We find ourselves in a story that is historical, so stay with it until the bitter end. Hezekiah is the king of Judah, or we can call it Israel, it is the Southern Kingdom, but we will call it Israel anyway, easier to understand that way and somewhat historically correct as well. The king of Assyria sent his messenger in the previous chapter basically to mock the God of Israel and to threaten total destruction if they don’t surrender. So King Hezekiah goes to contemplate what surrender would look like and calls in all of his religious leaders to help him figure out what he should do.
Isaiah’s voice (remember Isaiah was a prophet of Israel so he would have been called in to give advice) comes out loud and clear in this time and he tells the king of Israel that the Assyrian King will not enter Jerusalem so he can take heart. As proof of this prophecy the angel of the Lord comes and strikes down all of the Assyrian army dead. That was one way to prove that the Lord was in command. King Sennacherib also heads home and there he is subjected to patricide where his sons kill him. They flee and another son takes over.
As I walked into the building today a member of the church grabbed me and said, how could the Lord just come and slaughter 185,000 people. I have a real problem with that. For some reason I don’t have a problem with that. I don’t have a problem with the angel of the Lord coming and slaughtering all of the first born of Egypt. I don’t have a problem with the angel of the Lord slaying Ananias and Sapphira when they lie to the Holy Spirit in Acts of the Apostles. It isn’t that I welcome death and murder, no, it isn’t that. It is that I understand who is in charge and when God acts, well, God acts. I keep being reminded in my own life that I am just the clay and I am very comfortable not asking the potter what in the world is He doing, even when I have no idea what He is doing.
This is a hurdle that not everyone gets over, I understand that. But I think it is one that everyone has to get over at some point in life. We often use our own measuring sticks to ascertain the morality of God. That simply does not work. We can’t judge God to be unrighteous according to our own system of values, no matter how self-evident they may be. God simply cannot be held to any standard at all. God is the one who has created the standard and against that God is not to be measured.