The King and His One People: The Oracle about Egypt

This oracle is about Egypt, but was not directed to Egypt. Isaiah aimed this message to the people of Jerusalem as a caution against forming an alliance with the Egyptians. In a sense, this was a divine op-ed piece about what would happen to Egypt.

photo courtesy of unbound media

The Egyptians themselves would undergo the trauma detailed in this oracle without the benefit of this divine commentary. They would, so to speak, encounter domestic collapse like a front-page story; they would experience the what without understanding the why.

Yet the God of Israel is the God of the nations, and He had a purposes even in the collapse of Egyptian society. Those plans would transform the world in a way visible even today.

Title: The King and His One People: The Oracle about Egypt

Text: Isaiah 19–20

Overview

  • domestic collapse
  • multinational oneness

Resources

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This Weekend at First (2/27/15)

Here’s a look ahead to what God has in store for us this weekend at First!

Forward on Our Knees

Tomorrow (Saturday) morning we will gather in the Chapel at 10am to spend an hour in prayer, and then hit the streets to invite our neighbors to the concert tomorrow night. It’s a prayer and mission event we call Forward on Our Knees. Hope to see you there!

Black History Month Concert

Tomorrow night at 7.30pm is our concert in celebration of God’s grace to African- and Caribbean-Americans. Come for a lively night of worship as we sing and hear the gospel in song. Clarice Turnbull, Leon Reid, Jeff Bolding and the Daughters of the Flame, and others will sing. Make your plans to join us for this celebration service!

Sunday worship

Here’s a look ahead at the songs we plan to sing Sunday morning.

The sermon text will be Isaiah 19–20.

Luncheon Sunday

After worship we will have a fellowship meal in Haldeman Chapel. All are invited and there is no charge. The luncheon is provided by Cynthia Jalando-on in honor of her mother Consolacion’s 90th birthday.

If You Could Ask God One Question

​Next ​Friday is the next discussion for all who are interested in the topic, “Why does a loving God send people to hell?” Join us at 7pm here at First. Christians may attend with a non-Christian guest.

 

Spring Benefit Concert

Saturday, March 14 at 7pm, we will host a concert to benefit the boiler project. Dr. Linda Marcel, a colleague of Gordon Scott, has assembled a talented array of musicians to perform classical and modern-classical selections for the enjoyment of our people and neighborhood.

 

Easter Offering

This year’s Easter Offering will benefit the boiler fund. We’re about $50,000 away from being able to sign a contract and stop paying the $2,600 each week for the temporary boiler. So let us pray fervently and give generously to meet this goal.

 

Baptism and New Members Class

Want to know more about baptism? Considering becoming a member of our church? Classes for both baptism and membership will be offered soon. Please contact Matthew or Gordon if interested.

​See you Sunday!

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The King and His Intervention: The Oracle about Damascus, Cush, and the Nations

Where is God in the midst of my disappointments?

photo courtesy of leading men only

Why hasn’t He allowed me to marry or have children? Why do my projects consistently fall short of my own expectations? Why did God put me in this job when I have so much more to offer? Why hasn’t God given me the flexibility to retire yet? Why hadn’t I fulfilled my dreams of traveling? Why are my ministry efforts so fruitless?

Or maybe worse: why have I achieved everything I wanted, but still feel so empty?

Isaiah 17–18 tells us where God is and what He is doing in circumstances like these. Listen, and find the hope He holds out to us in our disappointment.

Title: The King and His Intervention: The Oracle about Damascus, Cush, and the Nations

Text: Isaiah 17–18

Overview: what God is doing in our disappointment

  • reversing what we flipped
  • revealing where he is
  • becoming what we want

Resources

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Preparation for Worship (2/21/15)

Scripture to consider: Isaiah 17–18

17.1 A prophecy against Damascus: “See, Damascus will no longer be a city but will become a heap of ruins. 2 The cities of Aroer will be deserted and left to flocks, which will lie down, with no one to make them afraid. 3 The fortified city will disappear from Ephraim, and royal power from Damascus; the remnant of Aram will be like the glory of the Israelites,” declares the Lord Almighty.

4 “In that day the glory of Jacob will fade; the fat of his body will waste away. 5 It will be as when reapers harvest the standing grain, gathering the grain in their arms—as when someone gleans heads of grain in the Valley of Rephaim. 6 Yet some gleanings will remain, as when an olive tree is beaten, leaving two or three olives on the topmost branches, four or five on the fruitful boughs,” declares the Lord, the God of Israel.

