Sennacherib, the king of Assyria, sends a threatening letter to Hezekiah, the king of Judah. In the letter, Sennacherib taunts: “Do not let the god you depend on deceive you when he says, ‘Jerusalem will not be handed over to the king of Assyria.’” (2 Kings 19:10) Then he boasts he is capable of destroying Judah as the kings before him destroyed whole countries! “And will you be delivered? Did the gods of the nations that were destroyed by my forefathers deliver them?” (2 Kings 19:12)
Sennacherib compares God to idols, to gods that are “only wood and stone, fashioned by men’s hands.” (2 Kings 19:18)
Hezekiah takes the letter to the temple and “spreads it out before the Lord.” (2 Kings 19:14) He asks God to take notice of the insult. “Listen to the words Sennacherib has sent to insult the living God.” (2 Kings 19:16)
Isaiah sends a message to Hezekiah, saying the king of Assyria “will not enter this city or shoot an arrow here. He will not come before it with shield or build a siege ramp against it. By the way he came he will return; he will not enter the city.” (2 Kings 19:32-33) God promises to “defend this city and save it, for [His] sake and for the sake of David [His] servant.” (2 Kings 19:34)
That night the angel of the Lord puts to death a hundred and eighty-five thousand men in the camp of the Assyrians. In the morning, only dead bodies greet the city. Sennacherib returns to Nineveh where he is murdered by his own sons while worshiping his god Nisroch.
Father God, help us to pray as Hezekiah — concerned about the insult to Your Name, he asks You to take heed. He does not worry about the fate of Jerusalem; his only concern is Your Honor. In Jesus’ Name, amen.