“But I know you well—where you stay and when you come and go. I know the way you have raged against me. And because of your raging against me and your arrogance, which I have heard for myself, I will put my hook in your nose and my bit in your mouth. I will make you return by the same road on which you came.”
Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Here is the proof that what I say is true: This year you will eat only what grows up by itself, and next year you will eat what springs up from that. But in the third year you will plant crops and harvest them; you will tend vineyards and eat their fruit. . . .
“And this is what the Lord says about the king of Assyria: ‘His armies will not enter Jerusalem. They will not even shoot an arrow at it. They will not march outside its gates with their shields nor build banks of earth against its walls. The king will return to his own country by the same road on which he came. He will not enter this city,’ says the Lord. ‘For my own honor and for the sake of my servant David, I will defend this city and protect it.’”
(Isaiah 37:28-30, 33-35)
The old saying “what goes around comes around” probably had its roots in the work of sowing and reaping, which Paul uses in Galatians 6:7-8. Long before Paul wrote that, we find a similar example in the book of Isaiah. The Assyrians often led captives away with hooks in their noses or bits in their mouths as signs of humiliation. Isaiah used this image as a metaphor for what God would do to the Assyrians. Since Assyria had insulted God, they had sown the seeds of their own destruction. God would defend Jerusalem for the sake of his honor and for David’s sake in remembrance of his promise to David.
What the people of Jerusalem could not possibly do, God would do for them. God is prepared to do the impossible if we trust him enough to ask.