Isaiah 37-39; Psalm 76
Click here for today’s reading: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah%2037-39%3B%20Psalm%2076&version=AMP;NIV
Today’s read was a HUGE WOW!!! for me personally!! I have been reading a book called “The Circle Maker” by Mark Batterson that is ALL about prayer. TALK about God’s timing for me between the book I am reading and Hezekiah’s prayer. I could barely read my Scripture because tears of joy were running down my face.
OK… enough about me…. let’s unfold today’s reading. I would LOVE to hear if anything special stood out to you today. (I always LOVE your emails and comments to see how God is working in your lives through the readings.)
If all the names of the kings, places, details are confusing you…. STEP BACK….. PRAY…. ASK God to open your eyes and your heart so that HIS Word will touch you in a way it never has before. God LOVES us to ASK HIM for things within HIS will. The word ASK which means in Hebrew: “ask, enquire, beg, require, request, earnestly,” is stated 173 times in the KJV!!!! I also looked up the word PRAY in the NT (Greek) meaning “ask, beseech, pray, desire, intreat” and it is mentioned 58 times!!!! Ummmmm…..maybe God is trying to tell us something about praying and asking…eh?? Keep in mind that I did not go through every possible use of each of the words ASK or PRAY…. I ONLY LOOKed up ONE of EACH!!! There were many more in Strong’s Concordance. BUT….my purpose was to focus your attention on the fact that God WANTS us to ASK HIM and PRAY to HIM for EVERYTHING!! HE is the Giver and Creator of EVERYthing…..so why not ASK and PRAY for EVERYTHING….it all belongs to HIM anyway… “know what I mean Vern?”
Keep in mind that prayer is a gift, a precious gift, yet most people never unwrap the package…let alone take it out of the box and use it. I have heard many people say: “but I don’t deserve to ask HIM for anything,” or “I don’t want to bother HIM,” or “I just don’t feel right about going to HIM with every little thing,” and I could go on….but I am sure you get the point. Look at what James 4:2-3 says: “…YOU DO NOT HAVE BECAUSE YOU DO NOT ASK GOD. 3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” Both parts of that verse are equally important….You have not because you ask not AND….. IF we ask for things that are totally against God’s will….those things will not be answered the way we pray for them to be. How do we know God’s will…..by reading HIS Word and praying according to HIS will.
Also take a look at: “You will ask what you desire, and it shall be done.” Jn 15:7 NKJV
God LOVES to show us Himself in so many ways. We limit Him with our unbelief. If we know we have unbelief, don’t allow the enemy to bring condemnation because that is NOT from God….simply confess and be like the man in Mark who said: “Lord, help thou my unbelief.” (Mark 9:24) SO….. Who is ready to begin ASKING God….just KNOW….HE answers in HIS timing not ours because HIS ways are higher than ours. He can see what we can’t. AND ALWAYS be sure you are praying in accordance with his will. For example if you are praying for God to have someone murdered…..ummmmmm……murder is NOT part of HIS will!! OR if you are praying that a relationship with someone you love will work out…BUT that person is not open to knowing The Lord OR is married….that is not God’s will either. Just a couple of examples to make a point.
A little overview of Isaiah (incase anyone else like me forgot)… this book is a mini format of the entire bible. Today we are finishing the Old Testament (OT) part. The first 40 chapters were Words of Judgement (OT) the next 26 Chapters will be Words of Comfort (NT). So here were are….just before the PIVOT of the book of Isaiah. Chapter 41 begins the Words of Comfort!!!
CHAPTER 37 —The things we can learn from Hezekiah’s actions are powerful!! Hezekiah had been doing exactly what Isaiah was preaching for 36 chapters. Isaiah said: “Turn to the Lord.” Hezekiah did. As Chapter 37 opened Hezekiah was in distress from the words of the messengers of Sennacherib, BUT he did not give up. He PRAYED. He brought together his team, the priests, and Isaiah. Isaiah tells him NOT to give up… God IS IN CONTROL and will REVEAL HIMSELF!! In verse 4 Hezekiah PRAYS FOR THE REMNANT that still survived out of Judah!!! (Can you say … J-E-S-U-S???!!!)
I just ATE UP Hezekiah’s prayer in verses 14-20!! Hezekiah received the letter from the messengers of the King of Assyria (more threats, more mocking God, more blasphemy of God!!) Yet Hezekiah went up to the Temple of The Lord. HE laid the letter before The Lord. And HE PRAYED!!! Hezekiah acknowledged that God ALONE is God. There is ONLY one worthy of our Prayer! ONE. Key word there, the Assyrians NEVER denied there was a God, just that they had adopted all the pagan gods too!!!! Remember JESUS is the ONLY way and we can NOT serve two masters….EVER!!! WE MUST CHOOSE!!! Hezekiah BOLDLY asked for victory….why?? Verse 20, did you catch the SO THAT? “So That ALL the kingdoms on earth may know that you alone, Oh Lord, are God!!”
Hezekiah BOLDLY asked God for victory…..and God answered….with victory…..in ONE night the Assyrians were destroyed…. ONE NIGHT…. the mighty warriors, the world power in that day who had taken so much land and so many captives…..were destroyed by the hand of God in ONE night.
