Luke 18 Part 2–Child Like Faith and Wealth

Dr. Luke continues to recount the principles that Jesus taught while He was wrapping up His ministry on earth.  It remained important to Luke for those that read his account to see as many sides of the Lord as was possible.  In this account, Luke looked at how Jesus felt about children and childlike faith.  Parents were bringing their children to meet Jesus, and have the Lord bless them.  What a nice change for Jesus–pouring out blessings to the young.  The disciples, however, saw it as a bother, taking Jesus from the important duties.  Jesus called the kids to him and told the disciples not to interfere.  Jesus saw the children and their faith as pure and undamaged by life.  He wanted all to understand that it was that pure and complete faith of children that pleased God most.  It was a picture of the relationship God longed to have with His chosen.

Next, Jesus was asked what it really took to receive eternal life.  The man that asked was very wealthy. Jesus said that he should follow the law and prophets.  The man smugly said he had done that all his life.  Then Jesus dropped the bombshell–“Sell your stuff, give the proceeds to the poor, and then come and follow Me.” The man became sad. Jesus then told the group that it is very difficult for the rich to enter the Kingdom of God. 

God told Israel at Mount Sinai that They must have no other God before Him.  Sadly, time has revealed repeatedly that money and wealth are some of the most difficult gods to release.  They give the illusion of independence and control.  They make one feel safe and unstoppable.  Jesus knew and showed us that those feelings were not real and were as temporal as a morning fog. 

Wealth is never satisfying, and unless its owner is willing to lay it at the Lord’s feet, it will take the Lordship of their lives.  Jesus was simply stating that to have eternal life, we must lay whatever controls us at his feet. Wealth, power, relationship, family, career, or anything that we consider our ticket to independence or control must be laid at God’s alter.  

Fear not, however, as He told the disciples, whatever we lay at God’s feet, He will restore exponentially back to us.  He is a loving Father that only wants us to enjoy peace and freedom.  That peace and freedom comes from trusting and following Him.  It has been the same since the beginning and will remain so until His return.

God Bless You


15 People were also bringing babies to Jesus for him to place his hands on them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them. 16 But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 17 Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”

The Rich and the Kingdom of God

18 A certain ruler asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

19 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. 20 You know the commandments: ‘You shall not commit adultery, you shall not murder, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and mother.’[a]

21 “All these I have kept since I was a boy,” he said.

22 When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

23 When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was very wealthy. 24 Jesus looked at him and said, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God! 25 Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”

26 Those who heard this asked, “Who then can be saved?”

27 Jesus replied, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.”

28 Peter said to him, “We have left all we had to follow you!”

29 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus said to them, “no one who has left home or wife or brothers or sisters or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God 30 will fail to receive many times as much in this age, and in the age to come eternal life.”

Luke 5 Part 2–Meeting People Where They Are Hurting

As I grow older, I am more amazed with the patience of Jesus as He dealt with the religious leaders.  They were in effect, His team.  They represented the chosen people of God. Yet, as they stood and watched God do amazing things–all they could muster, was the ability to criticize and second guess God’s work.  Jesus did not let that slow him down though.  He was on earth to show people God from a human perspective. 

He healed the sick, cleansed the lepers and taught the masses that God was personal and loved them.  He wanted their worship to be awe and wonder, not fear and loathing.  So, He met folks right where they were.  He touched the leper not only to clean his flesh, but also to rid the man of the stigma of being untouchable.  Jesus forgave the paralytic–not to show off, but to address what was rendering the man paralyzed–not physically, but in his heart.

God continues to reach out to us right where we are.  Our needs are often a symptom of a deeper wound or issue.  He wants to go deep and cleanse us from the inside out.  Often, our prayers do not encompass what is really killing us.  We need to seek God and ask Him to show us what is enslaving us.  Then we can receive the Lord’s grace that allows Him to truly heal us.  I hope each of you have an amazing Thanksgiving and truly embrace all that you have to be grateful for.

God Bless You


12 In one of the villages, Jesus met a man with an advanced case of leprosy. When the man saw Jesus, he bowed with his face to the ground, begging to be healed. “Lord,” he said, “if you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean.”

