Pay Heed, World Leaders, to God’s Severe Warning

Posted on May 29, 2021


By David Ettinger

A Dire Threat
King Hezekiah was among Israel’s 3 greatest kings in terms of devotion to God (David and Josiah were the other two). He had dedicated both his life and reign to serving God and bringing the people of the Southern Kingdom of Judah back to Him.

Despite this, we read:

Now in the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, Sennacherib king of Assyria marched against all the fortified cities of Judah and seized them. And the king of Assyria sent Rabshakeh from Lachish to Jerusalem to King Hezekiah with a large army (Isaiah 36:1-2).

Assyria’s plan was to conquer Israel’s Southern Kingdom as it had done to Israel’s Northern Kingdom about 20 years earlier. However, before attacking, Assyria offered Judah terms of surrender. Speaking for Sennacherib was Rabshakeh, the king’s field commander, who spoke arrogantly and insolently.

Beware that Hezekiah does not mislead you, saying, “The Lord will save us.” Has any one of the gods of the nations saved his land from the hand of the king of Assyria? Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim? And when have they saved Samaria from my hand? Who among all the gods of these lands have saved their land from my hand, that the Lord would save Jerusalem from my hand? (Isaiah 36:18-20).

Arrogant and insolent indeed! In essence, the Assyrians were not claiming that the God of Israel wouldn’t save Israel, but COULDN’T save Israel. The field commander was basically saying: “The gods of these other nations couldn’t save them from us, and neither can your God.”

Blasphemous Words
God would not entertain such arrogance! His reply:

Whom have you taunted and blasphemed? And against whom have you raised your voice And haughtily raised your eyes? Against the Holy One of Israel! … But I know your sitting down, your going out, your coming in, and your raging against Me. Because of your raging against Me and because your complacency has come up to My ears, I will put My hook in your nose and My bridle in your lips, and I will turn you back by the way that you came (Isaiah 37:23, 28-29).

Notice how the Assyrians did not deny the existence of Israel’s God, nor did they curse Him. Rather, they disregarded Him, demoted Him, belittled Him, and ridiculed Him. In essence, they said, “Israel, your God is nothing!”

Today, we think of blaspheme as taking God’s name in vain or cursing Him. But we see here that God’s definition of blaspheme is broader. Simply put, to regard Him as anything less than what the Bible says He is – the Sovereign of the Universe – is blaspheme, and He will not stand for it.

As for the Assyrians who so arrogantly and insolently blasphemed God:

Then the angel of the Lord went out and struck 185,000 in the camp of the Assyrians; and when the rest got up early in the morning, behold, all of the 185,000 were dead. So Sennacherib the king of Assyria departed and returned home and lived in Nineveh. Then it came about, as he was worshiping in the house of Nisroch his god, that his sons Adrammelech and Sharezer killed him with the sword … (Isaiah 37:36-38).

A Severe Warning
Let this serve as a warning to the arrogant and insolent today who blaspheme God in any way. God will not stand for it. No, He doesn’t instantly slay people as He did the Assyrian army; after all, this Church Age in which we live is an age of grace. Hence the apostle Peter writes: “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not willing for any to perish, but for all to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).

But one day, the cup of God’s mercy will run dry, and He will vent his wrath and fury upon all the arrogant and insolent of this world. The apostle Paul writes:

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of people who suppress the truth in unrighteousness … And … gave them up to a depraved mind, to do those things that are not proper … slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil … (Romans 1:18, 28, 30).

Yes, humanity has blasphemed God since almost the beginning of time. However, for centuries in the West both unbelieving political leaders and citizenry have at least regarded Him with respect and civility. But here in 2021, such God-deference is eroding at an alarming rate. And make no mistake about it, such lack of God-focused respect, civility, and deference is nothing short of blaspheme.

For its blaspheme God destroyed an army of 185,000 and its king. As for the West in 2021, let this account serve as a severe warning, because when God again pours out His wrath, the toll will be immeasurably greater than a mere 185,000.

David Ettinger is a writer/editor at Zion’s Hope, Inc., and has written for Zion’s Fire magazine since its inception in 1990.