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Hezekiah and the Assyrian Invasion

The Bible in Art: Hezekiah and the Assyrian Invasion

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Verses for Consideration: 2 Kings 19:9-22,32-37  (The Date is 722 B.C.)

9 Now Sennacherib received a report that Tirhakah, the king of Cush,[a] was marching out to fight against him. So he again sent messengers to Hezekiah with this word: 10 “Say to Hezekiah king of Judah: Do not let the god you depend on deceive you when he says, ‘Jerusalem will not be given into the hands of the king of Assyria.’ 11 Surely you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all the countries, destroying them completely. And will you be delivered? 12 Did the gods of the nations that were destroyed by my predecessors deliver them-the gods of Gozan, Harran, Rezeph and the people of Eden who were in Tel Assar? 13 Where is the king of Hamath or the king of Arpad? Where are the kings of Lair, Sepharvaim, Hena and Ivvah?”

14 Hezekiah received the letter from the messengers and read it. Then he went up to the temple of the Lord and spread it out before the Lord. 15 And Hezekiah prayed to the Lord: “Lord, the God of Israel, enthroned between the cherubim, you alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth. 16 Give ear, Lord, and hear; open your eyes, Lord, and see; listen to the words Sennacherib has sent to ridicule the living God.

17 “It is true, Lord, that the Assyrian kings have laid waste these nations and their lands. 18 They have thrown their gods into the fire and destroyed them, for they were not gods but only wood and stone, fashioned by human hands. 19 Now, Lord our God, deliver us from his hand, so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you alone, Lord, are God.”

20 Then Isaiah son of Amoz sent a message to Hezekiah: “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: I have heard your prayer concerning Sennacherib king of Assyria. 21 This is the word that theLord has spoken against him:

“‘Virgin Daughter Zion
despises you and mocks you.
Daughter Jerusalem
tosses her head as you flee.
22 Who is it you have ridiculed and blasphemed?
Against whom have you raised your voice
and lifted your eyes in pride?
Against the Holy One of Israel!

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Hezekiah’s stubborn refusal to concede victory to Sennacherib has all the elements of a classic movie plot. It’s the underdog versus the neighborhood bully. It’s good versus evil. It’s faith against unbelief. And when the dust clears, heaven once again sends hell into retreat.

We never tire of this plot, because God has cast us as the current crop of players in this ageless spiritual struggle.

Believe! Don’t give in. Fight the good fight of faith. Why? “I am the LORD , and there is no other; apart from me there is no God” (Isaiah 45:5).

Hezekiah heard God’s promise. He believed, even though the superior Assyrian force might have challenged his faith. He believed, he trusted, and he acted accordingly.

Then one morning Hezekiah awoke to the news that the Assyrians were dead and gone-185,000 thugs dead!

The survivors had fled! Later reports added the icing to the cake: Sennacherib was no more. His own sons had assassinated him. Deliverance-and God had done it.

God continues to deliver his people. Easter’s empty tomb remains proof of God’s greatest victory over the sin that threatened mankind. Jesus’ resurrection from the dead proves that he is God’s Son and our Savior. We can trust his promise that just as he rose from the dead, so we shall live and reign with him forever.

Live then with a firm faith. That means living in the knowledge of what God has promised, of how he has delivered others, and that he will save us too. He has left us his track record in Scripture. He delivered Israel with a show of strength unequaled in military history. He delivered many others in the same way. He speaks his words of deliverance to us. In Christ, sin and death have lost their sting. That’s the good news of the gospel.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, help me to know that I can trust you. No matter what bully threatens me, help me to trust that you will be with me and will bless me. To you be all praise and glory forever. Amen.

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Title: The Angel of the Lord defeating the armies of Sennacherib the Assyrian (II Chronicles XXXII:21)( 1858)

Artist: Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld