Chapters 36 through 39 present the final narrative in this book. It covers the same events as 2 Kings 18 through 20, when Sennacherib’s army invades Judah and besieges Jerusalem. Remember Isaiah’s warnings against seeking help from Egypt; remember also the LORD’s promise to Ariel – Jerusalem - that He would lead Assyria to “encamp against you all around, and will besiege you with towers.” Today that promise is fulfilled.
In chapter 36 The Rabshakeh – Sennacherib’s general – approaches the walls of Jerusalem with a sinister question: “On what do you rest this trust of yours?” Is it Egypt? Is it Hezekiah? Is it the LORD?
Imagine the scene as his arrogance pours forth: his words are not for Hezekiah; they are for Hezekiah’s soldiers, for their families, for the people of Jerusalem. Against this siege, for how long will their food and water last? Unless Egypt comes to their aid, for how long will the walls hold?
Picture the men on the wall, listening as The Rabshakeh turns their God against them: “Is it without the LORD that I have come up against this land to destroy it? The LORD said to me, ‘Go up against this land and destroy it’” This is not only a fight between nations or gods, this is a battle over who is really telling the truth about the LORD. Is it Isaiah and Hezekiah… or this general who has the Assyrian army standing behind him?
Assyria has Hezekiah right where it wants him, with nowhere to turn. Ironically, this is exactly where the LORD wants him as well. The political and spiritual turning point of the story comes early in chapter 37, as Hezekiah casts his lot and the LORD responds.
Our verse for this week is 1 John 1:9: If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Isaiah 36 and 37. Now let’s read it!
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.