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Nicholas Hood III Ministries

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King Hezekiah Prays to God for Himself! Isiah 37-40

To me, chapters 37-40 of Isaiah are interesting for several reasons.  In chapter 37, King Hezekiah seeks the prayers and assistance of God because of a military threat to Jerusalm from Assyria.  After the prayers of Isaiah, King Hezekiah takes matters into his own hands and prays to God by himself.  In chapter 38, after surviving the military threat in chapter 37, King Hezekiah seeks a bless from God, once again, but this time for personal healing.  Although he begins with a request from Isaiah  time he once again prays to God and is given an extension to his life.  In chapter 40, Isaiah promises to the people of Israel the deliverance of Israel.  One of the important lessons in this section is the significance of praying to God by yourself, and for yourself.  Thank you for joining me in this reading.

Hezekiah Consults Isaiah

(2 Kings 19:1–13)

Isaiah 37 When King Hezekiah heard it, he tore his clothes, covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the house of the Lord. And he sent Eliakim, who was in charge of the palace, and Shebna the secretary, and the senior priests, covered with sackcloth, to the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz. They said to him, “Thus says Hezekiah, This day is a day of distress, of rebuke, and of disgrace; children have come to the birth, and there is no strength to bring them forth. It may be that the Lord your God heard the words of the Rabshakeh, whom his master the king of Assyria has sent to mock the living God, and will rebuke the words that the Lord your God has heard; therefore lift up your prayer for the remnant that is left.”

When the servants of King Hezekiah came to Isaiah, Isaiah said to them, “Say to your master, ‘Thus says the Lord: Do not be afraid because of the words that you have heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have reviled me. I myself will put a spirit in him, so that he shall hear a rumor, and return to his own land; I will cause him to fall by the sword in his own land.’ ”

The Rabshakeh returned, and found the king of Assyria fighting against Libnah; for he had heard that the king had left Lachish. Now the king heard concerning King Tirhakah of Ethiopia, “He has set out to fight against you.” When he heard it, he sent messengers to Hezekiah, saying, 10 “Thus shall you speak to King Hezekiah of Judah: Do not let your God on whom you rely deceive you by promising that Jerusalem will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria. 11 See, you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands, destroying them utterly. Shall you be delivered? 12 Have the gods of the nations delivered them, the nations that my predecessors destroyed, Gozan, Haran, Rezeph, and the people of Eden who were in Telassar? 13 Where is the king of Hamath, the king of Arpad, the king of the city of Sepharvaim, the king of Hena, or the king of Ivvah?”

Hezekiah’s Prayer

(2 Kings 19:14–34)

14 Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers and read it; then Hezekiah went up to the house of the Lord and spread it before the Lord. 15 And Hezekiah prayed to the Lord, saying: 16 “O Lord of hosts, God of Israel, who are enthroned above the cherubim, you are God, you alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; you have made heaven and earth. 17 Incline your ear, O Lord, and hear; open your eyes, O Lord, and see; hear all the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to mock the living God. 18 Truly, O Lord, the kings of Assyria have laid waste all the nations and their lands, 19 and have hurled their gods into the fire, though they were no gods, but the work of human hands—wood and stone—and so they were destroyed. 20 So now, O Lord our God, save us from his hand, so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you alone are the Lord.”

21 Then Isaiah son of Amoz sent to Hezekiah, saying: “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Because you have prayed to me concerning King Sennacherib of Assyria, 22 this is the word that the Lord has spoken concerning him:

She despises you, she scorns you—

virgin daughter Zion;

she tosses her head—behind your back,

daughter Jerusalem.

23 “Whom have you mocked and reviled?

Against whom have you raised your voice

and haughtily lifted your eyes?

Against the Holy One of Israel!

24 By your servants you have mocked the Lord,

and you have said, ‘With my many chariots

I have gone up the heights of the mountains,

to the far recesses of Lebanon;

I felled its tallest cedars,

its choicest cypresses;

I came to its remotest height,

its densest forest.

25 I dug wells

and drank waters,

I dried up with the sole of my foot

all the streams of Egypt.’

26 “Have you not heard

that I determined it long ago?

I planned from days of old

what now I bring to pass,

that you should make fortified cities

crash into heaps of ruins,

27 while their inhabitants, shorn of strength,

are dismayed and confounded;

they have become like plants of the field

and like tender grass,

like grass on the housetops,

blighted before it is grown.

28 “I know your rising up and your sitting down,

your going out and coming in,

and your raging against me.

29 Because you have raged against me

and your arrogance has come to my ears,

I will put my hook in your nose

and my bit in your mouth;

I will turn you back on the way

by which you came.

30 “And this shall be the sign for you: This year eat what grows of itself, and in the second year what springs from that; then in the third year sow, reap, plant vineyards, and eat their fruit. 31 The surviving remnant of the house of Judah shall again take root downward, and bear fruit upward; 32 for from Jerusalem a remnant shall go out, and from Mount Zion a band of survivors. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.

33 “Therefore thus says the Lord concerning the king of Assyria: He shall not come into this city, shoot an arrow there, come before it with a shield, or cast up a siege ramp against it. 34 By the way that he came, by the same he shall return; he shall not come into this city, says the Lord. 35 For I will defend this city to save it, for my own sake and for the sake of my servant David.”

Sennacherib’s Defeat and Death

(2 Kings 19:35–37)

36 Then the angel of the Lord set out and struck down one hundred eighty-five thousand in the camp of the Assyrians; when morning dawned, they were all dead bodies. 37 Then King Sennacherib of Assyria left, went home, and lived at Nineveh. 38 As he was worshiping in the house of his god Nisroch, his sons Adrammelech and Sharezer killed him with the sword, and they escaped into the land of Ararat. His son Esar-haddon succeeded him.

Hezekiah’s Illness

(2 Kings 20:1–11; 2 Chr 32:24–26)

Isaiah 38 In those days Hezekiah became sick and was at the point of death. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz came to him, and said to him, “Thus says the Lord: Set your house in order, for you shall die; you shall not recover.” Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall, and prayed to the Lord: “Remember now, O Lord, I implore you, how I have walked before you in faithfulness with a whole heart, and have done what is good in your sight.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.

Then the word of the Lord came to Isaiah: “Go and say to Hezekiah, Thus says the Lord, the God of your ancestor David: I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; I will add fifteen years to your life. I will deliver you and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria, and defend this city.

“This is the sign to you from the Lord, that the Lord will do this thing that he has promised: See, I will make the shadow cast by the declining sun on the dial of Ahaz turn back ten steps.” So the sun turned back on the dial the ten steps by which it had declined.

A writing of King Hezekiah of Judah, after he had been sick and had recovered from his sickness:

10 I said: In the noontide of my days

I must depart;

I am consigned to the gates of Sheol

for the rest of my years.

11 I said, I shall not see the Lord

in the land of the living;

I shall look upon mortals no more

among the inhabitants of the world.

12 My dwelling is plucked up and removed from me

like a shepherd’s tent;

like a weaver I have rolled up my life;

he cuts me off from the loom;

from day to night you bring me to an end;

13   I cry for help until morning;

like a lion he breaks all my bones;

from day to night you bring me to an end.

14 Like a swallow or a crane I clamor,

I moan like a dove.

My eyes are weary with looking upward.

O Lord, I am oppressed; be my security!

15 But what can I say? For he has spoken to me,

and he himself has done it.

All my sleep has fled

because of the bitterness of my soul.

16 O Lord, by these things people live,

and in all these is the life of my spirit.

Oh, restore me to health and make me live!

17 Surely it was for my welfare

that I had great bitterness;

but you have held back my life

from the pit of destruction,

for you have cast all my sins

behind your back.

18 For Sheol cannot thank you,

death cannot praise you;

those who go down to the Pit cannot hope

for your faithfulness.

19 The living, the living, they thank you,

as I do this day;

fathers make known to children

your faithfulness.

20 The Lord will save me,

and we will sing to stringed instruments

all the days of our lives,

at the house of the Lord.

21 Now Isaiah had said, “Let them take a lump of figs, and apply it to the boil, so that he may recover.” 22 Hezekiah also had said, “What is the sign that I shall go up to the house of the Lord?”

Envoys from Babylon Welcomed

(2 Kings 20:12–19)

Isaiah 39 At that time King Merodach-baladan son of Baladan of Babylon sent envoys with letters and a present to Hezekiah, for he heard that he had been sick and had recovered. Hezekiah welcomed them; he showed them his treasure house, the silver, the gold, the spices, the precious oil, his whole armory, all that was found in his storehouses. There was nothing in his house or in all his realm that Hezekiah did not show them. Then the prophet Isaiah came to King Hezekiah and said to him, “What did these men say? From where did they come to you?” Hezekiah answered, “They have come to me from a far country, from Babylon.” He said, “What have they seen in your house?” Hezekiah answered, “They have seen all that is in my house; there is nothing in my storehouses that I did not show them.”

Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Hear the word of the Lord of hosts: Days are coming when all that is in your house, and that which your ancestors have stored up until this day, shall be carried to Babylon; nothing shall be left, says the Lord. Some of your own sons who are born to you shall be taken away; they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.” Then Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “The word of the Lord that you have spoken is good.” For he thought, “There will be peace and security in my days.”

God’s People Are Comforted

(Cp Lk 3:4–6)

Isaiah 40      Comfort, O comfort my people,

says your God.

2  Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,

and cry to her

that she has served her term,

that her penalty is paid,

that she has received from the Lord’s hand

double for all her sins.

