King Sennacherib of Assyria had no concept of the living God of Israel. He had total confidence in own strength. He had the power, the men, the money and the will to conquer all before him. He saw no difference between the Gods of all the other nations and king Hezekiah’s god. All the other gods had failed to rescue them from defeat. But king Hezakiah of Israel was not intimidated. The first thing he did was lay out this threat, literally, before The Lord, and he prayed that God would bend down and listen and open his eyes and see that the King of Assyria believed himself more powerful that God himself. Sennacherib had beaten other idol worshipping nations, and he believed it would be the same with Jerusalem.
2 Kings 19:10-19 NLT
“This message is for King Hezekiah of Judah. Don’t let your God, in whom you trust, deceive you with promises that Jerusalem will not be captured by the king of Assyria. You know perfectly well what the kings of Assyria have done wherever they have gone. They have completely destroyed everyone who stood in their way! Why should you be any different? Have the gods of other nations rescued them—such nations as Gozan, Haran, Rezeph, and the people of Eden who were in Tel-assar? My predecessors destroyed them all! What happened to the king of Hamath and the king of Arpad? What happened to the kings of Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivvah?” After Hezekiah received the letter from the messengers and read it, he went up to the Lord’s Temple and spread it out before the Lord. And Hezekiah prayed this prayer before the Lord: “O Lord, God of Israel, you are enthroned between the mighty cherubim! You alone are God of all the kingdoms of the earth. You alone created the heavens and the earth. Bend down, O Lord, and listen! Open your eyes, O Lord, and see! Listen to Sennacherib’s words of defiance against the living God. “It is true, Lord, that the kings of Assyria have destroyed all these nations. And they have thrown the gods of these nations into the fire and burned them. But of course the Assyrians could destroy them! They were not gods at all—only idols of wood and stone shaped by human hands. Now, O Lord our God, rescue us from his power; then all the kingdoms of the earth will know that you alone, O Lord, are God.”
My goal is to take instruction from King Hezekiah’s first response to king Sennecherib’s threat. He laid it all out before God and prayed for him to listen to and see his need. Also we know there are rich and powerful people who believe themselves to be capable of achieving anything. And I am reminded that God shows his power to greatest effect through the apparent weakness and humility of those who walk in his way. I pray that as and when I am threatened by the powerful, yet godless forces in this world, I might stand firm in my faith that my God is the Living God who has the whole world, and everyone who dwells upon it, in the palm of his hand.
2 Kings 18:13-19:37, Acts 21:1-17, Psalms 149:1-9, Proverbs 18:8