Second Chronicles 32 Commentary
Why should Sennacherib attack Jerusalem and take it? Hasn’t Hezekiah done enough good to warrant protection? It seems these are the questions on the human author’s mind as he begins this chapter.
By this time, all the other cities in Judah had been captured by the Assyrian King Sennacherib. Jerusalem was next on the agenda. The danger was real. Hezekiah fronts the threat with two swords: one human, and the other divine. The human solution involves mobilization of everything at his disposal to wade off the Assyrian threat.
It is however through Hezekiah’s spiritual battle that we hear these timeless words: “With him is only the arm of flesh, but with us is the Lord our God to help us and to fight our battles.”
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged”. You would think you are reading the LORD’s instructions to Joshua but these words are coming from Hezekiah to his people. Prophecy is when the words of the LORD are repeated in real-time and applied to a real situation. Saints are encouraged to copy-paste this formula. In this way, Hezekiah carried with him an important weapon: the sword of the Spirit. He and the prophet Isaiah combined in intersession and Jerusalem was saved.
Hezekiah’s sickness is reported at length in the Book of Kings. Its mention here is brief and appears to be focused on the healing. Much like the healing of Hezekiah, Jerusalem’s salvation is temporal. The saint can learn a lot from the prayers of Hezekiah. The LORD does answer prayer. But Hezekiah’s prayer for life was always going to be temporal. Yet the time would come when the LORD would grant eternal life to whoever would petition for it.
Like all mortals, Hezekiah didn’t have immunity against pride. It is very difficult not to pump your chest when your prayers have been answered this way; and when there is a lot of cash in the account the way Hezekiah had it. LORD, help us.
So envoys come from Babylon for a state visit. Why not? Let them see what we are made of. Hezekiah showed them everything. They needed to know just how blessed he was. The detailed account in the Book of Kings, as well as the Book of Isaiah, gives us an interesting picture. You easily understand why the good Book says that it’s easier for the camel to go through the eye on the needle than for the rich man to enter heaven. It is so easy to sin!
Again our thoughts are taken to the gospel that makes it easier for the sin-prone man to enter heaven. On the ticket of the one righteous man, the LORD Jesus Christ, you too can find your way to Heaven. The impossible is made possible.
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