Hezekiah himself prayed directly to God, but the answer comes via Isaiah (verse 2020Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent to Hezekiah saying, “Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, ‘Because you have prayed to Me about Sennacherib king of Assyria, I have heard [you].’). It is an exhaustive answer from the LORD. This answer applies to the end time.
The LORD begins by mocking the power of the king of Assyria (verse 2121This is the word that the LORD has spoken against him:
‘She has despised you and mocked you,
The virgin daughter of Zion;
She has shaken [her] head behind you,
The daughter of Jerusalem!
). With this word of mockery of God about the enemies the people make themselves one. They are also the words of the people, presented here as “the virgin daughter of Zion” and “the daughter of Jerusalem”. These mocking words are put into the mouth of the remnant by the LORD. Only when the people really have the character of virgin and daughter they will be able to speak these words.
It is here a holy, a divine mocking (Psa 2:44He who sits in the heavens laughs,
The Lord scoffs at them.
). That’s how we should learn to mock. Mocking is often an expression of the flesh or an expression of feelings of revenge. Feelings of gloating are also often present when we mock. None of this is present in the mockery of God and in divine mockery by His people.
The LORD takes the insults by the king of Assyria very serious (verse 2222‘Whom have you reproached and blasphemed?
And against whom have you raised [your] voice,
And haughtily lifted up your eyes?
Against the Holy One of Israel!
). How audacious is it to speak in this way to the Holy One of Israel! The LORD can do only bring His wrath upon him.
The LORD knows exactly what the proud king has said and on which he boasts (verses 23-2423‘Through your messengers you have reproached the Lord,
And you have said, “With my many chariots
I came up to the heights of the mountains,
To the remotest parts of Lebanon;
And I cut down its tall cedars [and] its choice cypresses.
And I entered its farthest lodging place, its thickest forest.
24“I dug [wells] and drank foreign waters,
And with the sole of my feet I dried up
All the rivers of Egypt.”
). Through Isaiah He lets know what lives in the heart of the enemy. It is the language of pride. He believes he can overcome the greatest powers of the world. He has indeed conquered a great deal, but in his pride he believes that he can also conquer God. The king of Assyria speaks as if he were God.
Then the LORD speaks to the conscience of the enemy (verse 2525‘Have you not heard?
Long ago I did it;
From ancient times I planned it.
Now I have brought it to pass,
That you should turn fortified cities into ruinous heaps.
). Has it never occurred to him that he is only an instrument of God, and that he only carries out His will? The enemy does not do anything but what God intended long ago. God governs history and not the mighty men of the world. If those in power realized this, they would come to conversion and perform their duties in fear of God and for the good of their subjects. Therefore we are exhorted to pray for all who are in authority (1Tim 2:1-41First of all, then, I urge that entreaties [and] prayers, petitions [and] thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men,2for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.3This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,4who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.).
God lets the king of Assyria know that he could only get the conquered peoples in his power because God has given them in his power (verse 2626‘Therefore their inhabitants were short of strength,
They were dismayed and put to shame;
They were as the vegetation of the field and as the green herb,
As grass on the housetops is scorched before it is grown up.
). In himself he is as one of the peoples conquered by him. For him, the conquered peoples have become like grass, but he himself is no different from the same grass. “All who hate Zion” will “be put to shame and turned backward”. They will “be like grass upon the housetops, which withers before it grows up” (Psa 129:5-65May all who hate Zion
Be put to shame and turned backward;
6Let them be like grass upon the housetops,
Which withers before it grows up;
). This judgment also includes the pruning king of Assyria.
God knows the enemy through and through. For the believer, this awareness is an encouragement, and at the same time he has the desire to be known through and through himself, so that he may be totally to God’s glory (Psa 139:1-3,23-241For the choir director. A Psalm of David.
O LORD, You have searched me and known [me].
2You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
You understand my thought from afar.
3You scrutinize my path and my lying down,
And are intimately acquainted with all my ways.
23Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me and know my anxious thoughts;
24And see if there be any hurtful way in me,
And lead me in the everlasting way.). For the unbeliever, that thought is intolerable.
The LORD will deal with the enemy without being able to resist (verse 2828‘Because of your raging against Me,
And because your arrogance has come up to My ears,
Therefore I will put My hook in your nose,
And My bridle in your lips,
And I will turn you back by the way which you came.
). The enemy will be removed by Him as an unwilling animal with means which He will use for this purpose and which are in accordance with his pride.
In verse 2929‘Then this shall be the sign for you: you will eat this year what grows of itself, in the second year what springs from the same, and in the third year sow, reap, plant vineyards, and eat their fruit. Isaiah suddenly turns to Hezekiah. The sign Hezekiah receives is a sign that God will not leave His people. The LORD will bless the fruit of the land again. There has been no opportunity to sow, but they will be able to eat what comes naturally. God will ensure that the people will have to eat. In the third year they will have to start sowing again and will be able to reap and eat again.
We can also apply this spiritually. Someone who has just been delivered from the power of sin, who has just been converted, does not know much yet, but the Lord will bless him richly. He gets all these blessings thrown into his lap, as it were, and is allowed to eat what is given to him in this way. But he must also read and study himself, he must sow himself and will also be allowed to reap. He goes looking for food himself.
The beautiful verses 30-3130The surviving remnant of the house of Judah will again take root downward and bear fruit upward.31For out of Jerusalem will go forth a remnant, and out of Mount Zion survivors. The zeal of the LORD will perform this. are about the remnant. These verses correspond to what Isaiah said earlier: “Now in that day the remnant of Israel, and those of the house of Jacob who have escaped, will never again rely on the one who struck them, but will truly rely on the LORD, the Holy One of Israel. A remnant will return, the remnant of Jacob, to the mighty God.” (Isa 10:20-2120Now in that day the remnant of Israel, and those of the house of Jacob who have escaped, will never again rely on the one who struck them, but will truly rely on the LORD, the Holy One of Israel.
21A remnant will return, the remnant of Jacob, to the mighty God.
). The mighty God is the Messiah (Isa 9:66For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;
And the government will rest on His shoulders;
And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
). Here we see the connection between the events here and the future.
We must have this remnant character. Mighty enemies threaten us, but we are dependent on the Lord. We may look forward to the coming of the Lord Jesus. For us He does not intervene by judging our enemies, but by taking us up from between our enemies to Himself.
The LORD concludes His answer to Hezekiah with the promise that the enemy will not enter the city. This promise is made repeatedly and in different ways in verses 32-3432‘Therefore thus says the LORD concerning the king of Assyria, “He will not come to this city or shoot an arrow there; and he will not come before it with a shield or throw up a siege ramp against it.33By the way that he came, by the same he will return, and he shall not come to this city,”‘ declares the LORD.34‘For I will defend this city to save it for My own sake and for My servant David’s sake.’”. The LORD does everything to convince Hezekiah of the certainty of the deliverance. The main reason that the enemy will not get possession of God’s city is that the LORD protects the city for His own sake and for His servant David’s sake.
The LORD has chosen this city, it is His city to which his name is connected forever. The LORD also has chosen David his servant to be his king. For the sake of the true David, the Man according to His heart, the Lord Jesus, God will in the future “defend this city to save it”. That salvation is given a pre-fulfilment in the following verses.