Notes: January 27, 2009 – 2 Kings 18 & 19

At the mouth of two or three witnesses, every word shall be established (2 Corinthians 13:1; 1 Timothy 5:19; Hebrews 10:28). Today we read our second witness regarding the Assyrian confrontation with Israel.

Hezekiah attempted to make peace and avoid battle (v 14-16). Jesus said that one should count the cost of war before engaging in a battle that he cannot win (Luke 14:31-32). Why don’t men realize that they cannot defeat God? Why don’t sinners give up and repent of their sin? Why aren’t sinners inclined to seek peace with God?

Rabshakeh, the Assyrian spokesman, repeatedly made the mistake of assuming that Israel’s hope was in Egypt (v 21). At times in Israel’s history, that was true. It’s sad that men too easily remember our weaknesses rather than our strengths.

Moreover, he brazenly claimed to have been sent by the LORD to destroy Judah (v 25). Now this would have been true if he had meant "Israel" and not "Judah". But he takes too much to himself, and goes beyond the call of God. How often we, too, fail to stop where God has told us; and we venture off to make a name for ourselves.

Note that he delivers his message in the language of the people. Though Hezekiah’s representatives requested dialogue in the Syrian language, Rabshakeh would appeal to the people. Often political leaders use language that the common folk cannot understand. Even preachers are guilty of use vocabulary that common folk don’t understand. If we would win the hearts of people, we must speak their language.