Nice mountain picture, pleasant forest, clear stream; idyllic!!! Imagine you had visited the mountain a few days prior to this one, but one problem... you are a bit nearsighted and can't see the background, only the stream. The beauty of the mountains and the sky was a wonderful thing to behold while you were there, but no all you have is its memory and this dim reflection in the foreground to appreciate the scene. Brings to mind the book of Haggai...
WEB: Haggai Chapter 1
 Then the Word of Yahweh came by Haggai, the prophet, saying,  “Is it a time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, while this house lies waste?  Now therefore this is what Yahweh of Armies says: Consider your ways.  You have sown much, and bring in little. You eat, but you don’t have enough. You drink, but you aren’t filled with drink. You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm, and he who earns wages earns wages to put them into a bag with holes in it.”
 This is what Yahweh of Armies says: “Consider your ways.  Go up to the mountain, bring wood, and build the house. I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified,” says Yahweh.  “You looked for much, and, behold, it came to little; and when you brought it home, I blew it away. Why?” says Yahweh of Armies, “Because of my house that lies waste, while each of you is busy with his own house.  Therefore for your sake the heavens withhold the dew, and the earth withholds its fruit.  I called for a drought on the land, on the mountains, on the grain, on the new wine, on the oil, on that which the ground brings forth, on men, on livestock, and on all the labor of the hands.”
 Then Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, and Joshua, the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, with all the remnant of the people, obeyed the voice of Yahweh, their God, and the words of Haggai, the prophet, as Yahweh, their God, had sent him; and the people feared Yahweh.
 Then Haggai, Yahweh’s messenger, spoke Yahweh’s message to the people, saying, “I am with you,” says Yahweh.
 Yahweh stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua, the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the spirit of all the remnant of the people; and they came and worked on the house of Yahweh of Armies, their God,  in the twenty-fourth day of the month, in the sixth month, in the second year of Darius the king.
WEB: Haggai Chapter 2
 ‘Who is left among you who saw this house in its former glory? How do you see it now? Isn’t it in your eyes as nothing?  Yet now be strong, Zerubbabel,’ says Yahweh. ‘Be strong, Joshua, son of Jehozadak, the high priest. Be strong, all you people of the land,’ says Yahweh, ‘and work, for I am with you,’ says Yahweh of Armies.
To me, the book of Haggai is a book of hope; hope fulfilled!!! Sometimes people WILL ACTUALLY LISTEN TO GOD AND OBEY!!! However, there still are consequences for past actions. The Jews had returned from captivity and rebuilt the temple destroyed by the Babylonians. But, this new temple fell far short of its predecessor in glory. Even with that, God was with them, so it was magnificent because of his presence. There is a really good lesson here: you can't change the past, so don't even think about it. Just accept your current situation and be as happy as you can!!! Who knows... perhaps you will become someone God will use (like Haggai) and tomorrow may be the best day of your life!!!
Leviticus 7, 8
Lev 7:1 " 'This is the law of the trespass offering. It is most holy.
Lev 7:2 In the place where they kill the burnt offering, he shall kill the trespass offering; and its blood he shall sprinkle around on the altar.
Lev 7:3 He shall offer all of its fat: the fat tail, and the fat that covers the innards,
Lev 7:4 and the two kidneys, and the fat that is on them, which is by the loins, and the cover on the liver, with the kidneys, shall he take away;
Lev 7:5 and the priest shall burn them on the altar for an offering made by fire to Yahweh: it is a trespass offering.
Lev 7:6 Every male among the priests may eat of it. It shall be eaten in a holy place. It is most holy.
Lev 7:7 " 'As is the sin offering, so is the trespass offering; there is one law for them. The priest who makes atonement with them shall have it.
Lev 7:8 The priest who offers any man's burnt offering, even the priest shall have for himself the skin of the burnt offering which he has offered.
Lev 7:9 Every meal offering that is baked in the oven, and all that is dressed in the pan, and on the griddle, shall be the priest's who offers it.
Lev 7:10 Every meal offering, mixed with oil or dry, belongs to all the sons of Aaron, one as well as another.
