TODAY’S READING: ISAIAH 32-39
Israel’s deliverance through Messiah’s reign; woe against Assyria; destruction of the Gentile nations; blessings in the Millennial Kingdom; the invasion of the Babylonians under Sennacherib; Hezekiah’s consultation with Isaiah; Hezekiah’s dependence and trust in the Lord; Hezekiah’s illness and recovery; Hezekiah’s foolish reception of the Babylonian messengers; Israel’s captivity into Babylon foretold.
HIGHLIGHTS & INSIGHTS:
As we pick up in chapter 32 today, Isaiah points us to that time in the Millennium when, “Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgment.” This is the same time to which John was referring in the Book of Revelation when he wrote, “[Thou] hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth” (Rev. 5:10); “…But they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years” (Rev. 20:6). Isaiah said that that time would be when “the spirit [would] be poured upon us from on high.” It is a prophecy concerning the “last days” which actually kicked in and were partially fulfilled on the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2 (see Acts 2:16-17 specifically), but were put on hold after the stoning of Stephen in Acts 7. They will pick up again during the Tribulation Period after the “parenthesis” of the “Church Age.” (also see Isa. 44:3; Ezek. 36:25-27; Joel 2:28-32).
In chapter 33 we pick up the sixth and final “woe.” This woe is pronounced on Assyria. Isaiah prophesies that the Assyrians, under Sennacherib would bring Judah into subjection, forcing them to pay annual tribute (taxes), while demanding their total surrender. The Lord promises deliverance from the Assyrians, and uses the occasion, as we have consistently seen Him do, to point to the fact that there will come a time (in the Millennial Kingdom) when the nations of the world will never be a threat to Israel again. The righteous will then live in peace with their Messiah: “For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king: he will save us” (33:22).
In chapters 34 and 35, just as we saw in chapters 24-27, the Lord goes from talking about the judgment of Assyria (chapter 33), to the universal judgment of the Gentile nations which will be fulfilled at Armageddon (Rev.19:11-21). Notice how God points to the universality of this judgment in 34:1 through the words ”nations,” “people,” “earth,” and “world.” At the Second Coming of Christ when the Lord Jesus Christ establishes His Millennial reign on the earth, Isaiah points to the physical (35:3-6) and spiritual (35:7-10) changes that will then take place on the earth. Verse 8 says, “And an highway shall be there.” You’ve gotta love it, it’s called, “The way of holiness,” and only “the redeemed (those who have been bought by the blood of the King of kings, the Lord Jesus Christ) shall walk there” (35:9)!
Chapter 36, all the way to 38:8 parallels what we saw in II Kings 18:17-20:11. The highlight for me is when threatened by the Assyrians, King Hezekiah looks to Isaiah, God’s man (37:1-2), and to God Himself for help (37:14-15). The proud Assyrians warned Hezekiah not to trust the Lord to deliver them, and notice what Hezekiah did with the letter: “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” (37:14-15). How is the Devil seeking to intimidate you today? Follow Hezekiah’s example! The New Testament equivalent is Philippians 4:6-7: “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Because of Hezekiah’s dependence and trust in the Lord, t!
he Lord promised to protect Jerusalem and deliver His believing remnant. That night the Lord destroyed 185,000 Assyrian soldiers, and Sennacherib (the loudmouth, boastful “intimidator”) went back home with his tail between his legs!
When Hezekiah got sick (38:1), he prayed that the Lord would spare his life. The Lord answered his prayer, granting him 15 more years. When the Babylonians heard that he had recovered from his sickness (39:1), they sent messengers and a present to him. Hezekiah foolishly received them, and showed them all of the immensity and glory of the treasures in Solomon’s Temple. As a result, Isaiah prophesied that they would return and carry away all of the treasures they had seen, along with all of God’s people into Babylonian captivity.
One thing to note about chapters 38 and 39 in today’s reading: they actually precede chapters 36 and 37 from a chronological standpoint, but they are placed where they are because they anticipate the Babylonian captivity, which is the subject matter in chapters 40-66. Also be reminded that chapter 39 ends the section of Isaiah representing the 39 Books of the Old Testament.
SPECIFIC REFERENCES TO “THE DAY OF THE LORD”:
34:8 – “the day of the Lord’s vengeance”
34:8 – “the year of recompense for the controversy of Zion”
35:4 – “God will come with vengeance”
35:4 – “God [will come] with a recompense”
37:3 – “a day of trouble”
38:1 – “in those days” (more specifically, Tribulation Period)
CHRIST IS REVEALED:
As the ONE WHO WIELDS “THE SWORD OF THE LORD” IN JUDGMENT – Isa. 34:6 (Rev. 19:15).