An Army of Dead Men
JUNE 24 - Nº 175 2 Kings 19:9-37; 2 Chronicles 32:9-23; Isaiah 37:9-38
God answered King Hezekiah’s plea for help by turning the commander of the Assyrian army around before he could reach Jerusalem. He was needed in Assyria to help King Sennacherib fight a different battle. But it wasn’t long before Sennacherib sent his army back to Jerusalem. As his army approached the capital of Judah, King Sennacherib sent a threatening letter to the people of Judah. The letter read: “Did your king and your God tell you that you are now safe from me? Well don’t believe it! I have conquered many nations and many gods. When I did, I burned their gods with fire. They couldn’t do anything to protect their people. What makes you think your God can save you?” When Hezekiah received the letter, he took it to the Temple and spread it out before God. Then he prayed, “Lord Almighty, the God of Israel. You alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth. It is true that the Assyrians have destroyed many nations and thrown their gods into the fire. But that is because their gods were made of wood and stone. They were formed by human hands. Now, God, please deliver us from King Sennacherib so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You are the only true God!” Then King Hezekiah received another message. This one came from the prophet Isaiah. It was God’s response to King Sennacherib’s actions and King Hezekiah’s prayer. It said, “These are my words to King Sennacherib of Assyria: ‘Who do you think you are? I have told Jerusalem to despise you and flippantly toss their heads at you as you flee. Who do you think you are mocking? I am the one who put you in power so that you could defeat those other nations. But you have become so boastful and arrogant that you claim credit for the things I have done and raise your voice against Me! So, this is what I am going to do to you. I’m going to put a hook in your nose and a bit in your mouth. With them I will lead you back to Assyria.’” The rest of Isaiah’s message was for King Hezekiah: “I will not allow the king of Assyria to step one foot inside Jerusalem or shoot one arrow here. I will defend this city and save it for my sake and for the sake of David who was my servant!” That evening the army of Assyria set up camp outside of Jerusalem. They were preparing to attack the next day. But during the night, an angel of God went through the camp. When the sun arose the next morning, 185,000 soldiers and officers were dead right where they had fallen asleep! King Sennacherib’s army was made up of dead men! Sennacherib quickly retreated to Assyria in fear and disgrace. He ran into the temple of his god Nisrok and bowed down. While he was there, two of his sons came in and killed him. Sennacherib, the great king of Assyria, was dead! And Jerusalem was at peace! Many of the Jewish people brought offerings to Jerusalem for the Lord and valuable gifts for Hezekiah. From then on, Judah’s King Hezekiah was highly regarded by all the nations.
God’s solutions for our problems are always so much bigger and better and wiser than our own. Life is hard when we assume the responsibility to manage it on our own. It is so much easier—and a lot more fun—when we allow God to be in control!