Lev 7:11 " 'This is the law of the sacrifice of peace offerings, which one shall offer to Yahweh.
Lev 7:12 If he offers it for a thanksgiving, then he shall offer with the sacrifice of thanksgiving unleavened cakes mixed with oil, and unleavened wafers anointed with oil, and cakes mixed with oil.
Lev 7:13 With cakes of leavened bread he shall offer his offering with the sacrifice of his peace offerings for thanksgiving.
Lev 7:14 Of it he shall offer one out of each offering for a heave offering to Yahweh. It shall be the priest's who sprinkles the blood of the peace offerings.
Lev 7:15 The flesh of the sacrifice of his peace offerings for thanksgiving shall be eaten on the day of his offering. He shall not leave any of it until the morning.
Lev 7:16 " 'But if the sacrifice of his offering is a vow, or a freewill offering, it shall be eaten on the day that he offers his sacrifice; and on the next day what remains of it shall be eaten:
Lev 7:17 but what remains of the flesh of the sacrifice on the third day shall be burned with fire.
Lev 7:18 If any of the flesh of the sacrifice of his peace offerings is eaten on the third day, it will not be accepted, neither shall it be imputed to him who offers it. It will be an abomination, and the soul who eats any of it will bear his iniquity.
Lev 7:19 " 'The flesh that touches any unclean thing shall not be eaten. It shall be burned with fire. As for the flesh, everyone who is clean may eat it;
Lev 7:20 but the soul who eats of the flesh of the sacrifice of peace offerings, that belongs to Yahweh, having his uncleanness on him, that soul shall be cut off from his people.
Lev 7:21 When anyone touches any unclean thing, the uncleanness of man, or an unclean animal, or any unclean abomination, and eats some of the flesh of the sacrifice of peace offerings, which belong to Yahweh, that soul shall be cut off from his people.' "
Lev 7:22 Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying,
Lev 7:23 "Speak to the children of Israel, saying, 'You shall eat no fat, of bull, or sheep, or goat.
Lev 7:24 The fat of that which dies of itself, and the fat of that which is torn of animals, may be used for any other service, but you shall in no way eat of it.
Lev 7:25 For whoever eats the fat of the animal, of which men offer an offering made by fire to Yahweh, even the soul who eats it shall be cut off from his people.
Lev 7:26 You shall not eat any blood, whether it is of bird or of animal, in any of your dwellings.
Lev 7:27 Whoever it is who eats any blood, that soul shall be cut off from his people.' "
Lev 7:28 Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying,
Lev 7:29 "Speak to the children of Israel, saying, 'He who offers the sacrifice of his peace offerings to Yahweh shall bring his offering to Yahweh out of the sacrifice of his peace offerings.
Lev 7:30 With his own hands he shall bring the offerings of Yahweh made by fire. He shall bring the fat with the breast, that the breast may be waved for a wave offering before Yahweh.
Lev 7:31 The priest shall burn the fat on the altar, but the breast shall be Aaron's and his sons'.
Lev 7:32 The right thigh you shall give to the priest for a heave offering out of the sacrifices of your peace offerings.
Lev 7:33 He among the sons of Aaron who offers the blood of the peace offerings, and the fat, shall have the right thigh for a portion.
Lev 7:34 For the waved breast and the heaved thigh I have taken from the children of Israel out of the sacrifices of their peace offerings, and have given them to Aaron the priest and to his sons as their portion forever from the children of Israel.' "
Lev 7:35 This is the anointing portion of Aaron, and the anointing portion of his sons, out of the offerings of Yahweh made by fire, in the day when he presented them to minister to Yahweh in the priest's office;
Lev 7:36 which Yahweh commanded to be given them of the children of Israel, in the day that he anointed them. It is their portion forever throughout their generations.
Lev 7:37 This is the law of the burnt offering, of the meal offering, and of the sin offering, and of the trespass offering, and of the consecration, and of the sacrifice of peace offerings;
Lev 7:38 which Yahweh commanded Moses in Mount Sinai, in the day that he commanded the children of Israel to offer their offerings to Yahweh, in the wilderness of Sinai.
