...but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; They will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
ISAIAH 40:31

A Blog for Kids and Everyone.

This is a journey through God's word. The Bible is so amazing! There are a lot of great stories. Some that we know well and some will surprise us. We will have a lot of fun as we color, watch short cartoons and tell funny stories.

Thursday, January 27, 2022

Faithfulness: God's desire from us (Jeremiah 38:7 -52)

 When we left Jeremiah last time, he was sitting at the bottom of a muddy well, left for dead. But God........still had more for Jeremiah to do. God touched the heart of one of the king's servants, an Ethiopian named Ebed-Melech. The servant took his own life in his hands by telling the king that allowing Jeremiah to be thrown into the well to die was wrong. Instead of killing Ebed-Melech, the king had a change of heart and told the young Ethiopian to gather some men and pull Jeremiah out of the well.

Sometimes saying the right thing, or telling the hard truth is not easy. God says to do the right thing, not the easy thing. Just as Ebed-Melech risked his life, sometimes we have to risk being made fun of or losing friends. But know this. We always have God on our side when we do right.

So Jeremiah was saved..... well sort of. The king had Jeremiah brought before him. "Tell me what you know!" He ordered. Jeremiah was concerned that if he told him the truth, the king would have him killed anyway. But the king promised that he would not have Jeremiah killed if he told him the truth. So Jeremiah told the king that Babylon would soon attack Jerusalem, but that he should surrender peacefully to them or some bad stuff would happen to the king's family as well as to the king himself. The king was not happy with what Jeremiah said, but he had promised not to kill him, so he had Jeremiah tossed into dungeon.... again.

While Jeremiah was imprisoned, Jerusalem was taken over by the Babylonians, (just as God said) and the king of Judah didn't listen to what God said through Jeremiah. And remember what God told Jeremiah to tell the king... Some bad stuff would happen? Well the king tried to flee the city during the take over. He was caught and his eyes were gouged out! Also his wife and kids were killed in the palace when it was set on fire.

Even though Jeremiah was taken to Babylon during the siege, God protected him. Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon set Jeremiah free to live in Babylon. Jeremiah was even given food and some gifts to help him settle in. Since Jeremiah was a prisoner of Judah, and the king of Judah was an enemy of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar showed kindness to Jeremiah. So I guess getting thrown into prison again turned out pretty well for Jeremiah.

Sometimes things don't work out like we planned. I'm sure Jeremiah didn't want to be pulled from a well, just to get tossed into a dungeon. God sees all things. We need to trust Him. Have you ever had something go the wrong way, only to find out later that it was absolutely for the best? I have.

When Jerusalem was taken over by the Babylonians, a lot of the Jews were taken captive, however, the poorest Jews were left behind and a small governmental system was put in place. Many of the Jews saw that the fighting was over and returned to Judah. The Jews that fled to Egypt however, found life very comfortable there and decided not to return. 

Jeremiah returned to Judah with a word for the people. He said that the people in Egypt should return as well. That Egypt would soon fall to Babylon just like Judah did. He said that the Jews that have remained in Egypt are now worshipping false gods. God said that He would pass judgement upon them and anyone else who is worshipping idols. Some of the new leaders did not like Jeremiah and what he was saying. So they captured Jeremiah and took him to Egypt.

While in Egypt, Jeremiah faithfully continued to speak the words that God had put in his mouth. The final 5 chapters of the Book of Jeremiah tell of God's judgement on Egypt, Moab, Philistine and neighboring countries. Jeremiah is not mentioned again in these final chapters. Some say he was killed, others say he escaped Egypt. No one really knows for sure.

So even though Jeremiah spent his whole life trying to get his people to turn from their sin and to turn toward God, the people never listened. The outcome was not in Jeremiah's hands. He simply did what the Lord asked him to do. That is called faithfulness. God delights in our faithfulness. We don't have to "save the world". That is God's job. All we have to do is obey Him, and leave the consequences to Him. If you tell someone about Jesus and they accept Him as their savior, God did that, not you. To Him be the glory! And on the same note, if the person you shared Christ with rejects the message, it's not on you. You did what God asked. Leave the rest to Him.

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

The People and the King Refuse to Listen to God (Jeremiah 1-38:6)

 Today we begin a new book of the Bible. It is the 24th book and it is called the Book of Jeremiah.

