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Thursday, June 7, 2012

II Kings 19:34

For I will defend this city, to save it, for mine own sake, and for my servant David's sake.

For further study - II Kings 19:1-37

You need to take a moment with me and read all 37 verses of II Kings 19, our devotional reading for today. It is the story of a king’s prayer for the Lord to save the Jewish people and their city of Jerusalem, and how Jesus Christ intercedes to protect both the Jews and the city.

We first need some background. The King of Judah, King Hezekiah, had come to power and there was revival in the land of Judah and among the Jewish people, II Kings 18.

Now around 710 BC, almost 15 years after the Assyrians had captured the ten tribes of Israel in the north, the Assyrians, led by King Sennacherib had come to capture Judah, the two southern tribes, and destroy the city of Jerusalem.

This caused King Hezekiah to humble himself, rent his clothes, cover himself with sackcloth and go into the Temple to pray. Hezekiah sent his servant, Eliakim, to the prophet Isaiah so that the prophet would also beseech the Lord for the protection of the Jews and Jerusalem.

Isaiah's message to King Hezekiah was a prophecy that the Lord would defeat the attacking Assyrian army. King Sennacherib would return home and there die in his own land.

Sennacherib heard the prophecy and determined that he would defy the Lord God of Israel. King Hezekiah heard that the Assyrians were coming and failed to believe the prophecy of Isaiah.

Therefore, he returned to the Temple to once again pray for his people and Jerusalem. The Lord's answer to the King's prayer would come through the prophet Isaiah, again.

This time Isaiah goes into more detail, verses 20-34. The Lord makes the promise to Hezekiah, through the prophet Isaiah, that He would defend the city of Jerusalem and thus the people, the Jewish people.

Verses 35-37 reveal the record of the prophecy fulfilled. That night Jesus Christ fulfilled the prophecy. The "angel of the Lord" is a pre-incarnate appearance by Jesus who that night killed 185,000 of the attacking Assyrians, verse 35.

Then King Sennacherib returned to his capital city of Assyria, Ninevah, and Sennacherib was killed, by the sword of his enemies as Isaiah the prophet had foretold it would happen. This is another proof that Bible prophecy will be fulfilled.

Please notice before we leave this passage that the reason the Lord protected Jerusalem at this time was two-fold. The Lord saved Jerusalem for His own sake, He has chosen Jerusalem to dwell among His people forever, Psalm 132:13-14.

Jesus also saved Jerusalem because of His promise to King David that there would be a Temple in Jerusalem and one of David's descendants would rule on the throne in that Temple, forever. That king forever is "King Jesus".

Prophecy fulfilled in the past is evidence that prophecy yet to be fulfilled will be fulfilled.

PRAYER THOT: Thank you Lord for the pages of prophecy in the Bible that help me to understand the times in which I'm living and also alert me to the nearness of Your soon return.