- Isaiah 65
Of course, it is a somewhat silly thing to say that “one part or section of the Bible is “interesting” because it suggests that what you mean is that it is “more interesting than others. Obviously, for believers and for those who believe the Bible to be the Word of the Living God, everything it contains, ought to be, at the very least, “interesting”. I will say, however, that because we as the children of God, ought to be absorbed in learning as much as we can. 39 Books in the Old Testament and 27 in the New make for a very large selection of content from which to draw. Though I can’t lay a primary emphasis on the Book of Isaiah, I do have to say that it has always been a fascinating place for a child of God to focus attention.
Here in Isaiah 65 we find some very interesting information about God’s opinion and what He wants His people (read OT “Israel”) to know about the state of their walking with Him over the past centuries.
In the first few verses we read a stern rebuke of the Lord going forth because of their rebellion in the face of open opportunity:
· An ignored seeking in verse 1, and
· abundant divine revelation, 2,
· which they scouted for idolatry, 3–4, and
· the intrusion of self-righteousness, 5.
· The warning and justification of coming punishment concerning the day of vengeance, 6–7.
We’ll start with viewing the first few verses and looking at the content that Isaiah given us there…
Pastor Bill Farrow
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Pastor Bill Farrow
“My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.” - Proverbs 1:10.
I’ve always thought that the many, many times that Solomon refers to the readers of this wonderful Book as “My Son” are a great encouragement. It isn’t merely a manner of speaking, but rather is a method of drawing the readers into a deeper and more familiar form of reading and considering what he was saying to them. As we know, what is taught throughout the Book is a collection of things that Solomon had learned from a long life of failing and falling away from the things of God and being drawn back into fellowship with his God.
We should also remember that Solomon was used by God as a Prophet and speaks in the Books that he wrote for inclusion in the Bible as the very voice of God to man. In a manner of speaking we can hear what he says as if God we speaking it to us, His children in the faith! We ought to take what he says in as the advice from our heavenly Father that it is!!
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By Pastor Bill Farrow
“If thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; if thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God.” - Proverbs 2:3, 4, 5.
Interpretation.—To lift up the voice for Understanding is to call her to thee, invite her, not only to heed her when she calls thee. The search must be as diligent as the tireless search of the miner after the hid treasures of metals, etc., concealed in the earth, following up the vein discovered. Such real efforts will be rewarded by that knowledge of God, His nature, His ways, His revelations, which is of all treasures the most valuable.
Illustrations.—Our Lord’s parable of the man who, finding a treasure hid in a field, went and sold all that he had and bought that field, illustrates the earnestness of purpose here recommended. Examples of it we meet with in the story of the Ethiopian (Acts 8:27, etc.), and of the Bereans (Acts 17:11, etc.), who, seeking diligently for the truth, found it and made it their own.
Application.—How much of life is spent in the search after things which are of comparatively small value and very perishable! But the knowledge of God, the understanding of true religion,—these are treasures worth seeking for, they are satisfying and eternal. I may not hope to acquire them, however, without painstaking and self-sacrifice. But is not this true of any human service or any worldly emolument? How much more, then, is it reasonable in regard to “theology,” or the science of God, and to the possession of God Himself! Of that treasure-house God keepeth the key in His own hand! For this He will be inquired of, wouldst thou have Him open it unto thee. “Surely there is a vein for the silver” (Job 28:1). Yet what miner would be satisfied not to pursue it below the surface? Wouldst thou get the best treasures? Go down on thy knees, and dig for them. Pursue the vein, bring all skill and appliances to bear upon thy undertaking. Only by earnest prayer, only by patient meditation, only by diligent study, and not without self-sacrifice, is divine knowledge to be won. The heart, too, must be purified, examined by the candle of an enlightened conscience, and swept with the besom of reform. The life of Christian obedience is a life of continual progress in spiritual understanding. To follow on to know the Lord is the way to know Him now. To know Him now by faith prepares the way for revelations which shall never cease.
O God, incline my heart to seek after, that I may find, Thee!
We've been studying what we've called "Ways To Glorify God" and have spoken of a total of 17 ways that are found in the Bible. We are currently in the 6th part of this series:
Pastor Bill Farrow
“Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away.” - Proverbs 4:14, 15 (Cf. 13:20).
The immediate section in which we find this verse speaks of what we cold speak of as “wisdom practiced” and tells us that wisdom is productive of life, health and personal integrity. The entire section actually, and these two verses specifically warn against turning to the path or way of the wicked (vv. 14–15). The following couple verses describe such a turning creates an insatiable and destructive hunger (v. 16). Solomon then goes on to tells that the hunger alluded to is perpetuated by what the path offers those who walk along it: the bread of wickedness and the wine of violence, v. 17.
He starts with one of the general references to a “path” meaning the general way that one walks and conducts his life. It is interesting that he seems clear that even for believers, the “path” of the wicked can be chosen and embarked up, perhaps temporarily or even in an ongoing fashion. The first two phrases are really speak basically of the same idea, just described in subtly different fashions. We might see the first phrase as suggesting individual behavior as the reference to the “wicked” can be taken as singular and suggests that we consider the particular things that can make their appeal to us as individual people.
The second phrase seems to be directing us to think in a more general and even group fashion. “…and go not in the way of evil men” can be seen to encourage us to think in terms of the basic path that those around us have taken to following The encouragement is for us to think our way through our individual behavior and tendencies and also take a close and analytical look at the society amongst whom we dwell with an aim toward seeing to it that wicked and evil ways are forsaken and, by implication, that the ways of holiness are embraced.
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Over the past few weeks we have been looking at the topic of just how a child of God goes about seeing to it that their lord and Master gets the glory that He is so richly due! We've gotten to the 4th installment of our study together...17 Ways to Glorify God (Part 4)
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Rev. William Farrow is the Pastor of Valley Forge Baptist Church in Valley Forge Pa. (and has been for some 27 years). He was a Prison Chaplain in NJ for quite a few years before that after graduating from Philadelphia College of Bible in 1981.