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Welcome to the Westside church’s special Monday Morning Coffee podcast with Mark Roberts. Mark is a disciple, a husband, father and grand dad, as well as a certified coffee geek, fan of CS Lewis’ writings and he loves his big red Jeep. He’s also the preacher for Westside church.
Hello, and welcome to the Westside churches special Monday Morning Coffee podcast on this podcast, our preacher Mark Roberts will help you get your week started right. With look back at yesterday's sermon so that we can think through it further and better work the applications into our daily lives . Mark will then look forward into this week's Bible reading so that we can know what to expect and watch for. And, he may have some extra bonus thoughts from time to time. So grab a cup of coffee as we start the week together on Monday Morning Coffee with Mark.Speaker 3:
Good morning. Good morning. Welcome to the Monday Morning Coffee podcast from Monday. May the first. Can you believe it is May? I'm Mark . I'm holding a great cup of coffee here. I'm just in the bestest mood. Best is not a word, but it should be. I am in the bestest mood. It was just a delight yesterday to talk about the 30th anniversary of Q and a Morning. I'm gonna say a word or two more about that in a moment. And like I said, I'm holding a great cup of coffee. These are Hawaiian Kona beans that some good friends brought back from Hawaii and in a sign that they really get it, instead of bringing home ground coffee, they brought home whole coffee beans. And yes, there is a huge difference. As soon as you grind coffee, it begins to age, it oxidizes and begins to stale. So ground coffee is just not quite as good as whole bean coffee because then I can grind it when I'm ready for a cup. It's fresher, it's ready to go, and I must say it's amazing. So with all of that in place, we are ready to talk about yesterday's q and a sermon to talk about Bible reading. Who would like some Assyrian invasion notes? Let's get started. So yesterday's sermon into 10 40 and in the nine was q and a, did a double yesterday, it was a fifth Sunday, which kind of gives you a little bit of latitude. You're looking for something maybe special to do on a fifth Sunday, but more importantly than that, it was the 30th anniversary of question and answer. Mourning it . I just really am overwhelmed to think about that. It's incredible to consider being with a congregation for 30 years. The West Side Church has just been so amazing and kind and wonderful to me as a preacher and to my family. And it's just, it's just a joy I, I get a little emotional about that. I started q and a 30 years ago. It used to be of course q and a evening because there aren't questions that people ask. There are questions that people ask of you, and there are questions that we have ourselves and they need some resolution and they need a place to go. They need a place to be put. And q and a has given us that opportunity to do that. It allows me to spend some time, a minute or two on some questions that certainly don't merit an entire sermon, not gonna probably preach a whole lesson on the ra shaa more on that in a moment. It does give me the chance to challenge conventional thinking. I remember the first time that I ever dealt with a question about a church bus ministry, and I talked about how buses in fact can be a scripturally authorized expedient if we are using them to collect people and bring them to church. The problem comes when they get involved in church sponsored recreation, which of course is not scripturally authorized. So yes, a church in fact could have a bus and that rocks some people's world and they had to think through that, which is what q and a is all about. And we came out on the other side and people were all, Hey, that was kind of helpful. I need to think more about Bible authority and not just the standard line. We don't do that. And of course, maybe the most important part of q and a is that it opens the pulpit up to you. It gives you the opportunity to have some access there, to have some influence there to say, Hey, this is what I need to hear about. Have you got anything about this? And the ones who participate the most in that oftentimes are our kids. The children have the best questions, like I said yesterday, and they love it. They just love to ask questions. And what we're saying then on q and a morning, is questions are good, questions are needed, questions are vital. And we welcome questions at the West Side Church of Christ. That's the opposite of some places. But at West Side , we wanna open our Bibles and see what the Bible says in answer to any and every question. And so I will share with you quickly, if you were not there yesterday, you didn't get to listen to the lesson online. One of the questions I did that deals with and plugs into our Bible reading for this week