English Standard Version
30 “And this shall be the sign for you: this year you shall eat what grows of itself, and in the second year what springs from that. Then in the third year sow and reap, and plant vineyards, and eat their fruit. 31 And the surviving remnant of the house of Judah shall again take root downward and bear fruit upward. 32 For out of Jerusalem shall go a remnant, and out of Mount Zion a band of survivors. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.
33 “Therefore thus says the Lord concerning the king of Assyria: He shall not come into this city or shoot an arrow there or come before it with a shield or cast up a siege mound against it. 34 By the way that he came, by the same he shall return, and he shall not come into this city, declares the Lord. 35 For I will defend this city to save it, for my own sake and for the sake of my servant David.”
36 And the angel of the Lord went out and struck down 185,000 in the camp of the Assyrians. And when people arose early in the morning, behold, these were all dead bodies. 37 Then Sennacherib king of Assyria departed and returned home and lived at Nineveh. 38 And as he was worshiping in the house of Nisroch his god, Adrammelech and Sharezer, his sons, struck him down with the sword. And after they escaped into the land of Ararat, Esarhaddon his son reigned in his place.
God now moves to His promise for the nation of Israel. God speaks of a sign. The purpose of a sign was to confirm the word of God and to demonstrate that God is truly faithful to everything that He has said. He gives a promise of providing for their needs and also a promise of prosperity. The Lord says that the first year they shall eat what grows of itself. The people would eat from the land what naturally grew without them sowing.
War always disrupted the agricultural process. Jerusalem at this point is surrounded on every side by the Assyrian army. The last thought they have in their mind is sowing for the upcoming harvest. Also many times during war when a nation would lay siege to another nation they would not only impact the water supply, but also the crops that are sown.
But here the Lord promises that in the first, second, and third year they would indeed be provided. The first and second year would be provided by the Lord in things they have not sown and in the third year that would have prosperity and blessing. An abundance would come forth because of the goodness and grace of God. Israel had done nothing to merit God’s goodness, but the Lord was faithful to the covenant He established through Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
The Lord speaks of a surviving remnant. They would take root downward and bear fruit upward. Again this not only points to God providing and blessing Israel in the land but it also points to God rescuing Israel from the hand of the Assyrians. Many boastful words were made by the King of Assyria concerning Israel as a nation and its God. But now the Lord inserts himself and will demonstrate His goodness and His love.
The zeal of God for His people would accomplish His purposes. God has chosen Israel. They exist in covenant with the Living God. When we exist in covenant relationship with the Living God it is God who fights for us. It is God who protects and watches over us. The Lord says that out of Jerusalem and out of Mount Zion will go forth survivors and a remnant. Throughout Israel’s history the Lord has always set aside a remnant of people. God has always had those who have truly honored and loved Him. At the end of the day we may be able to fool a lot of people, but we will never fool the Living God. He examines our hearts and knows if we truly love Him or not. This is demonstrated through our actions on a daily basis.
The Lord says therefore which points to things previously said before this. The Lord spoke previously about His promise to save and protect the remnant. Now His attention turns once again to what He will do to the King of Assyria and his army. It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the Living God.
The Lord says the King and his army would not come into Jerusalem, they would not shoot an arrow, and they would not build siege works. When God makes a promise and sends forth His word, it will never return void. God is speaking to not only the King of Judah, He is speaking to the people. Through His word concerning what He will do to the Assyrians, the Lord is telling His people beyond a shadow of a doubt that He will rescue and deliver His people.
The Lord says by the same way he came, he shall return. The Lord shall put a hook in his nose and remove him from the land. So many boastful and prideful words were given concerning the king of Assyria and his believed power, but in the end God would simply demonstrate that He alone is God.
The Lord would defend the city of Jerusalem for the honor of His name and His promises and covenant made with King David. Before David died the Lord made a covenant with David that he would always have one to reign upon the throne. It is by the hand of God alone that the nation of Israel has continued throughout history. They have never been snuffed out or destroyed. God is simply stating over and over again to the people to encourage and strengthen them that God is faithful. The Lord does this with us today. The Lord calls us to trust Him each step of the way. God is fully in control and all things are in His hands. Throughout Isaiah He has stated and demonstrated the foolishness of trusting in man.
The Lord now backs up His word of protection and intervention. The Lord sends forth His angel. Whenever the angel of the Lord went forth, He carried out the purposes and plans of God. Here the angel of the Lord goes forth and in one night destroys 185,000 Assyrian soldiers. Whenever we look at circumstances that are overwhelming we must remember how powerful God truly is. No matter what force the enemy has aligned against us and not matter what plans he has put in place, he is not greater than the Living God. God simply calls us to trust Him. To place the battle in His hands through prayer.
The once proud king who spoke boastful words against the Living God, is now turned back and returns home. He not only experienced defeat on the battlefield, but while in the temple of his false god in worship he was killed by two of his own sons. It is foolishness to stand against the Living God. In the end God will have the final word. No matter how much it seems the wicked will prosper and prevail, God will always have His way.
As His sons and daughters we have a part to play in this. We are called to be co-laborers with Christ. We are called to use the authority we have in Christ and take our stand against the devil's schemes. We are not called to sit back and cry, and complain. Too many Christians are soft and lukewarm in America. God has called us to be warriors and soldiers under His command. No matter the circumstances and odds, may we know that God is in control, He is greater, and He will always have the final word.