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Religious Ritualism

According to Duvall and Hays the prophets (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel and the minor prophets) write in the theological context of Deuteronomy and in the historical context of an imminent invasion by either the Assyrians (against Israel) or the Babylonians (against Judah).1 Also, the prophets overall message centers around three main points:2

1. “You have broken the covenant; you had better repent.”
2. If you do not repent you will face the promised curses.
3. There is a future hope of restoration.

In the first category; the category of covenant violation, the prophets give three subcategories demonstrating how Israel/Judah broke the covenant:3

1. Idolatry
2. Social Justice
3. Religious Ritualism

What is Religious Ritualism?

It is on the subject of religious ritualism that I would like to speak today. I am not an Israelite; and therefore, not held to a Deuteronomic code of ethics. I am a Christian bound to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Christian ethics…

The OT Law in the Life of the Church

Today’s blog is on a subject that is dear to my heart. What is the role of the OT Law in the life of the church? When I first had the desire to preach/share the gospel with people, I searched for a method. One of the methods that I came across was promoted by a man named Ray Comfort who lives in California. He called his method, “The Way of the Master.” I read his book, “Hell’s Best Kept Secret.”

In his book Ray speaks of the evangelist as being a salesman and gives four principles for selling: relate to the person, create on opportunity, convict of sin, reveal Jesus Christ.1 However, the majority of the book does not focus on who Jesus Christ is or His death, burial and resurrection, but on the third principle which is conviction.

“The way to produce conviction in the heart of a sinner is to take him through the Ten Commandments.”2 According to Ray Comfort, using the ten Commandments to bring conviction, is Hell’s Best Kept Secret. He describes the Ten Commandments as being like ten…

Blog #3, Isaiah 14:3-23, What Does this Passage Mean?

The passage that I have been explaining in this blog series is Isaiah 14:3-23. In Blog #1, I explained who the author is, the date and occasion of his writing, the Biblical audience along with their historical and cultural context, and finally the literary context of the text itself. In Blog #2, I gave a verse-by-verse commentary of Isaiah 14:3-23 in light of the historical cultural and literal context given in blog #1.

In this blog, I will list the similarities between us and the original audience, as well as the differences between us and the original audience. When interpreting a biblical passage like Isaiah 14:3-23 it is important for us to understand the similarities that we share with the original audience and the differences that we have, because those difference form a hindrance when we attempt to go straight from meaning in their historical and cultural context to meaning in ours.1

As stated in Blog #1, the original audience is Judah during the reigns of the Kings of Judah: U…

Verse-by-Verse Commentary: Isaiah 14:3-23

14:3-4. Once the Lord frees Israel from pain, turmoil and harsh service for which they have been enslaved, they will taunt the king of Babylon. They will do this in song.1 This taunt song has the metric of a dirge. A dirge eulogizes the dead and is usually song during a funeral procession. However, this song while having the metric of a dirge serves to do the opposite of eulogizing. This song mocks the dead king of Babylon.2

14:5-6. A ruler has a scepter by which he rules the nation. He could extend this scepter to you as an act of mercy, as was the case when Esther came before king Ahasuerus, king of Persia, unsummoned. (cf. Est 4:11-12, 5:1-2) This king of Babylon’s scepter was more like a staff with which a cruel owner might beat his slaves and he did so unceasingly, without any moral restraint. In this taunt song, the Lord has broken the Babylonian king’s staff/scepter. By his unrestrained anger the king of Babylon demonstrated himself to be an unfit to ruler.3

BLOG #1WHAT DOES THIS PASSAGE MEAN?ISAIAH 14:3-23

For the next seven weeks I will be writing about Isaiah 14:3-23. This is Blog post #1. I invite you to join me as I learn what the Lord has to say to us in this passage.

Author 
Some would say that the book of Isaiah was authored by more than one person if not several authors.1 These are the theories of modern biblical critics. This same group says that Moses did not write the Pentateuch and the Book of Daniel was not authored by Daniel.2 “Until the late 1700’s virtually all Jewish and Christian scholars accepted Isaiah as one long prophecy given by one very gifted writer, Isaiah the son of Amoz.”3 The Book of Isaiah begins, “The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz concerning Judah and Jerusalem, which he saw during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, Kings of Judah.” (Isa 1:1) The book never states that it is a different vision at any time; therefore, I must maintain that the entire book is written by one author, Isaiah the son of Amoz.

Isaiah is a prophet of YHWH. He was …