Isaiah 36 by Pastor Don Moore
Taught July 9, 2010
Isaiah 36:1 Now it came to pass in the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah that Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities of Judah and took them.
King Hezekiah and the people of Judah were in big trouble.
Isaiah 36:2 Then the king of Assyria sent the Rabshakeh with a great army from Lachish to King Hezekiah at Jerusalem. And he stood by the aqueduct from the upper pool, on the highway to the Fuller’s Field.
Wanted to strike a deal.
Isaiah 36:3 And Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was over the household, Shebna the scribe, and Joah the son of Asaph, the recorder, came out to him.
Recorders don’t get much credit. Jeremiah had four scribes to take down his prophecies. The recorders had signet rings to signify who they were. If they had not recorded the words of the prophets we would have not had the information we have.
Isaiah 36:4-5 Then the Rabshakeh said to them, “Say now to Hezekiah, ‘Thus says the great king, the king of Assyria: “What confidence is this in which you trust? I say you speak of having plans and power for war; but they are mere words. Now in whom do you trust, that you rebel against me?
The Rabshakeh was speaking for the king of Assyria.
Isaiah 36:6 Look! You are trusting in the staff of this broken reed, Egypt, on which if a man leans, it will go into his hand and pierce it. So is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all who trust in him.
The Israelites had been under the economic power of Egypt, so when they had pressure placed on their nation they looked to Egypt as if it would be the source of their salvation. Assyria was powerful enough to take Egypt down. The Israelites would say that they are trusting in the Lord, but they were looking for a fast escape under pharaoh.
Pastor Don asked us: WHO ARE YOU TRUSTING IN TODAY? Are you trusting in the political system, the economy, your husband, your wife, are we placing them above God?
He then added: WE USUALLY TRUST IN THE LORD UNTIL THE LORD IS IN DISAGREEMENT WITH WHAT WE WANT IN THE FLESH. We trust what we see, what we know or think, but we say that we are trusting in the Lord. Why does that not work? What prevents us from functioning in the will of God? Having a dirty filter – not letting the truth of God in because our filters are clouded with what we see in our circumstances or in our thinking. Everything that comes to us goes through our filtering system. Our filters prejudice what we see, and where we succeed or fail. It clouds the way we approach God.
There is a battle about to form, and the Israelites want to run to Egypt. Isaiah and Jeremiah say that the Israelites should trust in God.
Pastor Don spoke about the Azusa Street Revival. He pointed out that during this revival there was no racism, blacks and whites came together to experience more of God. The revivals come when we need to realize who God is. The Azusa Street Revival came during a period where we were focused on industrialization, believing that if we built it, we can fix it, and our country had placed God on a shelf. People came to the realization that they couldn’t fix things, that they needed God. When the people sought God, the power of God fell in a big way, and the Assemblies of God church was formed. Another revival fell in the 1930’s and signs and wonders returned to the Church.
God wants to re-introduce Himself to the people. Are we bold enough to admit the truth about ourselves? Are we trusting God? God will not rescue us from our trials until we turn to Him.
Isaiah 36:7 “But if you say to me, ‘We trust in the LORD our God,’ is it not He whose high places and whose altars Hezekiah has taken away, and said to Judah and Jerusalem, ‘You shall worship before this altar’?”’
The Rabshakeh blasphemed God.
Isaiah 36:8-10 Now therefore, I urge you, give a pledge to my master the king of Assyria, and I will give you two thousand horses—if you are able on your part to put riders on them! How then will you repel one captain of the least of my master’s servants, and put your trust in Egypt for chariots and horsemen? Have I now come up without the LORD against this land to destroy it? The LORD said to me, ‘Go up against this land, and destroy it.’”
When defeat is speaking to you, you have to say, “Whose voice am I going to hear? The Rabshakeh’s god is not the Lord. Are you going to trust in chariots and horsemen or the Lord?
Isaiah 36:11 Then Eliakim, Shebna, and Joah said to the Rabshakeh, “Please speak to your servants in Aramaic, for we understand it; and do not speak to us in Hebrew in the hearing of the people who are on the wall.”
