February 13, 2015: Daily Bible Reading with Commentary for Isaiah 34-39
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Context: Chapter 34 warns us that God will establish justice by pouring out His wrath against His enemies by destroying all that is beautiful and affirms His promises to us. In contrast, chapter 35 promises that those who repent and seek the Lord will experience all the joys, wonders, and beauty of the Lord's world. Chapters 36 to 39 shift from poetry to a narrative, historical record, with some prophecy. These chapters take place during the time that Assyria surrounded Jerusalem, events also recorded in 2 Kings 18-19 and 2 Chronicles 29-30. Chapter 36 tells of King Hezekiah and the invasion of Assyria. Chapter 37 tells us of King Hezekiah's prayer and the destruction of the Assyrian army. At the same time as the Assyrian siege King Hezekiah falls ill and prays for healing. Chapter 37 and 38 are examples of God's power and a reminder that we should always trust in the Lord. In chapter 38 King Hezekiah reaches has a spiritual victory, after which, in chapter 39, he becomes cocky. After an achievement we are most likely to fall, which is what happened to Hezekiah.
World History: During the siege of Jerusalem, Assyria surrounded Jerusalem and assumed they would be victorious, as they had swept through numerous cities north of Jerusalem. Hezekiah fortified the city by strengthening the city walls and by constructing a reservoir. It was Hezekiah's eventual trust in the Lord that saved the city.