The Lord’s Answer to Hezekiah’s Prayer

Someone once said, “Your nine-year-old son will not cherish the memory of the television you bought for his bedroom. But he’ll never forget the night that you and he slept in the garden in an old tent somebody lent you. He’ll remember the sense of excitement as y … More

Achievement

The Lord’s answer to Hezekiah’s request in the previous verses is recorded in the remaining verses of this chapter. This answer came through Isaiah and was delivered to the king by a messenger. He assured Hezekiah that he would be safe in Jerusalem and judgement would come to Sennacherib.

He explains how Sennacherib had not mocked or blasphemed Jerusalem or Hezekiah but the Holy One of Israel. It is true that Assyria had dominated Israel and had killed many of its citizens but Sennacherib could not claim personal credit for his success. Instead he was merely an instrument in the hand of God who said, “I have done it,” “I have brought it to pass” (v. 25). Sennacherib’s achievements were not to be attributed to his strength or another nation’s weakness, but to God who had ordained, planned and brought it to pass.

Sennacherib had planned to lead the Jews shamefully back to Assyria (l8:3l-32) but instead he himself would return shamefully, led by the very god he had ridiculed (v. 28). The Judeans had not been able to raise crops outside the walls of Jerusalem because of the Assyrians presence. God now promises that He will feed them miraculously for two years by food that grows naturally and then the third year they will be able to return to their normal cycle of sowing and reaping.

The angel of the Lord came that very night while the Assyrian army was sleeping and killed l85,000 soldiers. Sennacherib returned to Nineveh and 20 years later was killed by two of his own sons. His son, Esarhadon, then succeeded him as king.

Application

Just as in the case of Sennacherib, it is foolish for me to think that I am solely responsible for all the  achievements of things that have happened under my leadership.

II Kings 19:20-37 (English Standard Version)

Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent to Hezekiah, saying, "Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: Your prayer to me about Sennacherib king of Assyria I have heard. This is the word that the LORD has spoken concerning him: "She despises you, she scorns you-- the virgin daughter of Zion; she wags her head behind you-- the daughter of Jerusalem. "Whom have you mocked and reviled? Against whom have you raised your voice and lifted your eyes to the heights? Against the Holy One of Israel! By your messengers you have mocked the Lord, and you have said, 'With my many chariots I have gone up the heights of the mountains, to the far recesses of Lebanon; I felled its tallest cedars, its choicest cypresses; I entered its farthest lodging place, its most fruitful forest. I dug wells and drank foreign waters, and I dried up with the sole of my foot all the streams of Egypt.' "Have you not heard that I determined it long ago? I planned from days of old what now I bring to pass, that you should turn fortified cities into heaps of ruins, while their inhabitants, shorn of strength, are dismayed and confounded, and have become like plants of the field and like tender grass, like grass on the housetops, blighted before it is grown. "But I know your sitting down and your going out and coming in, and your raging against me. Because you have raged against me and your complacency has come into my ears, I will put my hook in your nose and my bit in your mouth, and I will turn you back on the way by which you came. "And this shall be the sign for you: this year eat what grows of itself, and in the second year what springs of the same. Then in the third year sow and reap and plant vineyards, and eat their fruit. And the surviving remnant of the house of Judah shall again take root downward and bear fruit upward. For out of Jerusalem shall go a remnant, and out of Mount Zion a band of survivors. The zeal of the LORD will do this. "Therefore thus says the LORD concerning the king of Assyria: He shall not come into this city or shoot an arrow there, or come before it with a shield or cast up a siege mound against it. By the way that he came, by the same he shall return, and he shall not come into this city, declares the LORD. For I will defend this city to save it, for my own sake and for the sake of my servant David." And that night the angel of the LORD went out and struck down 185,000 in the camp of the Assyrians. And when people arose early in the morning, behold, these were all dead bodies. Then Sennacherib king of Assyria departed and went home and lived at Nineveh. And as he was worshiping in the house of Nisroch his god, Adrammelech and Sharezer, his sons, struck him down with the sword and escaped into the land of Ararat. And Esarhaddon his son reigned in his place.

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