Class Notes: 9/30/2020
Jonah, Nineveh, and Nemesis part 6
2Chron 7:13-14; "If I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people,
14 and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
Isaiah 3:12; Youths oppress my people, women rule over them. O my people, your teachers lie to you and tell you to go the wrong way.
Isaiah 5:20; Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!
1Cor 4:5; Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men's hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God.
We are presently in a study of Jonah, Nineveh and Nemesis where we see God's policy of grace before judgment. God always provides the opportunity for repentance before he executes judgment.
Some principles we can derive from of our brief study of Jonah, Israel, Judah, Assyria and Nemesis is that anyone can repent, because God extends His mercy even to the merciless and help to the helpless but judgment is always waiting in the wings because ultimately the truth wins because God is truth and He cannot deny himself. 2Cor 13:8; John 17:17; 2Tim 2:13;
Last time we noted the rise of Sennacherib to the Assyrian throne. Sennacherib defeated Merodach-baladan of Babylon and his Elamite and Arab allies late in 702BC.
He also quickly put down the rebels on the northern frontier of Assyria that gave him the freedom to turn his attention to the west, where Egypt was stirring up trouble among the smaller states. Hezekiah of Judah was a leader in the opposition to Sennacherib and had strengthened the fortifications of Jerusalem. Anticipating trouble from Sennacherib Hezekiah called upon Egypt for help (Isaiah 30:1-4;)
In 701BC Sennacherib undertook a pan-Arabic campaign to broaden his power base and in another sweep down the Levant along the Mediterranean coast he defeated the Phoenicians, the Philistines, and the Egyptians
He then turned his attention toward Hezekiah in Judah. God had assigned the prophet Isaiah to advise and counsel Hezekiah but unfortunately the king went into reversionism making him liable to the sin unto death that almost cost him his life and Judah its freedom.
God's mandate is for client nations to depend exclusively upon the Lord God for security, provision, and protection and adverse historical circumstances do not change that mandate.
In times of prosperity, believers find it easy to credit God for their blessings. But when under threat from a predator nation they succumb to fear and accuse God of either being negligent or out of touch with reality.
National leadership often finds these threats a reason to rely on other nations instead of God for help, an idea that was the basis of the prophet Jeremiah's comment in: Jer 17:5; Thus says the Lord, "Cursed be the man that trusts in man, and makes flesh his arm, and whose heart departs from the Lord."
Hezekiah allowed the imminent threat of Assyrian military power to cause him to fear and in his spiritual failure he sought help from the Egyptians for the security of Judah. Isaiah rejected this idea and vociferously implored Hezekiah against political alliances because he knew that the Divine solution was the only solution and the human solution was no solution.
Isa 30:1; "Woe to the rebellious children," declares the Lord, "Who execute a plan, but not Mine, and make an alliance but not of My Spirit, in order to add sin to sin;
v2 - who proceed down to Egypt, without consulting Me, to take refuge in the safety of Pharaoh, and to seek shelter in the shadow of Egypt!
v3 - "Therefore the safety of Pharaoh will be your shame, and the shelter in the shadow of Egypt, your humiliation."
2Kings 18:13; In the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah's reign, (701BC) Sennacherib, king of Assyria, attacked all the fortified cities of Judah and captured them.
The word "all" describes the success of Sennacherib's campaign. All of the fortified cities in Judah that he attacked he captured but there were still a few cities remaining and he would ultimately face his Nemesis at Jerusalem.
Sennacherib's initial campaign took him through a number of locations in Philistia and then into the low lands of Western Judah where Ekron was destroyed, its leaders killed and inhabitants carried off into captivity.
This event led to the famous attack of Sennacherib on Hezekiah and Jerusalem in 701BC that. is one of the best-documented events in the ancient world. Scripture describes his invasion from the Judean standpoint (2Kings 18-20; 2Chron 32:1-23; Isaiah 36-39; Micah 1:8-16; and Isaiah 10:28-32.
The Assyrian artifact "Prism of Sennacherib" describes this invasion in great detail. In addition, stone the reliefs that lined the throne room of his palace in Nineveh depict various facets of his Judean campaign.
After marching westward to the Mediterranean Sea from Assyria, Sennacherib proceeded south along the Phoenician coast capturing Joppa, Bene Berak, and Beth Dagon.
The Egyptians and Ethiopians, who responded to Hezekiah's call for help, were defeated in the Plain of Eltekeh. Sennacherib then moved eastward and captured the city of Timnah , cutting the supply line between Ekron and Judah off. He then conquered the nearby cities of Ekron, Elah, Azekah and Gath.
Then Sennacherib moves south and assaulted the Judean stronghold of Lachish. The siege and conquest of Lachish must have been one of the high points of Sennacherib's reign because the throne room in his palace at Nineveh was decorated with reliefs depicting this conquest.
From his encampment at Lachish, and later from Libnah, Sennacherib sent his supreme commander, chief officer, and field commander to Jerusalem with an army to demand Hezekiah's surrender.