Incase you skimmed over verse 31….. I HAD to make sure you didn’t miss such importance…..
“Once more a REMNANT of the house of Judah
will take root below and bear fruit above.
For out of Jerusalem will come a REMNANT,
and out of Mount Zion a band of survivors.
The zeal of the LORD Almighty
will accomplish this.
CHAPTER 37 ends with the Miracle of Assyria falling in a day. (You have to picture the Greatest World Power Falling in a day to an enemy nation…JUST as we are witnessing the falling of our own Nation today… with each law that passes that does not support God’s way….with each mutter that the USA should not support Israel…..with each leader that rules in whatever capacity but stands for NOTHING). I come back to PRAYER here…. PRAY for our Nation… our leaders…for a REVIVAL of Biblical proportions….Praying to the ONE true God for our Nation and the hearts of all leaders in our Nation and globally is the ONLY answer. I love verse 35…”I WILL defend this city and SAVE IT for my sake and for the sake of David my servant!!” OH YEAH…that’s what I’m screamin!!!
CHAPTER 38 — Hezekiah PRAYS again, God hears, and HE answered!!! And God gave Hezekiah a SIGN of His promise. Notice verse 7 — “This is the LORD’s sign to you that the Lord will do what HE has promised.” Did you ever think about the fact that God WILL give us a sign if needed!!! That makes me want to SHOUT to the LORD from my back porch to thank HIM!!! Hezekiah’s sign from the Lord was moving the Sun back 10 steps in shadow. We serve an awesome God…. a God who DESIRES to answer our prayers…. a God who CAN and WILL give us signs when needed. So EXPECT GREAT answers to your prayers that are in line with HIS will, and stand in AWE of HIM when HE blesses you with a “little sign” of HIS power a confirmation, an acceptance along the path!!! If He can draw the sun back, surly he can speak through a bumper sticker if He needs to. As we read the rest of 38 remember Hezekiah did not have the Full Bible with the description of How wonderful Heaven is and that Jesus goes up to prepare a place for us, so his speaking of the grave may be confusing…but 38 ends with His reassurance that He will see Heaven, the temple of the Lord…because of the SIGN God gave him…. the sun moving back.
For a moment …. stop and think of some of the miracles we have seen in our reading thus far….. God parted the Red Sea during its PEAK fullness so HIS people could walk through on DRY land!! Enoch walked with the Lord for 300 years and the Lord simply took him up to save him from the great flood!! Noah built an ark in the middle of the desert with no clouds in sight! Abraham and Sarah had Isaac when they were 100/90 respectively to fulfill the beginning of God’s promise to HIS people. The HUGE….IMPREGNABLE walls came tumbling down because Joshua and the Israelites OBEYED God and walked around the city of Jericho and prayed as HE commanded….and the WALLS came CRUMBLING DOWN!!!! God brought in THOUSANDS of quail to feed HIS people (quail ONLY live near water and it took a miracle of wind to blow in this quail from 50 miles away into the desert.) Peter walked on water…if only for a moment. Elisha saw Elijah being taken up to heaven in a chariot of fire. Elisha prayed that his servant would see ALL of God’s army that was with them….and the servant DID see angels sitting on chariots of fire who out numbered there enemies!! Jonah was swallowed and spit up by a gianormous fish to convert the city of Nineveh!! JESUS died and was resurrected so WE could a have personal relationship with HIM now and forever. And there are SO many more miracles, but these are the ones that came to me at this moment. ALL of these miracles came about because of prayer and obedience….because people stepped out and boldly prayed in accordance with God’s will….and prayers were answered. NOW that could make anyone’s day GREAT!!! What God does for one of HIS children HE will do for ALL if we follow HIM, obey HIM, and ASK in accordance with HIS will.
CHAPTER 39 — An Envoy means ” A representative of a government who is sent on a special diplomatic mission” (not talking down to anyone but sometimes I have to look these things up.) Merodach-Baladan was a Babylonian Prince. He was planning a revolt against Assyria and was forming his alliance with Judah. He probably hoped to convince Hezekiah to join his side (wouldn’t you want the Lord’s power on your team??) Hezekiah feeling honored and maybe his head was held a bit too high showed the envoys his treasures (ouch, Prideful for what the Lord had blessed him with), But Isaiah had warned the king not to trust Babylon because some day they would turn on Judah and steal all that wealth! Hezekiah may have been just showing them all that God could bring to someone but unfortunately this gesture had a huge consequence that we will read about in Daniel and 2 Kings 25.
Psalm 76 — This was written by Asaph and it praises God for his awesome power. It was most likely written to celebrate the defeat of Sennacherib’s army after he invaded Judah (2 Kings 18- 19:37) and as we saw in today’s reading in Chapter 37!!
As we leave today’s reading…has God placed a dream on your heart, a vision in your mind, a desire that you KNOW is from HIM it hasn’t happened yet. Are you praying BOLDLY for the answer? Are you supporting your prayer with Scriptures? Are you tired and overwhelmed….it’s OK….just KEEP praying just as Hezekiah, Moses, Joshua, and so many more did!!! And…ask others to join you in prayer…there is power when two or more agree in prayer as well!!!
Sharing HIS love,