3  A voice cries out:

“In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord,

make straight in the desert a highway for our God.

4  Every valley shall be lifted up,

and every mountain and hill be made low;

the uneven ground shall become level,

and the rough places a plain.

5  Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,

and all people shall see it together,

for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

6  A voice says, “Cry out!”

And I said, “What shall I cry?”

All people are grass,

their constancy is like the flower of the field.

7  The grass withers, the flower fades,

when the breath of the Lord blows upon it;

surely the people are grass.

8  The grass withers, the flower fades;

but the word of our God will stand forever.

9  Get you up to a high mountain,

O Zion, herald of good tidings;

lift up your voice with strength,

O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings,

lift it up, do not fear;

say to the cities of Judah,

“Here is your God!”

10 See, the Lord God comes with might,

and his arm rules for him;

his reward is with him,

and his recompense before him.

11 He will feed his flock like a shepherd;

he will gather the lambs in his arms,

and carry them in his bosom,

and gently lead the mother sheep.

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

and marked off the heavens with a span,

enclosed the dust of the earth in a measure,

and weighed the mountains in scales

and the hills in a balance?

13 Who has directed the spirit of the Lord,

or as his counselor has instructed him?

14 Whom did he consult for his enlightenment,

and who taught him the path of justice?

Who taught him knowledge,

and showed him the way of understanding?

15 Even the nations are like a drop from a bucket,

and are accounted as dust on the scales;

see, he takes up the isles like fine dust.

16 Lebanon would not provide fuel enough,

nor are its animals enough for a burnt offering.

17 All the nations are as nothing before him;

they are accounted by him as less than nothing and emptiness.

18 To whom then will you liken God,

or what likeness compare with him?

19 An idol? —A workman casts it,

and a goldsmith overlays it with gold,

and casts for it silver chains.

20 As a gift one chooses mulberry wood

—wood that will not rot—

then seeks out a skilled artisan

to set up an image that will not topple.

21 Have you not known? Have you not heard?

Has it not been told you from the beginning?

Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth?

22 It is he who sits above the circle of the earth,

and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers;

who stretches out the heavens like a curtain,

and spreads them like a tent to live in;

23 who brings princes to naught,

and makes the rulers of the earth as nothing.

24 Scarcely are they planted, scarcely sown,

scarcely has their stem taken root in the earth,

when he blows upon them, and they wither,

and the tempest carries them off like stubble.

25 To whom then will you compare me,

or who is my equal? says the Holy One.

26 Lift up your eyes on high and see:

Who created these?

He who brings out their host and numbers them,

calling them all by name;

because he is great in strength,

mighty in power,

not one is missing.

27 Why do you say, O Jacob,

and speak, O Israel,

“My way is hidden from the Lord,

and my right is disregarded by my God”?

28 Have you not known? Have you not heard?

The Lord is the everlasting God,

the Creator of the ends of the earth.

He does not faint or grow weary;

his understanding is unsearchable.

29 He gives power to the faint,

and strengthens the powerless.

30 Even youths will faint and be weary,

and the young will fall exhausted;

31 but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength,

they shall mount up with wings like eagles,

they shall run and not be weary,

they shall walk and not faint.  [1]

Questions for Reflection:

  1. What can you learn from the prayer of King Hezekiah regarding threat from the King of Assyria?
  2. Lesson:  Hezekiah prays for himself.  Although Isaiah is a prophet, Hezekiah prays for himself.
  3. What do you make of the promise God provides to King Hezekiah?
  4. Has there ever been a time in your life when you put your burden on the Lord in a similar manner to Hezekiah?
  5. Why do you think Hezekiah showed the riches of his kingdom to the visitors from Babylon?
  6. Why  do you make of the way Isaiah spoke with Hezekiah regarding his decision to show off his riches?
  7. How do you think the people of Israel reacted to the prophecy of Isaiah in chapter 40?

What does the prophecy of chapter 40 offer to you and the world today?

Prayer:  Lord, I thank you for the privilege and opportunity to come to you with unsophisticated language and simple prayers.  I thank you for your promise to listen and answer prayers.  I thank you that I can release my burdens upon the broad back of your powerful mercy and love.  Lord, I come to you now in my humble and simple way.  Bless me.  Preserve me.  Protect me, and make your love manifest in me.  In Jesus name I pray.  Amen.                                          

Written by Pastor Nick Hood3                                                     

Photo by Pastor Nick Hood3

Additional Prayers Photos and Meditations from Pastor Nick Hood3 at https://nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.com/

More about the ministry, mission, and meditations from Pastor Nick Hood3 at www.nicholashoodiiiministries.org and www.puccdetroit.org

New – You Tube Spiritual Videos at Rev Nicholas Hood and on Facebook

New – Listen to readings from the Book of Psalms, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, 1st Samuel, 2 Samuel, Proverbs, the Gospel of John, Acts of the Apostles, Philippians, 1st and 2nd Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, 1st and 2nd Timothy, Colossians, Titus, Revelation and more as well as Inspirational Prayers written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at Nicholas Hood3, is now available on Apple Podcasts: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/nicholas-hood3/id1370371705.

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Thank you,

Nick


[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Is 37:1–40:31). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Transcend Your Sense of Guilt!

“The Highway for the Lord!”- Isaiah 33-36

Today, I am reading from Isaiah chapter 33-36.  Chapters 33-35 are in stark contrast to chapter 36 in that chapters 33 -35 give a wonderful, glowing prophecy of a day that will shine beyond the gloom and doom of the destruction of the land.  In chapter 35, there is a beautiful image of the, “Highway for the people of the Lord,” and how wonderful life will be for the people of Israel.  Then, in the very next chapter, the reality of the Assyrian onslaught becomes real and the stage is set for a terrible defeat.  All of this is to prepare the people for the Babylonian conflict and exile, but also the return to Israel.  Thank you for joining me in this reading.  Let us begin.

A Prophecy of Deliverance from Foes

Isaiah 33      Ah, you destroyer,

who yourself have not been destroyed;

you treacherous one,

with whom no one has dealt treacherously!

When you have ceased to destroy,

you will be destroyed;

and when you have stopped dealing treacherously,

you will be dealt with treacherously.

2  O Lord, be gracious to us; we wait for you.

Be our arm every morning,

our salvation in the time of trouble.

3  At the sound of tumult, peoples fled;

before your majesty, nations scattered.

4  Spoil was gathered as the caterpillar gathers;

as locusts leap, they leaped upon it.

5  The Lord is exalted, he dwells on high;

he filled Zion with justice and righteousness;

6  he will be the stability of your times,

abundance of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge;

the fear of the Lord is Zion’s treasure.

7  Listen! the valiant cry in the streets;

the envoys of peace weep bitterly.

8  The highways are deserted,

travelers have quit the road.

The treaty is broken,

its oaths are despised,

its obligation is disregarded.

9  The land mourns and languishes;

Lebanon is confounded and withers away;

Sharon is like a desert;

and Bashan and Carmel shake off their leaves.

10 “Now I will arise,” says the Lord,

“now I will lift myself up;

now I will be exalted.

11 You conceive chaff, you bring forth stubble;

your breath is a fire that will consume you.

12 And the peoples will be as if burned to lime,

like thorns cut down, that are burned in the fire.”

13 Hear, you who are far away, what I have done;

and you who are near, acknowledge my might.

14 The sinners in Zion are afraid;

trembling has seized the godless:

“Who among us can live with the devouring fire?

Who among us can live with everlasting flames?”

15 Those who walk righteously and speak uprightly,

who despise the gain of oppression,

who wave away a bribe instead of accepting it,

who stop their ears from hearing of bloodshed

and shut their eyes from looking on evil,

16 they will live on the heights;

their refuge will be the fortresses of rocks;

their food will be supplied, their water assured.

The Land of the Majestic King

17 Your eyes will see the king in his beauty;

they will behold a land that stretches far away.

18 Your mind will muse on the terror:

“Where is the one who counted?

Where is the one who weighed the tribute?

Where is the one who counted the towers?”

19 No longer will you see the insolent people,

the people of an obscure speech that you cannot comprehend,

stammering in a language that you cannot understand.

20 Look on Zion, the city of our appointed festivals!

Your eyes will see Jerusalem,

a quiet habitation, an immovable tent,

whose stakes will never be pulled up,

and none of whose ropes will be broken.

21 But there the Lord in majesty will be for us

a place of broad rivers and streams,

where no galley with oars can go,

nor stately ship can pass.

22 For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our ruler,

the Lord is our king; he will save us.

23 Your rigging hangs loose;

it cannot hold the mast firm in its place,

or keep the sail spread out.

Then prey and spoil in abundance will be divided;

even the lame will fall to plundering.

24 And no inhabitant will say, “I am sick”;

the people who live there will be forgiven their iniquity.

Judgment on the Nations

Isaiah 34      Draw near, O nations, to hear;

O peoples, give heed!

Let the earth hear, and all that fills it;

the world, and all that comes from it.

2  For the Lord is enraged against all the nations,

and furious against all their hordes;

he has doomed them, has given them over for slaughter.

3  Their slain shall be cast out,

and the stench of their corpses shall rise;

the mountains shall flow with their blood.

4  All the host of heaven shall rot away,

and the skies roll up like a scroll.

All their host shall wither

like a leaf withering on a vine,

or fruit withering on a fig tree.

5  When my sword has drunk its fill in the heavens,

lo, it will descend upon Edom,

upon the people I have doomed to judgment.

6  The Lord has a sword; it is sated with blood,

it is gorged with fat,

with the blood of lambs and goats,

with the fat of the kidneys of rams.

