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Logo of Talking Points, 1st Quarter 2021: Isaiah

07- Isaiah: Defeat of the Assyrians

Mark Howard Kameron DeVasher
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  • February 5, 2021
    11:30 AM
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I'm Cameron division and I'm Mark Howard and this is talking points or in the 7th lesson of our 1st quarter of 2021 covering the book of Isaiah and this is a lesson in title defeat of the Assyrians and Pastor Howard one thing I'm particularly excited about this week is we have a simple straightforward powerful beautiful narrative Yes You know we're not you know if you talk trying to go from prophecy 4 chapters yet it's a good time to screw machine and it's be simple as can be clear and I think the Lord is going to bless because I love this story yes the lessons we can draw from it so. Let's go over a little bit. Well should we do more talking points or should have prayer 1st let's just do prayer and then you want to walk through the talking Sure let's do this desperate Heavenly Father thank You for the opportunity to study your word and thank you particularly for the lessons that we can draw from this week's study please help us to have the faith that will take you at your word and stand for the right though the heavens fall bless us today for prayed in Jesus' name amen amen Oh you did mention I have to say this is one of my favorite stories in the Bible just a powerful example of God's power may have his people and the defeat of the Assyrians of course we've been reading through Isaiah this the Assyrian this loop now Reza yes is growing and there was of course the Northern Kingdom was trying to push against and you have that connecting with the Syrians not the Syrian right in the whole issue there with a has some years ago well now that Assyrian power has conquered the Northern Kingdom and they're coming to conquer judo during the reign of King has a kind of right Very simply put Well in fact I think Sunday the 1st 3 paragraphs Sunday. Really bring us to up to speed as to where we are here beginning in Isaiah 36 so I don't know if you want to read that sure Sunday the 1st 3 paragraphs set up when Faith was a has died and his faithful son Hezekiah succeeded him Hezekiah inherited a kingdom that had lost full independence having purchased a Syrian aid against the alliance of Syria and northern Israel Judah was forced to continue paying quote protection money in the form of tribute to a Syria so let's hit the pause button you remember back when we talked about a has how he went to take that police or and asked him to do you know and remember that that's when the Lord sent Isaiah and he was trying to tell him this isn't a good idea but he went with it anyway well now he's put Israel not only in a position or Judah rather not only in a position of of giving tribute money incidentally the tribute much of that tribute money was coming from stripping things off the temple to pay. And I used to wonder to myself because you know the rain has a coyote who is one of the best the greatest kings of Israel and he was taking stuff out of the temple to pay but he was just trying to honor. That leeway has it already done but in the meantime. You know he maintained his face going to stick out which we'll see in the story so Ok we'll continue saying when the Assyrian king sorry on the 2nd died on a distant battlefield and was succeeded by some neck or Evan 7 o 5 b c a Syria appeared vulnerable evidence from a Syrian and biblical text reveals that Hezekiah seize this opportunity to rebel taking aggressive actions at the ring as the ringleader of an anti Assyrian revolt among the small nations in his region. Unfortunately for him Hezekiah had underestimated the resilience of a serious might and 701 b.c. when the Neckar of his subdued other parts of his empire he lashed out against Syria Palestine and with devastating forced and ravaged Judah. When Hezekiah saw this neck room intended to take Jerusalem the capital city he made extensive preparation for a confrontation with a Syria he strengthened his fortifications further equipped and organized his army and increase the queue security of Jerusalem's water supply the remarkable Siloam water tunnel commemorated by an inscription telling how it was constructed almost certainly dates to Hezekiah as preparation for a potential see so that's a great lead in here in as to where we are and it's really interesting when you look at the whole idea of. Hezekiah in the light of this great deliverance that this lesson covers this week how do you lose to the Assyrians when he tried his so one of the things to keep in mind is God is still permitted Assyria to conquer the northern kingdom and to do what they've done to Judah and Jerusalem because of their own transgression so he's allowed this to a point. But yet in the midst of that we see that when his people turn back to him and Hezekiah specifically that then God comes to their defense their aides are as just well especially allowing it to that point and they like to say when they turn to sing the so