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person looking out cabin window July 12 Chronological Bible Study

Timeline. Map. Go to today’s Bible reading: 2Chronicles 32:1-20; 2Kings 18:13- 19:28; Isaiah 36-37 (repeated account of 2Kings 18:13- 19:37)

Under Siege

Perhaps you have seen old cowboy movies where a hero and the family he is protecting are trapped in a cabin. An outlaw calls out to the inhabitants of the cabin, “come on out or we will burn you out.” Sometimes the outlaws are even deceptive, promising not to hurt them. Have you ever felt hemmed in with nowhere to turn as the circumstances of life besiege you? Sometimes circumstances can be dire. To whom will you look when defeat seems certain and life looks hopeless? Most people would probably try to appeal to someone reliable for help. If they are desperate enough they may look for anyone who is willing to help, even for a price. King Hezekiah, of the nation of Judah, was counting on an alliance with Egypt, Philistia, and Phoenicia to defeat the Assyrians. That was a mistake; he was admittedly wrong, for they were not godly nations, and they were unreliable. He should have called upon the LORD for his help instead of making an ungodly alliance. When we are besieged by trouble, the first step in getting help from the LORD is to realize and admit our mistakes.

The alliance of nations did not help Hezekiah, and all the other fortified cities of Judah fell to the Assyrians, except Jerusalem. Why was Jerusalem left? Jerusalem did not fall because God defended the city. It was on a tall hill and well fortified, but the Assyrians had been successful in conquering other well fortified cities. The king of Assyria did not think the conquest of Jerusalem would be any different. Knowing the Assyrian army was coming, King Hezekiah made preparations for Sennacherib’s invasion. He fortified the walls of Jerusalem to make them impenetrable. He stopped up the wells outside the city so his enemies and their animals would have no water to drink, and he even dug a tunnel so water could pass into the city in preparation for the siege. Sometimes like Hezekiah, however, all reasonable preparations are not enough; we need supernatural help! Hezekiah called on his God, the one true God of the universe. Hezekiah had a right view of God; God is all-powerful, and he can help us. When we are trapped, the second step in getting help from the LORD is to turn to him.

After preparations for a siege,

he appointed military officers over the people and assembled them before him in the square at the city gate and encouraged them with these words: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged because of the king of Assyria and the vast army with him, for there is a greater power with us than with him. With him is only the arm of flesh, but with us is the LORD our God to help us and to fight our battles.” And the people gained confidence from what Hezekiah the king of Judah said, (2Chronicles 32:6-8, NIV).

Third, when we are besieged by troubles, here are some principles of leadership we might gain from Hezekiah:

  • Make preparations for battles you know are coming; don’t deceive yourself and others in thinking trouble will not come.
  • Encourage leaders to have faith in God so that they might encourage others.
  • Speak inspiringly to leaders and all the people. Speak confidently of God’s presence and power.
  • Give instructions to hold faithful to our Almighty and Sovereign God and to trust in his leaders. Hezekiah had a right view of God. God is the only God. He is Sovereign over the affairs of men. He is faithful to the righteous.

In contrast to Hezekiah’s confidence in God, Sennacherib, the Assyrian king, was confident in his own abilities. He was arrogant and had a wrong view of Israel’s God. To him, Israel’s God was no more powerful than the gods of any of the other nations he had conquered. God had not saved the northern kingdom of Israel from his hand or any of the other fortified cities of Judah, so why should he deliver Jerusalem? Jerusalem was the last city standing. But a long siege in the desert with no water, and fighting against an impregnable city would be difficult. God forced him away to fight another battle in Lachish, but Sennacherib was not easily dissuaded. He sent a message to the people of Judah, intimidating them and pressuring them to revolt against their own leaders. When he came back he wanted an easy victory. Who or what is intimidating you? Don’t let them. Remember that if you are living a righteous life, one + God is a mighty majority. God is on your side. When someone or something intimidates you, do as Hezekiah did – take it to God. God jealously protects his loved ones, especially those who love him and seek his help.

How can we know we will get God’s help? We must seek His glory. Sometimes people set up problems for themselves and expect that God will deliver them. He rarely does. People must learn to revere the LORD. They must repent and then walk in his ways (more...). God is only too happy to answer those who are trying to please Him.

Even when we are under siege, God is in control, not people or circumstances. We will see that in tomorrow’s lesson.

Lessons to live by:

  • When we are besieged by trouble, the first step in getting help from the LORD is to realize and admit our mistakes.
  • The second step in getting help from the LORD is to turn to him.
  • Third, when we are trapped by troubles, here are some principles of leadership we might gain from Hezekiah:
    • Make preparations for battles you know are coming; don’t deceive yourself and others in thinking trouble will not come.
    • Encourage leaders to have faith in God so that they might encourage others.
    • Speak inspiringly to leaders and all the people. Speak confidently of God’s presence and power.
    • Give instructions to hold faithful to our Almighty and Sovereign God and to trust in his leaders.
  • When someone or something intimidates you, do as Hezekiah did – take it to God. God jealously protects his loved ones, especially those who love him and seek his help. Do you know him? (more...)
  • To get God’s help we must seek His glory. We must revere God and walk in his ways. God is only too happy to answer those who are trying to please Him.
  • Remember, even when we are under siege or hemmed in, God is in control, not people or circumstances. He is Sovereign.

Today’s Bible memory verse: 2Chronicles 16:9a “For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” (NIV)

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