 Jeremiah was born in Judah. His father was a priest named Hilkiah. So Jeremiah was taught many religious things as a boy. His father had hoped that Jeremiah would become a priest like him. But God... had different plans.

 A lot of times we make plans or our parents make plans ...  (But God). So we should hold on to our plans loosely as God may have other plans. His plans are always better. Sometimes they are harder, as we will see in the story of Jeremiah, but they are always better. (Isaiah 55:8-9)

When Jeremiah was a boy, there was a good king of Judah named Josiah. He had all the idols destroyed and led the nation in the ways of God. But as soon as Josiah died in a battle, the people of Judah went right back to idol worshipping and sinning. The people were following their king and not following God. 

When we go to church, we should be putting our hearts in the hands of God and not our trust in a minister or pastor. They are human beings just like we are. If they mess up or even die, our faith should not be shaken or crumble, because our faith is in God.

When Jeremiah was a young man, about 20 years old, God spoke to him. He said that He knew Jeremiah before he was even born... and He had a plan for him to speak for Him as a prophet. But Jeremiah was scared. He told God that he was way too young to speak for Him.

Remember last time in Isaiah we learned that God has a plan for us before we are even born? Well here it is again as God spoke to Jeremiah. God had a plan for Isaiah, and for Jesus, for Jeremiah and He has a plan for you and me!

Jeremiah took his new job as God's prophet very seriously. He knew that telling the people that they must repent of their wickedness would not go over too well. It would be difficult, and sometimes dangerous, but Jeremiah was up to the task and began to tell the people what God was saying about their evil ways. Jeremiah loved God and he loved his country. He preached for over 40 years, but the people turned their back and refused to listen. This made Jeremiah sad and he became known as the "weeping prophet".

How was Jeremiah able to do such a hard thing? God told him to do it, and God gave him the wisdom, courage and strength to carry it out. When God touches our hearts and wants us to do something for Him, don't be fearful, because God will give you all the tools you need, and He'll be right there with you. (Isaiah 41:10)

Jeremiah told the people that they were doing wrong. And he told them that God loved them and that they needed to repent or God would punish them by sending an army from the north to take them over just like He did 100 years earlier. The people laughed. Then Jeremiah went to the king and told him the same thing.

Has anyone ever laughed at you? It doesn't feel good. Especially if it is for doing the right thing. Don't let that stop you. God says that If He is for us, who can be against us. (Romans 8:31) He also says that we should do things that please him, instead of doing things that people want us to do. (Galatians 1:10) God is always on our side when we do what is right. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

God told Jeremiah to go to the temple and tell the people that they have turned away from the one true God. The High priest were infuriated that Jeremiah would come to their temple and preach such words. They called the temple guards and had Jeremiah brought before the judges. The judges had Jeremiah exiled (kicked out of the country). Even in exile Jeremiah sent messages through Baruch, his scribe ( a person who writes down on a scroll what a prophet dictates) to the palace and had a priest read the scroll to the king. After hearing what Jeremiah had written on the scroll, the king cut up the scroll in tiny pieces and burned it. Then the king then had Baruch arrested.

One of the most well-known verses in Jeremiah is Jeremiah 29:11. It says: "For I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord. "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future." God was warning Israel against false prophets, but that is a promise that we can hold onto for ourselves.

Some time later,  Jeremiah heard a message from God to go to the palace wearing a yoke. (a collar that oxen wear to pull a plow) He wasn't supposed to enter the palace, but God wanted to send a message to the king that his kingdom would be  taken over by Nebuchadnezzar, and unless he surrendered to his yoke (his will) the king's kingdom would be destroyed. Hananiah, one of the king's false prophets pulled the yoke off Jeremiah's shoulders and broke it.  The high priests and false prophets were getting tired of Jeremiah and his hard words and so was the king. So the king told the priests to do whatever they wanted with the prophet. So guess what they did? They called the kings guards who threw him in a muddy well with no food and left him to die!

Monday, January 3, 2022

(Isaiah 57-66) God's promises

 Chapter 57 begins with God telling His people that they are treating good people badly. He says that the righteous man is teased and ridiculed. God tells the righteous man not to worry. He will give them peace. Have you ever been teased for doing the right thing? (that is what righteousness is) Well, God promises you His peace, which according to Philippians, surpasses all human understanding. So continue to do the right thing. God has your back.