clearly it is another remarkable reminder of the power of the true God of heaven so it brings us into we have is never a talking point yet so let's go over what that brings us into this account this week of this. Threat from Assyria and God's deliverance and aftermath so our 1st talking point this week is that there is power in unity in highlight the specifics of that from drawing from Monday and Tuesday lessons this week is our 2nd talking point is that faith moves mountains I thought about calling it faith can move mountains but. I wanted to be more definitive and I think the lesson that we need to. When you say faith can move mountains it's kind of a lack of faith in a. So we'll get into that as well faith moves mountains which really do you believe you like less of a kid I mean if it were me of my. Possibly maybe sometime faith moves mountains drawing from Wednesday's lesson and then Point number 3 Talking point number 3 don't miss the opportunity to share the gospel move and that is drawn from there is a very very powerful close to this one that's a great story all right but let's go back to talking point number one there's unity I mean there's power in unity again from Monday through Tuesday where does this come from what was Ok and now we've brought up before that you might come up with different points in fact I came up with all the talking points when I read through these chapters and I hadn't even looked at the lesson yet and then I probably had a look at the lesson and throw some less a judge or a little bit easier the things that jumped out at me and you might see why I relate to this is we go in Chapter $36.00 the 1st verse of Chapter $36.00 verse one of Isaiah is now came to pass in the 14th year of King has a. King of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities of Judah and took them then the King of Assyria sent the Reb Checa and that's a Assyrian word for it that's a word for a chief of chief butler or chief Prince or teacher if I get heat officer of the Assyrians obviously representative of the king the king of Assyria sent a rep Checa with a great army from a quiche to King has a Drew slim and he stood by the outward up from the upper pool on the highway to the Fullers field and I can the son of Hilkiah who was over the household shipment descrive And Joe of the son of a sas the recorder came out to him then the ramshackle said to them say now to Hezekiah of us says the great king the king of Assyria what confidence is this in which you trust and then go on to talk about IJA. Not trusting in Egypt when they talk about why you're you know why aren't you afraid of us and you trusting in your God and you're trusting in this and you're trusting in horses and so he comes to threaten people and pretty clearly Ok And what's interesting about this is that when you read through the account of Chapter 36 he's really trying to shake up the people in divide them and to get them. To lose their confidence in leadership and what have you because notice he's speaking to Hezekiah but in front of all the people he's let's remember the fact that here this at one point in the in the narrative the leaders say hey why don't you just talk to us in the Assyrian language we understand it knows him a private meeting about this look at 80 we can come to some kind of agreement and not get the people all rattled and then he just talk to louder in the common language and what are we here to just talk to you or you to talk to them because they're going to eat their waste with you and all this other stuff and we lays siege the city so they're just trying he tries to terrify the people with the threat of the conquest he also brings up in verses 6 and 7 I found this interesting he says. But 7 but if you say to me we trust in the Lord our God and those l. or d. is capitalized there which the Bible translators do that when it's the proper name of God This isn't talking about a guy and some of the god Jehovah and here's the rap shack and he says if you say to me we trust in Jehova our God is it not he who is high places and whose altars Hezekiah is taken away and said to Judah and Jerusalem You shall worship before this altar and I have to be brief here but the idea is Hezekiah had been tearing down the the plate the false Yeah the places of worship that had been brought in through heathen influence and saying you need to worship in the temple Well it's interesting to read shakha calls those places that were torn down altars of Jehovah and he's obviously trying to you know I don't know if our view. Can imagine any kind of. Conflict over worship styles. In the churches and so he's their rap shack is hitting on something that could be a sin to get a look at your divisive wedge issues and try the way you are going to call a god but if I'm going to say you are worshipping God no he comes out and says No those words I think right and he's trying to rile us you're so he says you got to do it this way yet he's picking at an area where is potential division and then in addition if you look in he talks about if you follow me you'll eat you're only eat verse 17 verse 16 says you'll