Second Kings 19 Commentary
The danger from Assyria is clear and present. Hezekiah knows it. He doesn’t ignore it. He goes to the temple of the LORD. He has run to the strong tower. The prophet Isaiah is asked to intercede. Through a series of divine interventions, the LORD saves Jerusalem. And by the end of chapter 19, the oppressor, King Sennacherib of Assyria dies.
The closing verses give us a good picture of how the LORD ends things: salvation for His oppressed people but death for the oppressor. What an ending! Praise the LORD!
In between are a couple of key reactions and moments for the saint to look at. These are practical guidelines for spiritual warfare.
The officials of Judah tear their clothes and go to the king. The escalation ends at Hezekiah. Where does he go? Every leader must know where to turn. Hezekiah turns to the LORD at the temple.
Not every religious leader is the servant of the LORD. The saint must know the difference. In the Book of Samuel, we saw how King Saul went to consult the witch at En-dor. Things ended very badly for him. Know who the real man of God is. Not every Jim and Jack claiming the status fits the bill.
The saint must be realistic in his assessment of the problem. Don’t ignore the problem when it is real and present. Let the fear generated by the problem become fuel for your trip to the temple.
Look at the problem and the profile of the opponent; but also, like Hezekiah, look at the profile of the Creator God. Look again at the enemy’s profile and you will begin to see the many holes in the once-powerful profile. The defeated gods that the Assyrian king is boasting about are not gods at all.
You don’t want to wet yourself because of empty threats. Is the LORD on the list of the defeated? Has the enemy claimed victory over the LORD?
The saint must be realistic in his assessment of the available options. King Hezekiah tried appeasement with expensive gifts and soothing words, as we saw yesterday. The King of Assyria still attacked. It is only when the LORD intervened that we see Jerusalem saved.
Between the emergency of the problem and the intervention of the LORD is Hezekiah’s prayer – a prayer of the righteous. It has achieved much. Consequently, a campaign that swallowed Samaria is halted and the kingdom of Judah has another chance to patch up with the LORD. Righteousness wins the day. It is not a passport that the saint produces on a rainy day. Rather, it is the saint’s condition on a daily basis.
The righteous man praying to the compassionate God, yes. Not men in torn clothes mourning loudly in the streets or on social media. Saints must know the importance of prayer and the world will see the compassionate God of Abraham.
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