Tuesday, July 22, 2014


Hezekiah Is Healed
          Isaiah 38:1-8  (NASB)

38 In those days Hezekiah became mortally ill.
 And Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came to him and said to him,
“Thus says the Lord, ‘Set your house in order, for you shall die and not live.’”
 Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord,
 and said, “Remember now, O Lord, I beseech You, how I have walked before You in truth and with a whole heart, and have done what is good in Your sight.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.
Then the word of the Lord came to Isaiah, saying,
 “Go and say to Hezekiah, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of your father David,
 “I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; behold, I will add fifteen years to your life.
I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria; and I will defend this city.”’

“This shall be the sign to you from the Lord,
 that the Lord will do this thing that He has spoken:
Behold, I will cause the shadow on the stairway,
 which has gone down with the sun on the stairway of Ahaz, to go back ten steps.”
 So the sun’s shadow went back ten steps on the stairway on which it had gone down.

Do we believe God still answers prayer?


Daniel's Prayer for His People

Daniel 9:4-23  (NASB)

Daniel Confesses the Sin of the People

I prayed to the Lord my God and confessed and said, “Alas, O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and lovingkindness for those who love Him and keep His commandments, we have sinned, committed iniquity, acted wickedly and rebelled, even turning aside from Your commandments and ordinances.

 Moreover, we have not listened to Your servants the prophets, who spoke in Your name to our kings, our princes, our fathers and all the people of the land.

Righteousness belongs to You, O Lord, but to us open shame, as it is this day—to the men of Judah, the inhabitants of Jerusalem and all Israel, those who are nearby and those who are far away in all the countries to which You have driven them, because of their unfaithful deeds which they have committed against You.

 Open shame belongs to us, O Lord, to our kings, our princes and our fathers, because we have sinned against You.

Daniel Confesses God's Compassion and Forgiveness

To the Lord our God belong compassion and forgiveness, for we have rebelled against Him; 10 nor have we obeyed the voice of the Lord our God, to walk in His teachings which He set before us through His servants the prophets.

 11 Indeed all Israel has transgressed Your law and turned aside, not obeying Your voice; so the curse has been poured out on us, along with the oath which is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, for we have sinned against Him.

 12 Thus He has confirmed His words which He had spoken against us and against our rulers who ruled us, to bring on us great calamity; for under the whole heaven there has not been done anything like what was done to Jerusalem.

 13 As it is written in the law of Moses, all this calamity has come on us; yet we have not sought the favor of the Lord our God by turning from our iniquity and giving attention to Your truth.

 14 Therefore the Lord has kept the calamity in store and brought it on us; for the Lord our God is righteous with respect to all His deeds which He has done, but we have not obeyed His voice.

15 “And now, O Lord our God, who have brought Your people out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand and have made a name for Yourself, as it is this day—we have sinned, we have been wicked.

16 O Lord, in accordance with all Your righteous acts, let now Your anger and Your wrath turn away from Your city Jerusalem, Your holy mountain; for because of our sins and the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and Your people have become a reproach to all those around us.

Daniel asks God to hear prayer

17 So now, our God, listen to the prayer of Your servant and to his supplications, and for Your sake, O Lord, let Your face shine on Your desolate sanctuary.

 18 O my God, incline Your ear and hear! Open Your eyes and see our desolations and the city which is called by Your name; for we are not presenting our supplications before You on account of any merits of our own, but on account of Your great compassion.

19 O Lord, hear! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, listen and take action! For Your own sake, O my God, do not delay, because Your city and Your people are called by Your name.”

Maybe we also ought to pray as did Daniel and the Prophets of old


Ezra a Priest of Israel Prays a Pray of Confession
     Ezra 9:5-15

But at the evening offering I arose from my humiliation, even with my garment and my robe torn, and I fell on my knees and stretched out my hands to the Lord my God; and I said, “O my God, I am ashamed and embarrassed to lift up my face to You, my God, for our iniquities have risen above our heads and our guilt has grown even to the heavens.

 Since the days of our fathers to this day we have been in great guilt, and on account of our iniquities we, our kings and our priests have been given into the hand of the kings of the lands, to the sword, to captivity and to plunder and to open shame, as it is this day.

 But now for a brief moment grace has been shown from the Lord our God, to leave us an escaped remnant and to give us a peg in His holy place, that our God may enlighten our eyes and grant us a little reviving in our bondage.

For we are slaves; yet in our bondage our God has not forsaken us, but has extended lovingkindness to us in the sight of the kings of Persia, to give us reviving to raise up the house of our God, to restore its ruins and to give us a wall in Judah and Jerusalem.

10 “Now, our God, what shall we say after this? For we have forsaken Your commandments, 11 which You have commanded by Your servants the prophets, saying, ‘The land which you are entering to possess is an unclean land with the uncleanness of the peoples of the lands, with their abominations which have filled it from end to end and with their impurity.