God says that his patience with the ungodly is running out. And He says that there is no peace for the wicked,  but then by the end of the chapter, He tells them  four ways to find His peace. 1. Know that He is holy and He alone is to be worshipped 2. Humble yourselves before Him. 3. Know that God loves

you and wants the best for you. 4. And by accepting the gift of peace. (which we know is Jesus) When we receive God's gift of peace, it doesn't mean that everyone will love everyone around us.... It is an inner peace; a rest for our souls; a peace with God; a contentment even in difficult circumstances. Have you accepted God's gift of peace, grace and love through His son, Jesus?

Chapter 58 is a beautiful chapter that addresses the question. God why don't you answer my prayers? First He tell about how the people were fasting and praying with the wrong motives. God always sees our heart. He knows why we do things. Even if it looks good, like praying or sacrificing something, God knows if our heart is in the right place. It may look good to others but "Man looks at the outward, God looks at the heart" (1Samuel 16:7) God continues the chapter by telling the people that if the pray and fast along with love and doing the right thing; And if they extend love with help to the poor and needy, then their lives will be filled with light and they will hear from God. Wouldn't it be great to hear from God and to have our lives filled with His light. Well, this is straight from God. Do right unto others and help the needy. But do both with love in your heart. Ask God to help you to do things out of love. He will be glad to help you.

In chapter 59 God tells his people that He not only knows their heart, (Chapter 58) but He sees all we do, good or bad. God told them that the reason that they don't feel Him shining His face upon them is because they are sinning in secret, trying to hide from God. While speaking to Job in Job 34:22 God says, "There is no darkness or deep shadow where the one who sins may hide themselves from me." Ever since Adam and Eve felt shame and tried to hide from God because of their guilt, man has been doing the same thing. Have you ever felt guilty for doing something wrong. Don't try to hide it. Confess it. God is a God of light. He wants all things brought into the light. He wanted His people to confess their sins to Him and He wants us to do the same thing."The light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the
light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed." (John 3:19-20) At the end of the chapter, God says that He will send a Redeemer. That Redeemer is Jesus Christ! 

Chapter 60 tell of how wonderful it will be when Jesus comes for all men who believe. Then It talks about the second coming of Jesus, (which we are still waiting for) when Jesus rules over all the world and He will be our everlasting light!

Chapter 61-66 tell of the Millennial Kingdom which is not yet here. The book of Isaiah is so amazing! It has prophesies about the first coming of Jesus which has already taken place, and all of the prophesies concerning Jesus' first coming have come true. But Isaiah also prophesies about the second coming. For example; Those who persecuted Israel will now realize that Jerusalem is the City of the Lord. God will make all things new. Violence will be no more. There will be no need for the sun. Jesus will be our light of day. Jesus will rule over all the earth. Here are a few more straight from Isaiah 65:20-25

“No more shall an infant from there live but a few days

Nor an old man who has not fulfilled his days; 

For the child shall die one hundred years old, 

They shall build houses and inhabit them;
They shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit.

For as the days of a tree, so shall be the days of My people,
And My elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.
They shall not labor in vain,
Nor bring forth children for trouble;
For they shall be the descendants of the blessed of the LORD,

“It shall come to pass
That before they call, I will answer;
And while they are still speaking, I will hear.

The wolf and the lamb shall feed together,
The lion shall eat straw like the ox.

Friday, December 17, 2021

Isaiah 49-56 Gods Plan for You and for All People (Merry Christmas!)

 Chapter 49 is amazing. God is telling Isaiah to speak to the people in the words of Jesus. (who wasn't even born for another 700 years) I know that sounds a bit confusing. So, let's just think of it as Jesus telling us what will happen. He said that before He was even born, God already had a plan in place for Him. In Psalm 139:13, God says the same thing about us. He says, "I knit you together in your mother's womb." God knew us even before we were in our mother's womb! He created us.... and get this.... He created us with a purpose! God has a plan for you, just as He had a plan for Jesus. God's ways are so unimaginable. He can have a plan for each individual person and, as he states in verse 3, He also has a plan for nations! Wow! I can't even wrap my brain around that! I'm glad that I cannot completely understand the ways of God. It tells me that His thoughts are way above mine. Since He is good, I must trust that His plan is not only good, but the best plan ever! We all have dreams and try to think about what our lives will be like. Do you know what you want to be when you grow up? God knows, and He has created you with special gifts and special desires to do that special something.