drink the waters of your own cistern you eat from your own vine and everyone is on Victory So in other words you have a life of ease and prosperity with us so he's appealing to everything he can to get the people to not stand together so the care of their leadership I'll threaten you the destruction but will be great if you don't but even if split apart you're with and he's doing it the public in front of the King Yeah and so when you come to the end of the chapter This is why I bring all this up and this is what really struck me at the end of the chapter it says and I went to jump to chapter to. The end of the chapter it says verse 21 but they have let me go back to verse 20 who among all the gods of these lands have delivered their countries from my hand that the Lord should deliver Jerusalem from my hand and it says but they held their peace and answered him not a word because the king's commandment was do not answer him in other words in spite of all this they had so much confidence in their leadership they would not break ranks and that's just an incredible testimony because that I wish that could be said about our church today but the reality is there is an independent spirit. Many independent spirit says just like I'm Ok I'll go along with such a but don't tell me what to do here and don't tell me what to do there and to have that kind of unification. Is what gave them strength this time also it and would give us strength this statement and it strikes me as we're reading through this it sounds so strikingly similar to Daniel Chapter 3 you know one of the 3 there were these are standing there and the question is asked and who is the God who Chevalier you are my hands and what was their answer cherished going to Bendigo answered to the king and because we have no need to answer you in this matter they didn't take the bait Yes they could hear the Israelites could have argued each point but they realized that all of those things were distractions and what was their answer just not a word we're going to trust in what we're it's that simple abiding and you talk about in our church today if we would simply stick to what we know is true and not get so sidelined into these divisive issues you know I think the Satan does a marvelous job of enticing us into. Areas of deliberation conversation and division that are unnecessary Absolutely and a parallel passages in 2nd Chronicles 32 and verse 8 and I have it in the notes here but. King has a kind of says to the Bible says in fact verse 67 Chronicles 32 verse 6 then he can as a kind of set military captains over the people gathered them together to him in the open square of the city gate and gave them encourage men saying Be strong and courageous do not be afraid nor dismayed before the King of Assyria nor before all the multitude that is with him for there are more with us then with him with him is an arm of flesh but with us is the Lord our God So to help us and to fight our battles and the people were strengthened by the words of Hezekiah king of Judah and that similar for so that confidence you can say well why did they have that kind of confidence in Hezekiah because of his faithfulness as we're going to see going through here his faithfulness to the Lord and. Ellen White in fact that passage we just read she comments in prophets in Kings 351 when I read that she says writes Nothing more quickly inspires faith than the exercise of faith the king of Juda had prepared for the coming storm and now confident that the prophecy against the Syrians would be fulfilled he stayed his soul upon God and the people rested themselves on the words of Hezekiah Ok so the faith of their leader was contagious in a way but they could they could look to that and say like if he's trusting the Lord we can trust the Lord like he does and buys me the possible follow me as I follow the Lord and it's contagious why there's another piece of this and that is that when you come in to chapter $37.00 so tempted $36.00 is all these threatenings and what are we going to do and in chapter 37 it says in the verse for verse and so it was when King has acquired it that he tore his clothes covered himself with sack lost a cent cloth and went into the house of the Lord then he sent a like him who was over the household 7 of the scribe in the elders of the priests cover with sackcloth to Isaiah the prophet the son of a mas So this is really fascinating that he is in perplexity in distress he goes to this position of mourning into the house of the Lord to plead with the Lord but connected with that he sends to enquire of the prophet of the Lord and if you know your old testament you may recall a story in 2nd Kings chapter one where King. Sends to enquire of bales a God of the Philistines instead of the God of Israel and God sends you like the Prophet intercept and say Is there not a god in Israel that you have to go inquire of this other guy I have prophets here or you go into this what the going to fill in the heart of in when you read in Scripture the gift of prophecy was given among other gifts to bring us to the unity of the faith so it was given in the