For the Lord has a sacrifice in Bozrah,

a great slaughter in the land of Edom.

7  Wild oxen shall fall with them,

and young steers with the mighty bulls.

Their land shall be soaked with blood,

and their soil made rich with fat.

8  For the Lord has a day of vengeance,

a year of vindication by Zion’s cause.

9  And the streams of Edom shall be turned into pitch,

and her soil into sulfur;

her land shall become burning pitch.

10 Night and day it shall not be quenched;

its smoke shall go up forever.

From generation to generation it shall lie waste;

no one shall pass through it forever and ever.

11 But the hawk and the hedgehog shall possess it;

the owl and the raven shall live in it.

He shall stretch the line of confusion over it,

and the plummet of chaos over its nobles.

12 They shall name it No Kingdom There,

and all its princes shall be nothing.

13 Thorns shall grow over its strongholds,

nettles and thistles in its fortresses.

It shall be the haunt of jackals,

an abode for ostriches.

14 Wildcats shall meet with hyenas,

goat-demons shall call to each other;

there too Lilith shall repose,

and find a place to rest.

15 There shall the owl nest

and lay and hatch and brood in its shadow;

there too the buzzards shall gather,

each one with its mate.

16 Seek and read from the book of the Lord:

Not one of these shall be missing;

none shall be without its mate.

For the mouth of the Lord has commanded,

and his spirit has gathered them.

17 He has cast the lot for them,

his hand has portioned it out to them with the line;

they shall possess it forever,

from generation to generation they shall live in it.

The Return of the Redeemed to Zion

Isaiah 35      The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad,

the desert shall rejoice and blossom;

like the crocus it shall blossom abundantly,

and rejoice with joy and singing.

The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it,

the majesty of Carmel and Sharon.

They shall see the glory of the Lord,

the majesty of our God.

3  Strengthen the weak hands,

and make firm the feeble knees.

4  Say to those who are of a fearful heart,

“Be strong, do not fear!

Here is your God.

He will come with vengeance,

with terrible recompense.

He will come and save you.”

5  Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,

and the ears of the deaf unstopped;

6  then the lame shall leap like a deer,

and the tongue of the speechless sing for joy.

For waters shall break forth in the wilderness,

and streams in the desert;

7  the burning sand shall become a pool,

and the thirsty ground springs of water;

the haunt of jackals shall become a swamp,

the grass shall become reeds and rushes.

8  A highway shall be there,

and it shall be called the Holy Way;

the unclean shall not travel on it,

but it shall be for God’s people;

no traveler, not even fools, shall go astray.

9  No lion shall be there,

nor shall any ravenous beast come up on it;

they shall not be found there,

but the redeemed shall walk there.

10 And the ransomed of the Lord shall return,

and come to Zion with singing;

everlasting joy shall be upon their heads;

they shall obtain joy and gladness,

and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

Sennacherib Threatens Jerusalem

(2 Kings 18:13–37; 2 Chr 32:1–19)

Isaiah 36 In the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, King Sennacherib of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities of Judah and captured them. The king of Assyria sent the Rabshakeh from Lachish to King Hezekiah at Jerusalem, with a great army. He stood by the conduit of the upper pool on the highway to the Fuller’s Field. And there came out to him Eliakim son of Hilkiah, who was in charge of the palace, and Shebna the secretary, and Joah son of Asaph, the recorder.

The Rabshakeh said to them, “Say to Hezekiah: Thus says the great king, the king of Assyria: On what do you base this confidence of yours? Do you think that mere words are strategy and power for war? On whom do you now rely, that you have rebelled against me? See, you are relying on Egypt, that broken reed of a staff, which will pierce the hand of anyone who leans on it. Such is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all who rely on him. But if you say to me, ‘We rely on the Lord our God,’ is it not he whose high places and altars Hezekiah has removed, saying to Judah and to Jerusalem, ‘You shall worship before this altar’? Come now, make a wager with my master the king of Assyria: I will give you two thousand horses, if you are able on your part to set riders on them. How then can you repulse a single captain among the least of my master’s servants, when you rely on Egypt for chariots and for horsemen? 10 Moreover, is it without the Lord that I have come up against this land to destroy it? The Lord said to me, Go up against this land, and destroy it.”

11 Then Eliakim, Shebna, and Joah said to the Rabshakeh, “Please speak to your servants in Aramaic, for we understand it; do not speak to us in the language of Judah within the hearing of the people who are on the wall.” 12 But the Rabshakeh said, “Has my master sent me to speak these words to your master and to you, and not to the people sitting on the wall, who are doomed with you to eat their own dung and drink their own urine?”

13 Then the Rabshakeh stood and called out in a loud voice in the language of Judah, “Hear the words of the great king, the king of Assyria! 14 Thus says the king: ‘Do not let Hezekiah deceive you, for he will not be able to deliver you. 15 Do not let Hezekiah make you rely on the Lord by saying, The Lord will surely deliver us; this city will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.’ 16 Do not listen to Hezekiah; for thus says the king of Assyria: ‘Make your peace with me and come out to me; then everyone of you will eat from your own vine and your own fig tree and drink water from your own cistern, 17 until I come and take you away to a land like your own land, a land of grain and wine, a land of bread and vineyards. 18 Do not let Hezekiah mislead you by saying, The Lord will save us. Has any of the gods of the nations saved their land out of the hand of the king of Assyria? 19 Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim? Have they delivered Samaria out of my hand? 20 Who among all the gods of these countries have saved their countries out of my hand, that the Lord should save Jerusalem out of my hand?’ ”

21 But they were silent and answered him not a word, for the king’s command was, “Do not answer him.” 22 Then Eliakim son of Hilkiah, who was in charge of the palace, and Shebna the secretary, and Joah son of Asaph, the recorder, came to Hezekiah with their clothes torn, and told him the words of the Rabshakeh.   [1]

Questions for Reflection:

  1. What are your thoughts about chapters 33-36?
  2. What do you find most interesting about this passage of scripture?
  3. The prophecies of a better day in chapters 33- 35 are in stark contrast to the reality of the challenge by Assyria in chapter 36.  How do you imagine the people of Israel reacted to the challenge of the Assyrians?
  4. Are you familiar with the song, “The Highway to Heaven”?  After reading the prophecy of Isaiah about a “Highway for the people of the Lord”, in chapter 35: 8-10, how is your image of the “Highway to Heaven” impacted?

Other thoughts from these four chapters?

Prayer:  Lead me Lord to the, “Highway to Heaven.”  Lead me to where the air is fresh, the green grass grows throughout the lush valley and your people dwell in peace and prosperity.  Lead me as I join the beloved community of the fellowship of people who believe in you.  Lead me this day, and I shall follow.  Lead me, and I shall breathe the breath of life.  Lead me to the sunshine of your love and salvation.  In Jesus name I pray.  Amen.

Written by Pastor Nick Hood3                                                     

Photo by Pastor Nick Hood3

Additional Prayers Photos and Meditations from Pastor Nick Hood3 at https://nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.com/

More about the ministry, mission, and meditations from Pastor Nick Hood3 at www.nicholashoodiiiministries.org and www.puccdetroit.org

New – You Tube Spiritual Videos at Rev Nicholas Hood and on Facebook

New – Listen to readings from the Book of Psalms, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, 1st Samuel, 2 Samuel, Proverbs, the Gospel of John, Acts of the Apostles, Philippians, 1st and 2nd Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, 1st and 2nd Timothy, Colossians, Titus, Revelation and more as well as Inspirational Prayers written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at Nicholas Hood3, is now available on Apple Podcasts: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/nicholas-hood3/id1370371705.

Or, at anchor.fm/nicholas-hood3.

Also, on Google Podcasts at Nicholas Hood3

Now on Spotify – https://open.spotify.com/show/1fQTqugJtGj6FCgHaGuG

Thank you,

Nick


[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Is 33:1–36:22). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Isaiah 29 -32

Today, I am reading Isaiah chapter 29-32.  Chapter 29 predicts Jerusalem will be besieged.  Chapters 30 and 31 warn that Egypt will not be able to protect Jerusalem.  Chapter 32 offers the promise of a new day for Jerusalem and Israel with the institution of a government of justice and peace.  In a manner that is consistent with the prophets, Isaiah continues to balance destruction with restoration and hope for a future that the people of Israel will one day enjoy.  This hope is a hope that should encourage you and me, regardless of the pandemic, regardless of personal challenges, regardless of political chaos, a bright future awaits us, in our lifetime, not just in eternity.

The Siege of Jerusalem

Isaiah 29      Ah, Ariel, Ariel,

the city where David encamped!

Add year to year;

let the festivals run their round.

2  Yet I will distress Ariel,

and there shall be moaning and lamentation,

and Jerusalem shall be to me like an Ariel.

3  And like David I will encamp against you;

I will besiege you with towers

and raise siegeworks against you.

4  Then deep from the earth you shall speak,

from low in the dust your words shall come;

your voice shall come from the ground like the voice of a ghost,

and your speech shall whisper out of the dust.

5  But the multitude of your foes shall be like small dust,

and the multitude of tyrants like flying chaff.

And in an instant, suddenly,

6    you will be visited by the Lord of hosts

with thunder and earthquake and great noise,

with whirlwind and tempest, and the flame of a devouring fire.

7  And the multitude of all the nations that fight against Ariel,

all that fight against her and her stronghold, and who distress her,

shall be like a dream, a vision of the night.

