Archive for the ‘Battle Focus’ Category


Under Gods Command

Life Application Study Bible Named this Chapter

Judgement on Jerusalem and Judah

but I call it

Judgement on the United States of America

Isaiah 3:1-15 NIV
[1] See now, the Lord, the Lord Almighty, is about to take from Jerusalem and Judah both supply and support: all supplies of food and all supplies of water, [2] the hero and the warrior, the judge and the prophet, the diviner and the elder, [3] the captain of fifty and the man of rank, the counselor, skilled craftsman and clever enchanter. [4] “I will make mere youths their officials; children will rule over them.” [5] People will oppress each other—man against man, neighbor against neighbor. The young will rise up against the old, the nobody against the honored. [6] A man will seize one of his brothers in his father’s house, and say, “You have a cloak, you be our leader; take charge of this heap of ruins!” [7] But in that day he will cry out, “I have no remedy. I have no food or clothing in my house; do not make me the leader of the people.” [8] Jerusalem staggers, Judah is falling; their words and deeds are against the Lord, defying his glorious presence. [9] The look on their faces testifies against them; they parade their sin like Sodom; they do not hide it. Woe to them! They have brought disaster upon themselves. [10] Tell the righteous it will be well with them, for they will enjoy the fruit of their deeds. [11] Woe to the wicked! Disaster is upon them! They will be paid back for what their hands have done. [12] Youths oppress my people, women rule over them. My people, your guides lead you astray; they turn you from the path. [13] The Lord takes his place in court; he rises to judge the people. [14] The Lord enters into judgment against the elders and leaders of his people: “It is you who have ruined my vineyard; the plunder from the poor is in your houses. [15] What do you mean by crushing my people and grinding the faces of the poor?” declares the Lord, the Lord Almighty.

Love the Commentary Notes

Jerusalem besieged, her leaders destroyed—this unhappy picture would soon become a reality. Disobedience would bring serious affliction and great destruction, as God had warned (Deuteronomy 28).

3:4-9 This section describes what happens when a nation loses its leadership.

3:9-11 The people would be proud of their sins, parading them out in the open. But sin is self-destructive. In today’s world, sinful living often appears glamorous, exciting, and clever. But sin is wrong, regardless of how society perceives it, and, in the long run, sin will make us miserable and destroy us. God tries to protect us by warning us about the harm we will cause ourselves by sinning. Those who are proud of their sins will receive the punishment from God they deserve. Having rejected God’s path to life (see Psalm 1), they had only one alternative—the path to destruction.

3:10, 11 In the middle of this gloomy message, God gives hope: Eventually the righteous will receive God’s reward, and the wicked will receive their punishment. It is disheartening to see the wicked prosper, while we struggle to obey God and follow his plan. But let us keep holding on to God’s truth and take heart! God will bring about justice in the end, and he will reward those who have been faithful.

3:14 The elders and rulers were responsible to help people, but instead they stole from the poor. Because they were unjust, Isaiah said the leaders would be the first to receive God’s judgment. Leaders will be held accountable for how they lead. If you are in a position of leadership, you must lead according to God’s just commands. Put the needs of others before your own. Fulfill the purpose God intended. Don’t seek your own advantage. Corruption will bring God’s wrath, especially if others follow your example.

3:14 Why is justice so important in the Bible? (1) Justice is part of God’s nature; it is the way he runs the universe. (2) It is a natural desire in every person. Even as sinners, we all want justice for ourselves. (3) When government and church leaders are unjust, the poor and powerless suffer. Thus, they are hindered from worshiping God. (4) God holds the poor in high regard. They are the ones most likely to turn to him for help and comfort. Injustice, then, attacks God’s children.

Lets Bring it Home: Its time we take our eyes off the television and point them to God. Stop worrying about how corrupt our Government is, and keep or start praying about it. Lets be sure we keep focus on ourselves also. We do want our prayers to be heard. When we do nothing to help the oppressed, we are, in fact, joining with the oppressor. Because we follow a just God, we must uphold justice. Don’t stop fighting for Justice. In the end God will have the Victory.


