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God’s Word for You

Isaiah 37:1-4

by Pastor Timothy Smith on Thursday, April 24, 2008

Jerusalem’s Deliverance Foretold

37 When King Hezekiah heard this, he tore his clothes and put on sackcloth and went into the temple of the LORD. 2 He sent Eliakim the palace administrator, Shebna the secretary, and the leading priests, all wearing sackcloth, to the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz.  3 They told him, “This is what Hezekiah says: This day is a day of distress and rebuke and disgrace, as when children come to the point of birth and there is no strength to deliver them.  4 It may be that the LORD your God will hear the words of the field commander, whom his master, the king of Assyria, has sent to ridicule the living God, and that he will rebuke him for the words the LORD your God has heard. Therefore pray for the remnant that still survives.” (NIV)

Isaiah chapter 37 is a chapter of deliverance. It shows us one of the more spectacular miracles of the Bible, and it shows us that God is able to accomplish anything for his people. It is also a chapter of contrasts.

When the chapter begins, we find a king praying in the temple of the true God. He sends two of his most trusted men to the prophet to ask him to pray that the remnant of Judah would not be swept away from the earth.

When the chapter ends, we will find another king praying in the temple of a false god, and two of his most trusted men—his own sons—will murder him and flee to Ararat, the land to which the remnant were taken when the Flood swept away every living thing that walked the earth.

Hezekiah’s words to Isaiah show that he trusted God. He knew that God is powerful, but he also remembered that God is merciful. His ears burned when he heard the Assyrian commander ridicule the God of Israel, and now King Hezekiah began to talk like his ancestor, David. David felt the same way when Goliath of Gath taunted the Israelites.

How many of David’s words came rushing into Hezekiah’s heart?

The deeds of faithless men I hate; they will not cling to me. (Psalm 101:3)

Reach down your hand from on high; deliver me and rescue me from the mighty waters, from the hands of foreigners whose mouths are full of lies, whose right hands are deceitful. (Psalm 144:7-8)

If the LORD had not been on our side when men attacked us, when their anger flared against us, they would have swallowed us alive; the flood would have engulfed us, the torrent would have swept over us, the raging waters would have swept us away. Praise be to the LORD, who has not let us be torn by their teeth. (Psalm 124:2-6)

Give us aid against the enemy, for the help of man is worthless. With God we will gain the victory, and he will trample down our enemies. (Psalm 108:12-13)

The king trusted the King, because the equation of God’s love and power works in both directions: The Almighty God whose power rescues man from earthly dangers can also rescue man from sin, death and the devil. And the Almighty God whose power rescued man from sin, death and the devil can also rescue man from earthly dangers.

Put your trust in God; put your faith in Jesus, who saved us from our sins.

In Christ,
Pastor Timothy Smith

Pastor Tim SmithAbout Pastor Timothy Smith
Pastor Smith serves St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in New Ulm, Minnesota. His wife, Kathryn, attended the Chapel from 1987-1990 while studying Secondary Education (Theater and Math) at UW-Madison. Kathryn’s father, John Meyer, was also the first man to serve as a Vicar at Chapel.

To receive God’s Word for You via e-mail, please contact Pastor Smith.