...He lifts his voice, the earth melts (Ps 46:6).
Israel has fallen.
Sennacherib's emmisary is threatening violent attack on what's left of Judah, speaking in their native tongue. All can hear.
And what does King Hezekiah do? He petitions Isaiah the prophet to ask for prayers for his people "...children have come to the point of birth, and there is no strength to bring them forth." (2 Ki 19:3)
Sometimes I experience this in the spiritual. The enemy is closing in, threatening me with what should be nonsense with the God I have, and I have no power to move forward bearing His fruit. Its tempting to believe what the enemy says. It seems so true.
And I am faced with a choice: will I turn to God in my attack as Hezekiah did, or will I turn away and try to fight my enemy on his terms like Hoshea, the king of Israel tried to do (see his story here).
"Further up and farther in." That's the goal, isn't it, until we get to our real country? As long as I am retreating towards God and not away, eventually I will get to the point where I am defended, because my Defender is Strong.
Its in this kind of environment that the idols crumble--in our retreat to him.
And this is how he wants it. He wants all that we're depending on to be crushed and shaken and whittled away, so that what remains can be pure.
All of the other nations Assyria attacked just crumbled before them. False gods couldn't protect.
And Hezekiah cries out to God, reminding him of His character, and declaring truth "they were not gods...therefore they were destroyed." (2 Ki 19:18). But You! You, Lord are not like those wooden things they trusted in!
Some things God reminded me of this morning as I was reading this...
1. Hezekiah pulled into God in the face of attack.
2. Hezekiah wasn't afraid to share his grief with others and ask for them to intercede.
3. Hezekiah did not neglect going to the Lord himself.
4. Hezekiah refused to believe that the lies were true.
And God responds: "...the surviving remnant of the house of Judah shall again take root downward and bear fruit upward." (2 Ki 19:30).
And this is why Israel's story is important. Its important to know our roots and know the history of our God, and know how we fit into the Bigger Story. Israel's story is my story.
And you can see what happens to Sennacherib here.
How do you fight when the enemy attacks?