Hi all! No Leviathan this week (super bummer), but here’s a rad picture:
Anyway, here are the new notes from this past Monday’s Bible study:
– After a few chapters of hope and glorious praise of the Lord, we’re back into “typical Isaiah”: Woes. And woes and woes. We’re confronted with “the proud crown of the drunkards of Ephraim.” Contrast their sinful crowns to the Lord’s declaration in verse 5 of the Lord being a “crown of glory, and a diadem of beauty, to the remnant of His people.”
– What’s the deal with “precept upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, there a little”? It’s weird and annoying to read, and the context is cryptic. The best I can guess is that since we’ve mentioned the corrupt priests, and the sinful leaders that condemn the people, and that precepts are laws, we’re seeing something along the lines of what Jesus said to the Pharisees in Matthew 23: “They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger.”
– Does verse 7 reminded anyone of anywhere else in the Bible? The drunk and reeling priests? Think Samuel: Eli and his sons were engaging in some pretty perverse stuff in the temple of the Lord (1 Samuel 2). No wonder Samuel was the only one God would speak to at that time. And he was a little kid, too! No doubt when Isaiah mentioned this the people would have thought of Eli, his sons, and Samuel – another time when the nation needed to repent.
– Verse 16: “Therefore thus says the Lord God, ‘Behold, I am the one who has laid as a foundation in Zion, a stone, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone, of a sure foundation: “Whoever believes will not be in haste.”‘” Where have we seen this one before? All over the Bible, right? We hit it first in Isaiah 8:14: “And he will become a sanctuary and a stone of offense and a rock of stumbling to both houses of Israel, a trap and a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And many shall stumble on it. They shall fall and be broken; they shall be snared and taken.” It’s also in Romans 9:32-33: “They have stumbled over the stumbling stone, as it is written, ‘Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense; and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.'” It’s also in 1 Peter 2:4-8: “As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For it stands in Scripture: ‘Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.’ So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe, ‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone,’ and ‘A stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense.’ They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do.” It’s also in Psalm 118:22: “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.” It’s also in Matthew 21:42-44: “Jesus said to them, ‘Have you never read in the Scriptures: “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes”?’ Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people producing its fruits. And the one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him.”‘” What does all of this mean? The cornerstone of a building is the stone that is placed first, and upon which everything else is built out from and up from. When choosing a cornerstone one must have the most sturdiest piece of block they could find. Essentially, by rejecting the chief cornerstone, they are building on a foundation that is not choice and not steady. Taken metaphorically, Jesus is the chief cornerstone upon which we should build our lives, but those who didn’t see that Jesus was the Messiah exchanged Him for other less sturdy and reliable material upon which to build. It begs the question: What do you build your life upon?
We only got to the beginning of chapter 4, which brings us into the throne room. A few things:
– Who calls John up to heaven? Jesus! Note:
1) John is only one of four guys who sees the throne room in the Bible. The others are Isaiah, Ezekiel, and most likely Paul.
2) John is invited up into the throne room. John doesn’t get himself into the throne room. There’s a difference. He doesn’t do anything to merit it, he doesn’t go through a medium or go on some sort of induced trip. He is invited.
3) No one who goes to heaven in the Bible does so by a near death experience. No one.
4) Everyone who goes to heaven focused on the One at the center – the Lord upon the throne – and gives appropriate worship (see Isaiah’s “I’m not worthy!” cry). No one focuses on the periphery, really. Everyone is focused on God.
– What’s the rainbow stand for? Covenant!
– Who are the twenty-four elders? As most answers in Revelation, it will be, “I don’t know, BUT it’s probably _____.” Therefore, these guys are probably the twelve apostles and the twelve sons of Israel. Didn’t Jesus say the apostles would one day be sitting on thrones in heaven judging angels? (He did: Matthew 19:28.) This is also reinforced in Revelation 21:12-14, with the gates and foundation stones being named for the twelve apostles and twelve sons of Israel.