July 29, 2 Kings 19, Psalms 46, 80, 135

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19 When King Hezekiah heard their report, he tore his clothes, covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the Lord’s temple.He sent Eliakim, who was in charge of the palace, Shebna the court secretary, and the leading priests, who were covered with sackcloth, to the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz. They said to him, “This is what Hezekiah says: ‘Today is a day of distress, rebuke, and disgrace, for children have come to the point of birth, but there is no strength to deliver them. Perhaps the Lord your God will hear all the words of the royal spokesman, whom his master the king of Assyria sent to mock the living God, and will rebuke him for the words that the Lord your God has heard. Therefore, offer a prayer for the surviving remnant.’”

So the servants of King Hezekiah went to Isaiah, who said to them, “Tell your master, ‘The Lord says this: Don’t be afraidbecause of the words you have heard, with which the king of Assyria’s attendants have blasphemed me. I am about to put a spirit in him, and he will hear a rumor and return to his own land,where I will cause him to fall by the sword.’”

Sennacherib’s Departing Threat

When the royal spokesman heard that the king of Assyria had pulled out of Lachish, he left and found him fighting against Libnah. The king had heard concerning King Tirhakah of Cush, “Look, he has set out to fight against you.” So he again sent messengers to Hezekiah, saying, 10 “Say this to King Hezekiah of Judah: ‘Don’t let your God, on whom you rely, deceive you by promising that Jerusalem will not be handed over to the king of Assyria. 11 Look, you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all the countries: They completely destroyed them. Will you be rescued? 12 Did the gods of the nations that my predecessors destroyed rescue them—nations such as Gozan, Haran, Rezeph, and the Edenites in Telassar? 13 Where is the king of Hamath, the king of Arpad, the king of the city of[a] Sepharvaim, Hena, or Ivvah?’” 

Hezekiah’s Prayer

14 Hezekiah took the letter from the messengers’ hands, read it, then went up to the Lord’s temple, and spread it out before the Lord. 15 Then Hezekiah prayed before the Lord:

Lord God of Israel, enthroned between the cherubim, you are God—you alone—of all the kingdoms of the earth. You made the heavens and the earth. 16 Listen closely, Lord, and hear; open your eyes, Lord, and see. Hear the words that Sennacherib has sent to mock the living God. 17 Lord, it is true that the kings of Assyria have devastated the nations and their lands. 18 They have thrown their gods into the fire, for they were not gods but made by human hands—wood and stone. So they have destroyed them. 19 Now, Lord our God, please save us from his power so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you, Lord, are God—you alone.

God’s Answer through Isaiah

20 Then Isaiah son of Amoz sent a message to Hezekiah: “The Lord, the God of Israel says, ‘I have heard your prayer to me about King Sennacherib of Assyria.’ 21 This is the word the Lord has spoken against him:

Virgin Daughter Zion
despises you and scorns you;
Daughter Jerusalem
shakes her head behind your back.
22 Who is it you mocked and blasphemed?
Against whom have you raised your voice
and lifted your eyes in pride?
Against the Holy One of Israel!
23 You have mocked the Lord[b] through[c] your messengers.
You have said, ‘With my many chariots
I have gone up to the heights of the mountains,
to the far recesses of Lebanon.
I cut down its tallest cedars,
its choice cypress trees.
I came to its farthest outpost,
its densest forest.
24 I dug wells
and drank water in foreign lands.
I dried up all the streams of Egypt
with the soles of my feet.’

25 Have you not heard?
I designed it long ago;
I planned it in days gone by.
I have now brought it to pass,
and you have crushed fortified cities
into piles of rubble.
26 Their inhabitants have become powerless,
dismayed, and ashamed.
They are plants of the field,
tender grass,
grass on the rooftops,
blasted by the east wind.[d]

27 But I know your sitting down,
your going out and your coming in,
and your raging against me.
28 Because your raging against me
and your arrogance have reached my ears,
I will put my hook in your nose
and my bit in your mouth;
I will make you go back
the way you came.

29 “This will be the sign for you: This year you will eat what grows on its own, and in the second year what grows from that. But in the third year sow and reap, plant vineyards and eat their fruit. 30 The surviving remnant of the house of Judah will again take root downward and bear fruit upward. 31 For a remnant will go out from Jerusalem, and survivors, from Mount Zion. The zeal of the Lord of Armies will accomplish this.

32 Therefore, this is what the Lord says about the king of Assyria:
He will not enter this city,
shoot an arrow here,
come before it with a shield,
or build up a siege ramp against it.
33 He will go back
the way he came,
and he will not enter this city.

This is the Lord’s declaration.

34 I will defend this city and rescue it
for my sake and for the sake of my servant David.”

Defeat and Death of Sennacherib

35 That night the angel of the Lord went out and struck down one hundred eighty-five thousand in the camp of the Assyrians. When the people got up the next morning—there were all the dead bodies! 36 So King Sennacherib of Assyria broke camp and left. He returned home and lived in Nineveh.

