” its way back to a proper relationship with her Husband is a good one for what is going to happen.

Q. (8:4): I wondered if this was a problem.  Because, starting with Saul, God told whom He wanted to be king.  Then, after Solomon, we seldom heard God telling whom He wanted to be king.  And, He led very few of the revolts to dethrone a king.  The leaders were acting out their own desires.  I doubted that all of the kings were David’s descendants.  Were Judah’s kings all from David’s line?

A. Yes, as best I can tell.  When God spoke of Himself being faithful to David’s line — via Solomon and Rehoboam — He really meant it.

Q. (8:13b): Is returning to Egypt a metaphor, like they will be in the same despair as they were in Egypt?

A. The only part that is a metaphor is the location.  The people will once again be slaves to another nation (not Assyria), and will have to begin all over again with God.  But God knows what He is doing here, and the results will be interesting to say that least.

Video: Check out the Bible Project’s summary of Hosea, https://bibleproject.com/guides/book-of-hosea/#:~:text=It%20reveals%20deep%20truths%20about,message%20to%20all%20future%20generations.

Spread the Word! Christian shirts get noticed.  Check out these conversation starters: https://livinlight.org/shop/

Tomorrow’s reading: Hosea 9-14

Hosea was a young prophet that God used to give warnings to His people.

Day 176 (June 25): Songs for salvation, warnings, Ahaz closes temple, rejects God, Hezekiah, Hoshea, Hosea’s kids’ names

Arabs for Christ / FreeBibleimages.org

Welcome to Livin’ Light’s Bible-In-A-Year challenge of discovering God’s love for us and His purpose for our lives. Here is the format for this great adventure: The daily reading assignment is posted at 5 a.m. After each day’s reading, Leigh An Coplin, the blog host, shares observations and poses questions about difficult passages to Rob Fields, who studied Christian Education at Asbury Seminary and currently teaches Biology in the Orlando area. To start from the beginning, click on 365 Bible Readings and scroll down to Day 1. The reading schedule is taken from The One Year Chronological Bible NLT. 

Today’s Reading
Isaiah 12:1-6
Isaiah 17
2 Chronicles 28:16-21
2 Kings 16:10-18
2 Chronicles 28:22-25
2 Kings 18:1-8
2 Chronicles 29:1-2
2 Kings 15:30-31
2 Kings 17:1-4
Hosea 1-2:13
(753-725 BC) Click here for a timeline of the entire Bible.

Questions & Observations

O. (Isaiah 12:2): With Jesus’s death, we have victory.  God has won the battle.  That’s why people proclaim “Jesus has risen” on Easter.  Through His resurrection, He proved that He was the Messiah.  Heaven is won for us. We just have to proclaim it to enter.

O. (12:4): Thank you God and Jesus for the sacrifice and giving me a ticket to heaven.  Just thinking that it had to come to Jesus dying on the cross makes me feel unworthy and sad that we forced His death.  Our sins are so bad that Jesus, sinless, had to take our punishment for our redemption.  It was God’s only option for getting His children to heaven.  That’s how much God and Jesus love us!

Q. (12:6): Would the people whom Isaiah is speaking to have any idea what Isaiah is talking about?

A. I would think so.  Isaiah is reminding the people that they should be depending upon God, and that He is the faithful one they have too quickly forgotten.

Q. (17:4-6): I am getting tired of this repetitive gloom.  But, God often calls on our patience (he has been patient with us … and Israel).  And, if you take the time to read it, God paints a specific picture of what it will look like after the invasion, pointing out things that are important like a few olives left on a tree, which is vital when food is scarce.

A. If you’re tired of the gloom, you’re not going to like the next part of the story.  It’s going to be gloomy for a while.

O. I am surprised that Hezekiah followed God after ruling alongside his father, Ahaz, who built altars to worship false gods.  Of course, it can be just part of the plan.

Q. (Hosea 1:1): In 2 Kings 17:4, the Bible says that Hoshea was imprisoned by the king of Assyria.  Are Hoshea and Hosea not the same person?

A. Hoshea and Hosea are different people.  Hoshea is the last king of Israel before it is destroyed and resettled, and Hosea is a prophet in Israel during its final days.

