(38 verses, 4:43 to read)
What I am about to READ
- Idols destroy and will be destroyed.
MARK & LEARN
- 1-13: “As soon as King Hezekiah heard it, he tore his clothes and covered himself with sackcloth and went into the house of the Lord (1).” What a wonderful example for our comfort! Hezekiah shows us repentance and faith. He shows the comfort the Christian has in the midst of news that brings with it the temptation to despair.
After Hezekiah’s servants are told to summon Isaiah to prayer, Isaiah preaches back this word: “Do not be afraid because of the words that you have heard… (6)” Isaiah then prophecies that the king of Assyria, who lives by the sword, will also fall by the sword(Matthew 26:52). This is fulfilled at the end of our reading when his own sons kill him. False gods will lead to destruction – of the false believer, of the idol, or of both.
When the king of Assyria hears that Jerusalem is preparing to fight and not surrender and give in to despair, he mocks their faith, “Do not let your God in whom you trust deceive you by promising that Jerusalem will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria (10).” He then lists his victories over other nations who trusted in their gods. The rest of the reading will point out two truths: 1.) The other gods did deceive other nations. They were made. They did not make (19). They could not save (20). They could not bear the weight of being trusted to protect and preserve. As pointed out above, this false belief led to destruction – both of the false believer and the idol. However, 2.) The Lord doesn’t deceive. He is the only God, the One above “all the kingdoms of the earth (16).” It is proper and good, even, to mock false gods as they invite our fear, love, and trust. However, Sennacherib was mocking the Lord of hosts, the Holy One of Israel
- 14-20: Hezekiah’s prayer is a beautiful confession of true faith and the danger of misplaced trust.
- 21-38:The Lord speaks through Isaiah to Hezekiah and comforts him with the promise that Jerusalem will not fall. As the Lord often does for us, he reminds Hezekiah and defines Himself as the God who have saved in the past (25) and will thus save in the present and future. The reading ends with an angel of the Lord striking 185,000 Assyrians and the death of Sennacherib at the hands of his sons. It is not accidental that his death is directly connected with his false worship of Nisroch, his god. False faith ends in destruction – of the false believer, of the idol, or eventually, always of both.
- “Do not be afraid because of the words that you have heard… (6)” Lord, take away the fear I have in the many words that I hear in this world: of threats, of accusations. and of false promises. Help me to cling solely to Your words. You don’t deceive. Amen.