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Sermon #118 — Isaiah Series
Title: “God left him!”
Text: Isaiah 39:1-8
Subject: Hezekiah — When God Left Him
Date: Sunday Morning — February 2, 2020
Reading: Romans 7:1-25
While you are turning to Isaiah 39, I want you to hear three of the most solemn words you will ever hear, three words spoken about a great, great man — That godly, faithful, obedient, believing King of Judah — Hezekiah. — We read in 2nd Chronicles 32:31 — “God left him!” — That is the title of my message — “God left him!” What an astounding, astounding statement. — “God left him!” When the princes of Babylon sent ambassadors to King Hezekiah, after the Lord had healed him, we read that “God left him, to try him, that he might know all that was in his heart” (2 Chronicles 32:31).
These Babylonian princes had heard about the wonder that was done in the land of Judah. So they sent ambassadors to King Hezekiah. They wanted to get on the good side of that King who had the Triune Jehovah as his King!
· They heard about Sennacherib, Rabshakeh, and the Assyrian army.
· They heard about Hezekiah’s sickness and his miraculous recovery.
· They heard about Hezekiah’s God causing the sun to go backwards by ten degrees on the sun dial of Ahaz. — The Chaldeans were idolaters, worshippers of the sun and astrological things.
But when the Babylonian idolaters sent their ambassadors to see Hezekiah — “God left him, to try him, that he might know all that was in his heart” (2 Chronicles 32:31).
Left of God
When God leaves a man, when God leaves a woman, if God should leave you, if he should leave me, even for a moment, oh, what evil we might perform!
· When God left Adam in the Garden, the whole human race was ruined!
· When God left Noah — Drunkenness!
· When God left Lot — Amon and Edom
· When God left Aaron — The Golden Calf!
· When God left Moses, he struck the Lord Jesus with his rod!
· When God left David — Bathsheba and Uriah!
· When God left Peter — His Fall!
Oh, but blessed be his name forever, there came a day when God left another Man, his own darling Son, the Godman, that he might never leave anyone who trusts him!
(2 Corinthians 5:12-21) For we commend not ourselves again unto you, but give you occasion to glory on our behalf, that ye may have somewhat to answer them which glory in appearance, and not in heart. (13) For whether we be beside ourselves, it is to God: or whether we be sober, it is for your cause. (14) For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: (15) And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again. (16) Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more. (17) Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (18) And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; (19) To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. (20) Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. (21) For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
(Psalm 22:1-31) My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring? (2) O my God, I cry in the daytime, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent. (3) But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel. (4) Our fathers trusted in thee: they trusted, and thou didst deliver them. (5) They cried unto thee, and were delivered: they trusted in thee, and were not confounded. (6) But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people. (7) All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, (8) He trusted on the LORD that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him. (9) But thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me hope when I was upon my mother's breasts. (10) I was cast upon thee from the womb: thou art my God from my mother's belly. (11) Be not far from me; for trouble is near; for there is none to help. (12) Many bulls have compassed me: strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round. (13) They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion. (14) I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels. (15) My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death. (16) For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet. (17) I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me. (18) They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture. (19) But be not thou far from me, O LORD: O my strength, haste thee to help me. (20) Deliver my soul from the sword; my darling from the power of the dog. (21) Save me from the lion's mouth: for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns. (22) I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee. (23) Ye that fear the LORD, praise him; all ye the seed of Jacob, glorify him; and fear him, all ye the seed of Israel. (24) For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him, he heard. (25) My praise shall be of thee in the great congregation: I will pay my vows before them that fear him. (26) The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the LORD that seek him: your heart shall live forever. (27) All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the LORD: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee. (28) For the kingdom is the LORD'S: and he is the governor among the nations. (29) All they that be fat upon earth shall eat and worship: all they that go down to the dust shall bow before him: and none can keep alive his own soul. (30) A seed shall serve him; it shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation. (31) They shall come, and shall declare his righteousness unto a people that shall be born, that he hath done this.
(Psalm 40:1-17) I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. (2) He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. (3) And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD. (4) Blessed is that man that maketh the LORD his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies. (5) Many, O LORD my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered. (6) Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required. (7) Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me, (8) I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart. (9) I have preached righteousness in the great congregation: lo, I have not refrained my lips, O LORD, thou knowest. (10) I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart; I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation: I have not concealed thy lovingkindness and thy truth from the great congregation. (11) Withhold not thou thy tender mercies from me, O LORD: let thy lovingkindness and thy truth continually preserve me. (12) For innumerable evils have compassed me about: mine iniquities have taken hold upon me, so that I am not able to look up; they are more than the hairs of mine head: therefore my heart faileth me. (13) Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me: O LORD, make haste to help me. (14) Let them be ashamed and confounded together that seek after my soul to destroy it; let them be driven backward and put to shame that wish me evil. (15) Let them be desolate for a reward of their shame that say unto me, Aha, aha. (16) Let all those that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee: let such as love thy salvation say continually, The LORD be magnified. (17) But I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinketh upon me: thou art my help and my deliverer; make no tarrying, O my God.
Because God’s own darling Son was made sin for us and punished to the full satisfaction of God’s holy law and infinite justice for our sins, we are assured by our God, “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee!” God will never abandon one for whom he once abandoned his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ!
