Behold, the Lord Will Make the Land and the Earth Empty

(Isaiah 24)

The land and the earth shall be utterly laid waste and utterly pillaged; for the Lord has said this (Vs.3). This chapter of Isaiah is a mini book of Revelation. Throughout the Old Testament God’s future judgements are predicted ultimately to destroy the earth and its wicked people with it. It is His final measure to deal with the stubborn, rebellious people. When this period of grace is past, His wrath will dominate the world and none who have rejected Him will escape. It will be merciless, with vengeance and no turning back. We see in this chapter, the character of His judgements, and the extent of it in verses 1-3: The scope of His judgements will include all peoples and all class of people. It shall be with the people, so with the priest; as with the servant, so with this master; as with the maid, so with her mistress; as with the buyer, so with the seller; as with the lender, so with the borrower; as with the creditor, so with the debtor.  No class of people will escape with the exception of those who have accepted Him. YAHSHUA said, For it will come upon all who live upon the face of the entire earth. But for those who have accepted Him He gave a word of warning: Keep awake then and watch at all times, praying that you may have the full strength and ability to escape all these things, that will take place, and to stand in the presence of the Son of Man (Luke 21:35-36).

When the Door of Mercy Will Be Shut

(Matt. 25: 21-41; Amos 7:8)

The Lord spoke to the Prophet Amos saying, I will not pass by and spare them anymore. He was finished warning the nation of Israel, due to their hardness of heart. In their exit from Egypt, Israel experienced God’s protection in every way they needed. They escaped all the plagues applied to Egypt, and even the last one, which was the death of all the firstborn sons. By the blood of the sacrificial lamb, upon the doorpost of their houses, their sons were spared from death. That was a token or a sign that when God saw the blood He would “Pass over” the nation of Israel and no plague would destroy them. God’s mercy is available in the opportunities that come to us. Its door has been opened for a long time for all to enter because our God is longsuffering. He desires that all be saved. There is no limit to His mercy while its door is opened. God’s mercy is such that can never be compared to human’s mercy in the fullest extent of it. Webster dictionary describes mercy as: refraining from punishing offenders, enemies, persons in one’s power; kindness in excess of what may be expected or demanded by fairness; forbearance and compassion; the power to forgive, clemency, etc.

The Upper Room

(II Kings 4)

The upper room was a chamber built above the houses to serve as guest rooms and a place for activities and privacy for families.

Chapter four of II Kings offers a woman’s beautiful story of faith and courage. She displayed her faith and courage after the loss of her son to death. That was the only son she had, for her husband was an old man and a very special child; he was the son the Prophet Elisha promised her in return for her kindness shown to him. This Shunammite woman never realized that that upper room she had built for the Prophet, was one day a refuge in her time of trouble. It is said that “What goes around, comes around.” An act or a word of kindness finds their way back to the one who blesses others. Even though her emotional pain was great, her faith was greater. It compelled her to seek life from the one who had promised her a son. At his death she knew exactly what to do: The upper room where she had received the promise of a son, was to be the place where he would receive his life back. It was the place where God was going to manifest Himself through resurrection power. She carried her son up there and left him lying on the prophet’s bed and left in a hurry to see the prophet. He lived about twenty miles away. She pressed on seeking life for her son, redeeming her time by not stopping to greet anyone. She kept her pain to herself until she met Elisha, the prophet. In anguish of soul, she started by asking him a question, Did I desire a son of my lord? Did I not say, Do not deceive me? As the Lord lives and as my soul lives, I will not leave you. And Elisha arose and followed her (vs.28,30).

Only Faith Activated Through Love

(Galatians 5:6; I John 4:7-9; James 2: 14-18)

What is the use, my brethren, for anyone to profess to have faith if he has no works? Can [such] faith save him? (James 2:14)  The Word of God describes faith as the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen (Heb. 11:1).  Faith is the pillar of hope. They exist hand in hand. But faith without the activation of love, which compels one to reach out, is according to James, dead. James asked Can faith without work save a person? Paul said, if I have [sufficient] faith so that I can remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing (I Cor. 13:2b). YAHSHUA told the disciples, If you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, Move from here to yonder place, and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you (Matt. 17: 20). “Faith like a grain of mustard” is enough to move mountains when empowered by love. It is not the size that matters, but the completion of faith in love.

The Gentile Bride

(Ruth 1-4)

The story of Ruth, the Moabite, does not stop with the end of the book of Ruth; instead, it begins. It is an amazing story to read. In fact, it is the kind of story everyone would like to read for its wonderful ending.  In the days when the Judges ruled, as the Bible tells us, a family of four from the town of Bethlehem of Judah, left their country to sojourn in the country of Moab, due to a famine in the land. They were Elimelech, Naomi and their two sons, Mahlon and Chilion. It was a trip of about twenty to thirty miles, not far at all. Moab, is located east of the Jordan River and the Dead Sea, South of the Arnon (Num. 21:10-15).  The Moabites descendants have a questionable history due to Lot’s daughters in their incestuous relationship with him (Gen. 19:31-35). After the judgment that came to Sodom and Gomorrah, Lot’s daughters assuming they to be the only females in that region where they settled, they took upon themselves the responsibility to solve the problem by bearing Lot’s children to enable the line of their family to continue. In a devious and perverse way, they caused their father to lie with them and they both bore his children. Not an attractive story, is it? But God, as it is said, “Writes straight on a crooked line.”  As a matter of fact, we are all crooked before Him, but His love has covered the multitude of our sins through His Son, YAHSHUA.

