Reading for Today:
- Isaiah 47:1–48:22
- Psalm 111:7-10
- Proverbs 26:11-12
- Galatians 6:1-18
Isaiah 48:6 new things. From this point onward, the prophecies of the Messiah’s First and Second Coming and the restoration of Israel have a new distinctiveness. Babylon becomes the Babylon of Revelation (v. 20), and God uses Isaiah to communicate truths about the messianic kingdom on earth and the new heavens and new earth that follow it (e.g., 11:1–5; 65:17). Verse 7 indicates that God had never before revealed these features about the future.
Isaiah 48:10, 11 refined…tested. Since Isaiah’s time, Israel’s testings have included the Babylonian captivity and present worldwide dispersion from her land; unlike silver purged in the furnace, the purging of Israel is not complete, and they are not refined. But God keeps up the afflictions until they are, so His name is not defamed through the destruction of Israel. The nation will be purged (Zech. 13:1). God’s plan is such that He alone, not man or manmade idols, will receive credit for Israel’s salvation (42:8; Rom. 11:25–27, 33–36). The adversaries of God are never to be given legitimate reasons for scoffing at God and His work.
Galatians 6:8 sows to his flesh. Here it means pandering to the flesh’s evil desires. corruption. From the Greek word for degeneration, as in decaying food. Sin always corrupts and, when left unchecked, always makes a person progressively worse in character (Rom. 6:23). sows to the Spirit. To walk by the Holy Spirit. everlasting life. This expression describes not only a life that endures forever but, primarily, the highest quality of living that one can experience (Ps. 51:12; John 10:10; Eph. 1:3, 18).
Galatians 6:10 opportunity. This Greek word refers to a distinct, fixed time period rather than occasional moments. Paul’s point is that the believer’s entire life provides the unique privilege by which he can serve others in Christ’s name. especially…the household of faith. Our love for fellow Christians is the primary test of our love for God.
DAY 28: How do we restore a believer overtaken in sin?
In Galatians 6:1, Paul addresses the situation where someone is overtaken in a sin, which may imply the person was actually seen committing the sin or that he was caught or snared by the sin itself. Those believers who are walking in the Spirit, filled with the Spirit, and evidencing the fruit of the Spirit are to “restore” such a one. This is sometimes used metaphorically of settling disputes or arguments. It means “to mend” or “repair” and was used of setting a broken bone or repairing a dislocated limb (Heb. 12:12, 13; Rom. 15:1; 1 Thess. 5:14). The basic process of restoration is outlined in Matthew 18:15–20. “In a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.” The Greek form strongly emphasizes a continual, diligent attentiveness.
“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (v. 2). “Burdens” are extra heavy loads, which here represent difficulties or problems people have trouble dealing with. “Bear” connotes carrying something with endurance. The law of love which fulfills the entire law (John 13:34; Rom. 13:8, 10).
“But let each one examine his own work” (v. 4). Literally, “to approve something after testing it.” Believers first must be sure their lives are right with God before giving spiritual help to others (Matt. 7:3–5). “Have rejoicing in himself.” If a believer rejoices or boasts, it should be only boasting in the Lord for what God has done in him (2 Cor. 10:12–18), not for what he supposedly has accomplished compared to other believers.
“For each one shall bear his own load” (v. 5). This is not a contradiction to v. 2. “Load” has no connotation of difficulty; it refers to life’s routine obligations and each believer’s ministry calling (Matt. 11:30; 1 Cor. 3:12–15; 2 Cor. 5:10). God requires faithfulness in meeting those responsibilities.
From The MacArthur Daily Bible Copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson Bibles, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc, Nashville, TN 37214, www.thomasnelson.com.