These are the historical chapters related to Hezekiah’s reign. Near the end of the eighth century, after the northern kingdom had already fallen, Sennacherib of Assyria came up against Judah and Jerusalem. Hezekiah had put his hopes of deliverance in the troops of Egypt (36:6). The Rabshakeh called Egypt what it really was: “a broken reed of a staff, which will pierce the hand of any man who leans on it” (36:6). He got that right, but when he likened the God of Israel to the gods of all the other nations Assyria had overrun . . . well, he was a bit off base there!
The Rabshakeh mocked, “Behold, you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands, devoting them to destruction. And shall you be delivered? Have the gods of the nations delivered them, the nations that my fathers destroyed?” (37:11,12) To answer these questions in reverse order: No, the gods of the many nations did not deliver them. Yes, Jerusalem will be delivered! Sennacherib doesn’t really understand what he’s gotten into here, does he? He’s about to understand, though. God is about to answer Hezekiah’s prayer: “O Lord our God, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you alone are the Lord” (37:20). Sennacherib is about to learn that truth. And Hezekiah is about to learn about God’s faithfulness!
Graves cannot shew forth thy praise,
Neither can death Thee celebrate,
Such as go down into the pit
To see thy truth no more can wait,
The living does, the living will,
Thee praise, ev’n as I do this day;
The father to the children shall
Thy acts of faithfulness display.
Ready to save me was the Lord:
Therefore we will my songs of praise
Sing in Jehovah’s house with joy,
Throughout our lives, ev’n all our days. --New-England Psalm-Book (1758)