Wednesday, August 6, 2008

ISAIAH 32-52

Again, I'm in Isaiah.  Tomorrow I will finish up the book.  Isaiah is about God's judgment on Israel and Judah and the surrounding nations.  Isaiah is a pre-exile prophet telling about coming judgment.  It is filled with very descriptive passages that tell of the greatness of our God.  Because of that, it is a joy to read and remind ourselves how great God really is.  Here are a few thoughts for today:

1) DESPERATION- Have you ever been desperate?  Have you ever been at the "end of your rope"?  Hezekiah knew this all too well.  The Assyrian army, lead by their king, Sennacherib, and his general, Rabshaketh, had come to Jerusalem to capture it.  All of the cities around Israel had already fallen, and in each case, they had prayed to their god, to no avail.  Now this great army has sent a message to Hezekiah, king of Judah, saying to give in to defeat and bow before the mighty king of Assyria.  After getting this message and reading it, here is what he does:  Isaiah 37:14-17 "and 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 host, 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.  Incline thine ear, O LORD, and hear; open thine eyes, O LORD, and see:  and hear all the words of Sennacherib which hath sent to reproach the living God."  He took his great need to the LORD.  Now learn a lesson in this.... we too have times of great need, and we too need to lay our petitions before the Lord of the Universe!  Because of Hezekiah's faith in God, God did something very unusual.  He smote the Assyrians and 185,000 of them were killed in their sleep!  When some woke up in the morning, 185,000 of them didn't!!  The king of Assyria went back home, went to worship in the house of his god, Nisroch, and there he was killed by two of his sons. (Isaiah 37:38)  You see, he had come against God, not Hezekiah.  AND... when we look to the LORD in times of distress, the trials are coming against God, not us IF we are looking to HIM for help!!!  Remember this O believer!
2) STRENGTH- Isaiah 40:31- If we wait upon the LORD, we shall renew our strength, we shall mount up as eagles, we shall run, and not be weary, we shall walk and not faint.  The idea here of waiting on the LORD is not just doing nothing, it is like a waiter, waits upon you.  He is there to serve you!  We are here to serve God and if we do, He renews our strength!  This is how it works.
3) GOD STANDS ALONE- Over 12 different times in Isaiah, God reminds us that "I am God,  and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me."  God reminds His children that though others speak of their gods, God looks around and says, they are not here, I stand alone. 
4) GOD'S PROMISE- Isaiah 46:10- "My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:"  Yes, God's counsel shall stand.  It is a joy to know that we can trust in the Lord and His Word!!  He will work all things out for His pleasure. 
Well, I've got to go for today, I pray God's richest blessings upon you.  Hope you have a good church to attend to fellowship with like-minded believers.  It is such a blessing!! 
Pastor Mike Mutchler


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