- The Prayer of the Remnants and the Answer of Jehovah Text: Isaiah 64 and 65
- God's Anger and Vengeance will Come Upon Disobedient Children. Text: Isaiah 62 Vs.1-12; 63 Vs.1-19
- The Glory and Favour of Zion Text: Isaiah 60 - 61
- Falsehood, Hypocrisy and Sins. Text: Isaiah 57-59
- Restoration, Salvation and Rewards for Obedience to God Text: Isaiah 54-56
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- BIBLICAL PROSPERITY-a Balanced Approach (36)
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- FIRST AND SECOND CORINTHIANS (45)
- FOLLOWING GOD'S PLAN FOR YOUR LIFE (42)
- HOLY SPIRIT (22)
- IN-DEPTH STUDY OF EPHESIANS (19)
- IN-DEPTH STUDY OF THE BOOK OF GALATIANS (21)
- IN DEPTH STUDY OF THE BOOK OF ROMANS (38)
- PROSPERITY (18)
- PROVERBS CHALLENGE (5)
- STUDY OF ISAIAH (38)
- THE GREAT SHEPHERD (20)
Wednesday, July 26 2023
Contributor: Esther Alajiki
PART 1 VERSE DISCUSSION (Isaiah 38 Amplified Bible (1 – 9) Message Bible (9 – 22).)
Verse 1: God Speaks to His Children
God sent His prophet to Hezekiah. He sends His word to His children, we are not to walk in darkness concerning any area of our lives. from comparing 2 Kings 18:2 with 2 Kings 20:6, Hezekiah was around 39/40 years old when he got his death sentence.
Verses 2 -3: Be Honest With God
He did not hold on to the prophet to seek solution. When faced with difficult situations, what do we do? Hezekiah had trusted God to deliver His people from an invading army but his personal situation was overwhelming for him. When trouble comes, instead of blaming God in frustration be honest with God. Trust for divine intervention.
Verses 4 – 6: God Answers His Children
God re-sends His prophet back to Hezekiah. God delivered on a personal and a national level. He gave 2 gifts to Hezekiah - an extended life and knowing how many years’ left
Verses 7 – 8: God Can Alter the Natural Course of Nature
Did God make the earth go back in its orbit? Did He spin the earth backwards while still keeping gravity intact? Do not focus on rationalizing how God would perform miracles, recognize and celebrate His power and interventions. You may not know how, you may not know when but He’ll do it again.
Verses 9 – 15: Honesty and Simplicity in God’s Presence
Hezekiah expressed himself as he felt- no fancy words. He was grieved and expressed his grief to God.
Verses 16 – 20: Always Give God the Glory
In response to God’s miracle, Hezekiah writes a song of praise, give Him praise for His daily mercies, Let God and others know how thankful you are. Shifted to the correct perspective of his illness, Hezekiah writes that his sins had caused his bitterness, not God. The Lord is interested in life and healing as the dead cannot be a witness of a living God and one of the privileges of man is to praise God while on earth. Hezekiah promised to praise God and teach the next generation about Him. 1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light.
Verses 21 - 22
PART 2 SITUATIONAL ANALYSIS
A Heart of Prayer - Notice the heart Hezekiah exhibited when he prayed. Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the LORD, he poured his heart out to the Lord. Prayer that truly touches the heart of God and changes things comes from a heart that is passionately dependent on God. Luke 22:42 yet not my will, but yours be done.”
An Answer to Prayer - God delights in answering the fervent prayers of the righteous - Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find” (Matthew 7:7) If you remain in Me and My Words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. (John 15:7)
A response to answered prayer – thankfulness in receiving, faithfulness in stewarding, humility in responding. Psalm 34.
