The Condemnation of Man’s Kingdoms Isaiah 1-39, cont’d.
Isaiah 36-39 The Condemnation of Assyria’s Kingdom, cont’d.
Isaiah 39:1-Almost a decade has passed (701 B.C.) since the king of Assyria had tried to conquer Jerusalem, and failed. Now, Merodachbaladan, king of Babylon, (712 B.C) sends presents to Hezekiah in an effort to enlist him to fight against Assyria (Babylon was a vassal state to Assyria). Two years later, Sargon, the new king of Assyria, captured Babylon (cf. 2 Kings 20:12ff).
Isaiah 39:2-Hezekiah was impressed that Merodachbaladan would send him gifts. So, he showed off his possessions to his representatives. He allowed his pride to become a problem.
Isaiah 39:3-8-Isaiah confronted Hezekiah and asked him what he had done. When he told him, Isaiah said that the day would come when everything that he has would be taken to Babylon and that some of his descendents would be officials in the Babylonian court. Hezekiah did not realize that Isaiah was talking about God’s judgment for his pride and that they would be conquered. But he thought that Isaiah was talking about something good that would happen to them (:8).
The Exaltation of God’s Kingdom Isaiah 40-66
This is the second section of Isaiah. It is a message of promised restoration to the land (40-48), the coming of the Messiah (49-57), and the millennial blessings of Israel (58-66). The nation had not yet gone into exile...and these chapters speak of a time beyond that terrible event in their history.
Isaiah 40-48 God is Sovereign over Those in His Kingdom
His Sovereignty is Seen in His Care for Judah Isaiah 40:1-11
Isaiah 40:1-4-Isaiah speaks of the release of Judah from captivity and the comfort that they will receive (:1-2). This comfort is based on the greatness of God...and Israel is to proclaim that greatness to all the nations, "Here is your God!" (:9).
40:3-5 These verses have immediate reference to the Lord going before the people as they made the 900-mile journey from Babylon to Palestine. They are also applied to the ministry of John the Baptist, who prepared the way for Christ’s ministry of eternal salvation (Matt. 3:3).
The Ryrie Study Bible, footnote on Isaiah 40:3-5, p. 1069
- His word to His people lasts forever and is certain (:6-8).
- He rewards His people (:10).
- He is like a shepherd to His people (:11).
His Sovereignty is Seen in His Rule over Creation Isaiah 40:12-31
- His abilities have no comparison (:12).
- His knowledge has no limits (:13-17).
- He glorious appearance is without comparison (:18-20).
- His reign is universal (:21-26).
- His awareness is never-ending (:27-31).
Prayer: Father, help me to know You in all of Your fullness…not just in part. The more I know about You…the more I trust You.