Saturday, August 13, 2022


Isaiah chapter 36 verse 13 says this;

Then the commander stood and called out in Hebrew, “Hear the words of the great king, the king of Assyria!

Assyria had undertaken a military campaign against her neighbours and had successfully conquered them and now, having captured all the towns of Judah, was at Jerusalem to take control over Judah's capital city.

King Hezekiah had refused to capitulate to Sennacherib, the king of Assyria, so Sennacherib sent his field commander to try to talk Hezekiah into surrendering.

As the commander approached the city, Hezekiah sent out three emissaries to meet him.

The commander, speaking to the emissaries, was genuinely perplexed by the stance that Hezekiah was taking against Assyria. He could not see any resource that Hezekiah had that could possibly save him from the might of the Assyrian army.

He said to Judah's emmisaries that if Hezekiah was depending on Egypt, he should know that Egypt was an unreliable ally and would let him down like they had many others before.

The commander also asked, if Hezekiah was depending on the Lord their God to save them, was it not Hezekiah himself who took down all the high places and altars that belonged to him? How then could they call to the Lord and entreat Him to save them?

These statements were the first volley in the psychological war against the people of Jerusalem. Simply put, the commander told the people of Jerusalem these things: "Your ally is weak and will not come to help you" and "Your God has abandoned you for removing His altars and He will not save you".

The commander's understanding of what happened regarding the high places and altars in Israel under King Hezekiah was incorrect but his words would no doubt have had a disconcerting effect on those who did not know what Hezekiah's fight against the high places and altars in Israel was about.

The phychological assault being carried out in the hearing of the people of Jerusalem, continued:

The commander highlighted how pitiful the strength of Jerusalem was. He said, "Make a bargain with Assyria. We  will provide you with two thousand horses so that you can try to fight us together with your ally Egypt but even with our help, you could not even defeat our most junior officer".

The commander then changed tactics by  saying; "I am not attacking Jerusalem on my own volition. Your Lord is the one who commanded me to march against you and destroy your nation".

The emmisaries, sensing how much  these words were damaging the morale of the people of Jerusalem tried to persuade the commander to speak in Aramaic so that the Hebrew-speaking citizens could not understand what he was saying.

The commander refused and pressed further by addressing the people of Jerusalem who were sitting on the walls of the city listening to the conversation.

"Do not listen to your king Hezekiah for he is decieving you. Hezekiah cannot save you".

The commander then promised the people of Jerusalem that if they made peace with him and stopped resisting him, he would grant them the benefits described in Isaiah chapter 36 verse 16 - 17;

Make peace with me and come out to me. Then each of you will eat fruit from your own vine and fig tree and drink water from your own cistern, until I come and take you to a land like your own—a land of grain and new wine, a land of bread and vineyards.

This promise made by the commander of the Assyrian army sounds surprisingly like the promise made by Lord to the people of Israel in Micah chapter 4 verse 4 that goes like this;

But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the LORD of hosts hath spoken it.

This sounds like the scriptures that they were familiar with were being used against them to convince them that the Assyrian king had the same intention for them as their own God.

Finally, the commander held up the irresistable power of the Assyrian army as the reason to surrender. He told all the people who were listening that the gods of all the other nations whom the Assyrians had conquered were unable to help their people in the same way that the God of the people of Judah would be unable to help them against the Assyrians.

The people remained silent in response to this speech by the commander as Hezekiah had directed them.

Then the three emmisaries returned to report to Hezekiah with their clothes torn as a sign of their distress.

The Lord had been blasphemed by Assyria's field commander who was speaking on behalf of King Sennacherib and the Lord took a decision to fight on behalf of Judah and the Assyrian 185,000 man army was obliterated to a man overnight and Sennacherib escaped back to the city of Nineveh where he was ultimately killed by his own sons.

No matter  what words are spoken against us to discourage  and demoralize us,  we must remember the power of the Lord that supersedes any power assembled by kings and princes.


Friday, August 12, 2022


Ezekiel the prophet had been in Babylon during the exile of Israel for about 14 years when he was lifted up in a spiritual vision and placed on a very high mountain where he could overlook a part of Israel that appeared like a city.

