Isaiah Chapters 1-35 are filled with chastisement from God over the sinfulness of Judah and the surrounding nations. In addition to warnings from God there are multiple prophesies about the coming Savior, Messiah, and reasons from God as to why the people should have Hope in Him, the Holy One of Israel. Chapters 36-39 provide an interlude and present us with current happenings in the life of Isaiah the prophet and the job God called him to do it is Isaiah in action so to speak. I love the story in Chapter 36 and 37 which focuses on King Hezekiah and the impending attack by Sennacherib, the king of Assyria. The story can also be found in 2 Kings 18 and 19.
The commander of the Assyrian army came to Jerusalem and delivered a message to King Hezekiah and his people. They spoke in the common language of the people so that all the citizens would be terrified and want King Hezekiah to succumb to their demands. The commander said it was futile to resist as the Assyrian army had not been beaten and had defeated all the neighboring countries. The Assyrian commander claimed they could not depend upon their God to rescue them. Isaiah 36:18 “Do not let Hezekiah mislead you when he says, ‘The Lord will deliver us.’ Have the gods of any nations ever delivered their lands from the hand of the king of Assyria? Eliakim, the palace administrator, returned to relay the message to King Hezekiah. When King Hezekiah heard the message, he tore his clothes in mourning and asked them to find Isaiah the prophet.
Isaiah 37:5-7 When King Hezekiah’s officials came to Isaiah, 6 Isaiah said to them, “Tell your master, ‘This is what the Lord says: Do not be afraid of what you have heard—those words with which the underlings of the king of Assyria have blasphemed me. 7 Listen! When he hears a certain report, I will make him want to return to his own country, and there I will have him cut down with the sword.’”
What lessons was God teaching them, and us too, in this situation? Here are a few I gleaned from this passage and God’s reply through Isaiah.
- When you hear disparaging news, you need to give it to God as He does not want us to be fearful. He wants us to be confident in His ability to overcome obstacles in our life’s pathway. Turn to Him and do not succumb to your fears.
- God has a plan for victory. Here, He shared it with King Hezekiah to help relieve his distress. God’s Words will soothe, comfort and assure us of God’s might and sovereignty.
- God will fight our enemies and assures us that they will be dealt with as He deems appropriate.
- God will defend His name for His name’s sake.
- Faith in God’s ability, might, sovereignty and power will help us overcome our fear and trust in Him.
Where are you facing difficult circumstances that are threatening to overcome you? Take a lesson from King Hezekiah and ask God to intervene, trust in His response and let God deal with it. Know that God has a plan! All things work for believers for our good and His glory. Claim Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” All believers belong to Him and He is working for our good. We have to trust Him to work all things out.
God promises to fight for us, I claim Isaiah 49:25b “I will contend with those who contend with you,
and your children I will save.” God has our back. Isaiah 49:16 “See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.”
God has us surrounded and protected. Rest in John 10:28 “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.”
The Lord’s name is precious and He will defend His own name and His honor. Psalm 109:21 “But you, Sovereign Lord, help me for your name’s sake; out of the goodness of your love, deliver me.”
Jesus himself reminded us to have faith. Mark 11:22-23 “Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. 23 “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them.”
Which situation speaks to you today? Life is a constant battle but take heart Jesus tells us in John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”