Lev 8:1 Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying,
Lev 8:2 "Take Aaron and his sons with him, and the garments, and the anointing oil, and the bull of the sin offering, and the two rams, and the basket of unleavened bread;
Lev 8:3 and assemble all the congregation at the door of the Tent of Meeting."
Lev 8:4 Moses did as Yahweh commanded him; and the congregation was assembled at the door of the Tent of Meeting.
Lev 8:5 Moses said to the congregation, "This is the thing which Yahweh has commanded to be done."
Lev 8:6 Moses brought Aaron and his sons, and washed them with water.
Lev 8:7 He put the coat on him, tied the sash on him, clothed him with the robe, put the ephod on him, and he tied the skillfully woven band of the ephod on him, and fastened it to him with it.
Lev 8:8 He placed the breastplate on him; and in the breastplate he put the Urim and the Thummim.
Lev 8:9 He set the turban on his head; and on the turban, in front, he set the golden plate, the holy crown; as Yahweh commanded Moses.
Lev 8:10 Moses took the anointing oil, and anointed the tabernacle and all that was in it, and sanctified them.
Lev 8:11 He sprinkled it on the altar seven times, and anointed the altar and all its vessels, and the basin and its base, to sanctify them.
Lev 8:12 He poured some of the anointing oil on Aaron's head, and anointed him, to sanctify him.
Lev 8:13 Moses brought Aaron's sons, and clothed them with coats, and tied sashes on them, and put headbands on them; as Yahweh commanded Moses.
Lev 8:14 He brought the bull of the sin offering, and Aaron and his sons laid their hands on the head of the bull of the sin offering.
Lev 8:15 He killed it; and Moses took the blood, and put it around on the horns of the altar with his finger, and purified the altar, and poured out the blood at the base of the altar, and sanctified it, to make atonement for it.
Lev 8:16 He took all the fat that was on the innards, and the cover of the liver, and the two kidneys, and their fat; and Moses burned it on the altar.
Lev 8:17 But the bull, and its skin, and its flesh, and its dung, he burned with fire outside the camp; as Yahweh commanded Moses.
Lev 8:18 He presented the ram of the burnt offering: and Aaron and his sons laid their hands on the head of the ram.
Lev 8:19 He killed it; and Moses sprinkled the blood around on the altar.
Lev 8:20 He cut the ram into its pieces; and Moses burned the head, and the pieces, and the fat.
Lev 8:21 He washed the innards and the legs with water; and Moses burned the whole ram on the altar. It was a burnt offering for a pleasant aroma. It was an offering made by fire to Yahweh; as Yahweh commanded Moses.
Lev 8:22 He presented the other ram, the ram of consecration: and Aaron and his sons laid their hands on the head of the ram.
Lev 8:23 He killed it; and Moses took some of its blood, and put it on the tip of Aaron's right ear, and on the thumb of his right hand, and on the great toe of his right foot.
Lev 8:24 He brought Aaron's sons; and Moses put some of the blood on the tip of their right ear, and on the thumb of their right hand, and on the great toe of their right foot; and Moses sprinkled the blood around on the altar.
Lev 8:25 He took the fat, and the fat tail, and all the fat that was on the innards, and the cover of the liver, and the two kidneys, and their fat, and the right thigh;
Lev 8:26 and out of the basket of unleavened bread, that was before Yahweh, he took one unleavened cake, and one cake of oiled bread, and one wafer, and placed them on the fat, and on the right thigh.
Lev 8:27 He put all these in Aaron's hands and in his sons' hands, and waved them for a wave offering before Yahweh.
Lev 8:28 Moses took them from their hands, and burned them on the altar on the burnt offering. They were a consecration for a pleasant aroma. It was an offering made by fire to Yahweh.
Lev 8:29 Moses took the breast, and waved it for a wave offering before Yahweh. It was Moses' portion of the ram of consecration, as Yahweh commanded Moses.