The Rabshakeh was speaking in common language so the people could understand him. The recorders told him to speak in Aramaic because the people would not be able to understand what he was saying to them. They did not want the people to fear, but rather to have faith in God. But what the recorders were saying with this statement was that they did not trust in the faith of the people, that the people would have faith no matter what the Rabshakeh said.
People want to see those in the church as spiritual and having faith, but they are viewing the people with carnal eyes, attributing faith to those who may not have faith. ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS AND FAITH IS AN ACTION WORD. You can talk faith but not act faith. We want to increase the level of faith.
Pastor Don told us that at times we need to let the devil speak so that we can discern his game plan. In order to not be victims we need, as Paul said, to discern the wiles of the devil, and we can sometimes find that out when he speaks to us.
Jesus did not silence the demoniac of the Gadarenes until He ascertained his game plan, then He silenced the devil.
2 Corinthians 2:11 lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.
Our filters block our ability to hear the wiles of the devil, what he is speaking and what his plan is for we want to believe what we want in the flesh, not the Word of God. The devil comes in the front door and announces he is here, and tells you how he will do it, but we don’t pay attention to what he is saying, especially if it agrees with what we want to be doing. We need to discern if it is God or the devil making the suggestion.
We need to ask ourselves how is the devil trying to lead me? The devil makes a suggestion, if you accept that suggestion, then you give the devil permission to take more ground in your life.
Isaiah 36:12 But the Rabshakeh said, “Has my master sent me to your master and to you to speak these words, and not to the men who sit on the wall, who will eat and drink their own waste with you?”
The Rabshakeh wanted to instill fear in the people, putting horrible images in their minds. The Assyrians were ruthless, and would cause the people to eat and drink their own waste. The image needed to be rejected, and the people needed to trust God.
When Pastor Don was on his death bed, the enemy made a suggestion to him. The enemy said, “You don’t deserve to be healed. Your drug usage contributed to your dying condition. Had Pastor Don accepted these suggestions from the devil he would have agreed with death and opened up the way for that.
Fortunately, we have a mediator, the Lord Jesus Christ. If we refuse to agree with death, we can rely on our mediator.
Isaiah 36:13-14 Then the Rabshakeh stood and called out with a loud voice in Hebrew, and said, “Hear the words of the great king, the king of Assyria! Thus says the king: ‘Do not let Hezekiah deceive you, for he will not be able to deliver you;
Here the Rabshakeh is attacking the head. If the people believed the lies of the Rabshakeh it would eliminate the possibility of King Hezekiah’s leadership and that would curtail Hezekiah’s ability to bring deliverance.
Isaiah 36:15-17 nor let Hezekiah make you trust in the LORD, saying, “The LORD will surely deliver us; this city will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.”’ Do not listen to Hezekiah; for thus says the king of Assyria: ‘Make peace with me by a present and come out to me; and every one of you eat from his own vine and every one from his own fig tree, and every one of you drink the waters of his own cistern; until I come and take you away to a land like your own land, a land of grain and new wine, a land of bread and vineyards.
The lie of the Rabshakeh is that we should not trust the king or that God will not come to your rescue. That the Israelites will have to fend for themselves. This is not true, for God has promised that He will not leave us or forsake us. Yet the Assyrians were a very brutal tribe, and they would kill dissenters by shoving a spike up their spine and letting them slowly suffer and die. Although they say that you will remain in the land, there is no truth in that. The people of Israel would become slaves, or be killed.
Isaiah 36:18 Beware lest Hezekiah persuade you, saying, “The LORD will deliver us.” Has any one of the gods of the nations delivered its land from the hand of the king of Assyria?
The Rabshakeh could not discern that the Lord is different from pagan gods. The pagan gods could not deliver the people, but that does not mean that God is not able to deliver. There is a distinction between God and the pagan gods. We need to play back the videotapes of our lives and remember all the times God has delivered us. Get our focus on God, not on the circumstances. Get to the altar, get to church, listen to testimonies of others, give your testimony. Don’t lose hope as the others have lost hope. In spite of lies and confusion, the people did not listen to Rabshakeh’s lies. As we look at our lives, playing back our videotapes we can see places where God acted and we did not see him at the time, but in retrospect we began to see that although we did not feel God’s presence He was there. He may have came differently from what you expected. And God can help you achieve a greater victory over our circumstance than we could think or imagine. It is all in our perspective. Our challenges will be used by God to help us become strong so that we can be used more effectively.
