Isaiah continues with words of judgment against Babylon, Edom, Arabia, and Tyre. He also has something to say to the citizens of Jerusalem: he will hurl them away violently. In the days of King Hezekiah, they had prepared for a siege from their enemies. That is, Hezekiah had strengthened the defensive walls around the city and had improved the water system in order to withstand a long siege. The problem is that Hezekiah and the people were placing their trust in their own wisdom and accomplishments rather than the Lord, who could actually save them: “You made a reservoir between the two walls for the water of the old pool. But you did not look to him who did it, or see him who planned it long ago” (22:11).
The people had also looked to treaties with their traditional enemies to save them from Assyria, but in those they would be sorely disappointed: “They shall be dismayed and ashamed because of Cush their hope and of Egypt their boast. And the inhabitants of this coastland will say in that day, ‘Behold, this is what has happened to those in whom we hoped and to whom we fled for help to be delivered from the king of Assyria!’” (20:5-6) Israel, and we, must trust in the Lord for his deliverance.
Put thou thy trust in God,
in duty’s path go on;
walk in his strength with faith and hope,
so shall thy work be done.
Commit thy ways to him,
thy works into his hands,
and rest on his unchanging word,
who heaven and earth commands.
Though years on years roll on,
his covenant shall endure;
though clouds and darkness hide his path,
the promised grace is sure. -- Paul Gerhardt (17th century)