He was then taken down to the city where he encountered a man who looked like he was made of bronze and the man had a linen cord and a measuring rod and he started showing Ezekiel around and taking measurments of the buildings for Ezekiel to record.

Ezekiel chapter 40 verses 13 - 14 says this;

Then he measured the gateway from the top of the rear wall of one alcove to the top of the opposite one; the distance was twenty-five cubits from one parapet opening to the opposite one.  

He measured along the faces of the projecting walls all around the inside of the gateway—sixty cubits. The measurement was up to the portico facing the courtyard.

This passage records two measurements of some details of the temple that are exerpted from a broader and very detailed description of the metrics of a great temple that Ezekiel saw in his vision.  

Ezekiel's encounter with the man of bronze appearance is described like this;

He took me there, and I saw a man whose appearance was like bronze; he was standing in the gateway with a linen cord and a measuring rod in his hand. The man said to me, “Son of man, look carefully and listen closely and pay attention to everything I am going to show you for that is why you have been brought here. Tell the people of Israel everything you see.”

The man led Ezekiel through the whole building complex carefully measuring the rooms and walls and courtyards of the temple and he also explained to Ezekiel what some of the spaces were for.

These measurements that were given to and recorded by Ezekiel in chapter 40 to chapter 48 of the book of Ezekiel, are detailed enough to be used to recreate refined architectural models of the temple.

This spiritual temple alludes to the existence future temple of the Lord that will occupy the place in Jerusalem where the original temple stood when the new Jerusalem descends from heaven to the earth.

It could also be a representation of the temple in each believer that is mentioned in the book of 1 Corinthians chapter 6 verse 19 that says ;

Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;

The spaces and functions of the temple of our bodies may represent the spiritual allocations that our bodies can contain and fulfill in service of the Spirit of God in each believer.

Bless the Lord whose glory fills His temple.


Thursday, August 11, 2022


Ezekiel chapter 13 verses 20 - 23  says this;

“‘Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am against your magic charms with which you ensnare people like birds and I will tear them from your arms; I will set free the people that you ensnare like birds. I will tear off your veils and save my people from your hands, and they will no longer fall prey to your power. Then you will know that I am the Lord. 

Because you disheartened the righteous with your lies, when I had brought them no grief, and because you encouraged the wicked not to turn from their evil ways and so save their lives,  therefore you will no longer see false visions or practice divination. I will save my people from your hands. And then you will know that I am the Lord.’”

The prophet Ezekiel was instructed by the Lord to set his face against the daughters of his own people who had taken it upon themselves to talk like prophets out of their own imaginations.

These women had adopted the practice of divination along with a form of witchcraft that worked by sewing bands around the wrists and making veils for the heads of people of every stature to capture their souls.

With these spiritual instruments of control and manipulation, they prophaned the Lord to His people and then deceived those who could be deceived and caused them to bring about the deaths of the innocent and spare the lives of the guilty.

The Lord, through the prophet Ezekiel, declared His opposition to the practice of capturing the souls of people as though they were birds. 

The Lord declared that He would tear off the bands and veils that the women of Israel were using as charms against their fellow Israelites. Doing this would set the captured souls free from the bondage that was placed on them.

The Lord also declared that he would shut down the ability to see false visions and the practice of divination in their midst. They had been using these spiritual weapons to discourage the righteous by causing them guilt over things that the Lord did not condemn them for and they also released the wicked from guilt that would have caused them to turn from their wicked ways.

The Lord declared that He would intervene to save His people from the evil  practices that the daughters of Israel were practicing.

The singular power that the Lord has to traverse the realm of the spirit to cancel the workings of witchcraft in the defense of his people is a potent signal to those who practice it that the God of Israel is truly the mighty Lord over all things.

Bless the Lord who works to save His people from entrapment by witchcraft even when they don't know that they are ensnared and makes the diviners and witches to know that He is the Lord.


Wednesday, August 10, 2022


Genesis chapter 39 verses 11 - 21 records the conflict that arose between Potiphar's wife and Potiphar's slave, Joseph. The passage reads this way;

Now it happened one day that he went into the house to do his work, and none of the men of the household was there inside. She caught him by his garment, saying, “Lie with me!” And he left his garment in her hand and fled, and went outside. 

