April 17, 2020: Day 76 – II Kings 18

We finally find a reverse in the trend of terrible kings.  We finally find a king, Hezekiah, who was completely different, in a good way as opposed to Hoshea from the north was completely different in a bad way.  Notice that there is no conditionality when he is described.  He did what was right in the sight of the Lord and worshiped God as David did.  So when the writer goes all the way back to David, then you know that the king is one that is to be praised and emulated.  He tore down all of the high places which hadn’t been done for centuries.  There had been kings in the south who were faithful to the Lord, but always allowed one or two of the foreign divinities to hang around.  Not so for Hezekiah.  He obeyed the commandments and reinstituted a people who were going to be faithful to God because their king was faithful to God.

But the threat of Assyria was real.  They had invaded the north and taken the people of Israel away into captivity.  So now you only have one kingdom, the south, because the north had been taken away and really no longer existed as an entity.  Now Assyria sets its sights to the south and begins by taking over all of the fortified cities of Judah, the south.  That really only left Jerusalem as the last remaining city in which the people of God were congregated.  

We find ourselves in a pretty tense moment with the minions of the Assyrians speaking to the minions of Judah telling them that they need to give up.   They not only address the rulers but also those hanging on the walls watching it all play out.  Interestingly the representatives from Judah ask the Assyrians not to speak Hebrew because they didn’t want their people to hear and understand.  But the Assyrians must have been learned Hebrew because they were able to speak it and so began only to address the people next. 

A scene of mockery ensues and there now seems to be a stand-off with the people of Jerusalem stuck in the city with nowhere to go and the Assyrians outside of the city gates.  What happens next will determine the future of the people of God.  

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