Hezekiah has heard the full report from the wall. The words are full of boasting against the Lord. Isaiah tells Hezekiah, ‘Don’t be afraid. God’s got this!’
I know; not exactly a direct quote, but you get the meaning.
If it weren’t for the God in whom Judah put their trust, they WOULD fall as the Rabshakeh (king’s messenger) predicted. IF they turned their backs on the Lord, they would fall. If they tried turned to another nation to get them out of this trouble, they would fall. Their ONLY recourse was to trust in the Lord.
Hezekiah didn’t even entertain other options. He took his case straight to the Lord. And for faster answers, he sent the report to Isaiah. Isaiah was no stranger to the king. He had advised him MANY times. I have no doubt that he advised him against making an alliance with Egypt, but King Hezekiah ignored that ‘advice’. This time he was desperate for the words from Isaiah; PRAYING they would be favorable words.
When I read the exchange between Hezekiah’s messengers and Isaiah, I wonder how long this exchange lasted. I almost feel as if Isaiah knew they were coming before they got to him and he already had God’s answer ready for them. God has answered MANY TIMES before the question was even asked. He has set things in motion before the need was even present too. He KNOWS what is coming and doesn’t really need man to inform Him of his need.
Isaiah’s message from God happened exactly as it was spoken. This was round one with Sennacherib. The Rabshakeh returned to his own land. We don’t see him killed in our narrative of events but I have NO DOUBT it happened.
Round two is warming up in the end of our reading today. Sennacherib is not done yet. This time he sends a written letter to King Hezekiah. It is just as disrespectful to the Lord as The words spoken during round one. And if Judah was relying on ANY OTHER God, the words would be true. The other nations’ gods had failed them.
If Sennacherib had a grasp on history, he would have known of the tales of God’s wonders for Israel. But the northern kingdom, Israel, had fallen so maybe their God wasn’t as powerful as He used to be. More like Israel had exchanged their God for false gods. They carried His name in history alone, NOT in daily devotion. Sennacherib figured Judah was the same. Israel’s god didn’t save them so how would Judah’s? DIFFERENT GOD! No matter what Israel said, they were NOT protected by God. They abandoned Him so He left them to their own desires.
Sennacherib’s words against God inflamed King Hezekiah. HE knew the God he served. He had even brought the people back to God, more completely than any of the other kings before him, since David. “Do not let your God in whom you trust deceive you” (verse 10b) was to King Hezekiah ‘fighting words’. God had never and would never deceive His people. Hezekiah KNEW that God only spoke truth and he trusted EVERY WORD from Him. There was NOTHING Sennacherib could do to break that faith in God.
This world is FULL of people who try and tell Christians that they are deceived. That there is no Heaven or Hell. That Jesus was just a good teacher. That God doesn’t care about the affairs of man anymore. To me, and many others, these are ‘fighting words’. They are lies straight from Satan’s mouth, meant to discourage us and cause us to lose faith in God’s promises. But God’s promises are just as SURE today as they were in the days of Hezekiah. As firm as in the days of Noah and Adam. Just as powerful as the day Jesus hung on the cross. And the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit fell on those in the room and filled them with His power. God’s promises are even more sure than the air we breathe and the sun rising in the morning. Don’t be afraid to trust in Him. Don’t let fear and doubt creep into your heart.
One thing that just sparked in my spirit. It is not up to me to ensure that God keeps His word. It is not up to me to determine if a prophecy has happened or not. It is up to Him to display the truth so ALL can see and KNOW that He is God. That day IS coming!!!
Father God, I’m SO GLAD that it’s not my job to prove Your word is true. It’s my job, and JOY, to share Your word and point to the places where YOU have proven it true to me. It is up to You to do the rest. You have proven Yourself to me SO MANY TIMES! I have NO doubt when it comes to trusting You to keep Your promises. I sometimes doubt whether I interpreted what You have said correctly, but I also know that if/when I miss it, YOU will bring me back to that spot to re-learn the lesson waiting there for me. For now, let me step back and see the wonder You are working around me.