Lev 8:30 Moses took some of the anointing oil, and some of the blood which was on the altar, and sprinkled it on Aaron, on his garments, and on his sons, and on his sons' garments with him, and sanctified Aaron, his garments, and his sons, and his sons' garments with him.
Lev 8:31 Moses said to Aaron and to his sons, "Boil the flesh at the door of the Tent of Meeting, and there eat it and the bread that is in the basket of consecration, as I commanded, saying, 'Aaron and his sons shall eat it.'
Lev 8:32 What remains of the flesh and of the bread you shall burn with fire.
Lev 8:33 You shall not go out from the door of the Tent of Meeting seven days, until the days of your consecration are fulfilled: for he shall consecrate you seven days.
Lev 8:34 What has been done this day, so Yahweh has commanded to do, to make atonement for you.
Lev 8:35 You shall stay at the door of the Tent of Meeting day and night seven days, and keep Yahweh's command, that you don't die: for so I am commanded."
Lev 8:36 Aaron and his sons did all the things which Yahweh commanded by Moses.
"THE BOOK OF ISAIAH"
Introduction To The Entire Prophecy (1)
OBJECTIVES IN STUDYING THIS SECTION 1) To begin our study of Isaiah, with an introduction and sample of the entire prophecy 2) To observe God's condemnation of Judah for lack of compassion and justice for the fatherless and widows, along with idolatrous worship 3) To see the redemption God offered for those willing to repent, and the destruction promised to those who persist in their rebellion SUMMARY The book of Isaiah begins with a heading that defines the nature of Isaiah's message as a 'vision' concerning Judah and Jerusalem received during the reigns of four kings of Judah: Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah. This would place the date of Isaiah's work approximately 739-690 B.C. (1). The first chapter serves as an introduction to the entire prophecy, especially the first section of the book (Prophecies Concerning Judah And Jerusalem, chs. 1-12), and provides an example of the messages God wanted Isaiah to deliver. It begins with what has been described as "The Great Arraignment", in which the Lord indicts Israel for rebellion. The corrupt condition of the nation and city is described and their hypocritical worship condemned (2-15). Even so, the Lord offers a call to repentance. For those willing to cleanse themselves and replace their evil doings with justice and compassion, they can be forgiven and eat the good of the land. For those who refuse and continue in their rebellion, they will be devoured by the sword (16-20). The last half of chapter contains an announcement of the coming judgment upon Judah and Jerusalem. The corrupt condition of Jerusalem is described, for the 'faithful' city has become a 'harlot.' The city is full of murderers and rebellious princes who care not for the widows and fatherless, but only rewards and bribes. The Lord promises to purge the city of His enemies and restore good judges and counselors, that she might once again be the 'faithful' city. Those who repent will see Zion redeemed with justice and righteousness, but those who continue to forsake the Lord will be consumed. The gardens in which they worshiped idols will be burned like dry vegetation (21-31). How the Lord will carry out His judgment will be revealed later in the book. OUTLINE I. THE HEADING (1:1) A. NATURE OF THE BOOK... 1. Called a 'vision' 2. Prophets were originally called 'seers' - 1Sa 9:9 3. Therefore the "vision of Isaiah...which he saw" refers to the 'sight' or 'word' inspired from God; i.e., a prophecy B. AUTHOR OF THE BOOK... 1. "Isaiah the son of Amoz", possibly a kinsman to the king 2. His name means "Salvation is of the LORD", very much in keeping with the theme of his prophecy C. SUBJECT OF THE BOOK... 1. "concerning Judah and Jerusalem" 2. The moral conditions of Judah and Jerusalem, and what God plans to do with them D. DATE OF THE BOOK... 1. "in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah" 2. Approximately 739-690 B.C. II. JUDAH'S SINFUL CONDITION (1:2-15) A. "THE GREAT ARRAIGNMENT"... 1. In which the LORD 'indicts' Israel in the presence of witnesses (heaven and earth) 2. The 'indictment' - 1:2-3 a. Rebellious children who do not know their Father b. Unlike the ox that knows its owner, and the donkey its master's crib B. THE CONDITION OF THE NATION... 