February 15, 2019

ISAIAH 34-39      


Focus Verses For Today: Isaiah 27:16-20


As we prepare to begin our journey take a few moments to ask the Lord for His understanding of Isaiah 34-39.  Now read Isaiah 34-39.  Let’s begin our journey!

Chapter 34 tells of God’s total destruction of His enemies, celestial and earthly. In the second part of the chapter it tells of God’s restoration of the land that had been consumed with sin. 


Chapter 35 tells of the joy of those redeemed by God. It speaks of a highway, called the Way of Holiness. The Way of Holiness is highway God prepares for the redeemed to journey to its only destination: Jerusalem.  Are you a follower of “The Way?”


Chapter 36 tells of Sennacherib’s, King of Assyria, threats to Jerusalem. The field commander of Sennacherib, King of Assyria, threatens to destroy Jerusalem if King Hezekiah doesn’t surrender Jerusalem to King Sennacherib. 


Chapter 37 contains our focus verses for today:


16“Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, enthroned between the cherubim, you alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth. 17Give ear, Lord, and hear; open your eyes, Lord, and see; listen to all the words Sennacherib has sent to ridicule the living God.

18“It is true, Lord, that the Assyrian kings have laid waste all these peoples and their lands. 19They have thrown their gods into the fire and destroyed them, for they were not gods but only wood and stone, fashioned by human hands. 20Now, Lord our God, deliver us from his hand, so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you, Lord, are the only God.” (Isaiah 37:16-20 NIV)


What do you do in time of adversity? King Hezekiah, you will learn later, was a God fearing king. He believed his army was no match for the Assyrian army without God’s help. King Hezekiah asked God for His help. (In some instances God answers prayer by directing your actions. In some instances God answers prayer by resolving the matter without your involvement. Sometimes God answers prayer with silence even though He is always with us.) In this instance God drew the Assyrian army away from Jerusalem to be defeated by God’s hand elsewhere. This chapter gives a glimpse of the importance of prayer to King Hezekiah. 


Chapter 38 tells us that God directed Isaiah to go to King Hezekiah and instruct him to get his affairs in order. Hezekiah was dying. Upon receiving this message from Isaiah, King Hezekiah prayed for more time to live. God granted the king’s request. 


Chapter 39 tells of foreign ambassadors from Babylon visiting King Hezekiah, bestowing him with gifts and praise. The king apparently wanted his visitors to know that he was truly worthy of their praise so he showed them the great wealth of Jerusalem. God doesn’t like pride. God sends Isaiah to pronounce judgement on King Hezekiah for his sin (pride). Isaiah tells the king that Jerusalem will be taken captive by Babylon and that his heirs will be taken to Babylon where they will be held as eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon. Isaiah 39:8 NIV:  “The word of the Lord you have spoken is good,” Hezekiah replied. For he thought, “There will be peace and security in my lifetime.”  What happened to King Hezekiah? He was the man who honored God his entire life.


Take a moment to pray for understanding of what you have just read. In our focus verses today, we learned that prayer is a powerful gift to be exercised fervently and frequently in our life-long, eternal journey with God. Hezekiah prayed for God to spare Jerusalem from the Assyrians and God did. Hezekiah asked God to extend his life by healing a terminal illness he had and God did. What happed? After a life long journey with God: what took this humble king to take pride (credit for) in all that God had provided him? Why did Hezekiah summarily dismiss the fate of Jerusalem, and his heirs, since their punishment was the consequence of his sin?  These Old Testament lessons are important to us for innumerable reasons, but what we have seen recently is that all our Bible heroes were sinners just like us. God loved them in spite of their sin, just as He loves us in spite of our sin.  


Are you journaling? Take out your journal! Are you contemplating? Warm up your contemplator!  It is time for introspection. Write in your journal or on the contemplation station of your mind, what you have prayed about today. Review what you prayed about carefully. Are you happy with your prayer life? Do you need to reflect on what you are not praying about? Are you spending enough time with God in prayer? He loves hearing from you! 


Pride is an interesting topic. In most cases it is the need to be recognized. Nothing more! Unfortunately, that need when fulfilled, as in Hezekiah’s case, may grow to an inflated value of self accomplishment. It is important to remember that whatever we accomplish: God has provided us with all the tools necessary and ability to arrive at accomplishment.  Do we thank Him for His providence when a project is completed or is it merely another, “I” moment in our lives?” Godspeace!


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