12 So now do not give your daughters to their sons nor take their daughters to your sons, and never seek their peace or their prosperity, that you may be strong and eat the good things of the land and leave it as an inheritance to your sons forever.’

13 After all that has come upon us for our evil deeds and our great guilt, since You our God have requited us less than our iniquities deserve, and have given us an escaped remnant as this, 14 shall we again break Your commandments and intermarry with the peoples who commit these abominations? Would You not be angry with us to the point of destruction, until there is no remnant nor any who escape?

15 O Lord God of Israel, You are righteous, for we have been left an escaped remnant, as it is this day; behold, we are before You in our guilt, for no one can stand before You because of this."

[The Question in My Mind?]
Have we sinned these sins?
Are we accountable to God for such behavior?
Does the Word of God and His Commands apply to us?
Should the Churches of America be confessing the sins of America?
Ought we to pray for revival?
Is revival possible in our day?


[Habakkuk 3:1=19]
Habakkuk 3:1-19 (NASB)

A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet, according to Shigionoth.

Lord, I have heard the report about You and I fear.
O Lord, revive Your work in the midst of the years,
In the midst of the years make it known;
In wrath remember mercy.
God comes from Teman,
And the Holy One from Mount Paran. Selah.
His splendor covers the heavens,
And the earth is full of His praise.

His radiance is like the sunlight;
He has rays flashing from His hand,
And there is the hiding of His power.

Before Him goes pestilence,
And plague comes after Him.

He stood and surveyed the earth;
He looked and startled the nations.
Yes, the perpetual mountains were shattered,
The ancient hills collapsed.
His ways are everlasting.

I saw the tents of Cushan under distress,
The tent curtains of the land of Midian were trembling.
Did the Lord rage against the rivers,
Or was Your anger against the rivers,
Or was Your wrath against the sea,
That You rode on Your horses,
On Your chariots of salvation?

Your bow was made bare,
The rods of chastisement were sworn. Selah.
You cleaved the earth with rivers.

10 The mountains saw You and quaked;
The downpour of waters swept by.
The deep uttered forth its voice,
It lifted high its hands.

11 Sun and moon stood in their places;
They went away at the light of Your arrows,
At the radiance of Your gleaming spear.

12 In indignation You marched through the earth;
In anger You trampled the nations.

13 You went forth for the salvation of Your people,
For the salvation of Your anointed.
You struck the head of the house of the evil
To lay him open from thigh to neck. Selah.

14 You pierced with his own spears
The head of his throngs.
They stormed in to scatter us;
Their exultation was like those
Who devour the oppressed in secret.

15 You trampled on the sea with Your horses,
On the surge of many waters.
16 I heard and my inward parts trembled,
At the sound my lips quivered.
Decay enters my bones,
And in my place I tremble.
Because I must wait quietly for the day of distress,
For the people to arise who will invade us.

[Habakkuk certainly saw the trouble of his own day and probably
on into our times and beyond.
These following verses have given me great hope and courage in
the confidence of God's faithfulness and promises.]

17 Though the fig tree should not blossom
And there be no fruit on the vines,
Though the yield of the olive should fail
And the fields produce no food,
Though the flock should be cut off from the fold
And there be no cattle in the stalls,

18 Yet I will exult in the Lord,
I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.

19 The Lord God is my strength,
And He has made my feet like hinds’ feet,
And makes me walk on my high places.
For the choir director, on my stringed instruments.


The Lord's Prayer   [NASB]

Jesus is speaking in "The Sermon on the Mount."  This includes the Bible chapters of Matthew 5 - 7.  In the 6th chapter He answers a question about pray.

Mt. 6:7-15  "And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words.

8  "Therefore do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need, before you ask Him.

9   Pray, then, in this way:
          'Our Father who art in heaven,
          Hallowed be Thy name,
10      'Thy kingdom come
          Thy will be done,
          On earth as it is in heaven.

11      'Give us this day our daily bread.

12      'And forgive us our debts, as we 
           also have forgiven our debtors.

13      'And do not lead us into   
              temptation, but deliver
              from evil.          For Thine is the
              kingdom, and the power, and
              the glory, forever.  Amen.'

(After the Prayer, Jesus admonished that we must forgive others.)

14   For if you forgive men for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.

15   But if you do not forgive men, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.

          [Here the word "men" refers to mankind.  This is not speaking only of "men."]


The Pharisee and the Publican

Lu. 18:9 ff   And He [Jesus] also told this parable to certain ones who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and viewed others with contempt:

10   "Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee, and the other a tax gatherer

11   The Pharisee stood and was praying thus to himself, 'God, I thank Thee that I am not like other people:  swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax-gatherer.

12   I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.'

13   But the tax-gatherer, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, 'God, be merciful to me, the sinner!'

14   I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for ever one who exalts himself shall be humbled, but he who humbles himself shall be exalted."

          How difficult it is to see ourselves as others see us. 
          And it is certainly to see ourselves as God sees us.