Luke- Week 22- Day 1

(39) And he came out, and went, as he was wont, to the mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed him.  (40)  And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation. 

Luke 22:39-40

Explanation:

In this pivotal moment Jesus goes to the mount of olives.  This is a place that he had been to many times before.  There is a clue to this truth in verse 39 where it says he went “as he was wont”.  This is an old english way of saying that this was a familiar pattern with Jesus.  Jesus had often gone to the mount of olives.  He is referred to as being in the mount of olives in every Gospel, and is placed there multiple times.

Matthew and Mark contain what is called the Olivet discourse where His disciples ask Him about the end of the age:

And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?

Also in Mark:

And as he sat upon the mount of Olives over against the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew asked him privately,

Mark 13:3

We have already seen him in the area in Luke at the beginning of the triumphal entry.

And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen;

Luke 19:37

In the Gospel of John you’ll find this verse:

Jesus went unto the mount of Olives.

John 8:1

It’s at the end of a discussion that the people were having about the identity of Jesus.  Right after he goes to the mount of olives in John 8:1, he comes back to the temple. 

He had gone there for a reason, and I conjecture it would be to get alone with God.

The specific place on the Mount of Olives that Jesus went to was a gareden called Gethsamene.  We know this from parallel passages in Matthew and Mark.

Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder.

Matthew 26:36

And they came to a place which was named Gethsemane: and he saith to his disciples, Sit ye here, while I shall pray.

Mark 14:32

Jesus often would get alone to pray.

And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone.

Matthew 14:23

And when he had sent them away, he departed into a mountain to pray.

Mark 6:46

And it came to pass about an eight days after these sayings, he took Peter and John and James, and went up into a mountain to pray.

Luke 9:28 

And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.

Luke 11:1

When Jesus taught about prayer, He said this about having a place to pray:

And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

Matthew 6:5-6

Application:

Prayer was so pivotal to Jesus.  He had a place to pray.  He made time to pray.  My question for us is quite obvious.  Do we have a place to pray?  Do you have a place?  Do you have a time?  Do you have somewhere you go to pray?  Is it part of your schedule?  How can we expect the rewards of God apart from the presence of God?  Why should we expect the blessing of God when we do not spend time with God?

Response

Pick a place and a time and get to praying!

Isaiah- Week 7- Day 5

Therefore thus saith the LORD concerning the king of Assyria, He shall not come into this city, nor shoot an arrow there, nor come before it with shields, nor cast a bank against it. By the way that he came, by the same shall he return, and shall not come into this city, saith the LORD. For I will defend this city to save it for mine own sake, and for my servant David’s sake.

Isaiah 37:33-35

Explanation:
In yesterday’s verses we found out that God will take care of His people. He would sustain them in difficulty in response to Hezekiah’s prayer. In this passage He gives detail as to what he would allow Senacharib to do and why he would deal with him this way.

Senacharib would not be allowed to come into the city. He would not be able to shoot an arrow, come at it with shields, nor “cast a bank against it”. To cast a bank against it spoke of the practice of digging up dirt and making a ramp towards a wall to be able to go over it. God confirmed that Senacharib would go the way he came. He had already said this in a message to Senacharib in verse 29:

Because thy rage against me, and thy tumult, is come up into mine ears, therefore will I put my hook in thy nose, and my bridle in thy lips, and I will turn thee back by the way by which thou camest.

Isaiah 37:29

He also said why he would defend it. He was doing it for his own sake. God has reasons that he wants to defend Israel. He is also doing it for David’s sake. This is a reference to the Davidic covenant. God told David that his house would be established forever.

And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever.

2 Samuel 7:16

The ultimate fulfillment of this promise comes to bear when Christ sits on the throne in Jerusalem to rule and to reign. God keeps his promises.

Application:
We see in this passage that God was keeping his promise to Israel, to Hezekiah, to David, and ultimately to us. We know that God was working through redemptive history to bring about the salvation of not only Israel, but the whole world through the Messiah, Jesus Christ. God answers our prayers according to His will, and there is a sense in which prayer helps to align our will with God’s. We must pray as Jesus taught us, “thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” When we pray according to God’s will and rely on His promises we cannot go wrong.

Response:
What do you need to pray about today? What would it look like to pray according to His will?

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?

Isaiah- Week 7- Day 1

And Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers, and read it: and Hezekiah went up unto the house of the LORD, and spread it before the LORD. And Hezekiah prayed unto the LORD, saying, O LORD of hosts, God of Israel, that dwellest between the cherubims, thou art the God, even thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth: thou hast made heaven and earth.

Isaiah 37:14-16

Explanation:
Hezekiah, the king of Judah, received a message from Senacharib, the king of Assyria. It was not a fun message. You can read the message in verses 10-13.

Thus shall ye speak to Hezekiah king of Judah, saying, Let not thy God, in whom thou trustest, deceive thee, saying, Jerusalem shall not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria. Behold, thou hast heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands by destroying them utterly; and shalt thou be delivered? Have the gods of the nations delivered them which my fathers have destroyed, as Gozan, and Haran, and Rezeph, and the children of Eden which were in Telassar? Where is the king of Hamath, and the king of Arphad, and the king of the city of Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivah?

Isaiah 37:10-13

Talk about throwing down the trash talk! Senacharib told Hezekiah not to believe that his God could do anything about the fact that he was coming. Senacharib laid out his victories over previous nations, kings, and “gods”, asking Hezekiah where those kings that thought that way ended up. The intent was that Hezekiah would attribute their fate to Judah in his mind. Senacharib was trying to get into his head.

Hezekiah was a good king and made a wise decision in response.

First, He took this message to Lord. Notice it says “and Hezekiah went up unto the house of the Lord, and spread it before the LORD.” When the message was bad, and the enemy was tough, he took the problem to God. He spread out the written letter against him “before the Lord.” Did God need to see it? Of course not. It seems more proper to view it as a way that Hezekiah was communicating his need to God.

O LORD of hosts, God of Israel, that dwellest between the cherubims, thou art the God, even thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth: thou hast made heaven and earth.

Second, He began His prayer with praise. He doesn’t start with how bad the problem seems to be. He starts with praising God’s superiority. Look at the names:

  • Lord of Hosts
  • God of Israel
  • that Dwellest with Cherubims
    -“God…of all the kingdoms of the earth”
    -“thou hast made heaven and earth”

It is clear that Hezekiah was praising God for His mighty power.

Application:
In our lives there are times where we face great challenges. So often we try to take them on ourselves, rather than taking them to God. He is our strength and the one who can do something about them. We have to remember who He is, and see Him as our greatest hope.

Response:

  • What problem do you need to “spread before the Lord” today?
  • Take some time to pray today.