2Ki 18:1-37 “In what are you placing your hope?” – Part 4 (2Ki 18:23-37)

Throughout the course of the dialogue of Rabshakeh in this chapter we are shown how the devices of the devil of which we are not to be ignorant (1Co 2:11), operate on the earthly plane between himself and king Hezekiah who has “Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, and Shebna, and Joah” taking note of all of Rabshakeh’s demands that are going to be brought to king Hezekiah.

King Hezekiah’s life is typical of the elect’s life which must be tempted in all diverse manner as Christ’s was (Heb 4:15, 1Jn 4:17) and in the end leave a witness to those whose lives are controlled by those powers and principalities (Eph 6:12-13) over which we are more than conquerors through Christ our hope of glory (Rom 8:37, 1Jn 4:4, Col 1:27, Heb 12:1-2). 

Eph 6:12  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

The devil’s modus operandi never changes from the garden of Eden (Gen 3:1-21) until this period in  history (2Ki 18:29-31) right to the end of the thousand-year reign of the saints when his lying spirit will go forth and deceive all the nations into thinking that Christ and His Christ are the liars and enemies who must be destroyed (Act 4:26-28, Rev 20:7-8). Satan with his ever-forked tongue approach tells Adam and Eve by his words that he’s not the deceiver but that God is, and He is holding back His blessing from them by not letting them partake of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Gen 3:4-5). In the same manner, Rabshakeh has come to convince the people that king Hezekiah is a liar who is trusting in a God who is powerless and unable to deliver them from himself, and that by following what he has to offer, they will truly be blessed and have an abundant life (2Ki 18:31-32, 2Pe 2:17-19).

2Ki 18:29  Thus saith the king, Let not Hezekiah deceive you: for he shall not be able to deliver you out of his hand:
2Ki 18:30  Neither let Hezekiah make you trust in the LORD, saying, The LORD will surely deliver us, and this city shall not be delivered into the hand of the king of Assyria. 
2Ki 18:31  Hearken not to Hezekiah: for thus saith the king of Assyria, Make an agreement with me by a present, and come out to me, and then eat ye every man of his own vine, and every one of his fig tree, and drink ye every one the waters of his cistern: 

Gen 3:4  And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: 
Gen 3:5  For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.  

2Pe 2:17  These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever. 
2Pe 2:18  For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error.
2Pe 2:19  While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.

This dialogue with Rabshakeh was all caused by the Lord to reveal what was in Hezekiah’s heart. Nothing Rabshakeh has said in regard to Judah is going to come to pass, and although Hezekiah was initially affected by the display of force that Sennacherib was showing coming up against all the fenced cities of Judah (2Ki 18:13), in the end he realized his mistake in giving him the silver and gold of the temple and turned to the Lord with his whole heart to overcome his enemy (Deu 18:22, Deu 13:1-3, Mat 12:30). Hezekiah, like all of us, must first experience these verses in Lamentations 3:16-19 before he and we can come to learn and believe in God’s faithfulness toward the body of Christ expressed in these verses (Lam 3:20-27). 

Lam 3:16  He hath also broken my teeth with gravel stones, he hath covered me with ashes.
Lam 3:17  And thou hast removed my soul far off from peace: I forgat prosperity. 
Lam 3:18  And I said, My strength and my hope is perished from the LORD: 
Lam 3:19  Remembering mine affliction and my misery, the wormwood and the gall.
Lam 3:20  My soul hath them still in remembrance, and is humbled in me.
Lam 3:21  This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope.
Lam 3:22  It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not [Eph 2:8].
Lam 3:23  They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.
Lam 3:24  The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him (Col 1:27, Rom 8:9, Rom 9:8). 
Lam 3:25  The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him [Jer 29:13, Heb 11:6].
Lam 3:26  It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD. 
Lam 3:27  It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth.

Peter had to deny Christ thrice before the cock crowed twice, all saying the same thing; that the Lord brings us to see how we cannot deliver ourselves with silver and gold, or with our own physical wit or strength, but only by grace through faith which is a gift of God by which we can overcome the enemy within us and be more than conquerors through Christ. This promise, “by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves” is the main promise and gift God’s elect are blessed to have hope in (Eph 2:8-9, Col 1:27, Rom 8:9, Rom 9:8). 

Eph 2:8  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Eph 2:9  Not of works, lest any man should boast. 

Deliverance is a process that does not happen overnight, and so after having received the promises that He will deliver us, we need patience to possess our souls as king Hezekiah was now learning to do as a type of the elect (Heb 10:36-37, Luk 21:19). It is not just about “In what are you placing your hope” but also how we are placing our hope in the Lord, not leaning to our own understanding but rather acknowledging the Lord in all our ways so that he directs our path through this life (Pro 3:6-8, Rom 8:14).