13 Jesus reached out and touched him. “I am willing,” he said. “Be healed!” And instantly the leprosy disappeared. 14 Then Jesus instructed him not to tell anyone what had happened. He said, “Go to the priest and let him examine you. Take along the offering required in the law of Moses for those who have been healed of leprosy.[c] This will be a public testimony that you have been cleansed.”

15 But despite Jesus’ instructions, the report of his power spread even faster, and vast crowds came to hear him preach and to be healed of their diseases. 16 But Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer.

Jesus Heals a Paralyzed Man

17 One day while Jesus was teaching, some Pharisees and teachers of religious law were sitting nearby. (It seemed that these men showed up from every village in all Galilee and Judea, as well as from Jerusalem.) And the Lord’s healing power was strongly with Jesus.

18 Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a sleeping mat. They tried to take him inside to Jesus, 19 but they couldn’t reach him because of the crowd. So they went up to the roof and took off some tiles. Then they lowered the sick man on his mat down into the crowd, right in front of Jesus. 20 Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the man, “Young man, your sins are forgiven.”

21 But the Pharisees and teachers of religious law said to themselves, “Who does he think he is? That’s blasphemy! Only God can forgive sins!”

22 Jesus knew what they were thinking, so he asked them, “Why do you question this in your hearts? 23 Is it easier to say ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or ‘Stand up and walk’? 24 So I will prove to you that the Son of Man[d] has the authority on earth to forgive sins.” Then Jesus turned to the paralyzed man and said, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and go home!”

25 And immediately, as everyone watched, the man jumped up, picked up his mat, and went home praising God. 26 Everyone was gripped with great wonder and awe, and they praised God, exclaiming, “We have seen amazing things today!”

Luke 1 Part 4–Mary’s Confirmation and Celebration

What would you do? Mary, a young teenager and promised bride to be, was visited by an Arch angel. She does not question the Angel’s veracity or even the message.  Still, Mary does what many in her spot would do– she ran to her Aunt Elizabeth to simply ask, “What now?”  There is little doubt that her head was spinning with the overwhelming thoughts of being pregnant, a virgin, betrothed, and carrying the Messiah. 

Then, as she enters the house of Her aunt–wife of one of the Levitical temple servants, ancestor of Aaron. Immediately the future Herald of Christ (John) jumps in his mother’s womb.  Elizabeth was then filled with God’s Spirit and affirms what Mary was already told by Gabriel. One can only imagine the boost that gave the heart of this amazing young woman. 

 Mary responds, according to Luke, with a heart of praise and conviction to carry and raise this Child. She would do so to honor God, fulfill the Abrahamic covenant, and change the world.  Luke’s is the only Gospel that took the time to look at the precursors to the birth of our Lord.  It was an incredible part of the story.  In a time and culture that would have thrown a single mother to the trash heap, God prepared the people who needed to protect and prepare Jesus’s mom for the raising the Son of God.  God would not allow this to happen in any other way. 

Why is it significant?  This back story was reported by the only Gospel writer that was completely independent. He gathered information from many sources to give account for the average seeker that was clear and complete.  Luke thought it was critical for the all to know how widely the world was affected by the life of Christ. As such He looked at family, shepherds, kings, and mystics as they were touched by the Savior.

This story shows believers the absolute passion Mary had for her call.  It adds a clear legitimacy to the life and story of this young woman.  It was not a sweet excuse for a young girl’s mistake, nor was it a fairy tale to authenticate the claims for a misguided rabbi.  It is the clarity for the reality of a very complex event that would change the world.  Jesus is God. He became flesh, and He lived to show the world the heart of God; culminated by His ultimate sacrifice at the cross.

Mary was a singularly critical figure to history because she raised this child. What’s more, she did it with a humble heart and grateful spirit.  We should serve God with a humble heart and grateful spirit as well.  We should model the sacrifice and commitment we have and will see in Luke’s account. The common denominator  is that all involved completed their journey out of their Love of God.  I simply pray that I can have as deep a love for my Lord!