7 In that day people will look to their Maker and turn their eyes to the Holy One of Israel. 8 They will not look to the altars, the work of their hands, and they will have no regard for the Asherah poles and the incense altars their fingers have made.

9 In that day their strong cities, which they left because of the Israelites, will be like places abandoned to thickets and undergrowth. And all will be desolation. 10 You have forgotten God your Savior; you have not remembered the Rock, your fortress. Therefore, though you set out the finest plants and plant imported vines, 11 though on the day you set them out, you make them grow, and on the morning when you plant them, you bring them to bud, yet the harvest will be as nothing in the day of disease and incurable pain.

12 Woe to the many nations that rage—they rage like the raging sea! Woe to the peoples who roar—they roar like the roaring of great waters! 13 Although the peoples roar like the roar of surging waters, when he rebukes them they flee far away, driven before the wind like chaff on the hills, like tumbleweed before a gale. 14 In the evening, sudden terror! Before the morning, they are gone! This is the portion of those who loot us, the lot of those who plunder us.

photo courtesy of good soil and jcg, inc.

18.1 Woe to the land of whirring wings along the rivers of Cush, 2 which sends envoys by sea in papyrus boats over the water.

Go, swift messengers, to a people tall and smooth-skinned, to a people feared far and wide, an aggressive nation of strange speech, whose land is divided by rivers. 3 All you people of the world, you who live on the earth, when a banner is raised on the mountains, you will see it, and when a trumpet sounds, you will hear it. 4 This is what the Lord says to me: “I will remain quiet and will look on from my dwelling place, like shimmering heat in the sunshine, like a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest.” 5 For, before the harvest, when the blossom is gone and the flower becomes a ripening grape, he will cut off the shoots with pruning knives, and cut down and take away the spreading branches. 6 They will all be left to the mountain birds of prey and to the wild animals; the birds will feed on them all summer, the wild animals all winter.

7 At that time gifts will be brought to the Lord Almighty from a people tall and smooth-skinned, from a people feared far and wide, an aggressive nation of strange speech, whose land is divided by rivers—the gifts will be brought to Mount Zion, the place of the Name of the Lord Almighty. (NIV)

Thought to ponder:

“The people of God cannot be made secure by worldly power nor, when they depart from sole reliance on the Lord, can they bring a blessing to the world.”

J. Alec Motyer, p. 156

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This Weekend at First (2/20/15)

Here’s a look ahead to what God has in store for us at First Baptist:

If You Could Ask God One Question

Tonight is the next discussion for all who are curious, questioning, or skeptical of the Christian message. The topic is “Why does God hate sex?” Join us at 7pm here at First. Christians may attend if they bring a non-Christian guest.

Sunday school

Join us around 9.30am for Bible classes for all ages. The ladies will enjoy their third and final week studying the Scriptures with Mercy Davidson, while the men continue their study of Mark. Children’s classes are also available through sixth grade. Hope to see you there!

Sunday worship service

The congregational songs this week are as follows. (If you don’t know a song, click its title and you’ll be taken to a video or audio rendition.)

The sermon text will be Isaiah 17–18.

Forward on Our Knees

Next Saturday the 28th will be our next prayer and mission event we call “Forward on Our Knees.” We will gather at 10am in the Chapel to pray for God’s mercy on us and our city. Then we will go outside to distribute invitations to the concert that night, and maybe a little coffee, too. Come be part of what the Spirit is doing here at First!

Black History Month Concert

Next Saturday the 28th we will celebrate God’s grace and goodness to the African-American people of faith. Our own Clarice Turnbull is coordinating this evening along with former Music Director, Leon Reid. Also joining us is Jeff Bolding of Abyssinian Baptist Church, The Daughters of the Flame, our Worship Choir, and our “in-house” gospel ensemble. This free concert begins at 7.30pm. Plan to attend and bring a friend.

Spring Benefit Concert

Saturday, March 14 at 7pm, we are hosting a concert to benefit the boiler project. Dr. Linda Marcel of Bergen Community College, a colleague of Gordon Scott, has assembled a talented array of European and local musicians to perform wonderful and interesting classical and modern-classical selections for the enjoyment of our people and neighborhood. After expenses are covered, all proceeds will benefit the Boiler Fund.

Boiler Fundraising

The church has agreed to accept the boiler proposal from East Coast Energy, once our boiler fund reaches $175,000. We’re about $50,000 away from that goal. As soon as we reach $175,000, we can sign the contract and East Coast will stop charging us for our temporary boiler (about $2,600 per week). So let us pray fervently and give generously to meet this goal.

See you this weekend!

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