Heb 10:36  For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. 
Heb 10:37  For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.

Luk 21:17  And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake. 
Luk 21:18  But there shall not an hair of your head perish. 
Luk 21:19  In your patience possess ye your souls.
Luk 21:20  And when ye shall see Jerusalem [Gal 4:26] compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. [The desolation of our old man is accomplished by the powers and principalities God uses to His glory and for our benefit. Eph 1:11, Rom 8:28, 2Co 4:15 are examples of those powers that God uses Deu 18:22, Deu 13:1-3]

Pro 3:6  In all thy ways acknowledge him [“with all your heart and with all your soul”], and he shall direct thy paths [this takes patience (Rom 8:14-16)].
Pro 3:7  Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.  [this is the fruit that is found in those who are called to grow and mature and have the patience and faith of the saints in this life]
Pro 3:8  It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones. [What we go through is for each other and helps strengthen each of us who are His flesh and bones (Eph 5:29-32)

Eph 5:29  For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church (1Co 10:16): 
Eph 5:30  For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. 
Eph 5:31  For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh (1Co 10:16). 
Eph 5:32  This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

2Ki 18:23  Now therefore, I pray thee, give pledges to my lord the king of Assyria, and I will deliver thee two thousand horses, if thou be able on thy part to set riders upon them. 

Rabshakeh, who is coming as a tempter and deceiver, asks, “I pray thee, give pledgesH6149 to my lord the king of Assyria.” Those pledges are symbolic of how we can become intermingled and entangled or intermixed with the world to our own hurt. What the devil offers us is real power, and it is symbolized by “two thousand horses.” If Hezekiah is willing to save his own life and the life of his riders, then he will agree to this pledge and “to set riders upon” the “two thousand horses” which is another way of saying let’s trust in the vanity of our flesh and witness [2] against ourselves that we are bound to the earth [2x10x10x10=2000] and do not have our minds set on the things above (Psa 33:17-19, Mat 16:25).

Psa 33:17  An horse is a vain thing for safety: neither shall he deliver any by his great strength. 
Psa 33:18  Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy;
Psa 33:19  To deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine. 

Mat 16:25  For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.

Col 3:2  Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.

2Ki 18:24  How then wilt thou turn away the face of one captain of the least of my master’s servants, and put thy trust on Egypt for chariots and for horsemen? 
2Ki 18:25  Am I now come up without the LORD against this place to destroy it? The LORD said to me, Go up against this land, and destroy it.

We do not hear the voice of the true shepherd in Rabshakeh’s voice, but rather the boastful and lying spirit which says that Hezekiah’s army could not so much face “one captain of the least of my master’s servants” and so why are you putting “thy trust on Egypt for chariots and for horsemen?” Hezekiah was not putting his trust on Egypt for chariots and for horsemen, so that’s one of many lies of Rabshakeh whose undermining tactic is to say to king Hezekiah that you and your nation are still trusting in the powerless gods of Egypt and their chariots. To further try to undermine the confidence of Hezekiah, Rabshakeh delusionally proclaims that he has come in the name of the Lord to destroy this place and that the LORD himself said “Go up against this land, and destroy it” (Eze 14:9). 

Eze 14:9  And if the prophet be deceived when he hath spoken a thing, I the LORD have deceived that prophet, and I will stretch out my hand upon him, and will destroy him from the midst of my people Israel.

The lesson for God’s elect is do not be intimidated by the boastful and lying spirits of Babylon (1Sa 17:8-11, 1Sa 17:24-26, Num 14:9), and to not cast away your confidence in the Lord and His plan and purpose for you (Jer 29:11) which includes our being given to know the truth of His word that will slay every giant in our land within and without that will be bread for us (Num 14:9). The expected end of God’s elect is that Christ will finish the work He has started in us (Heb 10:35-37, Php 1:6).

1Sa 17:8  And he stood and cried unto the armies of Israel, and said unto them, Why are ye come out to set your battle in array? am not I a Philistine, and ye servants to Saul? choose you a man for you, and let him come down to me. 
1Sa 17:9  If he be able to fight with me, and to kill me, then will we be your servants: but if I prevail against him, and kill him, then shall ye be our servants, and serve us. 
1Sa 17:10  And the Philistine said, I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man, that we may fight together. 
1Sa 17:11  When Saul and all Israel heard those words of the Philistine, they were dismayed, and greatly afraid. 

