In the 14th year of King Hezekiah, Sennacherib king of Assyria attacked the fortified towns of Judah and captured them. Sennacherib also arrogantly insulted Yahweh, the Living God. Eventually, Yahweh sent his angel to kill his entire army and defeated him utterly. Thus, Judah was saved by Yahweh from their enemies without any need to fight - Extracted from 2 Kings, Chapter 19:


1 On hearing this, King Hezekiah tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and went to the Temple of Yahweh.


2 He sent Eliakim master of the palace, Shebnah the secretary and the elders of the priests, wearing sackcloth, to the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz.


3 They said to him, 'This is what Hezekiah says, "Today is a day of suffering, of punishment, of disgrace. Children come to birth, and there is no strength to bring them forth.


4 May Yahweh your God hear the words of the cupbearer-in-chief whom his master, the king of Assyria, has sent to insult the living God, and may Yahweh your God punish the words he has heard. Offer your prayer for the remnant still remaining." '


5 King Hezekiah's ministers went to Isaiah,


6 and Isaiah said to them, 'Say to your master, "Yahweh says this: Do not be afraid of the words which you have heard or the blasphemies which the king of Assyria's minions have uttered against me.


7 Look, I am going to put a spirit in him and, on the strength of a rumour, he will go back to his own country, and in that country I shall make him fall by the sword." '


8 The cupbearer turned about and rejoined the king of Assyria, who was then attacking Libnah, as the cupbearer had learnt that the king had already left Lachish


9 on hearing that Tirhakah king of Cush was on his way to attack him.


10 Sennacherib again sent messengers to Hezekiah, saying, 'Tell Hezekiah king of Judah this, "Do not let your God on whom you are relying deceive you with the promise: Jerusalem will not fall into the king of Assyria's clutches.


11 You have learnt by now what the kings of Assyria have done to all the other countries, devoting them to destruction. Are you likely to be saved?


12 Did the gods of the nations whom my ancestors devastated save them -- Gozan, Haran, Rezeph and the Edenites who were in Tel Basar?


13 Where is the king of Hamath, the king of Arpad, the king of Lair, of Sepharvaim, of Hena, of Ivvah?" '


14 Hezekiah took the letter from the messengers' hands and read it; he then went up to the Temple of Yahweh and spread it out before Yahweh.


15 Hezekiah said this prayer in the presence of Yahweh, 'Yahweh Sabaoth, God of Israel, enthroned on the winged creatures, you alone are God of all the kingdoms of the world, you made heaven and earth.


16 Give ear, Yahweh, and listen; open your eyes, Yahweh, and see! Hear the words of Sennacherib, who has sent to insult the living God.


17 It is true, Yahweh, that the kings of Assyria have destroyed the nations,


18 they have thrown their gods on the fire, for these were not gods but human artifacts - wood and stone - and hence they have destroyed them.


19 But now, Yahweh our God, save us from his clutches, I beg you, and let all the kingdoms of the world know that you alone are God, Yahweh.'


20 Isaiah son of Amoz then sent the following message to Hezekiah, 'Yahweh, God of Israel, says this, "I have heard the prayer which you have addressed to me about Sennacherib king of Assyria."


21 Here is the pronouncement which Yahweh has made about him: "She despises you, she scorns you, the virgin daughter of Zion; she tosses her head at you, the daughter of Jerusalem!


22 Whom have you insulted, whom have you blasphemed? Against whom raised your voice and lifted your haughty eyes? Against the Holy One of Israel!


23 Through your envoys you have insulted the Lord, thinking: With my many chariots I have climbed the mountain-tops, the utmost peaks of Lebanon. I have felled its mighty cedars, its finest cypresses, have reached its furthest recesses, its forest garden.


24 Yes, I have dug and drunk of foreign waters; under the soles of my feet I have dried up all Egypt's rivers.


25 "Do you hear? Long ago I prepared this, from days of old I actually planned it, now I carry it out. You were to lay walled cities in heaps of ruins;


26 that was why their inhabitants, feeble of hand, were dismayed and discomfited, were weak as grass, were frail as plants, were like grass of housetop and meadow under the east wind.


27 But whether you stand up or you sit down, whether you go out or you come in, I know it.


28 Because you have raved against me, and your arrogance has reached my ears, I shall put a hook through your nostrils and a muzzle on your lips, and make you return by the road by which you came.


29 "And this will be the sign for you Hezekiah: this year will be eaten the self-sown grain, next year what sprouts in the fallow; but in the third year sow and reap, plant vineyards and eat their fruit.


30 The surviving remnant of the House of Judah will bring forth new roots below and fruits above;


31 for a remnant will issue from Jerusalem, and survivors from Mount Zion. Yahweh Sabaoth's jealous love will accomplish this.


32 "This, then, is what Yahweh says about the king of Assyria: "He will not enter this city, will shoot no arrow at it, confront it with no shield, throw up no earthwork against it.


33 By the road by which he came, by that he will return; he will not enter this city, declares Yahweh.


34 I shall protect this city and save it for my sake and my servant David's sake." '


35 That same night the angel of Yahweh went out and struck down a hundred and eighty-five thousand (185,000) men in the Assyrian camp. In the early morning when it was time to get up, there they lay, so many corpses.


36 Sennacherib struck camp and left; he returned home and stayed in Nineveh.


37 One day when he was worshipping in the temple of his god Nisroch, his sons Adrammelech and Sharezer struck him down with the sword and escaped into the territory of Ararat. His son Esarhaddon succeeded him.




Our Reflections:


If any of these men did not serve in the Assyria army, he would not have struck dead by the Angel of God. He would have probably happily enjoying life with his wife and children, having a full and meaning life. Thus, being engaged with the wicked in his malicious endeavors would only bring a curse from God, bad luck, early death and self-destruction.

29 October 2011




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