WHAT IF GOD HAD NOT HUMILIATED SENNACHERIB?
One of the most arrogant despots described in the Bible is Sennacherib.
The Bible tells us that, “…in the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, Sennacherib
King of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities of Judah and took them”
(II Kings 18:13). In II Kings 18:17-23 we read that Sennacherib’s messengers
went to Jerusalem to ask Hezekiah and the people to surrender.
As the inhabitants of Jerusalem looked down upon the
surrounding army and Sennacherib’s messengers yelled out to them: “Do not listen
to Hezekiah lest he persuade you, saying, ‘The Lord will deliver us.’ Has any of
the gods of the nations at all delivered its land from the hand of the king of
Assyria?”(V. 32-33). The messengers continued: “Who among all the gods of the
lands have delivered their countries from my hand, that the Lord should deliver
Jerusalem from my hand” (V. 35).
Because Hezekiah and the people did not surrender,
Sennacherib again sent his messengers to warn Hezekiah that his God would not
have been able to shield him from his power. Thus, Sennacherib sealed his fate
for having dared to elevate himself above God Almighty.
The rest is history. Hezekiah turns to God and
beseeches Him for his intervention. God heard and effectively humbled
Sennacherib. “And it came to pass on a certain night that the Angel of the Lord
went out and killed in the camp of the Assyrians one hundred and eighty five
thousand; and when the people arose early in the morning, there were the
corpses—all dead” (19:35). Sennacherib, humiliated and afraid, returned to
Nineveh, and, as he was worshipping in the temple of Nishroch, his god, two of
his sons killed him (35, 37). Thus ended the life of the man who dared to show
insolence before the great God of Israel.
What if God had not intervened so drastically with
Sennacherib? What if He had simply terrorized him and his army so that they
would have simply fled back to their land without the great slaughter?
The sin of Sennacherib was exceptionally grievous,
not just because he dared to invade the Holy Land, but because he dared to show
arrogance and insolence toward the almighty. God is longsuffering, but His
patience seems to quickly come to an end when He encounters arrogance and
insolence. Nobody can rise up against Almighty God and escape His wrath.
Sennacherib dared to insinuate that his power was actually greater than that of
the God of Israel. This kind of sin inevitably brings about very serious
God will not allow arrogance from anyone to go
unpunished. Sennacherib had to learn, like Nebuchadnezzar, that there is only
one supreme Ruler, and that no one can dare oppose Him. Because of his extreme
insolence and because of the cockiness of his servants and his armies, God
intervened in a way that would leave no doubt in anyone’s mind that the true
Sovereign must not be contended with.
Tyrant after tyrant, through the Millennia, have
assumed that they are invincible, and that no power in Heaven or Earth can stop
them. This kind of insolence inevitably brings them to their own destruction.
The lesson is there for all to read, but many have not heeded it. There is only
one supreme ruler who determines who rules and who will not. There is only one
supreme King that rules the nations and that determines the rise and fall of all
empires. The story of Sennacherib is a reminder of this great truth. But will
the arrogant ever heed the Word of God.
CLICK ON TOPICS BELOW FOR A THOROUGH
The Tree of Knowledge
Cursing of the Ground
Cain and Abel
Joseph in Slavery
Death of David's Child
David's Punishment for the Census
Sennacherib and his Armies
Removal of Foreign Wives
Sodom and Gomorrah
Ananiah and Sapphira
Catastrophes of Last Days
LITERATURE FROM UCG.ORG
(No Follow up)
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IS GOD CRUEL?