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Bible Pathways 8/7/2001

August 7

Read Isaiah 32 -- 37font>

About twenty-two years passed after King Shalmaneser of Assyria and his son Sargon invaded and destroyed the Northern Kingdom of Israel. This ended more than 200 years of the Israelites rejecting the Word of God. Then, in the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah . . . Sennacherib King of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities of Judah, and took them (Isaiah 36:1). He defeated 46 of the towns and villages of the small Southern Kingdom of Judah in one campaign. He carried away into captivity about 200,000 of their inhabitants but was not able to conquer Jerusalem. At that time, all of western Asia was under Assyria's control, including Babylonia, Media, Armenia, Syria, Phoenicia, Philistia, Edom, and most of the Promised Land. Up to that time, Assyria had not lost a battle.

Eventually, the King of Assyria sent Rabshakeh (the military official) from Lachish to King Hezekiah at Jerusalem with a great army (36:2) and demanded unconditional surrender. Rabshakeh stood, and cried with a loud voice in the Jews' language, and said, Hear the words of the great king, the King of Assyria. Thus says the king, 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 (36:13-16).

Upon hearing this demand, Hezekiah immediately went up to the House of the Lord. . . . And Hezekiah prayed . . . O Lord of hosts, God of Israel . . . You are the God . . . of all the kingdoms of the earth: You have made Heaven and earth. . . . O Lord. . . . hear all the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to reproach (insult and defy) the Living God. Of a truth, Lord, the kings of Assyria have laid waste all the nations. . . . Now therefore, O Lord our God, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You are the Lord, even You only (37:14-20). In complete dependence upon God, Hezekiah based his prayer on his desire that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You are the Lord, even You only.

Isaiah sent word to Hezekiah, saying: Thus says the Lord God of Israel, Because you have prayed to Me. . . . 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 (37:36) smote 185,000 soldiers in the Assyrian camp. When Sennacherib arose the next morning, he discovered his entire army was dead. He returned to Nineveh and as he was worshiping . . . his god . . . his sons murdered him (37:37-38).

It is important that we honor the Lord in our prayers just as Hezekiah did. The Lord is still saying: Call unto Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things (Jeremiah 33:3). We will receive the Lord's direction when we pray with a desire to see His will accomplished. Jesus promised: If you keep My commandments, you shall abide in My love; even as I have kept My Father's commandments, and abide in His love (John 15:10).

Christ Revealed: As the 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? (Psa. 18:2,31; also Matt. 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 (Matt. 24:30; II Pet. 3:10).

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

Prayer Needs:
Government Officials: Rep. Bob Etheridge (NC) and Rep. Amory Houghton (NY) · BPM Staff: Steve Harle · Pray for Ron & Gloria Bechtel, Universal Printing, printers of Bible Pathway in U.S. · Pray for the Bible Pathway International Radio broadcast sponsored by Two of the Lord's Bible Missionaries · Country: Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon) (19 million) an island in the Indian Ocean off the southeastern tip of India · Major languages: Sinhala and Tamil · Christianity suppressed · 67% Buddhist; 15% Hindu; 8% Roman Catholic; 7% Muslim; .75% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Ask according to the will of God and you will receive (John 16:24).

Optional Reading: James 2

Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 6:12-13

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