8  Just as when a hungry person dreams of eating

and wakes up still hungry,

or a thirsty person dreams of drinking

and wakes up faint, still thirsty,

so shall the multitude of all the nations be

that fight against Mount Zion.

9  Stupefy yourselves and be in a stupor,

blind yourselves and be blind!

Be drunk, but not from wine;

stagger, but not from strong drink!

10 For the Lord has poured out upon you

a spirit of deep sleep;

he has closed your eyes, you prophets,

and covered your heads, you seers.

11 The vision of all this has become for you like the words of a sealed document. If it is given to those who can read, with the command, “Read this,” they say, “We cannot, for it is sealed.” 12 And if it is given to those who cannot read, saying, “Read this,” they say, “We cannot read.”

13 The Lord said:

Because these people draw near with their mouths

and honor me with their lips,

while their hearts are far from me,

and their worship of me is a human commandment learned by rote;

14 so I will again do

amazing things with this people,

shocking and amazing.

The wisdom of their wise shall perish,

and the discernment of the discerning shall be hidden.

15 Ha! You who hide a plan too deep for the Lord,

whose deeds are in the dark,

and who say, “Who sees us? Who knows us?”

16 You turn things upside down!

Shall the potter be regarded as the clay?

Shall the thing made say of its maker,

“He did not make me”;

or the thing formed say of the one who formed it,

“He has no understanding”?

Hope for the Future

17 Shall not Lebanon in a very little while

become a fruitful field,

and the fruitful field be regarded as a forest?

18 On that day the deaf shall hear

the words of a scroll,

and out of their gloom and darkness

the eyes of the blind shall see.

19 The meek shall obtain fresh joy in the Lord,

and the neediest people shall exult in the Holy One of Israel.

20 For the tyrant shall be no more,

and the scoffer shall cease to be;

all those alert to do evil shall be cut off—

21 those who cause a person to lose a lawsuit,

who set a trap for the arbiter in the gate,

and without grounds deny justice to the one in the right.

22 Therefore thus says the Lord, who redeemed Abraham, concerning the house of Jacob:

No longer shall Jacob be ashamed,

no longer shall his face grow pale.

23 For when he sees his children,

the work of my hands, in his midst,

they will sanctify my name;

they will sanctify the Holy One of Jacob,

and will stand in awe of the God of Israel.

24 And those who err in spirit will come to understanding,

and those who grumble will accept instruction.

The Futility of Reliance on Egypt

Isaiah 30      Oh, rebellious children, says the Lord,

who carry out a plan, but not mine;

who make an alliance, but against my will,

adding sin to sin;

2  who set out to go down to Egypt

without asking for my counsel,

to take refuge in the protection of Pharaoh,

and to seek shelter in the shadow of Egypt;

3  Therefore the protection of Pharaoh shall become your shame,

and the shelter in the shadow of Egypt your humiliation.

4  For though his officials are at Zoan

and his envoys reach Hanes,

5  everyone comes to shame

through a people that cannot profit them,

that brings neither help nor profit,

but shame and disgrace.

An oracle concerning the animals of the Negeb.

Through a land of trouble and distress,

of lioness and roaring lion,

of viper and flying serpent,

they carry their riches on the backs of donkeys,

and their treasures on the humps of camels,

to a people that cannot profit them.

7  For Egypt’s help is worthless and empty,

therefore I have called her,

“Rahab who sits still.”

A Rebellious People

8  Go now, write it before them on a tablet,

and inscribe it in a book,

so that it may be for the time to come

as a witness forever.

9  For they are a rebellious people,

faithless children,

children who will not hear

the instruction of the Lord;

10 who say to the seers, “Do not see”;

and to the prophets, “Do not prophesy to us what is right;

speak to us smooth things,

prophesy illusions,

11 leave the way, turn aside from the path,

let us hear no more about the Holy One of Israel.”

12 Therefore thus says the Holy One of Israel:

Because you reject this word,

and put your trust in oppression and deceit,

and rely on them;

13 therefore this iniquity shall become for you

like a break in a high wall, bulging out, and about to collapse,

whose crash comes suddenly, in an instant;

14 its breaking is like that of a potter’s vessel

that is smashed so ruthlessly

that among its fragments not a sherd is found

for taking fire from the hearth,

or dipping water out of the cistern.

15 For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel:

In returning and rest you shall be saved;

in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.

But you refused 16 and said,

“No! We will flee upon horses”—

therefore you shall flee!

and, “We will ride upon swift steeds”—

therefore your pursuers shall be swift!

17 A thousand shall flee at the threat of one,

at the threat of five you shall flee,

until you are left

like a flagstaff on the top of a mountain,

like a signal on a hill.

God’s Promise to Zion

18 Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you;

therefore he will rise up to show mercy to you.

For the Lord is a God of justice;

blessed are all those who wait for him.

19 Truly, O people in Zion, inhabitants of Jerusalem, you shall weep no more. He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry; when he hears it, he will answer you. 20 Though the Lord may give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide himself any more, but your eyes shall see your Teacher. 21 And when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left, your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” 22 Then you will defile your silver-covered idols and your gold-plated images. You will scatter them like filthy rags; you will say to them, “Away with you!”

23 He will give rain for the seed with which you sow the ground, and grain, the produce of the ground, which will be rich and plenteous. On that day your cattle will graze in broad pastures; 24 and the oxen and donkeys that till the ground will eat silage, which has been winnowed with shovel and fork. 25 On every lofty mountain and every high hill there will be brooks running with water—on a day of the great slaughter, when the towers fall. 26 Moreover the light of the moon will be like the light of the sun, and the light of the sun will be sevenfold, like the light of seven days, on the day when the Lord binds up the injuries of his people, and heals the wounds inflicted by his blow.

Judgment on Assyria

27 See, the name of the Lord comes from far away,

burning with his anger, and in thick rising smoke;

his lips are full of indignation,

and his tongue is like a devouring fire;

28 his breath is like an overflowing stream

that reaches up to the neck—

to sift the nations with the sieve of destruction,

and to place on the jaws of the peoples a bridle that leads them astray.

29 You shall have a song as in the night when a holy festival is kept; and gladness of heart, as when one sets out to the sound of the flute to go to the mountain of the Lord, to the Rock of Israel. 30 And the Lord will cause his majestic voice to be heard and the descending blow of his arm to be seen, in furious anger and a flame of devouring fire, with a cloudburst and tempest and hailstones. 31 The Assyrian will be terror-stricken at the voice of the Lord, when he strikes with his rod. 32 And every stroke of the staff of punishment that the Lord lays upon him will be to the sound of timbrels and lyres; battling with brandished arm he will fight with him. 33 For his burning place has long been prepared; truly it is made ready for the king, its pyre made deep and wide, with fire and wood in abundance; the breath of the Lord, like a stream of sulfur, kindles it.

Alliance with Egypt Is Futile

Isaiah 31      Alas for those who go down to Egypt for help

and who rely on horses,

who trust in chariots because they are many

and in horsemen because they are very strong,

but do not look to the Holy One of Israel

or consult the Lord!

2  Yet he too is wise and brings disaster;

he does not call back his words,

but will rise against the house of the evildoers,

and against the helpers of those who work iniquity.

3  The Egyptians are human, and not God;

their horses are flesh, and not spirit.

When the Lord stretches out his hand,

the helper will stumble, and the one helped will fall,

and they will all perish together.

4  For thus the Lord said to me,

As a lion or a young lion growls over its prey,

and—when a band of shepherds is called out against it—

is not terrified by their shouting

or daunted at their noise,

so the Lord of hosts will come down

to fight upon Mount Zion and upon its hill.

5  Like birds hovering overhead, so the Lord of hosts

will protect Jerusalem;

he will protect and deliver it,

he will spare and rescue it.

Turn back to him whom you have deeply betrayed, O people of Israel. For on that day all of you shall throw away your idols of silver and idols of gold, which your hands have sinfully made for you.

8  “Then the Assyrian shall fall by a sword, not of mortals;

and a sword, not of humans, shall devour him;

he shall flee from the sword,

and his young men shall be put to forced labor.

9  His rock shall pass away in terror,

and his officers desert the standard in panic,”

says the Lord, whose fire is in Zion,

and whose furnace is in Jerusalem.

Government with Justice Predicted

Isaiah 32      See, a king will reign in righteousness,

and princes will rule with justice.

2  Each will be like a hiding place from the wind,

a covert from the tempest,

like streams of water in a dry place,

like the shade of a great rock in a weary land.

3  Then the eyes of those who have sight will not be closed,

and the ears of those who have hearing will listen.

4  The minds of the rash will have good judgment,

and the tongues of stammerers will speak readily and distinctly.

5  A fool will no longer be called noble,

nor a villain said to be honorable.

6  For fools speak folly,

and their minds plot iniquity:

to practice ungodliness,

to utter error concerning the Lord,

to leave the craving of the hungry unsatisfied,

and to deprive the thirsty of drink.

7  The villainies of villains are evil;

they devise wicked devices

to ruin the poor with lying words,

even when the plea of the needy is right.

8  But those who are noble plan noble things,

and by noble things they stand.

Complacent Women Warned of Disaster

9  Rise up, you women who are at ease, hear my voice;

you complacent daughters, listen to my speech.

10 In little more than a year

you will shudder, you complacent ones;

for the vintage will fail,

the fruit harvest will not come.

11 Tremble, you women who are at ease,

shudder, you complacent ones;

strip, and make yourselves bare,

and put sackcloth on your loins.