Proposition: But he does, in great wisdom, goodness, and grace appear to abandon us, just as he did Hezekiah, that we might know all that is in our hearts (Isaiah 54:4-10).
(Isaiah 54:4-10) Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed: neither be thou confounded; for thou shalt not be put to shame: for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood anymore. (5) For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called. (6) For the LORD hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth, when thou wast refused, saith thy God. (7) For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee. (8) In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the LORD thy Redeemer. (9) For this is as the waters of Noah unto me: for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth; so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee. (10) For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the LORD that hath mercy on thee.
Now, I want you to read Isaiah 39 with me. May God the Holy Ghost teach us by his grace the things he taught Hezekiah long ago, when God left him.
(Isaiah 39:1-8) At that time Merodachbaladan, the son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent letters and a present to Hezekiah: for he had heard that he had been sick, and was recovered. (2) And Hezekiah was glad of them, and shewed them the house of his precious things, the silver, and the gold, and the spices, and the precious ointment, and all the house of his armour, and all that was found in his treasures: there was nothing in his house, nor in all his dominion, that Hezekiah shewed them not.
(3) Then came Isaiah the prophet unto king Hezekiah, and said unto him, What said these men? and from whence came they unto thee? And Hezekiah said, They are come from a far country unto me, even from Babylon. (4) Then said he, What have they seen in thine house? And Hezekiah answered, All that is in mine house have they seen: there is nothing among my treasures that I have not shewed them.
(5) Then said Isaiah to Hezekiah, Hear the word of the LORD of hosts: (6) Behold, the days come, that all that is in thine house, and that which thy fathers have laid up in store until this day, shall be carried to Babylon: nothing shall be left, saith the LORD. (7) And of thy sons that shall issue from thee, which thou shalt beget, shall they take away; and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.
(8) Then said Hezekiah to Isaiah, Good is the word of the LORD which thou hast spoken. He said moreover, For there shall be peace and truth in my days.
1. The Lord God did great things for Hezekiah.
Hezekiah was the son of Judah’s reprobate king, Ahaz. Ahaz was reprobate, cast off, and damned. But God chose Hezekiah! And God used Hezekiah as he used no one else in his day. When Hezekiah was sick unto death, God restored his health and gave him another 15 years of prosperity and dominion.
Oh, what wonders our God has performed for us!
2. Learn this too. — Saved sinners are faithful saints.
Hezekiah was a faithful man. Yes, he committed great evil because of the horrid pride of his depraved heart. But he was a faithful man. The same is true of all who are born of God.
· All believers are saints.
· All believers are faithful.
3. Yet, the most faithful of God’s saints in this world are sinners still, just like Hezekiah.
(1 John 3:1-9) Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. (2) Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. (3) And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure. (4) Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. (5) And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. (6) Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. (7) Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. (8) He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. (9) Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.
4. The Lord God, our God, has forgiven us all our sins, just as he did Hezekiah’s.
(Psalm 130:1-8) Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O LORD. (2) Lord, hear my voice: let thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications. (3) If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? (4) But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared. (5) I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope. (6) My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for the morning. (7) Let Israel hope in the LORD: for with the LORD there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption. (8) And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.
5. Our sins, though completely forgiven, are still very costly, just as Hezekiah’s were.
Don’t ever imagine that free grace makes sin less sinful.
· Ask Lot.
· Ask David.
· Ask Hezekiah.
(1 John 2:1-2) My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: (2) And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
6. Our assurance of God’s forgiveness, like Hezekiah’s, is something done in the past.
Isaiah spoke a word of promise from God to Ahaz. He told him that he would make the shadow on Ahaz sun dial go backwards by ten degrees (Isaiah 38:7-8).
And our assurance of God’s salvation, of God’s forgiveness is altogether in something done by the Lord Jesus Christ long ago, in the past, altogether outside our experience (Hebrews 101-22).
(Hebrews 10:1-22) For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. (2) For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. (3) But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. (4) For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. (5) Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: (6) In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. (7) Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God. (8) Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law; (9) Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. (10) By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. (11) And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: (12) But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down on the right hand of God; (13) From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. (14) For by one offering he hath perfected forever them that are sanctified. (15) Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, (16) This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; (17) And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. (18) Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin. (19) Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, (20) By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; (21) And having an high priest over the house of God; (22) Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.
7. Like Hezekiah, all believers bow to and justify God in all things (Isaiah 39:5-8).
We bow to God’s will and to God’s purpose. We bow to his Son and to his Word. And we bow to our God’s wise and good providence.
(Isaiah 39:5-8) Then said Isaiah to Hezekiah, Hear the word of the LORD of hosts: (6) Behold, the days come, that all that is in thine house, and that which thy fathers have laid up in store until this day, shall be carried to Babylon: nothing shall be left, saith the LORD. (7) And of thy sons that shall issue from thee, which thou shalt beget, shall they take away; and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon. (8) Then said Hezekiah to Isaiah, Good is the word of the LORD which thou hast spoken. He said moreover, For there shall be peace and truth in my days.
· Eli (1 Samuel3:18)
· David (Psalm 51:1-15
Salvation is bowing to God. Oh, may the God of all grace bow you to himself! Oh, may he ow me to himself!
Illustration: You can’t tell the difference between wheat ad tares until harvest time. — At harvest time tares stand tall and straight, but wheat bows its head.