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Thursday, July 14, 2016

The Key to Treasure (Isaiah 33:5-6)

 "The LORD is exalted, for he dwells on high;
he will fill Zion with justice and righteousness.
He will be the sure foundation for your times,
a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge;
the fear of the LORD is the key to this treasure."

Israel did not fear the Lord and found themselves taken into captivity by the Assyrians. Judah is on the verge of making the same mistake. These nations had lost the fear of the Lord; they had lost the key to treasure.

What is the fear of the Lord? It is the awareness of the fact that we will stand before God and give an account for our life. This awareness awakens us to several realities:
  • We need salvation from our sins and we need a Savior
  • We need wisdom to invest our lives in things that will outlive us (the souls of men, the Word of God, and prayer)
  • We need knowledge to discern God's way of salvation and to provoke faith in Christ (faith comes by hearing the Word of God)
Those who don't fear God think they have no need of salvation or that they can save themselves by doing good works. They also rely on human reason and logic to navigate their way through life and have little use for faith. And, finally they believe that the world's information is more trustworthy than God's revelation.

Some people live for today only. Others live for someday, when they will reach retirement, fame or some other temporal measurement of success. Those who are wise live for another day--the day they will stand before God and give an account of this life. For such people God's day eclipses every other day on their calendar. The fear of Lord opens for them an unlimited treasure box of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge.

The fear of the Lord, is the awareness of another day and the wisdom to live in the light of that day. It is living in the light of His awesome presence now and forever. The fear of the Lord is the key to everlasting treasure.

Questions for today's Chronological Bible reading:
Isaiah 33:1-37:13
  • Who are those who will survive the "consuming fire" and the "everlasting burning"?
  • Israel has spent much of her history trusting in Egypt and other countries to come to her aid. What will be her relationship with the Lord during the millennium?
  • What analogy does Isaiah use to describe Israel's safety during the millennium?
  • How will the land of Israel respond to the manifest glory of the Lord?
  • List the nine "reversals" in chapter 35:5-7. What does this tell you about God?
  • What will characterize Israel during the millennium reign of Christ in Israel?
  • What methods does the king of Assyria use to intimidate King Hezekiah and his people?
  • What does the Lord tell king Hezekiah in response to his prayers?
  • What does this narrative teach you about God? The enemy? Prayer?
Turning truth into prayer
Ask the Lord to burn into your heart and mind an awareness of His presence-- a fear of Him that causes you to seek His salvation, walk in His wisdom, and pursue Him with all of your heart.