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Sunday, December 10th, 2023
the Second Week of Advent
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Bible Commentaries
Isaiah 38

Bell's Commentary on the BibleBell's Commentary

Verses 1-22

  1. Intro:
    1. Outline: Mid-life Crisis! & Mid-life Stupidity!
    2. We are going to see the power of prayer!
    3. Two pastors' wives sat mending their husbands' pants. One of them said to the other, "My poor John, he is so discouraged in his church work. He said just the other day he was considering resigning. It seems nothing goes right for him."The other replied, "Why, my husband was saying just the opposite. He is so enthused, it seems like the Lord is closer to him than ever before."A hushed silence fell as they continued to mend the trousers; one patching the seat and the other the knees.
  2. MID-LIFE CRISIS! (ch.38)
    1. ILLNESS! (1-8)
    2. Prophets Prediction! (1)
      1. In the prime of Hezekiah’s life he contacted a boil(21). It so infected his body that he was told he would die.
      2. Q: Should you prepare for your death?
      3. Amos 4:12 “Prepare to meet your God, O Israel!”
      4. “Procrastination is the devil’s toboggan slide to Hell!” (DeHaan; Bread for Each Day; May 23rd.)
      5. Our Property - Prepare physically – A will. Finances in order.
      6. Our Lives - But also spiritually – Salvation?
        1. Also, plan out your memorial. Don’t have the “I don’t care I won’t be there mentality.” That’s selfish thinking!
        2. I have had people come in that know they are dying & go over what they would like to have in their service.
        3. Q: What will bring glory to God in your service?
        4. Q: What’s your favorite worship songs?
        5. Q: What’s your favorite verse? (I love knowing this, or using their personal Bible with verses underlined)
      7. They say…“if you get swept off your feet, it is time to get on your knees!” And that’s what Hezekiah does.
    3. Passionate Prayer! (2,3)
      1. Spurg - Prayer pulls the rope below and the great bell rings above in the ears of God. Some scarcely stir the bell, for they pray so languidly. Others give but an occasional pluck at the rope. But he who wins with heaven is the man who grasps the rope boldly and pulls continuously, with all his might.
      2. This is a very normal prayer to seek to go on living & serving God.
      3. Deut.30:19,20 “I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the LORD your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days;”
      4. (3) He was loyal! – 2 Kings 18:1-8(esp.3,4,6). [he rooted out idolatry]
        1. He was not claiming favor based on good works, but he has an expectation that God does reward those who serve him. (Philip Hacking; Isaiah; pg. 100)
    4. Radical Recovery! (4,5)
    5. Prophetic Pledge! (6)
    6. Promised Promise! (7,8)
      1. Actually Hezekiah got to pick if the shadow went forward or backward (2 Kings 20:9,10).
      2. Like in Joshua 10:12-14 when the sun stood still for about a whole day!
    7. JOURNAL ENTRY! (9-20)
    8. (9) This is recorded just ater his recovery.
    9. (10) Death is pictured as passing through a gate.
      1. Hezekiah saw being taken too early as being robbed of earthly blessings.
    10. (11) No more fellowship on earth w/God & with his fellow man.
    11. (12-14) 4 similes: “Death is like…”
      1. (12a) a Tent – Life can be swiftly rolled up.
      2. (12b) a Fabric – (earthly perspective)Death is so finale(cut me off).
      3. (13) a Lion – God is like a Lion…crushing pain!
      4. (14) a Birds – Hezekiah’s crying & moaning.
    12. (15) God speaks in pain! & God is the author of this pain!
      1. Our present day example of this is with Kathy Mossa’s heart transplant. (she was given an extension of life)
      2. God spoke to them things: [no, not audibly]
      3. Kathy – Planning Things.
        1. “HIS plans are so far better then us trying to plan it out.”
        2. He showed her how precious life is & how is she now going to glorify God in it?
      4. Rick – He is trustworthy (whole driving, “just trust me”).
        1. That’s when everything started rolling.
        2. Went from crying out to Him, to just praising him. “He loves me & I’ll rest in that.”
    13. (16) This illness was for my good!
      1. “my spirit finds life in it”
      2. God’s illnesses are always purposeful! – They are apart of the Divine plan.
      3. God had one Son on earth without sin, but never one without suffering. Saint Augustine of Hippo
    14. (17a) Anguish can bring peace(or benefit’s, NIV)
    15. (17b) The completeness of forgiveness of sin!
      1. Always better than restoring our health, is forgiving our sins!!!
    16. So, God puts our sins out of Sight! (Philip Hacking)
      1. Is.38:17 “For You have cast all my sins behind Your back.”
    17. God puts our sins out of Reach!
      1. Psalm 103:12 “As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.”
    18. God puts our sins out of Mind!
      1. Jer 31:34 “For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”
    19. God puts our sins out of Existence!
      1. Micah 7:19 “you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.” (NIV)
    20. Oh to know, that our sins are forgiven & forgotten!
    21. (18) In death you can’t praise Himphysically.
      1. Ps.30:9 “What profit is there in my blood, When I go down to the pit? Will the dust praise You? Will it declare Your truth?”
    22. (19,20) Difficult experiences should give us a new appreciation for life & a new desire to live for the Lord.
      1. A vow to praise Him!(19). Faith Sings!(20)
    23. RECOVERY! (21,22)
    24. (21) God + Medicine!
      1. Alongside Divine intervention there was human remedy!
        1. Miracles & medicine need not contradict each other!
      2. A poultice of figs was used in medicinal treatment in the ancient Near east.
      3. Poultice(Encarta): moist substance applied to injury: a warm moist preparation placed on an aching or inflamed part of the body to ease pain, improve circulation, or hasten the expression of pus.
      4. Poultices may be made from bread, clay, mustard, medicinal herbs, or other materials, but are now considered to have little medical benefit.
    25. (22) The sign was verse 8.
      1. Interesting the Bible doesn’t differentiate between God’s general activity in providence & his special intervention in the miraculous.
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Isaiah 38". "Bell's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/isaiah-38.html. 2017.
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