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READING: 2 Kings 18 – Hezekiah, King of Judah Attacked by Sennacherib of Assyria 


In the third year of King Hoshea of Israel, Hezekiah son of King Ahaz of Judah began to reign. Hezekiah was the best king in the line of David. His father was one of the worst. Hezekiah was 25 years old when he began to reign. “There was no one like him among all the kings of Judah after him, or among those who were before him.” 

Hezekiah did what was right in the sight of the LORD. He removed the high places, broke down the pillars, and cut down the sacred pole. He broke up the bronze serpent Moses made in the wilderness for up until his day the people had been making offerings to it. He called it Nehushtan, a piece of brass.  

But he lived in hard times. His father, Ahaz, had invited the Assyria king to rescue him from Rezin of Damascus and Pekah of Israel. He took silver and gold from the Temple of Solomon and gave it to the Assyrian King. It was in Hezekiah’s fourth year that Hoshea of Israel withheld his tribute money to Assyria and was imprisoned by them. After a three-year siege, all the people were taken away in Hezekiah’s sixth year. 

In Hezekiah’s fourteenth year, Sennacherib of Assyria invaded Judah and came up against all the fortified cities of Judah. To get Sennacherib to go away, Hezekiah said, “I have done wrong; withdraw from me; whatever you impose on me I will bear.” The Assyrian King demanded three-hundred talents of silver and thirty talents of gold. Remember, in Solomon’s time, silver was as common as stone, and hundreds of talents of gold fldowed into Jerusalem every year. This small demand shows how much Judah had fallen.

The Assyrian King sent a great army from Lachish to Hezekiah in Jerusalem. The commander called for King Hezekiah who sent others to hear what he said. The commander said to them, “On what do you base this great confidence of yours? Do you think mere words are strategy and power for war? You are relying on Egypt, that broken reed of a staff, which will pierce the hand of anyone who leans on it.”  

He continued to make disparaging remarks spoken in Hebrew. They asked him to speak in Aramaic for they could understand, but not in Hebrew for the soldiers on the wall to hear and understand. The Assyrian said that he was there to speak to the soldiers on the wall as well as to them. Then he began to talk about how none of the gods of the peoples he had defeated could stand up to the Great King. Those sent by Hezekiah went to him with their clothes torn and told him the words of the commander. 

Were things as hopeless as the Rabshakeh made it seem? 

When things seem darkest, God opens a door of Light. 

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________ 

PRAY FOR YOURSELF 

Holy Father, I love the stories of Hezekiah. Usually, a faithful man does not have to face the challenges of war that he did. It seems unfair to him, but in the end, you kept him safe. Draw me with Your Spirit within me to be closer to You that I may live in the shelter of Your Love! This, I pray, in the sweet name of Jesus, AMEN! 

MY PRAYER FOR YOU (AND FOR MYSELF) 

Oh Lord, Hezekiah was an Idol breaker. Help those of us who to become more like him. Lord, let us challenge the idols of today, even those that are attractive to your children. Jesus died and defeated death that He might destroy the works of the Devil. In doing so, he showed the weakness of the powers of darkness, for He is the Prince of the Light. Let us live in His light. It is in His precious name that I pray for myself and all readers, AMEN! 

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