A believing confidence in God will raise us above the prevailing fear of man. The good soldier of Jesus Christ can always say “If God be for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31)
II Chronicles 32
1 After these things, and the establishment thereof, Sennacherib king of Assyria came, and entered into Judah, and encamped against the fenced cities, and thought to win them for himself.
2 And when Hezekiah saw that Sennacherib was come, and that he was purposed to fight against Jerusalem,
3 He took counsel with his princes and his mighty men to stop the waters of the fountains which were without the city: and they did help him.
4 So there was gathered much people together, who stopped all the fountains, and the brook that ran through the midst of the land, saying, Why should the kings of Assyria come, and find much water?
5 Also he strengthened himself, and built up all the wall that was broken, and raised it up to the towers, and another wall without, and repaired Millo in the city of David, and made darts and shields in abundance.
6 And he set captains of war over the people, and gathered them together to him in the street of the gate of the city, and spake comfortably to them, saying,
7 Be strong and courageous, be not afraid nor dismayed for the king of Assyria, nor for all the multitude that is with him: for there be more with us than with him:
8 With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the LORD our God to help us, and to fight our battles. And the people rested themselves upon the words of Hezekiah king of Judah.
9 ¶ After this did Sennacherib king of Assyria send his servants to Jerusalem, (but he himself laid siege against Lachish, and all his power with him,) unto Hezekiah king of Judah, and unto all Judah that were at Jerusalem, saying,
10 Thus saith Sennacherib king of Assyria, Whereon do ye trust, that ye abide in the siege in Jerusalem?
11 Doth not Hezekiah persuade you to give over yourselves to die by famine and by thirst, saying, The LORD our God shall deliver us out of the hand of the king of Assyria?
12 Hath not the same Hezekiah taken away his high places and his altars, and commanded Judah and Jerusalem, saying, Ye shall worship before one altar, and burn incense upon it?
13 Know ye not what I and my fathers have done unto all the people of other lands? were the gods of the nations of those lands any ways able to deliver their lands out of mine hand?
14 Who was there among all the gods of those nations that my fathers utterly destroyed, that could deliver his people out of mine hand, that your God should be able to deliver you out of mine hand?
15 Now therefore let not Hezekiah deceive you, nor persuade you on this manner, neither yet believe him: for no god of any nation or kingdom was able to deliver his people out of mine hand, and out of the hand of my fathers: how much less shall your God deliver you out of mine hand?
16 And his servants spake yet more against the LORD God, and against his servant Hezekiah.
17 He wrote also letters to rail on the LORD God of Israel, and to speak against him, saying, As the gods of the nations of other lands have not delivered their people out of mine hand, so shall not the God of Hezekiah deliver his people out of mine hand.
18 Then they cried with a loud voice in the Jews’ speech unto the people of Jerusalem that were on the wall, to affright them, and to trouble them; that they might take the city.
19 And they spake against the God of Jerusalem, as against the gods of the people of the earth, which were the work of the hands of man.
20 And for this cause Hezekiah the king, and the prophet Isaiah the son of Amoz, prayed and cried to heaven.
21 ¶ And the LORD sent an angel, which cut off all the mighty men of valour, and the leaders and captains in the camp of the king of Assyria. So he returned with shame of face to his own land. And when he was come into the house of his god, they that came forth of his own bowels slew him there with the sword.
22 Thus the LORD saved Hezekiah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem from the hand of Sennacherib the king of Assyria, and from the hand of all other, and guided them on every side.
23 And many brought gifts unto the LORD to Jerusalem, and presents to Hezekiah king of Judah: so that he was magnified in the sight of all nations from thenceforth.
24 ¶ In those days Hezekiah was sick to the death, and prayed unto the LORD: and he spake unto him, and he gave him a sign.
25 But Hezekiah rendered not again according to the benefit done unto him; for his heart was lifted up: therefore there was wrath upon him, and upon Judah and Jerusalem.
26 Notwithstanding Hezekiah humbled himself for the pride of his heart, both he and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the wrath of the LORD came not upon them in the days of Hezekiah.
27 ¶ And Hezekiah had exceeding much riches and honour: and he made himself treasuries for silver, and for gold, and for precious stones, and for spices, and for shields, and for all manner of pleasant jewels;
28 Storehouses also for the increase of corn, and wine, and oil; and stalls for all manner of beasts, and cotes for flocks.
29 Moreover he provided him cities, and possessions of flocks and herds in abundance: for God had given him substance very much.
30 This same Hezekiah also stopped the upper watercourse of Gihon, and brought it straight down to the west side of the city of David. And Hezekiah prospered in all his works.
31 ¶ Howbeit in the business of the ambassadors of the princes of Babylon, who sent unto him to enquire of the wonder that was done in the land, God left him, to try him, that he might know all that was in his heart.
32 Now the rest of the acts of Hezekiah, and his goodness, behold, they are written in the vision of Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, and in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel.
33 ¶ And Hezekiah slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the chiefest of the sepulchres of the sons of David: and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem did him honour at his death. And Manasseh his son reigned in his stead.
II Chronicles 32:1-31 – J. Vernon McGee
II Chronicles 32:32-33 – J. Vernon McGee
2 Chronicles 32:1-15 – Prepared to Meet the Foe
We might have supposed that Hezekiah’s faithfulness in cleansing the Temple and restoring the worship of Jehovah would have secured for him and his people complete immunity from invasion. Surely for such a loyal servant, God would graciously interpose and defend from Sennacherib’s encampment on the sacred soil of the south country. We are taught the lesson that faith is not rewarded by the unbroken summer of prosperity, but tried, tested, and matured by the stormy blasts of attack and peril. The great Husbandman mined Hezekiah that he might bring forth more fruit.
These careful preparations made by the king and his people for cutting off the water-supply and equipping the soldiers and fortifications against attack, were perfectly consistent with a true faith. Hezekiah’s ultimate confidence was not in these things, but in that Greater One who was undoubtedly with them, II Chronicles 32:7. There was considerable subtlety in Sennacherib’s messages, but he did not understand how much that one altar meant, and how different Jehovah was from the idols of the nations, II Chronicles 32:12, 15. —Through the Bible Day by Day
2 Chronicles 32:16-23 – The Cry to Heaven Answered
Sennacherib’s generals were even more insolent than himself. Their aim was to discourage the people and undermine their faith. To destroy confidence in God is the surest method of attack and victory. A significant description of their braggart boastfulness is given in II Chronicles 32:19. The only effect, however, was to drive the king and the prophet to prayer, II Chronicles 32:20. This is the talisman of victory. Isaiah tells how Hezekiah spread out the blasphemous letter of the invader before God, and challenged His help, that the kingdoms of the earth might know His power, inasmuch as His character was at stake before the heathen.
One angel sufficed for the work of deliverance and Sennacherib returned home a discredited man, to be murdered by his own children. The Lord not only saved Israel, but “guided them” on every side. Shall we not claim similar treatment? And when we are true to God, we may rely on Him to give us favor with men, and enrich our lives with His hid treasures. “Them that honour me I will honour” (1 Samuel 2:30). —Through the Bible Day by Day
II Chronicles 32:20—Hezekiah the king, and the prophet Isaiah, prayed and cried to heaven.
It was the indignity done to Jehovah that stirred these two holy men to the heart. Not that their lives, and the lives of their people, and the beautiful holy city, were in danger; but that Sennacherib spake against the God of Jerusalem, as against the gods of the people of the earth, which were the work of the hands of man. Oh that we were possessed with a similar zeal for God, so that we might look at sin as it affects Him, and lament over the awful wrongs which are continually being perpetrated against His holy, loving nature! What an argument this would give us in prayer!
This constitutes a special reason why we should plead for a revival of religion throughout our land. Men speak and act so shamelessly, as though God had abdicated His throne, and was hardly to be taken account of. They sin against Him with so high a hand, and treat His laws with so much contumely. Are there no Hezekiahs and Isaiahs who will pray and cry to the God of our fathers to do again the great works He did in their days, and in the old time before?
Then the Lord would save us, and guide us on every side (II Chronicles 32:22). There never was a more conspicuous and glorious deliverance than when the angel of God wrought for Israel against Assyria. The Lord became a place of broad rivers and streams across which the enemy could not pass. As the mother bird settling down on her nest, He covered the city with His outspread wings. And the rich spoils of the foe were left for the beleagured garrison. Pray on, beloved; the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our Lawgiver, the Lord is our King; He will save us. —Our Daily Homily
2 Chronicles 32:24-33 – One Flaw in a Good Life
What this sign was is more clearly told in Isaiah 38:1-8. Great interpositions on the part of God impose corresponding responsibilities. If you have received special benefits, be sure to render again according to the benefit done. When visited by the Babylonian ambassadors, as in II Kings 20:13, Hezekiah received them in a Spirit of vanity—all too natural to most of us—and displayed a conceit in his acquisitions which shut out such acknowledgment of the divine love and care as was due. In man’s view, that was merely a little weakness, something to be smiled at and excused, but it was inconsistent with the intimacy into which Hezekiah had been introduced by his heavenly Friend.
However pious and devoted a man may be, if he does not walk carefully, he will break down in some crucial test. It is easier to withstand the invasion of Sennacherib than the flattery of Babylon. We need to guard against pride of heart. Compare II Chronicles 32:25, 31. Hezekiah’s ostentatious display of his wealth and treasure excited the cupidity of the Babylonian envoys, and sowed the seed of Nebuchadnezzar’s invasion, though the blow was temporarily averted by the repentance of the king and nation, II Chronicles 32:26. —Through the Bible Day by Day