Sabbatical 2017

Sabbatical 2017
The Jane Austen Centre and Regency Tea Room in Bath, England

Friday, July 22, 2016

Chronological Reading Plan for July 23, Isaiah 35-36

Today's readings are Isaiah 35-36. Tomorrow's are Isaiah 37-39, Psalms 76.

Isaiah 35 is transitional. It promises delivery and redemption for those carried away. God will reveal Himself to "those who walk in the way" (Is 35:8) and they will live in peace. 

The promise of peace seems particularly poignant as the prophecies of destruction begin to come true in Judah in Isaiah 36. A representative of the king of Assyria shows up mocking God and king Hezekiah and threatening destruction unless they abandon their God and turn to the king of Assyria for their provision and protection. 

This is exactly what Israel, the northern kingdom, did to disastrous results. It is  a dark hour for Jerusalem and Judah who have been living in relative prosperity up to this point. The safe choice seems to be to accede to the threats of the king. But, that would mean turning their backs on the One who promised them peace if they remained faithful.   

Isaiah 36 ends with Hezekiah's messengers tearing their clothes, an act of grief, and taking the message to their king.

As believers in Christ, we have similar promises. It can be difficult to remember those promises when our circumstances threaten to overwhelm us. It can be easy to question the promise and trust the situation. It takes fortitude and bold commitment to hold on to the promise when all the evidence seems to indicate we should bow to our fears and doubts. 

It will be interesting to see what Hezekiah and his people do. 

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