Isaiah 36-39, History Break Part 3–Prayer

Another great history moment in the book of prophecy.  Hezakiah was a godly king and unlike the kings before and after him he followed the Lord closely and pushed his nation to do so as well.  In the midst, God told Isaiah that he was to go and tell the king to get his affairs in order because he was to die.  The king called God out–He said, “Look, I have followed you and done everything you have said to do.  Now, when things are in order, you’re just going to let me die–not fair.”

Interestingly, God said, “OK, you win. I will give you 15 more years and those years will be filled with peace.”  You don’t see God do that many times in the Bible.  Still, God gave Hezakiah his request and Judah 15 years of peace and safety in the midst of a chaotic world.  I love this story because it lets us know that God listens to our prayers–Like any dad.

In James, Jesus’ brother tells us that if we are suffering, pray.  If we are sick, call the elders to pray.  He goes on to remind us that the prayers of a righteous person do a great deal of good.  In these times of sickness and chaos, we need to be prayer warriors.  We need to start and end our days on our knees seeking the Lord.  As with the King, God listens, and He longs to answer the prayers of His faithful.  My prayer is that we will put him to the test!

God Bless You

In those days Hezekiah became sick and was at the point of death. And Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came to him, and said to him, “Thus says the Lord: Set your house in order, for you shall die, you shall not recover.”[a] Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, and said, “Please, O Lord, remember how I have walked before you in faithfulness and with a whole heart, and have done what is good in your sight.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.

Then the word of the Lord came to Isaiah: “Go and say to Hezekiah, Thus says the Lord, the God of David your father: I have heard your prayer; I have seen your tears. Behold, I will add fifteen years to your life.[b] I will deliver you and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria, and will defend this city.

“This shall be the sign to you from the Lord, that the Lord will do this thing that he has promised: Behold, I will make the shadow cast by the declining sun on the dial of Ahaz turn back ten steps.” So the sun turned back on the dial the ten steps by which it had declined.[c]James 5 Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working

History Lesson Part 2–God’s Response

The Book of Isaiah stops and turns from prophetic to the historical

The Assyrian king​ had no regard for God or His chosen people.  In his eyes they, were simply more people to conquer and control.  He saw gods as crutches for the masses. He was so narcissistic, that when the king received the warning from Isaiah that his army would be destroyed, he simply snubbed his nose at the warning.  That would cost him his life.  

The next morning when he was going to order the death of God’s folks, he found his 180,000 men dead. No fight, no bloodshedand a God that was no crutch.   He left and went home destroyed, dishonored, and completely demeaned.  Infact, within a few weeks He was killed and replaced by his sons.  Amazingly, God was still large and in charge and Hezakiah, the Godly king enjoyed many more years of peaceful reign.

In our time, we face the same arrogance from the kings of our time.  Corporate leaders, political leaders, prominent citizens who consider God a crutch for those who cannot make it on their own.  They build empires and look at the lives of those around as a waste and inconvenience. What they do not understand is that God builds and levels empires and has since the dawn of time.  We, as His chosen, have a relationship that last for eternity.  We will live lives that are protected and provided for by God.  He promises is an abundant life on earth and eternity with Him in Heaven.  That is a gift greater than kings or empires.

God Bless You


Then Isaiah son of Amoz sent a message to Hezekiah: “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: Because you have prayed to me concerning Sennacherib king of Assyria, 22 this is the word the Lord has spoken against him:

“Virgin Daughter Zion
    despises and mocks you.
Daughter Jerusalem
    tosses her head as you flee.
23 Who is it you have ridiculed and blasphemed?
    Against whom have you raised your voice
and lifted your eyes in pride?
    Against the Holy One of Israel!
24 By your messengers
    you have ridiculed the Lord.
And you have said,
    ‘With my many chariots
I have ascended the heights of the mountains,
    the utmost heights of Lebanon.
I have cut down its tallest cedars,
    the choicest of its junipers.
I have reached its remotest heights,
    the finest of its forests.
25 I have dug wells in foreign lands[c]
    and drunk the water there.
With the soles of my feet
    I have dried up all the streams of Egypt.’

