November 10: Living by Faith (Isa 39:1-8)
Isaiah 39:1-8 At that time Merodach-baladan the son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent envoys with letters and a present to Hezekiah, for he heard that he had been sick and had recovered. And Hezekiah welcomed them gladly. And he showed them his treasure house, the silver, the gold, the spices, the precious oil, his whole armory, all that was found in his storehouses. There was nothing in his house or in all his realm that Hezekiah did not show them. Then Isaiah the prophet came to King Hezekiah, and said to him, “What did these men say? And from where did they come to you?” Hezekiah said, “They have come to me from a far country, from Babylon.” He said, “What have they seen in your house?” Hezekiah answered, “They have seen all that is in my house. There is nothing in my storehouses that I did not show them.”
Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Hear the word of the Lord of hosts: Behold, the days are coming, when all that is in your house, and that which your fathers have stored up till this day, shall be carried to Babylon. Nothing shall be left, says the Lord. And some of your own sons, who will come from you, whom you will father, shall be taken away, and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.” Then Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “The word of the Lord that you have spoken is good.” For he thought, “There will be peace and security in my days.” (ESV)
The scriptures over and over call us to place our trust in the character and good promises of God and not man. This is the message of the prophet Habakkuk, "The righteous shall live by faith" (Hab 2:4). But what does it mean to trust God? Why do we so easily turn to trust the things we see or the people we know? We often look to government, to other heroes to deliver us, give us meaning or protect us. They cannot meet all of our needs. We will see in the life of Hezekiah the importance and nature of faith being rooted and resting in God. Hezekiah foolishly put his trust in Babylon - he was dazzled by a doomed culture. Read chapters 36-39 to see how he fluctuated between great periods of trust and yet often struggled to walk by faith in persevering fashion. Consider how you understand the role of faith in your life.
Review and Apply
- Give an example of faith and faithlessness in your life this past week.
- What did you choose to believe instead of God in the above example? Was it worth it?
- Why do we often exercise faith only in emergencies? What does this say about how we live life in non-emergency situations?
- How does Hezekiah's example challenge you in terms of your faith?
- What are your heroes and saviors that you turn to in times of difficulty?
- What do you find happens to faith in times of peace and prosperity? How can you change this?
- What makes God worthy of trust?