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June 4, 2022 8:00 am
Welcome to through the songs we give ministry of the truthful teaching God's people. God's word over time will study all 150 Psalms with pastor Don Greene from truth community church in Cincinnati, Ohio were so glad you're with us. Let's open to the Psalms right now as we join our teacher in the truthful open will as I said we are going to study Psalm 76 this week and next and take this opportunity this evening to examine the background of this magnificent song if you look at Psalm 76 as you turn there with me just to kind of bounce off of it like a trampoline and what we want to talk about the message of Psalm 76 can be summarized in this way it is.
Simply stated, God is known and he is to be feared. God is known and he is to be feared. Look at verse one of Psalm 76 where it says God is known in Judah. His name is great and Israel and being known and being great in verse 12 it says at the end he will cut off the spirit of princes he is feared by the kings of the earth. Now this song is looking back at a historical event that is recorded force elsewhere in Scripture. Looking back at a time when God sloughed the Army of Assyria. When they had been laying siege to Jerusalem. Look at verse four as it speaks about the greatness of God, and you can see that it makes a reference to this it says you are resplendent more majestic than the mountains of prey.
The stouthearted were plundered. They sank into sleep and none of the warriors could use his hands and allusion to an army that was besieging Jerusalem and they were defenseless when God rose up in wrath against them and it says in verse six that your rebuke, O God of Jacob. Both rider and horse were cast into a deep sleep. You even you are to be feared and who may stand in your presence.
When wants you are angry now. All of this is pointing to a great and magnificent act in history by God on behalf of his people.
It's important for us to always remember that when we talk about Scripture when we talk about what God has done that Scripture in describing these historical acts is not speaking and allegory is not speaking in hypotheticals is speaking about things that happened in time and space that God actually did in the realm of human history and that is so important for us to remember it is not a statement. It is not a good Christian statement to say, will God could do could do these things if he wanted to. That doesn't really bring any power of comfort to the human heart or declare his name with a sense of finality and certainty in power to say what he could if he wanted to. And here's an allegory of what it might look like.
You can see that it is a far different matter to say God did this in history. This was actual time and space event of something that God did. Because of that. His name is to be known because of that. His name is to be feared and you can work that out from a New Testament perspective as well. Why do we worship the Lord Jesus Christ.
Why do we magnify his name, not simply because some stories that are told in Scripture because he literally left heaven in order to come to earth and take on human flesh.
He literally walked on the earth for some 30 to 33 years. He literally died on the cross, he literally was buried in a grave.
He literally rose from the dead, and he literally did that he actually in time and space. Did that so as to redeem a people for himself from their sins. This actually happened. This is not allegory.
This is not fable, as Scripture declares we do not follow cleverly devised tales. But Peter says we were eyewitnesses of his Majesty and so our faith is grounded on the revealed word of God, which speaks to us about matters that occurred in time and space history and therefore our faith is well-founded. It is grounded in reality in the way that things really are and God shows who he really is by things that he has really done in time and space in the power of that is magnificent. Psalm 76 is pointing back to such a historical event, and it is from that historical event that it's called to know and fear God is base and so what we want to do this evening is we want to look at what Scripture says about that event that causes God to be known and to be feared. As I said the background of Psalm 76 is is most likely the act of God that destroyed the Assyrian army that setting is important. So tonight were going to review it and to do that were going to turn to the book of Isaiah Isaiah chapter 36 and I'd invite you to turn there is, as we kind of get started here this evening. It's a great privilege for us to do this, it would be a great a great act sometime to preach through the book of Isaiah. I don't know if the Lord would ever have that for us here, but Isaiah we should say is one of the great prophets of all time exceeded, perhaps only by the Lord Jesus himself who is our prophet, priest and king. Isaiah's book is one of the great monuments in Scripture of the sovereignty and compassion of God and to oversimplify his 66 chapter book can be divided into two main parts I need to give you just a little. The most basic of context for what were going to look at this evening in the first 35 chapters. Isaiah proclaims God's judgment against Israel because of their sin, and the first 35 chapters in it. It sets forth that that judgment will come into stages through the nation of Assyria, and then by the nation of Babylon. That judgment would be severe and it would look for what all of the world like God was abandoning his people in the midst of it because the exile and the devastation would be so great and yet is Isaiah rebukes the people you see that their sin is so great that nothing nothing less than severe judgment from God could meet the needs of the spiritual situation and so there is a severe judgment that is coming in the second part of the book. The second main part of the book in chapters 40 to 66 Isaiah speaks words of comfort. In fact if you look at Isaiah chapter 40 see that it starts with that exact message, Isaiah 40, verse one says comfort oh comfort my people, says your God. Speak kindly to Jerusalem and call out to her that her warfare has ended, that her iniquity has been removed that she is received of the Lord's hand double for all her sins and the twin message of the book of Isaiah is is that judgment is going to come and yet after the judgment, there will be a time of comfort and restoration to the people of God. The judgment that will come at the hands of the nations is simply God using those nations to discipline Israel for its sin in a more distant day after the judgment has passed after God has expended his anger on his people.
He would restore Israel. Yet once again and so the first 35 chapters. Speaking of judgment. This is a gross oversimplification, but just for the purposes of a broad understanding.
The first 35 chapters of message of judgment. The last chapters 40 through 66. A message of comfort to Israel about a future restoration that will take place after the judgment has been spent.
Now, in between those two sections is a historical bridge. You might say a bridge of history, a bridge of historical narrative and in Isaiah 36 to 39.
The prophet recounts how the Assyrian army was broken when God destroyed 185,000 soldiers in one single night, and the question is, how is that a comfort to Israel in the midst of the discipline that is about to come. When a foreign nation is coming upon them and sending them off into exile and the people are suffering greatly. How does it comfort them to know what God did to the Syrian army when God flexed his power to judge them.
How is that a message of comfort and how might it relate to us here this evening.
Well, it shows that the rise of the foreign armies that were going to discipline Israel was not a sign of weakness on God's part.
God had the power to dispose of them in a single evening, if that's what he chose to do and so the rise of these foreign armies. The rise of the disciplining hand of invasion and exile was not a sign that God had lost control. It was not a sign that God had lost his power at all as shown by the fact when it pleased him to do so. He judged hundred and 85,000 of them and slew them in a single evening. That means this as you read the Old Testament. It's very important and helpful to remember this overarching theme that God will discipline his people and the fact that they suffer for a time is not a sign of his ultimate abandonment. It is not a sign that he is too weak to deal with the situation instead.
Instead, did the rise and invasion of these foreign armies was something completely different.
It was part of God's sovereign plan to vindicate his holiness among his people, not a sign of weakness, a display of his holiness.
A display of his holiness designed to teach his people.
The lesson that they are to revere him to humble themselves before him to obey him to put their faith in him. That's a much different message to take away from what is happening than to see it as a sign of the weakness of God. The defeat of Israel that were about to look at shows something that is fundamental and yet very profound market carefully.
The defeat of Israel of which we are about to read with Psalm 76 extols shows something awfully important. It shows that God is mighty to save. God is mighty to save. And if you're taking notes that's the title of tonight's message.
Mighty to say mighty to save and beloved that is not a theological abstraction that is not whistling in the dark in the midst of trials that is reality that is who God really is. That is the real nature of the real God as he rules over his people and will come back to this this application.
At the end of the message if I don't forget. But that has that has a an immediate sense of an it's an immediate point of interest for us here this evening to keep that very point in mind as you know, as we studied multiple times in the past and Scripture speaks so clearly into into our lives in speaks and reveals the nature of God to us.
God is an immutable God. God does not change the book of Hebrews says in chapter 13 that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday today and forever. And so when we look back 2700 years into history to see what God did to the Assyrian army as we are going to do this evening.
We realize something very very important that is essential for your spiritual well-being to take, understand, and rest in in your circumstances of difficulty in your season of weakness, be it physical bid, professional, be it relational bit spiritual and you pray and you pray and nothing seems to change, beloved, you must come back to this fundamental point lest you fall into discouragement, lest you fall into a doubt, of which God is not worthy. The fact that God sees fit to leave you in a time of weakness for a time for a season is not an indication that he has lost his power to deliver you. It is not an indication of his indifference. How could it be my beloved, how could it be that Christ would be indifferent to the people for whom he died. In order to save the how could it be, how could the thought ever cross our mind that somehow our loving, gracious Savior, who shed his blood on the cross to save us from sin had somehow become indifferent to us. How could it be that the God who created the heavens and the earth. The God who who slew Egypt at the Red Sea, the God who slew Assyria on a single night there great army.
How can it be that the God who, in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ conquered death and sin in health itself. How could it be that he had lost his power and how could it be that the one who loved us enough to lay his life down force had lost his capacity or his desire to care for us to see how important this is. It is so important for us to remember these things to call them to mind, so that we understand our times of weakness and sorrow and grief from a proper perspective. Whatever else is going on in our time of weakness. Whatever else is happening to us in our time of sorrow. It is not not not not not. It cannot possibly be an indication that God was unable to deliver us, it could not possibly be an indication that God no longer cared. Cannot possibly be an indication that God has turned his back on his people, something else than is going on which we may not be able to discern in the moment, but we can rest in the power of God. We can rest in the love of God and say whatever else is going on here, no matter how much this hurts, no matter how much I don't understand God is still on his throne. He still loves his people. He is working out a purpose, even if I don't see and understand we need to just take a moment to let that sink in. Because our tendency is it not to walk by sight, not by faith or tendency is to forget the things we know to be true and to respond to our circumstances rather than to read the revealed truth upon which we rest our internal souls at which we have entrusted everything to we forget that unless we come back and remember Psalm 76, calls us to remember and its background is the setting of which we've been speaking now. I have given in the book of Isaiah. I actually need you to turn to second Kings 18 because what were going to read about in Isaiah 36 and 37 is an episode in the life of King Hezekiah King Hezekiah, who reigned in the southern kingdom of Judah from about 715 two 685 BC, just in general rough terms and second Kings 18 we see a summary statement about Hezekiah and we want to just kind of let that be our introduction to the historical events that we are going to read about here this evening. Second Kings chapter 18 verse one. Now it came about in the third year of Josť is the son of Eli, King of Israel, that Hezekiah, the son of Ahaz king of Judah became king. He was 25 years old when he became king and he reigned 29 years in Jerusalem and his mother's name was ab by the daughter of Zechariah, he did right in the side of the Lord, according to all that his father David had done. He removed the high places and broke down the sacred pillars and cut down the Asherah. He also broke in pieces the bronze serpent that Moses had made for until those days, the sons of Israel's burned incense to it and it was called net hush 10 he trusted in the Lord, the God of Israel, so that after him there was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor among those who were before him, for he clung to the Lord. He did not depart from following him, but kept his commandments, which the Lord had commanded Moses. So we see in this description of King Hezekiah. This overview of his reign, the length of his reign and the spiritual nature of his reign. He did right in the side of the Lord. He was one of the few good guys. One of the few good kings in the whole history of Israel and as we as we come to Isaiah 36 were going to read about an episode in the life of Hezekiah. He faced a severe challenge.
Isaiah 36. Now with that background in place. Isaiah 36 this good King in almost smack dab in the middle of his reign faces a severe challenge from the king of Assyria and we read about this in Isaiah 36. He is about to be severely tested and what we want to see is what happened and how did Hezekiah respond to it. So what happened Isaiah 36 verse one now in the 14th year of King Hezekiah's inaccurate king of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities of Judah and seized them in the king of a serious sent grabbed shakeup from Lachish to Jerusalem to King Hezekiah with a large army and he stood by the conduit of the upper pool on the highway of the Fullers field so Assyria is advancing on the capital city of Jerusalem.
Other cities in the kingdom have fallen to them and now they are approaching the representative of the king of Assyria has come to make demands upon the city for its surrender and a delegation from Hezekiah goes out to meet him. In verse three, then ally a come son of Hill coyote who was over the household and Chevron of the scribe and Joe of the son of Asaph, the recorder came out to him and Assyria now presents its demands in verse four, then wrap shake is said to them, say now to Hezekiah thus says the great king. The king of Assyria. What is this confidence that you have. I say your counsel and strength for the war are only empty words now on. Whom do you rely that you have rebelled against me, and so this delegate.
This representative of the king of Assyria calms and makes a demand upon Hezekiah through his representatives and says it is time for you to surrender. That is his demand. He is demanding surrender as part of his military campaign that threatened the entire nation and so delegations from both sides are meeting there's this foreign summit. You might say and what happens we won't go through all of it all just give you the high points this a Syrian representative uses propaganda with a simple message to the king and his people slow down a bit to let you catch up with me a bit here. The overall arching message that he is delivering on behalf of the king of Assyria is this resistance to us, is futile.
God is not with you and even if he was he could not save you as you're going to see in just a moment. This was a blasphemous assault on the greatness and character of God that is being made by these foreign ministers on behalf of the king of Assyria and so he is looking to undermine the confidence undermine the morale of Judah so that they will surrender without a fight. That's what he's looking to accomplish as you will see now as we look at what he has to say. He gives that he gives them three different messages under their somewhat contradictory even there a little bit inconsistent with one another.
Look at verse seven and so the question is. He says why are you resisting me verse seven he holds out one of the possible answers that they might offer in response. He says if you say to me.
We trust in the Lord our God, well, is it not.
He whose high places and whose altars.
Hezekiah has taken away and has said to Judah, and to Jerusalem you shall worship before this altar. What he saying here, is it if you if you think you're relying on the Lord your God, you need understand he's angry with you, your king has torn down the high places where he was previously worshiped God is angry with you. He's not going to defend you. Now it's not important to what the Assyrian message was that Hezekiah did what the Lord wanted him to do when he was tearing down those high places.
We already saw that from second Kings 18. Just remember, this is propaganda that is going on. This is this is mental warfare that is being waged and whether it's true or not is secondary to the effect of fear that is trying to produce in the hearts of those who are hearing what he has to say. He goes on in verse 10 he says not only is God angry with you guys on our side.
Verse 10 he says, have I now come up without the Lord's approval. Against this land, to destroy the Lord said to me go up against this land and destroy it and so not only hears the message that is giving to the representatives of Hezekiah in the hearing some of the people. Not only is God angry with you guys is on our side and you tell me that you're relying on him that can't go well for you. There is a double edge sword. Here he's against you. He's on our side. He actually sent us to conquer you. You might as well surrender now and spare us all. The battle that you will most certainly lose many goes on speaking throughout chapter 36 there's nothing new under the sun with political propaganda and military propaganda.
Mental warfare is often as important as the physical warfare that takes place, but in verse 18 of chapter 36 he goes on to make another accusation against the Lord himself and he says in verse 18 he says, beware that Hezekiah does not mislead you, saying, the Lord will deliver us, he says here's what your king is going to tell you, your king is going to tell you the Lord will deliver us, and therefore he will try to strengthen your morale, strengthen your resolve against us by giving you the sense that the Lord will act on our behalf to deliver us and the Assyrian representative says when your king says that don't listen to him because your God cannot deliver you from us. Remember I told you I said it is his message doesn't have to be consistent. He's laying these things out one after another and making it very difficult for them to even process it and think look at what he says in verse 18. But before we do that, let's just step back for a moment, take a little breath catch her breath.
Here's were covered a lot of ground really quickly here and just remember what we said at the start about the greatness of God, the power of God, the illimitable omnipotence of a holy God. When you remember that, then you are you are struck with fear at the blasphemy of what were about to read the blasphemy that comes from the lips of this pagan representative of the Assyrian king, he says, look at it again with me in verse 18. This high blasphemy against God himself when he says, beware that Hezekiah does not mislead you, saying, the Lord will deliver us and he goes and he tries to make the case about why that's not a legitimate trust for Judah to exercise any says this has any one of the gods of the nations delivered his land from the hand of the king of Assyria. He says he says we have we have been conquering nations like a hot knife through butter. For the past few years here, and no one has stopped us, what makes you think your God can stop us. So he says in verse 19. Where are the gods of hay math and Arpad where are the gods us of Orpheum and Wynn have they delivered Samaria for my hand reciting prior conquest by Assyria that led up to this siege on Jerusalem and he says in verse 22.
Among all the gods of these lands have delivered their land from my hand that the Lord would deliver Jerusalem from my hand so you see what's going on here.
This is a highly sophisticated, well reasoned piece of propaganda that would most certainly demoralize a weak nation hiding and trembling somewhat behind their fortified walls with this army of 185,000 soldiers are more gathered around them just waiting to hear the battle cry to charge his goal in everything that he said was to demoralize Judah so that they would surrender and go into exile without resistance. That's is propaganda piece, but the truth. The truth was different, God had not left them.
God had brought this challenge to them so that they would see his deliverance so that in the moment of their greatest weakness at the apex of the power of their enemy God would display his power to deliver and it would be clearly shown and established that they did not deliver themselves, and that God had defeated the greatest army on the earth at the time and in that great act which occurred in history in time and space and that great reality which we will see in just a few moments.
God would display his greatness and power.
And what's the take away when God displays his greatness and power. It's this it's thick that God is known. God has made himself known in God is a God to be feared. He is a God to be revered. He is a God to be worshiped. He is a God to be humbled before because he does things that no one else can do and with the challenge laid out in verse in chapter 36 Isaiah now. In recounting this historical narrative turns in tells what Hezekiah's response was.
He shows Hezekiah's response of faith that were going to look at now and and there's a reason for doing this and it's it's easy to miss this.
He's not simply telling the story of Hezekiah's face so that we would know the facts about what Hezekiah did in response to this challenge. How beloved beloved what he is doing for the people of Israel in the time that Isaiah wrote his book of prophecy. He is showing them what kind of faith.
Everyone in Israel should respond to this God with he is using Hezekiah as an illustration of the faith that should be used to respond to the entire 66 books of his prophecy. He describes Hezekiah's faith to teach about the nature of face and we who read it now. 2700 years later we read it and we see indications of what our own faith should look like were called by this righteous man of God by his response of faith in time of his greatest trial in time of his greatest weakness. What does faith look like in that to say that there is this God who is known in this God it was to be feared. What does the response of faith to that God will see from chapter 37 here. Look at verse one of chapter 37 Isaiah 37 verse one. The delegation came back actually look at the end of chapter 36 to seek and see the context here Hezekiah is delegation comes back and reports back to them. Verse 22 alike come the son of Al Qaeda who is over the household and shoving of the scribe and Joab the son of a Sabbath recorder came to Hezekiah with her clothes torn and told him the words of rev. Shaker so so the Assyrian representative had made these demands and had had delivered his propaganda to them. They were helpless to respond. They tear their clothes in it. In a sign of grief and repentance and they come back to their king and they given the report. Here's what happened.
King, the news is really bad there demanding our surrender and here are the terms upon which he made that demand upon us. So now chapters 37 verse one we come to King Hezekiah and beloved, we want to enter sympathetically into the position that King Hezekiah was facing.
He did not have the human power to repel this assault and the responsibility for the nation, the people are looking to him for leadership. Leadership is often very lonely and here is a lonely time for Hezekiah and what does he do the weight of the nation is on him.
There is a demand for surrender on a horizontal level. If he doesn't capitulate to it.
He is sensing his people to certain death and destruction. That's a pretty heavy load, and so what is he do, how does he respond in faith to the situation.
Chapter 37 verse one says when King Hezekiah heard it.
He tore his clothes covered himself with sackcloth and entered the house of the Lord. Sackcloth was a sign of repentance he was confessing prior sin that he had committed to say that he was righteous, a righteous king is not to say that he was sinless and Hezekiah had made an act of falling earlier before this at all come to pass.
He had made an alliance with the nation of Egypt seeking their protection in case Assyria would come against the look of chapter 30 chapter 30 verse one, chapter 30, verse one.
Isaiah declares a message of warning of judgment against the nation.
He says in chapter 30, verse one.
Woe to the rebellious children to Declares the Lord who execute a plan, but not mine and make an alliance, but not of my spirit in order to add sin to sin, who proceed down to Egypt without consulting me to take refuge in the safety of Pharaoh and to seek shelter in the shadow of Egypt. This was a rebuke to Hezekiah and if you look at chapter 36 now just stay with me. I know were trying to stitched together a lot of information in a short period of time here. Chapter 36 verse six. You can see that the Assyrian representative points out this alliance that Hezekiah had made. He says in verse five he says now on. Whom do you rely that you have rebelled against me. He says in verse six behold, you rely on the staff of this crust read even on Egypt, on which, if a man liens it will go into his hand and pierce it so is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all who rely on him. So here's what happened.
Hezekiah earlier had made a military alliance with Egypt to help defend the country against incursion by Assyria.
Now Assyria is on his doorstep, and it's obvious that Egypt is not able to deliver from based on that prior message of rebuke from Isaiah chapter 30 he realizes that that alliance that he made was sinful and so he tears his close. He covers himself with sackcloth and repentant Lee enters into the house of the Lord and from that posture of repentance, he sent for Isaiah the prophet, the one who couldn't give him the word of God in this time of desperation verse two, chapter 37 verse two Hezekiah's repentant Lee seeking out the word of God and in verse two he sent Elijah, Kim, who was over the household was seven of the scribe and the elders of the priests covered with sackcloth to Isaiah the prophet, the son of a mouse and they said to him, thus says Hezekiah, this day is a day of distress, rebuke and rejection for children have come to birth and there is no strength to to deliver. Perhaps the Lord your God will hear the words of rev. Shaker, whom his master, the king of Assyria has sent to reproach the living God, and will rebuke the words which the Lord your God has heard. Therefore, offer a prayer for the remnant that is left stop there.
Hezekiah examines his life turns to the Lord in repentance, recognizing that he had send in what he had done earlier. With this prior alliance. He humbly goes to the prophet humbly turns to the word of God. You could say and says I am helpless here. I need your deliverance will you will you please help me in my time of desperation, utter humility, confessing sin, turning to the true God in believing faith that he's able to do something if he only chooses to do so, humble, repentant faith in the power of God to deliver beloved in your time of hardship that many of you are going through right now faith is of the same character. It is cut from the same cloth humbly repentant Lee turning to God. Based on who he is shown himself to be in his word and humbly asking for his help.
Now in the New Testament era in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ not trying to figure it out in advance. Gladly, freely confessing your utter weakness thing. God help me. This is what faith looks like. This is the faith that God responds to what is the response Isaiah response to the king's messengers in verse five, and now the story starts to take its turn. Now God is starting to speak through Isaiah, now you're starting to see the way that the worm is going to turn in a way that humanly was impossible. Verse five. So in other words, in this manner the servants of King Hezekiah came to Isaiah. Isaiah said to them, thus you shall say to your master, thus says the Lord. Do not be afraid because of the words that you have heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed me, behold, I will put a spirit in him so that he will hear a rumor and return to his own land, and I will make him fall by the sword in his own land in this darkest hour, in this hour where there was no human way forward God's power.
God's word, provided hope that was humanly impossible. Now's inaccurate had sent a threatening letter to Hezekiah.
We will take the time to read the terms of it, but Hezekiah, in response to this word from Isaiah lays it all out before the Lord, and you see his faith growing. You see the humble way that he applies for the help of God before the throne of God. Verse 14 actually let's just look at the letter real quickly, or at least a portion of it in verse 10, then you shall say to Hezekiah king of Judah. Do not let your God, in whom you trust deceive you, the blasphemy of it all, saying Jerusalem will not be given into the hand of the king of Syria.
Behold, you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all the lands, destroying them completely. So will you be spared that the gods of those nations which my fathers have destroyed deliver them any repeats what the rep Shaker had said earlier verse 13 where is the king of hay at the king of Arpad the king of the city us of our famine of Tina and of his humanly speaking, it looked to be an unanswerable argument and Hezekiah turns to the Lord in verse 14 that the precious nature of this humble faith in a time of maximum weakness. Hezekiah took the letter from the hand of the messengers and read it and he went up to the house of the Lord and spread it out before the Lord just him and the Lord and Hezekiah prayed to the Lord saying he exercises his face in prayer. Did you hear me, he exercised his faith in prayer saying verse 16 oh Lord of hosts, the God of Israel who is enthroned above the cherubim. You are the God you alone of all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth. Incline your ear, oh Lord, and here open your eyes. Oh Lord, and see and listen to all the words us inaccurate. Who sent them to reproach the living God truly will Lord the kings of Assyria have devastated all the countries in their lands and have cast their gods into the fire saying everything they're saying about their past conquests is true.
This is exactly what they have done, but he sees through he sees the distinction in verse 19. They referring to those prior conquests. They were not gods but the work of men's hands, wood and stone so they have destroyed them and so he's exalted God. He is affirmed his confidence in the character and the power of God and now he makes his request. It's a simple one in verse 20. Now, oh Lord our God deliver us from his hand that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you alone Lord our God. This is a great triumph of faith is not this is a stunning prayer of confidence and trust in a time of great weakness. There's this tension in the narrative. Hezekiah is powerless on his own to face the threat, but he calls out to the all-powerful God for deliverance and how can this work out. How will this be resolved. Verse 21 Isaiah the son of a mile sent word to Hezekiah, saying, thus says the Lord, the God of Israel because you have prayed to me about's inaccurate, the king of Assyria.
This is the word that the Lord has spoken against him. Isaiah says Hezekiah. The Lord has heard your prayer and I'm going to tell you in advance exactly what's going to happen as a result. Here is how God is going to answer you. He gives a word against the Syria beginning in verse 22 and for the sake of time will jump down to verse 33 and see what the Lord says to Hezekiah. Isaiah 37 verse 33. Therefore thus says the Lord concerning the king of Assyria. He will not come to the city or shoot an arrow. There and he will not come before with the shield or throw up a siege ramp against it. By the way that he came by the same he will return and he will not come to this city, declares the Lord, for I will defend this city to save it for my own sake and for my servant David sake. Somehow, when the Lord speaks from the holiness of his throne that Bryce great holiness of the temple in which he dwells.
Suddenly, all arguments are over. Suddenly, you realize that God is about to make himself known and when he does he is to be feared and then in the simplicity of the narrative which is so characteristic of Scripture. It describes the miraculous intervention of God in such plainspoken brief statements and it doesn't here in verse 36 then the angel of the Lord went out and struck 185,000 in the camp of the Assyrians and when men arose early in the morning, behold all of these were dead.
A miraculous destruction of the greatest army on earth took place. And God had displayed his power.
He had miraculously delivered his people from the Assyrian army. The threat was over in a night. That's what God can do. By his power, and if he chooses not to do it in the midst of our particular distress. It's not because he is not able to do it because he has other purposes that are advanced by delaying the deliverance that we want here in Isaiah, God wasn't finished with the Syria yet's inaccurate goes home. This king who had blasphemed God I love the way the sins I love the way the sins verse 37 so's inaccurate king of Assyria departed and returned home and lived at Nineveh, he goes back with his tail between his legs, unable to execute the threat of destruction that he had made against Jerusalem that he had made against Hezekiah, but ultimately he had made against the Lord God of heaven and in verse 38 look at the end of's inaccurate. It came about as he was worshiping in the house of Miss rock is God that are drama lack and charades are his sons killed him with the sword and they escaped into the land of Ararat and SR Hadden, his son came king in his place know what you call that beloved call that poetic justice's inaccurate had mock the power of the living God to deliver his people. God destroys his army and then's inaccurate in the temple of his own God loses his own life at the hands of his own son whose God is mighty to save as God truly has the power to deliver.
History has just put it on display without an argument to be made against history proved God's power.
He broke the Army of the Syria and's inaccurate who had blasphemy them died in the so-called presence of his own false God that his vindication of the name of God that is vindication of the power of God that displays the mighty power of God to save his people. Now, Isaiah is book of prophecy goes on and later on in Isaiah in chapter 53, we see what we now understand more clearly in the New Testament age it's not just that God has the power to raise up nations and cast them down.
It's not just that God can destroy a human army at his simple decision to do so and that the greatest armies of the earth are powerless when God decides to act against them. It's not just that the God has the power to break armies to break nations to break Kings. There's something even better. The something even greater. There's an even greater power in the spiritual realm. This God, of whom Isaiah speaks has the power to break the power of sin. Isaiah 53 verse four Shirley R Griese himself bore in our sorrows. He carries looking forward to the time of Christ. Looking beyond in one since the time of Christ to that still future day to us when Israel is saved and they look back and they recognize what Christ had done verse four Isaiah 53 Shirley R Griese himself bore our sorrows.
He carried yet we ourselves esteemed him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was pierced through for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities. The chastening for our well-being fell upon him and by his scourging we are healed. All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way, but the Lord is because the iniquity of us all to fall on him. Isaiah here is showing us declaring to us 700 years before the crucifixion of Christ.
The God not only has the power to deliver a nation from armies.
He has the power to deliver individual men from sin and he manifested that power in a seeming time of weakness when the incarnate God, the person of the Lord Jesus Christ was hanging on the cross, when he was when he was smitten by God for the sins of his people. Seven centuries after Isaiah 7 centuries plus after the deliverance at the hands of the Assyrian army 700 years later, Jesus Christ accomplished an even greater deliverance than that he accomplished a spiritual deliverance is spiritual salvation a spiritual victory and he saved his people from sin at the cross account. Beloved, don't you see do you see it. God is mighty to say God can break an army.
God can break the power of sin in the human heart in Christ. God saves from a military siege.
God saves from your spiritual siege of sin of Satan of spiritual blindness. Do you see the message. Do you see what overarching theme. This declares about who God is. He's mighty to save. In the physical realm in the spiritual realm in visible ways and in invisible ways. He is able to save in time he is able to save an eternity. That's how great, how powerful, how mighty God is to beloved it is no overstatement on my part to tell you that for God in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ to save you from your sin, to break the power of sin in your heart was no less an act of miraculous power than it was to slay 185,000 Syrian soldiers in a single night. The power that that army had over Israel was a shadow of the power of sin in your own heart and you needed a supernatural deliverance from it and if you are not in Christ.
You need a supernatural deliverance today. He's mighty to say that you know what else we see in this you know what else we see in this so sweet. It's not just that he's mighty to save. He is willing to say he is gracious to those who call out to him in repentant faith. He was gracious to Hezekiah and graciously saved him in the nation that he represented. When Hezekiah called out to him. Those of you who are in Christ. Don't you have the exact same testimony don't you call out don't you call out didn't you at one time call out to him at some point in some way and say God save me from I said and what did he do.
He responded in love, he responded in power and he did just that and cause you to be born again for gave all of your sins imparted a new nature to you and now is powerfully at work in your heart with a with a work that he plans to bring to completion of the day of Christ Jesus mighty to save willing to save this God is a warrior for his people, a victorious warrior of my to save his people, victorious warrior. Love, of grace, of mercy to those who call out to him when they have no righteousness of their own to merit his response. My unsaved friend watching on the live stream in your home. Hearing this on subsequent media here in the room with me this evening. This God of whom we have spoken extends to you and offer in Christ in loyal love and exceeding compassion and wonderful grace calls you and says I will save you come to me for salvation. Christ said the one who comes to me. I'll certainly not cast out. There is no reason for anyone to walk out of this room unsaved. There is no reason for anyone to walk out of this room, separate from Christ because he is willing to say he is mighty to say he calls you to come to him by faith.
If you're here and you're in Christ, he graciously calls you to remember his power to remember his willingness to save to remember how he is saved you in the past and he calls you to faith in him to trust him as he works out his purpose in every difficult detail of your life every difficult relationship.
Every change that is just on the horizon as he works out his purpose is good purpose in every detail of your life. Beloved, no wonder, as will see next week.
Psalm 76 says God is known and God is to be feared.
And for those of us that are in Christ we say amen and amen and we had yes and he is a God to be loved.
Father, bless us as we go. Thank you for your power to save. Thank you for your willingness to save thank you for your love, which keeps your people safe until the end. For those facing change for those facing challenges with us here this evening. Father may they draw great comfort from who you are, may fear give way to faith may tears give way to trust may doubt give way to confidence in the light of the greatness of who are father we pray these things in the name of our wonderful Lord Jesus, that one who saves from sin for those who come to him by faith in the name of that one.
Well, friend. Thank you for joining us on through the Psalms. Did you know that we also offer a daily podcast. It's a shorter format that is a perfect companion for you as you start your day drive to work or maybe have your workout on the treadmill. You can find that daily podcast at the truth. Pulpit.com look for the link that says radio podcast again that's found on the truth pulpit.com. God bless you.
Thanks, Don and Fran through the Psalms is a weekend ministry of the truth sure to join us next week for our study is done continues teaching God's people. God's word and we also invite you to join us on Sunday at 9 AM Eastern for our live stream from truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio. You can find the link at the truth. Pulpit.com this message is copyrighted by Don Green. All rights reserved