A Prophet of God
Biblical Israel Ministries & Tours (BIMT) is all about teaching the Bible in the context of the land of Israel and other biblical countries (Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, Greece, and Italy). There are over 100 biblical sites in Israel alone that have been excavated. Today we travel to the Wadi Qelt and the heart of the Judean Desert. Located just east of Jerusalem, the desert was probably where Isaiah the Prophet received comforting words of God for his people.
Isaiah served Judah, the southern kingdom of Israel, during the last part of the Eight Century BC. At this time, Judah was challenged by the impending invasion of the Assyrians. Already in 722 BC (led by Sargon II), this northern enemy of Israel destroyed the northern kingdom of Israel. Now, King Sennacherib, who began his reign in 705 BC (until 681 BC), was advancing southward towards Judah. According to his own words (on what is called the Taylor Prism displayed in the British Museum today), Sennacherib would end up destroying 46 Judean cities, and up until God’s intervention (see 2 Chronicles 32), this Assyrian king in his own words wrote in Cuneiform, “surrounded Hezekiah like a bird in a cage…”
This is why the words given to Isaiah by the LORD were so encouraging to the Judeans. Amidst the invasion of Assyrians, the prophet exhorted his people to be comforted in God’s plan. Here is the text of the first part of Isaiah 40,
Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for, that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins. A voice of one calling: “In the wilderness prepare the way for the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain. And the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all people will see it together. For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” (Isaiah 40:1-5).
Are you faced with challenges and trials today? If you are, may the words of the prophet bring you comfort today!
PS. Try not to laugh at Isaiah’s beard. It was hand made. 🙂