is, who is the reb shaa ? What is this re chaka guy? He is annoying without any question. If you, if you picture sunk as Jabba the hut, then the Ra shaa is that little guy, that little parasite, you know, he , he , yeah, that's, yeah, that's Ra shaa . And it is, it is not a military name or a military official. It's not a proper name at all. It's a title. It is the title of a high Assyrian official . We get some other guys, the tartan and the re sars , if you're reading over in Kings. And also Isaiah makes mention of those. Those are titles. These are important men who are there to run the Assyrian invasion and secure, particularly the Reb Shaka is about securing the surrender of various cities. Uh , siege warfare is difficult. It's expensive. Problems can arise. You can end up with a rebellion back home because your army is in the field. We'll talk more about that this week. And so you want to get it done. And the easiest way to get that done instead of camping out for two years around some city, is to talk them into giving it up. And the ra shakka is the person who is in charge of doing that. He is a high Assyrian official who can negotiate surrender. Some have speculated that maybe somehow he has some kind of Israelite history. Maybe he's a turn code, he's a traitor because he speaks both Hebrew and Aramaic . But come on, there's a lot of people who go to foreign language, go to classes to take a foreign language. They, they aren't any part of that country. They just aren't interested in speaking French or German or whatever. Um, I I , I think that's just idol speculation. What we do know about the Arab Shaa is, like I said yesterday, he's just a high official and it's his job to make sure everybody understands the horrible things that are going to happen if they do not capitulate to the aserion demands. That is the notes from yesterday's sermon. Again, I thank you. You are the ones that make q and a morning work because you are reading your Bible, you are engaging with people at work and at school that generate questions. You're the ones that write down stuff and hand it in. That's what makes for great q and a mornings. We've had 30 years of them now. Oh , I, I praise God for giving me that opportunity. It's just, it's just been a delight. And since we're talking about the Reb Shaa , let's go talk about he's response to the Reb Shaka , which is in our Bible reading this week. Let's see if we can think a little bit about Isaiah chapter 37. So it is Monday and today we read in Isaiah the 37th chapter. We are reading about Hezekiah's response to kings and eib in the Assyrians as they come far south into Judah and even lay siege to the city of Jerusalem. If you're looking for a little bit of something extra, add to your reading, go back and read Deuteronomy 28. We started the year with this, but go back and read Deuteronomy 28, 47 to 57 note, particularly verses 53 and verse 57. This is about siege warfare. This is about what happens when God's people don't obey the Lord. And please remember that prior to Heah , there had been a long period of idolatry there under Hezekiah's Father King a has . So maybe the thing that I would give here and give to you, and I'll add to the reading, I , I don't think the reading is complicated or difficult. I'll just give you um, two things here. First and foremost, notice the emphasis on hearing that runs all through this chapter in Isaiah 37. Um, I heard it, God will hear , um, the Ra Shaka says, we have heard this. Don't, don't hear this. There's an emphasis on hearing. I think this is a great place to talk about does God hear our prayers? Because that's what has hezeki is going to be concerned about here. This is about hearing. The other note that I will give you is a note about Assyrian cruelty. The Assyrians were just legendary for their arrogance and for their cruelty. So for example, shaman Naer rights on the black Albas of Shaman Naer, which you can see in the British Museum, Dean and I had saw that last summer . It's a very cool, about six, seven foot tall black Os. And it is un carved on one side, the following about Shaman Naer, who is an Assyrian king. It says the legitimate king, king of the universe, the king without rival, the great dragon, the only power with the four rims of the whole world who smashed all of his foes like pots, little full of themselves, aren't they? And as a result of that arrogance and that pride they intended to, and they did just crush their enemies and they delighted in torturing and harming the people that they crushed. So Asher Paul describes his dealings with the city that he had conquered. And he says, the following 600 of their warriors I put to the sword and 3000 captives, I burned with fire. I left not a single one among them alive to serve as a hostage and coli their governor. I captured alive and their corpses, I piled into heaps in their man and maidens, I