2 Kings 18
1 Now in the third year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, Hezekiah the son of Ahaz king of Judah began to reign. 2 He was 25 years old he began to reign; and he reigned 29 years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Abi, the daughter of Zachariah. 3 And he did what was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that David his father did. 4 He removed the high places, broke the images, cut down the groves, and broke in pieces the brass serpent that Moses had made: for until those days the children of Israel burnt incense to it: and he called it Nehushtan/a piece of brass. 5 He trusted in the LORD God of Israel; so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor any that were before him. 6 For he clung to the LORD, and did not depart from following him, but kept his commandments, that the LORD commanded Moses.
- Acts 11:23 and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart to cling to the Lord.
God is with the obedient and prospers them wherever they go
7 And the LORD was with him; and he prospered wherever he went: and he rebelled against the king of Assyria, and did not serve him. 8 He struck the Philistines, even to Gaza, and its borders, from the tower of the watchmen to the fenced city. 9 And in the fourth year of king Hezekiah, that was the seventh year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, Shalmaneser king of Assyria came up against Samaria, and besieged it. 10 And at the end of three years they took it: in the sixth year of Hezekiah, that is the ninth year of Hoshea king of Israel, Samaria was taken. 11 The king of Assyria carried Israel away to Assyria, and put them in Halah and in Habor by the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes: 12 Because they did not obey the voice of the LORD their God, but transgressed his covenant, and all that Moses the servant of the LORD commanded, and would not hear them or do them.
- Hezekiah ruled over the southern kingdom of Israel, called Judah.
- God allowed His people in the northern kingdom to be taken captive because they refused to turn back to God from idols.
- The people could reverse the captivity if they turned back to God.
- Psalm 96:5 all the gods of the nations are idols: but the LORD made the heavens.
- Deuteronomy 30:1 And when all these things have come upon you, the blessing and the curse, that I have set before you, and you call them to mind among all the nations, where the LORD your God has driven you, 2 And return to the LORD your God, and obey his voice according to all that I command you this day, you and your children, with all your heart, and with all your soul; 3 That then the LORD your God will turn your captivity, and have compassion upon you, and will return and gather you from all the nations, where the LORD your God has scattered you.
- Revelation 3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
13 Now in the fourteenth year of king Hezekiah, Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the fenced cities of Judah, and took them. 14 And Hezekiah king of Judah sent to the king of Assyria to Lachish saying, I have offended; turn from me: what you put on me I will bear. And the king of Assyria fined Hezekiah king of Judah three hundred talents of silver and thirty talents of gold. 15 So Hezekiah gave him all the silver that was found in the house of the LORD, and in the treasures of the king’s house. 16 At that time Hezekiah cut the gold off the doors of the temple of the LORD, and the pillars that Hezekiah king of Judah had overlaid, and gave it to the king of Assyria.
- Eight years had passed since the northern kingdom Israel had been taken captive to Assyria.
- Sennacherib returned to take the southern kingdom of Judah.
- Fenced cities were fortified cities with walls usually of wood, some of stone, entered by a gate with walkways high around the top of the fence.
- Hezekiah paid the king of Assyria to leave them alone but after he got the money he didn’t leave!
17 And the king of Assyria sent Tartan, Rabsaris, and Rab-shakeh from Lachish to king Hezekiah with a great army against Jerusalem. And they went up and came to Jerusalem. And when they came up, they came and stood by the conduit of the upper pool in the highway of the fuller’s field. 18 And when they had called to the king, Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was over the household, Shebna the scribe, and Joah the son of Asaph, the recorder, came out to them. 19 And Rab-shakeh said to them, Speak now to Hezekiah, The great king, the king of Assyria says this, What confidence is this in which you trust? 20 You say, (but they are but empty words) I have counsel and strength for the war. On whom do you trust, that you rebel against me? 21 Behold, you trust on the staff of this bruised reed, on Egypt, on which if a man lean, it will go into his hand, and pierce it: that is Pharaoh, king of Egypt, to all that trust on him.
- Sennacherib’s message aimed to discredit all the things the people trusted so they would surrender without a fight as many cities had done.
- God alone is worthy of trust.
22 But if you say to me, We trust in the LORD our God: isn’t it he, whose high places and whose altars Hezekiah has taken away, and has said to Judah and Jerusalem, You are to worship before this altar in Jerusalem?
- This was the error of the Assyrian king.
- Hezekiah had taken away all the false gods and turned the people back to the worship of the one true God.
- Sennacherib didn’t know the difference between false gods that are nothing and the true God, Maker of all.
