Summary: The Bible teaches about an instance in which king Hezekiah received a letter from Sennacherib, king of Assyria and his most determined enemy. Sennacherib ordered complete surrender, but not without first diplaying his military prowess and personal pride.
Letters can be wonderful! Especially when we receive them from a loved one. A son whose far away fighting in a war; a father or mother who writes to tells us the illness has passed; a sister who informs us the baby has finally arrived. But there are also those letters that we would never like to receive, such as those that tell us of the death of a loved one, or maybe the one that informs us our spouse has left to find “something better.” And what about the doctor’s letter telling us that the illness is so serious he can only predict a few more months of life? What about the letter from the bank telling us there is no more time and it’s time to repossess the house? It’s as if these letters were sent from enemies themselves.
The Bible teaches about an instance in which king Hezekiah received a letter from Sennacherib, king of Assyria and his most determined enemy. Sennacherib ordered complete surrender, but not without first diplaying his military prowess and personal pride. Sennacherib even had the guts to difame God and compare him with the other gods of the peoples he had conquered. What a terrible situation for Hezekiah! And it became worse when he recieved, at a time like this, letters from the enemy. Under what conditions did Hezekiah receive this letter?
I. HEZEKIAH RECIEVED THE LETTER AFTER DOING THAT WHICH WAS GOOD
“After all that Hezekiah had so faithfully done, Sennacherib king of Assyria came and invaded Judah. He laid siege to the fortified cities, thinking to conquer them for himself.” (2 Chronicles 32:1)
A. What were those things he had so faithfully done?
1. He reestablished the service in the Temple
a. He repaired and purified the Temple (2 Chronicles 29:3)
b. He gathered the priests and Levites and ordered them to prepare to worship and serve in the Temple (2 Chronicles 29:4-11)
c. He supervised the sacrifices and offerings (2 Chronicles 29:20-24)
d. He led the peopl in worship (Chronicles 29:25-29)
2. He celebrated the Passover
a. Messengers were sent to invite the people (2 Chronicles 30:6)
b. The people came, but they had not been purified (2 Chronicles 30:18)
c. Still, the king did not cast them out, but he prayed for them (2 Chroniles 30:18, 19)
d. God was pleased and He healed the people (2 Chronicles 30:20)
e. The people returned home and they purified their cities (2 Chronicles 31:1)
3. He established a system of contributions for the Temple
a. Contributions, tithes and dedicated gifts were brough (2 Chronicles 31:11)
i. Contributions were offerings
ii. Tithes were the tenth part of a person’s earnings and were used to provide for the needs of the priests and the Levites
iii. The dedicated gifts were given for a specific purpose
b. All this was good and right before the Lord (2 Chronicles 31:20)
4. Today, the enemy will await our decision to do good before he sends us letters
a. When we determine ourselves to serve God
“But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” (Joshua 24:15)