“I will defend this city”

Then Hezekiah took the letter … and spread it out before Yahweh.” 2 Kings xix.14

What would you do if a powerful enemy lays siege to your house, shouts expletives at you and your people, threatens you and mocks your God?

King Hezekiah of Judah  faced a similar situation in 701 BC. The king of Assyria had destroyed forty six fortified cities of Judah. He imposed a heavy tribute on Judah. Still unsatisfied, he sent his general and troops against Jerusalem; they laid siege to the city. Day after day, the military leader sought to shake the faith of Hezekiah’s men in Yahweh. He wanted the city dwellers to lose all hope of divine intervention and deliverance. “Do not let Hezekiah deceive you … nor let Hezekiah make you trust in Yahweh.” (xviii.29-30).

King Hezekiah was true to Yahweh. He sent messengers to prophet Isaiah and sought God’s guidance. His faith was strengthened by Yahweh’s promise of miraculous deliverance. The Assyrian general’s taunts then touched a new low; he compared Yahweh with the helpless ‘gods’ of the nations he had captured: “Did the gods of those nations which my fathers destroyed deliver them?” He sent messengers to King Hezekiah. Hezekiah read the message. Instead of being browbeaten, Hezekiah took the matter to King of Kings. He went up to the Temple of Yahweh and “spread it out” before his God. Who other than Yahweh, Israel’s God, should answer an insult directed at Him? The matter then became sub judice in God’s court. Hezekiah did not have to go after Isaiah the prophet to know what God thought about his prayer. Instead, God sent Isaiah to the king with this message, “I will defend this city to save it for My own sake and for My servant David’s sake.

Yahweh, the God the Bible, is able to defend His name. When we take matters to Him, He will save us for His own name’s sake. And when He acts, He does wonderful things. God sent an angel into the Assyrian camp. The angel killed 185,000 Assyrian soldiers. As for the King of Assyria, he was killed by his own son in Nineveh. Of all the wondrous things that he boasted about in his annals, the King of Assyria mentioned his siege of Jerusalem but not its capture!