GETTING THE MOST FROM GOD'S WORD:

"Do NOT labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting LIFE..." - The Gospel of John 6:27 (NKJV)
A systematic and daily reading of the Word of God is important in maintaining a strong Christian life. Establish a daily quiet time with God and His Word. Pray that the Holy Spirit will help you understand what you read. By following our daily Bible reading schedule through this blog, you will be able to read the Bible through in a year. Please note that you may utilize the ‘BIBLE READER’ app that is installed at the bottom of this webpage to assist you in reading the specified scripture portion for today.

To get the MOST from God's Word, please do the following intentionally:
1. REQUEST God to connect with you as you read the word of God with FOCUS and OPENNESS to see what God wants to speak with you.
2. READ the selected sections of Scripture slowly as you mark the words and phrases that intrigue you, even reading them the second time to get a better understanding.
3. REFLECT on what God is communicating to you; stopping long enough to let the seed of God's Word take root in your heart.
4. RESPOND to the passage speaking directly to God about what is in your heart, and then look out for ways to live out what you find - individually, and to others within your church and elsewhere.

As you read and meditate, ask yourself the following three questions:
a) What is God speaking to me through this passage?
b) Is there a command, a promise or a warning for me?
c) Is there an example for me to follow?

Please POST your comments below if there is a thought or message that the Lord has spoken to you through the passage that you are reading and meditating today. Please make sure that your post is aligned to the scripture passage mentioned at the header. All comments should pertain to the relevant scripture portions only, and should be aimed to glorify God (the true author of 'The Bible') & edify everyone who visits this blog site daily - both young and old. May God bless you abundantly for encouraging others through your comments!

Let's PRAY...
LORD, give me the desire to take a little time out of my busy schedule today as I read and meditate on Your Word. Give me this day MY DAILY BREAD. Speak to me clearly & lead me today as my Good Shepherd. Help me to be a blessing to others who interact with me as I attempt to be a living witness of Your Word today. In Your Name I pray, AMEN.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

July 22 Bible Reading: Isaiah Chapters 19-21

The NIGHT is FAR SPENT and the DAY is AT HAND: The burden against Dumah. He calls to me out of Seir, "Watchman, what of the night? Watchman, what of the night?" The watchman said, "The morning comes, and also the night. If you will inquire, inquire; Return! Come back!" (Isaiah 21:11-12)

In the above two terse verses Isaiah announced that the “night” of Assyrian occupation for Edom might eventually be followed by a “morning” of freedom. Dumah refers to Edom, which was south of Moab near the mountain of Seir, and was inhabited by the descendants of Esau. Isaiah is called a watchman and he warns that both morning and also the night are coming.

In this brief oracle against Dumah, a question is asked by sleepless Edom to Isaiah about how much of the “night” is left (v. 11), and Isaiah’s enigmatic response that “night” accompanies the new day (v. 12). “Night” is symbolic of evil, death, judgment, and hell or eternal punishment (John 13:30). Isaiah warns them of impending judgment unless they return (repent).

Isaiah’s message is one of impending judgment which can be averted by Edom’s willingness to return. Edom is pictured here as hiding in Seir, wondering if it is safe to come out; and the prophet calls back to them that they should return unto the Lord in whom alone they can find safety.

While the prophet was anxiously watching so he could warn the people, the nation’s leaders were carelessly feasting and thinking only of themselves (v. 5). The watchman sees both night (trouble) and morning (blessing), and that is how it will be until Jesus comes. The most important thing is that the watchman be faithful to warn when danger is coming (Ezek. 25:12–14). We too can be watchmen for God’s kingdom. The Vine's commentary - Isaiah - explains the following:
“The watchman is one who stands in God’s counsels, knows what is coming and looks out for the event. So now, he who learns from the completed Scriptures what God has foretold, discerning His purposes, not by speculative interpretation, but by comparing Scripture with Scripture, and accepting what is therein made plain, is able to warn and exhort others. He stands upon the watch-tower in fellowship with God.”
Victor Buksbazen in his classic book, The Prophet Isaiah, has applied this passage to our present life with the following words:
The night of your present turmoil will end, and a new day will follow, but soon another night will come. If you seek a comforting answer to your anxious inquiries, you must first “return,” a word which also means “repent.” Only then will the answer be such as you hoped for; the night of your suffering will end, and a new bright morning of deliverance will dawn upon you.
Let us remember that the night is far spent and the day is at hand. It is high time that we awake out of our sleep, throw away all our ungodly activities, and renew our commitment to daily live and walk in a way that pleases God. One day, we will have to answer to God for all that we have done in our lives.

"Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light." (Romans 13:10-12)

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