1Sa 17:24  And all the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him, and were sore afraid. 
1Sa 17:25  And the men of Israel said, Have ye seen this man that is come up? surely to defy Israel is he come up: and it shall be, that the man who killeth him, the king will enrich him with great riches, and will give him his daughter, and make his father’s house free in Israel (1Jn 2:14, Rev 21:7). 
1Sa 17:26  And David spake to the men that stood by him, saying, What shall be done to the man that killeth this Philistine, and taketh away the reproach from Israel? for who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God? 

Num 14:9  Only rebel not ye against the LORD, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defence is departed from them, and the LORD is with us: fear them not. 

Heb 10:35  Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.
Heb 10:36  For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.
Heb 10:37  For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.

Jer 29:11  For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

Php 1:6  Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: 

2Ki 18:26  Then said Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, and Shebna, and Joah, unto Rabshakeh, Speak, I pray thee, to thy servants in the Syrian language; for we understand it: and talk not with us in the Jews’ language in the ears of the people that are on the wall. 
2Ki 18:27  But Rabshakeh said unto them, Hath my master sent me to thy master, and to thee, to speak these words? hath he not sent me to the men which sit on the wall, that they may eat their own dung, and drink their own piss with you? 

Now Eliakim, Shebna and Joah say to Rabshakeh, “Speak, I pray thee, to thy servants in the Syrian language; for we understand it: and talk not with us in the Jews’ language in the ears of the people that are on the wall.”  Evil communications corrupt good manners, and Eliakim, Shebna and Joah recognize this and only want this evil report to be stayed at the door with them so that they can bring the message to Hezekiah and proceed from there and not let it be understood “on the wall” with those who would understand what is being said in the Jew’s language. The question asked of Rabshakeh, “Hath my master sent me to thy master, and to thee, to speak these words? hath he not sent me to the men which sit on the wall, that they may eat their own dung, and drink their own piss with you?” demonstrates his utter disdain toward Judah and king Hezekiah and reminds us that we will be hated by all men for His name’s sake with a cruel hatred (Psa 25:19). Paul’s statement in Philippians 3:8 contrasts with Rabshakeh’s view of the nation of Judah and their king.

Psa 25:19  Consider mine enemies; for they are many; and they hate me with cruel hatred.

Php 3:8  Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,

Not surprisingly, the god of this world wants to completely entrench it with his perverted gospel of evil communication so that eventually the “intention of the thoughts of his heart [will be] was only evil continually” (Gen 6:5), and Rabshakeh typifies this desire to make known what Sennacherib wants the nation of Judah to believe and will not speak in the Syrian language to the end that the rest “on the wall” hear of Sennacherib’s disdain toward the nation of Judah.

Gen 6:5  The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

2Ki 18:28  Then Rabshakeh stood and cried with a loud voice in the Jews’ language, and spake, saying, Hear the word of the great king, the king of Assyria:
2Ki 18:29  Thus saith the king, Let not Hezekiah deceive you: for he shall not be able to deliver you out of his hand: 
2Ki 18:30  Neither let Hezekiah make you trust in the LORD, saying, The LORD will surely deliver us, and this city shall not be delivered into the hand of the king of Assyria. 
2Ki 18:31  Hearken not to Hezekiah: for thus saith the king of Assyria, Make an agreement with me by a present, and come out to me, and then eat ye every man of his own vine, and every one of his fig tree, and drink ye every one the waters of his cistern: 
2Ki 18:32  Until I come and take you away to a land like your own land, a land of corn and wine, a land of bread and vineyards, a land of oil olive and of honey, that ye may live, and not die: and hearken not unto Hezekiah, when he persuadeth you, saying, The LORD will deliver us. 

Rabshakeh is pulling out all stops, and with a double-edged sword approach, tells the people to not trust in Hezekiah’s words to trust in the LORD, and by way of contrast, if they will submit to him as king, he will see to it that every man will have “his own vine, and every one of his fig tree, and drink ye every one the waters of his cistern.” Rabshakeh is appealing to the fleshly concerns of the people and trying to seduce them with the abundance his kingdom will bring, where they could have their “own vine” and “fig tree” and everyone the waters of “his cistern.

This abundance becomes a curse however when the vine, fig tree, and cistern are not connected to the true living waters that come from God alone through Christ (Psa 52:7), typified by Hezekiah (Joh 15:5, Joh 7:37-38). Rabshakeh, like Satan, promises liberty through the false doctrines of Babylon, being typified with all these words “a land of corn and wine, a land of bread and vineyards, a land of oil olive and of honey” that represent Mystery Babylon “the woman [who] was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication.” 

Psa 52:7  Lo, this is the man that made not God his strength; but trusted in the abundance of his riches, and strengthened himself in his wickedness.

