Hezekiah’s faith in God during the crisis of the Assyrian invasion was a rare demonstration trust in those days. The people of God had largely ceased to be people of God. They carried the Name but they did not possess genuine faith. Thus, God brought judgment upon His people.
Yet, this judgment was not banishment. It was not a judgment leading to extinction. Rather, God’s judgment prepared the way forward. It created the conditions for HOPE! These truths should bring sweeping hope and encouragement to us today!
God is SO faithful to His Word – always keeping His promises! He is SO patient with His people – abundant in mercy and always extending grace! He is SO holy and righteous in all that He does. He is great and He is good. Yet, though He is all of these things, His people constantly turn from Him.
They willfully ignore His law and chafe at His commands. They even turn to declare their devotion to idols or fake deities fabricated by human imagination. Ultimately, they declare their trust in themselves and spurn their glorious and mighty God. Yet, God is relentless in His pursuit of them… and US.
You see, we’re often a lot more like the nation of Israel than we’d care to admit. We often willfully neglect His word and chafe at His commands. Moreover, we too find it so tempting to simply trust in our own strength and the resources society offers instead of declaring our dependance upon our Almighty God and His unending stockpiles of resources.
Last week we began to work through a brief survey of the Old Testament in order to situate the book of Isaiah in the context of the OT and build a bridge to the 40th chapter. After establishing the main theme of all of history (God and His glory), we glanced at its storyline from 20,000 feet – Creation, Fall, Redemption, and Restoration. We then began to look at a few of the major moments in God’s redemption story. We’ll continue this tomorrow and will, Lord-willing, grow in our understanding and appreciation of God’s amazing redemptive work.
For many, the Old Testament is intimidating – it’s large and often confusing. For others, the Old Testament is alarming – God seems harsh as opposed to the gracious God of the NT. A common denominator for both, however, is unfamiliarity. We can be 100% convinced that serious study in the Old Testament will serve to demonstrate that the Old Testament is much easier to understand than you may think, and that it’s God is unquestionably the same!