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So it came to pass, when Hezekiah heard the words and the threats and the blasphemy, that he tore his clothes, covered himself with sackcloth, and went to the house of the LORD. And Eliakim, which was over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and the elders of the priests, they covered themselves with sackcloth, and they came to Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz. And they said unto him, Thus saith Hezekiah, This is a day of trouble, of rebuke, of blasphemy: for the children are come to birth, there isn't enough strength for them to be delivered. It may be that the LORD thy God will hear all the words that Rabshakeh, whom the king of Assyria his master hath sent to reproach the living God; and will reprove the words which the LORD thy God hath heard: wherefore lift up thy prayer for the remnant that is left. And so the servants of king Hezekiah came to Isaiah. And Isaiah said unto them, Thus shall ye say to your master, Thus saith the LORD, Don't be afraid of the words which you have heard, which the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed me. Behold, I will send a blast upon him, he'll hear a rumor, he'll return to his own land; and I will cause him to fall by the sword in his own land ( 2 Kings 19:1-7 ).
And so Shalmaneser heard some rumors that the king of Ethiopia was coming out to fight, and so he sent messengers to Hezekiah saying, "Don't trust in God and don't be deceived saying Jerusalem will not be delivered into the hands of the Assyrians. You heard what the Assyrians have done in destroying the other lands. Where are the gods of the nations of the land that have been destroyed?"
And Hezekiah received the letter and he took it into the house of the LORD, and he spread it out before the LORD ( 2 Kings 19:14 ).
He said, "Now, Lord, look at this threatening letter. Look what this guy is saying. And Lord, there's a lot of truth to this. These people are strong. They've conquered over these other nations." And he laid the whole thing out before the Lord.
You know, that's the best place to bring your problems. You know, you may get some mean, threatening letter. Best thing to do is just lay it out before the Lord and say, "Look, Lord, what they're threatening to do to me now." And he just laid the whole thing out before the Lord. His burden, poured out his heart before the Lord. And the Lord answered Hezekiah through Isaiah and He said,
That which you have prayed to me against Sennacherib the king of Assyria I have heard ( 2 Kings 19:20 ).
And God gives this prophecy against him saying that actually he has blasphemed against the Lord and against the God of Israel. And thus the Lord said,
I'll put my hook in the nose, and my bridle in your lips, and I will turn thee back by the way by which you came. And this will be the sign, You shall eat this year such as the things that grow themselves, the second year that which springs of the same; and in the third year you're going to sow, and reap ( 2 Kings 19:28-29 ).
The people have been shut up. There was a famine. God said, "I'm going to deliver you. This year, you'll just eat what grows wildly. Next year the same, but the following year you'll sow and plant again."
And the remnant that is escaped to the house of Judah shall yet again take root downward, and bear fruit upward. For out of Jerusalem shall go forth a remnant, and they that escape out of mount Zion: the zeal of the LORD of hosts shall do this. Therefore thus saith the LORD concerning the king of Assyria, He will not come to this city, nor shoot an arrow there, nor come before it with a shield, nor cast a bank against it. For by the way that he came, by the same way he will return, he will not come to this city, saith the LORD. For I will defend this city, to save it, for my own sake, and for my servant David's sake ( 2 Kings 19:30-34 ).
So the result of Hezekiah bringing his problems to the Lord, he found the answers. You know, so many times we run to others with our problems. First thing we do is run for a counselor. Run for a friend. You know, and we start laying our heavy trips on everybody else. The Bible says, "Cast all your cares upon Him; for He cares for you" ( 1 Peter 5:7 ). So many times when people bring me their problems I only feel absolutely frustrated, because what can I do? Nothing. Except take it to the Lord. You know, I'm powerless to help. I can't change the situations. Only God can change the situation. Oh, that we would learn to just bring our fears, our worries, our concerns and just lay them out before the Lord. "Lord, look what they're saying. Look what they're doing. Oh God, I cast myself upon You. I can't do anything about it. I'm helpless. Lord, help me." And the Lord will help you. The Lord helped Hezekiah.
Came to pass that night, that an angel of the LORD went through the camp of the Assyrians and wiped out a hundred and eighty-five thousand: so that when they woke up in the morning, there were a hundred and eighty-five thousand front line troops lying there dead corpses ( 2 Kings 19:35 ).
One angel of the Lord. One night. A hundred and eighty-five thousand. Now as you're reading Isaiah, you get a very interesting footnote on this. Very fascinating. The result of this experience to the people who were living in Jerusalem. What happened to them when this happened to the Assyrians? Very fascinating footnote. You'll find it in Isaiah. He said, "Fear gripped the hearts of the sinners in Zion. Terror took hold on the hypocrites and they said, Who among us can dwell in the midst of this devouring fire?" ( Isaiah 33:14 ) To see what the fire of God did to the Assyrians made all the sinners terrified. They said, "Who among us can dwell in the midst of this devouring fire?" Or, that word dwell could also be translated, "Who among us can approach?" Or another place is translated, "Who among us can flee from this devouring fire?"
Now here is again where God is seen as a symbol of a devouring fire. "Our God is a consuming fire" ( Hebrews 12:29 ), we read in Hebrews. And when they saw the effect of God against the Assyrians, those who were sinners became terrified, because they realized that, you know, how can you dwell in the midst of this fire and not be burned? Not be destroyed. Not be consumed. They saw the effect of the fire of God. Now, oh, that's another message, so we'll get that when we get that in Isaiah.
And so Sennacherib the king of Assyria returned back to Assyria. And while he was worshipping in the house of Nisroch his god, his sons assassinated him ( 2 Kings 19:36-37 ). "
Copyright © 2014, Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, Ca.
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on 2 Kings 19". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 8 / Ordinary 13