fore. Unification and we see that working here now is it didn't go on how he felt or or Hezekiah didn't go on how he felt he went inquired of the Prophet Lord and God give direction to the prophet Lord and I think that's one of the things that gave the people confidence in him and when he spoke it wasn't confidence in the man right but he had demonstrated his confidence in the Lord and they had confidence and Hezekiah as cover this is based not only on his own like leadership of course it was in the Lord but specifically the Lord through his prophetic messenger I say that right and so if you think of. You mention parallels to this day you know I mean how much better off with our movement be just individually and you know so when he was evangelist to grow the whole thing if we simply took the Bible as it read put faith in God and trusted the messages that he gave through his inspired messenger and if we were prophecy that's the whole that's the whole point and a lot of the division. It's because we have different opinions on things God has spoken clearly on yes and if we just believe God spoke clearly on and said well I used to think this but I guess I'm going to agree with that we have unity. Well more could be said but we've taken a good bit of time on that moving into our 2nd talking point faith moves mountains and we see that we talked to talked about how Has a coyote was this man of faith we see him going to prayer and sending word off to the Prophet right there in Chapter 371 and 2 and it's interesting that if you go to chapter 37 verse 21 notice what it says this is then as they are the son of a mas sent to Hezekiah saying dust says the Lord out of his are because you have prayed to me against an accurate King of Assyria this is the word which the Lord has spoken concerning him and then as you know the way that's written there almost implies if you hadn't inquired of me if you had made the preparation you hadn't had the faithfulness right there'd be a different message coming to you but it's structured to say because you prayed therefore is it not desire of ages where only it makes that statement that God loves us the answer in response to the prayer of faith things that he would otherwise. If we did not thus ask Yes And so there's something about asking Jesus told us to ask one of things I have in the notes is Jesus promise it was faith this small as a mustard seed. We could move mountains and that's not talking about you know granite it's not talking about rock formations but a Mountains are used to represent obstacles any hindrance that would start fact we'll see there's a piece of that actually going into next week's lesson about smoothing out the the rough places in a path for a journey but when there's a mountain in the way well. Hezekiah clearly has a mountain in the way here you've got the mightiest nation now on Earth coming to lay siege on your city what are you going to do but he had faith that God could handle it and we already read the pastor and told the people don't be afraid that their arm is full of flesh is with them but we're on the Lord's side and you've probably heard the saying God plus one is a majority right and. So sometimes I think you know we joked about it but. Sometimes I don't think that we think faith is going to move our off sickles and in fact I hear it from church members here from pastors I hear from my own lips sometimes oh yeah but this problems too big serious there's a lot of lack of faith talk the there is there sure is yes and so what happens in this story is so amazing 185000 and I haven't checked recently it's been years ago actually since I checked but but but I knew the city of Grand Rapids which is our 2nd largest city here Michigan is right around 200000 people I mean that's a good number of people and that's a living in the city these are soldiers or soldiers of the rounding your city you're not talking about a 1000 you talk about 5185000 in there is reason from a human perspective to be scared but the Lord says don't worry about it and then he gives word to send to snag Ruben says Yeah because you came and pushed this issue the way you did in your haughty area you know I'm going to and he in one night the Bible says an angel of the lord think you're an angel smote 185000 soldiers and you get up in the morning and what's interesting is a lesson quarterly brings out some of the aftermath of that thank you want to read what it says or with Wednesday be the 1st paragraph there according to his reported in his annals he took 4645 towns besieged Jerusalem and made Hezekiah the Jew quote a prisoner in Jerusalem his royal residence like a bird in a cage Ok so we have records written Eckert's recorded all this new so 1st of all they want to record how many conquered the group was real yes they want to testify about this experience they were there was really was a Hezekiah the whole thing right yeah it goes on and keep in mind he took 454645 down so he you got the completion there you get closure in those situations I do but when it gets to Jerusalem Yeah he only talks about you know I don't know him exactly making a prisoner then