May 17

 

 

2 Kings 18-19

 

The Surviving Kingdom-Judah                    2 Kings 18-25   

 

2 Kings 18:1…Hezekiah becomes king of Judah (715-686)

2 Kings 18:1-37-Hezekiah became king of Judah...3rd year that Hosea was king of Israel...he was 25 years old...he reigned 29 years.  He did what was right in the sight of the LORD...he removed the high places and broke down the sacred pillars and Asherah.  He also destroyed the bronze serpent that Moses had made.  The people burned incense to it and had begun to worship it as if it had magical powers.  When it was destroyed it was called “Nehushtan”…which means, “a mere piece of bronze”…which is what destroying it proved it to be.  Hezekiah was one of the best kings who ruled over Judah.  "He trusted in the LORD...he clung to the LORD...and the LORD was with him" (:5,6,7).  In the 4th year of his reign Shalmanaser, king of Assyria attacked Samaria (northern kingdom) and captured it and took its people into exile.  This happened because they did not follow the LORD (:12).

In the 14th year of Hezekiah's reign, Sennacherib, the new king of Assyria attacked Judah.  Hezekiah paid him tribute…the silver and valuables in the Temple and in the treasury (:14-15).  Later, Hezekiah turned for help to the king of Egypt (:21).  Then Sennacherib attacked, again.  The Assyrian spokesman tells the people that the LORD told them to fight against Judah (:25).  Then later, tells them to not trust in the LORD, since no other gods had ever been able to protect their people against Assyria (:32-35).  But the people did not answer him.

2 Kings 19:1-13-When these things were reported to Hezekiah he repented and sent for Isaiah, the prophet.  Isaiah says that the LORD will save them.  That the Assyrians will hear a report about another country attacking them and they will leave Judah in order to deal with that problem.  That is exactly what happened.  The Assyrians heard that they were being attacked elsewhere and would have to leave.  Bu,t they sent one last threatening letter to Hezekiah.

2 Kings 19:14-19-Hezekiah took the letter and prayed over it.

2 Kings 19:20-God speaks to Isaiah and tells him that He has heard the prayer of Hezekiah and will answer and save Judah.  He also said that Sennacherib would die in his own land.  Two of his servants killed him while he was worshipping in the house of his god, Nisroch.  Esarhaddon, his son, became king of Assyria.

 

Prayer: Lord, there are times when it is easy to look around at the circumstances and see no hope, no way to change things.  But please help me to always look to You.  Don’t let me depend on what is available to me, what I can figure out, or what I can accomplish.  Help me to rely solely on Your resources.  Give me the faith to trust in You no matter how things may appear.

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