1. A sinful, corrupt nation that has turned away from God - 1:4 2. Like a body festering with wounds and sores, yet asking for more - 1:5-6 3. The countryside overthrown by strangers, Jerusalem besieged - 1:7-8 4. Except for a small remnant, would have become like Sodom and Gomorrah - 1:9 C. THEIR HYPOCRITICAL WORSHIP... 1. God can no longer endure their religious activities - 1:10-14 2. God will not answer their prayers, for blood is on their hands - 1:15 III. THE CALL TO REPENTANCE (1:16-20) A. AN APPEAL TO REPENT... 1. Cleanse yourselves, put away evil - 1:16 2. Do good, seek justice, reprove the oppressor, defend the fatherless and widow - 1:17 B. GOD'S GRACIOUS INVITATION AND WARNING... 1. An invitation to be made "white as snow" and "white as wool" - 1:18 2. Blessings for those who obey, dire consequences for those who rebel - 1:19-20 a. Those who heed will eat of the land b. Those who refuse will be devoured by the sword IV. ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE COMING JUDGMENT (1:21-31) A. THE CORRUPT CONDITION OF JERUSALEM... 1. Once faithful, now a 'harlot' - 1:21a 2. Once full of justice and righteousness, now murderers - 1:21b 3. A 'polluted' city - 1:22 4. Her princes corrupt and heartless, caring not for fatherless and widows - 1:23 B. THE CITY TO BE PURIFIED... 1. The Lord to get rid of His enemies - 1:24 2. The Lord to purge away the "dross" - 1:25 3. The Lord to restore good judges and counselors - 1:26a 4. Once again it will be called "the righteous city, the faithful city" - 1:26b C. PENITENTS REDEEMED, TRANSGRESSORS CONSUMED... 1. Those penitent will be redeemed with justice and righteousness - 1:27 2. Those who forsake the Lord will destroyed and consumed - 1:28 a. They will be ashamed of their trees and gardens (where idolatry was practiced) - 1:29 b. Despite their strength, they shall be consumed like dry vegetation - 1:30-31 REVIEW QUESTIONS FOR THIS SECTION 1) How does Isaiah describe his message? Who does it concern? (1:1) - As a vision; Judah and Jerusalem 2) During what kings did Isaiah proclaim his message? Approximately when? (1:1) - Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, Hezekiah; 739-690 B.C. 3) Whom does God call as witnesses against Israel? (1:2) - Heaven and earth 4) What charges does He bring against her? (1:2-3) - His children have rebelled against Him, they do not know Him 5) How is the nation described? (1:4) - A sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a brood of evildoers, children who are corrupters 6) How is the condition of the nation depicted? (1:5-6) - The head is sick, the heart faint - The body covered with untreated wounds and festering sores 7) What is the condition of the countryside? The city of Jerusalem? (1:7-8) - Desolate, cities burned with fire, strangers devouring the land - Like a booth in a vineyard, a besieged city 8) If God had not left them a remnant, what would they have been like? (1:9) - Sodom and Gomorrah 9) What is it that God can no longer endure? (1:10-14) - Their worship with its sacrifices and assemblies 10) Why will God not accept their worship and prayers? (1:15) - Their hands are full of blood 11) What does God want them to do? (1:16-17) - Put away evil, do good, seek justice, rebuke the oppressor, defend the fatherless and widow 12) What comforting promise does God offer regarding their sins? (1:18) - "Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool." 13) What is promised to the obedient? To the rebellious? (1:19-20) - They shall eat the good of the land - They shall be devoured by the sword 14) How is the city of Jerusalem described? (1:21-23) - A harlot, a place of murderers - Silver mixed with dross, wine mixed with water - Rebellious princes, companions of thieves who care more for bribes than the helpless 15) What does God promise to do with Zion, that is, Jerusalem (1:24-27) - Take vengeance on His enemies - Purge away the dross - Restore good judges and counselors - Redeem the city with justice, her penitents with righteousness 16) What will happen to the transgressors and sinners? (1:28-31) - Those who forsake the Lord will be consumed - They will be ashamed of their trees and gardens - They shall be burned like dry vegetation