This Week's Story

Sennacherib puffs hot air and Hezekiah listens.

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

Hezekiah: A Big Man and Little Mice, part four 

“So-o-o! Sennacherib thinks this is his time for one-upsmanship. He’s the BIG man and we are little mice caught in his trap? Tell me, what did his personal representative say to you today, Eli, my friend?”

“King Hezekiah, the Assyrian messenger shouted so loudly to me and the men with me that our soldiers on the city walls of Jerusalem could hear him. The guy was like a rat-a-tat machine. ‘Sennacherib, great king, defender of Assur, guardian of Ishtar, goddess of love, preserver of Adramelech, sun god, builder of the greatest empire in the world, has these words for Hezekiah.

“‘You speak useless words. Egypt is too weak to be your ally and your god will not help you. You took away your god’s high places and altars.’”

Hezekiah laughed, “O great king Sennacherib does not know the difference between God’s altar in the restored temple, and altars to gods of wood, stone, and metals, which we destroyed in Judah. Eli, what else did the Assyrian messenger say?”

“He taunted us. ‘Do you think we invaded your land without God’s direction?’ Your god told us, ‘Go and destroy Judah.’

“King Hezekiah, I know that God did not tell Assyrians to destroy Judah, but He has told us ‘Humble yourselves and turn to me.’ We need God to guide us. We do not need Sennacherib.Two hundred-and sixty-two years ago King Solomon’s temple was finished to help us worship Yahweh, the one true God, whose name means ‘I am.’”

“Eli, continue your report.”

“The Assyrian hoped to persuade our people on the city walls that you, King Hezekiah, are wrong in defying the Assyrians. We requested, ‘Speak to us in the Aramaic language, and no more in the Hebrew language which the people on the city walls understand.’”

“What made you think he willingly would speak in Aramaic?”

“I suppose I forgot the tactics of our Assyrian enemies. The guy immediately insulted me. ‘Did King Sennacherib send me to you to do what you ask! He sent me to the men on the wall so they can eat their own excrement and drink their own urine.’

“He did not stop his tirade. ‘Do not let Hezekiah deceive you. He cannot save you from King Sennacherib. Don’t let Hezekiah trick you into trusting your god.

“’King Sennacherib declares, ‘These are my terms. Open your gates and come out. I will allow you to eat food from your gardens and drink water from your well.

“‘Then I will arrange to take you to another country like yours. Choose life instead of death!

“‘Don’t listen to Hezekiah when he tells you to trust God. What god of any nation has ever been able to save its people from my power? Name just one!’

“The people of Judah ignored him.”

When King Hezekiah heard the report, he tore his clothes and put on sackcloth. He went into the temple to pray.

What followed in Jerusalem’s defense is a story to remember!

This is Barbara Steiner. Stories from the Bible and American history encourage us. Follow thisweeksstory.com.

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