Sennacherib of Assyria Attempts to Extort Judah(2 Kings 18:17 – 19:7)

The King of Assyria, Sennacherib, sent some of his chief officers to Judah to mock Judah’s military strength, their dependence on Egypt for support, and their God’s ability to deliver them.  The three leaders met with three of Judah’s leaders, and the Assyrians spoke in Hebrew to try intimidating the Jews on the wall of the city.  After their insults, they said that if Judah sent the king of Assyria money and/or gifts, he would provide them horses and let them live in their own land until such a time as Sennacherib decided to take them away to Assyria.  They talked about all the other lands that had stood against Assyria, whose gods failed them.  The Jewish leaders came to Hezekiah the king of Judah and tore their clothes when they told him of the plans of the Assyrians.  

Hezekiah also tore his clothes and covered himself with sackcloth.  He consulted with Isaiah the prophet, fearing that they would not be able to prevail against Assyria.  He asked Isaiah to pray for the remnant in Judah.  Isaiah instructed the king not to be afraid, that the Lord would send a spirit upon the king of Assyria’s men, and they would return to their land, and he would be killed.  

This was a pivotal moment for Judah.  Whereas Israel had given up money and gold and power, Judah had begun to follow suit, but in this case, God sent word that they should simply trust God.  Instead of selling out to the world and the enemy, hold your ground on what you know to be righteous and live in faith in God.  Israel sold out wholly and then were taken as slaves and prisoners to Assyria.  Judah is at a crossroads right now, needing to decide who they will trust: God, Egypt, or Assyria.  In your life, choose God!

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