Isaiah 37:21-38 – God has the final say!

In verses 21 to 29 Isaiah relays to Hezekiah that because he prayed God is going to throw down Sennacherib. God’s word against the king of Assyria is that he will flee from Jerusalem and be thwarted because of his blasphemies against God and his pride. Sennacherib boasts about great military successes, but they were only ever accomplished because God chose to use him as his instrument. A day of judgment is coming when Sennacherib will be humiliated.

In verse 30 Isaiah tells Hezekiah that after the devastation of the land there will by God’s grace still be something produced before the normal agricultural patterns will be resumed within a couple of years or so. The prophet says that “this will be a sign for you, O Hezekiah”. Presumably this gracious undertaking of God when it comes to a harvest from the land will represent a confirmation that the judgment against Assyria’s king will indeed come to pass. Alternatively it could relate to what Isaiah prophesies next in the following verses, 31 and 32 about the preservation and recovery of God’s people through the emergence of a new “remnant” as something that is divinely guaranteed by way of this agricultural “sign”.

In verse 36 it is stated that God fulfilled his promise to deliver Jerusalem as the Assyrian forces outside the city walls are struck down. In the face of this terror, Sennacherib withdraws and that later (probably 20 years or so) he is killed by two of his sons thus fulfilling Isaiah’s earlier word in verse 7 of this chapter. Despite great success as the leader of a prosperous empire, Sennacherib ultimately met a gruesome end. As ruler over a vast imperial territory he must have felt pretty smug but it was God who allowed him his success and also determined the demise of his forces outside Jerusalem as well as numbering the days of this proud man. God has the final say indeed!

Prayer: We are in an awesome position as children of the King of Kings! At this time of crisis, let’s pray for the blessing of the Lord Almighty, the sovereign One, over our nation, for his mercy and his hand of grace on all the people of the UK.

SONG: UK Blessing