Wednesday, March 29, 2017

When's the Last Time You've Read Isaiah 53?

So when is the last time you’ve read Isaiah 53?

If you’re Jewish it’s likely that you’ve never read it or read it passingly.

How utterly ironic!

The Tanakch (What is commonly called in some circles, the ‘Old Testament’) is indisputably THE most Jewish book ever written!  It predates the Talmud, targumim (commentaries) and Zohar (Book of Jewish mysticism) and is the foundation from which the other books are said to have been derived.  And yet, per capita, there is little doubt that more Gentiles are familiar with the Tanakch, and Isaiah 53 in particular, than Jews.

It’s not surprising that Isaiah 53 is not part of the average Jewish lexicon.  Of all references to Tanakch in the Chumosh (The weekly Tanakch readings found in the synagogue), Isaiah 53 is most notably omitted.

All sorts of arguments are thrown back and forth concerning the reason for this omission but the point is, not even that its omitted, but that the average Jew is not only ignorant of what the Tanakch says but particularly what Isaiah 53 says. 

And I’m not going to tell you what it says.  Read it for yourself and draw your own conclusions, if, for no other reason, educating yourself in a book with which you should be familiar and of which Gentiles are putting you to shame.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Your Soul... Your most Important Posession

A soul…

Everybody’s got one. 

You can’t touch it, taste it, feel it, hear it or smell it but it’s there and it’s the most important part of you.  In fact, it's the essence of who you are.

And because it’s intangible, you really don’t know how to take care of it.  It’s easy to assume that if you do good deeds or engage in meditation you’re doing something good for your soul.  But, how do you know that whatever you’re doing is good for your soul?  Maybe the good deeds that you’re performing are for the wrong motive.  Maybe you’ve mixed a little selfishness or pride in with that good deed.

And have you ever told a lie or been unjustly angry with someone?  You might deny it but God knows the truth.  And if you find yourself disagreeing with God on that issue, then you’re deceiving yourself and the truth is not in you.

As the psalmist wrote:
"Where can I go from Your Spirit?  Where can I flee from your presence?"
                                                                            Psalm 139:7

To be honest, there’s no one on this planet that we call Earth who’s soul is not stripped bare by an all knowing, all seeing God and when one considers our thoughts and deeds, every one of our souls look quite ugly to Him.  It is He who sees them and they are so ugly to Him that they deserve nothing but to be thrown into a fire.

But God has provided a way out for you.  Jesus never had an impure thought or selfish deed.  He was the type of man that a man should be.  And He was the only such man in all of history.  Of the Messiah, it is written…

Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him: he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.
                                                                             Isaiah 53:10

The righteous God had to punish the sin that was in your soul in order to establish justice.  But Jesus voluntarily took on the punishment that you deserved so that you could be clean and holy before a just but, at the same time, loving God. 

And then God gives you a choice.  Are you going to be dismissive towards this sacrifice on the part of Jesus?  Are you going to deny that it ever took place?  Are you going to continue to try to fool yourself into thinking that you’re the best “doctor” for your damaged soul?  Or are you going to trust Jesus to give you His righteousness? 

Only He can restore your soul and make it acceptable to God.