Isaiah was prophet to King Hezekiah, a good king who “did what was good and right and faithful before the LORD his God” (2Chronicles 31:20). He restored Judah to faith and worship, and stood against Assyria, the mighty nation that had defeated the northern kingdom of Israel. Assyria presented to Hezekiah and to Judah a question they must answer, “Say to Hezekiah, ‘Thus says the great king, the king of Assyria: On what do you rest this trust of yours? In whom do you now trust’” (Isaiah 36:4-5). That same question is asked of each generation, including ours.
Sennacherib, the king of Assyria, presented Hezekiah with a reasonable argument. Assyria has demonstrated her strength. Lots of little nations depending on lots of little gods have fallen. “Have the gods of the nations delivered them, the nations that my fathers destroyed, Gozan, Haran, Rezeph, and the people of Eden who were in Telassar? Where is the king of Hamath, the king of Arpad, the king of the city of Sepharvaim, the king of Hena, or the king of Ivvah?” (Isaiah 37:12-13). Your God will fail you, too.
Sennacherib’s offer? Trust me. “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” (Isaiah 36:16). Sounds good, but Sennacherib continued, “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” (Isaiah 36:17). My land. Trust Sennacherib, you belong to Sennacherib. You belong to whom you trust.
Rather than listen to these reasoned words of a faithless man, Hezekiah put Sennacherib’s words before God and worshipped. The little gods destroyed by Assyria “were no gods, but the work of men’s hands, wood and stone” (Isaiah 37:19). Big deal! “O Lord of hosts, God of Israel, enthroned above the cherubim, you are the God, you alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; you have made heaven and earth” (Isaiah 37:16). Worship gave Hezekiah perspective. He would answer the question. He would trust in the one God, his God, the God of the heavens and the earth. Big deal, indeed!
After the one God defeated the Assyrians, Isaiah added this postscript regarding Sennacherib, “as he was worshiping in the house of Nisroch his god, Adrammelech and Sharezer, his sons, struck him down with the sword” (Isaiah 37:38). Another little nation depending on a little god has fallen.
‘Thus says the great king, the king of Assyria: ‘On what do you rest this trust of yours? In whom do you now trust?’” It is a good question.
My Creator, You are Lord of all. You establish justice and promote righteousness. You have made Your ways known, Your Laws are clear and they are good. I may choose to follow them. Or not. You give me freedom to decide the path I walk, the choices I make, the direction of my life.
At the end, God, I know I will stand before the King of kings and Lord of lords, the God of all the kingdoms of the earth. Thank You for Your Son, who paid the price for my sins on my behalf. He has given me his righteousness, so that I may stand with confidence before You. There is no other choice but You.