Friday, November 21, 2008

Isaiah 36

War of Words

Isa 36:1 Now it came to pass in the fourteenth year of king Hezekiah, that Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the defenced cities of Judah, and took them.

The time is given, the fourteenth year of Judah's king Hezekiah, who had purged the nation of idols and restored true forms of worship. He was a good king. Sennacherib king of Assyria had already conquered Syria, Israel and now all the defenced cities of Judah.

Isa 36:2 And the king of Assyria sent Rabshakeh from Lachish to Jerusalem unto king Hezekiah with a great army. And he stood by the conduit of the upper pool in the highway of the fuller's field.
Isa 36:3 Then came forth unto him Eliakim, Hilkiah's son, which was over the house, and Shebna the scribe, and Joah, Asaph's son, the recorder.

Imagine if our country was completely invaded and the invading army goes to the capitol city to face the president, or King Hezekiah? What complete hopelessness this would appear to be, It would be hopeless in a godless nation, whose hope was in a godless man, but Hezekiah was a king who served Almighty God. The representatives of the Assyrian king met with the representatives of king Hezekiah. They meet at the place of the water supply for the city of Jerusalem. The king had spiritual water.

Isa 36:4 And Rabshakeh said unto them, Say ye now to Hezekiah, Thus saith the great king, the king of Assyria, What confidence is this wherein thou trustest?
Isa 36:5 I say, sayest thou, (but they are but vain words) I have counsel and strength for war: now on whom dost thou trust, that thou rebellest against me?
Isa 36:6 Lo, thou trustest in the staff of this broken reed, on Egypt; whereon if a man lean, it will go into his hand, and pierce it: so is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all that trust in him.
Isa 36:7 But if thou say to me, We trust in the LORD our God: is it not he, whose high places and whose altars Hezekiah hath taken away, and said to Judah and to Jerusalem, Ye shall worship before this altar?

The commander of the Assyrian forces mocking replies to the men from Hezekiah; who do you trust to save you? The Egyptians are as a staff from a broken reed, that will pierce the hand if you lean on it.

Psa 20:7 Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God.

If you say, We trust in the Lord our God: is it not he, whose high places and whose altars Hezekiah hath taken away? This showed the ignorance concerning the true God of Israel. Hezekiah had the false places of worship to heathen gods removed. The heathen captain had not regard for the God of Israel for he did not know Him. Who are the gods of America? Wealth, abortion, pleasure, lawlessness, homosexuality? Are these the true Gods that America was founded on? We must put sin from us, to have the favor of Almighty God in our land. Has Hezekiah forced you to worship before this altar, the temple in Jerusalem? Yes, this was the appointed place of worship for the Jews. This was some 700 years before Jesus would come and proclaim a new place of worship.

John 4:21 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.John 4:22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.John 4:23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.
John 4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

Hezekiah did right when he took away the high places and the altars, demanding that people come to the temple in Jerusalem to offer sacrifice. The Jews were to bring sacrifices to the temple in Jerusalem, not to do their own kind of worship in makeshift altars under trees and in high places. We have God's temple in our bodies.

1 Cor 6:18 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.
1 Cor 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
1 Cor 6:20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.

We should meet togethe if able. Our Bible study chats provide a gathering place, but it is good to be a part of a local church gathering as well.

Heb 10:24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:
Heb 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

Isa 36:8 Now therefore give pledges, I pray thee, to my master the king of Assyria, and I will give thee two thousand horses, if thou be able on thy part to set riders upon them.
Isa 36:9 How then wilt thou turn away the face of one captain of the least of my master's servants, and put thy trust on Egypt for chariots and for horsemen?

Your pitiful Jerusalem army? I will give you two thousand horses, if you could find that many riders, implying that they were lacking even in that mumber of men to defend themselves. If you cannot defeat one of the least of our army, how could you trust in a distant army to help you when we have already conquered all? He seeks to put great fear in their hearts so they will give up. They gave up in the wilderness when Moses was leading them, would they give into fear now? Fear focuses on our inabilities, but faith focuses on the power of God.

Isa 36:10 And am I now come up without the LORD against this land to destroy it? the LORD said unto me, Go up against this land, and destroy it.

Admit it Hezekiah, you know your God is on my side. It is true that God will sometimes use enemy invaders to punish his idol worshipping people.

