“Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of?(Is.2:22)” Sennacherib king of Assyria certainly ‘lived in a bubble’ an expression we hear often lately, of his own reality. He sent Rabshakeh who was in Lachish to Hezekiah the King of Judah to put some fear into him. When fear of God is no longer working in a child of God such boastful words of others may have some weight. King Ahaz was an evil king and he had no reverence for God. So naturally when Samaria and King of Syria entered in a political alliance King Ahaz approached the king of Assyria to make a pact with him. It proved to be the proverbial exercise of jumping from the pan to fire. The threat of Syria is now replaced by Assyria who is the rod of the divine anger, -and God has already determined to ‘punish the stout heart of the king of Assyria, and the glory of his high looks.'(Is.10:12). Though God sent Prophet Isaiah to warn, comfort and plead with the people of Judah they were obstinate and yet intent upon seeking help from Egypt. These hold parallel with our times. All those revival of last century is replaced by crass materialism and evangelical movement is all for instilling Christian ethics in the Capitol hill for which they lobby and who is converting who? In the manner they espoused ungodly policies what is evident is Christianity more worldly than ever. You shall see how quickly reverence of God evaporates in a climate of ungodliness and it is what we see now. ‘Once saved is saved forever’ and the ministers of God, being convinced of having God on their back is busy chasing prosperity! People of Jerusalem of the time of the prophet made sacrifices in high places and groves to be considered as a nation among the gentiles. They also played politics as we see in our times. Without fear of God they were all making moves on the basis of alternate facts. What did that signify in the chapter we are considering? Rabshakeh deputed to dissuade Judah from seeking help from Egypt spoke and it was fake news all through. Did God care what boastful words Sennacherib would use to spite God Jehovah? These are mere words that would send panic to those who do not cleave unto their God. Evil communications corrupt manners. This is what we see in the King of Assyria. His boastful words set him for his fall that would come soon.
Now it came to pass in the fourteenth year of king Hezekiah, that Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the defenced cities of Judah, and took them.
2 And the king of Assyria sent Rabshakeh from Lachish to Jerusalem unto king Hezekiah with a great army. And he stood by the conduit of the upper pool in the highway of the fuller’s field.
3 Then came forth unto him Eliakim, Hilkiah’s son, which was over the house, and Shebna the scribe, and Joah, Asaph’s son, the recorder.
4 And Rabshakeh said unto them, Say ye now to Hezekiah, Thus saith the great king, the king of Assyria, What confidence is this wherein thou trustest?
5 I say, sayest thou, (but they are but vain words) I have counsel and strength for war: now on whom dost thou trust, that thou rebellest against me?
6 Lo, thou trustest in the staff of this broken reed, on Egypt; whereon if a man lean, it will go into his hand, and pierce it: so is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all that trust in him.
7 But if thou say to me, We trust in the Lord our God: is it not he, whose high places and whose altars Hezekiah hath taken away, and said to Judah and to Jerusalem, Ye shall worship before this altar?
8 Now therefore give pledges, I pray thee, to my master the king of Assyria, and I will give thee two thousand horses, if thou be able on thy part to set riders upon them.
9 How then wilt thou turn away the face of one captain of the least of my master’s servants, and put thy trust on Egypt for chariots and for horsemen?
10 And am I now come up without the Lord against this land to destroy it? the Lord said unto me, Go up against this land, and destroy it.
11 Then said Eliakim and Shebna and Joah unto Rabshakeh, Speak, I pray thee, unto thy servants in the Syrian language; for we understand it: and speak not to us in the Jews’ language, in the ears of the people that are on the wall.
12 But Rabshakeh said, Hath my master sent me to thy master and to thee to speak these words? hath he not sent me to the men that sit upon the wall, that they may eat their own dung, and drink their own piss with you?
13 Then Rabshakeh stood, and cried with a loud voice in the Jews’ language, and said, Hear ye the words of the great king, the king of Assyria.
14 Thus saith the king, Let not Hezekiah deceive you: for he shall not be able to deliver you.
15 Neither let Hezekiah make you trust in the Lord, saying, The Lord will surely deliver us: this city shall not be delivered into the hand of the king of Assyria.
16 Hearken not to Hezekiah: for thus saith the king of Assyria, Make an agreement with me by a present, and come out to me: and eat ye every one of his vine, and every one of his fig tree, and drink ye every one the waters of his own cistern;
17 Until I come and take you away to a land like your own land, a land of corn and wine, a land of bread and vineyards.
18 Beware lest Hezekiah persuade you, saying, the Lord will deliver us. Hath any of the gods of the nations delivered his land out of the hand of the king of Assyria?
19 Where are the gods of Hamath and Arphad? where are the gods of Sepharvaim? and have they delivered Samaria out of my hand?
20 Who are they among all the gods of these lands, that have delivered their land out of my hand, that the Lord should deliver Jerusalem out of my hand?
21 But they held their peace, and answered him not a word: for the king’s commandment was, saying, Answer him not.
22 Then came Eliakim, the son of Hilkiah, that was over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and Joah, the son of Asaph, the recorder, to Hezekiah with their clothes rent, and told him the words of Rabshakeh.