Read Isaiah 32 - 37
In Today's Reading:
Righteous King foretold; judgment upon nations pronounced; Jerusalem threatened; Hezekiah's prayer
; destruction of the Assyrians
In the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah . . . Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the defensed cities of Judah, and took them (Isaiah 36:1). Even the walled cities were no match for the might of Sennacherib's army. In one military campaign he quickly defeated 46 of the towns and villages of the small southern kingdom. 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, 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: 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 (36:14-16).
Upon hearing this demand, King Hezekiah immediately did what we all should do when we receive bad news. Hezekiah went up to the House of the LORD. . . . And Hezekiah prayed . . . O LORD of hosts, God of Israel . . . You are the God, even You alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth. . . . hear all the words of Sennacherib, which (he) has sent to reproach the living God. . . . save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You are the LORD (the Self-Existent, Eternal God), even You only (37:14-17,20).
Isaiah sent a word to Hezekiah, saying: Thus says the LORD God of Israel, Whereas (Because) you have prayed to Me against Sennacherib king of Assyria. . . . I will defend this city to save it for My own sake, and for My servant David's sake (37:21,35). 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 of our needs. It is foolish to think we can stand against the wiles (schemes, trickery) 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 to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty (unsearchable) things, which you know not (Jeremiah 33:3; compare Ephesians 3:20).
As the great, unmovable Rock (Isaiah 32:2). Christ is always available to provide "rest" - comfort and security. The Lord is my Rock . . . my Fortress. . . . who is
[the] Rock save our God?
(Psalm 18:2,31; also Matthew 11:28
-30). 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).
32:2 covert = shelter; tempest = storm; 32:5 liberal = noble; churl = deceitful; 32:7 instruments = schemes; 32:19 low in a low place = completely destroyed; 33:9 hewn down = destroyed.
Pray for Government Officials: Rep. Bob Etheridge (NC) and Rep. Amory Houghton (NY) · Country: Mali (10 million) in West Africa · Major languages: French and Bambara · Religious freedom despite Muslim majority · 81% Muslim; 17% animism and spirit worship; 2% Christian
Prayer Suggestion: Pray for more faithful Christian workers (I Thessalonians 1:2-3).
Optional Reading: James 2
Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 3:24