26 “Have you not heard?
    Long ago I ordained it.
In days of old I planned it;
    now I have brought it to pass,
that you have turned fortified cities
    into piles of stone.
27 Their people, drained of power,
    are dismayed and put to shame.
They are like plants in the field,
    like tender green shoots,
like grass sprouting on the roof,
    scorched[d] before it grows up.

28 “But I know where you are
    and when you come and go
    and how you rage against me.
29 Because you rage against me
    and because your insolence has reached my ears,
I will put my hook in your nose
    and my bit in your mouth,
and I will make you return
    by the way you came.

30 “This will be the sign for you, Hezekiah:

“This year you will eat what grows by itself,
    and the second year what springs from that.
But in the third year sow and reap,
    plant vineyards and eat their fruit.
31 Once more a remnant of the kingdom of Judah
    will take root below and bear fruit above.
32 For out of Jerusalem will come a remnant,
    and out of Mount Zion a band of survivors.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty
    will accomplish this.

33 “Therefore this is what the Lord says concerning the king of Assyria:

“He will not enter this city
    or shoot an arrow here.
He will not come before it with shield
    or build a siege ramp against it.
34 By the way that he came he will return;
    he will not enter this city,”
declares the Lord.
35 “I will defend this city and save it,
    for my sake and for the sake of David my servant!”

36 Then the angel of the Lord went out and put to death a hundred and eighty-five thousand in the Assyrian camp. When the people got up the next morning—there were all the dead bodies! 37 So Sennacherib king of Assyria broke camp and withdrew. He returned to Nineveh and stayed there.

38 One day, while he was worshiping in the temple of his god Nisrok, his sons Adrammelek and Sharezer killed him with the sword, and they escaped to the land of Ararat. And Esarhaddon his son succeeded him as king.

Isaiah 36-39 A History Break

The Book of Isaiah stops and turns from prophetic to the historical.

It is amazing how brash the Godless can be.  The Assyrian Empire Had grown quite well. It’s King, Sennacherib, certainly thought himself invincible.  As he sent 180,000 troops to surround and capture Jerusalem, he assumed it would be a simple process.  His field commander approached the walls of Jerusalem and made the king’s announcement.  “Give it up…you do not stand a chance. Don’t listen to your king, he is deluded. If you think I am afraid of Him OR HIS GOD, you are wrong.  I am not afraid of the gods of my enemies; I have whipped them all.

Scripture reminds us repeatedly that men’s arrogance usually become the basis of their demise.  Here the Assyrian King placed way too much to confidence in his power and his men.  He laughed at Hezekiah’s promise to the people.  What he was about to learn, however, is that you can never underestimate the power of God.  What makes our Lord different from the rest of the world’s gods is that he is real.  How real? Well looking at the results–Sennacherib would say very real. So would the leaders of Egypt, Moab, Amelik, Midian, Sodom, Gomorrah, Babylon, Greece, Rome, and the list goes on.

I am a strong believer in the power of God. It has carried me through a very challenging journey. He has taught me repeatedly that it is our Lord that controls the lives of men. Our control is an illusion. On this very day as a category 4 hurricane has hit Texas and Louisiana, we are all reminded how quickly things can change.  Through all circumstance, we must seek the Lord and trust Him to carry us through. It will never be like we think, but it will always be amazing.  Help me Lord to trust You through thick and thin. Also, help me not to believe the lies of the world but, cling to the truth of your greatness.

God Bless You


The field commander said to them, “Tell Hezekiah:

“‘This is what the great king, the king of Assyria, says: On what are you basing this confidence of yours? You say you have counsel and might for war—but you speak only empty words. On whom are you depending, that you rebel against me? Look, I know you are depending on Egypt, that splintered reed of a staff, which pierces the hand of anyone who leans on it! Such is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all who depend on him. But if you say to me, “We are depending on the Lord our God”—isn’t he the one whose high places and altars Hezekiah removed, saying to Judah and Jerusalem, “You must worship before this altar”?

“‘Come now, make a bargain with my master, the king of Assyria: I will give you two thousand horses—if you can put riders on them! How then can you repulse one officer of the least of my master’s officials, even though you are depending on Egypt for chariots and horsemen[a]10 Furthermore, have I come to attack and destroy this land without the Lord? The Lord himself told me to march against this country and destroy it.’”

