We see the diametrical opposite result for both the northern and the southern kingdoms. In the north we see Hoshea is the last king of Israel (the north) as the Assyrians come and conquer them and take all of the people into Assyria. After they take the people they then transplant others into that territory so that the Israelites, the northerners, would not be able to resettle even if they escaped or got out of Assyria. You can basically call it a wrap for the northern kingdom at this point. We read in chapter 17 that this takes place because of the unfaithfulness of the people of the north.
We then transition to the south and we see a ruler who according to 18:5 – “Hezekiah trusted in the Lord…there was no one like him among all the kings of Judah, either before him or after him.” That’s pretty high praise. As a result the Lord honors him and honors the people of Judah, the south. The Assyrians who had just taken over the north now try their hand on the south. But Hezekiah turns them back and they never do end up taking over the land or the people.
One of my favorite places to go when we visit Israel is Hezekiah’s tunnel. It is simply amazing. Made by hand it is a long tunnel that stretches under Jerusalem and provided water for the city especially during sieges. Interestingly enough Isaiah is the prophet who is alive during the reign of Hezekiah and so is the one who advises him that Assyrian would not take over the land of Judah. Babylon, now that is a different story.
There is no Psalm more powerful than Psalm 139. It is the one that I read the most when I make visits to the hospital because it reminds us how the Lord has made and created us. It also reminds us of the deep knowledge that the Lord has of us. Even while we were yet unformed in our mother’s wombs did the Lord know us. That speaks to something pretty powerful there.