One of the plans that God has for Jesus, it to bring the message and hope of salvation to the whole world. During Isaiah's time, only the Jews were thought of as God's people, but with the coming of Jesus, the whole world will have an opportunity to live with God forever. Verse 6 says I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.” In John 3:16 it says that "God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son. That whoever believes in Him will not perish, but have everlasting life." As Christmas time approaches, it is good to reflect on the purpose of Jesus coming to earth. It was a fulfillment of the plan that God had ordained from the beginning of time. Genesis, the first book of the Bible says that Satan will bite, but Jesus will crush him.

The rest of chapter 49 tell of God's amazing promises to Israel and to us. One of the coolest promises is in verse 15b-16. I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; The God of the universe has your name engraved on his hand! First of all, He must have some really, really big hands. Second of all, He must think an awful lot of us to have our names permanently "tattooed" on His hands.

Chapter 50 begins with the Jews thinking that God has forsaken them because He has now reached out to the Gentiles. But God tells the Jews that He has not given up on them. This was all part of is plan. Then Jesus continues to tell the plan about how He, God's servant, will come and suffer. Luke 22 also talks about this. Then at the end of the chapter, Jesus pleads with us to trust in Him.

In Chapter 51 The Lord pleads with all people to listen to Him. Verse 1 begins with "listen" Verse 4 begins with "listen" and verse 7 begins with "listen." He says that He has been faithful in the past and promises the same for the future, and that His salvation is forever, and that they should fear Him, (God) and not man. Matthew 10:28 says the same thing. Verse 9 and verse 17 both begin with "Awake awake!" Awake to  how awesome God is, and awake to the fact that he is powerful and just. 

Chapter 52 also begins with "Awake, awake!" It is a call to Zion (Jerusalem). Listen to what He (God) is saying and listen to the good news (Gospel) that will be relayed through men. Verse 7 says How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!” In other words, God loves when we share the good news of Jesus with others. Have you ever thought if God cares about whether or not I tell others about how Jesus changed my life? Well He does. He ends chapter 52 telling about how Jesus will suffer, but He will have the ultimate victory. Isn't it amazing how much Jesus is talked about in this book and it was written 700 years before He was even born. And many of the prophesies are so detailed that it would be a one in a gadzillion chance that it could ever happen by accident! 

Chapter 53 continues with Jesus' suffering and how His death atoned (paid a debt) for our sins. We are all sinners. The text says the we are like sheep and have all gone astray. But Jesus took our sins upon Himself and God accepted that payment for all our sins, past, present and future.  It is truly an amazing gift that God has offered to us. But we must accept it. In Romans 9:10 It says that  If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Have you accepted Jesus as your Lord and savior? God is offering this wonderful gift to you. If you want to spend eternity with God and allow Jesus to be Lord of your life, God makes it available to everyone, from the rich to poor, the healthy to sick, the tall to short. Just do the ABCs. Admit that you are a sinner and you need Jesus. Believe in your heart that He died for your sins and rose from the dead. And Confess with your mouth that from now on, Jesus is in control of your life. If you did that just now, the angels are throwing a huge party in heaven!

Chapter 54 discusses how God will restore Israel, and His promise to them of peace, prosperity and protection. Then in Chapter 55 God call to all who can hear His voice, that they to can be restored just as Israel will be. God's invitation includes blessing, leadership and forgiveness. But we need to accept His invitation. He is all powerful and keeps His promises. Chapter 56 continues in asserting that His promises are for all the world, and restoration is possible for all nations and all people as individuals.

Monday, September 20, 2021

Isaiah 41-48 God's Amazing Plan is Filled With Hope

 In Chapter 40 we see God beginning to reveal his plan for everyone and the hope that we have in Him.   Now God continues to speak in chapter 41. He is speaking to people in distant lands, the idol worshippers. He tells them to step into His holy courtroom and present their evidence. Then God begins to explain that He alone is in control of everything. The things that happen in an individuals life, along with worldwide events on a colossal scale are all in His power. People who believe and trust in Him, as well as people who don't, are all subject to God's ultimate plan. 

