Day 202 (July 21): Hezekiah seeks God’s help with Assyrians, King Sennecherib taunts Hezekiah, Isaiah predicts Judah’s deliverance

Welcome to BibleBum where we are exploring the entire Bible in one year to better learn how to follow God’s instructions and discover the purpose for our lives.  The BibleBum blog uses The One Year Chronological Bible, the New Living Translation version.  At the end of each day’s reading, Rob, a cultural history aficionado and seminary graduate, answers questions from Leigh An, the blogger host, about the daily scripture.  To start from the beginning, click on “Index” and select Day 1.

2 Kings 19:1-19

Isaiah 37:1-20

2 Chronicles 32:9-19

2 Kings 19:20-37

Isaiah 37:21-38

2 Chronicles 32:20-23

Questions & Observations

Q. (2 Kings 10-13): This taunting of the Assyrian king reminds me of the devil taunting and tempting Jesus for 40 days in the wilderness.

A. I can see why you might have that type of reading, but I think the events are very different.  Taunting is not the same as tempting, and the devil was tempting Jesus, not taunting Him.  The speaker in this story is mocking the people in order to make them fear the army that is coming.  The devil had particular reasons for tempting Jesus that I really want to save until we read that story, so I look forward to reading that passage (Matthew 4) at some point in the future.

Q. (2 Kings 19:1-19, Isaiah 37:1-20): I take several messages from this text.  Hezekiah is scared, at least he seems that way to me.  But, he takes his fear to God who calms him and lets him know that He can take it from here.  And, He does.  Sometimes I feel bad because even though I am a believer, I still get scared, worried and stressed.  I think that these are feelings that we shouldn’t have as Christians.  But, is God saying in this scripture that it’s OK to be scared as long as you still believe?

A. Fear is never of God, but it is often something that even the most seasoned Christian must deal with.  God desires for us to bring our fears to Him, that He might help us turn our fears into faith.

O. Sennacherib, king of Assyria, is badly belittling God.  He must not have any idea of God’s power.  And, arrogance gets you nowhere with God!

O. (2 Kings 19:28): Wow, what a visual!

Q. (19:35-36): That’s one way to send fear to an enemy!  Also, I didn’t realize that Ninevah was the capital of Assyria.  I guess Jonah had his work cut out for him!

A. Perhaps you can see why Jonah was not eager to fulfill his mission?  Ninevah was a great enemy, though Jonah’s story takes place many years before this one.

Q. (19:37): Why would Sennacherib’s sons kill him?

A. The Biblical story doesn’t tell us, but my notes indicate that Assyrian history from this period records that it was related to the king’s choice of a successor from among his many sons.  Apparently some of his sons didn’t care for his decision, to put it mildly.

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