READ: Isaiah 3-5
THINK: Don't be judgmental! Don't be closed-minded! Don't be hateful! These seem like reasonable restrictions; even the Bible warns against such things. Yet, people today tend to twist these standards to justify ungodly behaviors, trying to portray evil as good and wrong as right-often in the name of freedom, compassion, understanding and "tolerance." Behaviors and lifestyles that God condemns as deviant and destructive are openly accepted and even celebrated in society. Those who challenge these immoral norms are accused of being closed-minded, judgmental, hateful and even dangerous to society. While always demonstrating compassion, Christ's followers must never compromise the standards of good and evil-right and wrong-that are revealed in God's Word.
RESPOND: What would God take from Jerusalem, and why? (See 3:1 note.) What eventually happens to a society that rejects God? (See 3:5 note.) What was God's message to those who were faithful to Him (3:10)? (See 3:10 note.) How had the leaders treated the poor, and how would God respond (3:14-15)? (See 3:14 note.) How were the women of Jerusalem behaving, what were their priorities, and what would happen to them as a result? (See 3:16-27 note.) What or who is "the Branch of the Lord" (4:2), and what is significant about that title? (See 4:2 note.) How does chapter 4 describe those who survive the coming judgment (4:3)? (See 4:3 note.) What does the song about the vineyard (ch. 5) represent? (See 5:1-7 note)? Chapter 5, pronounces six "woes" (statements of judgment) on what specific sins (vv. 8,11-12,18-23)? (See 5:8-32 note.) In what ways do people today portray evil as good (5:20)? (See 5:20 note.) What's significant about Isaiah's reference to "distant nations" (5:26)? (See 5:26 note.)
PRAY: Give thanks for God's blessing and help when you do what's right and for providing patient correction and discipline when you aren't doing what's right. Pray for people you know who might misjudge and oppose you because of your stand for God. Pray that their minds will be spiritually opened to the truth.
ACT: Pay more attention to spiritual matters, inner beauty, character issues and helping others, rather than being preoccupied with outward appearance and selfish concerns. Apply this to the way you view yourself and others.
New Testament FIRE Starters are now available in a yearlong, daily devotional book. This hard cover book is laid out in 365 daily devotionals allowing you to take FIRE with you! Great for personal use, to use as a family or give as a gift.
Order your hard copy of the FIRE Starters book today!
If you do not have a Fire Bible Student Edition, place your order NOW!