So when we see things on the news about events happening around the world, don't think that they are out of God's control. He is still on the throne and is in control of all things. Remember that it is all a part of His loving plan. (even though to us, it doesn't seem loving)

In verse 8 God addresses Israel through Isaiah and tells them not to worry. He's got this. He will protect them and He will be their ever present help in times of need. (psalm46) God continually reminds them not to be afraid. Then He tells the Israelites that he will not only protect them and help them, but He will also provide for them. God is reassuring them that He is always there for them. Fear is a crippling emotion. Have you ever been so afraid that you could't move or think straight? I certainly have! God wants us to live our best lives for Him. He wants our best. How can we give Him our best if we are paralyzed by fear or can't even think straight? We cant. That is why God reminds us over 350 times in the Bible "Do not fear".

Then God readdresses the idol worshippers from the beginning of the chapter after they have laid out their case for worshipping idols. God asks them a simple question. "Can your idols tell you what will happen in the future?" He answers for them. "Of course not! Your idols don't even exist. They have no power." Then God proceeds to tell them some events that will happen in their future.

Chapter 41 of Isaiah is considered the great I WILL chapter. 14 times God reinforces His promises by saying "I will". Here are some of them: I will strengthen you. (Isaiah 41:1I will help you. (Isaiah 41:10, 13, and 14I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10I will make you into a new threshing sledge with sharp teeth. (Isaiah 41:15I will open rivers in desolate heights. (Isaiah 41:18I will make the wilderness a pool of water. (Isaiah 41:18I will plant in the wilderness the cedar and the acacia tree. (Isaiah 41:19I will set in the desert the cypress tree. (Isaiah 41:19I will give to Jerusalem one who brings good tidings. (Isaiah 41:27)

Did you know that God's promises are also for us today? 2Peter 1:4-5 says just that! And Galatians 3:29 states that if we are followers of Jesus, we are children of Abraham and heirs to God's promises.

In Chapter 42, He starts off with Behold! My Servant .... which is definitely Jesus. How do we know that? Because when God refers to other servants of His, like Moses, He uses a small letter s at the beginning of the word servant. But here we see a capital S. Isaiah follows up with a beautiful "song" straight from the lips of God about how Jesus will be a light to the world. He will bring justice. He will open the eyes of the blind man and set the captives free. The book of Isaiah is filled with references and prophesies about Jesus. Jesus is the hope of Israel and the whole world. The rest of Chapter 42 is about God's provision for Israel and their rebellion.

Chapter 43. God will allow Israel to be captured by Babylon, But He reassures them that they are still his people. He reminds them how He rescued them from Egypt, and He will do it again from Babylon. Has God ever been there when you needed Him most. He has for me. God wants us to remember those times, because if He did it before... He will certainly do it again.   Chapter 43 ends just like 42.... the Israelites neglect to obey God.  

Chapter 44 reminds the people of Israel that He alone is the one true God. Idols are mere artifacts made by human hands. They have no power... But he, God, Has ultimate power over everything.

Chapter 45 speaks of how God will use a non-Jew, Cyrus, to bring about His plan. They Israelite didn't think that God could, or would use anyone outside of Israel to bring about His plans.... But God can use whomever He pleases.

Chapters 46 and 47 are about Babylon. How they worship false gods. Those false gods are powerless when the one true God moves in to defeat them.

Chapter 48: God reminds Israel that He made promises to Abraham that ALL came true. So all these things that He is revealing now about being captured by Babylon, the hard hearts of God's own people and the ultimate defeat and fall of Babylon will certainly come to pass.  

So to wrap it all up. God wants the Israelites to know that He is in control of all things present and all things in the future. God wants us to know the same thing. Sure, we'd like to know exactly what will happen, but that is where trusting God comes in. After all aren't our hearts and trust really the only things that we can give a God who owns everything? So during some of these dark days, hold tightly to God and trust Him for the days to come.       

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Hezekiah gets 15 More years (Isaiah 38-40)

 While all this was going on, (Judah being threatened, and God responding), Hezekiah became very ill.

