August 7

Read Isaiah 32 -- 37

In Today's Reading:

Righteous King foretold; judgment upon nations pronounced; Jerusalem threatened; Hezekiah's prayer; destruction of the Assyrians

King Shalmaneser of Assyria and his son Sargon invaded and destroyed the northern kingdom of Israel. The northern kingdom's fall had ended more than 200 years of their rejecting the Word of God.

In the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah . . . Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the defenced (fortified) cities of Judah, and took them (Isaiah 36:1). Even the walled cities were no match for the might of Sennacherib's army. He then quickly defeated 46 of the towns and villages of the small southern kingdom in one military campaign. He carried away into captivity about 200,000 of its inhabitants, but he was not able to conquer Jerusalem. At that time, all of western Asia was under Assyria's control, including the once powerful Babylonia, Media, Armenia, Syria (Aram), Phoenicia, Philistia, Edom, and most of the promised land.

Eventually, the king of Assyria demanded unconditional surrender. Feeling secure in the might of his army, Sennacherib sent word to the people of Jerusalem not to be influenced by their king, Hezekiah. Boasting of his great power, he proclaimed to the people: Let not Hezekiah deceive you: for he shall not be able to deliver you. Neither let Hezekiah make you trust in the LORD, saying, The LORD will surely deliver us. . . . Hearken not to Hezekiah (36:14-16).

Upon hearing this demand, King Hezekiah immediately did what we all should do when we receive bad news. Hezekiah went up unto the house of the LORD, and spread it before the LORD. And Hezekiah prayed unto the LORD, saying, O LORD of hosts, God of Israel, that dwellest between the cherubims, Thou art the God, even Thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth: Thou hast made heaven and earth. . . . hear all the words of Sennacherib, which (he) hath sent to reproach the living God. . . . O LORD our God, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that Thou art the LORD, even Thou only (37:14-17,20).

Isaiah sent a reassuring word to Hezekiah, saying: Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Whereas thou hast prayed to Me against Sennacherib king of Assyria. . . . I will defend this city to save it for Mine own sake, and for My servant David's sake (37:21,35). True to His Word, that night the Angel of the LORD went forth, and smote . . . the Assyrians (37:36), destroying 185,000 soldiers.

It is important that, like Hezekiah, we pray and trust the Lord for all our needs. It is foolish to stand against the wiles of the devil in our own might (Ephesians 6:11). God is waiting for us to place our trust in Him. The Lord is still urging us: Call unto Me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not (Jeremiah 33:3; see Ephesians 3:20).

Christ Revealed:

As the unmovable Rock (Isaiah 32:2). Christ is always available to provide protection and security. The Lord is my Rock . . . my Fortress. . . . who is a Rock save our God? (Psalm 18:2,31). As the King Who will bring judgment upon the earth (Isaiah 33:17; 34:4-5). In that day of judgment, Christians will see King Jesus in His power and great glory, but the lost will face His fiery indignation (Matthew 24:30; II Peter 3:10).

Word Studies:

32:2 covert = shelter; tempest = storm; 32:5 liberal = noble; churl = cruel, crafty men; 32:7 instruments = schemes; 32:19 low in a low place = completely destroyed; 33:9 hewn down = destroyed, cut down.

Prayer Needs:

BP Staff: Wanda Baker · Pray for Joe Brashier and the Bible Pathway International Shortwave Radio Broadcasts on WHRI, South Bend IN · Government Officials: Rep. Bob Etheridge (NC) and Rep. Amory Houghton (NY) · Country: Monaco (32,000) in southeastern France · Major languages: French and English · No open evangelism permitted · 90% Roman Catholic; 7% Protestant; 1% Eastern Orthodox · Prayer Suggestion: Give thanks to the Lord for all things (Ephesians 5:19-20).

Optional Reading: James 2

Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 5:1