11 Then Eliakim, Shebna and Joah said to the field commander, “Please speak to your servants in Aramaic, since we understand it. Don’t speak to us in Hebrew in the hearing of the people on the wall.”

12 But the commander replied, “Was it only to your master and you that my master sent me to say these things, and not to the people sitting on the wall—who, like you, will have to eat their own excrement and drink their own urine?”

13 Then the commander stood and called out in Hebrew, “Hear the words of the great king, the king of Assyria! 14 This is what the king says: Do not let Hezekiah deceive you. He cannot deliver you! 15 Do not let Hezekiah persuade you to trust in the Lord when he says, ‘The Lord will surely deliver us; this city will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.’

16 “Do not listen to Hezekiah. This is what the king of Assyria says: Make peace with me and come out to me. Then each of you will eat fruit from your own vine and fig tree and drink water from your own cistern, 17 until I come and take you to a land like your own—a land of grain and new wine, a land of bread and vineyards.

18 “Do not let Hezekiah mislead you when he says, ‘The Lord will deliver us.’ Have the gods of any nations ever delivered their lands from the hand of the king of Assyria? 19 Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim? Have they rescued Samaria from my hand? 20 Who of all the gods of these countries have been able to save their lands from me? How then can the Lord deliver Jerusalem from my hand?”

21 But the people remained silent and said nothing in reply, because the king had commanded, “Do not answer him.”

Isaiah 35–God’s Redemption is Real and Amazing

When one looks at the course of history, It becomes ever more apparent that the term is so fitting. Through the rise and falls of kingdoms and empires, God remains a relevant and specific force of both redemption and destruction.

Isaiah had been giving the Nations of the middle east a truth and foretelling of what lie ahead. In that, there was spot on accounts of the fall of Ephraim, Israel, Assyria, Edom, Babylon and nations around the globe. There was also accounts of Israel’s return and its restoration. Isaiah told of peaceful and prosperous times. He spoke of events where people lived together without strife and in peace.

It is difficult to imagine times of peace and prosperity when one is in the midst of trials and chaos. That is why God continues to remind us that He is large and in charge. We have to change our focus from the circumstances we face to the God we serve.

In short, If we are serving any other gods (Power, pleasure, wealth, lust, selfishness, fear…) will be destroyed in the flurry of events and circumstances that invade our lives. If we seek first God’s kingdom; if we trust God with our entire heart and follow his lead, then He will lead us and direct us to a full and meaningful life on earth and eternal life with Him in heaven when we move on.

He remains God no matter what our choice becomes; but, we can resst in his guidance and restoration , if we will so choose.

God Bless You

The desert and the parched land will be glad;
    the wilderness will rejoice and blossom.
Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom;
    it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy.
The glory of Lebanon will be given to it,
    the splendor of Carmel and Sharon;
they will see the glory of the Lord,
    the splendor of our God.

Strengthen the feeble hands,
    steady the knees that give way;
say to those with fearful hearts,
    “Be strong, do not fear;
your God will come,
    he will come with vengeance;
with divine retribution
    he will come to save you.”

Then will the eyes of the blind be opened
    and the ears of the deaf unstopped.
Then will the lame leap like a deer,
    and the mute tongue shout for joy.
Water will gush forth in the wilderness
    and streams in the desert.
The burning sand will become a pool,
    the thirsty ground bubbling springs.
In the haunts where jackals once lay,
    grass and reeds and papyrus will grow.

And a highway will be there;
    it will be called the Way of Holiness;
    it will be for those who walk on that Way.
The unclean will not journey on it;
    wicked fools will not go about on it.
No lion will be there,
    nor any ravenous beast;
    they will not be found there.
But only the redeemed will walk there,
10     and those the Lord has rescued will return.
They will enter Zion with singing;
    everlasting joy will crown their heads.
Gladness and joy will overtake them,
    and sorrow and sighing will flee away.

Isaiah 34–God Deals with His Children’s Enemies

Isaiah 34 promises to deal with Israel’s enemies.  They all sat back, laughed and took advantage of Israel’s demise. Little did they know, that God would not take their abuse lightly.  He loved His people, and as any Father would, He promised to deal with those that treated His beloved with disdain.  In short, Edom was wiped off the map.  Assyria is no longer a nation. Babylon destroyed and all others were dealt with.