12 Beat your breasts for the pleasant fields,

for the fruitful vine,

13 for the soil of my people

growing up in thorns and briers;

yes, for all the joyous houses

in the jubilant city.

14 For the palace will be forsaken,

the populous city deserted;

the hill and the watchtower

will become dens forever,

the joy of wild asses,

a pasture for flocks;

15 until a spirit from on high is poured out on us,

and the wilderness becomes a fruitful field,

and the fruitful field is deemed a forest.

The Peace of God’s Reign

16 Then justice will dwell in the wilderness,

and righteousness abide in the fruitful field.

17 The effect of righteousness will be peace,

and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever.

18 My people will abide in a peaceful habitation,

in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.

19 The forest will disappear completely,

and the city will be utterly laid low.

20 Happy will you be who sow beside every stream,

who let the ox and the donkey range freely. [1]

Questions for Reflection:  

  1. What are  your thoughts and reflections upon these four chapters?
  2. In this set of prophecies, there are individual prophecies for specific nations.  Which of these prophecies caught your attention and why? 
  3.   What are the lessons modern nations can learn from these prophecies?

Other thoughts and reflections on these four chapters?

Prayer:  Our Lord and Our God!  I thank you that my worst day is not my last day!  I thank you for the almighty gaze from your omnipresent eye.  I recognize with thanksgiving, those times when you have chastised me, and corrected me.  As I look forward to the new day, your promise of hope and vindication, renewal and restoration encourage and motivate me.  Grant me this day your favor and peace.  In Jesus name I pray.  Amen.

Written by Pastor Nick Hood3                                                     

Photo by Pastor Nick Hood3

Additional Prayers Photos and Meditations from Pastor Nick Hood3 at https://nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.com/

More about the ministry, mission, and meditations from Pastor Nick Hood3 at www.nicholashoodiiiministries.org and www.puccdetroit.org

New – You Tube Spiritual Videos at Rev Nicholas Hood and on Facebook

New – Listen to readings from the Book of Psalms, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, 1st Samuel, 2 Samuel, Proverbs, the Gospel of John, Acts of the Apostles, Philippians, 1st and 2nd Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, 1st and 2nd Timothy, Colossians, Titus, Revelation and more as well as Inspirational Prayers written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at Nicholas Hood3, is now available on Apple Podcasts: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/nicholas-hood3/id1370371705.

Or, at anchor.fm/nicholas-hood3.

Also, on Google Podcasts at Nicholas Hood3

Now on Spotify – https://open.spotify.com/show/1fQTqugJtGj6FCgHaGuG

Thank you,

Nick


[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Is 29:1–32:20). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Faith to Withstand a Shipwreck!

Saturday Evening Prayer at the Alfred Brush Ford Park in Detroit, Michigan

Paul Sails for Rome

Acts 27 When it was decided that we were to sail for Italy, they transferred Paul and some other prisoners to a centurion of the Augustan Cohort, named Julius. Embarking on a ship of Adramyttium that was about to set sail to the ports along the coast of Asia, we put to sea, accompanied by Aristarchus, a Macedonian from Thessalonica. The next day we put in at Sidon; and Julius treated Paul kindly, and allowed him to go to his friends to be cared for. Putting out to sea from there, we sailed under the lee of Cyprus, because the winds were against us. After we had sailed across the sea that is off Cilicia and Pamphylia, we came to Myra in Lycia. There the centurion found an Alexandrian ship bound for Italy and put us on board. We sailed slowly for a number of days and arrived with difficulty off Cnidus, and as the wind was against us, we sailed under the lee of Crete off Salmone. Sailing past it with difficulty, we came to a place called Fair Havens, near the city of Lasea.

Since much time had been lost and sailing was now dangerous, because even the Fast had already gone by, Paul advised them, 10 saying, “Sirs, I can see that the voyage will be with danger and much heavy loss, not only of the cargo and the ship, but also of our lives.” 11 But the centurion paid more attention to the pilot and to the owner of the ship than to what Paul said. 12 Since the harbor was not suitable for spending the winter, the majority was in favor of putting to sea from there, on the chance that somehow they could reach Phoenix, where they could spend the winter. It was a harbor of Crete, facing southwest and northwest.

The Storm at Sea

13 When a moderate south wind began to blow, they thought they could achieve their purpose; so they weighed anchor and began to sail past Crete, close to the shore. 14 But soon a violent wind, called the northeaster, rushed down from Crete. 15 Since the ship was caught and could not be turned head-on into the wind, we gave way to it and were driven. 16 By running under the lee of a small island called Cauda we were scarcely able to get the ship’s boat under control. 17 After hoisting it up they took measures to undergird the ship; then, fearing that they would run on the Syrtis, they lowered the sea anchor and so were driven. 18 We were being pounded by the storm so violently that on the next day they began to throw the cargo overboard, 19 and on the third day with their own hands they threw the ship’s tackle overboard. 20 When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days, and no small tempest raged, all hope of our being saved was at last abandoned.

21 Since they had been without food for a long time, Paul then stood up among them and said, “Men, you should have listened to me and not have set sail from Crete and thereby avoided this damage and loss. 22 I urge you now to keep up your courage, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship. 23 For last night there stood by me an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I worship, 24 and he said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must stand before the emperor; and indeed, God has granted safety to all those who are sailing with you.’ 25 So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will be exactly as I have been told. 26 But we will have to run aground on some island.”

27 When the fourteenth night had come, as we were drifting across the sea of Adria, about midnight the sailors suspected that they were nearing land. 28 So they took soundings and found twenty fathoms; a little farther on they took soundings again and found fifteen fathoms. 29 Fearing that we might run on the rocks, they let down four anchors from the stern and prayed for day to come. 30 But when the sailors tried to escape from the ship and had lowered the boat into the sea, on the pretext of putting out anchors from the bow, 31 Paul said to the centurion and the soldiers, “Unless these men stay in the ship, you cannot be saved.” 32 Then the soldiers cut away the ropes of the boat and set it adrift.

33 Just before daybreak, Paul urged all of them to take some food, saying, “Today is the fourteenth day that you have been in suspense and remaining without food, having eaten nothing. 34 Therefore I urge you to take some food, for it will help you survive; for none of you will lose a hair from your heads.” 35 After he had said this, he took bread; and giving thanks to God in the presence of all, he broke it and began to eat. 36 Then all of them were encouraged and took food for themselves. 37 (We were in all two hundred seventy-six persons in the ship.) 38 After they had satisfied their hunger, they lightened the ship by throwing the wheat into the sea.

The Shipwreck

39 In the morning they did not recognize the land, but they noticed a bay with a beach, on which they planned to run the ship ashore, if they could. 40 So they cast off the anchors and left them in the sea. At the same time they loosened the ropes that tied the steering-oars; then hoisting the foresail to the wind, they made for the beach. 41 But striking a reef, they ran the ship aground; the bow stuck and remained immovable, but the stern was being broken up by the force of the waves. 42 The soldiers’ plan was to kill the prisoners, so that none might swim away and escape; 43 but the centurion, wishing to save Paul, kept them from carrying out their plan. He ordered those who could swim to jump overboard first and make for the land, 44 and the rest to follow, some on planks and others on pieces of the ship. And so it was that all were brought safely to land. [1]

Written by Pastor Nick Hood3                                                                                

Video by Denise Page Hood                       

Additional Prayers Photos and Meditations from Pastor Nick Hood3 at https://nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.com/

More about the ministry, mission, and meditations from Pastor Nick Hood3 at www.nicholashoodiiiministries.org and www.puccdetroit.org

New – You Tube Spiritual Videos at Rev Nicholas Hood and on Facebook

New – Listen to readings from the Book of Psalms, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, 1st Samuel, 2 Samuel, Proverbs, the Gospel of John, Acts of the Apostles, Philippians, 1st and 2nd Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, 1st and 2nd Timothy, Colossians, Titus, Revelation and more as well as Inspirational Prayers written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at Nicholas Hood3, is now available on Apple Podcasts: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/nicholas-hood3/id1370371705.

Or, at anchor.fm/nicholas-hood3.

Also, on Google Podcasts at Nicholas Hood3

Now on Spotify – https://open.spotify.com/show/1fQTqugJtGj6FCgHaGuG

Thank you,

Nick


[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Ac 27:1–44). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Isaiah 21-24

Thank you for joining me in reading chapters 21-24 of Isaiah.  In reading these chapters, I am reminded of not only the prophecies of God, but the protection of God for the people of God.  For some reason, as I read these chapters, and I look back over my own little life, I am struck by how the hand of God has provided me with the favor of insight, which has guided me, sheltered me, and directed me, from my youth to this present age.  As we read these four chapters, I encourage you to look back over your life and ask yourself, “When has the Lord tried to show me something, tell me something, and lead me in a direction?”  Then, ask yourself another question: “What have I done with what God offered so freely to me?” The prayer at the conclusion of this reading is a little longer than normal, because, through this reading, I have been facinated with the hand of the Lord in my life, particularly from age 17 to 21, and how the people I met at that stage of my life, and the goals and ambition of my life were shaped, sheltered and sanctified by a force greater than anything I could have seen!  I am convinced, it was nothing but the Lord who guided my way!   Thank you for joining me in this reading from the Book of Isaiah.

Oracles concerning Babylon, Edom, and Arabia

Isaiah 21 The oracle concerning the wilderness of the sea.

As whirlwinds in the Negeb sweep on,

it comes from the desert,

from a terrible land.

2  A stern vision is told to me;

the betrayer betrays,

and the destroyer destroys.

