Week 29

After decades of neglect and rebellion, King Hezekiah of Judah leads a much needed spiritual revival in Israel. But though the Jerusalem Temple is back in business and
the Law and customs are being observed, Judah is still not out of the woods. Though
idols have been destroyed there are other temptations lurking. The empire of Assyria
continues to grow. It has already destroyed the northern kingdom of Israel and is once again knocking on the door. Judah is to be its next victim. How shall they avoid this
We hear from two more prophets this week, Hosea who is preaching at the time of
the exile and aftermath of Israel’s defeat in the north, and Isaiah who is warning of a
similar fate in Judah in the south. Hezekiah and his descendants will try all sorts of
things to keep Assyria at bay. Money is the first step. Hezekiah gathers up gold from
the temple treasury and sends gifts of tribute to the king of Assyria. Next, they try
allying themselves with other surrounding nations. Old enemies tie themselves
together in strained alliances in order to stand up to Assyria. Neither of these solutions does the trick. The prophets’ message? Learn from Israel’s destruction and choose a
different path. We must not rely upon money or alliances. We must rely upon the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, who has already protected and delivered Israel so
many times in the past. Hezekiah’s revival is very good for Judah. But no one lives
forever, and his son Manasseh will assume the throne and tear it all apart again. The
idols are back, and the Assyrians are getting closer, no wonder the prophets will start
speaking LOUDER! You are doing a great job with Coast to Coast. It can be tough
during the summer months to keep up with a project like this. Keep going! Even if
you’ve stumbled some along the way, or haven’t read for a long time, remember
Hezekiah’s revival! No matter how long the things of God have been neglected, you
can always start again. God cares much more about our future than our past!
Keep reading, and I’ll see you in the Bible!
WEEK 29 Reading Schedule:
Jul 16 Hosea 8-14 God Accuses Israel’s Sins
Jul 17 Isaiah 28-30 Punishment and Mercy Predicted
Jul 18 Isaiah 31-34 Rely on God, not Wealth or Other Nations
Jul 19 Isaiah 35-36 Sennacherib Threatens Jerusalem
Jul 20 Isaiah 37-39; Psalms 76 Hezekiah’s Illness
Jul 21 Isaiah 40-43 Restoration and Protection Promised
Jul 22 Isaiah 44-48 Cyrus as God’s Anointed