Scripture Text:(click to open in a new window)
1. What experience have you had with snakes?
2. One tradition says Ahaz died in 715 B. C., when Assyria’s control was weak and Philistia rebelled. What will result from this revolt (verses 29, 30b, 31)?
3. Philistia wanted Judah as an ally against Assyria. Why would this message against Philistia be given to Judah? Where should Judah look for safety (verses 30a, 32)?
4. What alliances (getting in with the “right” people, hoarding wealth, etc.) might keep you from fully trusting God? What does this prophecy tell you about those alliances?
For those of us in the United States of America, it is Memorial Day. May we all make a special effort to remember the servicemen and women who made the ultimate sacrifice throughout our nation’s history.
With the death of Ahaz, Judah has a final opportunity for spiritual renewal. Hezekiah will do what he can to revive Judah, but Isaiah already knows the ultimate outcome and continues to prophesy against the nations who either have brought, or will bring, suffering to God’s people. In today’s text, the Philistines are judged.
Babylonia in particular is singled out because of it is the nation which will carry Judah away into captivity in just a few years. Isaiah predicts that Babylon itself will be conquered by the Medo-Persian empire, a fact to which history will later attest.
Judgment/prophecy against Babylon and the reforms of King Hezekiah are coming up this week and next week.