We read in this chapter a condensed version of the accounts given in 2 Kings 18 – 20; concerning Hezekiah and his response to Sennacherib king of Assyria’s siege on Jerusalem and the subsequent consequences.
After having had a leadership meeting, Hezekiah gave the orders to “stop the water from the springs” that were outside the city, so that the Assyrians would not have easy access to water; a life source in desert regions.
Whether the leadership encouraged this or Hezekiah took it upon himself being led by the Spirit of God, he called for all those who were dwelling in Jerusalem to encourage them to be “strong and courageous”; because the Lord was with them and not with the Assyrians. We read they “were strengthened by the words” Hezekiah delivered to them.
Discernment often is followed by prophetic words as occurred in this instance, that “strengthen” the listener; provided we have ears to hear. There are times when people are going through stress and challenges of all sorts; yet a word of encouragement can provide strength for them to not only endure, but to be victorious.
Sennacherib began a strategy of having his army, along with himself, of making blasphemous statements against God. The purpose of this was to discourage and weaken their hands in the midst of the siege. In response, Hezekiah and Isaiah “prayed and cried out to heaven” to which the Lord responded as well. An angel, that many believe was Michael, came and destroyed “every mighty man of valor, leader and captain” of the Assyrian army.
Sennacherib went home, humiliated by the defeat and attempted to find solace in his god; but was killed by his own sons. In reverse, Hezekiah and the Lord were honored by the people with all types of gifts.
Pride found an opening through this victory and almost brought about a premature death to Hezekiah; yet he responded with repentance and humility. You’ll recall during that time the Lord intervened in the king’s life, adding fifteen years.
Not everyone who comes to us have purest motives. Some come as a “blessing” and others come as a “test”. These ambassadors from Babylon were a “test” for Hezekiah; which he unfortunately didn’t pass, but permitted pride to take a foothold on his life. Again we see the scope of our choices go beyond the current generation, as the next generation paid the price for the previous.
We see that truth with political and governmental actions of recent years. However, when we turn back to the Lord, He will hear our prayers and heal our lands. 2 Chron 7:14