In light of the marvelous deliverance promised in last week's segment, through the work of the Servant, we would think that Jerusalem would respond with joy and song and exultation! We would be wrong.
The first Servant Song, Is 42:1-9, was fairly vague when it comes to identifying the Servant and His mission, but this week we will be going through the second song verse by verse. The Servant, in the first half, speaks about Himself and what He has been commissioned to do. Then Yahweh responds to the Servant and the earth rejoices.
Isaiah 48 is very much a downer. Israel is repeatedly confronted with the word "shema" which means to both hear and obey--and then they are outright told that they have never heard and never obeyed. Yahweh delivers a very potent warning for those exilic Jews who are going to refuse to leave Babylon when Cyrus sets them free, and it's really easy to point our fingers and shake our heads but--how are we, all of us, still comfortably residing in Babylon when we have been called to be elsewhere?
For those who are Revelation focused, it comes as quite the shock to hear Yahweh call Babylon a vulnerable virgin in Isaiah 47--repeatedly. But then, our view of Babylon has been much confused by some propagandistic fictional writings of the 19th and 20th centuries that were accepted at face value without any sort of comparison with what we know either Biblically or archaeologically. Believe me, the truth about Babylon is important because it changes how certain passages are understood and seriously effects how we should react to how they are thrown around now, often entirely out of context.
I recorded this broadcast four days after the shocking death of Yael Good, the daughter of my beloved friends, Joe and Debbie Good. In the wake of a senseless tragedy, and especially when the throne of God is being bombarded day and night with prayers from countless thousands all over the world, we sometimes feel betrayed, disappointed, bewildered, and even embarrassed. I came up with seven difficult questions and I answered them to the best of my ability. Sometimes, there just are no answers, but that doesn't make the questions wrong. Questions are never wrong.
For those wanting to donate to Yael's funeral and medical fund www.yaelgood.com
Up to this point, things have been pretty grim in Yahweh's disputations with the nations and their gods but now we see a big change. We see a prophesied move of the nations toward faith in the one true God and a growing divide between those who do and do not worship Him. In addition, we are treated to a very humorous caricature of Marduk, the chief God of the city of Babylon, and his son Nebo, the chief god of Borsippa as well as the god of wisdom and scribes.
Next week, our first mention of Babylon--up until now, the nations have been addressed as a monolithic group without any differentiation but now Babylon will be singled out for special attention.
Thank you for your prayers on behalf of Yael and the Good family. She passed into the arms of our Savior yesterday. For those wanting to help with medical and funeral expenses, here is a link: www.yaelgood.com
Yes, the Bible calls a pagan king a Messiah and how Israel responds to him is a foreshadowing of how they will respond to Yeshua/Jesus the Messiah. Exciting stuff!
Here are the two responsible online articles I referenced https://www.ancient.eu/Cyrus_the_Great/ and https://www.britannica.com/biography/Cyrus-the-Great
For those of you who have been praying for Yael Good, the daughter of my Temple teacher Joseph Good and his wife Debbie, please keep up the good work. Yael's eyes opened yesterday. She is still on life support after falling victim to a particularly nasty strain of the flu while on our in Israel and her heart is still a concern, but there is a glimmer of hope today that it will restart and that she will not need a heart transplant. Anyone wanting to support them
I was gone in North Carolina at the Founded in Truth Hannukah Conference all week and so I decided to record on one of my favorite subjects--but don't worry, next week we will get back to Isaiah and the Messiah--King Cyrus is up next and we will explore how he foreshadows the later deliverance through the Messiah and the Greater Exodus.
So, this week we are discussing Hannukah and the unfortunate teachings which have led people to believe that Yeshua/Jesus preached against all traditions. Someone even sent me a post where the poster was telling people that even though Yeshua was clearly at the Feast of Dedication in John 10, it was only to rebuke the people for being there (despite absolutely no textual proof). We will be talking at length about the traditions that Yeshua rebuked, the ones He was neutral about, as well as the ones He Himself kept and promoted. The book I referenced in the teaching is Hollisa Alewine's Truth, Tradition or Tare: Growing in the Word. Dr. Alewine's book should be required reading for those who have been mercilessly pummeled with the teachings telling them that they can't do anything unless it is written in the Torah as it is a breath of fresh air and reason.
I recommend checking out this teaching of Dr Alewine's which sheds a lot of light on the situation with the Pharisees. It will ask you to create an account for access, but the teachings are free https://www.myrevivetv.com/programs/pharisee-friend-or-foe?cid=296422
It's crazy that this week just happened to be when this section of Scripture fell into place. Isaiah 44 contains the longest and most detailed idol polemic in all of Scripture and provides the context needed to understand Jeremiah 10:1-16 as well as Habbakuk 2 and even helps to understand Psalm 115. This week we are going to read Isaiah as well as portions of Jeremiah, Habbakuk, the Babylonian Erra Epic, Herodotus and Hittite writings in order to understand the ancient idolatrous mindset and why Yahweh was fighting so hard for the hearts and minds of His people in exile.