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Free Daily Bible notes by Rev Stephen Thompson


August 2014

Daily Bible Thoughts 675: Tuesday 5th August 2014:

Isaiah 27:7-13

Yesterday we were thinking about our calling to be fruitful in Christ (John 15). It was Israel’s calling in the Old Testament, and it is the church’s calling in the New. As you read today’s passage, hold on to the truth that ”full fruitage” (9) is linked to dealing with sin in our lives. Is there anything that needs to be ‘removed’ from the premises of your life for you to become an abundantly fruitful disciple? That’s the challenge.

Back to the present: In (7-11) Isaiah steps back from the picture of the glorious future he has been painting to face the current reality. Israel had disobeyed God and was going to be judged. Preachers should not flinch from giving the hard truth when they have to. This was not a popular, funny, anecdotal and sentimental sermon designed to tickle ears and build a preacher’s fan club; boost sales of his books and C.D’s and make him a few extra quid! Even so, Isaiah saw that her punishment would not be so great as that of her enemies (7). Israel’s judgment would be by ”warfare and exile” (8). As a result of this disciplinary action the people will come to repentance and be forgiven (9a). They will bring forth the ‘fruit’ of repentance by smashing up their idols and everything to do with idolatry (9b). True repentance is radical. It is not about just words and ‘crocodile tears.’ It means dealing decisively (Matt.5:29, 30) with your sin. You turn your back on it; you walk away from it; you leave it behind. You put distance between you and it. With God’s help you ‘remove’ it from your life. You write ‘It is finished’ over it. This is your response to Christ’s cross as the saving work of Jesus is applied to your life. ”The evidence that his sin is removed will be this: He will tear down the alien altars, take them apart stone by stone, And then crush the stones into gravel and clean out all the sex-and-religion shrines.” The Message. There cannot be a bumper crop of luscious Holy Spirit fruit weighing down the branches of your life without authentic repentance. God may have to discipline some folks severely to get them to where they need to be.

(10, 11) This is what sin can lead to when there is no repentance. These verses depict the devastation of Israel before and during the exile years. Sin leads nowhere good, in spite of Satan’s savvy marketing techniques. He sells brightly coloured and sweet smelling poison. Don’t buy from him.

Back to the future (12/13): The range of Isaiah’s prophecies is interesting. As with the other prophets, he is like a man looking at a range of mountains that stretch out in front of him. The mountain of the far distant future seems to sit immediately behind the mountain of the present. In fact there is a miles long valley separating them. Once again, Isaiah trains his prophetic binoculars on the farther mountain range. He sees a time when the whole world will have been threshed by judgment, and when people from far nations (represented by Egypt and Assyria) will come to worship the God of Israel along with the Jews (see Isaiah 2:2-4). This vision is being fulfilled right now in the enlargement of Christ’s church and the extension of His Kingdom, but it will be completed at His second advent.

Prayer: Help me to always see through Satan’s lies and remember that sin leads to devastation ultimately, if not immediately.


Daily Bible thoughts 674: Monday 4th August 2014:

Isaiah 27:1-6

A day is coming when all evil will be defeated by God (1). Be sure about this. The chapter in front of us today is the last of Isaiah’s four chapters on God’s judgment of the world (Chapters 24-27). It talks about ”that day” i.e. the judgment day to come at the close of history. ”Leviathan” in this verse represents the ungodly nations of the world. He also represents the spiritual forces of evil who stand behind all the wickedness in the world (Revelation 12:7-9), and especially ”that ancient serpent” the devil. A school caretaker with a simple understanding of the Bible told a group of students that the message of the book of Revelation is easy to understand: ”In the end Jesus wins!” This verse speaks of a mighty victory to be won by the Lord; total and complete victory. We need to be certain about this and walk in it. Never forget that He has a ”fierce, great and powerful sword’’ or that He has put a similar weapon into our hands (Eph.6:17). It is good news for this sad, old, pain-wracked world that the devil is going to feel the sharp point of the Lord of glory’s sword.

In the midst of God’s judgment of the world, His people are being delivered and the true Israel restored – here symbolised by the ”fruitful vineyard” (2). A day is coming when God will no longer be ”angry’‘ with His people (4). He will only be angry at the ”briars and thorns” (their enemies). Even these He will not want to destroy. He would much rather reconcile them to Himself (5).

Isaiah sees a day when Israel (”Jacob”, 6) will ”take root” (Isaiah 11:1, 10) and ”fill all the world with fruit.” Isaiah is looking forward to the Messianic age, and the ‘fruit’ will new believers brought into the Kingdom of God through Jesus Christ (John 15:1, 5, 16.) Those new disciples will themselves be fruitful as they ‘‘remain’’ in Christ who is the ”true vine’’. Christ has chosen His disciples to ”go and bear fruit-fruit that will last” (John 15:16). Not only do we need to fully play our part in the fruit bearing process by abiding in Jesus, but also recognise God’s role in watching over us, watering us and guarding us continually (3). Without Him we are nothing; we can do nothing; we achieve nothing. When the Lord makes a life fruitful; or a people to be fruit bearing, that is something to sing about! (2). We sing songs of praise about it because we didn’t do it, but we know who did!

We must not forget, either, that this fruitful people have been a chastised people. They have been through painful discipline to get to this point. The purpose of all ”distress” that God allows to come our way is to bring us to God (26:16)

  • God will judge all His enemies;
  • God will make His people to be abundantly fruitful.
  • Here is cause for celebration!

Prayer: ‘’Holy Spirit flow through me, and make my life what it ought to be…’’


Daily Bible thoughts 673: Friday 1st August 2014:

 Psalm 106:32-39

”They angered God again at Meribah Springs; this time Moses got mixed up in their evil; Because they defied GOD yet again, Moses exploded and lost his temper.” The Message.

Leaders can get angry (32, 33). They can be sorely tried by their people and say what they shouldn’t. The story of Moses is sobering. I feel great sympathy for him. What a job he had. He endured more than most. But God held him accountable for doing wrong. The Israelites drove him to it, you might want to argue, but there was no excuse for Moses. He was responsible for his words (which are always the index of the heart). He reaped the consequences of his sin and was barred from entering the Promised Land (Numbers 20:1-13). So Hebrews 13:17 has a relevance here. You might like to have a look at it, then pray that you will not be the cause of a church leader sinning!! But there was something far more important than their making Moses angry; it was the fact that they angered the Lord by their rebellion against the Holy Spirit.

There is always good reason to do what God says (34-39; see Ex.34:11-16; Deut.7:1-6). He knows what the purpose is even if we don’t. It remains true today that if you get too close to the wrong sort of people you are liable to become like them with potentially disastrous outcomes. ‘Mingling’ can quickly lead to ‘adopting’ someone else’s way of life; and even to worshipping their gods. Be warned that any ‘idol’ (and it doesn’t have to be a physical statue that you prostrate yourself before) will become ”a snare” to you. The Israelites were meant to be the instruments of God’s judgment on the Canaanites, and not friendly neighbours dropping in for a cuppa and a chat! The psalmist can say that the Israelites ”prostituted themselves” (39) in that they forsook their true love; their Heavenly Husband, God, and went after other ‘lovers’. They committed spiritual adultery with the false gods of Canaan.

”They didn’t wipe out those godless cultures as ordered by GOD; instead they intermarried with the heathen, and in time became just like them…Their way of life stank to high heaven; they lived like whores.” The Message.

”Refusing to become a separate people, they became a compromised people…- it is always so.” J.A. Motyer: New Bible Commentary p.555

Prayer: Lord let me not be influenced by others towards evil, but always influence them for God and for good.


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