2 Kings, Chapter 18

- ל ל ו -

Sennacherib Conquers Judah, Besieges Jerusalem

King Hezekiah rules over Judah. A staunch defender of the God of Israel, Hezekiah destroys the high places for idol worship and prohibits idolatry across his kingdom. He strikes the Philistines and rebels against Assyria. He also forms an alliance with Egyptians, but the ruling Pharaoh doesn’t come to his aid when he is under threat. The Assyrians raid the country, take large areas of Judah, and destroy many of its cities. However, Jerusalem miraculously withstands the siege.

An Assyrian delegation approaches the walls of the surrounded city. Rabshakeh, their leader, tries to convince Hezekiah’s men to surrender. Rabshakeh praises the mighty Assyrian army, claiming that neither man nor god can defeat it. Rabshakeh’s address is delivered in Hebrew in order to sow fear among the people of Jerusalem. Hezekiah connects his nation to the city of God and the service of God. This strong nexus enables Jerusalem to be miraculously delivered from the hands of such a powerful enemy. Hezekiah could have pursued his own personal interests and subdue Jerusalem at a price. Instead, he decides to cope with the situation and listen to the words of the prophet Isaiah.

“Now in the fourteenth year of king Hezekiah did Sennacherib king of Assyria come up against all the fenced cities of Judah, and took them” (2 Kings 18:13)

Diligence is the consistent series of choices we make to engage in spiritual work – to act, do, learn, and achieve more.