God Answers Hezekiah, Showing Who He Is

The Assyrian army is approaching Jerusalem and threatening the kingdom of Judah. King Hezekiah has pleaded with the Lord to save them and he has asked Isaiah for a word from the Lord. Here is what happened! Yeah God! Isaiah 37:7 was God’s answer through Isaiah: “Listen! When he hears a certain report, I will make him want to return to his own country, and there I will have him cut down with the sword.’” Later Isaiah expands God’s deliverance message in Isaiah 37:21-38

Then Isaiah son of Amoz sent a message to Hezekiah: “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: Because you have prayed to me concerning Sennacherib king of Assyria, 22 this is the word the Lord has spoken against him:
Who is it you have ridiculed and blasphemed?
    Against whom have you raised your voice
God- “You dared to ridicule the Holy One of Israel.”
and lifted your eyes in pride?
    Against the Holy One of Israel!
“But I know where you are
    and when you come and go
God- “I know where you are and your attitudes.”.
    and how you rage against me.
29 Because you rage against me
    and because your insolence has reached my ears,
God– “I have heard your insults.”
I will put my hook in your nose
    and my bit in your mouth,
and I will make you return
    by the way you came.
God- “I will turn you around and send you home.”

33 “Therefore this is what the Lord says concerning the king of Assyria:

“He will not enter this city
    or shoot an arrow here.
He will not come before it with shield
God- “You will not enter my city.”
    or build a siege ramp against it.
34 By the way that he came he will return;
    he will not enter this city,”
God- “You will go back the way you came!”
declares the Lord.
35 “I will defend this city and save it,
    for my sake and for the sake of David my servant!” 36 Then the angel of the Lord went out and put to death a hundred and eighty-five thousand in the Assyrian camp. When the people got up the next morning—there were all the dead bodies! 

God’s Action- without an arrow being shot 85,000 died and it sent the Assyrian army running in fear.

37 So Sennacherib king of Assyria broke camp and withdrew. He returned to Nineveh and stayed there.38 One day, while he was worshiping in the temple of his god Nisrok, his sons Adrammelek and Sharezer killed him with the sword, and they escaped to the land of Ararat. And Esarhaddon his son succeeded him as king.

God Action- you, king Sennacherib will die by the sword.

How can this message speak to you and me? God is a Holy and just God who is unchanging. When God gives His Word about something it happens! Guaranteed. His will cannot be thwarted. Sennacherib did not revere God or believe in His power. He paid for his unbelief with his life and the lives of his soldiers. Hezekiah, Isaiah and the people of Judah saw God defending, protecting and answering their cries for help. They saw a Righteous God who would not be ridiculed or have His name defamed.

We too can know – God is Holy and unchanging. John 6:68-69 “Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.” Hebrews 13:8 “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.God’s will cannot be stopped. Job 42:2 “I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted. God is to be feared and revered. Psalm 96:4 “For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods. Hebrews 12:8 “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, Unbelief in God results in death. Hebrews 3:18-19  “And to whom did God swear that they would never enter his rest if not to those who disobeyed? 19 So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief.” Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” God defends His own. Psalm 118:14 “The Lord is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation.” God protects believers. Proverbs 2:7-9 “He holds success in store for the upright,  he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for he guards the course of the just  and protects the way of his faithful ones.God hears our prayers and cries for help. Proverbs 15:29 “The Lord is far from the wicked, but he hears the prayer of the righteous”. Psalm 34:17 “The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.” God defends His Name. Zechariah 14:9 “The Lord will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one Lord, and his name the only name.’

I pray as you look at these truths about God that your faith is strengthened and you see how our God is real today as He continues to save, protect and listen to us. We have the fuller revelation of God in Jesus the Son. Christ is the Holy one, the Only one, who can Save us. Christ promises to listen to us and intercede before the Father for us. Praise God!


Roots that Go Deep Connecting Us with Jesus

In yesterday’s passage from Isaiah 10, we saw a promise God gave to His people that there would always be a remnant of believers. That is encouraging to us today, as we can be assured that the world will never be without believers. God wants His people in the world witnessing to Him and telling others. Specifically, God was sending a message to the people of Israel that whether they were the remnant after an invasion or after return from exile, there was hope. The hope He was sending would be the Messiah who would come from the line of King David. Since David’s father was named Jesse, this descendant is known as coming from the root of Jesse. Isaiah 11:1-5, 10 gives a beautiful picture of the coming Messiah, Jesus.

A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;
    from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—
    the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
    the Spirit of counsel and of might,
    the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord—
and he will delight in the fear of the Lord.

