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The Ungodliness of Worldly Pursuits.

The Ungodliness of Worldly Pursuits.

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
ROBERT GORDON, D. D.


ISAIAH X. 13.

By the strength of my hand I have done it, and by my
wisdom, for I am prudent.
ROBERT GORDON, D. D.


ISAIAH X. 13.

By the strength of my hand I have done it, and by my
wisdom, for I am prudent.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Jun 28, 2013
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THE UGODLIESS OF WORLDLY PURSUITS.ROBERT GORDO, D. D.ISAIAH X. 13.By the strength of my hand I have done it, and by mywisdom, for I am prudent.On comparing the passage from which our textis taken with the 36th and 37th chapters of thisbook, or with the 18th and 19th chapters of 2dKings, we can hardly fail to conclude that theperson here alluded to was Sennacherib, King of Assyria ; and that the prediction recorded inthese verses was fulfilled in the events that took place between the fourteenth and eighteenth yearof Hezekiah, the king of Judah, or nearly thirtyyears after the prophet had uttered it. RespectingSennacherib, we learn frojn the passages referredto, that he was the son of Shalmanezer, the for-mer king of Assyria, by whom the ten tribes thatconstituted the kingdom of Israel, had been carriedinto captivity about seven years before ; that onsucceeding to the throne of his father, he imme-diately vmdertook an expedition against Judah,and was so far successful as to take possession of her fenced cities ; and that he was prevented»« THE UGODLIESS SER. 2.from advancing upon Jerusalem itself, only by anagreement on the part of Hezekiali, to pay himthree hundred talents of silver, and thirty talentsof gold. We farther learn of him, that in open de-fiance of this treaty, he soon after renewed his in-vasion of the kingdom of Judah ; that, as formerly,
 
he again took possession of her fenced cities ; andthat, after encountering the king of Ethiopia, whohad followed him into Judea, and overthrowinghim with a great slaughter, as had been predictedby the prophet Isaiah, he directed his march to-wards Jerusalem, with the full determination of utterly destroying it, when he was overtaken bythat terrible disaster in which the Angel of theLord went forth, and slew of his army, in onenight, an hundred and fourscore and five thousandmen. It was at the commencement of this lastexpedition, and a short time before his utter over-throw, that he sent to the king of Judah thoseblasphemous and threatening messages whichhave been recorded by the inspired historian, andfrom which, partly, we are led to infer, that he isthe person alluded to in the words of the text." Beware," said he, addressing himself by hismessengers to the people of Jerusalem, " bewarelest Hezekiah persuade you, saying. The Lordwill deliver us. Hath any of the gods of thenations delivered his land out of the hand of theking of Assyria ? Where are the gods of Ha-math and Arphad ? Where are the gods of Se-pharvaim ? and have they delivered SamariaSER. 2. OF WORLDLY PURSUITS. 25out of my hand ?" " Who are they among allthe gods of these lands, that have delivered theirland out of my hand, that the Lord should deliverJerusalem out of my hand ?" " Let not thy God,"said he in his subsequent letter to Hezekiah him-self, " let not thy God, in whom thou trustest, de-ceive thee, saying, Jerusalem shall not be giveninto the hand of the king of Assyria." The strik-ing coincidence between the words now quoted,and the language which is prophetically put into
 
the mouth of the king of Assyria, in the passagebefore us, leaves scarcely any room to doubt thatSennacherib is the person here spoken of; andnobody can fail to see how forcibly, and howfaithfully his character is delineated in the wordsof the text.But the history of the same individual is equal-ly accordant with what is stated in the context,and in a preceding chapter, respecting the kingof Assyria receiving a commission to execute thedivine purposes in the chastisement of Judah. Inthe 8th chapter, the prophet, warning his coun-trymen of the fatal consequences of forming analliance with a heathen prince, thus foretells theinvasion of Judah. " And he shall pass throughJudah ; he shall overflow and go over, he shallreach even to the neck, and the stretching out ohis wings shall fill the breadth of thy land, OImmanuel ;" — a prediction which was strikinglyfulfilled by the expedition of Sennacherib, when.26 THE UGODLIESS SEll. 2.after taking possession of the fenced cities of Ju-dah, he advanced ahnost to the very gates of Je-nisalem ; and when it was most emphaticallytrue, that he had "overflowed, and gone over,and reached even to the- neck." So far, then, hewas an instrument, though an unconscious one,in accomplishing the divine purposes ; and assuch he is here denominated the rod of God's an-ger, the staff of his indignation. Inasmuch, how-ever, as it was not in his heart to execute thesepurposes, but to gratify his own wicked and law-less ambition, by destroying and cutting off na-tions not a few, he was to be dealt with, not asa servant of the most high, but as a daring and

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