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Lowell Brueckner

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The Alliance that Failed


18. An expository study of Isaiah, chapter 17

In this chapter, the alliance that we learned about in chapter seven, reappears. You remember that the house of David, that is, the king’s household and all of Judah, “shook as the trees of the forest shake with the wind” (Is.7:2), because of the report of two allies, joined against them. You may also remember that the alliance was between Syria or Aram and the ten northern tribes of Israel. God assured King Ahaz and his people that this threat would come to nothing: “It shall not stand nor shall it come to pass” (7:7). Now we will see why they had nothing to worry about from that source. God knows the future perfectly, therefore it is always right and always safe to stand firmly upon His prophetic word.

A cursed cup to drink

“The oracle concerning Damascus.” This is another oracle, and we know now that its synonym is burden, but Matthew Henry quotes a Caldeean paraphrase that helps us to understand better this difficult word: The burden of the cup of the curse to drink to Damascus. An oracle is a bitter cup that is to be drunk and it contains a curse upon Damascus. Damascus is the capital city of Syria, so they must first drink of this “cup of trembling” (another way to describe the bitter cup, Is.51:17, 22; Zech.12:2). From there it is passed around to all of Syria and then each of the ten northern tribes of Israel must drink from it.

Moab… Sin, Pride and Salvation


17. An expository study of Isaiah, chapters 15 and 16

A little history of Moab

A close study of this map will show you most of the places mentioned in Isaiah 15 and 16.
Click for close-up
Moab was born to Lot’s oldest daughter as a direct result of the influence of Sodom and Gomorrah over his family. Moab was conceived shortly after they escaped from the judgment of God upon those cities. They fled to a small town in the valley, Zoar, but at a distance from the fire and brimstone, and then, for some reason, went to live in a cave in the mountains. The mother was killed, when she looked back at all they were leaving behind, and the two daughters were left.

There is a great, but disturbing, lesson to be learned from this account: You cannot choose to live in the middle of perversion without having it affect your life. Not only was homosexuality an acceptable sexual alternative in Sodom, but we can be sure, because of its presence, that there were many other perversions, as well. Perhaps as Lot’s daughters mixed and mingled with the Sodomite girls, they heard many stories of incestuous relationships. We can then understand the source of their evil plan to make their father drunk and then each conceive a child by him. We might also see why Lot allowed himself to drink, but in his stupor, he was not aware of having a part in incest (Ge.19:17-38).

Pepper and Salt 3


Repentance, shallow Christianity, getting the devil mad... that's the language of Vance Havner. Sometime, somewhere, many Christians have gotten the idea that they have to put up with a lot of unchristian ideas and actions. They think its loving to overlook faults that hurt the testimony of the church. They misinterpret the Scripture about "covering a multitude of sins". Vance Havner begins our little lesson in Christian values with the words of Christ, quoting from His word to the Thyatira church...

Is Christ tolerant?

"... thou sufferest that woman Jezebel..." (Rev. 2:20). God judges what we tolerate as well as what we practice. Too often we put up with things we ought to put out.

Turn around, cat!

Billy Sunday used to say, "They tell me I rub the fur the wrong way. I don't, let the cat turn around!" People who complain about straight preaching are usually cats headed the wrong way. People who walk in darkness squint when the light is turned on. The man who walks in the light welcomes more light (Jn. 3:19-21). This explains why some people do not like to come to church. They have photophobia... they are afraid of the light!

The Fall of Lucifer


An artist's view of The Hanging Gardens of Babylon
16. An expository study of Isaiah, chapter 14

I find it necessary to remind God´s people that in order to understand the Bible and godly principle, we must often change our understanding of many words. We see them in the popular form in which they are used, according to the present modes. In that way, it is easy to stray in our minds from what God wants us to understand. This is also true concerning historic meaning of words, as they have been used in the church.

Let´s take into account the word revival. What comes into your mind when you hear that word? In the south of the U.S., the word means a series of evangelistic meetings. In Spanish-speaking countries it might mean an awakening of unbelievers or sinners. This is true, because the Spanish word is avivamiento, which can simply mean somethingan event, a movement or a time that brings life. However, the classical use of the word in the church is, as is found in Psalms 85:6: “Will You not Yourself revive us again, that your people may rejoice in thee.” It means to live again, closely related to the word resurrect.  If that is the case, then it has to do with people, who had been alive, but need a new infusion of life.