Week #91; Wed, Sep 25: Isaiah 38:1-44:28

PERSONAL OBSERVATIONS:
1. This posting completes the 3rd quarter for 2019, only five more quarters to go to complete this 3-Year study of the ESV.

  • Inference: God’s word is one book. By this point in a complete Bible reading, it is hard to miss how the prophets point to Jesus who is anchored in all of the Old Testament. Isaiah 40-44 pertains to these connections.

CHAPTER OBSERVATIONS:
Isaiah 38, Hezekiah’s Sickness and Recovery
1. King Hezekiah became sick (a boil per 38:21) and was at the point of death and Isaiah, the prophet, came to him. (38:1; 2 Chron. 32:24-33)

  • Inference: When Isaiah came to Hezekiah, he  said, “Thus says the Lord; Set your house in order, for you shall die, you shall not recover.” (38:1)
  • Inference: Then Hezekiah turned to the wall and prayed, “Please, O Lord, remember how I have walked before you in faithfulness and with a whole heart, and have done what is good in your sight.” (38:2-3)
  • Inference: “And Hezekiah wept bitterly.” (38:3)

2. “Then the word of the Lord came to Isaiah: ‘Go and say to Hezekiah, Thus says the Lord, the God of David your father: I have heard your prayer; I have seen your tears. Behold, I will add fifteen years to your life. I will deliver you and this city out of the hand of the the king of Assyria, and will defend this city.” (38:4-6)

  • Inference: “This shall be the sign to you from the Lord, that the Lord will do this thing that he has promised: ‘Behold, I will make the shadow cast by the declining sun on the dial of Ahaz turn back ten steps.'” (38:7-8)

3. After King Hezekiah recovered, he wrote a lengthy lament moaning of oppression and bitterness as his extended life nears an end. He also lifts up heartfelt thanksgiving for his salvation. (38:9-20)

  • Inference: “Now Isaiah had said, ‘Let them take a cake of figs and apply it to the boil, that he may recover.'” (38:21, 2 Kings 20:7)
  • Inference: “Hezekiah also had said, ‘What is the sign that I shall go up to the house of the Lord?'” (38:22, 2 Kings 20:8)

Isaiah 39, Envoys from Babylon
1. “At that time Merodach-baladan the son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent envoys with letters and a present to Hezekiah, for he heard that he had been sick and had recovered. And Hezekiah welcomed them gladly. And he showed them his treasure house, the silver, the gold, the spices, the precious oil, his whole armory, all that was found in his storehouses. There was nothing in his house or in all his realm that Hezekiah did not show them.” (39:1-2, 2 Kings 20:12-19)

  • Inference: “Then Isaiah the prophet came to King Hezekiah, and said to him, ‘What did these men say? And from where did they come to you?’ Hezekiah said, ‘They have come to me from a far country, from Babylon.’ He said, ‘What have they seen in your house?’ Hezekiah answered, ‘They have seen all that is in my house. There is nothing in my storehouses that I did not show them.'” (39:3-4)

2. “Then Isaiah said to Hezkiah, ‘Hear the word of the Lord of hosts: Behold, the days are coming, when all that is in your house, and that which your fathers have stored up till this day, shall be carried to Babylon. Nothing shall be left, says the Lord. And some of your own sons, who will come from you, whom you will father, shall be taken away, and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.'” (39:5-7)

  • Inference: “Then said Hezekiah to Isaiah, ‘The word of the Lord that you have spoken is good.’ For he thought, “There will be peace and security in my days.'” (39:8)

Isaiah 40, Comfort for God’s People
1. “Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that her welfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned, that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.” (40:1-2)

  • Inference: “A voice cries: In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” (40:3-5)

2. “A voice says, ‘Cry!’ And I said, ‘What shall I cry?’ All flesh is grass, and all its beauty is like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades when the breath of the Lord blows on it; surely the people are grass. The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.” (40:6-8)

  • Inference: “Behold, the Lord God comes with might, and his arm rules for him; behold, his reward is with him, and his recompense before him. He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young.” (40:10-11, Rev. 22:12) [Jesus can be seen here]

3. Do you not know? Do you not hear? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth? It is he who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers; who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them like a tent to dwell in; who brings princes to nothing, and makes the rulers of the earth as emptiness.” (40:21-23)

  • Inference: “Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. (40:28)
  • Inference: “He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. (40:29-31)

Isaiah 41, Fear Not, For I Am with You
1. “Who stirred up one from the east whom victory meets at every step? He gives up nations before him, so that he tramples kings underfoot; he makes them like dust with his sword, like driven stubble with his bow. He pursues them and passes on safely, by paths his feet have not trod. Who has performed and done this, calling the generations from the beginning? (41:2-4)