Go up, O Elam,

lay siege, O Media;

all the sighing she has caused

I bring to an end.

3  Therefore my loins are filled with anguish;

pangs have seized me,

like the pangs of a woman in labor;

I am bowed down so that I cannot hear,

I am dismayed so that I cannot see.

4  My mind reels, horror has appalled me;

the twilight I longed for

has been turned for me into trembling.

5  They prepare the table,

they spread the rugs,

they eat, they drink.

Rise up, commanders,

oil the shield!

6  For thus the Lord said to me:

“Go, post a lookout,

let him announce what he sees.

7  When he sees riders, horsemen in pairs,

riders on donkeys, riders on camels,

let him listen diligently,

very diligently.”

8  Then the watcher called out:

“Upon a watchtower I stand, O Lord,

continually by day,

and at my post I am stationed

throughout the night.

9  Look, there they come, riders,

horsemen in pairs!”

Then he responded,

“Fallen, fallen is Babylon;

and all the images of her gods

lie shattered on the ground.”

10 O my threshed and winnowed one,

what I have heard from the Lord of hosts,

the God of Israel, I announce to you.

11 The oracle concerning Dumah.

One is calling to me from Seir,

“Sentinel, what of the night?

Sentinel, what of the night?”

12 The sentinel says:

“Morning comes, and also the night.

If you will inquire, inquire;

come back again.”

13 The oracle concerning the desert plain.

In the scrub of the desert plain you will lodge,

O caravans of Dedanites.

14 Bring water to the thirsty,

meet the fugitive with bread,

O inhabitants of the land of Tema.

15 For they have fled from the swords,

from the drawn sword,

from the bent bow,

and from the stress of battle.

16 For thus the Lord said to me: Within a year, according to the years of a hired worker, all the glory of Kedar will come to an end; 17 and the remaining bows of Kedar’s warriors will be few; for the Lord, the God of Israel, has spoken.

A Warning of Destruction of Jerusalem

 Isaiah 22 The oracle concerning the valley of vision.

What do you mean that you have gone up,

all of you, to the housetops,

2  you that are full of shoutings,

tumultuous city, exultant town?

Your slain are not slain by the sword,

nor are they dead in battle.

3  Your rulers have all fled together;

they were captured without the use of a bow.

All of you who were found were captured,

though they had fled far away.

4  Therefore I said:

Look away from me,

let me weep bitter tears;

do not try to comfort me

for the destruction of my beloved people.

5  For the Lord God of hosts has a day

of tumult and trampling and confusion

in the valley of vision,

a battering down of walls

and a cry for help to the mountains.

6  Elam bore the quiver

with chariots and cavalry,

and Kir uncovered the shield.

7  Your choicest valleys were full of chariots,

and the cavalry took their stand at the gates.

8  He has taken away the covering of Judah.

On that day you looked to the weapons of the House of the Forest, and you saw that there were many breaches in the city of David, and you collected the waters of the lower pool. 10 You counted the houses of Jerusalem, and you broke down the houses to fortify the wall. 11 You made a reservoir between the two walls for the water of the old pool. But you did not look to him who did it, or have regard for him who planned it long ago.

12 In that day the Lord God of hosts

called to weeping and mourning,

to baldness and putting on sackcloth;

13 but instead there was joy and festivity,

killing oxen and slaughtering sheep,

eating meat and drinking wine.

“Let us eat and drink,

for tomorrow we die.”

14 The Lord of hosts has revealed himself in my ears:

Surely this iniquity will not be forgiven you until you die,

says the Lord God of hosts.

Denunciation of Self-Seeking Officials

15 Thus says the Lord God of hosts: Come, go to this steward, to Shebna, who is master of the household, and say to him: 16 What right do you have here? Who are your relatives here, that you have cut out a tomb here for yourself, cutting a tomb on the height, and carving a habitation for yourself in the rock? 17 The Lord is about to hurl you away violently, my fellow. He will seize firm hold on you, 18 whirl you round and round, and throw you like a ball into a wide land; there you shall die, and there your splendid chariots shall lie, O you disgrace to your master’s house! 19 I will thrust you from your office, and you will be pulled down from your post.

20 On that day I will call my servant Eliakim son of Hilkiah, 21 and will clothe him with your robe and bind your sash on him. I will commit your authority to his hand, and he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and to the house of Judah. 22 I will place on his shoulder the key of the house of David; he shall open, and no one shall shut; he shall shut, and no one shall open. 23 I will fasten him like a peg in a secure place, and he will become a throne of honor to his ancestral house. 24 And they will hang on him the whole weight of his ancestral house, the offspring and issue, every small vessel, from the cups to all the flagons. 25 On that day, says the Lord of hosts, the peg that was fastened in a secure place will give way; it will be cut down and fall, and the load that was on it will perish, for the Lord has spoken.

An Oracle concerning Tyre

Isaiah 23 The oracle concerning Tyre.

Wail, O ships of Tarshish,

for your fortress is destroyed.

When they came in from Cyprus

they learned of it.

2  Be still, O inhabitants of the coast,

O merchants of Sidon,

your messengers crossed over the sea

3    and were on the mighty waters;

your revenue was the grain of Shihor,

the harvest of the Nile;

you were the merchant of the nations.

4  Be ashamed, O Sidon, for the sea has spoken,

the fortress of the sea, saying:

“I have neither labored nor given birth,

I have neither reared young men

nor brought up young women.”

5  When the report comes to Egypt,

they will be in anguish over the report about Tyre.

6  Cross over to Tarshish—

wail, O inhabitants of the coast!

7  Is this your exultant city

whose origin is from days of old,

whose feet carried her

to settle far away?

8  Who has planned this

against Tyre, the bestower of crowns,

whose merchants were princes,

whose traders were the honored of the earth?

9  The Lord of hosts has planned it—

to defile the pride of all glory,

to shame all the honored of the earth.

10 Cross over to your own land,

O ships of Tarshish;

this is a harbor no more.

11 He has stretched out his hand over the sea,

he has shaken the kingdoms;

the Lord has given command concerning Canaan

to destroy its fortresses.

12 He said:

You will exult no longer,

O oppressed virgin daughter Sidon;

rise, cross over to Cyprus—

even there you will have no rest.

13 Look at the land of the Chaldeans! This is the people; it was not Assyria. They destined Tyre for wild animals. They erected their siege towers, they tore down her palaces, they made her a ruin.

14 Wail, O ships of Tarshish,

for your fortress is destroyed.

15 From that day Tyre will be forgotten for seventy years, the lifetime of one king. At the end of seventy years, it will happen to Tyre as in the song about the prostitute:

16 Take a harp,

go about the city,

you forgotten prostitute!

Make sweet melody,

sing many songs,

that you may be remembered.

17 At the end of seventy years, the Lord will visit Tyre, and she will return to her trade, and will prostitute herself with all the kingdoms of the world on the face of the earth. 18 Her merchandise and her wages will be dedicated to the Lord; her profits will not be stored or hoarded, but her merchandise will supply abundant food and fine clothing for those who live in the presence of the Lord.

Impending Judgment on the Earth

Isaiah 24      Now the Lord is about to lay waste the earth and make it desolate,

and he will twist its surface and scatter its inhabitants.

2  And it shall be, as with the people, so with the priest;

as with the slave, so with his master;

as with the maid, so with her mistress;

as with the buyer, so with the seller;

as with the lender, so with the borrower;

as with the creditor, so with the debtor.

3  The earth shall be utterly laid waste and utterly despoiled;

for the Lord has spoken this word.

4  The earth dries up and withers,

the world languishes and withers;

the heavens languish together with the earth.

5  The earth lies polluted

under its inhabitants;

for they have transgressed laws,

violated the statutes,

broken the everlasting covenant.

6  Therefore a curse devours the earth,

and its inhabitants suffer for their guilt;

therefore the inhabitants of the earth dwindled,

and few people are left.

7  The wine dries up,

the vine languishes,

all the merry-hearted sigh.

8  The mirth of the timbrels is stilled,

the noise of the jubilant has ceased,

the mirth of the lyre is stilled.

9  No longer do they drink wine with singing;

strong drink is bitter to those who drink it.

10 The city of chaos is broken down,

every house is shut up so that no one can enter.

11 There is an outcry in the streets for lack of wine;

all joy has reached its eventide;

the gladness of the earth is banished.

12 Desolation is left in the city,

the gates are battered into ruins.

13 For thus it shall be on the earth

and among the nations,

as when an olive tree is beaten,

as at the gleaning when the grape harvest is ended.

14 They lift up their voices, they sing for joy;

they shout from the west over the majesty of the Lord.

15 Therefore in the east give glory to the Lord;

in the coastlands of the sea glorify the name of the Lord, the God of Israel.

16 From the ends of the earth we hear songs of praise,

of glory to the Righteous One.

But I say, I pine away,

I pine away. Woe is me!

For the treacherous deal treacherously,

the treacherous deal very treacherously.

17 Terror, and the pit, and the snare

are upon you, O inhabitant of the earth!

18 Whoever flees at the sound of the terror

shall fall into the pit;

and whoever climbs out of the pit

shall be caught in the snare.

For the windows of heaven are opened,

and the foundations of the earth tremble.

19 The earth is utterly broken,

the earth is torn asunder,

the earth is violently shaken.

20 The earth staggers like a drunkard,

it sways like a hut;

its transgression lies heavy upon it,

and it falls, and will not rise again.

21 On that day the Lord will punish

the host of heaven in heaven,

and on earth the kings of the earth.

