June 5: Isaiah 37
Deuteronomy 9; Psalms 92–93; Isaiah 37; Revelation 7
In chapter 36, Assyria has overtaken Judah’s strongholds and now approaches Jerusalem, clearly superior in power. The Assyrian mouthpiece then asks King Hezekiah the central question of his life - and that of you, and me: whom do you trust? (36:4-5)
Chapter 37 records Hezekiah’s response. He inquires of Isaiah, and God promises that He will turn away Sennacherib and cause him to die in his own land (5-7). Twenty years later he would, by the hand of his own sons (38).
But for now, Hezekiah must walk by faith in God’s promise - as do we all. Thus his prayer is worth extended meditation (15-20). The length of the prayer does not impress, nor should it (Mark 12:40). But three features do impress. First, Hezekiah gets right Who he is talking to: the Lord of all power, the King, the singular God-Creator of all (16). Secondly, he brings the Rabshekah’s threats and lays them before God (17-18). He does not hide them nor put on a brave display. Before this God he is honest, transparent, and most of all, humble.
Thirdly, he asks not for salvation itself, but for the glory of God in saving His people (19-20). Now Hezekiah aligns with God’s motivation in everything (Ephesians 1:6). Hezekiah would never ascend higher than this moment, when he went so low, by faith in God’s promises, for the glory of God in saving His people.