Earthly tyrants have always thought they could and should destroy the Faith. Sennacherib threatens to devastate Zion. Isaiah strengthens Hezekiah with the promise that God will deal with Sennacherib. He did!
Today’s passage is a dramatic shift in tone, switching to a sliver of history, with the main antagonist being Rabshakeh, most probably the right hand of the great king of Assyria, Sennacherib.
Notice how Rabshakeh’s words have both truth and lies in them.
TRUTH – Don’t put your trust in Egypt!
LIE – Don’t put your trust in the Lord!
Egypt has such an interesting part to play throughout God’s word. Of course with Joseph and his brothers, and then with the exodus/escape, but here too throughout the troubled history of the kings of Israel.
It was only a couple of chapters back in Isaiah that we read, “Therefore shall the protection of Pharaoh turn to your shame, and the shelter in the shadow of Egypt to your humiliation.”
And, “Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help …”
And more! “The Egyptians are man, and not God …”
God has told Israel, “Do not trust in man, don’t think Egypt will save you!”
And that’s part of the message Rabshakeh brings. Which is pretty interesting, because it helps us understand that sometimes evil can sound pretty good.
But Assyria made the same mistake Israel did, they trusted in man.
God graciously speaks to Israel in their distress, “Do not be afraid because of the words that you have heard, with which the young men of the king of Assyria have reviled me.”
This is the folly of man, we trust in man!
Instead, God is the only one who can protect us. And it is only in the shadow and shelter of His wings (Psalm 91:4) that we can find refuge.
* Gracious Lord, thank You that You did save Israel from the great Assyrian army, which is now dust.
Thank You that in Jesus we have an ever-living Saviour!
Thank You that we can find shelter, proper rest and assurance of salvation, in You, in the shadow of Your wings, in the strength of Your hands.