22 They will be gathered together

like prisoners in a pit;

they will be shut up in a prison,

and after many days they will be punished.

23 Then the moon will be abashed,

and the sun ashamed;

for the Lord of hosts will reign

on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem,

and before his elders he will manifest his glory. [1]

Questions for Reflection:

  1. What are  your thoughts and reflections upon these four chapters?
  2. In this set of prophecies, there are individual prophecies for specific nations.  Which of these prophecies caught your attention and why? 
  3.   What are the lessons modern nations can learn from these prophecies?

Other thoughts and reflections on these four chapters?

Prayer:  Lord, keep my ear to the ground, that I may hear the thunder of your power, from miles away, and years to come!  Keep my ear to the ground, that I might be aware of your intentions for the people of the earth, but also, your plans for me.  Keep not only my ears to the ground, but my heart to the plow, as I walk the path you have spread before me.  As I look behind me, I realize that through the years, you have been my rock and fortress!  There was so much that did not make sense.  But, now it is so clear! Not only have you opened doors of opportunity, but Lord, you have sheltered me under the canopy of protection.  In my ignorance, you kept me safe.  In my happiness, you gave me an innocent peace.  Through what I thought was the focus of my ambition, you kept me on a path that was greater than myself,  larger than my pride, and stronger than fear.  Lord, you have done so much more for me than I would ever do for myself.  Looking back through the lens of the past, all I can say is thank you.  Thank you for keeping me from hurting myself and diverting my direction from what you wanted me to do.  As I face the future, keep my ears to the ground and my heart to the plow.  In Jesus name I pray.  Amen.  

Written by Pastor Nick Hood3                                                     

Photo by Pastor Nick Hood3

Additional Prayers Photos and Meditations from Pastor Nick Hood3 at https://nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.com/

More about the ministry, mission, and meditations from Pastor Nick Hood3 at www.nicholashoodiiiministries.org and www.puccdetroit.org

New – You Tube Spiritual Videos at Rev Nicholas Hood and on Facebook

New – Listen to readings from the Book of Psalms, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, 1st Samuel, 2 Samuel, Proverbs, the Gospel of John, Acts of the Apostles, Philippians, 1st and 2nd Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, 1st and 2nd Timothy, Colossians, Titus, Revelation and more as well as Inspirational Prayers written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at Nicholas Hood3, is now available on Apple Podcasts: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/nicholas-hood3/id1370371705.

Or, at anchor.fm/nicholas-hood3.

Also, on Google Podcasts at Nicholas Hood3

Now on Spotify – https://open.spotify.com/show/1fQTqugJtGj6FCgHaGuG

Thank you,

Nick


[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Is 21:1–24:23). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

How Firm is Your Foundation?

How Firm is Your Foundation

Matthew 7: 24 “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. 25 The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on rock. 26 And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell—and great was its fall!”

28 Now when Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were astounded at his teaching, 29 for he taught them as one having authority, and not as their scribes.

Questions for Reflection:

  1. Why do you think Jesus told this parable?
  2. What is the point of the parable?
  3. Whom do you identify with in this parable?
  4. What is the relevance of this parable for today?

Other thoughts about this parable?    

Prayer:  Lord, place my feet on solid ground.  Help me to make values and principals that are consistent with you teaching and truth.  I want to be more like you, more aligned with your morals, faith and love.  In Jesus name I pray.  Amen.                                                          

Written by Pastor Nick Hood3                                                                                

Photo by Pastor Nick Hood3                      

Additional Prayers Photos and Meditations from Pastor Nick Hood3 at https://nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.com/

More about the ministry, mission, and meditations from Pastor Nick Hood3 at www.nicholashoodiiiministries.org and www.puccdetroit.org

New – You Tube Spiritual Videos at Rev Nicholas Hood and on Facebook

New – Listen to readings from the Book of Psalms, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, 1st Samuel, 2 Samuel, Proverbs, the Gospel of John, Acts of the Apostles, Philippians, 1st and 2nd Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, 1st and 2nd Timothy, Colossians, Titus, Revelation and more as well as Inspirational Prayers written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at Nicholas Hood3, is now available on Apple Podcasts: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/nicholas-hood3/id1370371705.

Or, at anchor.fm/nicholas-hood3.

Also, on Google Podcasts at Nicholas Hood3

Now on Spotify – https://open.spotify.com/show/1fQTqugJtGj6FCgHaGuG

Thank you,

Nick

 [1]


[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Mt 7:24–29). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Ride the Tailwinds of Opportunity!

Acts 27 When it was decided that we were to sail for Italy, they transferred Paul and some other prisoners to a centurion of the Augustan Cohort, named Julius. Embarking on a ship of Adramyttium that was about to set sail to the ports along the coast of Asia, we put to sea, accompanied by Aristarchus, a Macedonian from Thessalonica. The next day we put in at Sidon; and Julius treated Paul kindly, and allowed him to go to his friends to be cared for. Putting out to sea from there, we sailed under the lee of Cyprus, because the winds were against us. After we had sailed across the sea that is off Cilicia and Pamphylia, we came to Myra in Lycia. There the centurion found an Alexandrian ship bound for Italy and put us on board. We sailed slowly for a number of days and arrived with difficulty off Cnidus, and as the wind was against us, we sailed under the lee of Crete off Salmone. Sailing past it with difficulty, we came to a place called Fair Havens, near the city of Lasea.

I am facinated with the concept of “Tailwinds” Every time I fly to California to visit my children and grandchildren, the return flight to Detroit, Michigan can be from 30 to 40 minutes shorter because of the wind at the back of the airplane – the “Tailwind.” This Sunday, my message is on the subject of “Riding the Tailwind of Opportunity.” In Acts 27, the Apostle Paul is on a ship to Rome which is sailing into the wind, which ultimately wrecks the ship. The captain of the ship sails “Under the lee at Crete and Cyprus.” and they dock in the port of Fair Havens. In my opinion, one of the path ways to success is to determine how to take the energy that confronts you, and then turn that energy to your advantage similar to an airplane that flies with the wind behind it. Last week, I made a video prayer on the subject of “Riding the Tailwind of Opportunity.” I hope you enjoy.

Questions for Reflection:  

  1. Can you relate to the idea of transforming the winds of adversity to your advantage?
  2. What are your thoughts about the Apostle Paul sailing into the wind?                                                      

Prayer:  Lord, show me how to turn problems into possibility, despair into hope, and hate into love. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.                                         

Written by Pastor Nick Hood3                                                                                

Photo by Pastor Nick Hood3                      

Additional Prayers Photos and Meditations from Pastor Nick Hood3 at https://nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.com/

More about the ministry, mission, and meditations from Pastor Nick Hood3 at www.nicholashoodiiiministries.org and www.puccdetroit.org

New – You Tube Spiritual Videos at Rev Nicholas Hood and on Facebook

New – Listen to readings from the Book of Psalms, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, 1st Samuel, 2 Samuel, Proverbs, the Gospel of John, Acts of the Apostles, Philippians, 1st and 2nd Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, 1st and 2nd Timothy, Colossians, Titus, Revelation and more as well as Inspirational Prayers written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at Nicholas Hood3, is now available on Apple Podcasts: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/nicholas-hood3/id1370371705.

Or, at anchor.fm/nicholas-hood3.

Also, on Google Podcasts at Nicholas Hood3

Now on Spotify – https://open.spotify.com/show/1fQTqugJtGj6FCgHaGuG

Thank you,

Nick

Look Up- Your Help is Coming from God!

Today, I will read chapters 13-16 of the Book of Isaiah.  In this prophecy, there are proclamations against the neighoring countries that lined themselves up against Israel.  These prophecies served to announce to Israel that in spite of the exile, God had a desire to restore the land.  In like manner, this should serve as good news to me and you that God has a plan for us, a purpose for us and prosperity for us, not just after we are dead, but in this life also.  Thank you for joining me in this reading.

Proclamation against Babylon

Isaiah 13 The oracle concerning Babylon that Isaiah son of Amoz saw.

2     On a bare hill raise a signal,

cry aloud to them;

wave the hand for them to enter

the gates of the nobles.

3     I myself have commanded my consecrated ones,

have summoned my warriors, my proudly exulting ones,

to execute my anger.

4     Listen, a tumult on the mountains

as of a great multitude!

Listen, an uproar of kingdoms,

of nations gathering together!

The Lord of hosts is mustering

an army for battle.

5     They come from a distant land,

from the end of the heavens,

the Lord and the weapons of his indignation,

to destroy the whole earth.

6     Wail, for the day of the Lord is near;

it will come like destruction from the Almighty!

7     Therefore all hands will be feeble,

and every human heart will melt,

8        and they will be dismayed.

Pangs and agony will seize them;

they will be in anguish like a woman in labor.

They will look aghast at one another;

their faces will be aflame.

9     See, the day of the Lord comes,

cruel, with wrath and fierce anger,

to make the earth a desolation,

and to destroy its sinners from it.

10   For the stars of the heavens and their constellations

will not give their light;

the sun will be dark at its rising,

and the moon will not shed its light.

11   I will punish the world for its evil,

and the wicked for their iniquity;

I will put an end to the pride of the arrogant,

and lay low the insolence of tyrants.

12   I will make mortals more rare than fine gold,

and humans than the gold of Ophir.

13   Therefore I will make the heavens tremble,

and the earth will be shaken out of its place,

at the wrath of the Lord of hosts

in the day of his fierce anger.

14   Like a hunted gazelle,

or like sheep with no one to gather them,

all will turn to their own people,

and all will flee to their own lands.

