2 Kings 18:31-36 (NLT)
31 “Don’t listen to Hezekiah! These are the terms the king of Assyria is offering: Make peace with me—open the gates and come out. Then each of you can continue eating from your own grapevine and fig tree and drinking from your own well. 32 Then I will arrange to take you to another land like this one—a land of grain and new wine, bread and vineyards, olive groves and honey. Choose life instead of death! “Don’t listen to Hezekiah when he tries to mislead you by saying, ‘The Lord will rescue us!’ 33 Have the gods of any other nations ever saved their people from the king of Assyria? 34 What happened to the gods of Hamath and Arpad? And what about the gods of Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivvah? Did any god rescue Samaria from my power? 35 What god of any nation has ever been able to save its people from my power? So what makes you think that the Lord can rescue Jerusalem from me?” 36 But the people were silent and did not utter a word because Hezekiah had commanded them, “Do not answer him.”
The Assyrian chief of staff, Sennacherib, was taunting the people of Jerusalem. He was speaking out against their king and their God. He boldly boasted how the Assyrians had overthrown other people who had trusted in their gods. He tried to convince them Assyria was invincible. But King Hezekiah had told the people do not respond to his taunts.
What if those you trusted and the God you believed in were called into question by someone else? What if someone tried to persuade you by intimidation and threats that you could loose everything and you should turn away from God? This was the situation King Hezekiah faced as the people of Jerusalem listened to taunts and threats from the Assyrian chief of staff. And while Hezekiah understood the situation to be of great concern, the actions he took showed his trust in God. First he warned the people not to respond, for this was going to be the Lord’s battle. Second it says when Hezekiah received the written demands from the chief of staff he went up to the Lord’s Temple and spread it out before the Lord. And Hezekiah prayed this prayer before the Lord: “O Lord, God of Israel, you are enthroned between the mighty cherubim! You alone are God of all the kingdoms of the earth. You alone created the heavens and the earth. Bend down, O Lord, and listen! Open your eyes, O Lord, and see! Listen to Sennacherib’s words of defiance against the living God. “It is true, Lord, that the kings of Assyria have destroyed all these nations. And they have thrown the gods of these nations into the fire and burned them. But of course the Assyrians could destroy them! They were not gods at all—only idols of wood and stone shaped by human hands. Now, O Lord our God, rescue us from his power; then all the kingdoms of the earth will know that you alone, O Lord, are God.” Hezekiah was honest with his fear and let God know that he knew He alone was the only true God who could rescue them. The same night an angel of the Lord struck 185,000 Assyrian soldiers dead and those who remained woke up to find dead corpses all around them. The Assyrians packed up and left; defeated by the true living God. The next time your faith and trust are called into question, spread out your concerns before the Lord. Pray and let God know your fears and ask for His help. He is always waiting to listen.