God Bless You 


39 In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town in Judah, 40 and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. 41 And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, 42 and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43 And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45 And blessed is she who believed that there would be[g] a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”

Mary’s Song of Praise: The Magnificat

46 And Mary said,

“My soul magnifies the Lord,
47     and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.
    For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed.
49 for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
    and holy is his name.
50 And his mercy is for those who fear him
    from generation to generation.
51 He has shown strength with his arm;
    he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts;
52 he has brought down the mighty from their thrones
    and exalted those of humble estate;
53 he has filled the hungry with good things,
    and the rich he has sent away empty.
54 He has helped his servant Israel,
    in remembrance of his mercy,
55 as he spoke to our fathers,
    to Abraham and to his offspring forever.”

56 And Mary remained with her about three months and returned to her home.

Isaiah 65–God’s New Heaven and New Earth

Isaiah 65 is a difficult chapter.  It is broken into several parts. It begins with a promise of restoration for the remnant of Israel.  It is a breath of fresh air for those exiled to Babylon.  In the short term it describes the return after exile in nice and hopeful detail.

There is however a clear message of judgement for the rebellious.  God goes into detail about the peoples’ sin, their ignoring God, and worshipping other gods.  He even details eating pork and other non-kosher foods.  It is not God attacking the nation’s dietary laws, it is a Father exasperated by His chosen’s apparent disregard for their national identity and their covenant to trust and follow Him.

The final section, however, is the most wonderful part of the chapter.  It is the Father’s description of what lies ahead.  “See I will create a new Heaven and a new Earth!”  It was not only a promise to Israel, but it was a promise to all God’s chosen.  Face it, then and now there was pain, poverty, injustice, and death.  Families were in disarray, lives were wasted, and people were in states of hopelessness–SOUND FAMILIAR?  This was a loving Father’s reminder to His beloved that this is a dot on a very long line! What we must look forward to is a place of beauty, of love, and of peace.  No more injustice, no more pain, and no more separation from God.

For the nation of Israel, that was a promise that could not come too soon.  From their inception, they were always hated by the world, because they were different! They chose to follow one God and allow Him to dictate their journey! It seemed ludicrous to many and offensive to the rest.  Living lives of selflessness and humility had to be fake and pompous, right?  The promise is clear, if we will trust and follow our Lord, then we will enjoy eternity with Him.  We will live in a new Heaven and new earth without pain, without death, without ridiculous bickering, or injustice. I would humbly argue that such a promise is worth our love and devotion.  It was made for us, and planned for us by a Father that simply loves His own.  Embrace it and follow Him!

God Bless You


“See, I will create
    new heavens and a new earth.
The former things will not be remembered,
    nor will they come to mind.
18 But be glad and rejoice forever
    in what I will create,
for I will create Jerusalem to be a delight
    and its people a joy.
19 I will rejoice over Jerusalem
    and take delight in my people;
the sound of weeping and of crying
    will be heard in it no more.

20 “Never again will there be in it
    an infant who lives but a few days,
    or an old man who does not live out his years;
the one who dies at a hundred
    will be thought a mere child;
the one who fails to reach[a] a hundred
    will be considered accursed.
21 They will build houses and dwell in them;
    they will plant vineyards and eat their fruit.
22 No longer will they build houses and others live in them,
    or plant and others eat.
For as the days of a tree,
    so will be the days of my people;
my chosen ones will long enjoy
    the work of their hands.
23 They will not labor in vain,
    nor will they bear children doomed to misfortune;
for they will be a people blessed by the Lord,
    they and their descendants with them.
24 Before they call I will answer;
    while they are still speaking I will hear.
25 The wolf and the lamb will feed together,
    and the lion will eat straw like the ox,
    and dust will be the serpent’s food.
They will neither harm nor destroy
    on all my holy mountain,”
says the Lord.

Isaiah 12–Isaiah Prophet and Worship Leader

Isaiah’s role as a prophet was a very multi-faceted role. Historian, truth teller, evangelist, battle strategist.  But on this day, Isaiah was a worship leader.  It must have been unique to see the future destruction and then the restoration of God’s people.  It would have been hard to keep from judging the sin of Israel or trying to figure out the mind of God.