At the same time that Sennacherib started his campaign against Judah, Hezekiah became sick and in Isaiah 38; we see that he is informed by Isaiah that he has committed the sin unto death:
Isa 38:1-5; In those days Hezekiah became sick to the point of death. And Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came to him and said to him, "Thus says the Lord, 'Set your house in order, for you shall die and not live.'"
v2 Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall, and prayed to the Lord,
v3 and said, "Remember now, O Lord, I beseech You, how I have walked before You in truth and with a whole heart, and have done what is good in Your sight." And Hezekiah wept bitterly.
v4 Then the word of the Lord came to Isaiah, saying,
v 5 "Go and say to Hezekiah, 'Thus says the Lord, the God of your father David, "I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; behold, I will add fifteen years to your life.
v 6 "And I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria; and I will defend this city."'
Sennacherib decides to take advantage Hezekiah and his advisors' weakness so he sends three members of his staff, to Jerusalem to meet with Hezekiah and his advisors to try to negotiate nonviolent solution to the situation.
These three individuals are identified in 2 Kings 18:17; Then the king of Assyria sent the Tartan his general, Rabsaris, his chief of staff, and Rabshakeh, his secretary of state, from Lachish to King Hezekiah in Jerusalem.
Isaiah 36:2; And the king of Assyria sent the Rabshakeh from Lachish to Jerusalem to King Hezekiah with a large army. And he stood by the conduit of the upper pool on the road to the field where they washed and dried clothes.
Their objective was to propagandize the Jewish people and create doubt regarding God's promise of deliverance. Propaganda is designed to create insecurity in the people's minds by impugning them and creating doubt about what they believe. It seeks to exploit real or imputed weaknesses in the people's thinking.
The propagandists project ideas of self-doubt, embarrassment, or guilt so that "old thinking" can be dismissed as "mean-spirited," "intolerant," and "judgmental" and replaced by "new thinking" that is "compassionate," "tolerant," and "nonjudgmental."
This is the same kind of propaganda that the leftists in this country are using against the citizens who believe in Divine establishment, the founders, and the founding documents of the USA.
This is the same kind of political war against truth that is being waged in the USA by the leftists in the deep state, the media, and the democrat run FBI and injustice department at this time.
In the case of Judah, the propaganda will be used to create false narratives with the objective of creating doubt in the people's minds regarding the ability of the Lord God to deliver them from the Assyrian army.
2Chron 32:2-8; Now when Hezekiah saw that Sennacherib had come, and that he intended to make war on Jerusalem,
v3 he decided with his officers and his warriors to cut off the supply of water from the springs which were outside the city, and they helped him.
v4 Many people assembled and plugged up all the springs and the stream which flowed through the region, saying, "Why should the kings of Assyria come and find abundant water?"
v5 And he took courage and rebuilt all the wall that had been broken down, and erected towers on it, and built another outside wall, and strengthened the terrace in the city of David, and made weapons and shields in great number.
v6 And he appointed military officers over the people, and gathered them to him in the square at the city gate, and spoke encouragingly to them, saying,
v7 "Be strong and courageous, do not fear or be dismayed because of the king of Assyria, nor because of all the multitude which is with him; for the One with us is greater than the one with him.
v8 "With him is only an arm of flesh, but with us is the Lord our God to help us and to fight our battles." And the people relied on the words of Hezekiah king of Judah.
Hezekiah had been king of Judah for fourteen years and all that he had done was in accordance with the directive will of God. He had rid the country of the high places and the idols of Baal and restored proper worship of the Lord God in Judah.
These were his first and primary responsibilities but during those fourteen years he had not addressed the defenses of the city. Previous battles had done great damage to the ramparts and walls that protected Jerusalem. This includes the damage that was inflicted by Hazael king of Damascus' siege during Joash's reign.
Hezekiah also diverted the water from the upper pool an aqueduct so that the assaulting army will not have access to a water supply. He then rebuilt the fortifications around and within the city. He also got the defense industry up and running to produce weapons and shields and then distributed them to the men.
The rainwater and that ran down from the hills around Jerusalem was stored in two pools, the upper (Isa. 22:11;) and the lower (Isa. 22:9;), that were connected by an open stream.
The upper pool was outside of the city walls and would supply the needs of a besieging army if available but Hezekiah covered it and built and aquaduct to bring the water into a large reservoir or "lake" between the two walls" of the upper and lower city. (Isa. 22:11; 2 Kings 20:20; 2Chron 32:30;).
He also assembled his men and captains, and encouraged them that a greater one was with them than all the hordes of Assyria, not "an arm of flesh," but our Lord our God would help us and fight our battles.
Hezekiah is preparing to engage in armed conflict but a much more insidious assault was about to be launched by Sennacherib. On the way to Jerusalem from Sennacherib's bivouac at Lachish is the Assyrian Secretary of State.
He is about to launch a series of verbal missiles into the souls of Hezekiah's cabinet and the people of Jerusalem that will challenge them to either dismiss the propaganda and lies with divine viewpoint or be victimized by the lies of the cosmic system.
Sennacherib is the ruler of a heathen nation who God has permitted to assault client nation Judah because its leaders and its people have gone into reversionism resulting in their choice to trust in alliances with other nations rather than the Lord God.
Sennacherib's political and military staff are unbelievers who represent one the most brutal and evil regimes in all of ancient history.
They don't realize that they are spokesmen for the devil, the father of lies, and as these officials approach the people of Jerusalem they will convey a message that has been devised by demons.
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