When she saw that he had left his garment in her hand and had fled outside, she called to the men of her household and said to them, “See, he has brought in a Hebrew to us to make sport of us; he came in to me to lie with me, and I screamed. When he heard that I raised my voice and screamed, he left his garment beside me and fled and went outside.”

 So she left his garment beside her until his master came home. Then she spoke to him with these words, “The Hebrew slave, whom you brought to us, came in to me to make sport of me; and as I raised my voice and screamed, he left his garment beside me and fled outside.”

Now when his master heard the words of his wife, which she spoke to him, saying, “This is what your slave did to me,” his anger burned.  

So Joseph’s master took him and put him into the jail, the place where the king’s prisoners were confined; and he was there in the jail. But the Lord was with Joseph and extended kindness to him, and gave him favor in the sight of the chief jailer.

Potiphar's wife desired Joseph and entreated him to have a relationship with her  but he remained steadfast in his conviction that he would not violate his master's trust and refused even to the point of escaping her grasp by leaving his garment behind.

She, angered by his rebuffs, decided to falsely accuse Joseph of attacking her and used his garment that he had left in her hand as evidence of his attack.

She held on to her evidence until Joseph's master came home and she told him the story of Joseph's  attack against her.

Potiphar's anger burned and he took Joseph and put him in prison where the king's prisoners were confined and while he was in jail, the Lord gave him favour with the chief jailer.

At first pass, the story says that Potiphar's wife falsely accused Joseph of assaulting her and when Potiphar came home, he heard the accusation, burned with anger and threw Joseph in the maximum security prison to pay for the crime against his wife.

On the second pass, the story changes and a different narrative emerges from the text.

Potiphar, we must remember, was a powerful man in Egypt. He was the captain of Pharaoh's personal security team. This position put him in close contact with other officials involved in Pharaoh's personal and official service.

To be in this position of responsibility for the protection of Pharaoh's safety, Potiphar must have been skilled at gathering intelligence and also able to read body language and interprete the behaviour patterns in people. 

With these details about Potiphar in mind,  the narrative becomes more complex.

Potiphar returned home and his wife confronted him carrying evidence of Joseph's attack against her and she  practically accused her husband of bringing in a Hebrew slave to make sport of her.

The text then says that Potiphar's anger burned but it does not say against whom his anger was burning.

The text then says that Potiphar took Joseph and put him in prison where the king's prisoners are kept.  While in jail, the story continues with Joseph quickly gaining the same level  of  responsibility in prison that he had while working  for Potiphar.

This is interesting because it appears that Potiphar had deliberately placed Joseph in a prison at Pharaoh's palace where he had strong connections with the officials there. It also appears that Potiphar had commended Joseph to the chief jailer because Joseph was given authority to act as an administrator in the jail to assist with the orderly running of prison affairs.

So piecing together this new narrative, we get this.

Potiphar arrived home and was confronted by his wife's story of an assault against her by his slave, Joseph. 

Potiphar, reading the situation, quickly realised that the accusation was false. 

His wife said that Joseph had come to assault her and that she screamed and he left his garment behind and ran outside.

This implies that she must have waited until his garment was completely off before she began to scream in order for him to have left it behind. It seems a little askew to have an attacker completely disrobe before calling for help.

He also noticed that his wife was clinging  to Joseph's garment as evidence against him while Potiphar knew that if she had truly been assaulted, she would have eschewed contact with her attacker's clothing.

However, to preserve his prestige, Potiphar could not be seen to be taking the side of his slave against his own wife so he was compelled to 'imprison' his slave.

He took Joseph to a prison ran by his friend the chief jailer and asked him to keep Joseph there and advised him that he would find him useful in the administration of the prison.

This way, Potiphar could rightly announce to his wife and the chattering classes that his wife's attacker was in the super-max security prison but at the same time, Joseph could be favored and be in an environment where he could exercise his administrative talents.

That prison ultimately became the launching pad for Joseph's meteoric rise into the position of administrator over the whole country of Egypt answering only to Pharaoh himself.

The Lord can truly give His people favour with men.


Tuesday, August 09, 2022


Isaiah chapter 29 verses 3 - 5 contain the words of the Lord speaking to the town of  Ariel where king David once encamped. In the context of this chapter, this small town stands in for the city of David, Jerusalem or at a meta level, the people of Zion. The verses say this;

I will camp against you and encircle you, And I will hem you in with siege works, And I will raise fortifications against you.