burned Kui , their governor I played and his skin. I spread upon the wall of the city of Dam Damia , the city I destroyed and ravaged and burned with fire. Sargon another Assyrian king, delighted in torturing, defeated soldiers. They would have huge pits, dug and raging. Fires started into each, and then the captives were forced to march. Kind of a terrible walk. The plank fang falling into the flames of the pit to be burned alive. There were monuments erected where all kinds of skulls, all kinds of human heads were stacked and then would become skulls of course. And so this huge pile of skulls would testify to the terribleness of the Assyrians and that no one was to mess with them. I could go on, but it gets worse from there. And I don't want to ruin breakfast for you and I don't wanna ruin the whole week for you. But the Assyrians are not nice people and they don't just capture people. They terrorize people and torture people and hurt people. And God in fact had prophesied that a disobedient Israel would have hooks put in their jaws and their noses. Ezekiel talks about that in Ezekiel 38 in verse four, and there are reliefs carved on the palace of Sargon that gives in very gory detail, that kind of thing being done. And people being marched off into slavery with hooks in their mouths and noses chained together in a sad, sad train of captives who have been defeated and who have seen their loved ones and friends burned and tortured and killed horribly, and now are being marched into slavery. I give you those notes because you need to understand that when Isaiah 37, 1 says King Jesus Kayah heard it and tore his clothes and covered himself with sack cloth , he went into the house of the Lord and sent for Elham who was over the household and she of the secretary and the senior priest covered with sack law to the prophet Isaiah. This is a national emergency on the grandest possible scale. Isaiah knows they cannot stand against the Assyrians . They need God and they need God now. And so what happens in Isaiah 37 is we get a showdown between God and the Assyrians maybe might add the Assyrian gods, but it's really about Cakib and God who really is the God who rules the universe, who is the legitimate king, king of the universe, king without rival. He kayah thinks he knows and he's going to beseech that God, Jehovah God to save him and his people more on this tomorrow as we continue this dramatic story in Isaiah 37, it's Tuesday, let's go. It's Isaiah 37, 14 to 20 that we are reading today. This is easily one of the greatest prayers in the Bible. And what you wanna do is you wanna read this several times today. It's a very short reading. Don't give it a short shrift because oh , I read my verses and I'm all done. Read it. Read it again. Read it out of a different translation. Read it and soak in it because you want Jesus Kai's prayer to thoroughly saturate your praying. This is a template for you and for me. Read it. Think about your praying, what you can learn from it, and then come back to the podcast. I don't wanna color your thinking about the prayer here and plan a bunch of ideas in your head. You think about the prayer, you look at these verses and then come back and we'll talk about it a little bit more, okay? Okay, pause here. Go read Isaiah 37, 14 to 20 . See you in a minute. Did you do it? Did you read the prayer? Did you read it in different translations? Here's some things to see that I think are important for us to see in this prayer. Again, that hearing theme is stressed in verse 17, but back up to verse 16, notice how here he akin says that God is the God of all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth. He's not a local God like the Assyrians have encountered so far. He is the true God king of the universe. And what really colors this prayer is Hezekiah's concern for God's name, God's reputation. So now, Lord God, verse 20, save us that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you alone are the Lord. It's not about exalting his aia , it's not about us. No, you show yourself to be the one true God. You show that you have power over the as Syrian gods. You show Jehovah God that you are the real God. You're not one of these fake gods verse 19 that they have encountered and that they burned that. That was nothing. That was nothing. You are the real God. They don't know who they're dealing with. He a guy that says, I know who you are and I know what you can do. Save us. Save us from the Assyrians so that your name will be exalted. If you go back and look at a lot of the great praying that goes on in the Bible, it's oftentimes this kind of praying God exalting himself, God showing the world who he is, God protecting his name and reputation. That is great praying. We talk about praying in the will of God. What is God's will right there? Verse 20, that all the earth may know that you alone are the Lord. That is