In modern culture, Israel still remains.  While Israel is a small country, it wields great wealth, power and influence around the World.  It has a host of enemies and very few friends.  God blesses those that bless His people.  The United States was a part of the reorganization of Israel and has stood as an ally ever since.  In our alignment, The US has been blessed.  We can never underestimate Israels power of the blessing it brings to be their friend.

God calls us to know Him personally.  We have a personal relationship with God through Christ.  Still Israel is a nation started and protected by God.  We need to honor God’s choice ad trust Him to work his plan to raise and drop nations and leaders in His way and timing.  We need to trust God to complete His plan in our lives and the lives of nations.  Help me, Lord to trust and follow You.

God Bless You

For the Lord has a day of vengeance,
    a year of retribution, to uphold Zion’s cause.
Edom’s streams will be turned into pitch,
    her dust into burning sulfur;
    her land will become blazing pitch!
10 It will not be quenched night or day;
    its smoke will rise forever.
From generation to generation it will lie desolate;
    no one will ever pass through it again.
11 The desert owl[b] and screech owl[c] will possess it;
    the great owl[d] and the raven will nest there.
God will stretch out over Edom
    the measuring line of chaos
    and the plumb line of desolation.
12 Her nobles will have nothing there to be called a kingdom,
    all her princes will vanish away.
13 Thorns will overrun her citadels,
    nettles and brambles her strongholds.
She will become a haunt for jackals,
    a home for owls.
14 Desert creatures will meet with hyenas,
    and wild goats will bleat to each other;
there the night creatures will also lie down
    and find for themselves places of rest.
15 The owl will nest there and lay eggs,
    she will hatch them, and care for her young
    under the shadow of her wings;
there also the falcons will gather,
    each with its mate.

16 Look in the scroll of the Lord and read:

None of these will be missing,
    not one will lack her mate.
For it is his mouth that has given the order,
    and his Spirit will gather them together.
17 He allots their portions;
    his hand distributes them by measure.
They will possess it forever
    and dwell there from generation to generation.

Isaiah 33–What Goes Around Comes Around

Isaiah next takes on the issue of balancing the scales.  So many times, we see the evil in the world and sense that there is no justice.  We see people that prey upon others and never seem to suffer consequences.  They snub rules and shake their fists at authority, all the time feeling invincible and deserving of anything they desire, no matter the cost to others.

Isaiah reminds us, that the destroyer will be destroyed.  The betrayer will be betrayed, in short–what goes around comes around.  In contrast, Isaiah says God will be gracious to the gracious, kind to those that show kindness.  God dispenses justice and mercy according to the measure it is dispensed.  The amazing addition, however, comes in that God also shows mercy to us as sinners.  We do not deserve such grace. We do not deserve salvation.  In Romans 5, Paul says it best, “God demonstrated His love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8.

It is important for us, as His chosen, to live lives that show grace and mercy to the extent it has been shown to us. We must never lose sight that the Bible and our lives are filled with frail humans doing stupid things that affect others.  We grow cold and self-righteous, forgetting that we all have sinned and fallen short of God’s standard. In that, we act a great deal like the ones described in the prophecy.  We need to show God’s grace and mercy.  We need to show others the same measure of grace we have been shown. When we do, we will be blessed and receive the grace we have shown.  As a child of God, we must continue to live and look like the Savior that bore our sin.

God Bless You

​Woe to you, destroyer,you who have not been destroyed!Woe to you, betrayer,you who have not been betrayed!When you stop destroying,you will be destroyed;when you stop betraying,you will be betrayed.

Lord, be gracious to us;we long for you.Be our strength every morning,our salvation in time of distress.

At the uproar of your army, the peoples flee;when you rise up, the nations scatter.

Your plunder, O nations, is harvested as by young locusts;like a swarm of locusts people pounce on it.

The Lord is exalted, for he dwells on high;he will fill Zion with his justice and righteousness.

He will be the sure foundation for your times,a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge;the fear of the Lord is the key to this treasure.[a]

Look, their brave men cry aloud in the streets;the envoys of peace weep bitterly.

