Topic: When The Enemy Threatens (Part 3)
(Self Assessment 188)
Sennacherib’s army commander has, for the past 2 weeks, been intimidating Judah; lying about their God, discrediting their king, demoralising its people and giving them false hope.
All of these tactics were carefully employed to weaken Judah’s will to defend herself, so that she is easily captured and brought to submission. In all these, however, the people have remained silent and said nothing in reply, because the king had commanded, “Do not answer him.”
But will silence be enough, especially when it appears to be without any progressive strategy to halt the advancement of such terror against the people? Will Judah just be quiet and watch the Assyrian army make further advancements to practicalise their threats? For answers to these and many more, let us zoom straight into today’s discussion. Call the family together; it’s time to study the Word of God.
Text: Isaiah 37: 1- 7
1 When King Hezekiah heard this, he tore his clothes and put on sackcloth and went into the temple of the Lord. 2 He sent Eliakim the palace administrator, Shebna the secretary, and the leading priests, all wearing sackcloth, to the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz.
3 They told him, “This is what Hezekiah says: This day is a day of distress and rebuke and disgrace, as when children come to the moment of birth and there is no strength to deliver them. 4 It may be that the Lord your God will hear the words of the field commander, whom his master, the king of Assyria, has sent to ridicule the living God, and that He will rebuke him for the words the Lord your God has heard. Therefore pray for the remnant that still survives.”
5 When King Hezekiah’s officials came to Isaiah, 6 Isaiah said to them, “Tell your master, ‘This is what the Lord says: Do not be afraid of what you have heard—those words with which the underlings of the king of Assyria have blasphemed me. 7 Listen! When he hears a certain report, I will make him want to return to his own country, and there I will have him cut down with the sword.’” Amen
1. In testing our familiarity with some activities of the Jewish culture and their symbolism, kindly research and share with us what the tearing of one’s clothes and putting on sackcloth, and (or) sitting in ashes signified. Especially upon hearing a report (as was the case with Hezekiah, King of Judah).
2. Hezekiah sends some prominent court officials and priests to Prophet Isaiah to inquire a word from the Lord and for prayer support. They did not want to confer with each other first to devise their own defence strategy. What can you say is remarkable about their gesture?
3. “.. as when children come to the moment of birth and there is no strength to deliver them.” What, in your opinion, was Hezekiah trying to depict to Isaiah in this very expression? (Kindly read verse 3 again).
5. Kindly read and explain verse 4.
6. Kindly read verses 4 and 6 again:
a) What does verse 6 confirm about verse 4?
b) Also, how does verse 6 confirm that inquiring of the Lord was the best thing Judah did, than to have gone out on their own to defend their land?
c) Finally, what does verse 6 reveal about the Lord?
7. The lord has a plan against Sennacherib, according to verse 7. A very unlikely strategy that seems obviously different from all the millitary strategies Judah could ever have brainstormed to come up with. Yet such strategies may still have failed in the face of this large Assyrian army. How remarkable is it that our Lord works out a strategy from above just for our defence?
8. What have you learnt from today’s Bible study?
Kindly reply us through this same social media platform (WhatsApp/ Facebook). We learn so much from the answers you provide.
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