1: At that time Merodach-baladan, the son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent letters and a present to Hezekiah: for he had heard that he had been sick, and was recovered. 2: And Hezekiah was glad of them, and shewed them the house of his precious things, the silver, and the gold, and the spices, and the precious ointment, and all the house of his armour, and all that was found in his treasures: there was nothing in his house, nor in all his dominion, that Hezekiah shewed them not. 3: Then came Isaiah the prophet unto king Hezekiah, and said unto him, What said these men? and from whence came they unto thee? And Hezekiah said, They are come from a far country unto me, even from Babylon. 4: Then said he, What have they seen in thine house? And Hezekiah answered, All that is in mine house have they seen: there is nothing among my treasures that I have not shewed them. 5: Then said Isaiah to Hezekiah, Hear the word of the LORD of hosts: 6: Behold, the days come, that all that is in thine house, and that which thy fathers have laid up in store until this day, shall be carried to Babylon: nothing shall be left, saith the LORD. 7: And of thy sons that shall issue from thee, which thou shalt beget, shall they take away; and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon. 8: Then said Hezekiah to Isaiah, Good is the word of the LORD which thou hast spoken. He said moreover, For there shall be peace and truth in my days.
1: Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. 2: Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the LORD's hand double for all her sins. 3: The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. 4: Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain: 5: And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it. 6: The voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field: 7: The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: because the spirit of the LORD bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass. 8: The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever. 9: O Zion, that bringest good tidings, get thee up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God! 10: Behold, the Lord GOD will come with strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him. 11: He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young. 12: Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and meted out heaven with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance? 13: Who hath directed the Spirit of the LORD, or being his counseller hath taught him? 14: With whom took he counsel, and who instructed him, and taught him in the path of judgment, and taught him knowledge, and shewed to him the way of understanding? 15: Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance: behold, he taketh up the isles as a very little thing. 16: And Lebanon is not sufficient to burn, nor the beasts thereof sufficient for a burnt offering. 17: All nations before him are as nothing; and they are counted to him less than nothing, and vanity. 18: To whom then will ye liken God? or what likeness will ye compare unto him? 19: The workman melteth a graven image, and the goldsmith spreadeth it over with gold, and casteth silver chains. 20: He that is so impoverished that he hath no oblation chooseth a tree that will not rot; he seeketh unto him a cunning workman to prepare a graven image, that shall not be moved. 21: Have ye not known? have ye not heard? hath it not been told you from the beginning? have ye not understood from the foundations of the earth? 22: It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in: 23: That bringeth the princes to nothing; he maketh the judges of the earth as vanity. 24: Yea, they shall not be planted; yea, they shall not be sown: yea, their stock shall not take root in the earth: and he shall also blow upon them, and they shall wither, and the whirlwind shall take them away as stubble. 25: To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One. 26: Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: he calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth. 27: Why sayest thou, O Jacob, and speakest, O Israel, My way is hid from the LORD, and my judgment is passed over from my God? 28: Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. 29: He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. 30: Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: 31: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
Today we are reading Isaiah ch 39 & 40 where Isaiah writes that at that time, that is at the time of these two signs to Hezekiah, i.e. the sign of the sundial going backward and the healing of his sickness, the King of Babylon, Merodach-baladan sent letters and a present to Hezekiah because he had heard that he had been sick and was now recovered. Hezekiah was glad of this letter and showed the treasures of the house of the Lord to the messengers. He showed them everything that was precious to Israel and did not keep back showing them anything. Then Isaiah came to see Hezekiah and asked him what are these men doing here? Hezekiah told him that they were Babylonians and what he had shown them. So Isaiah said this is what the Lord says there will come a day when everything here will be carried away to Babylon. They will also take away all your children. Hezekiah acknowledged the word of the Lord So Isaiah said there will be peace in your days. In Isaiah ch 40 Isaiah begins a new prophecy in which he describes the voice from the wilderness (The life and ministry of John the Baptist) and the gathering of the Lords people by Christ. Of course Isaiah had no idea that between these two phases of prophetic utterance there would be an interregnum of at least 2000 years. The ministry of John has passed but the gathering of ‘the people’ is yet future. The message begins with a declaration of comfort to Israel because God has judged Israel twice for their sins and the judgement is past. Then from v3-5 we have a famous passage quoted in Matt 3v3 Mark 1v3 Luke 3v4-6 John 1v23 & 1Peter 1v24. In ch 6 Isaiah had recorded a voice from the temple prophesying the scattering but now the voice comes from the desert (Claimed by John) declaring the re-gathering. Johns mission was to prepare the way for the King. The King of kings came but he was rejected and his kingdom refused. So now the kingdom is in waiting and the King is absent from him people, and his people still scattered. This prophecy is still awaiting fulfilment today. Isaiah describes the conditions of the fulfilment of this prophecy, It will occur at a time of earth change in topography. When the mountains and the hills will be brought low and the valleys raised up. In that day the crocked roads will be straightened and the rough places smoothed. At that time the glory of the LORD will be revealed to men Matt 24v27 and all men will see it at the same moment on every continent. Then Isaiah records another voice, The voice of the LORD who declares that all flesh is like grass which grows up and withers but declares that though men perish the word of the Lord ensures forever. As a result of the topographical change Zion will be raised up to be the highest mountain and Jerusalem will be in its height. Then Christ himself will come and the people of Zion will say Behold your GOD!. The LORD God - Christ will come in power and great glory to rule and to reward those who have been faithful to Israel. He will judge the living nations Matt 25. He will be a shepherd to his people, being tender to the young. From v12 right on to ch 66v24 (the end of the book) Isaiah brings Gods controversy with the nations. Be begins describing the greatness of God and the smallness of the nations. He is great, he says, because he is able to hold all the oceans in the hollow of his palm and he is able to measure the universe with the span of his hand, he is able to put all the soil of all the earth in a container and hold it in his hand. He can weigh the mountains in a scale and all the hills in a balance. Who is the one who directs the Spirit of God? Who can give advice to God and teach him? The nations of the world are like the overflowing splashing drops of a bucket of water. Whole nations are like the microscopic dust falling on a scale. Even the distant Islands are like a very small thing to him. Even if the whole of the forests of Lebanon were burnt and every beast of the earth were a burnt offering, then it would not be enough for God. All the nations of the earth are counted by him as less than nothing. So what is God like? What can I suggest to compare him with? Men make images and cover them with gold and silver. He says you make an image so great that you think it is impossible for anyone ever to move it. But have you not heard that God sits on the globe of the earth and all his people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a curtain – like a tent to cover above. He brings princes to nothing and makes the judges hid in shame. They will not be established nor will they take root. He will blow on them and they will wither and be carried away as by a hurricane. God, the Holy One asks, Who will you say I am like? Who is my equal? Who is the one who created everything? He created a massive host of things and named them all, because he is strong in power and not one of his creations failed. Why does Israel say the Lord does not know? Have you not heard and known that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, never feels faint, not gets tired? No one can search out all that he knows. He is the one who gives power to the fainting and strength to the weak. Even the young men will faint and be tired and fall, but those who wait on the LORD shall have their strength renewed. They will fly upward with wings like eagles, they will run and never be weary and they will walk and not faint.