Isaiah- Week 7- Day 2

Incline thine ear, O LORD, and hear; open thine eyes, O LORD, and see: and hear all the words of Sennacherib, which hath sent to reproach the living God. Of a truth, LORD, the kings of Assyria have laid waste all the nations, and their countries, And have cast their gods into the fire: for they were no gods, but the work of men’s hands, wood and stone: therefore they have destroyed them.

Isaiah 37:17-19

Explanation:
Notice how Hezekiah continues to pray. In verse 17 he asks God to pay attention to the words of Sennacherib (King of Assyria) which were a reproach to the character of God.
In verse 18 he lays out the problem. Assyria did have a history of the military conquests. He pointed to their practice of destroying the idols of their conquered enemies. This would have been a picture of their opinion of the weakness of these foreign Gods. But in verse 19, Hezekiah points to the fact that the gods do not exist. They are just the work of men’s hands and have no power. This is why they can be destroyed.

Hezekiah was displaying great faith by going to God. He saw his problem in light of the God creator God of the universe. He saw the situation in light of the reputation of God, the truth about God, and the truth about the false idols of the nations that had been destroyed by the Assyrians.

Application:
We saw in the scriptures previous to this that Hezekiah thought accurately about God Himself in His prayer to God. In this part of the prayer He thinks rightly about His problem. This is instructive to us. A right response includes thinking about our problems and our God with great faith.

Response:
Pick out a problem or trial that you are experiencing and ask: What is the biblical and right way to think about this problem?

God Expects- Isaiah- Week 3- Day 3

Moreover the LORD spake again unto Ahaz, saying, Ask thee a sign of the LORD thy God; ask it either in the depth, or in the height above. But Ahaz said, I will not ask, neither will I tempt the LORD. And he said, Hear ye now, O house of David; Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will ye weary my God also?

Isaiah 7:10-13

Explanation:
The word “Moreover” indicates that God doesn’t just challenge Ahaz to believe Him. God challenged Ahaz to trust him in verse 9, and now He wants to help him to learn to trust.
Think about what God is offering. More than just the challenge to believe, He offers to give Ahaz a sign to help Him believe. And if that isn’t enough, God offers to let Ahaz choose what the sign would be! Notice the scale of the kind of sign He is willing to give. He says “ask it either in the depth, or in the height above.” It’s almost like God is saying, “The sky is the limit! Let me prove to you that I can be trusted.”

As amazing as that proposition was, what is more amazing is that Ahaz does not take God’s offer. He gives a pious reason why He won’t ask God for a sign. “But Ahaz said, I will not ask, neither will I tempt the LORD.” At first glance that answer may sound spiritual, but think about it. If God is the one who came up with the idea and proposed it to you, you would not be tempting the Lord to participate in the proposition. This showed Ahaz’s lack of belief, and how unchanged his attitude was. We know all of this from verse 13. His attitude not only wearied the whole of Judah (called here the “house of David”), but now his attitude and response was wearying God. Ahaz was acting like the apathetic, snobby teenager who stubbornly will not respond in trust to God.

The truth was that Ahaz had already made an alliance with the King of Assyria to protect him against Syria and Ephraim. In an attempt to please the Assyrian king, Ahaz gave him tribute, built an altar, and modified parts of the temple. Ahaz was trusting in the king that he could see more than trusting in the God that he could not see, even when God Himself was speaking to him and offering him a sign. You can read all about Ahaz’s trust in the Assyrian king and sin against God in 2 Kings 16:5-19.

God expected Ahaz to respond in faith. He did everything He could do by intervening and revealing Himself supernaturally to Ahaz. He even offered to let him choose how he would be moved to trust, and yet Ahaz demonstrated a significant lack of faith.

Application:
You and I do not want to find ourselves in the position of being wearisome to God in our attitude and actions. God is patient, merciful, and kind. There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. But what does please God is faith. Read what the Bible says in Hebrews 11:6.

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Hebrews 11:6


God expects us to be people of faith. We must not just believe Him to save us from our sin. We also must trust Him with the details of our lives. We demonstrate our trust by obedience, by seeking His will through His word, by abiding with Him in prayer, and by prioritizing Him in our lives.

Response:
In what way are you demonstrating faith in God today?

Week 4: Day 4- Numbers 21:6-9

And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died. Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD, and against thee; pray unto the LORD, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people. And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live. And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.

Numbers 21:6-9

Explanation:

In the book of Numbers, the Bible relates a time in the wilderness where the people had been rebellious and disobedient to Him.  God sent judgement for their sin in the form of “fiery serpents”.  These were snakes that were poisonous and deadly.  The  people came to Moses confessing their sin.  Moses then goes and intercedes to God on behalf of behalf of the people.  God responded by providing a means of forgiveness and healing.  He tells Moses to form a snake out of brass and put it on a pole in the midst of the camp.  When the people who are bit are obedient to look to the serpent in faith in God’s Word and the redemption that was made possible, God healed them. 

Jesus uses this as an illustration in John 3:14-15.

And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

John 3:14-15

Application:

We are saved by looking to Jesus for our redemption.  All that we can offer to God is our faith.  When we trust in Christ and allow Him to change us amazing things happen.The Baby born in Bethlehem was born to die. Like the old hymn says, “Look and live!”. 

Response:

1.  Take a few moments today to thank God for the provision that He made in Christ to forgive our sins.

2.  Who is someone you can tell about God’s salvation this Christmas season?

Week 4: Day 3- Matthew 1:24-25

(24) Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife:
(25) And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.

Matthew 1:24-25

Explanation

Joseph stepped out in faith by exhibiting his obedience to the will of God through:

  1. Marrying a pregnant fiance.
  2. Forgoing sex until after she had the child.
  3. Naming the child Jesus, as he was told to do.

The name Jesus means “Jehovah saves” or “Yahweh saves”.

Joseph put his reputation on the line and his life to the task of taking care of the Son of God. By marrying her it made it possible to take Mary to Bethlehem. Christ was born in the city of David, in the line of David, just as the prophets predicted.

Application:

My task as a believer is not really any less clear. God has given me explicit instructions as to who I should be and what I should do. The key is to obey God by putting my faith and trust in Him. I need to be willing to be obedient even in situations when it is risky.

Response:

  1. Is there an area of obedience that may put your reputation on the line or may seem risky? How are you going to respond?
  2. Take some time to thank God for His gift of Jesus for you!