the less makes up the point but in spite of his penchant for propaganda. An extension of his monumental ego me there and I don't know it's interesting he likes name things out yourself writing flower things make a journal of it or so that somehow or the other he doesn't finish this Norry like what happened to me as a guy when you surrounded him and shot him in like a bird neither in Texas nor in pictures or any like hired artist to draw fake does he claim to have taken Jerusalem from a human point of view this omission is amazing given the an example power of sin I grew up in the fact that Hezekiah led a revolt against the right rebels against the Syria had short life expectancies and gruesome deaths yet when it comes to this one the record is what was signed Rangely silent because he surrounded him and then what happened anyway we don't want to have it was your tells us and so the point is this is an absolutely phenomenal deliverance but God forbid that we would limit this deliverance to Hezekiah way back then when the same God moves mountains today those mountains have difficulty in fact Ellen White makes a great statement prophets in Kings $595.00 she says often men are tempted to falter before perplexities in obstacles but if they will hold their confidence steadfast God will make the way clear success will be done Melton's of difficulty will become a plain and that's what we see happening here in the experience of Hezekiah Why is it on record you know that we might buy patience and comfort of the scriptures have hope of Bible says Romans you can imagine a time of such daunting literal danger and to have a Hezekiah at the helm Yes like guys you may to see them but we have people on our side more than they have we've got the word of the Lord we got the message Lord we can have company and what if what a stirring thing and I think we need to hear more of that kind of preaching in our churches more of that kind of teaching with confidence and faith that's right absolutely Anyway we've got to move out of this 3rd one where we have a few minutes left because it really is a story moves in and chronologically you know you read in. After this to do. Or rather Hezekiah getting sick in fact I say the prophet sent to him and told him you are going to die and you're on your deathbed. And here's a guy who didn't want to die and he pled with the Lord for more time and then the Lord sent the prophet back and said I'm going to give you 15 more years in the course of that Isaiah wanted to Hezekiah wanted a sign and so as is said well you get one of 2 options the sun dial can go forward 10 degrees or back 10 degrees where the sun dials going to go forward 10 degrees as 10 minutes later they are whatever it is but back 10 degrees you would understand a Sunday going backwards I mean that's either smoke and mirrors or this been the planet Ok And so that's what he requested and the sundial went back 10 degrees and that drew the attention of the nations that studied astronomy and you know stars and whatever so there's a reason this envoy came over it was because of that particular the royal right and so we read about the Babylonians that come over yes and do you want me to read about that in verses 4 through 6 Ok I think that's what we have here well this is actually after the aftermath this is after we get what we know what happened we just paraphrase it here but you know these the royal envoy of inquisitive people comes over and basically how did this marry the head of what you know their whole their coming because word gets to them like what is this strange phenomenon I don't know something happened with there's this King and me are there is it your way of the Jews into it with so they come into it and it's in this golden opportunity for witnessing presents itself and Hezekiah shows them instead of telling them the story of God is deliverance and that be that winds up this treasure house and shows them everything in the Lord. 39 verse 4 when the Lord asks you know. First your 1st 4 Well the 1st one he said What have they seen in your house what a. Potent question we all need to be asking is also has a guy answered they have seen all that is in my house there is nothing among my treasures that I have not shown them that Isaiah said that Hezekiah hear the word of the Lord of Hosts behold the days are coming when all that is in your house and what your fathers of accumulated until this day shall be carried to Babylon nothing shall be left says the Lord and it it really paints a pretty dire picture but well and it foretells the Babylonian captivity in fact the next verse says nation take away some of your sons who will descend from you that would be of the tribe of Judah of the royal line whom you will be get and they shall be Unix in the palace of the king of Babylon That's Daniel this is his prediction right here anyway his friends taken and when you read Daniel Chapter one Verse one you'll see that this is exactly what happened some of the royal seed goes eunuchs to the palace of Babylon so all stemming from the fact that when Hezekiah had an opportunity a great opportunity to witness