July 16, 2012 – Keep Your Focus

In that day man will look to his Maker, and his eyes will look on the Holy One of Israel. He will not look to the altars, the work of his hands, and he will not look on what his own fingers have made…Isaiah 17:7-8a (ESV)

 

These chapters in Isaiah read like a mini-Revelation – from the events that will happen in Babylon, to the skies, to the armies, to the fall of Satan. This goes on for 10 chapters as God pronounces judgment to 9 nations. Scary read, yes, but in between (just like God) there are glimpses of hope. Like this:


Isaiah 14:1 For the Lord will have compassion on Jacob and will again choose Israel, and will set them in their own land, and sojourners will join them and will attach themselves to the house of Jacob. This chapter is where Israel turns and taunts her tormentor, Babylon and in verses 12-20 of the same chapter, an extension of how in the future we will view our own tormentor, Satan. Oh, I can’t wait!

 

and this verse:

 

Isaiah 14:24 The Lord of hosts has sworn: “As I have planned, so shall it be, and as I have purposed, so shall it stand. Never forget: our God is in control.

 

I love the main verse today.


a. In that day a man will look to his Maker, and his eyes will have respect for the Holy One of Israel: In the midst of such severe judgment, some will respond as they should, with humble respect for God.

b. He will not look to the altars, the work of his hands: One of God’s purposes in judgment is to turn our focus away from our idols and the things we have trusted in instead of Him. This speaks of this purpose being fulfilled (David Guzik).

 

It shows that in the midst of all their troubles, Israel will finally look to their God. Isn’t that how it goes? We only tend to notice God when we encounter difficult situations. Most of the time we coast along focusing on our man-made altars and the works of our hands. Thinking that if we can only arrange things “just so,” that we can have some semblance of control. 

 

Our focus should be on the on the Lord not only on Sundays while sitting on a pew but maybe more on Mondays while sitting at our desks, or any other day at home sitting around the dining table, or while sitting in traffic. Is our focus on Him — or on our works, our jobs, our _________ (fill in the blank)? It could be anything because in the end it doesn’t matter what that thing it is, it should not take away from our main focus and our main purpose.

 

We have to remember that our salvation, while free, was not cheap. You were bought with a price; do not become bondservants of men. (1 Corinthians 7:23 ESV)

 

Keep your focus on where – or rather to Whom, it belongs.

 

[Reading from Blue Letter Bible – Chronological Plan]

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One thought on “July 16, 2012 – Keep Your Focus

  1. This is pretty much what I picked up on in today’s reading too! Here is my FB post…Day 197~ “The LORD will strike Egypt, striking and healing. Then they will return to the LORD and He will hear their prayers and heal them.” Isaiah 19:22Sunday nights I love watching that show “Secret Millionaire.” The stories are always inspiring and I love watching how the people react when they are surprised with the donations to further their causes and ministries. But what is also neat is the way the actual millionaires are effected in their own lives. Last night’s story was about a man who had spent so much of his young adult life pursuing his career and making money. His family had everything they wanted, he worked long hours to make his business a success. He would be the first to tell you that money was his first priority. Then major tramas happened in his family and he realized that making money and having more stuff is really not what should be first. He and his wife lost a child and he had a stroke that the doctors said he might not live through. He did, but through these life-altering experiences he realized that maybe work and money should not be first in his life. So many times God has to use these big things to get our attention. He might try smaller things but when they don’t work it takes a major event to get us to look to him and realize what is important. That is what has happened here in our key verse. The Lord will strike Egypt but that striking will lead to their healing and they will turn to God. Sometimes it takes a striking to bring forth true healing and a turn to the Lord. For this man last night he still has his company, his family and he did survive the stroke but he was a changed man. His focus was on God, his family and giving back, not just on making more. Sometimes it takes those hard things to bring us to a place of true healing and to God. It did for Egypt, for this man and for us as well.

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