-At the time of Judah’s salvation from Assyrian oppression and Hezekiah’s healing from his disease, the king of Babylon, Merodach-baladan, who was trying to establish independence from Assyria upon the death of Sargon II in 705 B.C., came on the scene in the narrative. He was likely trying to split the Assyrians attention by opening up another front from which they would have to fight for their empire. They were at that time allies to Judah and King Hezekiah. Well wishes and presents were sent by Merodach-baladan to Hezekiah, which the king of Judah understandably welcomed gladly. Hezekiah, whose faith stood firm in the face of Assyrian intimidation and arrogance, now melts in the face of Babylonian flattery. He presents all the treasures of the Judean Kingdom for the envoys from Babylon to view. This was a foolish move because he did not discern, as Isaiah did, the ulterior motives of these foreigners to lust for the riches which were opened up to them. Isaiah, remarkably for the time, predicts the coming days when Babylon will carry away all that is in the king’s house and that which his fathers had stored up to their nation. Isaiah by the word of God says that “Nothing shall be left…and some of your own sons, who will come from you, whom you will father, shall be taken away, and they shall become eunuchs (have their manhood taken away) in the palace of the king of Babylon (Isaiah 39:1-7).” Irresponsibly, Hezekiah thinks only of himself in his response by claiming the word of the LORD spoken was good and that they would enjoy peace, truth, and security in his days (2 Kings 20:19, Isaiah 39:8). Even though he was described as a good king in Judah, he ended up not being a very good steward of his father David’s dynasty (2 Kings 18:3-6, 2 Chronicles 29:2). *Application* Satan has more than one way of attacking and oppressing the righteous children of God. If he can’t get you through intimidation, he may very well try flattery or some other comfort deception. Stand firm against the devil and all his evil schemes as you walk with the LORD circumspectly (2 Corinthians 2:11, Ephesians 5:15).
Verse to Memorize: Isaiah 39:6