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A brutal superpower confronts Hezekiah. What are his resources?

This Week’s Story relives American history and the Bible through brief inspiring stories presented on mp3 audio recordings and text for reading.

A Superpower Confronts Hezekiah! part three

“I need sleep, but pictures are flashing in my mind.”

King Hezekiah looked with frustration at his wife.

She asked, “Hezekiah, what do you see?”

“Israel’s ten tribes are being crushed. Assyrian soldiers are burning Israeli homes and killing with no mercy. Little children, people of all ages are being shoved for miles until they are auctioned or forced into colonies in foreign cities. Seven years ago, Hepzibah, that happened.”

“Your pictures make me cry, Hezekiah.”

“Hepzibah, Israel’s people are in the hands of a superpower without conscience. We may be next. I have seen tablets made by our enemy that describe how they treat their captives. They skin them alive, blind them, and/or impale them. When the Assyrians are going to attack a city, they make sure their victims know what will happen to them. The Assyrians are masters of psychological warfare.

“Assyria has an unquenchable thirst for a bigger empire. They have a gigantic brutal military. Every Assyrian man, whether he is rich or poor, must serve in the military. They have chariots, iron weapons, and siege equipment.

“The Assyrians now control all our fortified cities and their king wants tribute money. We have strengthened our city walls, built towers, and constructed a tunnel that brings water into Jerusalem. It is not enough.”

“Hezekiah, you know your father King Ahaz was infatuated with idols. Our country was a prey for vultures. When you became king, idols were broken and removed. The temple was opened. We worshipped the one true God. You trusted God and obeyed His commandments. He has been with you. You refused to serve Assyria or pay tribute to them. Now Assyria is poised to attack Jerusalem. Ask God to rescue us.”

Hezekiah sent Sennacherib, the king of Assyria, a message. “I will pay the tribute money you demand, if you leave Judea.”

Sennacherib stipulated that one ton of gold and eleven plus tons of silver must be paid to him. Gold was stripped from the doors and pillars of God’s temple. All the silver that was found in the temple and king’s treasury was given to the king of Assyria.

Sennacherib did not keep his agreement with Hezekiah. He sent three officials to a place near Jerusalem to meet with Hezekiah. Hezekiah did not come. He sent three officials to meet with Sennacherib’s men.

Sennacherib’s personal representative sent a message to King Hezekiah. In short form it read: “Why are you so confident? What ally do you have? Egypt will not help you; it is too weak.

“Are you saying, ‘We trust in God.’ You have already insulted him by making people in Judea worship only at the altar in the temple in Jerusalem.

“Do you think we invaded your land without God’s direction? He told us, ‘Go and destroy Judea.’”

Then followed surprising, and sometimes humorous, events.

This is Barbara Steiner soon coming with those events.

There is much to investigate about Hezekiah in II Kings chapters 18 through 20, II Chronicles chapters 29 through 32, and Isaiah chapters 36 through 39 of the Bible, and archaeological discoveries.

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