They said to him [Isaiah], "Thus says Hezekiah, 'This day is a day of distress, of rebuke, and of disgrace; children have come to the point of birth, and there is no strength to bring them forth. It may be that the Lord your God will hear the words of the Rabshakeh, whom his master the king of Assyria has sent to mock the living God, and will rebuke the words that the Lord your God has heard; therefore lift up your prayer for the remnant that is left.'"
God loves to repeat the pattern of death and resurrection. He builds the pattern into life so that we can get used to it. Since our salvation depends upon it, He keeps it fresh in our minds in this way.
King Hezekiah of Judah had led the Jewish people back to the Lord in a great revival of spiritual life, which was reflected in changes to the social and political life of the nation. But just as things were coming together, Sennacherib, the king of Assyria, who had already destroyed the apostate, idolatrous Northern Kingdom of Israel, swept in with his army, captured all the fortified cities of Judah, and surrounded Jerusalem, ready to lay siege to it.
He sent a message to Hezekiah, mocking him for his faith in an invisible God and encouraging the people of Judah to abandon him and desert, before he starved them all to death.
Hezekiah knew that he and his army were no match for the army of Assyria, militarily. His only hope was that God would keep His promises and deliver His people. His message to Isaiah said, “children have come to the point of birth, and there is no strength to bring them forth.” He meant, “This revival of spiritual life is about to be snuffed out, and all our efforts will be in vain, unless God intervenes.”
Then he told Isaiah, “lift up your prayer for the remnant that is left.”
Only God can bring life out of death. He specializes in resurrections. As we pray for a revival in our own country, we will see our hopes practically snuffed out before the real revival finally comes. Be ready for it, and pray for the remnant of the faithful who are still hanging on and waiting for our prayer to be answered.
Did God come through for Hezekiah back then? You bet! Read the rest of the chapter (Isaiah 37)!
Will He come through for us today? Lift up your voice in prayer for the remnant that is left, and wait for it.
Father, only You can bring about the revival we need. Only you can turn our idolatrous, apostate, neo-pagan culture back to Yourself. We lift up to You the remnant of faithful Christians who still stand on your Word. Keep our hearts close to You as we wait, and prepare us to receive and disciple the new generation of Believers who will be coming out of this new revival, in Jesus’ name, amen!
Pastor Dan Giles