Joh 15:5  I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. 

Joh 7:37  In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.
Joh 7:38  He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

2Ki 18:33  Hath any of the gods of the nations delivered at all his land out of the hand of the king of Assyria? 
2Ki 18:34  Where are the gods of Hamath, and of Arpad? where are the gods of Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivah? have they delivered Samaria out of mine hand? 
2Ki 18:35  Who are they among all the gods of the countries, that have delivered their country out of mine hand, that the LORD should deliver Jerusalem out of mine hand? 

We simply have to agree with Rabshakeh’s statements because it is true that no one has been delivered “out of the hand of the king of Assyria“, at least of those nations mentioned: “the gods of Hamath, and of Arpad“, “the gods of Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivah” (2Ki 17:24, Isa 10:9, Isa 37:13, Jer 49:23).  

The rhetorical question “have they delivered Samaria out of mine hand?” is also a parable of how none of the things we do in our own flesh can free us from the bondage of sin, as none of those aforementioned nations can ‘bound the strong man’ Sennacherib and take Samaria out of his hands. However, the Lord is that strong man in our lives who can bind the strong man and spoil his house (Rev 13:4, Mar 3:27). 

Rev 13:4  And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? 

Mar 3:27  No man can enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he will first bind the strong man; and then he will spoil his house.

This tactic or device of the devil of wanting to put us in remembrance of how we could not make war with the beast is what Rabshakeh is up to. However, God’s elect are told instead of being easily beset by past sins and caught up in this dialogue of the devil, we ought to look to Christ and resist the devil (Heb 12:1-2, Jas 4:7, Rom 8:37). Satan tries to take us out of the spiritual battles we are in by telling us that we could never endure the cross that Christ has promised to help us bear, which is what Rabshakeh’s actions typify for us. Peter’s message to Christ comes to mind, and the strong rebuke that he received for deciding what and what not Christ should do with His life (Mat 16:22-23).

Heb 12:1  Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 
Heb 12:2  Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. 

Jas 4:7  Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Mat 16:22  Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee. 
Mat 16:23  But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.

2Ki 18:36  But the people held their peace, and answered him not a word: for the king’s commandment was, saying, Answer him not. 
2Ki 18:37  Then came Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, which was over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and Joah the son of Asaph the recorder, to Hezekiah with their clothes rent, and told him the words of Rabshakeh.

The commandment of the king regarding how they are to deal with Rabshakeh is to say nothing to him – “the people held their peace, and answered him not a word.” This was the king’s commandment and typifies for God’s elect today how we are to stand on the words of Christ and let our light shine in this world. There was a time for talking, and there was a time to stop talking, and that time had come (Pro 26:3-5). By being obedient doers of the word and living lives that glorify God, we become the light of the world through Christ (Mat 5:14). Our primary purpose in this life is to be the light of Christ that witnesses to the world around us so that in the day of their visitation we will have glorified God by the way we have conducted ourselves in this life, in obedience and watchfulness (Mat 24:25-26, 2Co 11:3, 1Pe 2:12). 

Pro 26:3  A whip for the horse, a bridle for the ass, and a rod for the fool’s back.
Pro 26:4  Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him. 
Pro 26:5  Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.

Mat 24:25  Behold, I have told you before. 
Mat 24:26  Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; [2Pe 2:17-19] go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.

2Co 11:3  But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicityG572 that is in Christ.  

1Pe 2:12  Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.

It is when we finally, by the grace through faith process represented by the three men [Eliakim, Shebna and Joah], go to Christ with humble and contrite hearts, represented by  “clothes rent” (Isa 66:2), that we can cast our cares upon the Lord (1Pe 5:7) typified by them telling Hezekiah the words of their enemy who is out to destroy them. Our hope in Christ is realized when we are brought to our wits’ end through judgment and are then dragged (Joh 6:44) to our safe haven, Who will deliver us from all our enemies. He and He alone is the one in whom we have put our hope, and He will save His people as God has promised (2Co 1:10, Psa 107:30, 2Co 1:4-5, 2Pe 2:9, 1Jn 4:18, Mat 10:26, Mat 10:28, Mat 10:31, Luk 12:32, Rom 5:5). This promised deliverance is what we will see happen in the next chapter of this series.

Isa 66:2  For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.

2Co 1:10  Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us; 

Psa 107:30  Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven.

2Co 1:4  Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.
2Co 1:5  For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.

2Pe 2:9  The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: 

1Jn 4:18  There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. 

Mat 10:26  Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known.  

Mat 10:28  And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

Mat 10:31  Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.

Luk 12:32  Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

Rom 5:5  And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

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