Through the Bible Day by Day
Now it came to pass in the third year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, that Hezekiah the son of Ahaz king of Judah began to reign.
A RESOLUTE RELIGIOUS REFORMER
It is wonderful that such a man as Ahaz should have had so good a son, but it is likely that Hezekiah had a good mother. See 2Ch_29:1; 2Ch_26:5. No doubt the fall of Samaria was a great incentive with the king and his advisers to root out idolatry. There is no better way of neutralizing evil than by accentuating good, and Hezekiah was wise to reopen and purify the Temple at the very beginning of his reign. See 2Ch_29:3; 2Ch_29:19; 2Ch_29:21-35. It has been supposed that the prophecy of Mic_3:12 and Jer_26:18 was made effective by the power of the Holy Spirit.
When a soul is all for God, God is all to it. “The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward Him.” See 2Ki_18:7. Let us see to it that we follow the suggestion of Psa_1:1-6, and strike our roots deep into the Word of God, pondering it carefully and obeying it reverently; then our leaf shall not fade, and whatsoever we do shall prosper. It is a good thing to cleave to God and keep His commandments. Compare 2Ki_18:6 with Deu_10:20.
Now in the fourteenth year of king Hezekiah did Sennacherib king of Assyria come up against all the fenced cities of Judah, and took them.
THREATENED BY WORLDLY MIGHT
It is an interesting fact that this siege of Lachish is mentioned on the Assyrian monuments, and Sennacherib is depicted as giving orders for its destruction. Also the names and Jewish physiognomy of these ambassadors are clearly recognizable. It was a mistake to bribe the foe; the bribes only excited his cupidity. You may as well come to blows with Apollyon as soon as he straddles across your path; sooner or later the conflict will have to come to a head. Three years afterward, Rabshakeh appeared before the gates of Jerusalem.
It has been suggested that this bold blasphemer was an apostate Jew. He drew a false inference from the recent destructions of altars, etc., which had been reported to him. His taunts were barbed with biting satire. He spoke contemptuously of the little army that was absolutely unable to cope with the disciplined troops of Assyria. It seemed a most unequal conflict which could end only in one way. But he failed to take into account the covenant mercy of God and the heavenly forces which were allied with Hezekiah.
Then said Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, and Shebna, and Joah, unto Rabshakeh, Speak, I pray thee, to thy servants in the Syrian language; for we understand it: and talk not with us in the Jews' language in the ears of the people that are on the wall.
SILENT BEFORE THE BOASTER
The Jews met the taunts of Rabshakeh with silence. It was wise policy. It is infinitely better to hand over our cause to God, and leave Him to answer for us and avenge our wrongs. He will undertake our case, if we will but leave it unreservedly in His hands. The only exception is when some simple explanation will relieve the cause we love from any evil imputation. Rabshakeh could not have been made to understand the attitude of king and people. See Isa_37:22. Men of the world cannot read the secrets of the heart that is stayed upon Jehovah. God’s hidden ones are as great a mystery as was our Lord. Their life is hid with Christ in God, but some day He will be manifested, and they shall be manifested with Him in glory.
When our Lord was threatened, He remained calm and quiet. “As a sheep that before her shearers is dumb, so He opened not His mouth,” Isa_53:7, r.v. We are bidden to follow His steps and to do as He did, silently committing our cause to Him who never fails to vindicate those who put their trust in Him.