Amplified Bible, Classic Edition
7 But if you say to me, We trust in and rely on the Lord our God—is it not He Whose high places and Whose altars Hezekiah has taken away, saying to Judah and to Jerusalem, You shall worship before this altar?
8 Now therefore, I pray you, make a wager with my master the king of Assyria and give him pledges, and I will give you two thousand horses—if you are able on your part to put riders on them.
9 How then can you repulse the attack of a single captain of the least of my master’s servants, when you put your reliance on Egypt for chariots and for horsemen?
10 Moreover, is it without the Lord that I have now come up against this land to destroy it? The Lord said to me, Go up against this land and destroy it.
The Assyrians did not know or understand the God of Israel. They were a polythesistic people who worshipped many false gods. They believed that when Hezekiah made religious reforms to remove the worship of false gods and idols that it actually angered the God of Israel. They didn’t understand that Hezekiah was acting in obedience to God and His word and because of this that victory would be found. Assyria surrounded Judah on every side. This seemed like a lost cause. But God had a plan and because Hezekiah humbled himself before the Lord and trusted the Lord, the hand of God intervened and brought great victory. Our greatest place of strength and victory is simply trusting God at His word and walking in obedience. Yes the devil will taunt us and try to intimidate us, but everything the devil says is based on a lie and deception.
What had ignited the king of Assyria to move against Judah was Hezekiah’s decision to be free from their relationship with Assyria that his father put in place. Judah was to bring tribute to Assyria for their protection. But God told Israel to trust Him alone. That it is God in whom they should trust and rely.
The messenger for the king of Assyria makes a very demeaning statement in saying “I will give you two thousand horses - if you are able on your part to put riders on them”. Judah seemed feeble in the eyes of Assyria. As followers of Jesus we seem feeble and weak in the eyes of the enemy. But when we trust the Lord and rely on Him for victory, He will always bring the victory in due time. He will always intervene. He sends forth His word and He calls us to trust Him. When we respond in obedience, the God of all creation will always be faithful.
The arrogance continues with the statement “how then can you repulse the attack of a single captain of the least of my master’s servants”. Assyria thought that Hezekiah was rebelling against them because of his trust in Egypt. But Hezekiah was surrendering his heart and circumstances to the Lord. He would bring these words before the God of Heaven and ask the Lord to move on His behalf. When we bring anything before the Lord in prayer we place the battle in His hands. When the battle is in His hands the enemy is no longer dealing with us in battle, he is directly dealing with God Almighty.
The king of Assyria most likely heard the words Isaiah had spoken and believed that even the God of Israel was on his side. That there was nothing Israel could do to protect itself or save itself. But the Assyrians being a pagan nation did not understand the God of Israel and they didn’t understand the covenant God established with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
God is a covenant keeping God. God is the one who establishes the covenant. God was very clear in Deuteronomy 28 concerning the blessings and curses of the covenant. Blessings were found in living in obedience to God’s word and God’s ways. Curses were found in living in rebellion and worshiping and serving other gods. Hezekiah had demonstrated repentance by removing the worship and practices in the high places. His repentance and obedience had set the stage and opened the door for the hand of God to move in his midst.
God has not changed. He calls us to live in obedience to His word today. God’s word is not a mere suggestion or nice sounding stories. God’s word is our game plan and playbook for life. When we live according to God’s word and are led by the Spirit of God His blessing is poured out on our lives. Our lives will be marked by victory. But when we compromise and live in disobedience we will experience defeat and bring upon ourselves hard and difficult things that our Father has not planned for us. But even in the midst of those He will still use them for our good to discipline us and bring correction.