Q. Can you explain Hosea 1:10-2:1?

A. God is talking about the renewal of His people after their various periods in exile.  Under the leadership of men like Ezra and Nehemiah, among others, God will restore Israel/Judah, but not for a while.  There’s a long way to go before that!

For further study: Why did God tell Hosea to marry Gomer, a prostitute? https://www.gotquestions.org/Hosea-marry-prostitute.html

Spread the Word! Christian shirts get noticed.  Check out these conversation starters: https://livinlight.org/shop/

Tomorrow’s reading: Hosea 2:14-8:14

Prophet Isaiah

Day 175 (June 24): Call to trust God, Foretell invasion, Messiah message, Assyria, Renewal from David’s line, Judah, Israel to reunite

Glory Story / FreeBibleimages.org

Welcome to Livin’ Light’s Bible-In-A-Year challenge of discovering God’s love for us and His purpose for our lives. Here is the format for this great adventure: The daily reading assignment is posted at 5 a.m. After each day’s reading, Leigh An Coplin, the blog host, shares observations and poses questions about difficult passages to Rob Fields, who studied Christian Education at Asbury Seminary and currently teaches Biology in the Orlando area. To start from the beginning, click on 365 Bible Readings and scroll down to Day 1. The reading schedule is taken from The One Year Chronological Bible NLT. 

Today’s Reading
Isaiah 8-11
(734-730 BC) Click here for a timeline of the entire Bible.

Questions & Observations

Q. (Isaiah 8:6-7): I notice God is using water images to describe his care — gently flowing waters of Shiloah— and his anger — a mighty flood from the Euphrates River. God is not talking about a real flood right, just that it will feel like one when the king of Assyria sweeps through. What is the significance of using water?

A. In a primarily agrarian society, it would have been imagery they would have been very familiar with.  Also, in Israel, there are many water courses called wadis — we would call them creek beds in the US — that would have been prone to flooding, so floods are familiar to these people as well.

Q. (8:8): Immanuel is the Lord, right?

A. Yes.  Isaiah is saying that God will remain faithful to His people, or perhaps he is calling out for the God who is with them to have mercy.

O. (8:13-14): Love these verses!

Q. (8:16-17): I don’t understand how these verses fit in with the threats of the previous verses.  If this prophecy is imminent, why follow it with these instructions?

A. It appears that these verses are meant to be instruction for Judah, which will be able to see that Isaiah’s words will come true, just as God told him: and therefore, they will hopefully, turn back to God.

Q. (8:19): This really says point blank how ridiculous it is to call on the dead for guidance.  Why should you consult someone who isn’t there?  Consult God who is sovereign.

A. Manipulating the dead for personal gain was common practice in that day, and Israel had been taken in by all kinds of pagan practices in this era.  But yes, talking to God would be the wise move.

Q. (9:1-7): This passage jumps from the 700s BC to when Jesus comes to eternity.  That’s pretty cool.  This sound like a marvelous time.  Is this the same glory described in Amos 9:11-15?  I don’t know if this is Jesus being born that is being described or the second coming of Christ.

A. It is casting a vision for the Kingdom of God, which is associated with the Jewish Day of Resurrection (much of which Isaiah and the other prophets help shape, so keep your eyes peeled for other visions), and what Christians call the Second Coming.  Both of these concepts center around the end of life as we know it and the establishment of the Messiah as the true Godly ruler.  That’s the point of deviance between Jews and Christians: who this Messiah/Christ is.  Jews believe that the Messiah has not yet come, while Christians believe that He has in the person of Jesus.

Q. (9:6b): I have heard this verse before, but I don’t know what “the government will rest on his shoulders” means.

A. He will be the foundation of the government.  It will “rest” upon Him.

Q. (9:8-10:4): “His fist is still poised to strike” is said 4 times here.  God is really ticked?  Rightly so!!!  Does God’s anger go away in the NT after Jesus’s death on the cross?  I just imagine that with this ultimate sacrifice — ultimate pain suffered by God and Jesus — that maybe nothing else could hurt his feelings.  He is given all he can give, so with Jesus’ death, he lays our salvation in our laps.  If we can’t accept what He did for us, then we don’t deserve heaven.

A. Our world today is no less sinful than the world these words were written in.  I would say it God’s anger — or wrath — does not “go away” in our present world, but I think it’s fair to say that the sacrifice of Jesus altered the way God deals with sin.