The Word of the Lord came to Isaiah with a message for Hezekiah.... and it was not a very pleasant message. "King Hezekiah," Isaiah said as Hezekiah lay feverishly in his bed. "God said that you should get all your affairs in order, because you are going to die very soon."

Hezekiah was devastated! As soon as Isaiah left, Hezekiah rolled over and faced the wall. Through his tears, he began to pray. He asked God to let him live. He reminded God about all that he had done for Him. 

Meanwhile, God told Isaiah to turn around and go back to Hezekiah with a new message. Hezekiah was surprised to see Isaiah again so soon. Isaiah said, "The Lord has heard your prayer. He has decided to give you an additional 15 years to live as well as keep you and this city protected from the king of Assyria.

Once again we see that God hears our prayers. It doesn't matter if you say them out load, whisper them of even think them. God DOES hear our prayers. Many times as we are praying, we think to ourselves, is God even listening? Yes He Is. Also, God answers prayers. Hezekiah was a living example of this.

Then Isaiah continued, "God also said that he will send you a sign so that you will know that He will do this thing He has promised. God will cause the Sundial of Ahaz to move backward 10 units. Then you will know that God has done what He said He would.

One of Hezekiah's men was looking out the window. He called the king over to witness an amazing thing. The Sundial of Ahaz was moving backward! Hezekiah was overjoyed! He wrote a poem of praise about all he had been through and how God answered his prayers. It is found in verses 10-20.

The king of Babylon's son, Merodach-baladan, heard that King Hezekiah was very sick, and that he had recovered. He sent a special group of messengers with a gift and his personal best wishes. Hezekiah was very surprised that the son of such a powerful king would even acknowledge his illness and recovery. He was so thrilled when they arrived, that the king brought the envoy around the palace and showed them all the treasures that he had. He was trying to impress the special messengers with all the gold and treasures, but the men were more interested than impressed.

Isaiah showed up just as the special messengers were leaving. "What did those men want?" He asked. "They brought me a gift from Babylon. So I showed them all the treasures I had, every last piece of gold! They were very impressed." Hezekiah answered.

Isaiah could not believe his ears. He knew that Hezekiah let his pride lead him into major trouble. Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, "Listen to this message from God, 'The time is coming when everything in your palace, all the treasures that you and your ancestors have stored up, will be carried off to Babylon. Nothing will be left. Even some of your very own grandsons will be carried off into exile." 

Sometimes we try to impress people with what we have. It not only doesn't impress them, it leads to problems for us. Not only may we lose what we have, but our pride and ego are fed by the compliments of others. God warns us in Proverbs 16:18, "Prides comes before a fall."

Hezekiah's response was surprising and selfish. He said, "Well I don't have to worry about that in my lifetime. God promised peace and security while I am still around." Instead of honoring God and doing what was right with his extra 15 years, Hezekiah became selfish. 

God blesses us in many ways, with a loving family, a nice home, friends, food, health etc... we can choose to be selfish, or we can honor God with what he gave us. When we honor God with what we have, that is called stewardship, and God will ask us what kind of steward were we when we stand before Him one day.

Chapter 40 begins a 26 chapter section on the comfort that God will give His people after the Babylonians carry off all the treasures and take the people of Judah away with them. The people of Israel will be very disheartened with God after the exile, but God gives them hope in the next 26 chapters. Much of it is filled with prophesies about Jesus. we will look at those next time. But for now, Chapter 40 focusses on who God is, and how powerful He is. He says that "The grass will wither, but His word (the Bible) will never die. He states that He has no equal. Who can be compared to God. No one! He continues by pointing out that He, and He alone created the stars, the sun, the earth and all things on it. God says that 'He never grows weak or weary. No one can measure the depths of His understanding. He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. Even the young will become weak and tired and will collapse from exhaustion....' Vs. (28-30) Then comes one of the most famous verses in the book of Isaiah....

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Hezekiah Prays and Judah is Protected (Isaiah 35-37)

 So, after God had judged all the nations, God spoke through the prophet Isaiah about a great restoration. It is not only an immediate restoration, but he talks about the ultimate restoration of the whole world after the battle of Armageddon and Jesus reigns as described in the Book of Revelation. This is called a double reference prophesy, and there are many double reference prophesies throughout the Bible. 

