Daily Thought for: 30th June

HEZEKIAH AND HIS TROUBLES

2 Chronicles 32

Internally, affairs in the kingdom of Judah were better than they had been for centuries. Internationally, however, all was not well. On the political horizon there was the fearful spectre of Assyria, and just when Hezekiah was at the pinnacle of his prosperity terror struck. There is never room for complacency! 

‘After these things and this faithfulness, Sennacherib . . .’, 2 Chr. 32. 1 JND. Faithfulness to God does not guarantee a smooth passage! Indeed, the very prosperity which the kingdom of Judah was now enjoying made it more attractive to the enemy. 

The might of the Assyrian military machine held the world of the eighth century BC in terror. What could Hezekiah do in face of such overwhelming odds? The propaganda of the Assyrian media, both oral and written, was calculated to undermine the morale of their victims. Their slander and pomposity were intimidating and impious. Their unscrupulous cruelty was proverbial and everywhere feared. Across the ancient near-east, kingdom after kingdom and city after city had crumbled before the march of this massive power. Would Hezekiah capitulate? Was there any alternative? 

He strengthened the walls of his city; he secured his water supply; he marshalled his soldiers and when all was done which could be done, in concert with the prophet Isaiah, Hezekiah ‘prayed and cried to heaven’. From the army of heaven the God of hosts despatched a single angel and, in a single night, by a single blow the might of Assyria lay cold and crippled at Sennacherib’s feet. Embarrassed and humiliated he crept back home to ‘lick his sores’, while Hezekiah praised the God of heaven. 

‘Troubles come in doubles’, they say, and so it was for Hezekiah. At this same time he was threatened with a terminal illness and the same God who rescued him from the political problem also delivered him from the physical one. That fifteen year extension, however, was the weakest part of Hezekiah’s reign. Like many, he acted better in adversity than in prosperity. 

Are you today besieged with multiple troubles? Remember Hezekiah’s words, ‘With us is the Lord our God to help us’, and, as His people, rest on His words, 2 Chr. 32. 8. 

 

Daily Thoughts