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Isaiah 36: “Judah Invaded”

Now that the last section has ended, we see historical interlude in chapters 36-39. This chapter recounts what we’ve seen in the last several chapters, namely chapters 28-35. Here, in this section, we see a parallel passage to that in 2 Kings 18:13-20:19. The historical context surrounds the reign of Hezekiah and the invasion of Judah by Sennacherib. Remember back in chapter 32? There, a king was identified to be the ruler of righteousness. What we see in this chapter is the mocking of the ruling king (Hezekiah), the one that many believe to be a type of Christ that is spoken of in chapter 32. The word deliver is used about 7 times from verses 13-20, becoming a major theme in this chapter. This seems to remind us that an earthly king is not the one who will save your soul, only Christ can do that. What a great reminder in generally challenging times like today. We must look to God, the One who saves.


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Isaiah 35: "Restored"

Yesterday, in chapter 34, we saw judgement for all nations. When we get to chapter 35, we see that the Lord will restore His people. Maybe you have noticed this too, but I can't seem to notice that over and over that when the Lord restores His people, He also restores the land. He makes the weak strong and makes the fearful, fearless. He causes the blind to see and deaf to hear. That is what the Lord does. He changes you. One noteworthy word in this chapter is found in verse 10. That word is "ransomed." This means delivered or rescued. What we see here then is that the land is restored, the imperfections are made perfect, then those who have been delivered will return to the Lord. They will "come to Zion with singing" and they will have "everlasting joy." This is a picture of what the redemptive process looks like, it may look slightly differently for everyone, but the fundamental principles remain. We ought to fill peace and joy when we are with the Lord, no matter the circumstances around us. Do you feel joy?


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Isaiah 34: “All Nations”

As this section concludes, it’s only fitting that this final woe is for all nations. This shows that God’s judgement is universal. As we’ve seen, many of these prophecies seem to have a double fulfillment. The immediate context here still speaks to Assyria, but the future fulfillment is still to come, likely following what is known as the Great Tribulation (see Matthew 24:22, Revelation chapters 6, 8-9, and 16-18). Verse 2 tells us that the Lord is “enraged” and “furious.” Again, the context alludes to a rebellious people. His people. His creation. He has to judge, even though He loves His people. This is one of the characteristics of a good judge. The pictures painted here are not pretty. There is death. There is war. There is blood. The warnings are there, we see that in verse 16, where the prophecy tells to go back to the “book of the Lord.” Lastly, the mention of Edom here shows the bearer of this prophecy that what he is saying will come to pass. Remember, this was one of the key elements of a trustworthy prophet (Deuteronomy 18:22). A few days ago, I said that this section that we’re in may have been put here today as a comfort to us during times of trouble. This chapter adds to that thought. We also may be reminded during these troubling times that God is not only the One who saves and protects, but He is also the righteous Judge.


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Isaiah 33: “He Will be Exalted”

In this chapter, we see the sixth woe. It is a general woe, to the destroyer. As this was right before the Assyrian invasion, it may be speaking to them. If that’s the case, Isaiah knew what was coming, so he pays, beginning in verse 2. In this prayer, he prays for the Lord’s graciousness. In verse 5, we see a prayer for the Lord to be exalted. This is an important lesson in prayer. Often times, we pray for mercy, for healing, or for provision. Yet, many times, we forget that through difficult times, we should pray for those things, but also that the Lord is glorified and exalted in those times. How often do we pray for that? We see in verse 7 that this invasion has begun and the people cry out. But, in verse 10 we see the Lord is exalted. Here, the Lord shows himself. He shows here that He is behind the judgement. Again, the Lord is acting justly. Remember, a loving and responsible father will discipline his child. That’s what’s being done here. The land, which is His and the people, who belong to Him are being disciplined for their actions. For turning their back on Him. For being disobedient. It’s clear what the Lord desires. His people to love and follow Him. He warned them over and over, and He would be unjust if He didn’t follow through. All of this judgement is necessary, as it paves the way for the Lord to return and reclaim what has always been His. If you read Romans 1, you see that one of the many judgements on His people was that He actually just said “fine, do whatever you want.” He gave us up to our passions, and didn’t interfere. We pushed Him away, so He let us. Maybe you have pushed the Lord away. Maybe you’re just mad at Him. Maybe you never knew Him. Know that today, all of that can change, “because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9).


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Isaiah 32: “A King Reigns”

This chapter begins a break in the six woes started back in chapter 28. This speaks to a future King that will reign. Some say that this “king” in verse one is Hezekiah, others say it refers to Jesus. It likely points us to the Messiah, Jesus. If it does point to Hezekiah, it’s only through he being a type of Christ, or a picture of the coming King. Guzik breaks this chapter into two parts. The coming of the King in verses 1-10, and the A Call to Prepare for the Coming of the King in verses 11-20. In the first part, we see the Kings arrival after the fall of Jerusalem. Then we see restoration from this King, then a righteous rule. He will be a ruler with high integrity. In the second part, we see a group of restless women called to repentance. We also see a land that mourns. This may have due to the coming of the Assyrian invasion. Here we see the Spirit is “poured out” among the people, spreading His Spirit across the nation. This leads to many blessings, to include peace and righteousness. Maybe these chapters over the past several days have been placed here in the present to remind us that the Lord does reign. He reigns in the past, in the present, and in the future. Yes, the world is judged, but the Lord will once again have a physical reign in this earth. These chapters remind us of that. They remind us that all that is happening, all that has happened, and all that will happen are all still under His control. When the story gets to the final chapter, He reigns over it all, right here on earth. That should be comforting for the Christian.


