Isaiah 37 Commentary

Isaiah 37 Commentary

In his moment of great fear for his nation, Hezekiah sends a high-level delegation to the prophet Isaiah. Won’t the LORD God react to Assyria’s irreverence?

An attack on Jerusalem becomes the battle of the gods. Interesting! Back in the day, each nation had its own gods for various human spheres. Some were responsible for fertility in women while others brought rain and abundance to the crop field. Others were responsible for victory against an enemy. Assyria feels her gods are superior in comparison to Israel’s God. And it’s a big mistake!

And Israel? Yes, the same city-state Israel-cum-Jerusalem, is in great fear. The danger is real and present. But let’s not be too carried away by emotions to miss some important notes. The once vast land under Solomon is now one small candle within the walls of Jerusalem. Sin has happened. Scattering after scattering follows. And now, the only light still standing is Jerusalem.

What the many prophets talked about is happening. But Hezekiah has other plans. He turns to the LORD in repentance. And the LORD who longs to be gracious to His people responds by delivering Jerusalem. Isaiah 30 verse 18. Of course, not by human effort but by the hand of the LORD directly, in keeping with the word of the same prophet: Isaiah 31 verse 8.

Hezekiah’s God wasn’t a local god but the Creator God, the LORD God Almighty. He rules over all the kingdoms of the earth. It is to this God that Hezekiah prays. He lays down his fears before the LORD. The lesson for the praying saint is simple: keep it plain; be honest; and be realistic. Unless the LORD intervenes, you are as good as dead!

The LORD’s response to Hezekiah’s prayer is interesting. Yes, He delivers Jerusalem but not without words. Let the king know that Assyria’s attack on the nation is a planned cleanup exercise authorized by the Creator God. Assyria is simply a tool in the hands of the LORD, but a bad tool he has become: insolent and proud. The LORD will punish him for it.

The chapter ends with Sennacherib dead – killed by his own two sons while worshipping in his idol temple. The god Nisrok wasn’t able to save him. His many victories weren’t because of this imposter god. Equally, his death isn’t because of Nisrok. Won’t men stop to think!

This chapter has one important message. Judgment isn’t the LORD’s final word; compassion is. Right in the midst of judgment, the sinner can raise his voice to the LORD in a prayer of repentance. The LORD hears; the LORD responds.

Indeed, He longs to be gracious!

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Published by Joseph Malekani

Joseph Malekani is a born-again Christian with a strong PAOG/Baptist background. He is heavily involved in student ministry with ZAFES – an IFES movement with focus on student ministry in Zambia. He is married to Audrey and they have two lovely children.

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