Isaiah 46-48,  Proverbs 27:1-14,  Luke 23-38-43,  Hebrews 10:19-39  Isaiah 46-48: Throughout these chapters, the fortunes of those who trust in idols are compared with the blessing of those who trust in God. The idols of Bel and Nebo are carried on beasts of burden—and even the beast cannot reliably carry them (46:1-2). In contrast, God’s…

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The word “papist” has a distinctly “anti-Catholic” ring to it, and if you are immediately turned off from reading the rest of this article because of that word in the title—well, I apologize. But I chose that word “papist” to make it clear that the issue is not evangelicals becoming catholics. Evangelicals already are catholics;…

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Isaiah 44-45,  Proverbs 26:17-28,  Luke 23:32-37,  Hebrews 10:1-18 Isaiah 44-45: This section begins with wonderful promises for God’s people—“I will pour my Spirit upon your offspring” (44:3)—in the context of which the instruction to “Fear not” (44:2, 8) makes sense. How often it is that we fear because we do not focus! We fear the…

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Isaiah 42-43,  Proverbs 26:1-16,  Luke 23:26-31,  Hebrews 9:11-28   Isaiah 42-43:   Again, stupendous chapters, filled with hope and promise. One way of looking at the “LORD’s chosen servant” (42:1) is through what he will do and what he will not do. He will “bring forth justice to the nations” (42:1). He will “faithfully bring forth justice” (42:3). The mission of…

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Isaiah 40-41,  Proverbs 25:15-28,  Luke 23:13-25,  Hebrews 9:1-10   Isaiah 40-41:   At last! Isaiah 40 arrives like a glass of chilled, cool water after a long, hot journey in a desert! “Comfort, Comfort, my people” (40:1). Words made famous by Handel’s Messiah, filled with hope, joy and meaning. Isaiah proclaims forgiveness: “her iniquity is pardoned” (40:2). He…

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Isaiah 37-39, Proverbs 25:1-14, Luke 23:1-12, Hebrews 8:7-13   Isaiah 37-39:   In these chapters we see Hezekiah at his best and at his worst. It is a reminder to us that even great men have their faults, and God uses us as we stand in faithful dependence on him—often despite (even because of) our failings. When we are weak,…

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Isaiah 34-36, Proverbs 24:23-34, Luke 22:63-71, Hebrews 8:1-6   Isaiah 34-36:   Isaiah 36 introduces the remarkable story of Jerusalem’s rescue from the hand of the Assyrians, but that story is connected organically to the succeeding chapter, and we shall then deal with that story tomorrow in that connection. Isaiah 34 and 35 first announce a worldwide judgment and then…

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Isaiah 31-33, Proverbs 24:1-22, Luke 22:54-62, Hebrews 7:11-28   Isaiah 31-33:   One significant theme echoes throughout Isaiah 31-33 as it is introduced in the very first verse (31:1):   Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help and rely on horses, who trust in chariots because they are many and in horsemen because they are very strong, but…

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Isaiah 29-30, Proverbs 23:19-35, Luke 22:47-53, Hebrews 7:1-10  Isaiah 29-30: Ariel here in Isaiah 29 is probably Jerusalem (“the city where David encamped,” 29:1; “Mount Zion,” 29:8), and the prophecies here spoken probably relate to Jerusalem’s rescue from the attack of the Assyrians, their destruction by the Babylonians, and then desolation by the Romans. In the midst of…

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