Day 181 (June 30): Ahaz dies, Babylon destroyed for its sins, those who raided Israel will be Israel’s servants, Assyria will be trampled, Philistines will see fierce soldiers from north, Moab will be leveled

Welcome to BibleBum where we are exploring the entire Bible in one year to better learn how to follow God’s instructions and discover the purpose for our lives.  The BibleBum blog uses The One Year Chronological Bible, the New Living Translation version.  At the end of each day’s reading, Rob, a cultural history aficionado and seminary graduate, answers questions from Leigh An, the blogger host, about the daily scripture.  To start from the beginning, click on “Index” and select Day 1.

2 Kings 16:19-20

2 Chronicles 28:26-27

Isaiah 13-16

Questions & Observations

Q. (Isaiah 13:4): Who are these armies?  Those who still believe in God?

A. Though the title of the section refers to the Babylonian army, it is actually referring to what we have been calling the Assyrians.  Babylon was their most important city, and so this section (13:1-14:27) all pertains to the Assyrian people, army, and king.  But there will be another Babylon that will come onto the scene and be a very important player in future events for Judah.

Q. (13:16,18): OK, it doesn’t look like these people are followers of God if they are raping women and killing children.  I guess God just mobilized these wicked soldiers so Babylon could look evil in the eye?

A. Isaiah is talking about the same armies we have already been seeing in the story.  The Assyrian army routed the nation of Israel and pretty much everything in their path, and did so with bloodthirsty gusto.

Q. (14:1-23): We haven’t heard much about Babylon, right?  We have mostly heard of Samaria and Jerusalem.  Why Babylon now?  What was the city known for … not counting the evil?

A. For the moment, it is known for being the capital of Assyria.  Hold onto this question, and let’s revisit it later.

Q/O. (14:24-27): You were right in one of yesterday’s questions when you said it wasn’t Assyria who would bring down Israel.

A. Hum, Assyria did destroy Israel.  What I mentioned yesterday is that Assyria would not destroy Judah, and that I stand by.

Q. (15:1-16:14): And why is destroying Moab important?  What is its relationship to Israel?  It seems like I remember battles between the two ever since the Israelites arrived in Canaan.

A. This section of Isaiah contains prophecy against many other nations (he’s going to talk about Damascus and Egypt next, for example).  So in that sense, there’s nothing special about Moab, other than it was a nation that God told Isaiah to prophecy to.  This section of Isaiah is all about God calling the nations in this part of the world to account for their sins (like Jonah was called to), while keeping the long-term focus unto the people of God.

Day 176 (June 25): Songs for salvation, warning to Damascus and Israel, Ahaz closes temple, Ahaz rejects God, Hezekiah rules in Judah, Hoshea rules in Judah, Hosea’s kids’ names reveal future, charges against unfaithful Israel

Welcome to BibleBum where we are exploring the entire Bible in one year to better learn how to follow God’s instructions and discover the purpose for our lives.  The BibleBum blog uses The One Year Chronological Bible, the New Living Translation version.  At the end of each day’s reading, Rob, a cultural history aficionado and seminary graduate, answers questions from Leigh An, the blogger host, about the daily scripture.  To start from the beginning, click on “Index” and select Day 1.

Isaiah 12:1-6

Isaiah 17

2 Chronicles 28:16-21

2 Kings 16:10-18

2 Chronicles 28:22-25

2 Kings 18:1-8

2 Chronicles 29:1-2

2 Kings 15:30-31 / 732 BC

2 Kings 17:1-4

Hosea 1-2:13

Questions & Observations

O. (Isaiah 12:2): With Jesus’s death, we have victory.  God has won the battle.  That’s why people proclaim “Jesus has risen” on Easter.  Through His resurrection, He proved that He was the Messiah.  Heaven is won for us. We just have to proclaim it to enter.

O. (12:4): Thank you God and Jesus for the sacrifice and giving me a ticket to heaven.  Just thinking that it had to come to Jesus dying on the cross makes me feel unworthy and sad that we forced His death.  Our sins were so bad that Jesus, sinless, had to take our punishment for our redemption.  It was God’s only option for getting His children to heaven.  That’s how much God and Jesus love us!

Q. (12:6): Would the people whom Isaiah is speaking to have any idea what Isaiah is talking about?

A. I would think so.  Isaiah is reminding the people that they should be depending upon God, and that He is the faithful one they have too quickly forgotten.

