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Hammer about to smash an egg July 12 Chronological Bible Study

Timeline. Map. Go to today’s Bible reading (NIV) or alternate versions (use your browser arrow to return): 2Chronicles 32:1–20; 2Kings 18:13– 19:28; Isaiah 36–37:8 (repeated account of 2Kings 18:13–19:37)

Help!

Sometimes circumstances can be extremely threatening and you think you are about to be smashed. To whom will you look for help? Most people will appeal to someone who is reliable—perhaps a family member or friend. But, if they are desperate enough they may look for anyone who is willing to help, even for a price.

In recent Bible readings, we learned that King Hezekiah of the nation of Judah was counting on an alliance with Egypt, Philistia, and Phoenicia to defeat the Assyrians. This was a mistake; he was admittedly wrong, for they were not godly nations and were unreliable. He should have called upon the LORD for his help instead of making an alliance with them. When we desperately need assistance, the first step in getting help from the LORD is to realize and admit our mistakes.

In today's Bible reading we learn that the alliance of nations does not help Hezekiah. All of the fortified cities of Judah are smashed by the Assyrians except the capital city of Jerusalem. Why is Jerusalem left? She doesn't fall because God defends the city. It is on a tall hill and well-fortified, but the Assyrians have been successful in conquering other strong cities. The king of Assyria does not think the conquest of Jerusalem will be any different.

Knowing the Assyrian army is coming, King Hezekiah makes preparations for Sennacherib's invasion. First, the walls of Jerusalem are strengthened to make them impenetrable. Then, he stops up the wells outside the city so his enemies and their animals will have no water to drink. Last, the king digs a tunnel so water can pass into the city for the citizens to drink during the siege.

If we know a battle is coming, it is wise to prepare for it.

Sometimes like Hezekiah, however, all reasonable preparations are not enough; we need supernatural help. Hezekiah calls on his God, the one true Sovereign of the universe. Hezekiah has a right view of God; The LORD is All-Powerful, and He can help us. When we are about to be smashed, the second step in getting help from the LORD is to turn to Him.

After preparations for a siege,

he [Hezekiah] appointed military officers over the people and assembled them before him in the square at the city gate and encouraged them with these words: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged because of the king of Assyria and the vast army with him, for there is a greater power with us than with him. With him is only the arm of flesh, but with us is the LORD our God to help us and to fight our battles.” And the people gained confidence from what Hezekiah the king of Judah said, (2Chronicles 32:6-8, NIV).

Third, when we are facing threatening situations, spiritual leaders should encourage their followers to trust in the LORD and have confidence in His help.

In contrast to Hezekiah's confidence in God, Sennacherib is confident in his abilities. He is arrogant and has a misconception of Israel's God. To him, their god is no more powerful than the gods of any of the other nations he has conquered. He had not saved the northern kingdom of Israel from his hand or any of the other fortified cities of Judah. Why should he deliver Jerusalem?

At the beginning of his siege against Jerusalem, Sennacherib is diverted to engage in a battle against Lachish, a nearby city. However, the general is not easily put off. He sends a message to the people of Judah, intimidating them and pressuring them to revolt against their leaders. When he comes back he wants an easy victory. Who or what is intimidating us? We should not let them. Remember, if we are living a righteous life, one plus God is a mighty majority. The LORD is on our side. When someone or something intimidates us, we should follow Hezekiah's example—take it to God. He jealously protects His loved ones, especially those who love Him and seek His help.

How can we know we will get God's help? We must seek His glory. Sometimes people set up problems for themselves and expect God to deliver them. He rarely does. People must learn to revere the LORD. They must turn to God and obey Him (more...). God is only too happy to answer those who love Him and are trying to please Him.

Lessons to Live By

  • The first step in getting help from the LORD is to realize and admit our mistakes.
  • The second step is to turn to Him.
  • If we know a battle is coming, it is wise to prepare for it.
  • Third, when we are facing threatening situations, spiritual leaders should encourage their followers to trust in the LORD and have confidence in His help.
  • When someone or something intimidates us, we should follow Hezekiah's example—take it to God. He jealously protects His loved ones, especially those who love Him and seek His help. (more...)
  • To get God's help we must seek His glory. We should revere God and obey Him. God is only too happy to answer those who love Him and are trying to please Him.
  • Remember, even when we are fragile and about to be pounded, God is in control, not people or circumstances. He is Sovereign.

Focus Verse

2Chronicles 16:9a (NIV) “For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.”

praying handsWrite a private prayer response to today’s Bible study:

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A Look Ahead: After God delivers Hezekiah from the Assyrian threat, he shows kindness to him by healing him. Will Hezekiah Remember His Kindness? Will we?

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