DEVELOP A PURPOSEFUL POSITIVE HEART. Make sure to thank God and see the stuff in your life in a positive light. We have the choice of what perspective we want to take. God has provided an open door for us on the other side. Try to see God’s purpose in your situation, and learn from it, so that you do not stay there for longer than necessary. As you see it from this perspective you will not become immobilized and the enemy will not stop your growth.
Pastor Don told the story of two children – one very positive, the other very negative. The parents wanted to even out the children’s reactions to situations. The story goes that the father put manure into the positive child’s room, and later heard gleeful sounds coming from the boy as he dug through the manure. When questioned he said, “With so much manure in here, there has to be a pony in my room.” Instead of moaning about the manure, the boy had a positive outlook.
Isaiah 36:19-21 Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim? Indeed, have they delivered Samaria from my hand? Who among all the gods of these lands have delivered their countries from my hand, that the LORD should deliver Jerusalem from my hand?’” But they held their peace and answered him not a word; for the king’s commandment was, “Do not answer him.”
They did not debate with the enemy and his lies. The didn’t answer him. If you keep silence you do not add your OK to what the devil has been trying to attack you with.
Isaiah 36:22 Then Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was over the household, Shebna the scribe, and Joah the son of Asaph, the recorder, came to Hezekiah with their clothes torn, and told him the words of the Rabshakeh.
The recorders tell the king what the enemy is saying.
Isaiah 37:1 And so it was, when King Hezekiah heard it, that he tore his clothes, covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the house of the LORD.
Hezekiah had the right response, repent and go to God.
Isaiah 37:2-3 Then he sent Eliakim, who was over the household, Shebna the scribe, and the elders of the priests, covered with sackcloth, to Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz. And they said to him, “Thus says Hezekiah: ‘This day is a day of trouble and rebuke and blasphemy; for the children have come to birth, but there is no strength to bring them forth.
NO, this is not the truth, they are looking at the circumstances, but not the truth of God.
Isaiah 37:4 It may be that the LORD your God will hear the words of the Rabshakeh, whom his master the king of Assyria has sent to reproach the living God, and will rebuke the words which the LORD your God has heard. Therefore lift up your prayer for the remnant that is left.’”
He is saying that his faith is weak, and is asking Isaiah to speak to YOUR God – not his God. The lesser appeals to the greater. Isaiah stands as the greater so can Isaiah appeal to God on their behalf. We do this all the time, thinking to go to a pastor or elder, or ask someone else to pray for us. We have the right to go before God and petition God. We think that others have stronger faith than us, when we have all been given a measure of faith. Some exercise their faith more, but we all can achieve great faith. Some preach the Gospel, but don’t believe all the Gospel, they feel that signs and wonders are no longer applicable in this day and age. Even after all that God has done, we believe the lie that God will chose to do things that are not to our advantage. We can cling to life and circumstances and kill our faith, or we can choose to take God at His Word. If we do need to ask another person to pray with us in agreement, do not go to someone who is weaker in faith than you, seek someone who has succeeded in the area you need prayer in, or someone who is strong in their faith. When we are tested in our faith, remember to remind the devil of what God has said. Jesus kept telling satan, “It is written.” The devil left Jesus until A MORE OPPORTUNE TIME. Jesus had other temptations, and succeeded in fending off the devil. we can stay faithful in the midst of trials.
Isaiah 37:5-7 So the servants of King Hezekiah came to Isaiah. And Isaiah said to them, “Thus you shall say to your master, ‘Thus says the LORD: “Do not be afraid of the words which you have heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed Me. Surely I will send a spirit upon him, and he shall hear a rumor and return to his own land; and I will cause him to fall by the sword in his own land.”’”
Don’t shorten God’s hand and limit the possibilities because of past failures or your declaration that a situation is too tough for God. God will deal with the situation in ways that we may not even imagine. When you limit God you are playing god yourself. God will deal with the circumstance in the correct time and place. God is God. Don’t bank on your pastor not making mistakes, or other believers not making mistakes. Encounters with God will go better if you believe in divine appointments. Pray with the faith of Isaiah, and do what the Lord tells you to do.
Praying your day is blessed.
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