God's will you wanna pray in God's will pray like Asiah . We're learning that today in Isaiah 37. See you tomorrow. It's hump day. We'll finish up up Isaiah 37. Oh , nope , that's not right. We're not gonna finish it up, but we're gonna read a big chunk of it. How about that? Let's see how the [inaudible] , how Isaiah, how the Assyrians respond and let's see how God responds. Does God hear has a Kai's prayer? See you tomorrow. It is Wednesday and it is time to hear God's response to sib and all of his boasting. We read today in Isaiah 37 versus 21 to 29. What a tremendous response this is in a very real way, there's a threefold response in our text today. First and foremost, Karib is blaspheming God by taking credit for a serious many, many conquest. That's verse 23, verse 24, you think you're such hot stuff , but actually verse 25, 26, Jehovah's using you. I'm the one that gave you those victories. And then verses 27 to 28, your arrogance is going to be turned back on you because I know you and what you have done to others. Verse 29, put the hook in people's nose. Amos talks about that in Amos four in verse two, what you have done to others. I will see to it that it is done to you. A couple of other notes here, verse 24 talks about taking the chariots into the mountains. That would be very difficult. So for an army to mobilize its armored units, if you will for the day, and take them for Hezekiah's day to take those units into the mountains, that would be the stuff of epic victories. You would always talk about that kind of stuff. But no, look, it's not you. Verse 25, I did this. I dug the wells. I am the one that has done this. Have you not heard? Verse 26, what I am doing, I planned , I bring to pass the sovereignty and power of God is at the forefront of our reading today. We need to see that. We need to know that particularly as we pray in difficult circumstances. Isaiah 37, 21 to 29 . Great reading for us today. See you tomorrow as we do, yes, I do have it right now. We will complete Isaiah 37 on Thursday. See you then. Welcome to Thursday and in Thursday's reading, we finish Isaiah the 37th chapter. Our reading begins today in verse 30. And there's discussion here about the sign. Some of the timing here of the sign is kind of difficult cuz you get first season of planting and second season of planting. And that's not always clear to all of us. But it seems like the idea is that the deliverance is not going to come in time for the fall planting to be done, but that they will leave soon. God is going to move soon and then normal agricultural practices will be able to be resumed once again. What's important I think about all of this is what the Lord says. The king of a Syria is not going to come against the city. You won't even shoot an arrow against it in verse 33. And there is actual records from the Assyrian standpoint and viewpoint of what happened here. Sinek's records record hezeki. I made a prisoner in Jerusalem, his royal residence like a bird in a cage, but that's all it says. I shut him up like a bird in a cage. One scholar said his silence is eloquent. Had he reduced Jerusalem, he would've boasted about it, but he never claims to have taken Jerusalem. There is a superb series of reliefs excavated at nuva depicting SIB's conquest of lake. The reliefs in the palace cover the walls of a chamber 38 feet long and 18 feet wide. Why all the splash about laish? If Sakib had a laish room, why didn't he have a Jerusalem room? And the answer is because of verse 36, the angel of the Lord comes what power God can put in the field, what power God has when he chooses to flex his muscle like this, 185,000 as Syrian soldiers are killed, Sakib goes home chasing its tail tuck between his legs. And verse 38, when he is worshiping, he gets assassinated. That actually happens about 20 years later in 6 81 bc. That's the end then of the Assyrians. And it is a testimony to the power of the one true God. And it teaches us a lot about prayer and it teaches us a lot about God's answer to prayer. Tomorrow we'll talk more about praying because Hezeki will need to do some praying. In Isaiah chapter 38, you made it, it's Friday and we read Isaiah 38, 1 to eight today about hezeki becoming deathly ill and praying to God about that. This begins in Isaiah 38, 1 in those days. Well, when are those days? Well , this material may be out of order chronologically. Isaiah may be dealing with the Assyrian material all in one unit and then now reports on some other issues, some other things that happened during the reign of Hezeki in chapter 39, some envoys from babylon com . And we have some good information about that particular date as to when that is. That seems to have occurred about 7 0 2 BC and then has Aki died in 6 98 BC That's not 15 years after this. And the Assyrian invasion that we just read about that seems to have been maybe 7 0 1, 7 0 2 could have