Royalty and Ruin


An Angel Destroys the Assyrian Army

When the armies of Assyria were invading Judah and it seemed as if nothing could save Jerusalem, Hezekiah rallied the forces of his realm to resist the oppressors and to trust in the power of Jehovah to deliver: “Be strong and courageous; do not be afraid nor dismayed before the king of Assyria, nor before all the multitude that is with him. ... With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the Lord our God, to help us and to fight our battles.” 2 Chronicles 32:7, 8. RR 127.1

The boastful Assyrian, whom God used for a time to punish the nations, was not always to prevail. See Isaiah 10:5, 24-27. In a prophetic message given “in the year that King Ahaz died,” Isaiah had declared: “The Lord of hosts has sworn, ... ‘I will break the Assyrian in My land, and on My mountains tread him underfoot. ... For the Lord of hosts has purposed, and who will annul it?’” Isaiah 14:28, 24-27. RR 127.2

In the earlier years of his reign, Hezekiah had continued to pay tribute to Assyria, in harmony with the agreement Ahaz had made. Meanwhile the king had done everything possible for the defense of his kingdom. He had made sure of a plentiful supply of water within Jerusalem. “He also made weapons and shields in abundance. Then he set military captains over the people.” 2 Chronicles 32:5, 6. He had left nothing undone in preparation for a siege. RR 127.3

When Hezekiah came to the throne of Judah, the Assyrians had already carried captive a large number from the northern kingdom; and while he was strengthening the defenses of Jerusalem, the Assyrians captured Samaria and scattered the ten tribes among the Assyrian provinces. Jerusalem was less than fifty miles away, and the rich spoils in the temple would tempt the enemy to return. RR 127.4

The king of Judah determined to resist. Having accomplished all that human planning and energy could do, he told his forces to be of good courage. With unwavering faith the king declared, “With us is the Lord our God, to help us and to fight our battles.” 2 Chronicles 32:8. RR 127.5