Friday, July 31, 2015

WEEKLY SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON
An international Sunday school lesson commentary
For Sunday August 2, 2015

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OUR REDEEMER COMES
(GOD is the only one WHO is able to redeem us)
(Isaiah 59)

Unless a person receives “new life” through CHRIST JESUS, their sin will carry them over into eternal death (permanent separation from GOD). In Isaiah chapter 59, the prophet stresses the fact that our sins are what continue to interrupt our relationship with GOD. GOD’s general blessings (those that are bestowed upon all human beings, believers and unbelievers, i.e. the right to life, air, rain, sunshine, etc.), and, special favors (those that are bestowed upon us whenever we live in obedient to HIS Word) are ever-flowing. However, when we sin, we disconnect ourselves from that flow of special favor, and sometimes, even from general blessings.
Here in this passage, taking up at verses 1-3, Isaiah reminds us that GOD is not too weak to save us from ourselves. HE still has ears to hear us when we call (GOD is not deaf), but our lifestyles have placed us in a “spiritual disconnect” situation, where we are no longer able to communicate and speak with HIM successfully. In other words, we have allowed our “spiritual phone line service” to be cut off, because of sin, and we need to “reconnect” into a personal relationship of friendship with GOD, through earnest repent, and a return to obedience.
Sin corrupts human nature and turns our thoughts to evil acts against each other, and more importantly, against GOD, WHO created us in HIS OWN “spiritual image” (tselem) to be HIS “figurative representatives” here on earth. Sin arouses wrong desires, and so weakens us, that we choose wrong over right, even when we are sober and cognizant of the perverseness of our choices. It is not until a person falls in love with goodness, that “wrong things” will no longer fascinate, and have power over us.
In verses 4-8 Isaiah paints a grim, but accurate picture of an immoral society that has almost totally turned itself away from GOD. It is the depiction of a society where few care about being fair or honest. Even their lawsuits against each other were based on lies. People were beginning to spend a great deal of their time plotting evil deeds, and then, vigorously carrying out those schemes with the greatest of skill. They cheated and shortchanged people, and nothing they did was morally or spiritually productive during the course of any given day. Violence became a societal trademark, as many feet ran to do evil, and rushed to commit murder. Their every thought was sinful, and everywhere they went, misery and destruction followed closely behind them, and no one was able to experience even a moment of peace. Um! Sounds almost like today’s society!
Through all of our evil ways, we actually show how far GOD’s deliverance is from us. We walk around in spiritual darkness, groping and stumbling like blind people, and we don’t even realize that we have a light in this world, JESUS, WHO came to save us from ourselves. Yes, we look for justice, but there is none to be found, because we don’t require it of the people we choose and elect to rule over us. As a result, we now find ourselves looking to be redeemed by unjust men and women, who badly need GOD’s salvation themselves. Instead of praising and obeying GOD, we turn our backs on GOD, and rebel against HIM every chance we get. And now we’ve reached a point where our courts oppose GOD, and, the righteous people of GOD.
We live in a time where truth falls dead in our streets, and professed Christians are more concerned with defending their own race than they are about defending the truth of the Gospel of JESUS CHRIST. Even here in the United States we now verbally, and sometimes, physically attack and punish, those who choose to believe GOD, and not man. Yes, our sins are piled up high in this generation, and they testify boldly against us with their presence before GOD.
In verses 16-21 Isaiah delivers some good news to those who lived in the eighth century that were seeking GOD’s righteousness through their behavior. And that same message comes to like-minded individuals, from across the spans of time, who, in this, the twenty-first century, choose to follow CHRIST JESUS, our LORD. There he tells us that GOD will step in to save HIS oppressed people with a mighty power, and justice. And HE HIMSELF, will don “righteousness” as HIS body armor, and will have on HIS head, “a helmet of salvation”. HE will also clothe HIMSELF with the robe of vengeance and GODly fury (Vs.16-17).
It is a prophecy of the coming of CHRIST, and here Isaiah is saying that, GOD, through JESUS, HIS SON, will render righteousness and salvation to HIS people, while, at one and the same time, vigorously executing vengeance on those who oppressed and harmed HIS people, physically, morally, and spiritually. Then, at last, the whole world will respect and glorify the name of JESUS, as our REDEEMER and LORD (v.19).  
In verses 20-21 Isaiah foretells that the MESSIAH will go to Jerusalem to redeem those in Israel who have turned from their sins. HE will then enter into a “New Covenant” with them, and neither HIS HOLY SPIRIT, nor HIS words, will ever leave them, or their children in the generations to come. And Israel, through the light of CHRIST, will shine on many in all the other nations, and they too, will be attracted to the glory of our LORD, JESUS CHRIST, forever.

A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander





                                 
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