2 Kings 18:9
In the fourth year of Hezekiah's reign, which was the seventh year of the reign of Hoshea son of Elah over Israel, Shalmaneser king of Assyria marched against Samaria and besieged it.
Sermons
The Woman of SamariaCharles Kingsley2 Kings 18:9
A Just Ruler a Type of GodT. De Witt Talmage.2 Kings 18:1-37
A Striking ReformationDavid Thomas, D. D.2 Kings 18:1-37
A Striking Reformation, a Ruthless Despotism, and an Unprincipled DiplomacyC.H. Irwin 2 Kings 18:1-37
Hezekiah's Good ReignMonday Club Sermons2 Kings 18:1-37
Hezekiah's Good ReignR. W. Keighley.2 Kings 18:1-37
The Religious -- the Greatest of Reforms2 Kings 18:1-37
The Spiritual Scores Successes2 Kings 18:1-37
Captivity and its CauseC.H. Irwin 2 Kings 18:9-12


(See homily on preceding chapter, vers. 6-23.) - C.H.I.







The Lord was with him; and he prospered whithersoever he went.
That is a grand summing-up of a life. It is Hezekiah's experience which is thus gathered together in a couple of clauses. It may be ours if we like. Hezekiah fought his way to it, for his father was one of the worst kings that ever sat on the throne of Judah; and he himself began to reign at a time of national decadence and degradation. He struggled up from darkness that covered the people into the clear light of fellowship with God. So may we.

I. THE DIVINE COMPANIONSHIP, "The Lord was with him." Of course, He is not far from any of us; for "in Him we live and move and have our being," as said Paul. But two people may be very near each other and yet be infinitely far from one another. And it is possible — and, alas! it is the experience of hosts of us — to be in fact all compassed about, like a frond of seaweed in the sea, with that ocean of the Divine presence, and yet to be at an infinite distance from God. His presence with us does not depend upon our consciousness of it, thank Him for that; but the blessing of His presence does depend on our being aware of it. But how many of us go through life, day in and day out, and never feel that tie stands by our side. God's presence is not interrupted by any secularities of our vocation; but our consciousness of it is interrupted by the secularisation of our spirits. He may be with us in all daily duty.

II. WHAT BRINGS GOD. I have remarked that my text, by the "and" at the beginning of it, is hooked on, as being their consequence, to the previous words. These are very instructive if we note their sequence as analysing for us the steps in what the mystical teachers call the "practice of the presence of God." They give three stages. First comes "he trusted" — faith brings God. Then follows "he clave" to Him-persistent adherence and desire bring God. Nature abhors a vacuum; God abhors it more. When a man opens his heart, God rushes in to fill it, as surely as when you dip an empty, pitcher into the sea you bring it up filled with water; Whereas, if you put a bit of bladder over it you might dip it in a million times, and bring it up as empty as when you let it down. Desire brings God. Last of all, and consequences of the faith and persistent adherence, comes he obeyed.

III. WHAT THE PRESENCE OF THE DIVINE COMPANION BRINGS. "And the Lord was with him; and he prospered whithersoever he went." Christianity, real religion, which is nothing more than this continuous consciousness of the Divine Presence, has a direct tendency to promote even the lower kinds of prosperity which the world seeks after. It is better, on the lowest grounds, to be good than to be bad. It is better, on the lowest grounds, to carry the thought of God into life than to live ungodly amidst the whirl of external events and duties. And we all know that, though with many exceptions, as necessary for our discipline, still, on the whole, the dispositions which are cultivated in the man who is ever aware of God with him, are such as in the main, and on the general, and in the long run, do contribute to the material well-being of individuals and of nations. But, as we have to get rid of mere sensuous ideas when we talk about God being with us, so we have to get rid of mere sensuous ideas when we talk about the prosperity that comes from His Presence. Hezekiah had his own share of what people call disasters. He was not always prosperous. There was once the Assyrian camp outside the walls of Jerusalem, and he was reduced almost to desperation. He had that great sickness, where he behaved in a very cowardly and effeminate and selfish fashion. And yet, on the whole, "God was with him, and he prospered!" Yes; for the invasion drove him nearer to God, and he then felt more of the Divine Presence. If we have God on board, and let Him take the helm into His own hands, depend upon it, adverse winds will bear us to our haven.

(A. Maclaren, D. D.)

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