It began as a distant, foreboding hum, then grew into an ominous, earth-rattling din. Soon hundreds of tanks and thousands of enemy infantrymen swarmed into view of the badly outnumbered soldiers in Finland. Assessing the murderous wave, an anonymous Finn lent some perspective. Courageously, he wondered aloud about the enemy: “Where will we find room to bury them all?”
Some 2,600 years before Finland showed such pluck in that World War II battle, an anxious Judean citizenry reacted quite differently to their own overwhelming situation. The Assyrian armies had trapped the people of Jerusalem inside its walls, where they faced the hopeless prospect of a starvation-inducing siege. Hezekiah nearly panicked. But then he prayed, “Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, enthroned between the cherubim, you alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth” (Isa. 37:16).
Through the prophet Isaiah, the Lord answered with strong words for Assyria’s King Sennacherib. “Against whom have you raised your voice and lifted your eyes in pride? Against the Holy One of Israel!” (v. 23). Then God comforted Jerusalem. “I will defend this city and save it, for my sake and for the sake of David my servant!” (v. 35). The Lord defeated Sennacherib and destroyed the Assyrian army (vv. 36-38).
No matter what dangers loom on your horizon today, the God of Hezekiah and Isaiah still reigns. He longs to hear from each of us and show Himself powerful.
In what ways has God shown Himself strong in the past?
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God is greater than our greatest problem.
Isaiah 36–37 and a parallel account in 2 Kings 18–19 tell of the threat and siege of Jerusalem by the Assyrians during the reign of Hezekiah. Having exiled the northern kingdom of Israel 10 years earlier (2 Kings 18:9-12), Assyria now turned its attention to Judah (v. 13). Initially, Hezekiah tried to avert the invasion by agreeing to pay tribute (vv. 14-16), but Assyria was determined to attack Judah (v. 17; Isa. 36:1). Hezekiah turned to God for help (37:14-20), and Isaiah prophesied the defeat of the Assyrians and promised protection and deliverance for Judah (vv. 21-37). Sim Kay Tee