flooding June 30 Chronological Bible Study

Timeline. Map. Go to today’s Bible reading (NIV) or alternate versions (use your browser arrow to return): Isaiah 7:1–10:4; Isaiah 17

A Flood of Adversity

Sometimes disasters, such as floods, take us by surprise. Others creep 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 reading the northern kingdom of Israel forges an alliance with Aram (Damascus). Together they are going to wipe out Judah and install their own king. Israel has rejected the waters of Shiloah (a gentle pool in Jerusalem), meaning the peace of God that comes from an obedient life, so the LORD will send the flood waters (Assyria) to invade the land and carry her away (Isaiah 8). Yet God will be “with” Judah (Immanuel means “God with us”) and protect her from the same fate (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 coming 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? We can turn to the LORD and let Him be our sanctuary. We should fear Him, not the circumstances. We should not behave as others around us. We should not seek counsel from spiritists to try to understand our circumstances—let's seek counsel from God’s Word (the Bible). Let's be a student of it. Others will seek answers from their world and even blame God. We shouldn't do that. They are darkened in their understanding. The Apostle Paul tells us, “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light” (Ephesians 5:8, 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 will come and bring them peace. Now, however, Israel will be punished for her sins, and God will not withdraw His hand of judgment.

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

Lessons to Live By

in responding to threatening floods of adversity

  • Let's be sure we are not to blame. This is not a time for making excuses or shifting responsibilities. It is a time to turn from our sins and seek the LORD. He offers us forgiveness, peace, and spiritual life (more...)
  • We do not need to fear our circumstances. We need to fear the LORD and walk a holy life before Him.
  • Let's be a student of God’s word. We should seek understanding from Him, not mystical sources.
  • Let's look to the LORD for our hope. Restoration will come but perhaps not until punishment is complete.
  • The LORD can be our rock, our fortress in times of trouble. God is with us, helping us when we are with Him.

Focus Verse

2Chronicles 15:2 (NIV) “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.’”

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A Look Ahead: If we want protection, we must Heed the warning Sirens in God's Word and make the LORD our refuge.

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