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Isaiah 31: “Rely on God”

This chapter continues the theme that we saw in the last chapter. The challenge remains to seek God in times of trouble. Today, many people are seeking the government, waiting for them to respond. Today, millions of Americans are waiting for their stimulus checks. I recognize that this comment may be controversial. I am looking at this government aide as one of the ways that the Lord is providing for us. Others will praise the government, or still find a way to be upset with them. All illustrations aside, we should not be dependent on the government to respond, yet we should be seeking the One who is truly sovereign. That’s what this chapter is saying. Egypt was attractive with all of their chariots and armies, and it was easy for Jerusalem to look to them for aide. The Lord is saying, “you went to them first, without even consulting Me!” This should not be. In the middle of this chapter, we see that the Lord will protect Judah and Jerusalem. We see that it is not Egypt, but the Lord. We also see in the last few verses and invitation. An invitation to return to the Lord. He cites the fall of Assyria as an example of what following God will result in. Again, the Lord sustains. The Lord protects. The Lord will provide. The Lord rules. Who are relying on today?


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Isaiah 30: “Waiting and Seeking”

Still speaking to Jerusalem, a warning is given to not go to Egypt. Apart from the history between Egypt and the people of Israel, there is a specific reason for the Lord’s desire for them not to go to Egypt, and that’s seen in verse 2, they went “without asking for my direction.” They were called stubborn and rebellious in their actions. The Lord invites them to come to Him instead. This is evidenced in verse 18, “therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him.” Many times, we look to everything for help, but the Lord. Verse 18 just told us that the Lord is full of mercy. He desires that we seek Him and trust Him. I think that last part of verse 18 tells us why this happens, it’s because we don’t want to wait. We have a hard time waiting. That’s why we go to other sources, and pick those that can get us an answer quickly. If the Lord waits for us, can’t we wait for Him? What is your Egypt? Where do you tend to go in times of trouble? Is it your Egypt, or is it the Lord?


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Isaiah 29: “Jerusalem”

The opening verse cites a woe for Ariel. Ariel means Jerusalem, or lion, or altar. All of these point to David, and eventually to Jesus, as the central figure of the Davidic Covenant of 2 Samuel 7. What this vision tells of is a time when Jerusalem will be overcome with distress. We see once again, that the Lord will cause a a proud nation to be humbled. One of the things that I have noticed so far in this book is even though the Lord will bring judgement upon a land, it is generally followed by grace. The Lord, here in verses 5-8, protects Jerusalem, despite their pride. Jerusalem is described as blind, not physically, but spiritually. They have seen the Lord, yet refuse to follow Him. The have heard the Lord, yet they refuse to listen. They recieved His Word, yet remain unwise. Can't we say the same today? There are many adults who grew up in the church, yet they fall away when they are older. Once again though, we can be comforted, like the people of Jerusalem from verses 17-21 that the Lord will restore. I cannot stress enough, the Lord is still in control. The Lord still reigns. The Lord still loves. This is why He provided a "way out," in Jesus Christ. This is completely unwarrented, as we all deserve the judgement that we've been reading about here. John 3:16 tells us the why, and the how. "For He so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life." Isn't that comforting?


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Isaiah 28: "Ephraim and Jerusalem"

Chapter 28 begins a new section in this book from Isaiah. This section will take us through chpater 35, and there are two main themes. First theme takes up most of the section, and we see 6 laments, with assurances for various nations or groups. The next, in chapters 34-35 provide two outcomes: judgement or salvation. These are the two choices for each of us in life. There is no third option. When a Christian is pressing for a choice to be made, the intention is for you to choose salvation, to choose life. This chapter is the judgement on Ephraim and Jerusalem. Ephraim is used sometumes as another name for the northern kingdom of Israel, as it was a prominent tribe in that nation. What we see here is drunkeness. Drunkeness is forbidden in the Bible as it clouds the judgement and minds of the abuser. It is something that cannot control you and you came become dependent on it. When our dependence is off of the Lord, and it is moved to something else, it is forbidden. Once again, we also see pride as a driving force that leads to judgement. In verses 5-6, we see that the the light of the Lord will eventually overcome the darkness of Ephraim. In Judah, we see much of the same. The message and response from the Lord is simple, judgement. When we hear and understand the message of salvation, and reject it, judgement will follow. The Lord is speaking, and is desiring a response. When pride overcomes you, it is more and more difficult to respond appropriately. While the Lord speaks to both nations of Israel here, it is very obvious that this is a message for all of mankind. We can see an example of this in Acts 7 with Stephen's speech that takes us all the way through the Old Testament and points us to Jesus. The Lord is asking for humility and repentance, today.


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