Isaiah did neither of those things.  Isaiah simply spoke the truth.  To him, having a glimpse of God’s perspective that looks at all places and times at once, was a gift.  Isaiah was worshipping the Lord and watching God’s chosen worship the Lord, because God had, in fact, destroyed Israel’s enemy and returned them to their inheritance.  For Israel, the song was yet premature, they had not yet been exiled nor had the Assyrians and Babylonians been destroyed.  The Remnant had not left, much less been returned.  But this song that Isaiah wrote was an accurate ballad for a later date.  What is more, it was a promise for hope–when the history of Israel had become abysmal.

It grows more apparent, in these times, that the world is exploding.  Across the globe, God is systematically being excluded from government, education, and families.  In America, we are banning worship at church, but encouraging protesters by the thousand to gather in the streets. The great news is that God is patient.  He truly wants His people to humble themselves and to seek His face. As with Israel, God wants to restore us, His people, but that requires repentance and revival.  

We simply need to face the fact that our nation and our world is teetering on the brink of judgement–but, as with Israel, we can turn and be restored. Pray, seek God and His truth, walk humbly, and turn toward God and His plan. Do not turn away from God to do your own thing.  Then we can join Isaiah in worship and praise God for His restoration. Then we can walk in peace without fear.

God Bless You


In that day you will say:

“I will praise you, Lord.
    Although you were angry with me,
your anger has turned away
    and you have comforted me.
Surely God is my salvation;
    I will trust and not be afraid.
The Lord, the Lord himself, is my strength and my defense[a];
    he has become my salvation.”
With joy you will draw water
    from the wells of salvation.

In that day you will say:

“Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name;
    make known among the nations what he has done,
    and proclaim that his name is exalted.
Sing to the Lord, for he has done glorious things;
    let this be known to all the world.
Shout aloud and sing for joy, people of Zion,
    for great is the Holy One of Israel among you.”

Isaiah 1 Part 1–Isaiah the Prophet

When my mom would get really mad at me for some behavior, I displayed; she would make a statement that was crushing, “This is not how we raised you!” As she compared my life to the standards and actions, she thought important–I not only failed to measure up, but, my actions did not even vaguely resemble the behaviors of what I was taught. Isaiah opens his book of prophecy with a Father’s message to Judah.  The message was that simple, “You look nothing like the chosen people that I freed and gave the land.  What is worse, you look more like Sodom and Gomorrah.”
 
Not a great way to start a discussion.  As Isaiah proclaimed from God–“Dumb oxen know their masters. Donkey’s know where they live and to whom they belong!  Sadly, you do not even pretend to know you are a chosen people; you are sinful through and through.  This is not an error in judgement or a behavioral mistake–You have simply walked away from your heritage. 
 
The result, you are laid to waste, your lands are laid to waste and your nation is laid to waste. What a waste!
 
For us, look at our nation. It sadly looks nothing like what was intended by our founding fathers. From an outside view, you cannot even recognize the heart of the nation. We have become like every other society that fell into disarray. We have minimized God, family and selflessness and replaced it with materialism, selfishness, distrust, and dissention. We look nothing like the “land of the free and the home of the brave.” 
 
Like Judah, we are laid to waste, and our land is laid to waste.  We need to repent, humble ourselves and turn from our wicked ways. There needs to be a priority on getting unity back into our country, after all, we are the “United States of America.” 
 
It starts in our individual lives and slowly works its way out.  As we become others focused, the behavior spreads.  Then, before you know it, people care for each other, and those issues that divide can finally be addressed with reason. 
 
Only then, will we as a nation begin to look like the people we were raised to be.
 
God Bless You

The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.

The Wickedness of Judah

Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth;
for the Lord has spoken:
“Children[a] have I reared and brought up,
but they have rebelled against me.
The ox knows its owner,
and the donkey its master’s crib,
but Israel does not know,
my people do not understand.”

Ah, sinful nation,
a people laden with iniquity,
offspring of evildoers,
children who deal corruptly!
They have forsaken the Lord,
they have despised the Holy One of Israel,
they are utterly estranged.

