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Isaiah 36-37

Talks for Growing Christians

Jerusalem’s Deliverance from the Threat of Assyria

Isaiah 36-37

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Lesson Number 29

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. God may test His people with threats from the enemy.
  2. God can deliver His people from the clutches of the enemy.

Practical Application

  1. Wait and watch for enemy strategy to backfire!

Questions

  1. In what year did the events of Isaiah 36 take place?
  2. What successes had Assyria won previous to this?
  3. List the points of the Assyrian’s logical threat.
  4. What were the “high places”?
  5. What was King Hezekiah’s response to the Assyrian threat?
  6. What would be the penalty for Assyria’s pride?

Answers

  1. This 14th year of King Hezekiah of Judah was 701 BC, the date of the well-known invasion of Judah by King Sennacherib of Assyria.
  2. The northern kingdom of Israel had fallen to the Assyrians in 722 BC. Now Sennacherib and the Assyrian army were making their move on the southern kingdom of Judah. According to Isaiah 35:1, Sennacherib took many fortified cities of Judah before coming to besiege Jerusalem.
  3. Egypt is too weak to help you. The Lord your God won’t help you, because Hezekiah has torn down His altars on the high places. Surrender and Sennacherib will give you 2,000 horses. The Lord your God told me to come up and destroy your land. We are telling you this in plain Hebrew so that everyone understands that they are doomed. Hezekiah is deceiving you. Look at our record; no one has been able to defeat us Assyrians.
  4. The high places contained not only idolatrous altars, but also altars to the Lord, which Hezekiah rightly tore down. Under the Law, sacrifices to the Lord were only to take place at the Temple in Jerusalem.
  5. First he humbled himself before the Lord. Then he sent to Isaiah the prophet for the counsel of the Lord. After he received the letter from Rabshakeh with the renewed threat, he spread the letter out before the Lord and prayed.
  6. Assyria claimed her victories were won by her own strength, rather than recognizing that all of her success was under the sovereign will of God. God miraculously delivered Jerusalem by wiping out 185,000 Assyrians in one night.

Discuss/Consider

  1. God may allow impressive threats from the enemy of our souls as a test of our faith. Under Hezekiah’s good leadership, Israel passed this great test of faith and stood firm. Has there been a time in your Christian life when you have been sorely tested? Are you under such a test of faith now?
  2. King Hezekiah had a marvelous response to the threat of the Assyrians. He literally spread the problem before the Lord and prayed. Will you do this with a problem currently facing you?

Challenge

  1. Have you seen the enemy’s strategy backfire? It will. God will be victorious.

Key Verses

  • “Do not listen to Hezekiah; for thus says the king of Assyria: 'Make peace with me by a present and come out to me.” Isaiah 36:16
  • “But they held their peace and answered him not a word; for the king’s commandment was, ‘Do not answer him.’” Isaiah 36:21
  • “Incline Your ear, O LORD, and hear; open Your eyes, O LORD, and see; and hear all the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to reproach the living God.” Isaiah 37:17
  • “Then the angel of the LORD went out, and killed in the camp of the Assyrians one hundred and eighty-five thousand; and when people arose early in the morning, there were the corpses – all dead.” Isaiah 37:36

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