Isa 5:20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
Isa 5:21 Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!
Isa 5:22 Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink:
Isa 5:23 Which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him!
Isa 5:24 Therefore as the fire devoureth the stubble, and the flame consumeth the chaff, so their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust: because they have cast
Isa 5:25 Therefore is the anger of the LORD kindled against his people, and he hath stretched forth his hand against them, and hath smitten them: and the hills did tremble, and their carcases were torn in the midst of the streets. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.
Isa 5:26 And he will lift up an ensign to the nations from far, and will hiss unto them from the end of the earth: and, behold, they shall come with speed swiftly:

This sounds like America today.

Hezekiah had put away the idol worship, would the LORD bring the enemy to destroy them now after they had repented?

Isa 36:11 Then said Eliakim and Shebna and Joah unto Rabshakeh, Speak, I pray thee, unto thy servants in the Syrian language; for we understand it; and speak not to us in the Jews' language, in the ears of the people that are on the wall.
Isa 36:12 But Rabshakeh said, Hath my master sent me to thy master and to thee to speak these words? hath he not sent me to the men that sit upon the wall, that they may eat their own dung, and drink their own piss with you?

Hezekiah's men ask Rabshakeh to speak only to them. They understood the Aramaic language, Do not speak in Hebrew so that all the prople will hear you. Rabshakeh wanted all to hear his meassage and to fear his words. When we cut off your food and water supply you will be forced to eat human waste. What a foul thing to say. The intent was to cause fear and to have the people give up.

Isa 36:13 Then Rabshakeh stood, and cried with a loud voice in the Jews' language, and said, Hear ye the words of the great king, the king of Assyria.

He speaks to the people in defiance.

Isa 36:14 Thus saith the king, Let not Hezekiah deceive you: for he shall not be able to deliver you.
Isa 36:15 Neither let Hezekiah make you trust in the LORD, saying, The LORD will surely deliver us: this city shall not be delivered into the hand of the king of Assyria.

He is trying to make them not trust their King. This reminds me of the liberal news in our country, speaking fear to the people and speaking against our president. The people heard and chose the liberal without knowing anything about him.

Isa 36:16 Hearken not to Hezekiah: for thus saith the king of Assyria, Make an agreement with me by a present, and come out to me: and eat ye every one of his vine, and every one of his fig tree, and drink ye every one the waters of his own cistern;
Isa 36:17 Until I come and take you away to a land like your own land, a land of corn and wine, a land of bread and vineyards.

They would be taken to distant lands and separated They would have food and wine, but their way of life would be changed. I am thinking again of the presidential campaign about change; what kind of change? Will our God be taken away from public life? Will godless practices become officially recognized? Sin is never a good change. Anything that moves one away from God is not good change. They cannot remove God from our hearts, but the influences of a culture can change the children and they know that.

Isa 36:18 Beware lest Hezekiah persuade you, saying, The LORD will deliver us. Hath any of the gods of the nations delivered his land out of the hand of the king of Assyria?
Isa 36:19 Where are the gods of Hamath and Arphad? where are the gods of Sepharvaim? and have they delivered Samaria out of my hand?Isa 36:20 Who are they among all the gods of these lands, that have delivered their land out of my hand, that the LORD should deliver Jerusalem out of my hand?

He continues to warn them against following their own king. Now Rabshakeh has insulted the Almighty God. He has gone too far. We can trust in the power of Almighty God.

Isa 36:21 But they held their peace, and answered him not a word: for the king's commandment was, saying, Answer him not.

It was wise to not answer the rantings of the Assyrian commander.

Prov 26:4 Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.

Zec 2:13 Be silent, O all flesh, before the LORD: for he is raised up out of his holy habitation.

They did not answer him according to their thoughts. We do not answer accusations, but speak the word of the LORD. We do not answer demon controlled people with our own words. The LORD is our defender.

Isa 36:22 Then came Eliakim, the son of Hilkiah, that was over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and Joah, the son of Asaph, the recorder, to Hezekiah with their clothes rent, and told him the words of Rabshakeh.

2 Cor 4:8 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;
2 Cor 4:9 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;

They returned to Hezekiah with the report, with their cloths torn, to show their outrage and sadness, but their is always hope in the LORD. We can learn too to trust the LORD in all times and problems; He is faithful.

No comments: