Highlights In Today's Reading:
You will enjoy the beautiful picture of Israel restored: 27:6, 13. Then Ephraim (Samaria, the Northern Kingdom) is condemned (Chapter 28). Look at what he calls them (28:1,3,7-8). God uses Ephraim's example to warn Judah/Jerusalem (28:14-29). More warnings to Judah of discipline and the reason why in Chapter 29. Apparently they didn't consider that they escaped from slavery in Egypt — so God reminds them in Chapters 30 — 31: Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help (31:1).
Sennacherib, the ruthless king of Assyria, was marching toward Judah with the intent of conquering it and reducing its people to slavery (II Kings 18:13; II Chronicles 32:1). The danger was very real and imminent. What was King Hezekiah to do? How was Judah to stand against Assyria, the world's most powerful monarchy at that time? If you were to ask Hezekiah's "policy makers," they would all say: "There can be no question about the intent of Assyria and the defeat of the Kingdom of Judah." The "policy makers" would agree that the only way to save Judah from defeat was to obtain the alliance and armies of some powerful nation. This was exactly what the rulers of Judah agreed to do. They entered into an alliance with the king of Egypt for military strength and security. Yet, it is for doing this very thing, that the prophet Isaiah reproved them saying: Woe to the rebellious children, saith the Lord, that take counsel, but not of Me. . . . For the Egyptians shall help in vain. . . . this is a rebellious people . . . that will not hear the Law of the Lord. . . . thus saith the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: and ye would not. . . . blessed are all they that wait for Him (Isaiah 30:1,7,9,15,18).
Fearing an Assyrian attack, King Hezekiah sent his ambassadors to Egypt with a large amount of wealth. They were requesting military aid and desiring to make a treaty with Egypt, a nation that had been a great world power for centuries. From a human point of view, this seemed to be the only possible means of security against Assyria. Egypt had a great military system, including numerous chariots and horses. In addition, Ethiopia was closely associated with Egypt, and the combined armies of these two powerful nations would seem invincible.
When danger threatens, do we immediately seek counsel of our friends and professional advisers? Or do we, through daily searching of His Word, discern God's principles of direction and then, in prayer, trust Him wholeheartedly to enlighten our understanding concerning the specific problem before us?
No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon (Matthew 6:24).
Thought for Today:
Have faith in God. He is the One that created all things and can do what seems to us to be impossible.
As the precious (Chief) Corner Stone, a sure foundation (Isaiah 28:16; Ephesians 2:20-21; Matthew 21:42; Acts 4:10-12; Romans 9:33; I Peter 2:6-8).
27:1 piercing =b> swift; 28:21 strange =b> awesome, unusual; 28:22 bands be made strong =b> punishment be made greater; 30:1 cover with a covering =b> make an alliance; 30:3 confusion =b> humiliation, your undoing; 30:24 ear =b> plow.
Pray for Arabic, English, & Spanish International Shortwave Radio Broadcasts sponsored by Jim Stouffer, Mary Solomon, & Thy Living Word Outreach Ministry • Staff: Beth Carlton • Government Official: Rep. Mike McIntyre (NC) • Country: Belgium (10.2 million) in northwestern Europe • Major languages: Flemish and French • Religious freedom • 74% Catholic; 3% Muslim; 1% Protestant; .5% Orthodox; 20% Secular Humanism; 1.5% Other • Prayer Suggestion: Bow before the Lord in a godly reverence as you pray and worship (Ex. 34:8).
Optional Reading: James 1
Memory Verse for the Week: 2 Corinthians 4:12