Mother kissing teen daughter July 14 Chronological Bible Study

Timeline. Map. Go to today’s Bible reading (NIV) or alternate versions (use your browser arrow to return): Isaiah 33–35

Maturity, Awareness

In our July 11 Bible study, we learned about growing pains, and in particular spiritual growing pains. When we were teenagers many of us were rebellious, wayward, or know-it-alls. We would not listen, sought our own solutions, and often suffered for it. Now we are adults and realize mom and dad were smarter than we knew. What happened? We matured. We are truly sorry for our arrogance and how we have treated others. We are more respectful. We get our act together and start living responsible lives.

The northern kingdom of Israel went through rebellion but failed to realize her sin. The kingdom was destroyed, and her people were taken into captivity in Assyria. Her sister nation, Judah, now follows in her tracks. She is in danger of destroying herself and suffering the same fate. Will she wake up in time and realize her foolishness?

Assyria is a powerful nation. She is God’s arm of strength against Israel and other sinful nations in and around Canaan. By God’s sovereign will she attacks them with the ferociousness of a lion. The nation of Judah is afraid. They see all other nations quickly ripped apart and destroyed by Assyria. They hoped Babylon could overpower her, but Assyria put down that rebellion. Assyria is now moving south. Besides Israel, she has already conquered other neighboring nations and most fortified cities of Judah. Jerusalem is the only notable city left.

When Hezekiah becomes sole-regent after the death of his father Ahaz, he leads the nation of Judah in revival. After many years pass, however, Judah worships the LORD in pretense and with a rebellious heart. Then, just before Assyria’s attack on Jerusalem, it appears she matures and realizes she needs forgiveness for her sin and God’s help. Isaiah the prophet offers this prayer on behalf of the nation of Judah. It seems to indicate nation-wide repentance.

O LORD, be gracious to us; we long for you. Be our strength every morning, our salvation in time of distress.

“The LORD is exalted, for he dwells on high; he will fill Zion with justice and righteousness. He will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge; the fear of the LORD is the key to this treasure” (Isaiah 33:2,5-6, NIV).

As Judah realizes she needs help, she fears the LORD, turns to him from her sins, and asks for His assistance. God responds, “‘Now will I arise,’ says the LORD. ‘Now will I be exalted; now will I be lifted up’” (Isaiah 33:10a, NIV). Now God will help Jerusalem. Isaiah continues,

You will see those arrogant people no more [The Assyrians], those people of an obscure speech, with their strange, incomprehensible tongue. (Isaiah 33:19, NIV).

Have we matured enough to know when we need help? Will we turn to the LORD from our sins, revere Him and ask for help? God will release His power to help us when we rely upon Him.

In future days, after the Great Tribulation period, Israel will be forever saved. One day when Christ comes back to rule and reign, He will take vengeance on all of Israel’s enemies and bring a long awaited peace to her land.

Look upon Zion, the city of our festivals; your eyes will see Jerusalem, a peaceful abode, a tent that will not be moved; its stakes will never be pulled up, nor any of its ropes broken. There the LORD will be our Mighty One. It will be like a place of broad rivers and streams.... For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver, the LORD is our king; it is he who will save us” (Isaiah 33:20-22, NIV).

In those days, never again will Israel's reunited nation be rebellious. Never again will they cease to listen to God’s Word or be blind to their own ways.

Like Israel, in spite of our rebellion, the LORD forgives, heals and restores. We have the promise of forgiveness, peace and spiritual life if we look to Him for forgiveness (more...). Believers who mature and overcome also have the promise that they will someday rule and reign with Him over a beautifully renewed earth (Revelation 5:10; 20:6; 22:5). Won’t that be a great day for the mature in Christ? Through Him, we gain the victory.

Lessons to Live By

  • Have we matured enough to know when we need help? Will we turn to God from our sin, fear the LORD and ask Him for help? (more...) God will release His power to help us when we rely upon Him.
  • Praise the LORD for leaders who see the need and are courageous to lead people to revival and to rely upon the LORD.
  • God can bring peace to us and our families.
  • In spite of our rebellion, the LORD forgives, heals and restores.
  • Believers who mature and overcome the promise that they will someday rule and reign with Him.
  • Through God we gain the victory .

Focus Verse

Hosea 6:1 (NIV) “Come, let us return to the LORD. He has torn us to pieces but he will heal us; he has injured us but he will bind up our wounds.”

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A Look Ahead: Again the nation of Judah is threatened by Assyria. Hezekiah leads them into a Saving Prayer.

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