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Bible Pathways - Aug. 8, 2009


August 8

Read Isaiah 38

Highlights In Today's Reading:

Sickness, prayer, and healing (chap. 38; remember Ex. 15:26). Hezekiah's poem of praise (Is. 38:9-20). His poor judgment because of pride (chap. 39). Prophecy of the Deliverer and Savior (chap. 40).

Isaiah brought Hezekiah the exciting news that God would defend this city (Jerusalem) to save it for Mine own sake (37:21,35-36). In answer to prayer, the little nation of Judah was miraculously saved by the power of God from the "invincible" armies of the Assyrian world empire.

In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. And Isaiah the Prophet . . . said unto him, Thus saith the Lord, Set thine house in order: for thou shalt die, and not live (38:1; II Kin. 20:1; II Chr. 32:24-26). At that time Hezekiah did not have a son. To leave no male offspring was a grievous thing and furthermore it would cut off the lineage of David.

Hezekiah turned his face toward the wall, and prayed unto the Lord, And said, Remember now, O Lord, I beseech Thee, how I have walked before Thee in truth and with a perfect heart (devoted to you), and have done that which is good in Thy sight. And Hezekiah wept (Is. 38:2-3).

When Hezekiah said he had lived before the Lord in truth and with a perfect heart (comp. 38:17), he meant he had never worshiped idols, had served the Lord faithfully, and had not intentionally departed from the Lord's Commandments.

Isaiah heard the voice of God say: Go, and say to Hezekiah, Thus saith the Lord . . . I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will add unto thy days fifteen years (38:5; II Kin. 20:5-6).

We should never hesitate to pray when the answer to our prayers will honor the Lord, regardless of how hopeless the circumstances may seem. However, this does not mean that God always miraculously answers every prayer the way we want. For example, Paul left Trophimus sick at Miletus (II Tim. 4:20).

God uses the inner working of the Holy Spirit and our sincere endeavor to live Christ-like and God-honoring lives to bring about His will. Those who trust the Lord and His Word will receive guidance and a new desire to accomplish His purposes.

Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. . . . For He hath made Him (Christ) to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him (II Cor. 5:17,21).

Thought for Today:

He that followeth after righteousness and mercy findeth life, righteousness, and honour (Prov. 21:21).

Christ Revealed:

As the Creator (Is. 40:28; compare John 1:1-3); as the Shepherd (Is. 40:11; compare John 10:11); as the Redeemer (Is. 41:14; compare Gal. 3:13; I Pet. 1:18-19; Rev. 5:9).

Word Studies:

38:10 residue = remainder; 40:2 comfortably = kindly and tenderly; 40:12 meted out = measured; span = spread of the fingers; 42:4 isles = islands; 42:13 jealousy = his fury.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for Country: Zaire, Democratic Republic of the Congo (63 million) in south-central Africa • Major languages: French and Lingala • Limited religious freedom • 42% Roman Catholic; 28% Protestant; 12% magical practices, ancestor worship, and witchcraft; 1% Muslim • Prayer Suggestion: When you are in desperate circumstances, turn to the Lord with fasting and prayer (II Chr. 20:2-4).

Optional Reading: James 3

Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 10:22

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