“14Inasmuch then as we [believers] have a great High Priest who has [already ascended and] passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession [of faith and cling tenaciously to our absolute trust in Him as Saviour]. 15For we do not have a High Priest who is unable to sympathize and understand our weaknesses and temptations, but One who has been tempted [knowing exactly how it feels to be human] in every respect as we are, yet without [committing any] sin. 16Therefore let us [with privilege] approach the throne of grace [that is, the throne of God’s gracious favor] with confidence and without fear, so that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find [His amazing] grace to help in time of need [an appropriate blessing, coming just at the right moment]”. Heb. 4: 14 -16. [AMP]
Wednesday, July 19 2023
Contributor: Peter Folikwe
“When King Hezekiah heard their report, he tore his clothes and put on burlap and went into the Temple of the Lord.” [NLT]
Just like Hezekiah, some challenging times overwhelmingly make us helpless and fearful, but our response to the threat/challenge makes all the difference. He tore his clothes as a sign of morning. He wore sackcloth as a sign of humility/helplessness. In those days the trend was offer prayers in the house of the Lord. Today our body is the temple of the Lord. We don’t need a special location for prayers.
“And he sent Eliakim the palace administrator, Shebna the court secretary, and the leading priests, all dressed in burlap, to the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz. They told him, “This is what King Hezekiah says: Today is a day of trouble, insults, and disgrace. It is like when a child is ready to be born, but the mother has no strength to deliver the baby.” [NLT]
Imagine the description of the problem: a woman in labour unable to deliver the baby. It’s a case between life and death. Besides seeking the face of God, Hezekiah sent for the Prophet Isiah to pray for the nation against the Assyrian assault. When in trouble or challenges of life, it is wise to deploy a two-prawn approach to addressing the problem: Seeking the face of God and asking your friends to pray for you. Apostle Paul in 2Thess 3:1 requested for prayers from the brethren. Jesus in Matt 18:19 reiterated the power in prayers of agreement. Hezekiah recognized the value of prayers.
Isaiah, a true prophet of God (not like the fake prophets), after seeking the face of God, debunked the threat of Sennacherib delivered through Rabshakeh – his General.
Rabshakeh reels out a credential presentation of Sennacherib’s conquest. These are voices the enemy uses to intimidate and destabilise its victims. Here the enemy warns that the people of Judah should not trust their king. Secondly that their God cannot save them either.
Hezekiah spread this letter of sorrow before the Lord in His temple. He knows the true God he serves. Many who run to God when in trouble are not in right standing with God. The prayer of the sinner the Bible says is an abomination.
Prov 15:8 “The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD: but the prayer of the upright is his delight.”
Some, when they run to their gods they get no answer, just like the nations overrun by the Assyrians. Furthermore, their god were burnt together with their covens. In V20, Hezekiah charged God to glorify Himself. The real trust for our prayer should be to bring glory to God.
This testifies that when we are confronted by overwhelming life’s trials and we seek the face of God in prayers, He hears us and respond appropriately. Particularly when the name of the Lord is disdained, the culprit will have himself to blame.
Verses 23-26 God Responds
God says I will put my hook in Sennacherib’s nose and my bit in his mouth. Scary I must say! The nose and the mouth are critical organs that supply nourishment to the body - air and water. A man may survive without water for a while but, if he loses breath for more than 5-7mins he is a goner.
Usually during a siege, the farmlands are destroyed by the intruder.
God is Covenant Keeper, not a Covenant Breaker.
In one night, an angel of God killed 185 thousand soldiers of the Assyrians. The survivors woke up to see many of their colleagues slain without fighting a war. Quite terrifying.
The gods of Sennacherib could not save him from the swords of his own sons.
If only many in privileged positions of authority today can understand how ephemeral such powers and authority that come with such positions are, they will use such for the good of mankind. May the Lord help us to focus our gaze on the eternal, and not on the temporal.
Wednesday, July 12 2023
Contributor: Isekhua Evborokhai
Verses 1-3: Jerusalem Threatened
King Sennacherib king of Assyria has come up against all the fortified cities of Judah and taken them. He’s just taken the city of Lachish, and Jerusalem now is left. So, he sends the “field commander” of his great army with an ultimatum for King Hezekiah.
