Read 190.) Isaiah 36:1 thru 39:8, and read 191.) II Kings 18:13 thru 20:21, and II Chronicles 32:1 thru 33. To appreciate all that we read here, it is necessary to be acquainted with what has preceded this. Because Judah had recently coronated a new king in Hezekiah, he immediately commenced to order and oversee incredible reforms throughout all Judah, after their wicked king, Ahaz, his own father, had died. Read II Chronicles chapters 29 thru 31, and our reading number 185, to grasp this.
Chapter 36. Assyria has come to Judah! Sennacherib has captured all Judah’s fortified cities! She is doomed! There is nothing that can be done! The northern kingdom of Israel has already been swept away, as has many other nations and peoples. All that is left… is King Hezekiah and Jerusalem! And… Isaiah and the Lord!!! Hezekiah’s water tunnel exists today, and is a major tourist attraction in Israel.
Chapter 37 opens by showing us the heart of Hezekiah. He is still that man intent on doing all that is good and right in the eyes of the Lord his God, and the God of Judah. The king sent faithful men to Isaiah, who told them that the Lord would cause Sennacherib to withdraw from Jerusalem, and it happened just as he had said. For that time being, Jerusalem was spared. This resulted in Hezekiah going before the Lord in His Temple to petition Him for His aid. It is a model prayer, in that Hezekiah spoke all that was in his heart and mind, and asked of Him exactly what it was that he desired of the Lord. He invites all His own to do this at all times! God heard Hezekiah! Isaiah sent a message from the Lord to the king. In it, the Lord promised Hezekiah that Sennacherib would not return to take Jerusalem. Not only that, but in that very next night, the angel of the Lord struck down 185,000 soldiers in the Assyrian camp, and they returned back to Nineveh in disgrace, where Sennacherib was assassinated by 2 of his own sons!
Chapters 38 and 39 relate to a time of Hezekiah’s illness and a visit he received from envoys from ascending Babylon. He was 39, and halfway thru his reign. This also must have been very shortly after the incident with Assyria we just read. Upon his recovery, he recites a beautiful psalm, like one of those of David, 300 years before him. But, to these envoys, Hezekiah, in overweening pride, showed them all his wealth, to which Isaiah sent a word from the Lord that a day would come when all that he had shown them would be carried off to Babylon. This would be so. In about 100 more years’ time, Babylon would rise to world rulership, and in the year 586 BC, would utterly destroy Jerusalem in God’s judgment, and final fulfillment of The 5th Prophecy, given unto Moses 700 years before, concerning Israel’s future and fate. The Lord, He is God, and there is no other. He speaks and He brings it to pass. All will bow down before Him. It’s what the Book is all about!
Harold F Crowell