for God. I guess he felt like he wanted them to know that I know that Judas seems like a small kingdom but we're really we got a lot of stuff I don't know what it was it led him to do that now we're well i gotta be careful because I can't say I haven't done the same kind of thing well we have a comment on that from. You know the very last. Quotations here but in the 3rd paragraph she says and his sister White writes but pride and vanity took possession of has a heart and in self exaltation he laid open to covetous eyes the treasures with which God has enriched his people the King show them any less all the things that he saw not to glorify God she writes Did he do this but to exalt himself in the eyes of foreign princes. In the eyes of 4 you know like you're talking it's almost like he's like. You know we're a real kingdom here and we're not. Just a little side thing and you should see how much stuff and you think you're king I'm a king and look at all the stuff we have in our people are great I mean sure we may be small and we wanted this and you made it or heard of us but we do and it's like use trying to prove a point that was never supposed to be on the table they're not coming there for riches or they want to about this miracle of God and he takes the identity I should probably say this but have you any time we make the news and he see the emptiness on the news well it is so so became an evidence to near a Hollywood celebrity or something like Ok is that is their soul worth more than him but we can tend to do the same thing in the in the big takeaway here is he lost the opportunity to witness and those envoys may all be lost and they could have been saved and I put in the notes here that when this life is over there's never going to be another opportunity to lead someone to salvation we can tell our testimony in heaven yes but there's no nobody's going to be saved who wouldn't have been saved otherwise but here and now now we have opportunity. You know that our testimony the same testimony will be there as it will be here and it will be inspiring and wonderful edifying in heaven but it could be of more value here because there's still an opportunity to use it to save the last were there that determinations are get made and so I mean take away number one is never a squandered opportunity and if the Lord provides the chance for you to share your testimony or give that piece of literature and make that invitation I'm going still not not even Swan an opportunity pray that the Lord to give you overcome our eyes open to the opportunities I mean I can't help but think how many times have I done unknowingly been to Hezekiah like oh look at this look at it in the last those opportunities in what has 4 paragraphs at the end of the chapter of the ambassadors from Babylon and I encourage you to read that lacks last section of trying to condense them to fit in our notes here and hit the high points but she says in prompting Kings 34748. The story of Hezekiah his failure to prove true to his trust at the time of the visit of the ambassadors is fraught with an important lesson for all far more than we do we need to speak of the precious chapters in our experience of the Mercy and loving kindness and of God of the matchless depths of the Saviors love those with whom we associate day by day need our help our guidance and they may be in such a condition of mind that one that a word spoken in season will be as a nail and a sure place that is it will give them confidence something in anger to tomorrow some of these souls may be where we can never reach them again have mercy and so I got caught about that from Christian service to 7 he says we should live in this world to win souls to say that's what we're here for a minute well I don't know but it would in the but I mean it's a great story there's all kinds of things to draw out of this week's lesson but you can't miss the point there at the end of Hezekiah as life that we have if we're still living you know we have those operate in our summary or some little summary on Friday says in response to the cry of the faithful King God saved his people and showed who he is the omnipotent king of Israel who controls the destiny of Earth not only does he destroy those who attempt to destroy his people but he also provides opportunities for others no matter how Babylonian they may be to become his people Amen brother in the moment lips of God wants to use is today friends let's close today with the word prayer Heavenly Father thank you so much for this inspiring challenging story. I know it's written long ago but it has such real life application for us today Help us Lord not only to look for but to ask for and seek for opportunities to witness for you help us to have that reliance that faith that can move mountains and see past the distractions to the opportunities that lie before and most importantly Lord when you do give us victory help us to share through our testimony that that blessing with others so that in the Lord keep us faithful and make us useful for you for prayed in Jesus name.

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