Why will you still be struck down?
Why will you continue to rebel?
The whole head is sick,
and the whole heart faint.
From the sole of the foot even to the head,
there is no soundness in it,
but bruises and sores
and raw wounds;
they are not pressed out or bound up
or softened with oil.

Your country lies desolate;
your cities are burned with fire;
in your very presence
foreigners devour your land;
it is desolate, as overthrown by foreigners.
And the daughter of Zion is left
like a booth in a vineyard,
like a lodge in a cucumber field,
like a besieged city.

If the Lord of hosts
had not left us a few survivors,
we should have been like Sodom,
and become like Gomorrah.

10 Hear the word of the Lord,
you rulers of Sodom!
Give ear to the teaching[b] of our God,
you people of Gomorrah!

2 Chronicles 32–Isaiah the Prayer Warrior

Oswald Chambers once said, “Prayer is not the preparation for the greater work ; it is the greater work. Prayer is not the preparation for a battle, Prayer is the battle.” One of the great stories of the Bible is this story when Isaiah and Hezekiah’s prayed and trusted God while Judah’s armies were outmanned and out armed by the Assyrian Army. The king of Assyria sent messengers all over the land boasting that he was going to invade Judah and destroy it as he had so many other kingdoms.  Assyria’s king scoffed at God and said in short, “I will run roughshod over your God as I have so many others.” Isaiah and Hezekiah prayed, and God sent an angel that cut off all the armies and commanders from the camp sending the Assyrian king home in shame and soon after to his death in disgrace.
 
Hezekiah did not have to raise a finger in the battle, he and Isaiah simply had to bow the knee and take the need to God in prayer.  As a prophet and historian, Isaiah saw the difference between following the lord and following selfish pride.  Isaiah knew that God wanted to bless His people, but he refused to ignore and honor their sinful ways.  As such, he counseled the king to trust in God and the king listened and trusted God–it worked.  Hezekiah had a great reign and became both prosperous and powerful as God’s king of Judah.
 
In our lives, we must never stop seeking God.  We cannot allow the circumstances of the day to rob us of our faith and trust in Him.  Like Isaiah and Hezekiah–we must be prayer warriors and allow God to complete the work He starts in our lives.  In short, we cannot forsake prayer.  We cannot cease studying His word, and we cannot take our eyes of God and focus on the world and its culture.  God remains the Alpha and the Omega, the Mighty God, and the everlasting Father.  He never tires in hearing from us and walking with us through this amazing journey.
 
God Bless You
 

And his servants said still more against the Lord God and against his servant Hezekiah. 17 And he wrote letters to cast contempt on the Lord, the God of Israel, and to speak against him, saying, “Like the gods of the nations of the lands who have not delivered their people from my hands, so the God of Hezekiah will not deliver his people from my hand.” 18 And they shouted it with a loud voice in the language of Judah to the people of Jerusalem who were on the wall, to frighten and terrify them, in order that they might take the city. 19 And they spoke of the God of Jerusalem as they spoke of the gods of the peoples of the earth, which are the work of men’s hands.

The Lord Delivers Jerusalem

20 Then Hezekiah the king and Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, prayed because of this and cried to heaven. 21 And the Lord sent an angel, who cut off all the mighty warriors and commanders and officers in the camp of the king of Assyria. So he returned with shame of face to his own land. And when he came into the house of his god, some of his own sons struck him down there with the sword. 22 So the Lord saved Hezekiah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem from the hand of Sennacherib king of Assyria and from the hand of all his enemies, and he provided for them on every side. 23 And many brought gifts to the Lord to Jerusalem and precious things to Hezekiah king of Judah, so that he was exalted in the sight of all nations from that time onward.

2 Chronicles 26/Isaiah 6–Isaiah the Historian

Isaiah was known as the most amazing prophet and evangelist in the Old Testament, but the bible also identified him as a historian.  At the end of the reign of Uzziah, a once mighty and holy king–Uzziah went into the Holy of Holies to burn incense.  The priests begged him not to do such an evil and prideful act, but he was adamant.  When he touched the incense, he was immediately struck with leprosy and lived out the rest of his days alone and outside the palace.  Meanwhile, his son began to reign. 
 
