2 Kings 18-19, Psalm 106
To fully appreciate today’s reading we first have to understand the empire attacking Judah. Assyria were the original terrorists. They would do unconscionable things to their victims. They were no better than ISIS but instead of being loosely organized, they were the most powerful empire on the scene. So terrible were they, that the prophet Jonah when given the task to bring God’s message to them, chose to go in the opposite direction, which as we know required a whale to change his path. But less we think this level of evil comes out of nowhere, realize that God prophesied about them in Isaiah 10. We read in Isaiah 10:5, that God used the wicked nation of Assyria, “Woe to Assyria, the rod of My anger And the staff in whose hand is My indignation.” But like many, Assyria was prideful as we read in Isaiah 10:12, “Therefore it shall come to pass, when the Lord has performed all His work on Mount Zion and on Jerusalem, that He will say, “I will punish the fruit of the arrogant heart of the king of Assyria, and the glory of his haughty looks.” It makes you realize that ISIS is not around now by accident.
In response to the attack, Hezekiah did take personal action by building a tunnel which is still present to this day. We read of this in 2 Kings 20:20, “Now the rest of the acts of Hezekiah-all His might, and how he made a pool and a tunnel and brought water into the city…”. This tunnel brought the water supply from outside the city walls to the inside which was important when a country lays siege on another. Realize this tunnel was dug by hammer and chisel through 1700 feet of rock, truly miraculous when you consider they started on opposite ends and met within 6 feet of each other.
But aside from this, to compare the military competition between Assyria and Judah, it was like comparing the Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles with a local high school football team. And Hezekiah in total reliance on God, we read in 2 Kings 19:14, “And Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers, and read it; and Hezekiah went up to the house of the Lord, and spread it before the Lord”. He concludes his prayer to God in 19:19, “Now therefore, O Lord our God, I pray, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You are the Lord God, You alone.” We can learn a lot through this. We are to step out in faith, but there are times we must rely completely on God. Then when we see God step out for us, make sure He gets all the glory. Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley: