2 Kings Chapter 19, 2 Chronicles Chapters 29-32
OLD KING - NEW KING
- old King Ahaz was dying - he had been a bad king, turning away from the true God and worshipping idols - he even killed one of his own sons as a sacrifice (2 Kings chapter 16 verses 2 and 3)
- one of his sons, Hezekiah, became the new King. He was 25 years old, and was a good king. His name means "The LORD is my strength". He wanted to know and please the LORD, the true God who made heaven and earth and everything in them (including us!). It was not easy being King, with wars and enemies on every side, and the people used to worshipping idols, but young King Hezekiah was determined to do things God's way.
FIXES THE TEMPLE
- the old temple, built by the famous King Solomon for God's worship, was in a mess. Rubbish everywhere, its great doors hanging off, its treasures looted.
- Young King Hezekiah set out to fix the Temple. God has promised to help us if we serve and follow Him, but that does not mean we do nothing! God makes everything grow, but dinner won't cook itself - He has given us hands and brains too.
- Hezekiah had the doors repaired
- Hezekiah had his men clear out all the rubbish of many years - it took them 16 days to clean it all up!
- Hezekiah had the treasures returned, clean and bright
- Then he called the people together for a great celebration of God's goodness to them. They gathered at the Temple and offered sacrifices as they were then required to do. "Hezekiah and all the people rejoiced at what God had brought about for his people, because it was done so quickly." 2 Chronicles chapter 29 verse 36
FIXES THE WATER
- The city of Jerusalem got its water supply from the Gihon Springs outside the city to the east. They did not have tap water as we do, and the people had to go day by day down to the spring to collect buckets of water.
- Sennacherib, a fierce king from another country called Assyria, was coming to attack Jerusalem with a huge army - 185,000 soldiers, armed to the teeth, and no one had defeated them in battle. "What if they get our water supply? We'll be finished!"
- King Hezekiah sees a way to keep the water from the enemy, and get it safely into the city. He orders the walls and defense towers around the Gihon Spring to be built up. Then he orders men to dig a tunnel through the rock of the mountain, so that the water from the Springs can flow down to a large protected pool at the other end of the city (the pool was called Siloam, which means "Sent", perhaps because the spring's waters were sent there through the new tunnel).
- The miners dug with pick axes and shovels, starting from both ends (at the Springs, and at the Pool), till after many days of hard work, they met in the middle, being able to hear each other's voices and hammer blows.
- Right away the water began to flow down to the Pool of Siloam, making a safe and secure supply for the whole city (and none for the enemy army, because the stream from the spring that used to run out into the valley was blocked off behind a heavy wall!).
- God helps (indeed, nothing happens without Him), but we all have work to do too. He gives us work, and strength, and minds, and wants us to use them.
- God wants us to do many good things, but there are some things we cannot do. Some things even a Superman couldn't do!
- Sennacherib's army surrounds the city of Jerusalem. 185,000 soldiers, who had already conquered and plundered dozens of cities. He sends his army commander to terrify the people. He calls out so that all the people can hear:-
- "Don't believe what Hezekiah tells you!"
- "The LORD your God won't save you! Our gods are stronger! (False) None of the gods of the countries we have conquered could save them! (True) We tossed them all into the fire!"
- King Hezekiah know he is out-numbered 100 to 1. BUT he also knows that the LORD is the true God, and Hezekiah prays
- "O LORD, God of Israel, enthroned between the cherubim, you alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth. Give ear, O LORD, and hear; open your eyes, O LORD, and see; listen to the words Sennacherib has sent to insult the living God." 2 Kings chapter 19 verses 15 and 16
- "It is true, O LORD, that the Assyrian kings have laid waste these nations and their lands. They have thrown their gods into the fire and destroyed them, for they were not gods, but only wood and stone, fashioned by men's hands. Now, O LORD our God, deliver us from his hand, so that all the kingdoms on earth may know that you alone, O LORD, are God." 2 Kings chapter 19 verses 17 to 19
- That night, that very night, the LORD God sent just ONE angel to the Assyrian army camp. In the morning there were 185,000 dead men there. God out-numbers the cruel Assyrians ONE to 185,000!
- The Assyrian king, Sennacherib, defeated, retreats back to his city of Nineveh. "I'll be safe here!" - but two of his own sons kill him there, and another takes the kingship.
- We can't defeat the strong men of this world, but God can, and we are safe with Him. Don't be afraid of men, no matter how important and powerful, when they set themselves up against God. Trust in the LORD, the One and Only God, and you will be safe forever and ever.
A GREATER ENEMY AND THE GREATEST SAVIOUR
There is a much greater and more cruel enemy that King Sennacherib of the Assyrians. It is an enemy we all have to face every day, and if it wins, each one of us is ruined forever and ever. It is Not Following the Plan that God gave to us all, and is called SIN, and includes every bad thing we ever do. It is far too strong for us to fight and win. God knows this, and right from the beginning, because He loves us so, He promised a Mighty Saviour who was to come at last. His name is Jesus, and we will meet him in tomorrow's story, "Digging Deep". He is our sure HOPE if we trust in Him.
Here is the completed picture-story:
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Last published: 7 July 2011
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