The World's Empty Promises (Isaiah 36:16) - Radical

The World’s Empty Promises (Isaiah 36:16)

“For thus says the King of Assyria. Make your peace with me and come out to me. Then each one of you will eat of his own vine and each one of his own fig tree. And each one of you will drink the water of his own cistern.”
– Isaiah 36:16

Now in order to understand this verse and the massively important truth that it illustrates, we need to understand the background.

Context For Isaiah 36:16

The Assyrians, this foreign army, had invaded the nation of Judah and had surrounded the city of Jerusalem with a couple of hundred thousand troops around the city and were threatening to overtake it. So you can only imagine the people in Jerusalem were frightened, they were scared, they didn’t know what to do.

The world promises us many things, but only God provides ultimate satisfaction.

So basically, the King of Assyria, through his messenger, comes out and says hey, make your peace with me. Turn and trust in me. Come out to me and everything will be good for you. You’ll eat of your own vine. You’ll have your own fig tree and you’ll drink water from your own cistern. He was basically saying if you look at the context he’s saying don’t trust in God. Don’t trust in your king who’s telling you to trust in God. Trust in the king of Assyria instead, and everything will go well for you.

Isaiah 36:16 Reminds Us the World Offers Us False Satisfaction

In that picture, I want you to think about your life and think about my life and all of the alluring promises of this world and the ways this world says if you do this, things will go well for you. Like if you get this advancement or this, achieve this accomplishment in the world, then you’ll be satisfied. Or if you look this image online or on your phone, that will bring satisfaction. If you go in this direction, that will be good for you. If you have this much money, if you have this job, if your relationship with that person if you’re looked at this or that way then things will be well for you.

We’ve got all kinds of lies just like this picture of Assyria surrounding the city of Jerusalem, we are surrounded by all kinds of temptations in the world that say if you just do this, things will be good. If you just do that, if you just get that, if you just experience that, then you will be good and in the middle of it all, we need to hear the voice of God saying trust in Me. Those things do not lead to satisfaction. Yes, they promise it but that’s the deception of this world. Those things that promise joy satisfaction in life, do not bring joy and satisfaction in life.

This Verse Leads Us To Pray To See through the Lies of the World

So we pray in our lives that today God help us to see through the deception of the world around us. Every moment, all day long today. Wanna help us to see that the things of this world, the possessions of this world, the fame of this world, the pleasures of this world don’t bring ultimate pleasure, they don’t bring ultimate joy, and they don’t bring ultimate life. They actually pull us away from pleasure and joy and life that is found in you alone. So God help us to look to you. Help us to trust in you. Bombarded by all kinds of lies around us in the world that cause us to think oh yeah if I just have this or that then I’ll be happy. If I’m just in this or that position then I’ll be happy.

Lord our happiness, our joy is only found in you. So help us to rest in you. Help us to be content in you and help us, in the process then to see through the deceptive promises of this world that ultimately are empty. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and chairman of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, Counter Culture, and Something Needs to Change.

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