been earlier in the 7 22 invasion where they took the Israelite kingdom further away. But as Syrian records and some other things cause scholars to believe that what we just dealt with is probably about 7 0 1. So none of that is gonna be 15 years away from when , when Hezeki dies. So we're probably backing up Isaiah 38. Gonna set this back maybe, maybe somewhere in the , uh, you know how I am with math somewhere in, in the 7 7 25, 7 26 kind of rain here. Heka is about 39. He was 25 when he began raining then. So maybe here he's uh , has an early sickness or maybe this is, maybe this is seven 12, somewhere around in there, which you're putting more in the in in the 40 ish bracket. Hard to know for sure. Don't get lost when Bible history isn't in chronological order. Chronology not as important when everybody doesn't have a watch, a cell phone and a wall calendar. Oftentimes the Bible deals with things in units, all of this stuff together. So maybe that was more on verse one than you really wanted to hear. What you get of course is Isaiah telling him you're gonna die. And his kind turns his face to the wall , verse two. And then he prays. This prayer is very much like the Psalms when it comes to praying. There's an appeal to faithfulness. And that's not saying I'm the most perfect person and I've never sinned. It just says, I'm wholeheartedly seeking you, Lord. I'm doing the best I can to be your servant. This prayer is different than the prayer that we read earlier in Isaiah 37 beginning in verse 14, which is all about God's name and God's reputation. That's not what's going on here. And maybe that says something about how prayer sometimes can be couched in terms of what God wants to do and God's reputation, but sometimes prayer is just about us and it's about what we need. And God will hear that and God will respond to that and maybe that's where this is going. It's important to remember that King a has Hezekiah's father actually refused to sign. That's a part of Isaiah that we were not able to get to and we were not able to read this year. That's in Isaiah seven. But Hezeki here is very, very different. And as we get down to verse six, and you can see I'll deliver this city out the hand of the king of asy . Hey, we just read about the King of Assyria coming up sea against the city of Jerusalem. So you can see this is out of chronological order. That's a good note to make beside verse six, so you're not lost. And then we get the shadow. Verse eight. This is very famous, the shadow going backwards. And I always heard this story and you always heard this story in terms of the sundial, but it's not the sundial in all likelihood, it is not the sundial that's being referenced here in verse eight because there's no instance in scripture of this term being used for a sundial. Probably there was a stairway that had been built in such a way that it functioned like a sundial. Maybe King A has built it in that kind of fashion, but it's probably steps. In fact, the Dead Sea scroll of Isaiah, which is one of the most complete of the Dead Sea Scrolls uses the term here for steps and not for Sundial. And that has really caused Bible scholars to make a move on this. And in the E S V , you have steps, not Sundial, that's probably more on that than you needed to know. What you do need to know is that God has blessed hezeki and has Aki is not going to die. Instead, he'll live 15 more years and have the chance to serve God even more. That's a good note to end our Bible reading on this week, and that's kind of a happy note to end Bible reading on this week. I know you're glad to hear that Heka who is faithful to the Lord will be spared. Well, thank you for listening. If you love the Monday Morning Coffee podcast, we certainly do hope that you'll subscribe or follow and especially we would really like for you to give us a review, especially if you're on iTunes because that helps more people find the podcast. Best thing to do, of course, is to tell people about the show. We'll talk a little bit tomorrow. Nope , not tomorrow, Sunday, about Bible reading and where people are in their thinking on Bible reading. Bible reading can be very evangelistic and sharing a podcast that helps people with their Bible reading is a great idea. Well, until next week, may your coffee be delightful. May your Friday be wonderful. I pray the Lord will be with you today all day. I will see you on Monday with a cup of coffee.Speaker 1:
Thanks for listening to the Westside church of Christ podcast. Monday morning coffee with mark . For more information about west side , you can connect with us through our website, just christians.com and our Facebook page. Our music is from upbeat.is that's upbeat with two P'S UPP , B E A T , where creators can get free music. Please share our podcast with others. And we look forward to seeing you again with a company coffee, of course, on next Monday,