Isaiah 32 -- 37
About twenty-two years passed after King Shalmaneser of Assyria and his son Sargon invaded and destroyed the ten-tribe nation of Israel, ending their apostasy of more than 200 years. Then, in the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, Sennacherib King of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities of Judah, and took them (Isaiah 36:1). He defeated 46 of the towns and villages of Judah in one campaign and carried away into captivity about 200,000 of their inhabitants, but he was not able to conquer Jerusalem. At that time, all of western Asia was under Assyria's control, including Babylonia, Media, Armenia, Syria, Phoenicia, Philistia, Edom, and most of the Promised Land.
In an attempt to appease the King of Assyria, Hezekiah gave him all the silver that was found in the House of the Lord, and in the treasures of the king's house (II Kings 18:15). Rather than trust in the Lord God (18:5), he robbed the Temple. Eventually, the King of Assyria sent Rabshakeh (the military official) from Lachish to King Hezekiah at Jerusalem with a great army (Isaiah 36:2) to deliver terms for Hezekiah's unconditional surrender of the small Southern Kingdom of Judah. Until then, Assyria had not lost a battle.
Hezekiah sent Eliakim, the head of his household; Shebna, the scribe; and Joah, the recorder, to hear the Rabshakeh's demands. The Rabshakeh first scorned putting any trust on Egypt for chariots and for horsemen (36:9). Egypt was the only nation left in the world that could possibly be a strong military ally. Then Rabshakeh stood, and cried with a loud voice in the Jews' language, and said, Hear the words of the great king, the King of Assyria. Thus says the king, Let not Hezekiah deceive you: for he shall not be able to deliver you. Neither let Hezekiah make you trust in the Lord, saying, the Lord will surely deliver us: this city shall not be delivered into the hand of the King of Assyria. Hearken not to Hezekiah (36:13-16).
Upon hearing Eliakim's report, this time Hezekiah immediately went up to the House of the Lord. . . . and Hezekiah prayed unto the Lord, saying, O Lord of hosts, God of Israel . . . You are the God . . . of all the kingdoms of the earth: You have made Heaven and earth. . . . O Lord. . . . hear all the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to reproach (insult and defy) the Living God. Of a truth, Lord, the kings of Assyria have laid waste all the nations. . . . Now therefore, O Lord our God, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You are the Lord, even You only (37:14-20). Hezekiah, in complete dependence upon God, based his prayer on his desire to uphold the honor of the Lord, even You only.
Isaiah then sent word to Hezekiah, saying: Thus says the Lord God of Israel, Because you have prayed to Me. . . . I will defend this city to save it for My own sake, and for My servant David's sake (37:21,35). That night, the Angel of the Lord (37:36) smote 185,000 soldiers in the camp of Assyria. When Sennacherib arose the next morning, he discovered that his entire army was dead. He then returned to Nineveh, and, as he worshiped . . . his god . . . his sons murdered him with the sword (37:38).
How important it is that we honor the Lord in our prayer requests just as Hezekiah did. The Lord is still saying: Call unto Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things (Jeremiah 33:3). We too can truly receive the Lord's direction and protection as we look to Him in prayer -- having a desire to see His will accomplished through us.
Jesus promised us: If you keep My commandments, you shall abide in My love; even as I have kept My Father's commandments, and abide in His love (John 15:10-11).
As the unmovable Rock (Isaiah 32:2). Christ is always available to provide "rest" -- comfort and security. The Lord is my Rock . . . my Fortress. . . . who is the Rock save our God? (Psa. 18:2,31; also Matt. 11:28-30). As the King who will bring judgment upon the earth (Isaiah 33:17; 34:4-5). In that day of judgment, Christians will see King Jesus in His power and great glory, but the lost will face His fiery indignation (Matt. 24:30; II Pet. 3:10).
32:2 covert means shelter; tempest means storm; 32:5 liberal means noble; churl means cruel crafty men; 32:7 instruments means schemes; 32:19 low in a low place means completely destroyed; 33:9 hewn down means destroyed; 33:23 tacklings means hoisting ropes; 36:2 Rabshakeh means chief officer; 37:7 blast means spirit.
Government Officials: Rep. Herbert Bateman (VA), Rep. Bob Etheridge (NC), and Rep. Amory Houghton (NY) · Pray for Bible Pathway Faith Promise Supporters · Pray for the Bible Pathway International Radio Broadcast sponsored by Mrs. D.R. Rogers · Country: Zambia (8 million) in south-central Africa · Major languages: English and 70 indigenous languages · Religious freedom · 30% Roman Catholic; 25% Protestant; 24% ancestor worship, magic, and witchcraft; 19% cults · Prayer Suggestion: Read the Word of God to build up your faith so that you can pray and ask in faith (Romans 10:17).
Memory Verse for the Week:
II Thessalonians 1:8