Isaiah 36

Isaiah 36

Sennacherib Invades Judah

36 In the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities of Judah and took them. And the king of Assyria sent the Rabshakeh from Lachish to King Hezekiah at Jerusalem, with a great army. And he stood by the conduit of the upper pool on the highway to the Washer’s Field. And there came out to him Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was over the household, and Shebna the secretary, and Joah the son of Asaph, the recorder.

And the Rabshakeh said to them, “Say to Hezekiah, ‘Thus says the great king, the king of Assyria: On what do you rest this trust of yours? Do you think that mere words are strategy and power for war? In whom do you now trust, that you have rebelled against me? Behold, you are trusting in Egypt, that broken reed of a staff, which will pierce the hand of any man who leans on it. Such is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all who trust in him. But if you say to me, “We trust in the LORD our God,” is it not he whose high places and altars Hezekiah has removed, saying to Judah and to Jerusalem, “You shall worship before this altar”? Come now, make a wager with my master the king of Assyria: I will give you two thousand horses, if you are able on your part to set riders on them. How then can you repulse a single captain among the least of my master’s servants, when you trust in Egypt for chariots and for horsemen? Moreover, 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.”’”

Then Eliakim, Shebna, and Joah said to the Rabshakeh, “Please speak to your servants in Aramaic, for we understand it. Do not speak to us in the language of Judah within the hearing of the people who are on the wall.” But the Rabshakeh said, “Has my master sent me to speak these words to your master and to you, and not to the men sitting on the wall, who are doomed with you to eat their own dung and drink their own urine?”

Then the Rabshakeh stood and called out in a loud voice in the language of Judah: “Hear the words of the great king, the king of Assyria! Thus says the king: ‘Do not let Hezekiah deceive you, for he will not be able to deliver you. Do not let Hezekiah make you trust in the LORD by saying, “The LORD will surely deliver us. This city will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.” Do not listen to Hezekiah. For thus says the king of Assyria: Make your peace with me and come out to me. Then each one of you will eat of his own vine, and each one of his own fig tree, and each one of you will drink the water of his own cistern, until I come and take you away to a land like your own land, a land of grain and wine, a land of bread and vineyards. Beware lest Hezekiah mislead you by saying, “The LORD will deliver us.” Has any of the gods of the nations delivered his land out of the hand of the king of Assyria? Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim? Have they delivered Samaria out of my hand? Who among all the gods of these lands have delivered their lands out of my hand, that the LORD should deliver Jerusalem out of my hand?’”

But they were silent and answered him not a word, for the king’s command was, “Do not answer him.” Then Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was over the household, and Shebna the secretary, and Joah the son of Asaph, the recorder, came to Hezekiah with their clothes torn, and told him the words of the Rabshakeh.


Isaiah 36 Commentary

by Brad Boyles

The goal of the enemy is to render us hopeless in the face of our circumstances. The world, Satan, and even our own hearts influence our minds to these dark places. Even though the Assyrians accuse Hezekiah of being seduced, they have been seduced by their own power. They believe the God of Israel is just another god to be manipulated by man in order to achieve victory. In this way, they truly believe that their power is above God’s.

The temptation for the Judah would be to respond in panic. We tend to freak out for a minute and lose our sense of direction. This is exactly the battle plan of the enemy. He wants to destroy our willpower. He wants to leave us with no options. We so quickly forget that repentance is always an option.

The question that plagues many aspects of our life is – should I trust God or trust humans? Our temptation is to trust ourselves, or others, to help squeeze out of a tough situation. As we will see in the next chapter, Hezekiah rightly seeks the Lord.

What do you do when you are overwhelmed? How do you cope?

This chapter really reminds me of the necessity to meditate on Scripture. When Satan came to Adam and Eve, as well as Jesus, he used the same exact tactics. He twisted truth while trying to draw out a quick and foolish decision. Adam and Even fell. Jesus did not. The difference was, Jesus used the promises of Scripture to fight the enemy. He meditated on the Word (He WAS the Word in the flesh), and He stood on that firm foundation.

The importance of the Word is not just to learn stuff, but to apply it as well. We must meditate on the Word so that when the enemy comes knocking, we have the firepower to withstand the flaming arrows!

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