Isaiah 38-39 Prayer and Pride

Isaiah 38-39

We see, once again, the power of prayer in chapter 38.

POWER OF PRAYER

👉 Hezekiah became deathly ill (v 1).

👉 He prayed to the Lord (v 2).

👉 The Lord heard his prayer and added 15 years to his life (v 5).

But, lest we forget, these people in Scripture are real people with real stories and real sins.

In chapter 39, we see that Hezekiah could be a bit prideful.

PUNISHMENT FOR PRIDE

👉 Babylon, which represented everything opposed to God, sent gifts and words of flattery to Hezekiah (v 1).

👉 Hezekiah lets them into his home and shows them his entire wealth, military and supplies (v 2).

👉 The Lord then announced that that very enemy would one day carry off all that Hezekiah had – including his own sons (v 6).

Do you remember Hezekiah’s instructions to his men when the enemy came with threats and taunts in chapter 36?

“Do not answer him.”

Remember, we never entertain the enemy.

Yet, when the enemy showed up with praise and flattery, Hezekiah opened wide the door and welcomed him.

Tsk, tsk, Hezekiah.

Whether he comes with fight or flattery, do not entertain the enemy.

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Isaiah 37 A Band of Survivors

Isaiah 37

We left God’s people at the end of chapter 36 standing defiantly silent in the face of the enemy’s taunts and threats. Now we see Hezekiah move into action.

“As soon as king Hezekiah heard it – he went into the house of the Lord…” v 1

As soon as…

Not after he pondered all the bad things that could happen and worked himself into a panic.

Not after he tried a couple of his own ideas first and failed.

Not after he polled his friends online to see what they thought about his current situation.

As soon as he was made aware of the problem – he went to the Lord.

Then, v 11, the enemy sends a letter! He threatens God’s people in writing. And what does Hezekiah do?

“Hezekiah went up to the house of the Lord, and spread it {the letter} before the Lord. And Hezekiah prayed to the Lord…” v 14-15

Hezekiah again takes the matter directly to God and literally lays his problem out for Him. “Okay, God, this is what I’m dealing with here.”

And look what happens.

👉 Hezekiah prayed… v 15

👉 The Lord said, “Because you have prayed…” v 21

👉 Out of Mount Zion a band of survivors… v 32

Things happen in unseen places when God’s people cry out to him.

Don’t give up. Keep praying. Lay it all out before the Lord. And, one day, a band of survivors – the remnant – the faithful – will appear in Zion. And many of us will be there because someone never stopped praying.

👉 Whose prayers have brought you this far?

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Isaiah 36 Five Enemy Tactics and One Defensive Strategy

Isaiah 36

One of the enemy’s greatest tricks is to convince people that he doesn’t even exist. People don’t defend themselves against something that isn’t real, right?

Satan is real, y’all. And he’s alive and well – for now. Job told us that he walks to and fro on the earth and Peter warned us that he is seeking someone to devour.

As I read Isaiah 36, I saw some tactics the enemy used on God’s people and it’s the same ones we see him using today.

5 ENEMY TACTICS

  1. He brought up past mistakes (v 6).

He reminded them that they had trusted in wrong things in the past. He wanted them to doubt who they were trusting in now.

  1. He purposely misinterpreted the actions and motives of the leaders God put in place (v 7).

The enemy reminded the people that Hezekiah had torn down the sacred altars but failed to mention that those altars were to false gods. The enemy is DIVISIVE. He wants to undermine godly leaders so that God’s people will be ineffective.

  1. He attempted to manipulate with fear and guilt (v 12).

If the leaders insisted on standing against the enemy – the people would also suffer the consequences. {If you stand for the things of God, friends, Christ is worth any earthly consequences.}

  1. He attempted to undermine the people’s faith in the power of God to save his people (v 15).

Mercy, doesn’t the enemy still use this one?

God can’t forgive THAT sin. You’ve gone TOO far now. There’s NO hope for you now.

Lies. All lies.

  1. He promised prosperity (v 16).

“Just follow me instead”, the enemy whispered, “and I’ll give you all the good things.”

The enemy is infamous for making promises on which he can’t deliver. We all know the saying, “Sin will take you places you never wanted to go and cost you more than you ever wanted to pay.” It’s never worth it.

So, what’s the answer? How do we defend ourselves against these enemy strategies. Because – let’s be honest – we’ve all fallen for at least one of them in the past.

Here’s our defensive strategy –

👉 Don’t entertain the enemy (v 21).

Look at Hezekiah’s instructions to his people…

But they {God’s people} were silent and answered him {the enemy} not a word, for the king’s command was, “Do not answer him.”

Do not answer him. Do not engage him. Do not argue with him. Do not toy with him.

Goodness. That will preach, right there.

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Isaiah 34-35 A Word for the Anxious Heart

Isaiah 34-35

Each of us will, one day, stand before God. And the only thing that will matter is if we have placed our faith in the sacrifice of His Son.

For those who have not, Isaiah described:

• rage (v 34:2)
• destruction (v 34:2)
• slaughter (v 34:2)
• cast out (v 34:3)
• death (v 34:3)
• vengeance (v 34:8 )
• burning (v 34:9)
• darkness (v 34:10)
• confusion (v 34:11)

BUT…for those in Christ, Isaiah described a very different scenario:

• gladness (v 35:1)
• rejoicing (v 35:1)
• blossoming (v 35:1)
• abundance (v 35:2)
• joy (v 35:2)
• singing (v 35:2)
• glory (v 35:2)
• majesty (v 35:2)
• strength (v 35:3)

When the Lord returns – sorrow and sighing will flee – gladness and everlasting joy will be found (v 35:10.) That sounds like a wonderful time to me. ♥️

The verse that really spoke to me, however, was 35:4…

Say to those who have an anxious heart…

Hundreds of years before Christ came, humans had anxious hearts and the Lord had a word for them. I find that incredibly comforting.

And here’s the word He had.

  1. Be strong.
  2. Fear not.
  3. Your God will come.
  4. Your God will save you.

Maybe you have an anxious heart today. Perhaps health concerns, family stress, financial hardships, fickle friends, or old hurts weigh heavy on you.

Can I say to you…

Be strong.

Fear not.

Your God will come.

Your God will save you.

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Isaiah 33 The Lord is…

Isaiah 33

I love this chapter. Isaiah described the Lord and it’s a powerful thing.

THE LORD IS:

• my salvation in trouble (v 2)

• exalted (v 5)

• just and righteous (v 5)

• stability (v 6) ♥️

• salvation, wisdom, knowledge (v 6)

• beautiful (v 17)

• majestic (v 21)

• judge and lawgiver (v 22)

• healer (v 24)

• forgiver of sins (v 24)

THOSE WHO FOLLOW HIM:

• walk righteously

• speak uprightly

• despise oppression

• avoid evil

• will be free of sickness and sin

• will see the King ♥️

In a world that is shaky – the stability of the Lord really spoke to me. He is a firm foundation. A reliable refuge. A secure shelter.

It’s almost Friday, friends. ♥️

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