Isaiah 25-27; Psalm 102-103

Isaiah 25: The banquet of the Lord of hosts. This chapter is a complete 180 from the previous chapter. Whereas Isaiah 24 focused on the total destruction of the Earth, this chapter focuses on celebration. The first part of this chapter praises God’s actions, the good and the bad. Isaiah praises God for how he treats the least fortunate people as well as how he destroyed those who strayed, acknowledging that this will make others fear God.

I can’t help but think that this text celebrates the downfall and destruction of those who don’t believe, almost like someone today saying “meh, who cares, they didn’t believe anyway.” That is problematic to me. It’s almost like a “my way or the highway” approach. I can see why nonbelievers speak negatively about the Bible, God, and Christianity in general. I can also see why fundamentalists believe their way is the right way. I disagree with both views, but it’s chapters like this that make me recognize where their arguments COULD come from.

Isaiah 26: Praise to the God of justice. There’s a lot of similarity between this chapter and the previous. Again, the focus is on how powerful and right God is and as long as we follow him, we’re good. God will destroy all of those who don’t follow what he says. Sigh, kind of distressing.

One part here is interesting though. The text talks about resurrection of the dead. The notes tell us that there’s disagreement on whether to take this literally or metaphorically.

Isaiah 27: The new song of the vineyard. This chapter starts with God striking down Leviathan the sea monster. The focus shifts to God telling the people that he is now ready to care for them again. He’s ready to protect them again. The text first talks about how God will protect, then shifts to say that if there are any thorns (aka…bad things), he will strike it down.

I want to come back to this at a later date.

Psalm 102: I just read in the notes from the CEB version (p. 951 OT) that this psalm is “one of the church’s seven Penitential Psalms. It contains no confession of sin, but it describes well the humble dependence on God that is the foundation of penitence, and sinfulness may be suggested in verse 10” (p. 951 OT). Good to know.

Overall the general purpose of this psalm is a prayer for God to help rebuild Zion. The author beats himself up and then lays tons of praise on God as a way to butter God up.

And that’s all I got on this one. I really do need to talk with someone about my growing frustration with reading the Psalms. I know I’m missing a lot here.

Psalm 103: According to the CEB this psalm is “a song of praise that begins and ends with invitations to praise that surrounds reasons for praise” (p. 952 OT – 953 OT).

It seems like the purpose of this psalm is to remind the reader that even though at times God seems angry and unhappy with people, God still loves all of us, no matter what.

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