37 One day, while he was worshiping in the temple of his god Nisroch, his sons Adrammelech and Sharezer struck him down with the sword and escaped to the land of Ararat. Then his son Esar-haddon became king in his place.

Psalm 46

For the choir director. A song of the sons of Korah. According to Alamoth.

God is our refuge and strength,
a helper who is always found
in times of trouble.
Therefore we will not be afraid,
though the earth trembles
and the mountains topple
into the depths of the seas,
though its water roars and foams
and the mountains quake with its turmoil. Selah

There is a river—
its streams delight the city of God,
the holy dwelling place of the Most High.
God is within her; she will not be toppled.
God will help her when the morning dawns.
Nations rage, kingdoms topple;
the earth melts when he lifts his voice.
The Lord of Armies is with us;
the God of Jacob is our stronghold. Selah

Come, see the works of the Lord,
who brings devastation on the earth.
He makes wars cease throughout the earth.
He shatters bows and cuts spears to pieces;
he sets wagons ablaze.
10 “Stop fighting, and know that I am God,
exalted among the nations, exalted on the earth.”
11 The Lord of Armies is with us;
the God of Jacob is our stronghold. Selah

Psalm 80

For the choir director: according to “The Lilies.” A testimony of Asaph. A psalm.

Listen, Shepherd of Israel,
who leads Joseph like a flock;
you who sit enthroned between the cherubim,
shine on Ephraim,
Benjamin, and Manasseh.
Rally your power and come to save us.
Restore us, God;
make your face shine on us,
so that we may be saved.

Lord God of Armies,
how long will you be angry
with your people’s prayers?
You fed them the bread of tears
and gave them a full measure[a]
of tears to drink.
You put us at odds with our neighbors;
our enemies mock us.
Restore us, God of Armies;
make your face shine on us, so that we may be saved.

You dug up a vine from Egypt;
you drove out the nations and planted it.
You cleared a place for it;
it took root and filled the land.
10 The mountains were covered by its shade,
and the mighty cedars[b] with its branches.
11 It sent out sprouts toward the Sea[c]
and shoots toward the River.[d]

12 Why have you broken down its walls
so that all who pass by pick its fruit?
13 Boars from the forest tear at it
and creatures of the field feed on it.
14 Return, God of Armies.
Look down from heaven and see;
take care of this vine,
15 the root[e] your right hand planted,
the son[f] that you made strong for yourself.
16 It was cut down and burned;
they[g] perish at the rebuke of your countenance.
17 Let your hand be with the man at your right hand,
with the son of man
you have made strong for yourself.
18 Then we will not turn away from you;
revive us, and we will call on your name.
19 Restore us, Lord, God of Armies;
make your face shine on us, so that we may be saved.

Psalm 135

The Lord Is Great

Praise the name of the Lord.
Give praise, you servants of the Lord
who stand in the house of the Lord,
in the courts of the house of our God.
Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good;
sing praise to his name, for it is delightful.
For the Lord has chosen Jacob for himself,
Israel as his treasured possession.

For I know that the Lord is great;
our Lord is greater than all gods.
The Lord does whatever he pleases
in heaven and on earth,
in the seas and all the depths.
He causes the clouds to rise from the ends of the earth.
He makes lightning for the rain
and brings the wind from his storehouses.

He struck down the firstborn of Egypt,
both people and animals.
He sent signs and wonders against you, Egypt,
against Pharaoh and all his officials.
10 He struck down many nations
and slaughtered mighty kings:
11 Sihon king of the Amorites,
Og king of Bashan,
and all the kings of Canaan.
12 He gave their land as an inheritance,
an inheritance to his people Israel.

13 Lord, your name endures forever,
your reputation, Lord,
through all generations.
14 For the Lord will vindicate his people
and have compassion on his servants.

15 The idols of the nations are of silver and gold,
made by human hands.
16 They have mouths but cannot speak,
eyes, but cannot see.
17 They have ears but cannot hear;
indeed, there is no breath in their mouths.
18 Those who make them are just like them,
as are all who trust in them.

19 House of Israel, bless the Lord!
House of Aaron, bless the Lord!
20 House of Levi, bless the Lord!
You who revere the Lord, bless the Lord!
21 Blessed be the Lord from Zion;
he dwells in Jerusalem.

What a great verse to latch onto: 10 “Stop fighting, and know that I am God,
exalted among the nations, exalted on the earth.” Maybe you learned it, “Be Still and know that I am God.” Either way, both translations encapsulate the idea of stopping. To quit trying to be good enough. To quit trying to figure it out on our own. To quit trying to be in control. Just take it easy today and in the quietness of the moment realize that He is God and He will be exalted among the nations. Think about that as you struggle today. Think about the fact that the God of the universe that will be exalted among the nations calls you child. What a comforting thought.

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