God Will Make a Way – Isaiah 36:12

Growing with God: A daily devotional with Tonia Slimm.

Isaiah 36:12 (NIV)

“But the commander replied, “Was it only to your master and you that my master sent me to say these things, and not to the people sitting on the wall—who, like you, will have to eat their own excrement and drink their own urine?”

Isaiah 36:12 (MSG)

But the Rabshekah replied, “Do you think my master has sent me to give this message to your master and you but not also to the people clustered here? It’s their fate that’s at stake. They’re the ones who are going to end up eating their own excrement and drinking their own urine.”


“But the Rabshakeh said, “Has my master sent me to speak these words only to your master and to you, and not to the men sitting on the wall, doomed to eat their own dung and drink their own urine with you?” -AMPLIFIED

“One of the most powerful, though difficult, lessons we all need to learn on our spiritual pilgrimage is that even when bad things happen and we do not understand why, we can trust God to be present and working on our behalf.”
~Henry Cloud

Yesterday’s text was an appeal from King Hezekiah’s advisors, imploring the Rabshakeh to speak in Aramaic, so the people that were near-by could not hear.

“Then Eliakim, Shebna and Joah spoke to the field commander. They said, “Please speak to us in the Aramaic language. We understand it. Don’t speak to us in Hebrew because the people on the city wall can hear you.” -Isaiah 36:11 (ICB)

Today’s text is the Rabshakeh’s response to their request. Notice the arrogance and pride, the sarcasm that emanates from this guy.

My, my, my! Do you think that my king sent me here to speak only to your king and to you when those people stand just as much to lose as you? Don’t you think that these people along the wall should have a chance to hear our negotiations? After all, they’ll be reduced with you to eating their own feces and drinking their own urine.” -(VOICE)

The Rabshakeh answer to the request made by Eliakim, Shebna and Joah was given with a tone of smugness. “My Master wants everyone to know, even the common person. If this city does not surrender, they will experience his wrath. We will lay siege to this city, and you all will be reduced to eating your own dung and drink your own urine.”

In other words, if Hezekiah did not surrender, his kingdom and his people would suffer greatly, meaning that they would be brought to the point of starvation. The Rabshakeh once again was using fear tactics, trying to intimidate the people, but in actuality, this was one of the ways the Assyrians conquered. They would surround a city, allowing no one in our out, and wait for the inhabitants to starve to death.

Mind you, the city of Jerusalem usually would have been able to withstand such an attack. But they had NOT been living the way God had instructed them to live. They had been warned by Isaiah that they needed to repent and turn from their sin. Isaiah had foretold that God would send the Assyrians against them if they did not change their hearts.

The Rabshakeh also wanted to magnify Eliakim, Shebna and Joah‘s sense of fear, despair and discouragement. Possibly he thought he could turn them against Hezekiah. He also wanted the people, in general, to understand what was planned for their city. For when the time came, the people would blame the king and his advisors for the trouble they were in.

“But he replied, “My master wants everyone in Jerusalem to hear this, not just you. He wants them to know that if you don’t surrender, this city will be put under siege until everyone is so hungry and thirsty that he will eat his own dung and drink his own urine.” -(TLB)

What was planned for Jerusalem was horrid, but if we contrast that with verses 16 and 17 we can grasp fully how the Rabshakeh was trying to turn the people. Verses 16 and 17 tells us that if they would but surrender now, they would not need to fear, but would get to enjoy their homes and gardens until the time that Sennacherib would move them to his own land. Even then, they are told, they would still be able to enjoy the best of the land. Take note and contrast the two scenarios’:

Scenario 1.) “But Rav-Shakeh answered, “Did my master send me to deliver my message just to your master and yourselves? Didn’t he send me to address the men sitting on the wall, who, like you, are going to eat their own dung and drink their own urine?” -Isaiah 36:12 (Complete Jewish Bible)

Scenario 2.) “Do not listen to Hezekiah,’ for this is what the king of Assyria says, ‘Make peace with me and come out to me, and each one of you will eat from his own vine and each from his own fig tree and each [one of you] drink from the water of his own cistern, until I come and take you away to a land like your own land, a land of grain and new wine, a land of bread and vineyards.” -Isaiah 36:16-17 (AMP)

For the Jews, it appears they are in an impossible situation. The Rabshakeh’s intention was to further spread more fear, more despair, more discouragement. He wanted the people to give up, even before they began to fight. This whole chapter is his ultimatum, and he was going to take advantage of the opportunity.

The Bible tells us that Satan works in much the same way, he uses fear tactics, and often tells us we are in impossible situations where we are “damned if we do and damned if we don’t.” DO NOT BELIEVE that enemy though, do not lose heart, for our God is with us. He will make a way, even if there appears to be no way out. Scripture promises us that God will make a way for us, even in those impossible situations.

“I am the Lord, who opened a way through the waters, making a path right through the sea. I called forth the mighty army of Egypt with all its chariots and horses, to lie beneath the waves, dead, their lives snuffed out like candlewicks. But forget all that—it is nothing compared to what I’m going to do! For I’m going to do a brand-new thing. See, I have already begun! Don’t you see it? I will make a road through the wilderness of the world for my people to go home, and create rivers for them in the desert!” -Isaiah 43:16-19 (TLB)

Remember what Paul told the Philippians to do when they were worried about things in their lives:

“Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.” -Philippians 4:6-7 (MSG)

I would have despaired had I not believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” ~David (Psalm 27:13 AMP)

My friend, are you facing a seemingly impossible situation today? I encourage you, DO NOT GIVE UP! God knows exactly what is happening, and He will make a way through this problem, even if you cannot see it. Trust Him.

“Sometimes God lets you be in a situation that only He can fix so that you can see that He is the One who fixes it. Rest. He’s got it.” ~Tony Evans

My Prayer:

AdonaiTzva’ot, God Almighty, I give you my impossible situation. I cannot see any way out, but You, Lord, are able to do the impossible, and I am trusting in you to take care of me and this need. I choose to believe your holy Word, and not the words of the Enemy. You are greater, you are stronger, and I know you will be victorious. Lord, I choose to run to you, my Papa, my Daddy, trusting that you will make that pathway through the wilderness, that I cannot see. You are able, and I choose to trust the Miracle-Worker. Thank you for always being there for me. I am blessed. ❤

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