"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.

Friday, July 19, 2013

July 19 Bible Reading: Isaiah Chapters 10-12

STAND UP against SOCIETY’s oppression of the POOR: "Woe to those who decree unrighteous decrees, who write misfortune, which they have prescribed to rob the needy of justice, and to take what is right from the poor of My people, that widows may be their prey, and that they may rob the fatherless. What will you do in the day of punishment, and in the desolation which will come from afar? To whom will you flee for help? And where will you leave your glory?" (Isaiah 10:1-3)

As the prophet Isaiah announces the wrath of God against many unrighteous deeds of the Israelites (5:8–23; 10:5; 18:1), he points out God’s displeasure against those leaders who had robbed the needy, oppressed the poor, and had passed unjust laws that took advantage of the weak and the helpless segment of their society. God would surely punish these rich and powerful rulers in such a manner that they would vainly try to seek help as their riches would be stripped away on God’s ‘day of reckoning’ against them. When God’s judgment would fall upon them, they would lose all the wealth that they had gained through graft and extortion from the poor!

We should understand that the government officials who held power and authority in Israel during the days of Isaiah had abused their positions and power given by God and had perverted justice with unrighteous decrees that perpetuated evil in the community. These leaders in Israel were greedy for gain. They used unjust laws to support their selfish practices by robbing the poor, and as a result, the rich were prospering greatly while the poor were languishing!

It is therefore not a surprise that God’s judgment would not be averted since the sin and social injustices of these oppressors were just too great! The day was soon coming when these evil officials would be brought before God’s bar of justice and then would be led away into exile through the coming Assyrian invasion. They would certainly lose all their wealth for ignoring the warnings of God (see 8:5-9). The principle of retribution is an important biblical teaching and we reap what we sow, whether to our destruction or for our benefit. God’s Word tells us: "Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life" (Gal. 6:7-8).

As a spiritual application for us today, we should think twice before taking this same attitude against the poor in our society. Many times the rich and powerful can twist the laws of the land to oppress the poor and powerless, and if that happens, we should stand up against the unjust laws and regulations that are passed against the downtrodden segment of our society. In fact, we should stand for social justice in many areas such as housing, lending practices, zoning laws, education, jobs, crime prevention, the courts, the prisons, rezoning creation of political districts, voting, and many more.

The Word in Life Study Bible has proposed two principles that emerge in particular from Isaiah’s warning in this passage:
  1. First, God pays attention to what societies do to the poor. God calls it robbery when policy makers “decree unrighteous decrees” that “rob the needy of justice” (vv. 1–2).
  2. Second, God promises to bring justice to the poor, and to judge those who mistreat the poor. God is a God of justice, and He promises a day of punishment for the unjust (vv. 3–4).
When the dust settles down finally, the poor are raised up while the rich are brought low. In light of how God is for justice and righteousness, we should pay close attention to the legal, regulatory, and social systems that are part of our local, state and national governments. If the facts play out, we should be bold enough to stand up against society’s oppression of the poor among us. Remember, “What will you do in the day of punishment?” (v. 3) is a question that we all must answer. We should show genuine piety and reach out to help those who cannot help themselves, which is the essence of our pure religion!

"Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world" (James 1:27). "And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith" (Gal. 6:9-10).

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