In this chapter, as a close to Uzziah’s story, it states that Isaiah was the historian to chronicle all the acts of Uzziah from 1st to last.  Then, as we begin the actual story of Isaiah’s call to be God’s prophet, it proclaims Isaiah’s vision to come just after the death of Uzziah.  God not only gave Isaiah the vision of what was to become of Israel and the coming Messiah, he also gave Isaiah the picture of what a godly king looked like and how easily such a king could go astray.  Finally, the Lord gave His prophet a historical view of Judah to prepare him for the messages he would bring about God’s people and the coming Messiah.
 
God prepares His folks for their missions.  Every journey, while different, has the quality of making us ready to face the trials and duties we are called to fulfill.  Isaiah had a big job; he was to give Israel the message of what was to come. He was uniquely qualified to do that.  As we look at our lives, we must also look at the gifts and experiences God has allowed us to face and make sure we leverage our unique preparation to be all that God has called us to be.  It is never easy, and always God honoring when we follow the path that God has laid out. We must be confident that as we trust and follow God, He will lead us in a way to use all He has given us to complete His plan.
 
God Bless You

Now the rest of the acts of Uzziah, from first to last, Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz wrote. 23 And Uzziah slept with his fathers, and they buried him with his fathers in the burial field that belonged to the kings, for they said, “He is a leper.” And Jotham his son reigned in his place.
Isaiah 6
 

In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train[a] of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said:

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts.
the whole earth is full of his glory!

2 Kings 20–Isaiah Delivers Good News

As the one Israelite king that was following God and doing what He was called to do, Isaiah was given the unfortunate task of telling the Hezekiah, “Put your affairs in order, you was not going to get well.” The King did what most of us would do–he cried and told God that it is not fair.  He reminded God that as king, he had done everything the way and to the degree God had led him to.
 
Then a miracle happened. As Isaiah was leaving the palace, God stopped Isaiah and told him to return and tell the king he would be healed, and that God would give him 15 more years.  As a prophet, telling the king he would be fine had to be a fun message to deliver.  Most of Isaiah’s messages were bad news–so to tell the king life restoring news had to be a great deal of fun.
 
Interestingly, the king told Isaiah to prove it. He was of course relieved, but two messages in such a short time seemed odd.  So, Isaiah had God move the shadow on the stairs backward 10 steps–just as the sun was pushing shadows forward–that ought to do it.  It was a happy story in an otherwise difficult time in Israel’s History.
 
In our lives, there are not a lot of fun messages. The world is spinning out of control. People are miserable. governments are a mess, and families are falling apart. People can go to bars but not to church. It would be a great time for the Lord to bring some good news.  The things that made Isaiah’s message become good news were that Hezekiah followed the Lord closely, and he cried out to the Lord earnestly.  We should be doing the same thing as it relates to our nation, our families, and our own lives.  Help me, Lord to follow you closely and to seek you earnestly–as it relates to my life, my family, and our nation.
 
God Bless You

In those days Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz went to him and said, “This is what the Lord says: Put your house in order, because you are going to die; you will not recover.”

Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, “Remember, Lord, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.

Before Isaiah had left the middle court, the word of the Lord came to him: “Go back and tell Hezekiah, the ruler of my people, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of your father David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you. On the third day from now you will go up to the temple of the Lord. I will add fifteen years to your life. And I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria. I will defend this city for my sake and for the sake of my servant David.’”

Then Isaiah said, “Prepare a poultice of figs.” They did so and applied it to the boil, and he recovered.

Hezekiah had asked Isaiah, “What will be the sign that the Lord will heal me and that I will go up to the temple of the Lord on the third day from now?”

Isaiah answered, “This is the Lord’s sign to you that the Lord will do what he has promised: Shall the shadow go forward ten steps, or shall it go back ten steps?”

10 “It is a simple matter for the shadow to go forward ten steps,” said Hezekiah. “Rather, have it go back ten steps.”

11 Then the prophet Isaiah called on the Lord, and the Lord made the shadow go back the ten steps it had gone down on the stairway of Ahaz.