The highways are deserted,no travelers are on the roads.The treaty is broken,its witnesses[b] are despised,no one is respected.

The land dries up and wastes away,Lebanon is ashamed and withers;Sharon is like the Arabah,and Bashan and Carmel drop their leaves.

10 “Now will I arise,” says the Lord.“Now will I be exalted;now will I be lifted up.

Isaiah 32–Jesus Changes Everything

Isaiah truly was the great evangelist.  Isaiah is prophesying at two levels.  He is seeing the reign of His king Hezekiah, but he is also foreshadowing the coming of the Lord.  After several godless leaders, Judah would enjoy the reign of Hezekiah.  A king that put things right with God to the point that He asked, and God gave him life and peace for 15 additional years. But in the text, we also see Christ’s rule.  He gives peace. He gives sight to those that would see, hearing to those who choose to listen. The wise will understand; those that stammer, and waiver will speak distinctly.

What is more fun, is that evil will no longer win out. Fools will no longer be held out as wise and noble.  Scoundrels will not be seen as heroes.  They will be seen for who and whose they are.  There folly will be obvious.  Their bullying and graft exposed.  They won’t seem cool they will not draw followers–they will be shamed and kicked to the curb.  When Godly people rule, order, structure and peace will win the day.  Isaiah saw that and spoke the truth. 

 As God’s kids, we need to pray for that day.  Chaos can no longer rule in our lives and allow freedom to remain. It is one or the other.  Whichever seems most apparent reveals who is in control.  Please let us pray for peace and order so that we can again celebrate as one nation under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all.

God Bless You

Behold, a king will reign in righteousness,
    and princes will rule in justice.
Each will be like a hiding place from the wind,
    a shelter from the storm,
like streams of water in a dry place,
    like the shade of a great rock in a weary land.
Then the eyes of those who see will not be closed,
    and the ears of those who hear will give attention.
The heart of the hasty will understand and know,
    and the tongue of the stammerers will hasten to speak distinctly.
The fool will no more be called noble,
    nor the scoundrel said to be honorable.
For the fool speaks folly,
    and his heart is busy with iniquity,
to practice ungodliness,
    to utter error concerning the Lord,
to leave the craving of the hungry unsatisfied,
    and to deprive the thirsty of drink.
As for the scoundrel—his devices are evil;
    he plans wicked schemes
to ruin the poor with lying words,
    even when the plea of the needy is right.
But he who is noble plans noble things,
    and on noble things he stands.

Behold, a king will reign in righteousness,
    and princes will rule in justice.
Each will be like a hiding place from the wind,
    a shelter from the storm,
like streams of water in a dry place,
    like the shade of a great rock in a weary land.
Then the eyes of those who see will not be closed,
    and the ears of those who hear will give attention.
The heart of the hasty will understand and know,
    and the tongue of the stammerers will hasten to speak distinctly.
The fool will no more be called noble,
    nor the scoundrel said to be honorable.
For the fool speaks folly,
    and his heart is busy with iniquity,
to practice ungodliness,
    to utter error concerning the Lord,
to leave the craving of the hungry unsatisfied,
    and to deprive the thirsty of drink.
As for the scoundrel—his devices are evil;
    he plans wicked schemes
to ruin the poor with lying words,
    even when the plea of the needy is right.
But he who is noble plans noble things,
    and on noble things he stands.

Isaiah 31–There Simply Is No Replacement for God’s Mighty Hand

Isaiah warns the Israelite people not to waste their time seeking assistance from Egypt or others to pull them through the war with Assyria.  It is kind of astounding when one thinks about the enormity of that.  These people were slaves to Egypt for 400 years. God upended Egypt to secure Israel’s release.  He poured out the plagues, Killed Egypt’s firstborn, covered the soldiers with the walls of the Red sea.  He led Israel, fed them, prepared them, and truly freed them.  He provided them with their lands, crops, livestock, treasure, and peace.

Now, after hundreds of years of protection, provision, and preparation they were considering running back to their masters of Egypt and abandoning the one true protector that they relied upon for all that they possessed.  Who would be that stupid? Sadly, the same people that worshiped golden calves when God was writing the law–literally right above them, and they knew it.  The same people that worshipped Baal right after God showed them how useless of an idol Baal was on Mt Carmel.   