Q. (17:4-6): I am getting tired of this repetitive gloom.  But, God often calls on our patience (he has been patience with us … and Israel).  And, if you take the time to read it, God paints a specific picture of what it will look like after the invasion, pointing out things that are important like a few olives left on a tree, which is vital when food is scarce.

A. If you’re tired of the gloom, you’re not going to like the next part of the story.  It’s going to be gloomy for a while.

O. I am surprised that Hezekiah followed God after ruling alongside his father, Ahaz, who built altars to worship false gods.  Of course, it can be just part of the plan.

Q. (Hosea 1:1): In 2 Kings 17:4, the Bible says that Hoshea was imprisoned by the king of Assyria.  Are Hoshea and Hosea not the same person?

A. Hoshea and Hosea are different people.  Hoshea is the last king of Israel before it is destroyed and resettled, and Hosea is a prophet in Israel during its final days.

Q. Can you explain Hosea 1:10-2:1?

A. God is talking about the renewal of His people after their various periods in exile.  Under the leadership of men like Ezra and Nehemiah, among others, God will restore Israel/Judah, but not for a while.  There’s a long way to go before that!

Day 174 (June 23): Jotham rules in Judah, sorrow for Samaria and Jerusalem, Ahaz rules in Judah, Isaiah delivers message to Ahaz, sign of virgin birth

Welcome to BibleBum where we are exploring the entire Bible in one year to better learn how to follow God’s instructions and discover the purpose for our lives.  The BibleBum blog uses The One Year Chronological Bible, the New Living Translation version.  At the end of each day’s reading, Rob, a cultural history aficionado and seminary graduate, answers questions from Leigh An, the blogger host, about the daily scripture.  To start from the beginning, click on “Index” and select Day 1.

2 Kings 15:32-38

2 Chronicles 27:1-9

Micah 1

2 Kings 16:1-9

Isaiah 7:1-25

Questions & Observations

Q. (2 Chronicles 27): Did the Amonites get anything back from paying this tribute?

A. Technically, as a “vassal” state, the Amonites got the protection of Judah’s troops if needed.  Other than that, tribute is a one way street: the mightier one gets the gold.

Q. (Micah 1:1): Do we know anything about Micah?  Just another prophet?

A. We do not know much outside of what he tells us with in the text.  And there is a reference to him in Jeremiah 26:18.  He was most likely from the tribe of Judah, and lived in the Southern part of the kingdom.  He was a contemporary of both Isaiah and Hosea, which I presume we will continue reading in parallel.

Q. (1:5): But Jotham was following God, so I would assume that the people of Judah were too.  Or, do we not know if Jotham was ruling when Micah wrote this?

A. We don’t exactly know, but the story tells us our answer anyway.  The problem was not whether the king was following God (even if he represented the people), but that the people were still worshipping idols, in both capitals, Jerusalem and Samaria.  None of the kings mentioned in Micah did enough to combat this heresy.

Q. (1:6-7): We keep hearing of this looming destruction.  Is this a ploy to warn the nation of Judah and hopefully they will turn toward God to avoid the destruction?  Just a small side question: Do we call the Israelites in Judah “Judeans?”

A. Yes, Judeans is correct.  It’s not a ploy, and Isaiah in particular will reach a point, after Israel is destroyed, of basically telling Judah, “be careful, or you’re next!”

O. (2 Chronicles 28:12): I like seeing Israel react to this warning.  This means they acknowledge His power.

Q. (Isaiah 7:13-16): Isaiah is speaking of Jesus here, right?  What is the purpose of Isaiah revealing the virgin birth to King Ahaz?  The two kingdoms that v. 16 is talking about is Aram and Israel?

A. The verses here establish a “type” or format for this prophecy.  In the contemporary sense of these words, Isaiah is telling the king that God is faithful and will be “with them.”  So in that sense, it does refer to Jesus, but not exclusively.  The NT writers understood that Jesus was “God with us” in the fullest sense, not just as an ally or close at hand, but God made flesh, so they connect this prophecy from ancient times to our understanding of the way that God chose to go about being “with us” in multiple senses of the word.

Q. (Isaiah 7:17-20): So, in 2 Kings 16:5, Ahaz calls on Assyria to fight Aram and Israel, but here Assyria is wiping out Jerusalem?

A. Assyria will not destroy Jerusalem, for reasons that will be explained later, but yes, the king of Judah is encouraging Assyria to conquer Israel.