Gosh, you guys!
The Book of the Prophet Isaiah is HIT AFTER HIT
Overall when you are looking at the Book of the Prophet Isaiah, keep this in mind
It is both BEFORE the EXILE and DURING the EXILE
Isaiah is primarily a Prophet to the Kingdom of Judah (SOUTHERN KINGDOM)
Isaiah has also spoken to Israel (NORTHERN KINGDOM) while it still existed
He is PRIMARILY a prophet to the SOUTHERN KINGDOM
The Kingdom of the North is going to be destroyed, as we have noted many times, by Assyria
The Kingdom of the South is going to be EXILED by Babylon
Isaiah Ch 13 we read an Oracle Concerning Babylon
Isaiah 13:1, “The oracle concerning Babylon which Isaiah the son of Amoz saw…”
We are going to see this in the future
Remember, back in 2 Kings and 2 Chronicles, Isaiah was present with King Hezekiah when he had to face down the Assyrians
Remember that this was so good because Hezekiah got this decree from the King of Assyria
Hezekiah went to the Temple of the Lord and asked God to deliver them
God delivered them from the Kingdom of Assyria and Sennecharib that day
So God SAVED THEM
God is NOT going to save them from the BABYLONIANS
The Book of the Prophet Isaiah can kinda sorta be divided into TWO MAIN SECTIONS (some people divide it into 3 sections...we are going to divide them into 2)
The Book of Woe or the Book of Condemnation (we’ll call it The Book of Woe)
The Book of Consolation
The Book of Woe is Chs 1-39, so we will be with this book for the next few days
We’ll think about the People of God and wonder
WHY DON’T THEY COME BACK??
WHY AREN’T THEY REPENTING??
HERE IS WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN!!
After The Book of Woe, Chs 40-66 is The Book of Consolation
There is SO MUCH CONSOLATION GOING ON
GOD HAS NOT ABANDONED YOU
YES, YOU ARE EXPERIENCING JUDGMENT RIGHT NOW, BUT IT IS NOT FOREVER AND YOU ARE GOING TO COME BACK HOME
The GREAT NEWS is that even in The Book of Woe, THERE IS CONSOLATION!!
Isaiah 11:1, “There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots.”
What is that?
Remember, Jessie was the father of King David
The Promise of God was that the Dynasty of David WOULD NOT FAIL
The MESSIAH would ultimately come from THE LINE OF DAVID
THAT KINGDOM WILL ENDURE FOREVER
When you look at it in THIS MOMENT IN HISTORY, you would think that the KINGDOM IS DONE
We had a couple decent kings, but not very many
THIS IS OVER
It is like a tree that has been cut down and all you have left is a stump
Isaiah says yes, but there is a shoot that comes from this stump of Jesse and a branch shall grow out of its roots
Basically, IT IS NOT OVER YET!!
Even in The Book of Woe we have CONSOLATION
Right after that Isaiah says in 11:2, “And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. And his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord. He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide by what his ears hear; but with righteousness he shall judge the poor…”
We realize that THIS IS JESUS
This is ANOTHER PROPHECY OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST
Remember, when Jesus goes into the synagogue in Nazareth, He unrolls the scroll and teaches
He preaches from Isaiah Ch 61, “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, He has sent me to proclaim good news to captives, a year of favor from our God, recovery of sight to the blind…”
We realize that the Spirit of the Lord here in Isaiah Ch 11 is THE SAME Spirit of the Lord PROPHESIED in Isaiah Ch 61!!
The SAME Spirit of the Lord that is upon Jesus as He is preaching and proclaiming the GOOD NEWS to the people in Nazareth
THINK ABOUT THIS...GOOD NEWS
We have heard that term A THOUSAND TIMES
THE GOOD NEWS OF JESUS
THE GOSPEL OF JESUS
Look at this HISTORY that we have been LIVING THROUGH for the last 197 days
This HISTORY of God’s promises
This HISTORY of the people’s UNFAITHFULNESS AND FAITHLESSNESS
This HISTORY of destruction and violence
This HISTORY of brokenness
This HISTORY of people who were SUPPOSED to be great but they WERE NOT GREAT
This HISTORY of people who were given the SPIRIT OF THE LORD and they GAVE UP ON HIM
And here is Jesus who comes along and says, “Actually, what you heard written over 700 years ago in the Prophet Isaiah, that Spirit has come upon me. And yes the day is going to come when the wolf shall dwell with the lamb and the leopard will lie down with the kid and the calf and the lion and the fatling together and the little child shall lead them.”
THIS IS INCREDIBLE!!
WHAT AN INCREDIBLE GIFT!!
So we are at the end of the Book of Tobit
Tobit Ch 13 is the Prayer of Tobit
Most priests, deacons, and other religious pray it on a regular basis in the LITURGY OF THE HOURS
If you pray the LITURGY OF THE HOURS then you pray through ALL 150 PSALMS, the CANTICLES of both the Old Testament and New Testament
One of those CANTICLES is Tobit’s prayer in Tobit Ch 13
We don’t always get the CONTEXT
Here is the CONTEXT for Tobit’s Prayer, who is STILL IN EXILE
At the end of the Book of Tobit, Tobit says, “Remember Jonah preached to Nineveh that it would be destroyed. That is still going to happen. They repented for a moment, but they are not going to stay in repentance. It is going to be destroyed so you have got to get out of here.”
Tobit gives a prophecy of what is going to happen in Ch 14
In Tobit Ch 13, he says “Do what I have been doing.”
Tobit 13:3, “Acknowledge him before the nations, O sons of Israel; for he has scattered us among them.”
Rather than just saying that they were scattered and WOE IS US
Tobit says ACKNOWLEDGE HIM AMONG THESE NATIONS
SO MAKE GOD’S GREATNESS KNOWN THERE
Tobit 13:4, “Make his greatness known there, and exalt him in the presence of all the living; because he is our Lord and God, he is our Father forever. Turn to Him with your whole heart and maybe the people around us will also turn to Him.”
WHAT A GIFT!
Here is Tobit who is saying, “Even in EXILE I can still praise God. In fact, because I am in EXILE I will praise Him EVEN MORE so that the people around me, who have no idea who God is, will come to know WHO GOD IS.”
MAN!! WHAT A GIFT!!
For those of you who are going through the Book of Tobit for the first time (LIKE ME!!!) hopefully it was a GOOD, UPLIFTING, EDIFYING, INSPIRING STORY
Hopefully it CONVICTED US ALL
I can do what I can do
I don’t have to mourn and lament the fact that I can’t do EVERYTHING
I can only do SOME THINGS
Just because I can’t do EVERYTHING doesn’t mean that I can’t do ANYTHING
Tobit is a great example of that
Not only doing what we CAN
But also knowing that God hears our prayers no matter where we are praying FROM
Whether that is a PRISON CELL
Whether that is BLINDNESS
Whether that is EXILE
Whether that is OUR HOMES
GOD HEARS OUR PRAYERS!!
GOD LOVES YOU!!
GOD LOVES YOU SO MUCH!!
GOD HEARS EVERY ONE OF YOUR PRAYERS!!
GOD HAS NOT FORGOTTEN YOU!!
FR. MIKE IS PRAYING FOR YOU!!
PRAY FOR FR. MIKE
PRAY FOR EACH OTHER
WHAT A GIFT THIS IS!!