Then you [Jerusalem] will be brought low, You will speak from the earth, And from the dust where you lie face down Your muffled words will come. Your voice will also be like that of a spirit from the earth [like one produced by a medium], And your speech will whisper and squeak from the dust.

But the multitude of your enemies [that assault you] will become like fine dust, And the multitude of the tyrants like the chaff which blows away; And it will happen in an instant, suddenly [that your enemy is destroyed].

The Lord brings judgment on his own people first. He sets up camp against them and encircles them. He traps them with siege works and fortifications.

And Jerusalem is brought low. They are pressed face down into the soil and they whisper from the dust like a ghost from the ground. Jerusalem is judged and sentenced to be disciplined because they adopted an insincere religious tradition described in Isaiah chapter 29 verse 13 this way;

“Because this nation approaches [Me only] with their words And honors Me [only] with their lip service, But they remove their hearts far from Me, And their reverence for Me is a tradition that is learned by rote [without any regard for its meaning],

The Lord judges his own people for insincerity and indifference  but when the enemies of God's people try to take advantage of the situation to obliterate them  while they are still  reeling  from their discipline, they are pulverized into a fine dust and they are blown away. 

This will happen suddenly and the enemies of God's people will be suddenly destroyed.


Monday, August 08, 2022


In 1 Corinthians chapter 4 verses 7 - 8, the Apostle Paul, writing to the church at Corinth, says this;

For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?

Already you have all you want! Already you have become rich! You have begun to reign—and that without us! How I wish that you really had begun to reign so that we also might reign with you! 

The apostle Paul compares the lives of the believers at Corinth with the lives of the apostles. 

Whereas the believers in Corinth were rich, politically powerful, wise and strong, Paul describes the apostles as condemned prisoners who were put on parade as a public spectacle of weak, dishonorable fools and that they were brutally treated and left destitute.

Nevertheless, the apostles were still expected to model exemplary conduct even towards those who treated them so harshly.

The members of the church at Corinth, being the spiritual children of the apostles, were blessed abundantly and some had began to believe that the advantages they had were as a result of their own merit rather than the blessings that they had received from others and from the Lord.  

The Apostle Paul reprimanded them for boasting about their condition as though they had earned it rather than humbly acknowledging that they were recipients of spiritual blessings by the works of others.

Proverbs chapter 3 verse 11 says; 

My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline, and do not resent his rebuke, 

In matters of the spirit, it is wise to heed the discipline of those with spiritual authority over us such as our fathers in Christ for they can guide us away from spiritual errors and faults that can curtail our growth and maturity in the things of God.


Sunday, August 07, 2022


Isaiah chapter 7 verse 6 says this;

“Let us invade Judah; let us tear it apart and divide it among ourselves, and make the son of Tabeel king over it.”

When Ahaz was king of Judah,  he got news that the kingdom of Aram under King Rezin had allied with the kingdom of Israel under King Pekah, son of Remaliah, against Judah.

Upon hearing this, he and his people were stunned to the core and were as when  the trees of the forest are shaken by the wind as it says in verse 2.

The Lord, speaking through Isaiah, first told Ahaz to be careful and calm. He told him not to fear because even though Rezin and Pekah were plotting to destroy Judah and divide it among themselves, they would not succeed.

The Lord, in verses 8 and 9, gave Ahaz a perspective of the threat against him that reads this way;

“‘It will not take place,  it will not happen, for the head of Aram is Damascus,  and the head of Damascus is only Rezin. 

Within sixty-five years Ephraim will be too shattered to be a people. The head of Ephraim is Samaria, and the head of Samaria is only Remaliah’s son.

When the kingdom of Judah faced an existential threat where even their own brother kingdom had allied against them, the Lord counselled the house of David to understand that the enemies rallying against them were temporal and limited in power.

The Lord charged Ahaz and the house of David to trust in God because if they could not have faith in the Lord when faced with such minor threats, they surely did not have the strength to stand.

As the end of  Isaiah chapter 7 verse 9 says;

If you will not believe [and trust in God and His message], be assured that you will not be established.”’”

Trust is the Lord.