After all that Hezekiah had so faithfully done, Sennacherib king of Assyria came and invaded Judah. (2 Chronicles 32:1 NIV).
Serving God faithfully does not exempt us from trials and tribulations.
King Hezekiah was one of the faithful kings of Judah. His faithful walk with the Lord is recorded in 2 Chronicles 29-32. His reign is summarized as "this is what Hezekiah did throughout Judah, doing what was good and right and faithful before the Lord his God” (2 Chronicles 31:20).
Yet, Sennacherib king of Assyria, one of the most powerful kingdoms then, invaded his territory. It was this Assyrian kingdom that had deported the Northern kingdom of Israel to exile (2 Kings 18:9-11).
What did king Hezekiah do?
1. In vs 2-5, Hezekiah consulted, reinforced the walls, made large numbers of weapons and shields. We too are to do everything that is needed and make the necessary preparations. In our case during this season stay home, wear masks when we have to go outside and sanitize/wash hands.
2. He assembled his people and encouraged them; “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged because of the king of Assyria and the vast army with him, for there is a greater power with us than with him. With him is only the arm of flesh, but with us is the Lord our God to help us and to fight our battles.” And the people gained confidence from what Hezekiah the king of Judah said (32:7-8). Let us encourage ourselves and those in our charge - children, disciples, family, friends - in the Lord. This involves doing ministry from a distance too - sharing about the hope of glory Who is Jesus Christ.
3. When Sennacherib sent more threats, King Hezekiah and the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz cried out in prayer to heaven about this (32:20).
Hezekiah was wealthy, he could have sought alliances with other powerful kings, or even negotiated with Sennacherib but instead, he cried to the Lord. He asked for the Lord's help. He realized that his help came only from God.
What was the result?
“And the Lord sent an angel, who annihilated all the fighting men and the commanders and officers in the camp of the Assyrian king. So he withdrew to his own land in disgrace. And when he went into the temple of his god, some of his sons, his own flesh and blood, cut him down with the sword” (32:21).
The Lord rescued him and the whole nation miraculously. They did not have to fight off their enemy, the Lord, their God did it for them and the proud king Sennacherib withdrew in disgrace.
In John 16:33, Jesus said: “I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
As we walk faithfully with the Lord, we are to expect tribulations with hearts full of our Lord's peace and with an assurance of His victory!
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