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flooding June 30 Chronological Bible Study

Timeline. Map. Go to today’s Bible reading: Isaiah 7:1- 10:4; Isaiah 17

A Flood of Adversity

Sometimes disasters take us by surprise, such as a flood. Other disasters creep up upon us but are predictable, i.e., we can see them coming. For instance, we can see the deterioration of a house, a church, a business, or a marriage and know that if something is not done, it cannot survive. Some useless responses to predictable disasters are to make excuses, cast blame upon others, deny the reality of the situation, seek the sympathy of friends, put a temporary patch on the problem, or to run from it. What should we do when facing a flood of adversity?

In today’s Bible study the northern kingdom of Israel forged an alliance with the Aram (Damascus). Together they were going to wipe out Judah and install their own king. Isaiah 8 says Israel had the rejected the waters of Shiloah (a gentle pool in Jerusalem), meaning the peace of God that comes from an obedient life, so the LORD would send the flood waters of Assyria to invade the land and carry her away. Yet God would be “with” Judah (Immanuel means “God with us”) and protect her from also being carried away (8:6-10). (for more insight into interpreting prophecy and Isaiah 7:14 and 8:6-10, go to more page).

All parents have fears about impending danger and its effects upon their children. It would have been easy for Isaiah to be caught up in the same attitudes and actions of his nation. God said to Isaiah,

Do not call conspiracy everything that these people call conspiracy; do not fear what they fear, and do not dread it. The LORD Almighty is the one you are to regard as holy, he is the one you are to fear, he is the one you are to dread, and he will be a sanctuary, (Isaiah 8:12-14a, NIV).

To whom should we turn when faced with a flood of adversity? Turn to the LORD. Fear Him, not the circumstances. Do not behave as others around you. Do not seek counsel from spiritists to try to understand your circumstances. Seek God’s word found in the Bible. Be a student of it. Others will seek answers from their world and even blame God. Don’t do that. They are darkened in their understanding. Ephesians 5:8 says, “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light,” (NIV).

The lands of Zebulun, Naphtali, Asher, and eastern Manasseh, tribes of Israel around the Sea of Galilee had already been taken by Assyria when Isaiah 9 was written. The prophecy in this chapter gives them hope. One day the Messiah would come and bring them peace. Now, however, Israel was to be punished for her sins, and God was not going to withdraw his hand of judgment.

In Isaiah 17 the prophet prophesies that Damascus and Israel will be destroyed [by Assyria] and only a few would remain. Judah also had forgotten the LORD who saved her from her enemies. She, too, would be threatened by disaster, but under King Hezekiah Judah would be led to true repentance for her sins. Her people would put away their idols and serve God only. In 722 B.C. Sennacherib, king of Assyria, led his troops to destroy Aram and Israel. On a conquering binge, he moved south intent on destroying Judah too, but overnight 185,000 of his soldiers were put to death by the Lord and Judah was saved (Isaiah 17:14;Isaiah 37:33-37). For the time being, The Lord (Immanuel) would be with them. God is also with us, helping us when we are with him.

Lessons to live by: How do we respond to threatening floods of adversity?

  • Be sure you are not to blame. This is not a time for making excuses or shifting blame. It is a time to repent and seek the LORD. He offers us forgiveness, peace, and spiritual life (more...)
  • Do not fear your circumstances. Fear the LORD and walk a holy life before Him.
  • Be a student of God’s word. Seek understanding from Him, not other metaphysical sources.
  • Look to the LORD for your hope. Restoration will come but perhaps not until punishment is complete .
  • Make the LORD your rock, your fortress in times of trouble. God is with us, helping us when we are with him.

Today’s Bible memory verse:

2Chronicles 15:2 “He [the prophet Azariah] went out to meet Asa and said to him, ‘Listen to me, Asa and all Judah and Benjamin. The LORD is with you when you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you.’” (NIV)

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