e mërkurë, 26 mars 2008

Isaiah 36:4-10

Passage: Isaiah 36:4-10
4 And the Rabshakeh said to them, "Say to Hezekiah, 'Thus says the great king, the king of Assyria: On what do you rest this trust of yours?
5 Do you think that mere words are strategy and power for war? In whom do you now trust, that you have rebelled against me?
6 Behold, you are trusting in Egypt, that broken reed of a staff, which will pierce the hand of any man who leans on it. Such is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all who trust in him.
7 But if you say to me, "We trust in the LORD our God," is it not he whose high places and altars Hezekiah has removed, saying to Judah and to Jerusalem, "You shall worship before this altar"? 8 Come now, make a wager with my master the king of Assyria: I will give you two thousand horses, if you are able on your part to set riders on them.
9 How then can you repulse a single captain among the least of my master’s servants, when you trust in Egypt for chariots and for horsemen?
10 Moreover, is it without the LORD that I have come up against this land to destroy it? The LORD said to me, Go up against this land and destroy it.'"

Journal: Hezekiah, king of Judah, was 29 years old when he took the throne. Though youthful, he was mature in his walk with God. The historical record of this period found in 2 Kings 18 and in 2 Chronicles 29-30 points out the following acts of King Hezekiah: 1. He removed the "high places," which were pagan monuments of worship primarily from the Assyrian influence; 2. He opened the doors of the temple that had been closed by King Ahaz before him; 3. He reconstituted the ministry of the Levites; 4. He reintroduced the Passover feast; 5. He attempted to encourage what was left of Israel [after its assimilation by Assyria] to worship God; and 6. He destroyed idols. If there was a king after David that was also "after God's own heart," it was King Hezekiah.

However, King Hezekiah, like all of us, faltered at times. He was prone to look to Egypt for help and deliverance, rather than relying and trusting in God. This false human reliance on the power of man is pointed out over and over by Isaiah in his writings. King Hezekiah is now up against the arrogance and pride of Assyria, which is reflected in the words of Rabshakeh on behalf of the Assyrian King Sennacherib. ["Thus says the great king, the king of Assyria" . . . "How then can you repulse a single captain among the least of my master’s servants, when you trust in Egypt for chariots and for horsemen . . ."] At times, it is in the face of human arrogance and pride that the children of God forget the glory of their God. He alone is sufficient for whatever foe opposes His righteousness. We are called to be steadfast and to trust in Him alone.