Our next reading is Isaiah 37:1-7
When we find ourselves in a very difficult situation, under attack from the enemy, we need to pray, believing that G-d wants to move and work in our lives in order to change the situation we find ourselves in. G-d wants to defeat the enemies that stand in opposition to us. If we want to receive G-d’s deliverance, we need to be serious about prayer (1 Thess 5:17, Eph 6:18).
Note: This chapter is found, almost word for word, in 2 Kings 19
v1: Heard: Hezekiah heard the threats and the words of blasphemy spoken by Rabshakeh.
- Tore his clothes: Traditionally the tearing of garments is a sign of mourning and of repentance. It is an action that shows great remorse, an action that shows a desire to experience G-d’s presence. When we only want G-d to do things for us (save us from our enemy, provide for us, solve our problems etc), but we do not want to experience Him and His Presence in our lives, we are displaying spiritual immaturity.
- Covered himself with sackcloth: Another outward/physical sign of repentance.
- The house of the L-rd: The temple. People went to the temple for a variety of reasons, but the main reason was to worship.
Note: This verse teaches us a very important Biblical truth: No matter what we are going through (good or bad) it is wise for us to worship G-d. Worshipping G-d should be our first and foremost response to every situation in life that we find ourselves in. We worship Him firstly because of who He is, and, secondly, for what He has done. Even if G-d seems silent, and we are perishing at the hands of our enemies, He is still worthy of worship.
v2: He sent: Not only did Hezekiah go to pray and worship G-d but he also sent his leaders to Isaiah as he wanted to hear what G-d had to say – he wanted prophetic revelation from G-d. We can learn so much about G-d and His plans through prophecy (the prophetic books of the Bible). Prophecy teaches us principles for life. It is rich in wisdom and in helping us to gain understanding of the times that we live in (1 Chron 12:32).
v3: Trouble…rebuke and blasphemy: Hezekiah is saying that this day is full of evil. People are blaspheming G-d and are causing trouble for the people of G-d.
- There is no strength to bring them forth: In a physical sense, this siege has so weakened the pregnant women in Jerusalem that they are too weak to deliver their babies. The situation in Jerusalem is dire, and the next (even unborn) generation is being directly affected by it.
v4: The L-rd your G-d will hear: G-d is aware of what is going on and He knows what Rabshakeh has said.
Note: Hezekiah was hoping that Isaiah would pray for those who were still left alive in the siege. He desired a response from the L-rd. He wanted the L-rd to move in this situation.
v6: Your master: Referring to King Hezekiah.
- Thus says the L-rd: The L-rd G-d responded to Hezekiah’s faith (and actions) and gave him the revelation he asked for.
- Do not be afraid: G-d has the situation under control.
- Blasphemed: G-d was aware that His Name was being blasphemed by the Assyrians.
v7: A spirit: The context here is that this is an unclean spirit, a spirit of deceit. G-d, through His angels, affords humanity a degree of protection from evil spirits (Ps 91:11). This is the same principle we see at play in Matt 5:45, whereby G-d makes the rain fall upon the just and the unjust. However, G-d can also remove His hand of protection from people. In this case, allowing an evil spirit to have access to the king of Assyria.
- Him: Referring to the king of Assyria
- He shall hear a rumour: This spirit is going to lie to the king of Assyria. G-d does not cause the spirit to lie, but G-d does allow it.
- I will cause him to fall by the sword: G-d does not personally slay Sennacherib, but He uses others to slay him.