Q. (9:18-21): Is this judgment day being described here?

A. It’s a description of the demise of Israel.

Q. (10:1): God speaks frequently about unjust judges and unfair scales.  I guess those who are in positions of ruling may be punished more severely for their sins?

A. In Luke 12:48, Jesus reminds us that to whom much is given, much is expected. And, James 3:1 warns that people in positions of authority — he’s talking about teachers, but the point is extensive — will be held to a higher standard.  I think it is very fair to say that this is a Biblical standard.

O. (10:15): I like Isaiah’s metaphors for God’s power: Nothing has (good) power without the will of God.

Q. (10:20): Isaiah is speaking of Assyria here when he says, “allies who seek to destroy them?”

A. Not specifically.  He’s saying that Israel will no longer have to make “deals with the devil”: They will be free from having to make deals with other nations who may not have their best interest at heart.

Q. (11:15-16): Is the Euphrates like this today, split into seven streams?  Is “seven” significant here?  Also, is there some re-enacting of Exodus going on here?

A. No, the Euphrates is a huge river even today.  These verses are talking about defeating the enemies of Israel.  The Assyrians would have come from Iraq, where the Euphrates runs through.  Isaiah is basically saying that God will defeat two of Israel’s enemies — at least — by destroying their water supply.  He is also using Exodus imagery, but only to show that God has already “defeated” the Red Sea when the people crossed over.

Video: Summary of Isaiah by the Bible Project, https://bibleproject.com/explore/video/isaiah-1-39/

Spread the Word! Christian shirts get noticed.  Check out these conversation starters: https://livinlight.org/shop/

Tomorrow’s reading
— Isaiah 12:1-6
— Isaiah 17
— 2 Chronicles 28:16-21
— 2 Kings 16:10-18
— 2 Chronicles 28:22-25
— 2 Kings 18:1-8
— 2 Chronicles 29:1-2
— 2 Kings 15:30-31
— 2 Kings 17:1-4
— Hosea 1-2:13

Prophets warn Israelites and Judeans would not listen to God's warnings through the prophets.

Day 174 (June 23): Jotham rules Judah, sorrow in Samaria, Jerusalem, Ahaz rules Judah, Isaiah’s message to Ahaz, virgin birth sign

Sweet Publishing / FreeBibleimages.org

Welcome to Livin’ Light’s Bible-In-A-Year challenge of discovering God’s love for us and His purpose for our lives. Here is the format for this great adventure: The daily reading assignment is posted at 5 a.m. After each day’s reading, Leigh An Coplin, the blog host, shares observations and poses questions about difficult passages to Rob Fields, who studied Christian Education at Asbury Seminary and currently teaches Biology in the Orlando area. To start from the beginning, click on 365 Bible Readings and scroll down to Day 1. The reading schedule is taken from The One Year Chronological Bible NLT. 

Today’s Reading
2 Kings 15:32-38
2 Chronicles 27:1-9
Micah 1
2 Kings 16:1-9
Isaiah 7
(790-735 BC) Click here for a timeline of the entire Bible.

Questions & Observations

Q. (2 Chronicles 27): Did the Amonites get anything back from paying this tribute?

A. Technically, as a “vassal” state, the Amonites got the protection of Judah’s troops, if needed.  Other than that, tribute is a one way street: the mightier one gets the gold.

Q. (Micah 1:1): Do we know anything about Micah?  Just another prophet?

A. We do not know much outside of what he tells us within the text.  And there is a reference to him in Jeremiah 26:18.  He was most likely from the tribe of Judah, and lived in the Southern part of the kingdom.  He was a contemporary of both Isaiah and Hosea, which I presume we will continue reading in parallel.

Q. (1:5): But Jotham was following God, so I would assume that the people of Judah were too.  Or, do we not know if Jotham was ruling when Micah wrote this?

A. We don’t exactly know, but the story tells us our answer anyway.  The problem was not whether the king was following God (even if he represented the people), but that the people were still worshipping idols, in both capitals, Jerusalem and Samaria.  None of the kings mentioned in Micah did enough to combat this heresy.

Q. (1:6-7): We keep hearing of this looming destruction.  Is this a ploy to warn the nation of Judah and hopefully they will turn toward God to avoid the destruction?  Just a small side question: Do we call the Israelites in Judah “Judeans?”

