What to do when the Worldlings Sneer!

King Hezekiah prays

By Bob McEvoy - Posted at The Salty Scivener:

Text . Isaiah 36

Marching on while the worldlings sneer… It’s a popular hymn, and it is certainly true in part. Christians constantly face a tirade of abuse from the world. In this narrative, we see the opening gambit of the Assyrians. It is to demoralise the people in the city, to prepare them for their surrender.

1. The Sneering Spokesman!

Let’s just look at some of the mocking sneers from this Assyrian ambassador.

  • Who are you trusting now? V4-5. What confidence have you! Are you still trusting in:-
  1. Egypt? V6 Where are they? He uses an illustration of a brittle reed. Egypt is like that reed, totally unreliable, unable to help, causing pain to those who depend upon its supposed strength. So, then are you trusting in…
  2. God? V7 Now here is something really interesting. This Rabshekah has an elementary understanding of theology, – just enough to get it wrong! He has been watching Israel, and watching the actions of Hezekiah. He thought that because Hezekiah had acted against the superstitious Baal religion, Israel had been robbed of their God! cf 2 Kings 18
  • You are so pathetic! V8-9 It’s a common taunt isn’t it! People look at the church, small, worldly, faith mixed with doubt, leaders who don’t know what they believe… And they scoff
  • God told me to do it! V10. Arn’t there so many gods in this world, so how do you know yours is the right one?
  • Why not just surrender? V16 Why not just give up? What would this surrender to the sneering, mocking world involve?
  1. Paying a tribute – homage to the world.
  2. Making peace with the world. This would involve being fed and watered and getting an easy time!
  3. Exile from the place of God.

So, let’s summarise so far. The ‘church’ – Israel is entrenched within the walls of the city, surrounded by a hostile enemy. But the people of God are faithless, and self-sufficient. Instead of thrusting the Lord, they are trusting in human strength, and it has failed. Now, because of their backslidden condition they are being mocked and sneered by the mouthpiece of the world.