So, after God had judged all the nations, God spoke through the prophet Isaiah about a great restoration. It is not only an immediate restoration, but he talks about the ultimate restoration of the whole world after the battle of Armageddon and Jesus reigns as described in the Book of Revelation. This is called a double reference prophesy, and there are many double reference prophesies throughout the Bible.
These prophesies were 700 years before Jesus was even born, but many of them point to Jesus. Like in verses 5 and 6. "The eyes of the blind will be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall hear." Jesus not only referred to this passage when speaking of himself, but as we will see, He quoted Isaiah many, many times throughout His ministry.
Chapter 35 also refers to a "Highway of Holiness' that only a few get to travel. This highway to heaven is like a toll-booth. We have to pay a price in order to travel on it. But the toll is way to high for anyone to ever pay! Well, that doesn't seem fair! But guess, what? Jesus stepped up to the toll booth and paid our toll when He died on the cross for our sins. The toll is paid. We can travel on the highway to heaven if we accept Jesus' payment. How? By admitting that we could not even come close to paying our own way because we are sinners. Then, by believing that Jesus is God, and that He paid our way, and finally by letting Jesus be the master of our lives. Putting His desire for our lives before our own.
In Isaiah chapter 36, The Commander of the Assyrian army is in Jerusalem, (near their water supply) and he is taunting 3 of Judah's military leaders. It is a public place, soon many of the citizens gathered around to hear what was being said. "Go tell your king, Hezekiah that he is a fool!" Said Rabshakeh. " He is trusting that the Egyptians will have his back during any invasions. But Egypt is not only weaker than he thinks, but they are also deceitful, and will side with the stronger army to save their own skin!" Rabshakeh then continued. "Oh I know how your King Hezekiah will respond. He will say something like, 'We have the God of Israel on our side.' Well kindly remind your king of how he turned is back on the God of Israel when he removed the altars and high places."
Rabshakeh thought that the altars and high places were places to worship God. He was mistaken. Hezekiah did the right thing by removing them. They were pagan worship places. God wanted the people to come to the temple in Jerusalem to worship him. The devil sometimes uses twisted logic to discourage us or to get us to do the wrong thing, but remember, God never wavers on truth. Know His Word then the devil won't be able to twist the truth like he did with Eve in the Garden. (Genesis 3:1)
Rabshakeh continued to twist the truth by adding. " Look at how prosperous Assyria is and all the battles we have won. And you Judah, you are struggling to protect yourselves, and to feed your people at times.We could give you 2000 horses. If you could even gather enough men to ride them, our army would crush you in an instant! It looks like the God of Israel is not only against you, but He is on our side!
We see other people around us that have everything. They are healthy and happy. The devil tries to convince us that God loves them more than He loves us. Don't believe it! God loves you more than we can imagine. If you are going through something really hard right now. Like not feeling well, other kids picking on you, your mom and dad having trouble, or a friend hurt you, just remember. God didn't leave you. He is there by your side walking through the tough times with you. Lean into Him, talk to Him and trust Him.
The 3 military officials were getting a little uncomfortable because of the large crowd that had gathered. They wanted Rabshakeh to speak in Aramaic so the people would not understand. Be he continued speaking in Hebrew, and even louder. Hoping to discourage all the citizens. Would't you like to live in peace? And live in total comfort? The king of Assyria is offering that to you. (In other words, surrender) Before Rabshekah showed up, Hezekiah warned to people that he would be talking a lot of rubbish. But do not respond to him with any words. And that is just what they did. They remained silent.
The scribes went to Hezekiah right away and told the king all that Rabshakeh had said. He was deeply troubled and sent the messengers to the prophet Isaiah to ask for some guidance.
Isaiah heard the desperation and hopelessness. He responded. "Tell the king , do not be afraid. Yes, Rabshakeh has blasphemed me, but you won't have to worry about him any more. I will take care of him. I'm sure Hezekiah was thinking, okay, but what about the rest of Assyria. They are still going to attack us.
When Hezakiah returned to his home, there was a threatening letter from Rabshakeh. Hezekiah. He went to the house of the Lord and spread the letter out before the Lord and praised God and prayed for protection. God then spoke to Isaiah and told him. "Go tell Hezekiah this, "That because he prayed, I will answer his prayer."
Did you get that? "Because he prayed". In other words, if Hezekiah had not prayed, Jerusalem would have been destroyed. God hears our prayers. God answers prayers. How many things have we not prayed for, so God didn't answer. "You have not, because you ask not." (James 4:23)