Journey through Isaiah: Isaiah 37:1-4
New King James Version
37 And so it was, when King Hezekiah heard it, that he tore his clothes, covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the house of the Lord. 2 Then he sent Eliakim, who was over the household, Shebna the scribe, and the elders of the priests, covered with sackcloth, to Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz. 3 And they said to him, “Thus says Hezekiah: ‘This day is a day of trouble and rebuke and blasphemy; for the children have come to birth, but there is no strength to bring them forth. 4 It may be that the Lord your God will hear the words of the Rabshakeh, whom his master the king of Assyria has sent to reproach the living God, and will rebuke the words which the Lord your God has heard. Therefore lift up your prayer for the remnant that is left.’ ”
When the proud words of the King of Assyria are brought to Hezekiah, he finds himself in a valley of decision. In this moment will he look to the wisdom and power of men? Will he look to the protection of Egypt? The answer is no. Hezekiah through his actions turns his attention to God. The tearing of his clothes and covering himself with sackcloth is a sign of repentance and deep sorrow before the Lord.
Hezekiah makes his way to the house of the Lord. It is here that Hezekiah will seek the help of the Lord and will place his trust in the Lord. When we come before the Lord in prayer is when we place the battle in His hands. The Lord is always waiting for us to turn to Him. He has given us a freewill and we must make the decision to take whatever battle we are facing before the Lord in prayer. This is exactly what Hezekiah did. He placed the battle in the hands of the Lord.
The role and call of a prophet was never an easy one. Often they were rejected because of the message they were entrusted with. But here the prophet Isaiah is sought after. Hezekiah understands the seriousness of the situation and sends his trusted representatives to Isaiah. They will ask Isaiah to seek the Lord. Isaiah’s life and reputation has made it clear that he not only hears from the Lord, but he faithfully speaks for the Lord.
The representatives of Hezekiah speak to Isaiah of the seriousness of the situation. They use the phrase that it is like when a woman comes to the place of delivery but does not have the strength to deliver. Hezekiah is admitting his need for God. He has humbled himself before the Lord and it is in this place of humility that God will respond. It is God who gives grace to the humble. It is pride that always precedes the fall. When we believe we can solve our problems in our own strength and power is when we rob ourselves of the power and provision of the Lord. But when we humble ourselves before the Lord and seek His help, that is when God steps into the situation and brings forth His victory and His will.
Hezekiah seeks Isaiah to cry out to the Lord in prayer. Hezekiah is confident that Isaiah will not only faithfully seek the Lord, but that the Lord will hear and answer. Hezekiah points out the words that were spoken and their defiance and reproach of the Living God. Hezekiah is appealing to the honor of the name of the Lord. God’s word tells us that He will not be mocked. Those who pridefully speak against the Lord and His ways will ultimately be destroyed by their own words.