If you recall in chapter 7, when Rezin the king of Syria, and Pekah the son of Remaliah, king of Israel, went up toward Jerusalem to war against it, God told Ahaz to ask for a sign, but he refused to “put the Lord to the test.” (Isaiah 7:10-25) Why? Because in reality, he had chosen worldly wisdom over faith. Furthermore, Isaiah prophesied in Chapter 8: 7-8a:
“7 Therefore, behold, the Lord is bringing up against [you] the waters of the River, mighty and many, the king of Assyria and all his glory. And it will rise over all its channels and go over all its banks, 8 and it will sweep on into Judah, it will overflow and pass on, reaching even to the neck”
Verses 4-6: The Rabshakeh Speaks Against Judah’s Trust in Alliance With Egypt
a.What confidence is this in which you trust? One of the great battles for Hezekiah during this time was the temptation to make a defensive alliance with Egypt, which seemed to be the only nation strong enough to protect Judah against the mighty Assyrians. As a prophet, Isaiah did everything he could to discourage Hezekiah and the leaders of Judah from putting their trust in Egypt (Isaiah 19:11-17, 20:1-6, 30:1-7). The Lord wanted Judah to trust Him instead of Egypt.
So what Rabshakeh spoke in these verses, was the truth! God wanted Judah to have no confidence in Egypt at all. But Rabshakeh isn’t doing it to bring Judah to a firm trust in the LORD God, who can and will deliver them from the Assyrians. He does it to completely demoralize Judah and drive them to despair.
b. You are trusting in the staff of this broken reed, Egypt: Strangely, Rabshakeh could see the truth of Egypt’s weakness better than many of the leaders of Judah could. He refers to their alliance with Egypt as a broken reed that is not just a worthless one but that leaning on them for support and will cost Judah.
Verse 7: The Rabshakeh Speaks Against Judah’s Trust in God.
The devil seeks to deceive us: by twisting the truth, speaking lies that have a ring of truth to them and sound like something God has actually said! Even though Hezekiah did tear down the high places (which he was supposed to do), and though Assyria was a tool in God’s hand, this did not mean that God was against them!
Verses 8-9: The Rabshakeh Speaks Against The Army of Judah.
Although king Sennacherib had a vastly superior army and could have just attacked Jerusalem without this little speech, he would prefer it if Judah would simply give up, out of fear, discouragement, or despair. The Assyrians were masters of intimidation and cities usually just surrender without a fight. The devil uses the exact same approach. Many of us picture him as always “itching for a fight” with us. Really, he doesn’t want to do battle with us. First of all, there is the strong chance you will win. Second of all, win or lose, the battle can draw you closer to God. Thirdly, what the LORD does in your life through the battle can be a great blessing for other people. So he would much rather not fight but rather, talk you into giving up or have you distracted from fulfilling your purpose in life.
Verse 10: The Rabshakeh Claims God is on His Side.
In this verse, he goes for the jugular; in other words, “Admit it, Hezekiah. You know that your God is on my side.” And like all good deception, it would have been easy for Hezekiah and his men to believe this one. After all, hadn’t the Assyrians been wildly successful? Surely, God must be on their side. Didn’t they have the most powerful army? Surely, God must be on their side. Then he moves in with a finishing blow: “The LORD said to me, “Go up against this land, and destroy it”. “Hezekiah, God told me to destroy you. I’m just doing His will, and there is nothing you can do to stop it, so you may as well surrender.”
Verses 11-20: The Rabshakeh Sows the Seed of Doubt in the Hearts of the People
It was a difficult situation for the leaders in Hezekiah’s government. It was bad enough that they had to hear these words themselves, but because he was speaking in Hebrew, everyone could hear, become discouraged and possibly ask the king to surrender so they appealed for him to speak in Aramaic
But the Rabshakeh would not have it. The more fear, discouragement, and despair he can spread, the better. He pointed forward to what conditions would be like in Jerusalem after an extended siege (that people will eat and drink their own waste). He wanted this to disgust everyone who heard it, and he wanted to magnify the sense of fear, discouragement, and despair.
And then, in verse 16, Sennacherib’s devilish ultimatum was given by the Rabshakeh: “Thus says the king of Assyria: Make your peace with me.” “Don’t trust the Lord. Don’t listen to Hezekiah. Trust me. If you don’t, we’ll besiege your city and cause you unimaginable pain and suffering. You will perish unless you follow me. But in reality, the Lord was not against His covenant people. He had not deceived them. Rather, He had brought them to the end of their resources so that Judah might depend upon her God in wholehearted trust. The Rabshakeh’s speech was going on well until he overstepped in verse 20. “Who among all the gods of these lands have delivered their countries from my hand, that the Lord should deliver Jerusalem from my hand?’ ”
The gods of other nations have not been able to protect them against us. Your God is just like one of them and can’t protect you either. It is one thing to speak against Judah, its people and leaders. It was another thing altogether to mock the Lord God of Israel this way and count Him as “just another god.” And just like the officer in 2 Kings 7:2 who ran his mouth challenging Elisha and consequently, the Almighty God by saying: “That couldn’t happen even if the LORD opened the windows of heaven!”