Under Gods Command 

Proverbs 4:23-27 Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. Put away perversity from your mouth; Keep corrupt talk far from your lips. Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you. Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm. Do not swerve to the right or the left; Keep your foot from evil.

Our heart, our feelings of love and desire-dictates to a great extent how we live because we always find time to do what we enjoy. Solomon tells us to guard our heart above all else, making sure we concentrate on those desires that will keep us on the right path. Make sure your affections push you in the right direction. Put boundaries (Guard Rails) on your desires: don’t go after everything you see. Look straight ahead, keep your eyes fixed on your goal, and don’t get sidetracked on detours that lead to sin.


Under Gods Command (Book of Leviticus)

Leviticus 7:28-30 

28The LORD said to Moses, 29“Say to the Israelites: ‘Anyone who brings a fellowship offering to the LORD is to bring part of it as their sacrifice to the LORD. 30With their own hands they are to present the food offering to the LORD; they are to bring the fat, together with the breast, and wave the breast before the LORD as a wave offering. 

God told the people of Israel to bring their fellowship offerings personally, with their own hands. They were to take time and effort to express thanks to God. You are the best person to express your thankfulness to God and to others.

Lets Bring it Home: Do you leave it to others to express thanks to someone who has been helpful? Do you rely on the one leading in prayer to thank God for you? Take time to communicate your personal gratitude both to God and to others who have helped and blessed you.


Under Gods Command

Proverbs 23:27 For a prostitute is a deep pit and a wayward wife is a narrow well.

The greatest threat to men, especially young men, is whores and adulteresses. An attractive, bold, and immoral woman is their most dangerous enemy. Solomon asked his son for his heart and his eyes, so he might warn him to avoid the fatal snare of these sexual destroyers (Pr 23:26). With the cold and calculating heart of a beast of prey, they use any means of enticement to capture and destroy noble men (Pr 5:6; 6:26; 23:28).

Hunters once trapped wild animals by covering pits with thin branches and grass; the animals would fall through the deceptive cover and be captured (I Chr 11:22). The hole or pit was deep to keep them from leaping out, and/or it was narrow to prohibit running or movement. The depth was too great to escape upward, and/or the width too narrow for moving or speed. They were designed to prevent escape. Capture or death was certain.

The metaphors are powerful! Sexual sins can destroy you. Escape from the temptation, the obsession, and her manipulation is rare. Once a man gives in to a woman, he is trapped by his lusts, her selfish demands, and/or the revenge of an angry father, husband, wife, populace, or magistrate (Pr 22:14; 5:20-23; 7:25-27). Men are seldom recovered.

A whore is a woman willing to have sex outside marriage, usually an unmarried woman who is promiscuous. A strange woman is any woman you have not married, especially a married woman willing to commit adultery against her husband. The great God of heaven, Who invented and designed sex, limited its pleasures to marriage (Heb 13:4).

Solomon had read about Joseph’s trouble with Potiphar’s wife and Samson’s ruin by Delilah, and he had clearly seen the great pain of his father for adultery with Bathsheba. Only Joseph survived, and he spent years in prison due to the revenge of his spurned seductress. Samson was finally ruined, and David suffered greatly for the rest of his life.

Young man, avoid company or communication with loose women. Reject their advances. They are liars. The very short pleasure they offer is nothing in comparison to the long suffering here and hereafter. They are a deep ditch and narrow pit. You should marry a woman that fears the Lord and enjoy her and children by her (Pr 5:15-19; I Cor 7:1-5).

God named a popular church the great whore and mother of harlots (Rev 17:1-6). The Roman Catholic Church is the mother, and Protestant churches are her daughters – born in the Reformation. If you join them, you will be trapped in a deep ditch and narrow pit. Find a faithful and loyal church of Jesus Christ that follows the simplicity of the gospel, and save yourself from spiritual adultery (II Cor 11:1-4; I Tim 4:1-6; Jas 4:4).


Under Gods Command (Book of Leviticus)

Leviticus 5 (The Sin Offering)

1-6:     1“ ‘If anyone sins because they do not speak up when they hear a public charge to testify regarding something they have seen or learned about, they will be held responsible.   

