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Archive for September, 2016

Hezekiah’s Prayer

Interesting the difference ‘punctuation’ makes . . . if you notice it. I was so familiar with the way Mark wrote it; “A voice of one calling in the desert, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord’”, that I almost missed the way Isaiah wrote it. “A voice of one calling: ‘In the desert prepare the way for the Lord’”. Hezekiah’s calling out to God, prepared the way for God to turn discipline into restoration. It pleased God that Hezekiah regarded his ability.

In my concern for our country, this story challenges me to lean more into God. Realizing through Isaiah’s writings that he brings princes to nothing, I have confidence in his ability. God is able to accomplish all that he pleases. Very little pleases him more than for us to regard that fact about him.

I’m glad Facebook wasn’t around then. Can you imagine the different outcome had Hezekiah taken his request to Facebook? There is a place for everything. I won’t quit posting altogether; but my postings will be tempered differently now. It will no longer be my goal to present my case for one candidate or the other; but rather for the fact that God desires of us all that we present our cases to him.

By nothing more than a prayer – one man presenting his case to God – of the Assyrian army that had Hezekiah and his people surrounded, 185,000 men woke up dead. The rest went home . . . and stayed there.

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Isaiah’s Message

Interesting the difference ‘punctuation’ makes . . . if you notice it. I was so familiar with the way Mark wrote it; “A voice of one calling in the desert, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord’”, that I almost missed the way Isaiah wrote it. “A voice of one calling: ‘In the desert prepare the way for the Lord”.

In the context of the previous chapters, Jerusalem was experiencing God’s discipline. In the previous 3 chapters, Hezekiah boldly turns to God for help. As a result, God turns. The discipline ends and restoration begins. In a prayer, God goes from “cleansing the bloodstains from Jerusalem by a spirit of judgment and a spirit of fire”, to, “Comfort, comfort my people”. 

“Speak tenderly to Jerusalem”, “her sin has been paid for”. God heard the “voice of one (Hezekiah) calling”. In his desert experience, he called. It prepared the way for the Lord. It made a straight highway on which God could travel. 

In our desert, sometimes the only thing standing between God coming to our rescue or not, is whether or not we take the time to call. “A voice says, ‘Cry out.’” We are encouraged to cry out to a God who “brings princes to nothing”.

It is the message of the entire book of Isaiah. “Come and let us reason together.” To a people who had disregarded him, he simply asks that we remember who he is; and that in remembering, we come to him.

 

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