  • Inference: “I, the Lord, the first, and with the last; I am he.” (41:4)

2. “But you, Israel, my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, the offspring of Abraham, my friend; you whom I took from the ends of the earth, and called from its farthest corners, saying to you, ‘You are my servant, I have chosen you and not cast you off’; fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (41:8-10)

  • Inference: “Behold, all who are incensed against you shall be put to shame and confounded; those who strive against you shall be as nothing and shall perish.” (41:11)

3. Regarding the futility of idols, “Set forth your case, says the Lord; bring your proofs, says the King of Jacob. Let them bring them, and tell us what is to happen.” (41:21-22)

  • Inference: “Behold, you are nothing, and your work is less than nothing; an abomination is he who chooses you.” (41:24)
  • Inference: “Behold, they are all a delusion; their works are nothing; their metal images are empty wind.” (41:29)

Isaiah 42, The Lord’s Chosen Servant
1. “Behold my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights; I have put my Spirit upon him; he will bring forth justice to the nations. He will not cry aloud or lift up his voice, or make it heard in the street; a bruised reed he will not break, and a faintly burning wick he will not quench; he will faithfully bring forth justice. He will not grow faint or be discouraged till he has established justice in the earth; and the coastlands wait for his law.” (42:1-4) [Jesus can be seen here]

  • Inference: “I am the Lord; I have called you in righteousness; I will take you by the hand and keep you; I will give you as a covenant for the people, a light for the nations, to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness.” (42:8-9)

2. “Sing to the Lord a new song, his praise from the end of the earth, you who go down to the sea, and all that fills it, the coastlands and their inhabitants.” (42:10)

  • Inference: “And I will lead the blind in a way that they do not know, in paths that they have not known I will guide them.” (42:16
  • Inference: “They are turned back and utterly put to shame, who trust in carved idols, who say to metal images, ‘You are our gods.'” (42:-1)

3. “Who among you will give ear to this, will attend and listen for the time to come? (42:23)

  • Inference: “Who gave up Jacob to the looter, and Israel to the plunderers? Was it not the Lord, against whom we have sinned, in whose ways they would not walk, and whose law they would not obey?” (42:24)

Isaiah 43, Israel’s Only Savior
1. “But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.” (43:1-3)

  • Inference: “For I am the Lord your God, the Holy one of Israel, your Savior.” (43:3)

2. “Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you, I give men in return for you, peoples in exchange for your life.” (43:4)

  • Inference: “Fear not, for I am with you, peoples in exchange for your life. Fear not, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, and from the west I will gather you.” (43:5)

3. “‘You are my witnesses,’ declares the Lord, ‘and my servant whom I have chosen, that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he.’ Before me no god was formed, nor shall there be any after me. I, I am the Lord, and besides me there is o savior.” (43:10) [Jesus can be seen here]

  • Inference: “I am the Lord, your Holy  One, the Creator of Israel, your King.” (43:15)

4. “Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?” (43:19)

  • Inference: “I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. The wild beasts will honor me, the jackals and the ostriches, for I give water in the wilderness, rivers in the desert, to give drink to my chosen people, the people whom I formed for myself that they might declare my praise.” (43:19-21)

5. “I, I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins.” (43:25)

  • Inference: “Your first father sinned, and you mediators transgressed against me. Therefore I will profane the princes of the sanctuary, and deliver Jacob to utter destruction and Israel to reviling.” (43:27-28)

Isaiah 44, Israel the Lord’s Chosen
1. “But now hear, O Jacob my servant, Israel whom I have chosen! Thus says the Lord who made you, who formed you from the womb and will help you: Fear not, O Jacob my servant, Jeshurun whom I have chosen.” (44:1-2)

  • Inference: “For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour my Spirit upon your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants.” (44:3)

2. “Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god. Who is like me? Let him proclaim it. Let him declare and set it before me, since I appointed an ancient people. Let them declare what is to come, and what will happen.” (44:6-8) [Jesus can be seen here]

  • Inference: “Fear not, nor be afraid; have I not told you from of old and declared it? And you are my witnesses! Is there a God besides me? There is no Rock; I know not any.” (44:8)

3. “All who fashion idols are nothing, and the things they delight in do not profit.” (44:9)

  • Inference: “Their witnesses neither see nor know, that they may be put to shame.” (44:9)

4. “Remember these things, O Jacob, and Israel, for you are my servant; I formed you; you are my servant; O Israel, you will not be forgotten by me. I have blotted out your transgressions like a cloud and your sins like mist; return to me, for I have redeemed you.” (44:21-22)

  • Inference: “Sing, O heavens, for the Lord has done it; shout, O depths of the earth; break forth into singing, O mountains, O forest, and every tree in it! For the Lord has redeemed Jacob, and will be glorified in Israel.” (44:23)

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