Isaiah 37.1-7 – Trust in God and humble obedience
Posted: 28 January 2011 in Isaiah

And it came to pass, when king Hezekiah heard it, that he rent his clothes, and covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the house of the LORD. And he sent Eliakim, who was over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and the elders of the priests covered with sackcloth, unto Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz. And they said unto him, Thus saith Hezekiah, This day is a day of trouble, and of rebuke, and of blasphemy: for the children are come to the birth, and there is not strength to bring forth. It may be the LORD thy God will hear the words of Rabshakeh, whom the king of Assyria his master hath sent to reproach the living God, and will reprove the words which the LORD thy God hath heard: wherefore lift up thy prayer for the remnant that is left. So the servants of king Hezekiah came to Isaiah. And Isaiah said unto them, Thus shall ye say unto your master, Thus saith the LORD, Be not afraid of the words that thou hast heard, wherewith the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed me. Behold, I will send a blast upon him, and he shall hear a rumour, and return to his own land; and I will cause him to fall by the sword in his own land.

Elsewhere Isaiah criticises Ahaz for relying upon Assyrian help in a time of crisis. Here it is the Assyrians who pose the threat, but, unlike his father, Hezekiah’s first instinct is to turn towards God for help. Since God’s purposes will invariably be fulfilled in their season, to conform himself to God’s will is really the only completely sane thing any man (or woman) can do. Nevertheless, obedience does not come naturally to us, and a humble submission on our part requires the inestimable gift of God’s grace. Inestimable because, only through trust and obedience, can salvation be ours.

In Hezekiah’s case he hears that the Assyrian threat will come to nothing. Later on in the chapter it transpires that the Assyrian king is to learn the price of blaspheming the only true God.

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