A. Yes, Judeans is correct.  It’s not a ploy, and Isaiah in will reach a point, after Israel is destroyed, of basically telling Judah, “be careful, or you’re next!”

O. (2 Chronicles 28:12): I like seeing Israel react to this warning.  This means they acknowledge His power.

Q. (Isaiah 7:13-16): Isaiah is speaking of Jesus here, right?  What is the purpose of Isaiah revealing the virgin birth to King Ahaz?  The two kingdoms that v. 16 is talking about is Aram and Israel?

A. The verses here establish a “type” or format for this prophecy.  In the contemporary sense of these words, Isaiah is telling the king that God is faithful and will be “with them.”  So in that sense, it does refer to Jesus, but not exclusively.  The NT writers understood that Jesus was “God with us” in the fullest sense, not just as an ally or close at hand, but God made flesh, so they connect this prophecy from Ancient Times to our understanding of the way that God chose to go about being “with us” in multiple senses of the word.

Q. (Isaiah 7:17-20): So, in 2 Kings 16:5, Ahaz calls on Assyria to fight Aram and Israel, but here Assyria is wiping out Jerusalem?

A. Assyria will not destroy Jerusalem, for reasons that will be explained later, but yes, the king of Judah is encouraging Assyria to conquer Israel.

For further study: Do prophets still exist today? https://www.crosswalk.com/church/pastors-or-leadership/do-prophets-still-exist-today-11577805.html

Spread the Word! Christian shirts get noticed.  Check out these conversation starters: https://livinlight.org/shop/

Tomorrow’s reading: Isaiah 8-11

Amos and Isaiah visions Kings of Judah were ruthless and did nothing to direct the people out of their disobedience

Day 173 (June 22): Amos and Isaiah visions: destructiion, redemption, future; Israel’s repair, Jeroboam II, short-reign kings, Uziah dies

Sweet Publishing / FreeBibleimages.org

Welcome to Livin’ Light’s Bible-In-A-Year challenge of discovering God’s love for us and His purpose for our lives. Here is the format for this great adventure: The daily reading assignment is posted at 5 a.m. After each day’s reading, Leigh An Coplin, the blog host, shares observations and poses questions about difficult passages to Rob Fields, who studied Christian Education at Asbury Seminary and currently teaches Biology in the Orlando area. To start from the beginning, click on 365 Bible Readings and scroll down to Day 1. The reading schedule is taken from The One Year Chronological Bible NLT. 

Today’s Reading
Amos 7-9
2 Kings 14:28-29
2 Kings 15:8-29
2 Kings 15:6-7
2 Chronicles 26:22-23
Isaiah 6:1-13
(790-739 BC) Click here for a timeline of the entire Bible.

Questions & Observations

O. (Amos 7:1-3): Just a dream, but we do see God rewarding Israel since Amos was calling out to Him to spare the nation from locusts.

Q. (Amos 7:10): We are talking about Jeroboam II here, right?  If it’s the first Jeroboam, then we are not in chronological order.

A. Yes.

Q. (Amos 7:17): Is Amos speaking of this judgment day again for Israel?

A. All of the prophets from this section of Israel’s history will be talking about this upcoming day of judgment for Israel.

Q. (8:10): Amos is still speaking to Jeroboam II?

A. He is speaking to the nation of Israel, though the king is usually thought of as the nation’s representative.

Q. (9:1): He is speaking here of the Temple of the Lord?  He must see it as a place of blasphemy since it is supposed to be used as a place where the Israelites praise their sovereign Lord.  It has been plundered for other gods.  What a slap in the face to God.

A. If we examine the record of what God has done for these people, it does indeed appear that way.  Wait until we get to Hosea.  He has some very colorful language for this insult.

Q. (9:7): What is the meaning of this line of questioning?  I did think the Israelites were the most important people to God.  Is he putting the Israelites in their place because they have not obeyed God’s laws, saying that they may as well be any other nation?

A.  Israel was chosen by God for the purpose of being a light to all nations, at which they have failed miserably.  Just because they were His chosen does not mean He cares for these nations (some of which have ties to Israel such as Edom) any less.