The Everlasting Weight of Glory

(II Cor. 4:17-18)

Since we consider and look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen; for the things that are visible are temporal, but the things that are invisible are deathless and everlasting (II Cor.18).  Guided by faith in YAHSHUA and in His promises, sufferings are but a short breath in this earthly life. It is nothing to fret about when our focus is on heaven, our future home for which we groan with expectation. Sufferings are necessary in this earthly life, because the glory which will be revealed to us is measured by the intensity of our sufferings here. As someone has said, suffering is the precursor of glory. The Apostle Paul, the writer of this letter, well understood what sufferings were all about, since he experienced all kinds of degrees of suffering. His written words of comfort and hope came from the heart under the direction of the Holy Spirit for that time when we all have to go through our own suffering. So in the midst of our sufferings it is good to re-direct our mind to heaven. That will be to us a refreshing time of renewal of our faith, since faith regulates the believers walk, leading them upward where our Lord YAHSHUA is seated at the right hand of the Father.

Iniquity and Guilt

(Psalm 32:5; Proverbs 10: 29 Psalm 51:5; Exodus 34:7)

Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, in sin my mother conceived me (Psalm 51:5). When we read the genealogy of YAHSHUA we see King David’s great-grandmother was the prostitute Rahab. If he knew that, we do not know. But we know that he acknowledged in Psalm 51 to have been born from a sinful ancestor. What is really the sin of iniquity and why it is so hard to deal with it? When the Lord descended in the cloud to stand with Moses on the Mount Sinai, He proclaimed His name by saying, The Lord! The Lord!, a God merciful and gracious slow to anger, and abundant in loving-kindness and truth, keeping mercy and loving-kindness for thousand, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but Who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children, to the third and fourth generation (Exodus 34:5-7). The sin of iniquity is rooted deeply in our veins. It is the thing with curses manifested in weakness of personality, and weakness of the body. We carry the curses of our ancestors to the third and fourth generation.

The Holiness of God Is Like a Mirror

(Isaiah 6; Job 42:1-6)

The Prophet Isaiah saw the holiness of God in a supernatural manner that only God Himself could appear to him. He said, I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and the skirts of His train filled the temple. Above Him stood the seraphim, each had six wings: with two covered his face, and with two covered his feet, and with two flew. And one cried to another and said, Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory! And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who cried, and the house was filled with smoke (Isaiah 6: 1-4). With that, the Prophet Isaiah experienced the full expression of heavenly worship, pure and truthful done by sinless and holy angels. That was a heavenly moment offered to Him, when God Himself opened heaven while worship service was taking place. It was an awesome and indescribable experience. Before the holiness of God, all Isaiah could say was, Woe is me! For I am undone, and ruined, because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts! (Isaiah 6: 5) In chapter 3: 8 the Prophet Isaiah describes the spiritual condition of the nation of Israel mainly Judah at that time: For Jerusalem is ruined and Judah is fallen, because their speech and their deeds are against the Lord, to provoke the eyes of His glory and defy His glorious presence.

But Peter Got Up

(Luke 24: 9-12)

YAHSHUA’S last Passover was the most memorable Passover ever observed in the frame of time. Although not recognized and acknowledged by men, it was the most important Passover in God’s purpose of redemption of mankind. That Passover came bringing the sacrifice of the perfect Lamb of God. No other animals that were being slaughtered that day as a sacrifice for the atonement of sin mattered at that time, for God had brought out His only Son to the altar to sacrifice Him and through His death, purchase men for Himself. The shedding of His blood through the nails piercing through His hands and feet, the spear piercing through His side, and the thorns in a shape of a crown piercing His head, were the manner in which He paid the price to redeem men to His Father. YAHSHUA warned His disciples several times about His ultimate sacrifice; however they were deaf to the fact- deaf to the point of betraying and denying Him. Why would they believe His resurrection, when they did not believe His death could happen? Peter tried to stop him from going to the cross more than one time; however, when the time arrived, he denied to have known Him. YAHSHUA called them the incredulous generation; the word incredulous means unwilling, or unable to believe; doubt and skepticism according to Webster’s dictionary. That was the position of the disciples all along even when YAHSHUA warned them of His death and His resurrection.

Children of Abraham

(Galatians 3)

Thus Abraham believed, and it was reckoned and placed to his account and credited as righteousness (3:7). Faith is the thing that connects us believers to the Patriarch Abraham. When learning about his life’s background, we see that faith guided him to obedience to the call to leave his country.  Although he had come from a family who worshiped false gods, God called Abraham out of that to a place he hadn’t known before for a purpose to form a nation out of his descendants. He gathered his things, wife and nephew and took off to a place God chose for him. The Lord said to Abram, Go for yourself away from your country, for your relatives and your father’s house, to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name famous and distinguished, and you will be a blessing… Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother’s son, and all their possessions that they had acquired in Haran, and they went froth to go to land of Canaan (Gen. 12:1-2,5).