Devotion: Use this resource at home to guide your household’s daily devotions. You can do this alone, as a couple, as a family; in the morning, during the day, or at night. Find a routine that works best for you.
Pray: Light a candle and open your devotion time with a prayer.
God who beats swords into plowshares, you remained faithful to the people of Judah when all hope seemed lost. Remind us that you always remain faithful, even when we cannot see it, for the sake of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Reflect: Reflect on the key verse from Sunday’s reading.
Isaiah said to them, “Say to your master, ‘Thus says the LORD: Do not be afraid because of the words that you have heard…Isaiah 37:6a NRSV
Study: Study the reading and consider the background.
Isaiah 1-39 (often referred to as First Isaiah) was written for Judah (the Southern Kingdom), whose borders were being threatened by Assyria. Assyria had already conquered Samaria and defeated Israel (The Northern Kingdom) a few hundred years before. The Rabshakeh (the chief steward of the king of Assyria, and messenger) threatened Judah and invited the people to surrender, promising they would be taken care of. King Hezekiah of Judah remained faithful to God, asking Isaiah to plead to God on behalf of Judah. God heard King Hezekiah’s plea and saved Judah from the Assyrian king. Once again, God’s promise of deliverance was kept.
Read: Read the following daily readings to deepen your understanding of Sunday’s text. After the reading, ask the follow-up questions.
Follow the story of Hezekiah and Isaiah, and how God saved them from conquest and exile for many years. [You may want to consult one or more maps in the back of your print Bible. Or, see here for a map of the Assyrian empire and here for a map of Israel and Judah]
Sunday, Isaiah 36:1-3, 13-20; 37:1-7 Fear or Trust?
Monday, Isaiah 36:4-12, Sennacherib Threatens Jerusalem
Tuesday, Isaiah 37:8-13, Hezekiah Consults Isaiah
Wednesday, Isaiah 37:14-29, Hezekiah’s Prayer
Thursday, Isaiah 37:30-38, Sennacherib’s Defeat and Death
Friday, Isaiah 38:1-22, Hezekiah’s Illness
Saturday, Isaiah 39:1-8, Envoys from Babylon Welcomed
How did God respond to Hezekiah’s words and actions? What were God’s promises to God’s people?
Connect: Connect in conversation with others in your household. Discuss the following questions, or simply check in with “Highs” and “Lows.”
- What was a high point of your day? What was a low point?
- How do you suppose God decides how to arbitrate when communities are at odds with each other?
- When have you trusted in God at a time when trusting took great courage? How did it turn out?
Do: By acting on what we learn, we make God’s word come alive. Do the following activity this week.
Keep a prayer journal. Record your prayers and how God answers them.
Bless: Close your devotion with a blessing.
Copyright © 2014 Clergy Stuff.. (Study section adapted) Used and adapted with Permission. Find more at www.ClergyStuff.com. Blessing written by Pr. Chip Borgstadt. Scripture quotations from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used with permission. All rights reserved. References and links to maps added (with permission) by Lorinda Hoover.