Sunday, June 9, 2013

On 6-16-13, Isaiah 29:9-16 will be our Adult Sunday School/Uniform Series/International Sunday School Lesson herein is my commentary. This lesson is known by some as Worship with Meaning aka Meaningless Worship

Worship with Meaning aka Meaningless Worship
Isaiah 29:9-16
International Sunday School Lesson
June 16, 2013

Jed Greenough

If I were to come to the scripture today cold I might not have come to the same conclusions as I did today but for the scriptures that we have had over the last several weeks.  We have had all manner of reminders in those scriptures of how we are to be and how things will be.  And tying it all together is our responsibility as Christians to share the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ.
Eventually as we know God’s patience reaches its limit as we saw last week when we read a song of praise from Israel who was enduring their punishment after God’s limit had been reached and we read about it again in today’s scripture that draws parallels with our present.
For Israel the Lord as we read in verse 10has brought over you a deep sleep:  He has sealed your eyes; He has covered your heads.”
Paul says this about them, “God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes so that they could not see and ears so that they could not hear, to this very day.” From Romans 11:8
Verse 13 from today says, “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.  Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men.”
In 2 Timothy 4:3 we read, “For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine.  Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.  They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.”
Sounds the same as what we read in today’s scripture doesn’t it?  But we aren’t talking about Israel now.  No we are talking about the church but it is eerily the same.  God sent a spirit of stupor when the patience ran out, eyes that could no longer see and ears that could no longer hear.  But as we read in 2 Thessalonians 2 when the patience runs out for the final time, “They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.  For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie.” 
For Israel however there is one final bright spot after suffering so much once the fullness of the Gentiles has been reached all of Israel will be saved.  Romans 11 
But the similarity part ends.  There isn’t a reprise for everyone else once the fullness of the Gentiles will have been reached and God is fulfilling His promise to them. Romans 11:29
Truly the pot has no say in the matter.
For Discussion:
1.      Discuss God’s ability to help us see
2.      Discuss the frightening realities this scripture raises
3.      Discuss ways that Jesus talked about those who talk the talk but do not walk the walk or in other words “worship in spirit and in truth.
4.      Give examples of the “pot” saying, “He knows nothing.”
5.      Discuss ways of worship that is simply “rules taught by men” similarly taught “what their itching ears want to hear”
Upcoming Lessons
6-23-13:   Worship in the New Creation aka The Glorious New Creation Isaiah 65:17-25 or 65:17-21, 23-25
6-30-13:  Restoring Joyful Worship aka Joyful Worship Restored Ezra 3:1-7
7-7-13:    Restoring the Temple aka Temple Restored Ezra 3:8-13
7-14-13:  Dedicating the Temple aka Dedication of the Temple Ezra 6:13-22

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 Biblica. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved