Isaiah 37-39, Psalm 76: Our God is Greater

Back in Isaiah 36, a messenger from the king of Assyria visited Jerusalem and declared that they would soon be overtaken by the Assyrian armies. He said these words to the people of Judah:

14 Thus says the king: ‘Do not let Hezekiah deceive you, for he will not be able to deliver you. 15 Do not let Hezekiah make you trust in the LORD by saying, “The LORD will surely deliver us. This city will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.” … Beware lest Hezekiah mislead you by saying, “The LORD will deliver us.” Has any of the gods of the nations delivered his land out of the hand of the king of Assyria? 19 Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim? Have they delivered Samaria out of my hand? 20 Who among all the gods of these lands have delivered their lands out of my hand, that the LORD should deliver Jerusalem out of my hand?’ ”

This messenger from Assyria had good reason to believe that they would indeed overtake Judah. Notice the other nations he names in his speech. Their gods were not able to protect them from the might of the Assyrian army. But, he made a serious mistake. He assumed that the Lord, the God of Israel, was just like every other god.

Upon hearing this announcement, King Hezekiah raises up a prayer of deliverance to God. Starting in chapter 37, verse 16, Hezekiah prays:

16 “O LORD of hosts, God of Israel, enthroned above the cherubim, you are the God, you alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; you have made heaven and earth. 17 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 mock the living God. 18 Truly, O LORD, the kings of Assyria have laid waste all the nations and their lands, 19 and have cast their gods into the fire. For they were no gods, but the work of men’s hands, wood and stone. Therefore they were destroyed. 20 So now, O LORD our God, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you alone are the LORD.”

All the gods of the peoples of the earth were no gods at all, they were the creations of man, mere wood and stone, but the God to Whom Hezekiah prayed is the God of all creation, the only One who can save. God heard this prayer from Hezekiah and sent an angel to the armies of Assyria, killing 185,000 men in a single night.

God does not suffer long those who consider Him to be altogether like the gods of this world. He is greater, far greater than anything that man can dream up. He is the only God who was not created by man, and He is the only God worthy of prayer and praise and worship and honor and love. To those who trust in Him, there is no end to His saving power, and we have seen that clearly in Jesus who showed God’s wisdom and glory and grace when He defeated death by His own death and resurrection.

This is the God whom we serve. He is greater.

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