  2“ ‘If anyone becomes aware that they are guilty—if they unwittingly touch anything ceremonially unclean (whether the carcass of an unclean animal, wild or domestic, or of any unclean creature that moves along the ground) and they are unaware that they have become unclean, but then they come to realize their guilt; 3or if they touch human uncleanness (anything that would make them unclean)f even though they are unaware of it, but then they learn of it and realize their guilt;

4or if anyone thoughtlessly takes an oath to do anything, whether good or evil (in any matter one might carelessly swear about) even though he is unaware of it, when he learns of it he will be guilty.

Have you ever sworn to do or not do something and then realized how foolish your promise was? God’s people are called to keep their word, even if they make promises that are tough to keep. Jesus was warning against swearing (in the sense of making vows or oaths) when he said, “All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one” (Matthew 5:37).

Lets Bring it Home: Our word should be enough. If we feel we have to strengthen it with an oath, something is wrong with our sincerity. The only promises we ought not to keep are promises that lead to sin. A wise and self-controlled person avoids making rash promises. 

5:When anyone is guilty in any of these ways, he must confess in what way he has sinned and 6as a penalty for the sin they have committed, they must bring to the LORD a female lamb or goat from the flock as a sin offering; and the priest shall make atonement for them for their sin. 

The entire system of sacrifices could not help a sinner unless he brought his offering with an attitude of repentance and a willingness to confess sin. Today, because of Christ’s death on the cross, we do not have to sacrifice animals. But it is still vital to confess sin, because genuine confession shows realization of sin, awareness of God’s holiness, humility before God, and willingness to turn from this sin (Psalm 51:16-17).

Lets Bring it Home: Even Jesus’ death will be of little value to us if we do not repent and follow him. It is like a vaccine for a dangerous disease—it won’t help unless it enters the bloodstream. 

In this way the priest will make atonement for the man’s sin, and he will be forgiven. (This statement is mentioned 5 times in Chapter 5 after each Offering).


Under Gods Command

1 Corinthians 12:7-11 7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.

All Christians have faith. Some, however, have the spiritual gift of faith, which is an unusual measure of trust in the Holy Spirit’s power.

“Prophecy” does not just refer to predicting the future; it can also mean giving a message received from God to the community of believers: “The one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging and comfort” (14:3). The prophet Joel had written the words of the Lord, “I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy” (Joel 2:28). As with the gift of faith, the ability to share one’s faith with power is available to everyone (see 14:1–5), but to some the Spirit gives a special measure of this gift. Paul wrote in Romans, “We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith” (Romans 12:6). Some have interpreted “prophecy” to be fulfilled in various sermons throughout church history. Others, however, say that prophecy is not a sermon, but a spontaneous, Spirit-inspired message that is orally delivered in the congregation for the edification and encouragement of the body of Christ.

Opinions differ over exactly what Paul meant by “tongues.” Some believe that this refers to speaking in earthly languages that a person did not say that this refers to an “ecstatic” language, a “heavenly” language. Most likely the second view is correct. Probably the only time that the word “tongues” refers to other earthly languages is when describing Pentecost. The rest of the time in the New Testament, the word refers to ecstatic languages unknown to anyone—languages of angels (13:1). Speaking in tongues is a legitimate gift of the Spirit. The exercise of the gift demands some guidelines (as noted in chapter 14) so that the purpose of the gift—to help the body of Christ—is not lost. Those who speak in tongues should follow the guidelines; those who do not speak in tongues ought not seek the gift as a sign of salvation or of special closeness with God, for it is neither. It is a gift of God, given only to whomever God chooses. If a person has not experienced the gift of tongues, he or she ought not seek it but seek what gifts God has given. For more, see the notes in chapter 14.

Lets Bring it Home: No matter what gift(s) a person has, all spiritual gifts are distributed by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit decides which gifts each believer should have. We are responsible to use and sharpen our gifts, but we can take no credit for what God has freely given us. Note that discussions about spiritual gifts usually create difficulties when two central points are overlooked: (1) Properly used, spiritual gifts are not self-serving but serve the whole body of Christ (12:7); (2) each gift becomes practically useless when used without love (chapter 13). As you seek to identify and utilize the gifts God has given you, make loving God and loving fellow Christians your highest motives.


