Don’t Be a Hero

“Woe to those who are heroes in drinking wine and valiant men in mixing strong drink” (Isaiah 5:22)

There is nothing to be proud of in being able to “hold your liquor” better than others.  Priding oneself on the ability to consume toxins more than others do is a race to the bottom that no one wins.

A culture’s fascination with alcohol is a boasting that stems from its lowest ideals.  Don’t fall for the trap that drinking or drugs will somehow make you cool or impressive.

Matthew 4:4 #Biblebites

A Hunger for Truth

“My people go into exile for their lack of knowledge; and their honorable men are famished, and their multitude is parched with thirst.” (Isaiah 5:13)

When a man is presented with the instructions for how to build something, he is expected to read them and we feel no pity for him when his pride disregards those instructions and he ends up with an inferior construction.

At this very moment, the Bible is the most widely published book in human history.  It has been disseminated to every corner of the globe and translated into every major language and the vast majority of dialects.  It is the most accessible document in human history.

Don’t die of thirst with the fountain of life so close at hand.

Matthew 4:4 #Biblebites

Produce Good

“He expected it to produce good grapes, but it produced only worthless ones.” (Isaiah 5:2)

If you buy a well-made product, you expect it to fulfill its purpose.  A luxury automobile should drive well.  A handcrafted knife should hold a sharp edge.  Fine craftsmanship should produce quality results.

You are made in the image of God, by God.  We should expect more from ourselves because of the quality of the craftsmanship.  We were made to produce good.

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10)

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“Because the daughters of Zion are proud and walk with heads held high and seductive eyes, and go along with mincing steps and tinkle the bangles on their feet.” (Isaiah 3:16)

True beauty is found through integrity.  When Israel’s women began to model themselves after the seductive allures of the nations around them – God sent Isaiah to warn them that such fashions were scandalous, not beautiful.

The danger that our daughters will grow up believing they are only as beautiful as the tightness or shortness of their clothing is very real.  Hollywood’s depiction of feminine power being about seduction, glitz, and deception is a terrifying trap being set for the youth.  God sees so much more in women than these counterfeit beauties.  Men and women alike should fear the objectification of women.  It is a sin that destroys both our daughters and our sons.

“Your adornment must not be merely external–braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.” (1 Peter 3:3-4)

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On Display

“And they display their sin like Sodom; they do not even conceal it.  Woe to them!” (Isaiah 3:9)

Man is an ethical creature.  He cannot ignore his need to believe himself to be a good person.  So the devil must twist a man’s heart into becoming proud of his sin… so proud that he will flaunt it.  Greed becomes good, sexual deviancy is paraded through the streets, the murder of children becomes an issue of protecting women’s rights, nakedness becomes the fashion, and violence and murder is depicted as entertainment.

We display our sins with pride and without shame.  The devil is happy to deceive man into turning his ethics into wickedness.

“Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20)

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Finding the Center

“Stop regarding man, whose breath of life is in his nostrils; for why should he be esteemed?” (Isaiah 2:22)

The sooner we figure out we aren’t the center of the universe, the sooner we can begin to search for Him who is.

“that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us” (Acts 17:27)

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How to Avoid Shame

“The proud look of man will be abased and the loftiness of man will be humbled, and the LORD alone will be exalted in that day.” (Isaiah 2:11)

Pride is the act of raising oneself to a position of undeserved greatness.  Unfortunately, when we decide to place ourselves in company with those who are truly great, we cannot expect to remain their long.  If we have done something worthy of praise, God will exalt us.  If we haven’t – our pride only sets us up for shame.

“Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” (Proverbs 16:18)

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A Shrine to Ourselves

“Their land has also been filled with idols; they worship the work of their hands, that which their fingers have made.” (Isaiah 2:8)

A god that we can make ourselves is inferior and undeserving of our worship.  A god that is equal to our abilities is unable to give us anything we cannot gain ourselves.  Why do we worship dead things like money, fame, power, and beauty?  Man cannot make life, therefore, any god we make must be dead.

Only the God who creates us and has no creator is superior enough to deserve our worship.  Him who has no beginning and no end is worthy of our piety and reverence.

Matthew 4:4 #Biblebites

A Love of Learning

“And many peoples will come and say, ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; that He may teach us concerning His ways and that we may walk in His paths.’ ” (Isaiah 2:3)

This passage is a prophesy about the church of Christ.  The church Jesus bought with His blood would turn into a mighty mountain known for their knowledge of God’s will because they all came to be taught by God.

Christians have a heart for His Word and His will above their own.  We aren’t perfect, but we yearn for Him to show us His Way through the Scripture.  Christians should be known for our love of truth and teaching.  A child of God loves to be taught by their Father.

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Start By Turning Around

“Zion will be redeemed with justice and her repentant ones with righteousness.” (Isaiah 1:27)

There is no way to dig yourself out of a hole.  Repentance means putting down the shovel and accepting that the direction we chose was wrong.  God has always found joy in redeeming the repentant and rewarding them with mercy and forgiveness.

Jesus welcomed the sorrowful tax collectors and prostitutes with open arms and rebuked the self-righteous Pharisees with strong warnings against their pride.  The road to God begins with turning around.

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