2 Kings 19:1-37
And it came to pass, when king Hezekiah heard it, that he rent his clothes, and covered himself with sackcloth…
I. THE EXPOSURE OF A NATION TO AN OVERWHELMING CALAMITY.
1. The nature of the threatened calamity. It was the invasion of the king of Assyria. This was announced in startling terms and in a haughty and ruthless spirit by Rab-shakeh.
2. The influence of the threatened calamity.
(1) It struck the kingdom with a crushing terror.
(2) It struck the kingdom with a helpless feebleness.
II. THE BLESSING TO A NATION OF A RULER WHO LOOKS TO HEAVEN FOR HELP. What, in the wretched condition of his country, does King Hezekiah do? He invokes the merciful interposition of heaven. In this wonderful prayer
(1) He adores the God whom Sennacherib had blasphemed.
(2) He implores the Almighty for His own sake to deliver the country.
III. THE ADVANTAGE TO A NATION OF A TRULY WISE COUNSELLOR. Whether Isaiah was a Divinely inspired man, and had a right in any especial sense to say, "Thus saith the Lord," or not, he may be fairly taken in this ease as the representative of a wise counsellor, and that for two reasons: —
1. He looked to heaven rather than to earth for his wisdom.
2. What he received from heaven he communicated to men. In the communication(1) Sennacherib is apostrophised in a highly poetic strain admirably descriptive of the turgid vanity, haughty pretensions, and heartless impiety of this despot.
(2) Hezekiah himself is personally addressed, and a sign given him of coming deliverance.
(3) The issue of Sennacherib's invasion is announced. Such was the communication which in language passionate, poetic, and powerful, Isaiah made to this perplexed and terrified nation. It involves two things: The deliverance of his country; the ruin of the despot.
IV. THE STRENGTH OF A NATION THAT HAS GOD ON ITS SIDE. Who delivered the imperilled nation? Who overwhelmed the despot? "The zeal of the Lord of hosts."
1. How swiftly was the deliverance effected. "That night."
2. How terrible the ruin which that deliverance effected — "An hundred fourscore and five thousand men" destroyed.
(David Thomas, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And it came to pass, when king Hezekiah heard it, that he rent his clothes, and covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the house of the LORD.