Isaiah 39-40

is39.jpgGreetings!  Hezekiah had his life spared for 15 years, but he turns around and makes a foolish mistake.  Note his selfishness in v. 8!  Isaiah’s prophecy was amazing because Babylon was under Assyria at the time.

Envoys From Babylon

39     At that time Merodach-Baladan son of Baladan king of Babylon sent Hezekiah letters and a gift, because he had heard of his illness and recovery. 2 Hezekiah received the envoys gladly and showed them what was in his storehouses—the silver, the gold, the spices, the fine oil, his entire armory and everything found among his treasures. There was nothing in his palace or in all his kingdom that Hezekiah did not show them.

3 Then Isaiah the prophet went to King Hezekiah and asked, “What did those men say, and where did they come from?”

“From a distant land,” Hezekiah replied. “They came to me from Babylon.”

4 The prophet asked, “What did they see in your palace?”

“They saw everything in my palace,” Hezekiah said. “There is nothing among my treasures that I did not show them.”

5 Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Hear the word of the Lord Almighty: 6 The time will surely come when everything in your palace, and all that your fathers have stored up until this day, will be carried off to Babylon. Nothing will be left, says the Lord. 7 And some of your descendants, your own flesh and blood who will be born to you, will be taken away, and they will become eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.”

8 “The word of the Lord you have spoken is good,” Hezekiah replied. For he thought, “There will be peace and security in my lifetime.”

Comfort for God’s People

40     Comfort, comfort my people,

says your God.

2 Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,

and proclaim to her

that her hard service has been completed,

that her sin has been paid for,

that she has received from the Lord’s hand

double for all her sins.

3 A voice of one calling:

“In the desert prepare

the way for the Lord;

make straight in the wilderness

a highway for our God.

John the Baptist used v. 3 when telling people to prepare for the coming Messiah in Matthew 3:3.

4 Every valley shall be raised up,

every mountain and hill made low;

the rough ground shall become level,

the rugged places a plain.

5 And the glory of the Lord will be revealed,

and all mankind together will see it. For the mouth of the

Lord has spoken.”

6 A voice says, “Cry out.”

And I said, “What shall I cry?”

“All men are like grass,

and all their glory is like the flowers of the field.

7 The grass withers and the flowers fall,

because the breath of the Lord blows on them.

Surely the people are grass.

8 The grass withers and the flowers fall,

but the word of our God stands forever.”

In contrast to v. 8, many Christians scoff at the timeless word of God and instead think that people are the focal point of the universe. 

9 You who bring good tidings to Zion,

go up on a high mountain.

You who bring good tidings to Jerusalem,

lift up your voice with a shout,

lift it up, do not be afraid;

say to the towns of Judah,

“Here is your God!”

10 See, the Sovereign Lord comes with power,

and his arm rules for him.

See, his reward is with him,

and his recompense accompanies him.

11 He tends his flock like a shepherd:

He gathers the lambs in his arms

and carries them close to his heart;

he gently leads those that have young.

12 Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand,

or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens?

Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket,

or weighed the mountains on the scales

and the hills in a balance?

13 Who has understood the mind of

the Lord,

or instructed him as his counselor?

14 Whom did the Lord consult to enlighten him,

and who taught him the right way?

Who was it that taught him knowledge

or showed him the path of understanding?

15 Surely the nations are like a drop in a bucket;

they are regarded as dust on the scales;

he weighs the islands as though they were fine dust.

That passage helps put things in perspective.  We sometimes analyze God as if He had to answer to us.  But who are we?!  His creation!  We have nothing to offer him except our faith.

16 Lebanon is not sufficient for altar fires,

nor its animals enough for burnt offerings.

17 Before him all the nations are as nothing;

they are regarded by him as worthless

and less than nothing.

18 To whom, then, will you compare God?

What image will you compare him to?

19 As for an idol, a craftsman casts it,

and a goldsmith overlays it with gold

and fashions silver chains for it.

20 A man too poor to present such an offering

selects wood that will not rot.

He looks for a skilled craftsman

to set up an idol that will not topple.

21 Do you not know?

Have you not heard?

Has it not been told you from the beginning?

Have you not understood since the earth was founded?

22 He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth,

and its people are like grasshoppers.

He stretches out the heavens like a canopy,

and spreads them out like a tent to live in.

23 He brings princes to naught

and reduces the rulers of this world to nothing.

24 No sooner are they planted,

no sooner are they sown,

no sooner do they take root in the ground,

than he blows on them and they wither,

and a whirlwind sweeps them away like chaff.

25 “To whom will you compare me?

Or who is my equal?” says the Holy One.

26 Lift your eyes and look to the heavens:

Who created all these?

He who brings out the starry host one by one,

and calls them each by name.

Because of his great power and mighty strength,

not one of them is missing.

27 Why do you say, O Jacob,

and complain, O Israel,

“My way is hidden from the Lord;

my cause is disregarded by my God”?

28 Do you not know?

Have you not heard?

The Lord is the everlasting God,

the Creator of the ends of the earth.

He will not grow tired or weary,

and his understanding no one can fathom.

29 He gives strength to the weary

and increases the power of the weak.

30 Even youths grow tired and weary,

and young men stumble and fall;

31 but those who hope in the Lord

will renew their strength.

They will soar on wings like eagles;

they will run and not grow weary,

they will walk and not be faint.

The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

Verse 31 is a famous verse, and a good one to commit to memory. 

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