Sennacherib’s Threat And Hezekiah’s Prayer

One night at dinner a man, who had spent many summers in Maine, fascinated his companions by telling of his experiences in a little town named Flagstaff. The town was to be flooded, as part of a large lake for which a dam was being built. In the months before it was to be flood … More


When Hezekiah heard the report from his messengers he tore his clothing, put on sackcloth and went to the temple to pray. He also sent two of his priestly leaders to Isaiah for advice (vv. 1-2). The people were completely demoralized. It seemed as if the whole nation would die. Hezekiah’s only hope was God would act on behalf of his people. Isaiah’s response was a message of hope. He said that Sennacherib would return to his land and die there (v. 7). Evidently Rabshakeh had pitched his tents near Jerusalem and was waiting on Hezekiah to send him a message of surrender. He received word that his king was in battle at Libnah, about six miles north of Lachish so he left Jerusalem to join the battle. The king of Egypt, an ally of Hezekiah was marching up to fight Sennacherib.

Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers and read it; and Hezekiah went up to the house of the Lord and spread it before the Lord (v. 14). However Rabshakeh warned Hezekiah not to get his hopes up thinking that Egypt would help him.  He told him that it would be foolish for Hezekiah to trust in his Israelite God to save them. His prayer included four points:

1. He recognized God’s sovereignty (v. 15).

2. He pointed out how Sennacherib had defied the living and sovereign God (v. 16).

3. Sennacherib’s claims (18:33-35) only proved that pagan gods were not gods at all.

4. He requested that God show the world that Jehovah was the only God (v. 19).




The situation looked hopeless as Sennacherib asked Hezekiah to surrender. It said that Hezekiah went to the temple and prayed. Prayer should be my first response to any crisis.


II Kings 19:1-19 (English Standard Version)

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