These prophesies were 700 years before Jesus was even born, but many of them point to Jesus. Like in verses 5 and 6. "The eyes of the blind will be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall hear." Jesus not only referred to this passage when speaking of himself, but as we will see, He quoted Isaiah many, many times throughout His ministry.

Chapter 35 also refers to a "Highway of Holiness' that only a few get to travel. This highway to heaven is like a toll-booth. We have to pay a price in order to travel on it. But the toll is way to high for anyone to ever pay! Well, that doesn't seem fair! But guess, what? Jesus stepped up to the toll booth and paid our toll when He died on the cross for our sins. The toll is paid. We can travel on the highway to heaven if we accept Jesus' payment. How? By admitting that we could not even come close to paying our own way because we are sinners. Then, by believing that Jesus is God, and that He paid our way, and finally by letting Jesus be the master of our lives. Putting His desire for our lives before our own.

In Isaiah chapter 36, The Commander of the Assyrian army is in Jerusalem, (near their water supply) and he is taunting 3 of Judah's military leaders. It is a public place, soon many of the citizens gathered around to hear what was being said. "Go tell your king, Hezekiah that he is a fool!" Said Rabshakeh. " He is trusting that the Egyptians will have his back during any invasions. But Egypt is not only weaker than he thinks, but they are also deceitful, and will side with the stronger army to save their own skin!" Rabshakeh then continued. "Oh I know how your King Hezekiah will respond. He will say something like, 'We have the God of Israel on our side.' Well kindly remind your king of how he turned is back on the God of Israel when he removed the altars and high places."

Rabshakeh thought that the altars and high places were places to worship God. He was mistaken. Hezekiah did the right thing by removing them. They were pagan worship places. God wanted the people to come to the temple in Jerusalem to worship him. The devil sometimes uses twisted logic to discourage us or to get us to do the wrong thing, but remember, God never wavers on truth. Know His Word then the devil won't be able to twist the truth like he did with Eve in the Garden. (Genesis 3:1)

Rabshakeh continued to twist the truth by adding. " Look at how prosperous Assyria is and all the battles we have won. And you Judah, you are struggling to protect yourselves, and to feed your people at times.We could give you 2000 horses. If you could even gather enough men to ride them, our army would crush you in an instant! It looks like the God of Israel is not only against you, but He is on our side! 

We see other people around us that have everything. They are healthy and happy. The devil tries to convince us that God loves them more than He loves us. Don't believe it! God loves you more than we can imagine. If you are going through something really hard right now. Like not feeling well, other kids picking on you, your mom and dad having trouble, or a friend hurt you, just remember. God didn't leave you. He is there by your side walking through the tough times with you. Lean into Him, talk to Him and trust Him.

The 3 military officials were getting a little uncomfortable because of the large crowd that had gathered. They wanted Rabshakeh to speak in Aramaic so the people would not understand. Be he continued speaking in Hebrew, and even louder. Hoping to discourage all the citizens. Would't you like to live in peace? And live in total comfort? The king of Assyria is offering that to you. (In other words, surrender) Before Rabshekah showed up, Hezekiah warned to people that he would be talking a lot of rubbish. But do not respond to him with any words. And that is just what they did. They remained silent.

The scribes went to Hezekiah right away and told the king all that Rabshakeh had said. He was deeply troubled and sent the messengers to the prophet Isaiah to ask for some guidance. 

Isaiah heard the desperation and hopelessness. He responded. "Tell the king , do not be afraid. Yes, Rabshakeh has blasphemed me, but you won't have to worry about him any more. I will take care of him. I'm sure Hezekiah was thinking, okay, but what about the rest of Assyria. They are still going to attack us.

When Hezakiah returned to his home, there was a threatening letter from Rabshakeh. Hezekiah. He went to the house of the Lord and spread the letter out before the Lord and praised God and prayed for protection. God then spoke to Isaiah and told him. "Go tell Hezekiah this, "That because he prayed, I will answer his prayer."

Did you get that? "Because he prayed". In other words, if Hezekiah had not prayed, Jerusalem would have been destroyed. God hears our prayers. God answers prayers. How many things have we not prayed for, so God didn't answer.  "You have not, because you ask not." (James 4:23)