He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes,
    or decide by what he hears with his ears;
but with righteousness he will judge the needy,
    with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth.
He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth;
    with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked.
Righteousness will be his belt
    and faithfulness the sash around his waist.

10 In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his resting place will be glorious.

In verse 1 it states this coming Messiah would be a descendant of David, shoot of Jesse. Matthew 1- 1″This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham:,and Jesse the father of King David. David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah’s wife,16 and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, and Mary was the mother of Jesus who is called the Messiah.”

The Spirit of the Lord will rest upon Him in verse 2 was fulfilled in Matthew 3:16 As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him.” This is recorded in all 4 gospels. John 3:34 adds the extent of Jesus indwelling 34 For the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the Spirit without limit.”

The Messiah, Jesus, would be full of understanding and power, verse 2. Luke 2:42, 46-47 “When he was twelve years old, they went up to the festival, according to the custom.” 46 After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47 Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers.” Hebrews 1:3 adds to this “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.”

Messiah, Jesus, would judge the earth with righteousness, verses 3 & 4. John 5:27 “And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man.” 2 Timothy 4:1,8 “And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man.” Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.” This prophesy of Christ being the judge of all earth is still future to us and will be fulfilled when Christ returns.

Messiah, Jesus, would stand as a banner for all people, Jews and Gentiles, who would seek Him verse 10. John 12:20-21 20 Now there were some Greeks among those who went up to worship at the festival. 21 They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, with a request. “Sir,” they said, “we would like to see Jesus.” Romans 15:8-9 For I tell you that Christ has become a servant of the Jews on behalf of God’s truth, so that the promises made to the patriarchs might be confirmed and, moreover, that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written: “Therefore I will praise you among the Gentiles;
    I will sing the praises of your name.”

This is a beautiful portion of scripture that speaks of the Lord Jesus Christ when He was here on earth ministering and teaching and then later when He returns as judge and King. Seeing the prophesies fulfilled gives us assurance that all will be fulfilled in Him.

How can you apply this to yourself today? The ancient prophesies about Jesus add to our faith and give us hope and assurance that what God has foretold in His Word will indeed come to pass. It assures us that who Jesus said He was is true! It helps us know God as a promise keeping God who loves and cares for us. As we continue to see in Isaiah, Christ is the Holy one, the Only one, who can Save us.


God Promises a Remnant

Amidst all the turmoil for Israel foretold by Isaiah in chapter after chapter, God lists the sins of not only Israel but the nations around them and still God provides a note of hope. God tells Isaiah that there will be a remnant of His people that will remain or return. In Hezekiah’s day a small group remained faithful and survived the Assyrian invasion in 701 B.C. Later in exile with the Babylonians there was a remnant that would return as recorded in Nehemiah. God promises a remnant of the faithful believers will return to rebuild and from them will come the Messiah.

Isaiah 10: 20-23 In that day the remnant of Israel,
    the survivors of Jacob,
will no longer rely on him
    who struck them down
but will truly rely on the Lord,
    the Holy One of Israel.
21 A remnant will return, a remnant of Jacob
    will return to the Mighty God.
22 Though your people be like the sand by the sea, Israel,
    only a remnant will return.
Destruction has been decreed,
    overwhelming and righteous.
23 The Lord, the Lord Almighty, will carry out
    the destruction decreed upon the whole land

What does this hope mean for us today? As we look around, like the people of Isaiah’s day did, we see a world filled with corruption and evil. Yes, there is good too but sin is rampant and it seems that it has the upper hand. God was consoling Isarel, and us too, that no matter how it looks or seems, God is in control. He is sovereign and there will always be a remnant of believers that hold Him to be the Lord Almighty, the Holy One.

What is a remnant? As a seamstress, it is a piece of cloth left over. You cut the majority of the bolt of fabric for use and then what is left over is the remnant. It is just as beautiful and the whole piece of cloth, same width, and depth but just smaller in size. God promises there will always be believers no matter how small the group, they will be present. They will hold onto His light, His Word and His truths. They will walk with Him in His power. Paul gave an example in his letter to the Romans. He was speaking about the prophet Elijah and his complaint to God that there were not any believers left in Israel. Romans 11:2-6 “Don’t you know what Scripture says in the passage about Elijah—how he appealed to God against Israel: “Lord, they have killed your prophets and torn down your altars; I am the only one left, and they are trying to kill me”? And what was God’s answer to him? “I have reserved for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.” There is always a remnant chosen by God, by His grace, to remain. Jesus spoke encouraging words in John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Praise God! 1 John 4:4 “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”

Take heart and put your trust in the Holy One of Israel who is Sovereign over all. The Lord Almighty will preserve us in Him. We are sealed by His Holy Spirit and belong to Him!