God said NO! He would deal with Assyria and they would not recover.  What is more, it would be obvious that God, not men, oversaw the nation of Israel.  As rebellious as the nation was, He would accept their repentance and restore them–because He loves them.  They would experience His love and grace–and, their enemies would experience the wrath of a loving father.

That promise holds true for us as well.  God admonishes us not to look to the very world and culture out for our destruction, to provide our salvation.  We need to seek Him, trust Him, and follow Him.  He will then be able to provide the forgiveness and restoration that we need to enjoy and experience an abundant life and eternity in His presence. Sadly, too many times we turn to God as the last resort rather than to seek Him first and with an expectant heart.  God warns us, like Israel, not to be ridiculous. He has our backs and we need to trust Him for that.  In my heart, I am truly grateful for that warning and that truth!!!

God Bless You

Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help,    who rely on horses,who trust in the multitude of their chariots    and in the great strength of their horsemen,but do not look to the Holy One of Israel,    or seek help from the Lord.Yet he too is wise and can bring disaster;    he does not take back his words.He will rise up against that wicked nation,    against those who help evildoers.But the Egyptians are mere mortals and not God;    their horses are flesh and not spirit.When the Lord stretches out his hand,    those who help will stumble,    those who are helped will fall;    all will perish together.

This is what the Lord says to me:“As a lion growls,    a great lion over its prey—and though a whole band of shepherds    is called together against it,it is not frightened by their shouts    or disturbed by their clamor—so the Lord Almighty will come down    to do battle on Mount Zion and on its heights.Like birds hovering overhead,    the Lord Almighty will shield Jerusalem;he will shield it and deliver it,    he will ‘pass over’ it and will rescue it.”

Return, you Israelites, to the One you have so greatly revolted against. 

For in that day every one of you will reject the idols of silver and gold your sinful hands have made.“Assyria will fall by no human sword;    a sword, not of mortals, will devour them.They will flee before the sword    and their young men will be put to forced labor.Their stronghold will fall because of terror;    at the sight of the battle standard their commanders will panic,”declares the Lord,    whose fire is in Zion,    whose furnace is in Jerusalem.

Isaiah 29-30 With God, There Is Always the Hope of Restoration

It is an amazing part of the knowledge of the Lord, to realize the reality that God’s strongest desire is to bless and protect the ones He loves.  In Isaiah 29-30, God speaks first of the siege of Jerusalem.  He speaks of the sadness as Jerusalem is taken down.  He warns not to run from what is ahead–but, to repent.  Turn their hearts from other gods and destroy their idols.  Then as they return to Him, the Lord will protect and restore them.  He will restore their faith, hope, and their future.  

When they return to Him, the Lord will then come in a fury and destroy the enemy, restore the land, and restore the faith and joy of the people.  Amid the sieges, the captivity, and the loss of national identity, it had to be these promises that allowed many to maintain their faith and follow God.  It was these promises that led the remnant back and through the centuries allowed the people of Israel to continue their traditions and seek the Messiah.

Now these thousands of years later, the Messiah has come and died and rose again; and, we all can be in personal relationship with God through faith in Jesus.  That faith will bring hope in all circumstance and as in the passage return us to days of peace and times of joy.  We will quit worshiping our handmade gods and humbly seek our Father.  We will experience peace, love, and have the confidence that we will be with the Lord throughout eternity.  

We can live without fear in a fearful time.  We can have real joy during chaos and unrest.  In short, we can and will live abundant lives even while the thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy. (John 10:10) We can walk in confidence as we allow our lives to be hidden in Christ with God. (Col 3:1-4) Thanks Father, that Your peace does pass all human understanding; and Your desire is to bless those You love.

God Bless You

18 Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you,
    and therefore, he exalts himself to show mercy to you.
For the Lord is a God of justice.
    Blessed are all those who wait for him.

19 For a people shall dwell in Zion, in Jerusalem; you shall weep no more. He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry. As soon as he hears it, he answers you. 20 And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide himself anymore, but your eyes shall see your Teacher. 21 And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left. 22 Then you will defile your carved idols overlaid with silver and your gold-plated metal images. You will scatter them as unclean things. You will say to them, “Be gone!”

