If you’re following the schedule, you should read these chapters today: Deuteronomy 23, Psalms 112–113, Isaiah 50, Revelation 20. Click on any of those references to see all the passages in one long page on BibleGateway. If you can't do all the readings today, read Isaiah 50.
Picture a man who went hiking in the woods and somewhere along the way, lost his keys when they fell out of his pocket. The sun went down and he was left out in the woods groping around in the darkness to find his keys so he could go home. Poor guy, right?
But what if he had a flashlight with fresh batteries in the backpack on his back? How …um… bright could he be if he had the light—and knew it—but was too lazy or stubborn to take it out and use it?
So is everyone who knows God’s word but makes decisions and lives by what is acceptable and promoted in society, or by their own human ingenuity, or by the tenets of some false religion. Here in Isaiah 50:10, Isaiah called to the people of God and asked for those who trusted Him to reveal themselves. “Who among you fears the Lord and obeys the word of his servant?” he asked in verse 10a. Then he said, “Let the one who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the Lord and rely on their God.” The implication is that darkness is the result of living by our own human reason. In contrast, for those who believe the Lord, who take him at his word, the light of God’s revelation is available to them. Trusting “in the name of the Lord” relying “on their God” means living as if you believe God’s word is true. That’s what faith is! It is accepting what God says and living accordingly, believing that you will be better off because God’s word is true. Verse 11 contrasts the one who lives in the light of faith with those who try to manufacture their own light through human wisdom: “But now, all you who light fires and provide yourselves with flaming torches, go, walk in the light of your fires and of the torches you have set ablaze. This is what you shall receive from my hand: You will lie down in torment.”
These are trying times we live in; things that were accepted as universally-held facts in the past are now questioned, attacked, even ridiculed. Every choice, every “lifestyle decision” is considered valid in our culture (except for living by faith in God’s word, of course). But God warns them that they will “receive from my hand” pain and judgment (v. 11). “You will lie down in torment.” the Lord promised at the end of today’s chapter.
I’m glad you show up here everyday to read God’s word and consider its teachings with me. But do you live by the things you are learning there? Do you take the light that God’s word offers us and walk by it in your own life or do you put it away in your mental backpack and grope around looking for the keys to life on your own, by the light of a makeshift torch? The difference between God’s blessings and his punishment is faith in his word which is evidenced by obedience. What area of disobedience has God brought to light in your life recently? Will you accept the light that God’s word offers and live by faith in that area?
Now for your thoughts: What stood out in your Bible reading for today? What questions do you have about what you read? What are your thoughts about what I wrote above? Post them in the comments below or on our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/calvarybiblechurch/. And, feel free to answer and interact with the questions and comments of others. Have a great day; we'll talk scripture again tomorrow.