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Friday, August 14 2015
Isaiah 57: Satan's Sandals
"Prepare the way, take up the stumblingblock out of the way of my people"
The English-language term "stumbling block" (or "stumblingblock") may be defined as "Any cause of stumbling; that which forms a difficulty in one's way or which causes offence" (The Consolidated Webster Encyclopedic Dictionary).
"Stumblingblock" is used to translate the Hebrew word, pronounced mick-shole, which means an obstacle (i.e. opposition from someone) or an enticement - specifically, an idol of something, or someone, or one's self.
"Stumblingblock" is also used to translate the New Testament Greek word, pronounced scan-dal-on (from which also the English word scandal originated), meaning a snare, or something that offends. Interestingly, the English-language word "sandal" originated from a directly-related Greek word, pronounced san-da-lee-on, that referred to a block of material, usually wood or leather in ancient times, that was fastened to the feet and ankles - that could become literal "stumbling blocks" if worn improperly or too loosely. Hence the practical and symbolic connection between loose (in thought and behavior) and loser (i.e. looser) - a state of mind invented by the first liberal (see The First Liberal), and the first rebel (see The First And Last Nation), Satan.
Properly-worn sandals were a popular and customary form of footwear in ancient times, just as they still are in many places around the world today. The Messiah Himself wore sandals - as documented in one of John the Baptist's most-famous statements (the King James Version uses "shoes," however the original Greek word specified what kind of shoes i.e. sandals, as correctly rendered by most other translations, including the RSV below).
"3:11 I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry; he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire." (Matthew 3:11 RSV)
The principle of a "stumblingblock," whether expressed by the Hebrew or Greek words, is the same throughout the Holy Scriptures. Notice the Hebrew word "stumblingblock" meaning of idolatry:
"14:3 Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their heart, and put the stumblingblock of their iniquity before their face: should I be enquired of at all by them? 14:4 Therefore speak unto them, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Every man of the house of Israel that setteth up his idols in his heart, and putteth the stumblingblock of his iniquity before his face, and cometh to the prophet; I the LORD will answer him that cometh according to the multitude of his idols;" (Ezekiel 14:3-4 KJV)
As well, when someone defiantly chooses the wrong way, the LORD withdraws His protection so that Satan is able to apply even more stumblingblocks to them. It's like the natural principle of acceleration due to gravity - 32 feet per second, per second i.e. at the end of 1 second, a person is falling at 32 feet per second; at the end of 2 seconds, they are falling at the rate of 64 feet per second; at the end of 3 seconds, they're falling at 96 feet per second etc. Morally too, the farther that one falls, the faster their falling will be (it's the main reason that the present-day world is morally unraveling at an ever-increasing rate; see also What Would Noah Say About The World Today?).
Notice here how the Hebrew word from Psalm 69:22-23 is itself translated with the Greek word by the Scriptures themselves.
"11:9 And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumblingblock, and a recompence unto them: 11:10 Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back alway." (Romans 11:9-10 KJV)
So too Isaiah, in describing the iniquity (see Iniquity In History And Prophecy) and decadence (see Decadence In History And Prophecy) of the looser (i.e. loser) way, looks beyond to the cure: "57:14 And shall say, Cast ye up, cast ye up, prepare the way, take up the stumblingblock out of the way of my people" (see also Putting Away Satan's Goat and The Cure For Confusion).
"57:1 The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart: and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come. 57:2 He shall enter into peace: they shall rest in their beds, each one walking in his uprightness.
This Day In History, August 14
405 BC: The Battle of Aegospotami, a naval victory of Sparta over Athens, the final battle of the Peloponnesian War. The Athenian commander, Conon, lost 160 of his 180 ships and the 4,000 of his troops that were captured were all executed (see also A History Of Jerusalem: Greeks, Ptolemies, Seleucids).
1385: The Battle of Aljubartota. A decisive engagement in which Portuguese forces stopped the Spanish invasion of Portugal led by John I, king of Castile. The victory assured Portugal's independence.
1415: The Battle of Ceuta. Portuguese forces under Henry the Navigator were victorious over the Marinids.
1551: Turkish forces captured Tripoli (for the history of the later Turkish-Ottoman Empire, see A History Of Jerusalem: The British Mandate).
1559: Spanish explorer de Luna enters Pensacola Bay, Florida.
1733: The War of the Polish Succession began.
1784: The first Russian colony in Alaska was founded on Kodiak Island.
1893: France became the first country in the world to require motor vehicle registration.
1900: The Boxer Rebellion in China ended.
1912: U.S. Marines invaded Nicaragua to support the U.S.-installed puppet regime there (communist Russia did the same sort of thing through much of the 20th century e.g. Hungary, Poland, East Germany etc.).
1916: During the First World War (1914-1918), Romania declared war on Austria-Hungary.
1941: The Atlantic Charter, a joint declaration issued during the Second World War by Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt (the U.S. at the time still not in the war) after 5 days of conferences aboard warships in the North Atlantic.
1945: Japan formally surrendered at the end of the Second World War. The war's death toll: 15,000,000 military and 38,000,000 civilian dead.
1947: Pakistan was founded when British rule over the region ended and the Asian subcontinent was partitioned into Islamic Pakistan and predominantly Hindu India. Pakistan comprised two portions, West and East, which later became independent Bangladesh.
1973: The secret U.S. bombing of Cambodia ended, marking the end of 12 years of U.S. involvement in Indochina.
1980: Gdansk, Poland shipyard workers under the leadership of Lech Walesa began strikes against the communist government.
1994: The terrorist Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, known as "Carlos the Jackal," was captured.
2003: A days-long power blackout began in the northeast U.S. and Canada, affecting 45 million people in the U.S. and 10 million in Ontario. It was caused by a malfunction at a power plant in Ohio that caused a cascade of power failures in power stations around the Great Lakes region. It was the second-largest blackout in history, second only to the 1999 blackout in Brazil.