God is Setting All Things Right. So I am Blogging Through the Bible in a Year.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

July 25 - Isaiah 37-39; Psalm 76: God Answers Hezekiah's Prayers

Today’s Reading: Isaiah 37-39; Psalm 76

The Message

English Standard Version

Thought to Guide Your Reading

Hezekiah prays to God for protection and a longer life. God listens and grants both.

Summary in 100 Words or Less

Hezekiah, distressed, appealed to Isaiah. He replied, "God will protect you and King Sennachreib will die."
The Sennachreib mocked God, "No god can protect you. Surrender!"
Hezekiah prayed, "You are the True God! Save us!"
God retorted, "Sennacherib, I will ride you like a horse back home. Hezekiah, in three years life will return to normal."
God killed 185,000 Assyrians. Sennacherib ran home and was quickly assassinated.
Later, Hezekiah prayed for health from a deadly illness and received 15 extra years. Hezekiah praised God greatly.
Babylon spied Hezekiah's treasures. Isaiah told Hezekiah someday his children would be exiled to Babylon.

Psalm (P)Synopsis

Psalm 76

Asaph praises God, the famous peacemaker. God brings warriors to their knees—who could survive His wrath? Asaph calls on Judah to sacrifice to God, the justice-bringer.

How Today’s Reading Contributes to the Gospel: God is Setting All Things Right

Hezekiah makes the right decision—relying on God.

We cannot read the story of Hezekiah without understanding his context. His father, Ahaz, ransacked the Temple to placate Assyria and then worshiped Damascene gods thinking they would protect Judah. Israel has been taken into captivity because they would not obey God. Hezekiah must rely on only one thing—faith. His faith would provide the impetus for his actions. So he relied on God in every case. When we rely on God, He helps us make the right decision.

Hezekiah diagnosed the other nations' problem—relying on "no-gods".

Hezekiah understood why the myriad of other nations had been destroyed by Assyria. They worshiped works of their hands, not the Creator. Hezekiah will not make that mistake. He will rely on God, the One, True God. When we rely on no-gods, we get no-help.

Hezekiah's friendliness would spell disaster on Judah.

Unfortunately, Hezekiah was all too trusting with the Babylonian messengers. He allowed them to see everything he had. Part of me wants to think Hezekiah became old and a little senile, since his answer to Isaiah does not sound the same as his previous answers. However, he also may have seen his sons and knew what would happen in the next few years. Either way, his willingness to reveal all he owned brought Babylon calling in the next few generations. Beware of spies who come dressed as messengers of good news.

God brings peace by crushing those who wage war.

Sometimes, God's only way of showing someone they should stop doing what they want to do is by doing it to them. Sennachreib would only cease occupying Judah when his army was decimated. Let us hope and pray we do not need our sins pointed out to us in that way!

Trust in God—He will give you wisdom.

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