Q. (9:11-15): This prophecy sounds similar to the Flood.  I don’t know why in v. 15 God says that the Israelites will never be uprooted again because we have seen time and time again where no matter if a group starts out with lots of goodness, someone turns away from God.  Is this because God is similar to a parent in this regard: After the punishment is over, we want to restore harmony and enjoy the rewards of getting rid of bad behavior?

A. I’m not trying to dodge this question, but I’d like to let the story unfold so you and our readers can see more clearly what God is up to and the ways that He goes about restoring Israel.

Q. (2 Kings 15:16): This is at least the second time where it is mentioned that pregnant women were cut open.  This is so detestable.  Why this practice?

A. It demonstrates brutality against the vulnerable, and in doing so, causes intimidation.  There is also the added “bonus” of killing the next generation of ones’ enemies.

Q. (Isaiah 6:1-13): Is Isaiah having a vision here?  What is going on in this passage?

A. This is probably the most well known passage for Isaiah’s book, one of the largest in the OT.  He is indeed having a vision — called into God’s service as a prophet — in which he sees the commissioning ceremony of a royal messenger.  Isaiah is being selected to proclaim a message that will be ignored by his people — hearing but not understanding — but that he will also cast a vision for the way that God will restore his people.  The last section of Isaiah (chapters 40-66) contains some of the most beautiful words ever composed in their descriptions of God and His ability to restore and make all things new.

For further study: Genealogy of the kings of Israel and Judah, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kings_of_Judah#/media/File:Genealogy_of_the_kings_of_Israel_and_Judah.svg

Spread the Word! Christian shirts get noticed.  Check out these conversation starters: https://livinlight.org/shop/

Tomorrow’s reading
— 2 Kings 15:32-38
— 2 Chronicles 27:1-9
— Micah 1
— 2 Kings 16
— 2 Chronicles 28
— Isaiah 7

His prophecy is precisely dated to two years before the earthquake in Uzziah’s (787-734BC) and Jeroboam II’s (791-750BC) reigns. This earthquake is usually set around c. 750BC. So Amos prophesied circa 752BC.

Day 172 (June 21): Israel’s neighbors of judged, Israel and Judah prophecies about destruction, Israel ignores God’s warnings to change or face wrath

The Jewish Museum / A gift of the heirs of Jacob Schiff

Welcome to BibleBum where we are exploring the entire Bible in one year to better learn how to follow God’s instructions and discover the purpose for our lives.  The BibleBum blog uses The One Year Chronological Bible, the New Living Translation version.  At the end of each day’s reading, Rob, a cultural history aficionado and seminary graduate, answers questions from Leigh An, the blogger host, about the daily scripture.  To start from the beginning, click on “Index” and select Day 1.

Today’s Reading
— Amos 1-6
(766 BC) Click here for a timeline of the entire Bible.

Questions & Observations

Q. (Amos 1:4): Didn’t God raise up these kingdoms to punish Israel?  Now they are being punished for doing what God made them do?  But, if I have my thoughts correct, God was just using them.  They were evil anyway.  He wouldn’t do that to His followers.

A. God is using these nations to punish Israel, but that does not make them any less responsible for their sins.  Like we read in Jonah, God sees the need for repentance in every nation.  And there is a great wave coming: Israelite and Gentile alike in this area are going to be swept away.

O. (1:3-2:3): Now, God is showing all nations, not just Israel, His authority.  He is the God of Israel and He is destroying these other nations for bringing harm and suffering to His people.  Now all can see that God takes care of His people.

Q. (2:16): On what day?

A. The day when His wrath is poured out.  Verse 13 points to a day in the future when the people will groan and suffer for their sins.

Q. (3:3-7): I don’t understand the point these verses are trying to make.  To some of the questions I answer “no,” to others “yes” and some are “maybe.”  To 6b I would say “no” to this answer remembering that the answer would be for that date in time in the OT.  And, verse 7 says He tells of disasters before they happen.  This is so the people know that God’s predictions do come true, so He had to have planned them?

A. Yes, you’ve got it right.  Amos is using metaphorical language; so don’t worry so much about the “content” of the question.  They are basically saying, as you suggest, God will not bring this judgment without warning the people, as He has done over and over again, and as Amos is doing here.