23 Now therefore, I ask you, give pledges/hostages to my lord the king of Assyria, and I will give you two thousand horses, if you are able on your part to set riders on them. 24 How then will you turn away the face of one captain of the least of my master’s servants, and put your trust on Egypt for chariots and for horsemen? 25 Am I now come up against this place without the LORD, to destroy it? The LORD said to me, Go up against this land, and destroy it. 26 Then Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, Shebna, and Joah, said to Rab-shakeh, Please speak to your servants in the Syrian language; for we understand it: do not talk with us in the Jews’ language in the ears of the people that are on the wall. 27 But Rab-shakeh said to them, Has my master sent me to your master, and to you only, to speak these words? Has he not sent me to the men that sit on the wall, who will eat their own dung, and drink their own piss with you.
- These words were to make the people fear starvation that takes place under siege.
28 Then Rab-shakeh stood and cried with a loud voice in the Jews’ language, and spoke saying, Hear the word of the great king, the king of Assyria: 29 The king says this, Do not let Hezekiah deceive you: for he will not be able to deliver you out of his hand: 30 Neither let Hezekiah make you trust in the LORD saying, The LORD will surely deliver us, and this city will not be delivered into the hand of the king of Assyria. 31 Do not listen to Hezekiah: the king of Assyria says, Make an agreement with me by a present, and come out to me, and then every man will eat from his own vine, every one from his fig tree, and every one drink the waters from his cistern: 32 Until I come and take you away to a land like your own land, a land of grain and wine, a land of bread and vineyards, a land of oil olive and of honey, that you may live, and not die: do not listen to Hezekiah, when he persuades you saying, The LORD will deliver us.
- Israel’s history was full of great deliverances from God.
- Like Satan, the Assyrians tried to break their trust in God.
- Israel was not a barren wasteland.
- Rabshakeh said, ‘a land like your own, a land of grain and wine, a land of food and vineyards, a land of oil olive and honey.
33 Have any of the gods of the nations delivered his land out of the hand of the king of Assyria at all? 34 Where are the gods of Hamath, and of Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivah? Have they delivered Samaria out of my hand? 35 Who are they among all the gods of the countries that have delivered their country out of my hand, that the LORD should deliver Jerusalem out of my hand? 36 But the people held their peace, and did not answer him a word: for the king’s commandment was, Do not answer him. 37 Then Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was over the household, Shebna the scribe, and Joah the son of Asaph the recorder, came to Hezekiah with their clothes torn, and told him the words of Rab-shakeh.
- These three men were the Israel’s cabinet.
- In chapter 19, when Hezekiah heard these words, he did the right thing. He took the problem to God.
- Exodus 14:13 And Moses said to the people, Do not fear, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will show to you today: for the Egyptians whom you have seen to day, you will not see them again, ever.
- Psalm 46:10 Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.
2 Kings 19
1 And when king Hezekiah heard it, he tore his clothes, covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the house of the LORD. 2 And he sent Eliakim, who was over the household, Shebna the scribe, and the elders of the priests, covered with sackcloth, to Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz. 3 And they said to him, Hezekiah says, This day is a day of trouble, of rebuke, and blasphemy: for the children have come to the birth, and there is no strength to bring forth. 4 It may be the LORD your God will hear all the words of Rab-shakeh, whom the king of Assyria his master has sent to reproach the living God; and will reprove the words that the LORD your God has heard: therefore lift up your prayer for the remnant that are left. 5 So the servants of king Hezekiah came to Isaiah.
- When Jerusalem was under siege by a powerful king, Hezekiah asked for the LORD’S help. The LORD sent a message of comfort.
6 And Isaiah said to them, Say this to your master, The LORD says, Do not be afraid of the words that you have heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed me. 7 Behold, I will send a spirit upon him, and he will hear a rumor, and will return to his own land; and I will cause him to fall by the sword in his own land. 8 So Rab-shakeh returned, and found the king of Assyria warring against Libnah: for he had heard that he had departed from Lachish. 9 And when he heard it said of Tirhakah king of Ethiopia, Behold, he has come out to fight against you: he sent messengers again to Hezekiah saying, 10 This is what you are to say to Hezekiah king of Judah, Do not let your God in whom you trust deceive you saying, Jerusalem will not be delivered into the hand of the king of Assyria. 11 Behold, you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands, by utterly destroying them: and will you be delivered? 12 Have the gods of the nations delivered them that my fathers have destroyed; Gozan, Haran, Rezeph, and the children of Eden who were in Thelasar? 13 Where is the king of Hamath, the king of Arpad, the king of the city of Sepharvaim, of Hena, and Ivah?
- God is truth; He cannot deceive or lie.
- He has control over all events in history.
- Sennacherib thought the Lord was like the false gods that have no power.
- He was feeling rather omnipotent himself but was soon to find out that the Maker of heaven and earth is in control.
- John 14:6 Jesus said unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes to the Father, but by me.
- Titus 1:2…eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began…
He alone is God
14 And Hezekiah received the letter of the hand of the messengers, and read it: and Hezekiah went up to the house of the LORD, and spread it before the LORD. 15 And Hezekiah prayed before the LORD, and said, O LORD God of Israel, who dwell between the cherubims, you are the God, you alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth: you have made heaven and earth. 16 LORD, bow down your ear, and hear: open your eyes, LORD, and see: and hear the words of Sennacherib, that he has sent to reproach the living God. 17 It is true, LORD, the kings of Assyria have destroyed the nations and their lands, 18 And have cast their gods into the fire: for they were not gods, but the work of men’s hands, wood and stone: therefore they have destroyed them.
- 1Corinthians 8:4… we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one.
- Jeremiah 10:10 the LORD is the true God, he is the living God, an everlasting king: at his wrath the earth shall tremble, the nations will not be able to abide his indignation.
19 Now therefore, O LORD our God, I beg you, you save us out of his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you are the LORD God, you only.
- Hezekiah poured out his heart to God.
- Psalm 62:8 Trust in him at all times; you people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah.
20 Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent to Hezekiah saying, The LORD God of Israel says, I have heard what you have prayed to me against Sennacherib king of Assyria. 21 This is the word that the LORD has spoken concerning him; The virgin the daughter of Zion has despised you, and laughed you to scorn; the daughter of Jerusalem has shaken her head at you. 22 Whom have you reproached and blasphemed? And against whom have you exalted your voice, and lifted up your eyes on high? Even against the Holy One of Israel. 23 By the messengers you have reproached the Lord and have said, With the multitude of my chariots I have come up to the height of the mountains, to the sides of Lebanon, and will cut down its tall cedar trees, and its choice fir trees: I will enter into the lodgings of his borders, and into the forest of his Carmel. 24 I have dug and drunk foreign waters, and with the sole of my feet have I dried up all the rivers of fenced places. 25 Have you not heard long ago how I have done it, from ancient times I have formed it? Now I have brought it to pass, that you would be to lay waste fenced cities into ruinous heaps. 26 Therefore their inhabitants were feeble, they were terrified and ashamed; they were like the grass of the field and like the green herb, as the grass on the housetops, scorched before it is grown.
- God said clearly that he was the One who brought Sennacherib against the fenced cities.
- In 2 Kings 18 we see that he did it because of their idolatry was leading others to eternal death.
- God is sovereign. He rules among all the kingdoms of earth.
27 But I know your dwelling place, and your going out, and your coming in, and your rage against me. 28 Because your rage against me and your tumult has come up into my ears, I will put my hook in your nose, and my bridle in your lips, and I will turn you back by the way that you came.
- Sennacherib was not ignorant of the one true God because God reveals Himself to all men (John 1:9).
- Sennacherib raged against the true God.
- Acts 15:8 And God, who knows the hearts, bare them witness.
- 1John 3:20… God is greater than our heart, and knows all things.
29 And this will be a sign to you, This year you will eat the things that grow of themselves, and in the second year that which springs from the same; and in the third year sow, reap, plant vineyards, and eat their fruits. 30 The remnant that has escaped from the house of Judah will yet again take root downward, and bear fruit upward. 31 For a remnant will go out of Jerusalem, those that escape out of mount Zion: the zeal of the LORD of the armies will do this.
- God gave a comforting sign to His people.
- They will take root downward, deep into God.
- Evil and pride strive to keep our eyes and hearts from God.
- Ephesians 3:18 comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19 And to know the love of Christ, which passes knowledge, that you might be filled with all the fullness of God.
- Galatians 5:22 the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
32 Therefore the LORD says concerning the king of Assyria, He will not come into this city, or shoot an arrow there, or come before it with shield, or
cast a bank against it. 33 He will return by the same way that he came, and will not come into this city, says the LORD. 34 For I will defend this city, to save it, for my own sake, and for my servant David’s sake. 35 And it happened that night, that the angel of the LORD went out, and
struck in the camp of the Assyrians 185,000 thousand: and when they got up early in the morning, behold, they were all dead
corpses. 36 So Sennacherib king of Assyria left, and went and returned, and dwelt at Nineveh. 37 And as he was worshipping in the house of Nisroch his god, Adrammelech and Sharezer his sons struck
him with the sword: and they escaped into the land of Armenia. And his son Esar-haddon reigned in his place.
- Psalm 18:50 Great deliverance he gives to his king; and shows mercy to his anointed… and to his seed for evermore.
SUMMARY: 2 Kings 18-19
- God is with the obedient and prospers them wherever they go
- He alone is God