A terribly blasphemous letter written by Rabshakeh, Sennacherib’s captain, caused Hezekiah great distress, but he knew where to take his trouble.
2 Kings 19:14-34
2 Kings 19:14
This was a much better plan than attempting to answer his enemy in the same insulting language: an angry answer to an angry letter shews that the weakness and sin are not confined to one side of the quarrel. Praying over a letter is an infinitely wiser thing than going to law about it.
2 Kings 19:15-19
After acknowledging the power of the invader, and ascribing the overthrow of the gods of other nations to the fact that they were dead idols, the king appeals to Jehovah, the God of Israel, to prove his own reality and power by saving his people, lest the heathen should reckon him to be a God only in name. Appeals to God’s honour have muck power in them; it ought to be our greatest concern and our surest confidence. We are taught to begin prayer with “Hallowed be thy name,” and close it with “Thy kingdom come.”
2 Kings 19:20, 21
Weak as she is, she is under the Lord’s protection and defies thee.
2 Kings 19:22-24
These were Sennacherib’s feats of war, which he emblazoned on his palace walls; he gloried in the devastations he had caused. Vainglory this! More becoming a demon than one born of a woman. The lust of conquest obliterates compassion. Great, however, as Sennacherib thought himself to be, he was now to find his superior, and to learn whence his power had been derived.
2 Kings 19:25, 26
It had been by Jehovah’s power that he had conquered, he had been used as a scourge in the Lord’s hand, to chastise the wickedness of the nations.
2 Kings 19:27, 28
Like a huge monster, he might rage and roar, but he would be made to know his master, and go back to his den at the word of command.
2 Kings 19:29
Provisions were at famine prices, and it was too late to sow the fields, therefore the Lord sustained the people for two years, by giving the earth an unusual fertility, thus fulfilling his promise, “so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.”
2 Kings 19:30, 31
Yet again would the kingdom revive, the people would again take root in the soil, and grow upward in prosperity. It is well in spiritual things to unite the two growths, so as to take root downward in humility and experience, while we grow upward in zeal and enthusiasm.
Ye that love the cause of Zion,
Though despis’d of men, and few,
Arm’d with boldness like the lion,
Fear not all that men can do.
What though all the world oppose;
God is stronger than her foes.
Now, ye people, walk around her,
View her walls, and count her towers;
See how God, her King and founder,
Keeps her safe from hostile powers:
Zion’s children live secure;
God has made their dwelling sure.
Foes of Zion, fight no longer;
Here submission will be gain:
Zion’s King will prove the stronger,
And with power her cause maintain.
He secures her gates and walls:
‘Tis on you the ruin falls.
Lord, I forego all anxious thought,
And cast on thee my care;
Content that thou art over all,
And rulest everywhere.
Teach me to listen for thy voice
When the storm howleth loud;
Help me to look for light from thee,
Beneath the darkest cloud.
Thy face I seek with earnest prayer,
For thou art all my stay,
Now let thy mighty arm appear
And drive my griefs away.
At thy rebuke, O Jacob’s God,
Both horse and chariot fell:
Who knows the terrors of thy rod?
Thy vengeance who can tell?
What power can stand before thy sight,
When once thy wrath appears?
When heaven shines round with dreadful light,
The earth lies still and fears.
Happy the church, thou sacred place,
The seat of thy Creator’s grace;
Thine holy courts are his abode,
Thou earthly palace of our God!
Thy walls are strength, and at thy gates
A guard of heavenly warriors waits;
Nor shall thy deep foundations move
Fix’d on his counsels and his love.
Thy foes in vain designs engage,
Against his throne in vain they rage;
Like rising waves, with angry roar,
That dash and die upon the shore.
Then let our souls in Zion dwell,
Nor fear the wrath of Rome nor hell;
His arms embrace this happy ground,
Like brazen bulwarks built around.