Verses 21-22: CONCLUSION
Hezekiah had instructed the leaders not to argue with the Rabshakeh but to give him the silent treatment. King Hezekiah was wise enough to make this command, and his officials and the people were wise enough to obey him. It is often useless – if not dangerous – to try and match wits with demonic logic. It is much better to keep silent and trust God, instead of trying to win an argument. We can never win the battle with the enemy in the place of reason but the place of faith.
Parts of this study was culled from
Wednesday, July 05 2023
Contributor: Tobi Morakinyo
THE CHARACTERISTIC OF GOD’S RESTORATION FOR THE REGATHERED ISRAEL
1. Restoration Land And The Glory Of Cities (Verses 1-2,7)
(vs.7) And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water:
Isaiah 34:9-15 describes the desolation that will befall Edom, symbolizing a proud nation opposed to God, leading it to become a "Land of Nothing." However, in contrast, after God's judgment is lifted and His Kingdom is established, the once deserted and ruined land and cities will undergo a remarkable transformation. Instead of desolation, there will be joy, rejoicing, and abundant growth, likened to the blossoming of a rose. This flourishing will be widespread, with biodiversity restored to previously barren places, resulting in great joy and singing. This imagery represents a complete and joyful renewal, where life emerges and fills the once barren land. The glory of cities such as Lebanon, Carmel, and Sharon will also be restored (Zech 11:1-2; Isaiah 60:13; Ps. 92:12).
Practical applications for daily life
2. Restoration Of Physical Health And Vitality (Verses 3-6)
The impending judgment could easily weaken anyone's hands and make their knees feeble. However, considering the magnificent restoration that God will bring about, it is not a time for weakness or hesitation (Hebrews 12:12). Especially for the regathered Israel and surviving believers, God desires them to be strong. After experiencing the horrors of the great tribulation, it is natural for survivors to be filled with fear. However, upon the return of the Lord, fear will dissipate, and a profound faith will be reignited within the hearts of people. The reign of our Lord will be days of miraculous power just like it happened during His ministry, there will be widespread healings and restoration of physical health.
Practical applications for daily life
- Present day believers with weakened hands (lacking in diligent service to the Lord) and feeble knees (struggling to walk closely with the Lord and pray fervently) can find encouragement in this promise. It assures them that they can receive divine strength and spiritual vitality to carry them through the remaining journey of their Christian walk.
- God is never late! When fully trusted, He will surely come and save His people to the uttermost (Hebrew 7:25). In our present trials, we need the strong hope of the LORD to overcome our fearful hearts by the assured confidence that He will come and save.
3. Restoration Of Spiritual Life - The Highway Of Holiness (Verses 8-10)
The "highway of Holiness" symbolizes a path of holiness, righteousness, and obedience to God. During the millennial kingdom, holiness will prevail due to the righteous reign and the binding of Satan, limiting his corrupting influence. Consequently, the majority of those living in the millennial kingdom will be saved, although a rebellion may occur among those who are not truly saved towards the end of the Millennium. The highway of holiness has three important characteristics.
1. (vs.8) The highway of holiness is a is a place of holiness, a path exclusively for the righteous; the unclean and wicked fools are not welcome. The way of holiness is made possible solely through Christ, who, in exchange for our sins, offers His perfect righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21).
2. (vs.9) The highway of holiness is a place of safety, set apart for the redeemed of the Lord. It represents the safety and protection that God's people will find on this path without the fear of lions and ravenous beasts. The redeemed of the Lord will walk there in peace and safety.
3. (vs 10) The highway of holiness will be a place of joy. The path of holiness will be filled with indescribable joy, as the joy of the Lord becomes the strength of His people. All those who have been redeemed by the Lord will enter the millennial kingdom with great rejoicing.
Practical applications for daily life