15   Whoever is found will be thrust through,

and whoever is caught will fall by the sword.

16   Their infants will be dashed to pieces

before their eyes;

their houses will be plundered,

and their wives ravished.

17   See, I am stirring up the Medes against them,

who have no regard for silver

and do not delight in gold.

18   Their bows will slaughter the young men;

they will have no mercy on the fruit of the womb;

their eyes will not pity children.

19   And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms,

the splendor and pride of the Chaldeans,

will be like Sodom and Gomorrah

when God overthrew them.

20   It will never be inhabited

or lived in for all generations;

Arabs will not pitch their tents there,

shepherds will not make their flocks lie down there.

21   But wild animals will lie down there,

and its houses will be full of howling creatures;

there ostriches will live,

and there goat-demons will dance.

22   Hyenas will cry in its towers,

and jackals in the pleasant palaces;

its time is close at hand,

and its days will not be prolonged.

Restoration of Judah

Isaiah 14 But the Lord will have compassion on Jacob and will again choose Israel, and will set them in their own land; and aliens will join them and attach themselves to the house of Jacob. And the nations will take them and bring them to their place, and the house of Israel will possess the nations as male and female slaves in the Lord’s land; they will take captive those who were their captors, and rule over those who oppressed them.

Downfall of the King of Babylon

When the Lord has given you rest from your pain and turmoil and the hard service with which you were made to serve, you will take up this taunt against the king of Babylon:

How the oppressor has ceased!

How his insolence has ceased!

5     The Lord has broken the staff of the wicked,

the scepter of rulers,

6     that struck down the peoples in wrath

with unceasing blows,

that ruled the nations in anger

with unrelenting persecution.

7     The whole earth is at rest and quiet;

they break forth into singing.

8     The cypresses exult over you,

the cedars of Lebanon, saying,

“Since you were laid low,

no one comes to cut us down.”

9     Sheol beneath is stirred up

to meet you when you come;

it rouses the shades to greet you,

all who were leaders of the earth;

it raises from their thrones

all who were kings of the nations.

10   All of them will speak

and say to you:

“You too have become as weak as we!

You have become like us!”

11   Your pomp is brought down to Sheol,

and the sound of your harps;

maggots are the bed beneath you,

and worms are your covering.

12   How you are fallen from heaven,

O Day Star, son of Dawn!

How you are cut down to the ground,

you who laid the nations low!

13   You said in your heart,

“I will ascend to heaven;

I will raise my throne

above the stars of God;

I will sit on the mount of assembly

on the heights of Zaphon;

14   I will ascend to the tops of the clouds,

I will make myself like the Most High.”

15   But you are brought down to Sheol,

to the depths of the Pit.

16   Those who see you will stare at you,

and ponder over you:

“Is this the man who made the earth tremble,

who shook kingdoms,

17   who made the world like a desert

and overthrew its cities,

who would not let his prisoners go home?”

18   All the kings of the nations lie in glory,

each in his own tomb;

19   but you are cast out, away from your grave,

like loathsome carrion,

clothed with the dead, those pierced by the sword,

who go down to the stones of the Pit,

like a corpse trampled underfoot.

20   You will not be joined with them in burial,

because you have destroyed your land,

you have killed your people.

May the descendants of evildoers

nevermore be named!

21   Prepare slaughter for his sons

because of the guilt of their father.

Let them never rise to possess the earth

or cover the face of the world with cities.

22 I will rise up against them, says the Lord of hosts, and will cut off from Babylon name and remnant, offspring and posterity, says the Lord. 23 And I will make it a possession of the hedgehog, and pools of water, and I will sweep it with the broom of destruction, says the Lord of hosts.

An Oracle concerning Assyria

24   The Lord of hosts has sworn:

As I have designed,

so shall it be;

and as I have planned,

so shall it come to pass:

25   I will break the Assyrian in my land,

and on my mountains trample him under foot;

his yoke shall be removed from them,

and his burden from their shoulders.

26   This is the plan that is planned

concerning the whole earth;

and this is the hand that is stretched out

over all the nations.

27   For the Lord of hosts has planned,

and who will annul it?

His hand is stretched out,

and who will turn it back?

An Oracle concerning Philistia

28 In the year that King Ahaz died this oracle came:

29   Do not rejoice, all you Philistines,

that the rod that struck you is broken,

for from the root of the snake will come forth an adder,

and its fruit will be a flying fiery serpent.

30   The firstborn of the poor will graze,

and the needy lie down in safety;

but I will make your root die of famine,

and your remnant I will kill.

31   Wail, O gate; cry, O city;

melt in fear, O Philistia, all of you!

For smoke comes out of the north,

and there is no straggler in its ranks.

32   What will one answer the messengers of the nation?

“The Lord has founded Zion,

and the needy among his people

will find refuge in her.”

An Oracle concerning Moab

Isaiah 15 An oracle concerning Moab.

Because Ar is laid waste in a night,

Moab is undone;

because Kir is laid waste in a night,

Moab is undone.

2     Dibon has gone up to the temple,

to the high places to weep;

over Nebo and over Medeba

Moab wails.

On every head is baldness,

every beard is shorn;

3     in the streets they bind on sackcloth;

on the housetops and in the squares

everyone wails and melts in tears.

4     Heshbon and Elealeh cry out,

their voices are heard as far as Jahaz;

therefore the loins of Moab quiver;

his soul trembles.

5     My heart cries out for Moab;

his fugitives flee to Zoar,

to Eglath-shelishiyah.

For at the ascent of Luhith

they go up weeping;

on the road to Horonaim

they raise a cry of destruction;

6     the waters of Nimrim

are a desolation;

the grass is withered, the new growth fails,

the verdure is no more.

7     Therefore the abundance they have gained

and what they have laid up

they carry away

over the Wadi of the Willows.

8     For a cry has gone

around the land of Moab;

the wailing reaches to Eglaim,

the wailing reaches to Beer-elim.

9     For the waters of Dibon are full of blood;

yet I will bring upon Dibon even more—

a lion for those of Moab who escape,

for the remnant of the land.

Isaiah 16 Send lambs

to the ruler of the land,

from Sela, by way of the desert,

to the mount of daughter Zion.

2     Like fluttering birds,

like scattered nestlings,

so are the daughters of Moab

at the fords of the Arnon.

3     “Give counsel,

grant justice;

make your shade like night

at the height of noon;

hide the outcasts,

do not betray the fugitive;

4     let the outcasts of Moab

settle among you;

be a refuge to them

from the destroyer.”

When the oppressor is no more,

and destruction has ceased,

and marauders have vanished from the land,

5     then a throne shall be established in steadfast love

in the tent of David,

and on it shall sit in faithfulness

a ruler who seeks justice

and is swift to do what is right.

6     We have heard of the pride of Moab

—how proud he is!—

of his arrogance, his pride, and his insolence;

his boasts are false.

7     Therefore let Moab wail,

let everyone wail for Moab.

Mourn, utterly stricken,

for the raisin cakes of Kir-hareseth.

8     For the fields of Heshbon languish,

and the vines of Sibmah,

whose clusters once made drunk

the lords of the nations,

reached to Jazer

and strayed to the desert;

their shoots once spread abroad

and crossed over the sea.

9     Therefore I weep with the weeping of Jazer

for the vines of Sibmah;

I drench you with my tears,

O Heshbon and Elealeh;

for the shout over your fruit harvest

and your grain harvest has ceased.

10   Joy and gladness are taken away

from the fruitful field;

and in the vineyards no songs are sung,

no shouts are raised;

no treader treads out wine in the presses;

the vintage-shout is hushed.

11   Therefore my heart throbs like a harp for Moab,

and my very soul for Kir-heres.

12 When Moab presents himself, when he wearies himself upon the high place, when he comes to his sanctuary to pray, he will not prevail.

13 This was the word that the Lord spoke concerning Moab in the past. 14 But now the Lord says, In three years, like the years of a hired worker, the glory of Moab will be brought into contempt, in spite of all its great multitude; and those who survive will be very few and feeble. [1]

Questions for Reflection:

  1. What is your first thought regarding these four chapters?
  2. How do you think the people of Israel reacted when hearing this prophecy?

Other thoughts?

Prayer:  Lord, fill me with hope, even when the circumstances of life are depressing and cause me to fill with choking and suffocation.  Sweep away the awful and usher in the exhilarating.  Drench my depression and shower me with the sunshine of your almighty favor and love.  In Jesus name I pray.  Amen.                                                          

Written by Pastor Nick Hood3                                                                                

Photo by Pastor Nick Hood3                      

Additional Prayers Photos and Meditations from Pastor Nick Hood3 at https://nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.com/

More about the ministry, mission, and meditations from Pastor Nick Hood3 at www.nicholashoodiiiministries.org and www.puccdetroit.org

New – You Tube Spiritual Videos at Rev Nicholas Hood and on Facebook

New – Listen to readings from the Book of Psalms, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, 1st Samuel, 2 Samuel, Proverbs, the Gospel of John, Acts of the Apostles, Philippians, 1st and 2nd Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, 1st and 2nd Timothy, Colossians, Titus, Revelation and more as well as Inspirational Prayers written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at Nicholas Hood3, is now available on Apple Podcasts: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/nicholas-hood3/id1370371705.

Or, at anchor.fm/nicholas-hood3.

Also, on Google Podcasts at Nicholas Hood3

Now on Spotify – https://open.spotify.com/show/1fQTqugJtGj6FCgHaGuG

Thank you,

Nick


[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Is 13:1–16:14). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

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