Q. (3:10-11): Do we know who the enemy is that is going to impart this destruction?  Is it unimportant who the enemy is?

A. It won’t really matter in the narrative of the story, but sure, the nation is the Assyrians, who originate from what is today Iraq.  Around 730 BC, they moved into what is now Jordan with a huge army and conquered/destroyed everything in their path, including the entire nation of Israel, which is also being called Samaria.  They will not conquer Judah, Jerusalem in particular, for reasons that we will see.  Feel free to read more about the Assyrians from this era here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neo-Assyrian_Empire

Q. (3:12, 4:1): So, for those living high on the hog, God will strip them of their luxurious life and leave them with little?  4:1 cracks me up!

A. It’s a pretty well known line from the OT.

Q. (4:6-10): This answers the question in 6b if God brings disasters … at this time in history.

A. Remember, the punishment is always predicted beforehand.  That’s what bothers me about folks like Pat Robertson making judgments about natural disasters: he only does it afterward.  The Bible, and the OT in particular, is clear that if God brings disaster, His reasons for doing so are spoken loud and clear through His prophets.  Nearly all the prophets — with the possible exception of Jeremiah and Ezekiel, for reasons that will become clear — proclaim a message of repentance.  They say, “It’s not too late!  Turn from this, or God will bring disaster upon you!”  That is a central theme of most of these prophecies and the genre of these books: Turn back now, for it’s not too late to avoid disaster.  But if you keep going, you’ll only have yourself to blame.

Q. (4:12-13): Amos is talking about the disasters God announces in 3:12-15?

A. Yes.

Q. (5:2): This sounds like a permanent death sentence for Israel, but they get an out in v. 4?

A. Nope.  It’s the same thing I’ve answered in the questions above, Amos is saying its not too late to turn, but if you don’t it will be a death sentence.

O. (5:21): I don’t know if this applies to today, but I think we can link it.  There are people who go to church just because they are “supposed to.”  I don’t know if this will get them into heaven, but like you said in a reading a while back, God doesn’t want us to just skate by.  He wants us to take Jesus’ example and love others the way He loves us.  So, merely showing face at church is an injustice to God.

I admit I used to be like this.  In a way, though, I’m glad that I felt I had to go to church because it helped me to remember to stay connected to God.  Now, that I am more into my faith — and try to live it, rather than be exposed to it — I have a greater appreciation for being part of the church.  I would encourage everyone to make sure they have a church that fits them.  Once you do that, reach out to get involved.  I think it’s a two-way relationship.

The church should reach out to you, but you have to reach also.  Use your talents to get involved.  I confess, that I have always battled to stay awake for church.  The monotone of most of the preachers I had would put me to sleep — that and actually sitting with no activity for an hour will do it.  But, since I have found pastors that bring you into the Bible stories, I’m wide awake and take the message with me.  So, I encourage everyone to find a church that is engaging so you go out of desire and not obedience.

O. (6:6): It sounds like there were selfish people that thought as long as the disaster isn’t affecting them, they will not be alarmed and change their actions.  And, it’s this kind of attitude that infuriates the Lord, causing him to inflict punishments.

Q. (6:8): God’s frustration was started by Solomon who built his own palace larger than the Temple of the Lord?

A. No, that’s not what Amos is referring to here.  Solomon built his palace in Jerusalem, which is part of Judah, and this judgment is against Israel.  God is saying He is greatly displeased with the arrogance of the people trusting in stone walls and fortresses rather than God.  They are trusting their own might and power, rather than God’s.  We can clearly see here how far Israel — and to a lesser extent Judah — has fallen from being a people who trusted God with their whole heart, as when they first entered the Promised Land.  And, just as Moses predicted back in Deuteronomy, if the people reach that point, then they will suffer the judgment of God and be removed from the land.  We are at the precipice of that day.  Bad things are coming for the nation who have forsaken their God.

O. (6:14): God has had it with Israel!

For further study: Lessons to learn from Amos, https://www.crosswalk.com/faith/bible-study/who-is-amos-in-the-bible.html

Spread the Word! Christian shirts get noticed.  Check out these conversation starters: https://livinlight.org/shop/

Tomorrow’s reading
— Amos 7-9
— 2 Kings 14:28-29
— 2 Kings 15:8-29
— 2 Kings 15:6-7
— 2 Chronicles 26:22-23
— Isaiah 6:1-13