Archive for July 1st, 2013

Isaiah 37

Isaiah 37 has Hezekiah’s response to the threat against his kingdom that was made in the prior chapter.  Remember the three messengers sent by Seeacherib of Assyria warning of their impending attack and the destruction they will bring?  Well, we see the response here.  “As soon as King Hezekiah heard it, he tore his clothes and covered himself with sackcloth and went into the house of the Lord”.  Hezekiah got the threatening news and immediately went to God with it.  Not after assessing the news.  Not after trying to figure out a plan on his own.  Not after exhausting his own resources.  As soon as he heard – he went to God.

And as you would expect, God heard and responded.  “Thus says the Lord: Do not be afraid”.  God was faithful to listen and respond.  Isaiah was the messenger.  God says it will be fine.  But the king of Assyria didn’t just roll over.  He went more threats in the form of a letter with even bigger claims.  “Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers, and read it; and Hezekiah went up to the house of the Lord, and spread it before the Lord. And Hezekiah prayed to the Lord”.  Hezekiah did the exact same thing.  He got the word and went to the Lord.  That is the way we should respond to challenges and struggles in life – we need to take them all to the Lord.

God again responds to this latest set of threats.  “Have you not heard that I determined it long ago? I planned from days of old what now I bring to pass”?  God reminds Hezekiah that this is not a surprise.  He knows what is coming. He developed the plan.  And all we need to do is trust and obey.  God has it under control.  God is not caught off guard.  And he tells Hezekiah exactly what is to come.  “He shall not come into this city or shoot an arrow there or come before it with a shield or cast up a siege mound against it. By the way that he came, by the same he shall return, and he shall not come into this city, declares the Lord”.

The enemy is not going to get into Jerusalem.  In fact, he won’t even be able to attack.  How’s that for an exact contrast to the verbal and written threats of Sennacherib?  The king makes it sound like it is over.  But God’s response is that it will never even start.  Quite a difference of opinion – which side are you taking?  For me, and for Hezekiah, we come down on God’s side.  And it is good because “the angel of the Lord went out and struck down a hundred and eighty-five thousand in the camp of the Assyrians”.  God didn’t just turn them back.  He destroyed a huge portion of their army before they ran home with their tail between their legs.  God has won a great battle.  He alone is King!

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