Isaiah 45 & 46
Could what God hates be part of your life?
What God Hates
There is so much in this chapter. Be sure to read MacArthur’s Daily Bible notes, especially the explanation of each of the characteristics of the fruit of the Spirit.
But verses 19-21 contain another list:
Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders,drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Notice that contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions and envy are in the middle of that list! And verse 21 says, “… those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
Of course, we will from time to time sin and fall short in some of these areas, but if any of those things characterize our lives, if we practice them as a lifestyle, especially if we can do so without conviction or a desire to change, it may be an indication that we are not really saved.
It’s important to examine our lives in the light of Scripture and not gloss over these things. As James said:
21 Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. 22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; 24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. 25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does (Jas. 1.22-25).
Which list characterizes your life? The deeds of the flesh in verses 19-21:
Or the fruit of the Spirit? In verses 22-23:
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
Today’s Other Readings:
He Will Bring It to Pass
Over and over in these two chapters God says, “I am the Lord, and there is no other.” One of the ways He has confirmed that fact to us is through the fulfillment of prophecy.
God through the prophet Isaiah declared that Cyrus would end the 70 years of captivity and allow the people to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple (Is. 42.1). About 150 years later that’s exactly what happened.
There are many prophecies which have already been fulfilled and others which are yet to be fulfilled. But, eventually, every single one will come to pass:
“… Indeed I have spoken it; I will also bring it to pass. I have purposed it; I will also do it” (46.11).
Exalt Him for His Works and His Character
In this beautiful psalm of praise the psalmist exalts God for both His works, “The works of the Lord are great …” (v. 2) and His character, “The Lord is gracious and full of compassion” (v. 4). How often do you remember to thank and praise the Lord, not just for what He has done in your life, but for Who He is?
God Who Pays to Every Man His Reward
“The great God who formed everything gives the fool his hire and the transgressor his wages.”
This can be interpreted several different ways, all of them true. First, that God in His mercy extends a certain amount of common grace even to the unrighteous. Second, that God recognizes the difference between someone who sins in ignorance and someone who sins presumptuously or knowingly and rewards them accordingly. And third, it is God who will ultimately bring the just reward for evil. It’s not our place to extract payment from anyone.
Instead, Romans 12 instructs us:
17 Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. 18 If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. 19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 Therefore “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
And leave justice to of God.
Anger & Stress Management God’s Way by Wayne Mack
Anger and stress are perhaps the two most defining aspects of our world today. There are many ways of handling stress and anger: You can get increasingly angrier and more stressed out, you can resort to drugs and alcohol, you can turn violent, you can retreat into your own world and become cold and distant—or you can react God’s Way!
Uprooting Anger: Biblical Help for a Common Problem by Robert D. Jones
An absolute treasure, thoroughly biblical, extremely practical, and well written. Jones tackles a problem–sin–with which every believer must deal and, rather than offer some psychological mumble-jumble, takes the reader directly to the Word of God. The issue of anger is framed and handled as the Holy Spirit intended. As a result, the reader is given biblical instruction and hope.
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