Journey Through Isaiah: 39:1-8
New King James Version
39 At that time Merodach-Baladan the son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent letters and a present to Hezekiah, for he heard that he had been sick and had recovered. 2 And Hezekiah was pleased with them, and showed them the house of his treasures—the silver and gold, the spices and precious ointment, and all his armory—all that was found among his treasures. There was nothing in his house or in all his dominion that Hezekiah did not show them.
3 Then Isaiah the prophet went to King Hezekiah, and said to him, “What did these men say, and from where did they come to you?”
So Hezekiah said, “They came to me from a far country, from Babylon.”
4 And he said, “What have they seen in your house?”
So Hezekiah answered, “They have seen all that is in my house; there is nothing among my treasures that I have not shown them.”
5 Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Hear the word of the Lord of hosts: 6 ‘Behold, the days are coming when all that is in your house, and what your fathers have accumulated until this day, shall be carried to Babylon; nothing shall be left,’ says the Lord. 7 ‘And they shall take away some of your sons who will descend from you, whom you will beget; and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.’ ”
8 So Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “The word of the Lord which you have spoken is good!” For he said, “At least there will be peace and truth in my days.”
The king of Babylon at this time sends a gift and a letter to King Hezekiah because he has heard he has recovered. Most likely the King of Babylon has heard what Israel’s God has done to the Assyrian army in one night. In one night the Lord sent His death angel through their camp and destroyed 185000 soldiers. The King of Babylon most likely desires to make an alliance with the nation of Israel against the threat of Assyria.
There are moments when we let our guard down that can lead to terrible consequences. In this moment this is what Hezekiah did. Instead of being guarded, he allowed his pride to take hold and show off all he had to the envoys of Babylon. What Hezekiah didn’t understand is that this was setting the stage for one day for Babylon to return, invade, and send the nation of Israel into exile. Ultimately Israel would go into exile because of their wickedness and their sin.
The discernment of Isaiah is set off. If you have ever watched a spiderman movie or cartoon you know when spiderman is around danger he has a spidey sense. When a person walks closely with the Living God they develop discernment. Isaiah was a man of deep prayer. He was a prophet of the Most High God and now he asks the question “what did these men say, and from where did they come”. Most likely Hezekiah dropped down his guard because they had brought gifts and he figured since they came from a far country, they were no threat to Israel.
But this is foolishness at work. For Hezekiah shows them everything that Israel had. All of its resources, all of its military technology. There is not anything that Israel had that Hezekiah didn’t reveal. The envoy would have been taking many notes to bring back to the King of Babylon. The safest place we can be is in humility before the Lord. When we walk humbly before our God, we will be guard against pride and arrogance. For it is pride and arrogance that always precedes a fall and destruction.
Isaiah is a prophet of God Almighty. When Isaiah uses the phrase Lord of Hosts it speaks of God as a mighty warrior who commands the armies of Heaven. Too many times we become focused on what is happening on the earth and what the enemy is doing. But God is so much greater. The armies of Heaven are so much more vast than the armies of darkness. Isaiah shall now deliver a word concerning the foolish decision of Hezekiah. Hezekiah was one of the true great kings of Israel, but it doesn’t mean he was perfect and it doesn’t mean that he didn’t fall short. I thank God he included the shortcomings of His servants in scripture because we all have them.
Isaiah says “behold the days are coming”. It is important for us to understand that a day to the Lord is like a thousand years and a thousand years like a day (2 Peter 3:8). Often when God speaks of something happening soon, we often think it is going to happen tomorrow or even the next week. But it would not be until the ministry and time of Jeremiah that Babylon would invade the land and bring Judah into exile.
It is important to see that God says all that Israel has will be brought into Babylon. Nothing on this earth happens without God seeing it or knowing it. Nothing happens without God allowing it. But Judah would go into exile because of their rebellion and sin. God sent them prophet after prophet which is a demonstration of His mercy, compassion, and patience. But they resisted the Lord every step of the way. Hezekiah’s foolishness in revealing all of this set the stage for one day for Babylon to return. It is so important for us to study scripture and examine the word of God. To learn from it and to not commit the same foolish mistakes of those who have gone before us. But even if we do, thank the Lord He is gracious, merciful, and forgiving.
At this point Hezekiah didn’t have any sons. He would have a son named Manasseh who would be a wicked king of Judah. But beyond that there would come a point when the descendants of Hezekiah would be taken into exile. We must remember that Hezekiah was from the line of David. The Messiah would come through the line of David. It was God’s grace to protect the line of David by taking them into exile. He persevered the line and God would also return them to the land. Jeremiah prophesied they would be in captivity and bondage for seventy years. But God was faithful to bring them out of bondage and fulfill every plan and purpose concerning Israel.
Hezekiah didn’t fully comprehend and understand what Isaiah was saying. To him it sounded good and especially since Isaiah didn’t mention anything happening during Hezekiah’s lifetime. But the nation of Israel was always blessed or experienced defeat based on their obedience to the law of God. Sadly in their history they failed to learn important lessons and continue in sin and rebellion. But God never abandoned them. He had chosen them and would fulfill all things by His power and His grace.
The same stands for us today. When we come to Christ we have been chosen. Yes we decide to follow Jesus, but long before we decide to follow Jesus, God chooses us. When we understand this truth it changes how we live and it helps us to understand we can’t lose our salvation. We are sealed by the Holy Spirit. Now some may begin with Jesus and fall away, but the question is were they ever saved to begin with and I believe the answer is no. Even in Israel’s rebellion the Lord demonstrated His grace and mercy. Yes He brought discipline because He loves them. But He never abandoned them nor forsake them.