Jun 25, 2023    Ron Barnard

Hezekiah son of Ahaz began to rule over Judah in the third year of King Hoshea’s reign in Israel. He was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem twenty-nine years. His mother was Abi, the daughter of Zechariah. He did what was pleasing in the LORD’s sight, just as his ancestor David had done. 2 Kings 18:1-3 NLT 

Neither hurt nor heritage determine whether you’ll follow God and His will or not. 

He removed the pagan shrines, smashed the sacred pillars, and cut down the Asherah poles. He broke up the bronze serpent that Moses had made, because the people of Israel had been offering sacrifices to it. The bronze serpent was called Nehushtan. 2 Kings 18:4 NLT

Until the high places in our hearts are removed, the enemy will constantly introduce new idols that require our worship. 

Hezekiah trusted in the LORD, the God of Israel. There was no one like him among all the kings of Judah, either before or after his time. He remained faithful to the LORD in everything, and he carefully obeyed all the commands the LORD had given Moses. So the LORD was with him, and Hezekiah was successful in everything he did. He revolted against the king of Assyria and refused to pay him tribute. He also conquered the Philistines as far distant as Gaza and its territory, from their smallest outpost to their largest walled city. 2 Kings 18:5-8 NLT

In the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities of Judah and took them. 2 Kings 18:13 NLT

Nevertheless, the king of Assyria sent his commander in chief, his field commander, and his chief of staff the Rabshakeh, from Lachish with a huge army to confront King Hezekiah in Jerusalem.

2 Kings 18:17 NLT

The enemy’s goal isn’t peaceful coexistence, but subjugation and destruction. 

What’s more, do you think we have invaded your land without the LORD’s direction? The LORD himself told us, Attack this land and destroy it! 2 Kings 18:25 NLT

Readiness and preparation point to a Godly determination to remain faithful.  

Then the Rabshakeh stood and called out in a loud voice in the language of Judah: “Hear the word of the great king, the king of Assyria! Thus says the king: ‘Do not let Hezekiah deceive you, for he will not be able to deliver you out of my hand. Do not let Hezekiah make you trust in the LORD by saying, The LORD will surely deliver us, and this city will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria. 2 Kings 18:28-30 ESV

Just because someone speaks God’s language doesn’t mean they speak God’s truth. 

Did any god rescue Samaria from my power? What god of any nation has ever been able to save its people from my power? So what makes you think that the LORD can rescue Jerusalem from me?” But the people were silent and did not utter a word because Hezekiah had commanded them, “Do not answer him.” 2 Kings 18:35-36 ESV

When King Hezekiah heard their report, he tore his clothes and put on burlap and went into the Temple of the LORD. And he sent Eliakim the palace administrator, Shebna the court secretary, and the leading priests, all dressed in burlap, to the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz. They told him, “This is what King Hezekiah says: Today is a day of trouble, insults, and disgrace. It is like when a child is ready to be born, but the mother has no strength to deliver the baby. But perhaps the LORD your God has heard the Assyrian chief of staff, sent by the king to defy the living God, and will punish him for his words. Oh, pray for those of us who are left!” 2 Kings 19:1-4 NLT

Honest and humbly offered prayer has always been and always will be the right remedy for despair. 

After King Hezekiah’s officials delivered the king’s message to Isaiah, the prophet replied, “Say to your master, ‘This is what the LORD says: Do not be disturbed by this blasphemous speech against me from the Assyrian king’s messengers. Listen! I myself will move against him, and the king will receive a message that he is needed at home. So he will return to his land, where I will have him killed with a sword.’” 2 Kings 19:5-7 NLT

“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.” 2 Kings 18:19:32-34 NLT

Turning to God opens the door to the kind of help no opposition can overcome.

That night the angel of the LORD went out to the Assyrian camp and killed 185,000 Assyrian soldiers. When the surviving Assyrians woke up the next morning, they found corpses everywhere. Then King Sennacherib of Assyria broke camp and returned to his own land. He went home to his capital of Nineveh and stayed there. One day while he was worshiping in the temple of his god Nisroch, his sons Adrammelech and Sharezer killed him with their swords. They then escaped to the land of Ararat, and another son, Esarhaddon, became the next king of Assyria. 2 Kings 18:19:35-37 NLT