April 28th

Isaiah 39-41

  • 39:1-8 – Hezekiah started out faithful, but like several other kings, made some poor choices in his later years. He shows off his wealth to his Babylonian visitor. It seems that the sin in this is trying to befriend Babylon in an effort to have an ally against Assyria. God wants Judah to seek him as their only ally.
  • 40:1-31 – This chapter marks a major transition- everything in Isaiah up to this point has been written before the Exile; this, however, is written as the Exile is coming to a close, roughly 150 years after the first chapters of Isaiah are written. There are multiple theories about the authorship of this part of the book (which is often called Second Isaiah by scholars)- the Bible Project video explains this well.
  • 40:3 – This verse is quoted regarding John the Baptist who was called to prepare the way for Christ.
  • 40:8-10 – God continues to comfort the Israelites of Judah assuring them that they will soon be free.
  • 40:27-28—Understandably, many of the Jews in exile have begun to doubt that God really cares for them. Of course, their problems are their own fault and it’s unreasonable to blame God for them, but how often do we do this ourselves?
  • 41:2—This is talking about Cyrus the Great, the king of Persia who conquered Babylon.
  • 41:14—I love this little verse. God’s getting kind of snarky here- promising help and protection while also slipping in a couple of nice little insults. Maybe he’s still bitter about the whole “worshipping false gods repeatedly” thing.
  • 41:17-24 – God promises to take care of those in need and also challenges other gods to try to do the same. He taunts other gods asking them to do something good or bad if they’re capable.

 

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