A Devotional Journey
led by Dr. Gene Pearson
Thru the Bible in a Year
Here end the prophesies against Assyria in verses almost identical to 2 Kings 18:13-20:19.
It appears that the writer of 2 Kings may have had access to Isaiah as one of his sources. In any case, 36-37 narrates the events which prove God's Word in prophesy is accurate, while 38-39 begin the transition towards a focus on the Babylonians, whose conquest of Israel and the subsequent return of Jewish exiles from Babylon forms the backdrop of chapters 40-66.
In 701 B.C., the Assyrian ruler, Sennacherib threatened but failed to conquer Jerusalem.
In faithfulness to God, King Hezekiah in Jerusalem refused to surrender and God sent His own angel to decimate the Assyrian army, which suffered 185,000 casualties in what has every appearance of some kind of infectious disease (the Greek historian, Herodotus describes this event and attributes it to bubonic plague).. Since the Israelites were unaffected, the miraculous element is preserved whether or not a natural cause is asserted.
Chapter 38 introduces us to an incident in Hezekiah's life which demonstrates his faith
and his closeness to God, who grants him a reprieve on death which lasts 15 years (see 2 Kings 20). In chapter 39, Hezekiah's foolishness in showing all his wealth to the emissaries of the rising power in Babylon foreshadows the later conquest of Judah.
Do you ever wonder if God cares?
Yet almost always our concern is that He does not seem to care about our problems. If He is unconcerned about our failings or shortcomings we are far less incensed. There are actually people who live their lives on the premise that if God exists at all, He does nothing to evaluate, hold accountable or punish those who intentionally operate outside the boundaries He has set. Because His judgment is neither continuous nor even always obvious, such people assume there is little or no danger in disregarding His directions
or desires. Isaiah, along with the rest of the Old Testament prophets, makes clear that this is not the case and that both our culpability and our need for help matter to God.
What is God's will for your life? What does He want you to be like?
The issue is not merely in what we do
(the condemnation in Isaiah 1:10-20,
clearly makes this point), but what we are
B inside. Obedience to God's standards without a right relationship with God can only lead to legalism.
What area of your life do you believe God might want changed?
Today, give Him permission to change you and then follow the promptings of His Spirit as you commit yourself not only to His care, but also to His will.
© A. Eugene Pearson 2010