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King Hezekiah and the Assyrian invasion

King Hezekiah prays for help when the Assyrians invade.
Contributed by Sweet Publishing
Story also available on our translated websites: Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, Simplified Chinese
Before Hezekiah became King of the Southern Kingdom of Judah, people had disobeyed God and worshipped false gods. – Slide 1
Hezekiah was 25-years-old when he became king and reigned in Jerusalem. He was determined to obey God and live by His commands right from the start of his reign. – Slide 2
Hezekiah ordered that altars to false gods be smashed to pieces. He broke up the bronze snake Moses had made as people were worshipping that too. – Slide 3
He ordered that poles erected to honour the idol Asherah be cut down. – Slide 4
In the first month of his reign Hezekiah opened the temple and repaired the doors. The Levites were told to consecrate themselves to God and then purify the temple. It took them 16 days to remove things that should not be in the temple, clean it up and get the building ready to worship God as He had commanded. – Slide 5
The next day King Hezekiah gathered the city officials together and went up to the temple to offer sacrifices. Levites led the worship playing trumpets, cymbals, harps and lyres, just as they had done in the days of King David. The king and his officials knelt down before God and sang praises. Everyone was happy that the services at the temple had been restored so quickly. Invitations were sent out to Jews in the Northern and Southern Kingdoms to celebrate Passover and a large crowd assembled the next month in Jerusalem. It was a happy occasion and God heard their prayers. People returned home to destroy any other altars that had been made to false gods. – Slide 6
In the 4th year of Hezekiah’s reign King Shalmaneser of Assyria invaded the Northern Kingdom of Israel ruled by King Hoshea. God had warned these Jews that unless they stopped worshipping idols and obeyed Him they would become slaves of the Assyrians. – Slide 7
The Assyrians laid siege to Samaria and two years later captured the city. The inhabitants were led back to Assyria as captives just as God had warned. – Slide 8
Ten years later the Assyrians returned to invade the Kingdom of Judah ruled by King Hezekiah. City after city fell to the powerful Assyrian army. – Slide 9
The Assyrians laid siege to the city of Lachish. King Hezekiah knew that Jerusalem would be the next target of this mighty army. He repaired the city walls and prepared for battle. He sent a message to the Assyrians, ‘I have done wrong in siding with the Egyptians. I will pay whatever you demand of me to withdraw.’ – Slide 10
The king of Assyria demanded payment of three hundred talents (11 tons) of silver and thirty talents (1 ton) of gold. So Hezekiah gave him all the silver and gold in the treasuries of the royal palace and the temple. – Slide 11
King Sennacherib of Assyria took the money but did not leave the land. – Slide 12
Instead he sent his supreme commander, his chief officer and his field commander with a large army, from Lachish to King Hezekiah at Jerusalem. They shouted their demands. Hezekiah urged the people, ‘Be strong and courageous. Don’t 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. – Slide 13
Eliakim son of Hilkiah the palace administrator, Shebna the secretary, and Joah son of Asaph the recorder went out to them. The Assyrians spoke loudly in Hebrew so those on the walls could hear them, ‘You say you are ready for war but you speak empty words. On whom are you depending, that you rebel against me?’ Hezekiah’s men asked them not to speak in Hebrew so that those in Jerusalem could hear them, but the Assyrians refused. – Slide 14
They shouted, ‘The great king of Assyria says, “Don’t let Hezekiah deceive you. He can’t deliver you from me. Don’t believe him when he tells you that the Lord will rescue you. Has any god been able to stop the Assyrian army?”’ Those listening on the wall remained silent as they had been instructed. Hezekiah’s officials returned with their clothes torn in grief, to report back to the king. – Slide 15
When King Hezekiah heard their report, he tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and went into the temple of the Lord. He sent his officials to the prophet Isaiah who replied, ‘The Lord says “Do not be afraid. The Assyrians have blasphemed me. I will make the Assyrian King hear of a report that will force him to return to his land where he will be assassinated.’ – Slide 16
Just as Isaiah had said, King Sennacherib heard the Egyptians were marching to fight him. The arrogant King sent Hezekiah a message which read, ‘Do not let the God you rely on deceive you. Did the gods of other nations I have conquered deliver them? When Hezekiah got the message he took it to the temple and spread it out before God. ‘Look at the words of Sennacherib who ridicules You Lord,’ Hezekiah prayed. ‘Deliver us from the Assyrians, so all nations will know that you alone are God!’ – Slide 17
Isaiah the prophet had a message from the Lord for Hezekiah, ‘The King of Assyria will not enter the city or build a siege ramp against it. – Slide 18
‘He will not enter the city. The Lord will defend Jerusalem and save it.’ – Slide 19
That night the angel of the Lord went through the Assyrian camp and killed 185,000 men. When the people got up the next morning there were dead bodies everywhere. King Sennacherib broke camp and withdrew back to Nineveh. – Slide 20
One day, while King Sennacherib was worshipping in the temple of his god Nisrok, his sons Adrammelek and Sharezer assassinated him. King Hezekiah ruled for 29 years serving the Lord and obeyed Him. – Slide 21
Slide 22