Under Gods Command

Proverbs 21:18 The wicked become a ransom for the righteous, and the unfaithful for the upright.

The God of heaven loves the righteous, and He gladly sacrifices the wicked for them. The ransom price to purchase and bless the righteous is the lives of wicked transgressors. He will save the righteous by sacrificing their wicked enemies, and He will return their wicked designs against the righteous upon their own heads. Consider Psalm 7:10-17!

Are you envious at the prosperity of the wicked? Are you troubled by their hatred for the righteous? Are you afraid of their proud waves? They shall foam out their shame in everlasting darkness! But before they get to that dark place, they shall be sold to trouble. There is a righteous God, and He makes differences in how He treats men (Ps 58:10-11 The righteous will be glad when they are avenged, when they bathe their feet in the blood of the wicked. Then men will say, “Surely the righteous still are rewarded; surely there is a God who judges the earth.”)

The best example to illustrate this lesson is the ransom of Egypt for Israel. The LORD loved His people Israel, and He heard their cry by reason of the hard bondage the Egyptians put upon them (Ex 1:13-14; 2:23-25). He had respect for them, but He did not have respect for Egypt. They were about to become the ransom for His righteous nation.

He sent ten plagues and horribly destroyed them before drowning Pharaoh and his army in the Red Sea. Pharaoh’s counselors admitted the plagues had destroyed the nation (Ex 10:7). With the firstborn dead in every home, the Egyptians begged for Israel to leave, so Israel “borrowed” the wealth of the whole nation to never return it. And the Lord joyfully directed Israel to spoil the Egyptians this way (Ex 12:35-36). Give God the glory!

The LORD declares of this transaction, “For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee. Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life” (Isaiah 43:3-4). This is the lesson.

God directed Joshua to stone Achan and his family to save Israel (Josh 7:1-26). Saul’s seven sons were hanged to ransom Israel from a famine from the LORD (II Sam 21:1-14). And Haman and his ten sons were hanged on the gallows he had built for Mordecai and the Jews (Esther 7:10). There is a God that treats men differently (Ps 58:10-11).

Consider the words in another proverb, “The righteous is delivered out of trouble, and the wicked cometh in his stead” (Pr 11:8). The Lord will pluck the righteous out of trouble and put the wicked in his place! The Lord will punish the wicked instead of the righteous.

God used Assyria as his tool to chasten Israel; then He turned and crushed Assyria for their actions and attitude (Is 10:5-19). And He did the same to Babylon, whom He used to punish Israel and other nations for seventy years before punishing them (Jer 25:8-14).

The servant that did not earn a return on his single talent was punished severely, and his talent was taken and given to the man with ten. The rich get richer, and the poor get poorer; yes, the poor are sacrificed for the rich in this spiritual parable (Matt 25:14-30).

Dear reader, if you fear the Lord and seek to live righteously, the Lord loves you and will gladly sacrifice the wicked for you. There is no need to fear them at all. The Lord is in His holy temple, and He will never let the wicked have their way with you. Your lesson in this proverb is the glorious providence of Almighty God in disposing of events in this life for the benefit of His people. He will sacrifice others for the benefit of His children.

The day is coming when Christians will judge the world and angels (I Cor 6:2-3). The devils and sinners have persecuted them for thousands of years, but the day of vengeance is coming, when the martyrs under the altar of God shall have their great desire fulfilled (Rev 6:9-11). Both wicked men and angels shall be sacrificed in place of His children.

Let this lesson drive away any fear or intimidation of the wicked, and let it replace that fear with a humble desire to be the honourable and beloved people of the most High. For “no weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper” (Is 54:11-17). And “he that toucheth you, toucheth the apple of mine eye” (Zech 2:8-9). Thank you, Lord, for defending and saving the upright in heart. Consider Psalm 7:10-17 again. Glory!