23 And he will give rain for the seed with which you sow the ground, and bread, the produce of the ground, which will be rich and plenteous. In that day your livestock will graze in large pastures, 24 and the oxen and the donkeys that work the ground will eat seasoned fodder, which has been winnowed with shovel and fork. 25 And on every lofty mountain and every high hill there will be brooks running with water, in the day of the great slaughter, when the towers fall. 26 Moreover, the light of the moon will be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun will be sevenfold, as the light of seven days, in the day when the Lord binds up the brokenness of his people, and heals the wounds inflicted by his blow.

27 Behold, the name of the Lord comes from afar,
    burning with his anger, and in thick rising smoke;[d]
his lips are full of fury,
    and his tongue is like a devouring fire;
28 his breath is like an overflowing stream
    that reaches up to the neck;
to sift the nations with the sieve of destruction,
    and to place on the jaws of the peoples a bridle that leads astray.

29 You shall have a song as in the night when a holy feast is kept, and gladness of heart, as when one sets out to the sound of the flute to go to the mountain of the Lord, to the Rock of Israel. 30 And the Lord will cause his majestic voice to be heard and the descending blow of his arm to be seen, in furious anger and a flame of devouring fire, with a cloudburst and storm and hailstones. 31 The Assyrians will be terror-stricken at the voice of the Lord, when he strikes with his rod. 32 And every stroke of the appointed staff that the Lord lays on them will be to the sound of tambourines and lyres. Battling with brandished arm, he will fight with them. 33 For a burning place[e] has long been prepared; indeed, for the king it is made ready, its pyre made deep and wide, with fire and wood in abundance; the breath of the Lord, like a stream of sulfur, kindles it.

Isaiah 28–The Precious Cornerstone

It is no wonder that the Prophet Isaiah was termed the evangelistic prophet.  Amid the discussion of the destruction of Israel (Ephriam and Judah); Isaiah switches gears and describes God’s precious cornerstone–Our Lord Jesus.  God promises to lay a new foundation.  A cornerstone–a precious cornerstone.  The new foundation will bring salvation and restoration to God’s chosen and destruction to their enemies.  That is a great promise to bring joy and hope.

As we are seeing in Isaiah, God loves His people like His children.  Like any father, God must discipline the blatant rebellion of the people; but he will also repay those that took advantage of the people and restore peace and prosperity to Israel. He was not simply throwing money at the people–He sacrificed His Son to bring restoration and fellowship back to the table.

God will allow us to sin and destroy our lives.  He does, however, provide an alternative to the death we have earned–Jesus, the precious cornerstone.  Then and now God calls us to follow Him and allow Him to provide salvation, restoration, and peace.  We simply must confess with our mouths that HE is lord and believe that God has raised Him from the dead and we will be saved.  What a firm foundation to cling to and what a mighty God we serve.

God Bless You

Therefore hear the word of the Lord, you scoffers,
    who rule this people in Jerusalem!
15 Because you have said, “We have made a covenant with death,
    and with Sheol we have an agreement,
when the overwhelming whip passes through
    it will not come to us,
for we have made lies our refuge,
    and in falsehood we have taken shelter”;
16 therefore thus says the Lord God,
“Behold, I am the one who has laid[d] as a foundation in Zion,
    a stone, a tested stone,
a precious cornerstone, of a sure foundation:
    ‘Whoever believes will not be in haste.’
17 And I will make justice the line,
    and righteousness the plumb line;
and hail will sweep away the refuge of lies,
    and waters will overwhelm the shelter.”
18 Then your covenant with death will be annulled,
    and your agreement with Sheol will not stand;
when the overwhelming scourge passes through,
    you will be beaten down by it.
19 As often as it passes through it will take you;
    for morning by morning it will pass through,
    by day and by night;
and it will be sheer terror to understand the message.
20 For the bed is too short to stretch oneself on,
    and the covering too narrow to wrap oneself in.
21 For the Lord will rise up as on Mount Perazim;
    as in the Valley of Gibeon he will be roused;
to do his deed—strange is his deed!
    and to work his work—alien is his work!
22 Now therefore do not scoff,
    lest your bonds be made strong;
for I have heard a decree of destruction
    from the Lord God of hosts against the whole land.

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