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Our Mighty Defender – Isaiah 37:33-39

07/10/2016

Our Mighty Defender.

Text . Isaiah 37:33-38

We reach the end of Sennacherib’s sorry tale of ambition and conquest, and in his death we see an astounding contrast.  But first…

  1. The Lord is Our Only Defence.

If there is one thing that Hezekiah has learned, it is that only God can protect us, not ‘God and the politicians’ not ‘God and the superpowers’. To put our trust in anyone along with the Lord, is to lessen and dilute our trust in Him.    God is our ONLY defence.

  • God knows our dangers, tools and snares! Therefore thus says the LORD concerning the king of Assyria:  the king of Assyria was a huge threat.  God knows all about it!  He already has the future planned for Israel and for Sennacherib.
  • God ordains the boundaries of mankind. He shall not come into this city or shoot an arrow there or come before it with a shield or cast up a siege mound against it. By the way that he came, by the same he shall return, and he shall not come into this city, declares the LORD. God establishes boundaries to protect us.  We protect our children, we safeguard them from harm.  We put up child barriers at the stairs, place fire guards at the fire, our child seats in the car.  We set boundaries because we love them.  God sets boundaries for all mankind.  Even for Sennacherib. That’s why he ordained marriage for all mankind, why he gave us a sabbath rest…
  • When god defends His People, it is for His Glory and the true benefit of his own people. For I will defend this city to save it, for my own sake and for the sake of my servant David.”
  1. The Angel of the Lord has Defeated Our Foe. And the angel of the LORD went out and struck down a hundred and eighty-five thousand in the camp of the Assyrians. And when people arose early in the morning, behold, these were all dead bodies.

The verse has important issues to discuss, like…

  1. Who is ‘The Angel of the Lord?’ Def. A theophany is a manifestation of God in the Bible that is tangible to the human senses. In its most restrictive sense, it is a visible appearance of God in the Old Testament period, often, but not always, in human form. EX 2:2  Now, as an extension of that, many commentators and theologians believe that appearances of ‘the Angel (messenger or announcer) of the Lord is a theophany, or better, a Christophany, an OT appearance of the pre-incarnate Christ, the second person of the Trinity, who is, like the father, from everlasting to everlasting. In the OT the angel of the Lord:-
  • Speaks as God, Gen 16:9
  • Identifies Himself with God, 22:11 
  • Exercises the responsibilities of God. Judges 2:1.
  • Is worshiped as God.

The fact that there are no further theophanies after the birth of Christ, would tend to make one agree with the principle that this Angel, who defends God’s people, and saves them from death and defeats their enemy is none other than Jesus Himself..  John 8:58 

  1. How did he inflict defeat on the foe? Well if we know that the Angel of the Lord is Jesus, and his ‘accuser’ is Satan then the ultimate enemy of God’s people is (not Big Gay, not Muslims, not the abortionists ) Satan himself. Ephesians 6:12  Just as The Angel of the Lord defeated the foes of Hezekiah so he defeated out foe too. At the Cross!!!

  1. Life or Death Worship.

In these final verses we see a huge and a startling contrast, – one that is well noted by all the major commentators on the passage.  It is that when Hezekiah went into the Temple of the Lord, humble and repentant, and mourning over his sin, bowing his knee before the God who is his creator and deliverer, praying and hearing God’s Word preached, he found forgiveness and life!  Sennacherib went into the temple of his pagan god, to offer worship there, and found death.  Life-giving worship and deadly, heathen worship.

  1. False worship brings death!    Cf Lev. 10:1.
  2. Godly worship leads to life!
  • Life-giving worship is properly directed. No matter how sincere our worship may be, if it is directed to a false, man made god, as was that of Sennacherib, it will of course lead to death.  In our case, in 21st Century western culture, our man-made false gods are more likely to be ‘Self’ or work, or career or possessions…. Whatever our false gods are, to follow them will lead to death.  In John 14:6   Acts 4:12  
  • Life-giving worship is properly presented. Now of course, worship does not save us. It is a response to our salvation.  So what is Godly worship?  Here it is in Luke 18:10-14

So, in this passage we are reminded that we have a mighty defender, and that defender is Jesus, who alone demands our allegiance and worship and loyalty.  He brings us life, and we worship him alone.   There is no other way.

 

© Bob McEvoy

From → Bible Study, Isaiah

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