2 Kings 19–Please Welcome Isaiah

The prophet Isaiah is first mentioned in the Bible as the Prophet during the reign of Hezekiah.  Hezekiah was a good king that sought the Lord.    In this story, foreign kings are plotting the invasion of Jerusalem.  Hezekiah calls upon Isaiah to pray for them and to seek God’s will regarding the battle.  Isaiah had been in the role of God’s prophet for 40 years by this time.  
 
Interestingly, Hezekiah was seeking God on behalf of the people not on his own behalf. Also, Hezekiah was angry that the foreign king blasphemed God–not that the Kingdom was at risk. So, he sent the note to Isaiah to pray for the people.  Isaiah did as he was asked; but he also quickly reassured the king that God, not the armies of Hezekiah, would defeat the foreign king.  
 
It had to have been difficult to be God’s man in a Godless kingdom.  Most of Isaiah’s service was just that. He began after the death of Uzziah–a great king that ended very poorly as a Leper and outcast. and served 4 kings, and dying at the hands of Manasseh, a very evil king.   Hezekiah was the lone king that sought the Lord and, as such, he had a great reign. Isaiah a prophet for 40 years was glad to serve him and glad to pray.
 
In our world, we are asked to serve God whether conditions are ideal, or they are not.  Our responsibility is to seek the Lord in whatever circumstance and follow His lead. In this journey, we need to stay focused upon who we are in Christ, and whose we are in the light of eternity. We need not be strong and then give up at the end–like Uzziah, nor do we need to ignore God and take control of our own destiny like the other kings.  We, like Isaiah and Hezekiah, need to seek God and allow him to battle for us.
 
God Bless You 

When King Hezekiah heard this, he tore his clothes and put on sackcloth and went into the temple of the Lord. He sent Eliakim the palace administrator, Shebna the secretary and the leading priests, all wearing sackcloth, to the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz. They told him, “This is what Hezekiah says: This day is a day of distress and rebuke and disgrace, as when children come to the moment of birth and there is no strength to deliver them. It may be that the Lord your God will hear all the words of the field commander, whom his master, the king of Assyria, has sent to ridicule the living God, and that he will rebuke him for the words the Lord your God has heard. Therefore, pray for the remnant that still survives.”

When King Hezekiah’s officials came to Isaiah, Isaiah said to them, “Tell your master, ‘This is what the Lord says: Do not be afraid of what you have heard—those words with which the underlings of the king of Assyria have blasphemed me. Listen! When he hears a certain report, I will make him want to return to his own country, and there I will have him cut down with the sword.’”

Hezekiah received the letter from the messengers and read it. Then he went up to the temple of the Lord and spread it out before the Lord. 15 And Hezekiah prayed to the Lord: “Lord, the God of Israel, enthroned between the cherubim, you alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth. 16 Give ear, Lord, and hear; open your eyes, Lord, and see; listen to the words Sennacherib has sent to ridicule the living God.

17 “It is true, Lord, that the Assyrian kings have laid waste these nations and their lands. 18 They have thrown their gods into the fire and destroyed them, for they were not gods but only wood and stone, fashioned by human hands. 19 Now, Lord our God, deliver us from his hand, so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you alone, Lord, are God.”

Isaiah Prophesies Sennacherib’s Fall

20 Then Isaiah son of Amoz sent a message to Hezekiah: “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: I have heard your prayer concerning Sennacherib king of Assyria. 21 This is the word that the Lord has spoken against him:


22 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!
23 By your messengers
you have ridiculed the Lord.

25 “‘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.
26 …

27 “‘But I know where you are
and when you come and go
and how you rage against me.
28 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.’

29 “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.
30 Once more a remnant of the kingdom of Judah
will take root below and bear fruit above.
31 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.

32 “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.
33 By the way that he came he will return;
he will not enter this city,
declares the Lord.
34 I will defend this city and save it,
for my sake and for the sake of David my servant.’”

35 That night 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! 36 So Sennacherib king of Assyria broke camp and withdrew. He returned to Nineveh and stayed there.