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Journey Through Isaiah: 37:8-13

Isaiah 37:8-13

New King James Version

8 Then the Rabshakeh returned, and found the king of Assyria warring against Libnah, for he heard that he had departed from Lachish. 9 And the king heard concerning Tirhakah king of Ethiopia, “He has come out to make war with you.” So when he heard it, he sent messengers to Hezekiah, saying, 10 “Thus you shall speak to Hezekiah king of Judah, saying: ‘Do not let your God in whom you trust deceive you, saying, “Jerusalem shall not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.” 11 Look! You have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands by utterly destroying them; and shall you be delivered? 12 Have the gods of the nations delivered those whom my fathers have destroyed, Gozan and Haran and Rezeph, and the people of Eden who were in Telassar? 13 Where is the king of Hamath, the king of Arpad, and the king of the city of Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivah?’ ”

The Rabshakeh returns the the King of Assyria to report all that he has communicated to Hezekiah. He finds that he has moved to his place due to being at war against Libnah. The Lord had said that He would send a spirit that would move on the heart of the King of Assyria and this is already beginning to take place. Throughout Isaiah we see that God is sovereign over the nations of the earth. Like a master chess player, He is continually moving pieces in and out to accomplish His purposes.

The king of Assyria is moved because he hears that the King of Ethopia has come out to make war with him. In Proverbs we are told that the heart of the king is in the hand of the Lord, like a water channel the Lord can move it as He desires (Prov 21:1). Most likely the Lord moved on the heart of the king of Ethopia to attack the strongholds and areas held by the Assyrian army. The Lord is setting the stage to intervene in the affairs of Israel. Many times as we wait upon the Lord and His timing it can seem that God is never going to arrive. That somehow the Lord has forgotten us. But the Lord says to be still and know that He is God. He is in control.

The king of Assyria now ups his blasphemy of the God of Israel. He says to Hezekiah “Do not let your God in whom you trust deceive you”. What the unbelieving and the wicked fail to realize is that God has a limit to His patience and His mercy. God gives people time to repent, but when they continue to mock Him and His name, there will come a time when God will indeed move. The King of Assyria in his arrogance believes that he is the source of his greatness and his power, but he fails to understand that it is God who has indeed created him and given him the ability to be king. Assyria was an instrument in the hands of the Lord to discipline Israel. But when they went beyond what the Lord desired, the Lord would rightly deal with them according to His will and His justice. We must trust the Living God at all times and know that He is fully in control.

The question is asked “shall you be delivered”. The King of Assyria points to the history of the military might of Assyria and says that there is no hope for Israel if they trust in their God and refuse to surrender. But this is where the greatest mistake is indeed made by the King of Assyria. The moment he begins to mock the Living God of Israel, he invites God to move against him according to His justice and righteousness. These proud words will become nothing after God sends forth His destroying angel to deal with the Assyrian army.

The King of Assyria first points to the military might of the Assyrians in the past. Bringing up the people of Gozan, Haran, Rezeph, and Eden who have fallen to the military might of the Assyrian. Each time the King of Assyria points to the inability of the gods of these people to protect them. But what he fails to understand is that in the God of Israel, he is dealing with the Alpha and Omega. He is dealing with the captain of the hosts and Almighty God.

He now moves to the present day and speaks about the people and cities that have fallen under his rule and command. He brings up the cities of Hamath, Arpad, and Sepharvaim. They are a list of conquered people and the purpose is to show Hezekiah how foolish it is to resist the inevitable. But God is behind the scenes using the pride and arrogance of the king of Assyria against him. This is always how God deals with the wicked. God takes no pleasure in their destruction, but when they are overcome by pride and arrogance and believe that not even God can stop them, that is when the Lord steps in and demonstrates His glory and His power.

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