2 Kings 18

2 Kings 18

2 Kings 18 Commentary

by Brad Boyles

A major theme the past several chapters has begged the question – who will step up and wholeheartedly trust the Lord to defend them? We’ve seen some kings who have trusted for a time. However, when their faith was truly tested, they turned from God to something else. Hezekiah was no different in this regard. Yes, he did a great job of obeying the Lord and ridding the nation of their idols, but he also had some political and military blunders.

The tension builds in this chapter as the Rabshakeh brutally questions the leaders of Judah. The Rabshakeh was the field commander of the Assyrian army. By this time, the Assyrian army had already destroyed Israel, and now had moved into Judah, capturing every major city except for Jerusalem. Here, the field commander has walked up to the aqueduct from the upper pool in Jerusalem in order to mock the people of Judah. It seemed like the Assyrians were in complete control.

The entire point of this rant by the Rabshakeh is to demoralize and discourage the people and leaders of Judah. There are three main points they are trying to communicate.

  1. The Rabshakeh wanted to discourage Judah from leaning on Egypt for support. To do this, they mocked Egypt’s power by declaring them ‘minuscule’ compared to the Assyrians.
  2. They want to discourage Judah from relying on Hezekiah. The Assyrians know that Hezekiah has reformed Judah and rid the nation of idols.
  3. They want the people to know that even though Hezekiah is trying to follow God, it has not helped them, and it will not help them in the future.

It was pure intimidation. This was the plan of Israel’s enemies, and this is the plan of Satan, our enemy. The Rabshakeh mocked the Lord, comparing him to other false gods that failed to protect their nation. The mockery goes as far as to imply that the Lord is on the Assyrians’ side.

We’ve all been at this place. Crushed in spirit. Fatalistic. Depressed. Hopeless.

Satan uses the same tactics today. He comes with intimidation, discouragement, and deception. He comes to us in our darkest times and tries to convince us we can’t trust God. Essentially, the Assyrians were telling Judah, “You might as well give up!” But wait, there’s more!

We will have to wait until the next chapter to see how Hezekiah responds to these threats, but I have a feeling the Lord will have something to say to these arrogant Assyrians.

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