Amplified Bible, Classic Edition
36 Now in the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities of Judah and took them.
2 And the king of Assyria sent the Rabshakeh [the military official] from Lachish [the Judean fortress commanding the road from Egypt] to King Hezekiah at Jerusalem with a great army. And he stood by the canal of the Upper Pool on the highway to the Fuller’s Field.
3 Then came out to meet him Eliakim son of Hilkiah, who was over the [royal] household, and Shebna the secretary, and Joah son of Asaph, the recording historian.
The events that are recorded here took place in 701 BC. Here we see it is the fourteenth year of the reign of King Hezekiah. The father of Hezekiah was Ahaz and during his reign he failed to trust the Lord and instead made an alliance with Assyria. That is why we find ourselves here and these events taking place. Anytime we fail to trust the Lord and instead place our faith and trust in man and his wisdom and power, in the long run it will cause greater issues and problems. The right course of action is to always trust the Lord no matter what circumstances look like.
Hezekiah began to serve as coregent with his father in 729 BC and begin to serve independently as king in 715 BC. Hezekiah had observed the mistakes of his father and through the words of Isaiah would instead place his trust in the Lord. Here we see that Sennacherib took many of the fortified cities of Judah and his sites were now focused on Jerusalem. If he could take the capital city the entire nation would be his. But in God’s mercy we will see the Lord intervenes and delivers Israel. God’s desire is that His people would walk in obedience to His word. But when His people continually reject His word and walk in rebellion, the Lord must bring correction and discipline because of His love for us.
The king of Assyria sends his military official or field commander with a large army. The purpose of this is to intimidate and to get them to submit and surrender before a battle is waged. What is discussed is that they decide to surrender willingly or they are forced to surrender and the city and the people destroyed. In this moment if Hezekiah is driven by fear he would have surrendered and missed the opportunity to allow God to show Himself mighty and faithful. When we act in fear we rob ourselves of what God has for us. But Hezekiah instead will take the threats and words of an earthly king and will bring them before the Lord. Let us always remember the Living God will not be mocked.
These three individuals played an important role in the kingdom. They were representatives to the king. This is setting the stage for God to show His might and His power. Throughout chapters 1 to 35 in Isaiah the Lord has not only spoken of His judgement that was to come but has also spoken of his faithfulness and deliverance. To experience the deliverance of the Lord in any circumstance we must respond rightly to the word of God. God has given man freewill and one of the great weapons of Satan is fear. He uses fear to paralyze man and to give up on trusting the Living God. But when we respond rightly and in obedience to the word of God we shall see the deliverance of the Lord at God’s appointed time.