Saturday Morning Promises – Great Stories
And it came to pass on a certain night that the angel of the Lord went out, and killed in the camp of the Assyrians one hundred and eighty-five thousand; and when people arose early in the morning, there were the corpses–all dead. So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed and went away, returned home, and remained at Nineveh. Now it came to pass, as he was worshiping in the temple of Nisroch his god, that his sons Adrammelech and Sharezer struck him down with the sword; and they escaped into the land of Ararat. Then Esarhaddon his son reigned in his place. (2 Kings 19:35-37)
In The Morning Of Death
For centuries war was fought on a large scale of soldiers, machines and weapons. Sisera had 900 chariots of iron, the Philistines had 30,000 chariots and 6,000 horsemen, and people as the sand which is on the seashore in multitude. Solomon had 1400 chariots, 40,000 stalls of horses and 12,000 horsemen. One battle recorded in 1 Kings 20 tells the story of the children of Israel killing 100,000 foot soldiers of the Syrians in one day. Sennacherib came against Jerusalem with an army more than 200,000 strong – to conquer one city.
As Jerusalem lay under seize from the Assyrians, Sennacherib sent his chief of staff Rabshakeh to sue for surrender by the people of the city. Boasting what great things the Assyrians had done to all the lands surrounding Jerusalem Rabshakeh gave assurance to all the people if they would surrender they would be treated fairly and enjoy peace. He reminded the people none of the gods had saved the other conquered people and their god could not save them from the terrible power of the great king of Assyria. The people of Jerusalem were afraid and Hezekiah the king pleaded with the Lord for deliverance. Seeking counsel from Isaiah the word came that Jehovah God would not allow the Assyrians to enter the city and the foreign army would be defeated.
The next day the army of Sennacherib prepared for another uneventful night of besieging Jerusalem. Generals enjoyed their lavish surroundings and the privileges of power. Many soldiers raucously wiled their times away with the pursuits of carnal pleasure. The fires of a thousand camps filled the air with smoke. Life in an army camp was a loud and boisterous experience to dispel the boredom of a siege. The army of Sennacherib was the super power of its day with his army spreading as far as the eye could see. Nothing could stand in its way. Cities cringed in fearful horror at the dread of the Assyrian army. This army was preparing to wipe Jerusalem off the face of the earth.
As the moon settled softly across the western horizon the night turned dark as ebon pinion. Without notice the air grew quiet. While the fires burned to embers the sounds of the camp drew silent. It went without notice. When the sun began to peek over the eastern hills life began to stir within the camp. In the beginning it was a shock as servants tried to awaken their masters but to no avail. Then terror set in. Suddenly the realization came there were a lot of dead soldiers. Had an army crept in during the night and killed these men? As morning dawned brighter the number of dead began to rise until astonished with horror it was reported to Sennacherib 185,000 of his men were dead – in one night – with no apparent reason. The powerful army of the Assyrian king had been decimated to nothing. The king fled back to his own country where twenty years later he would be assassinated by two of his sons. Jerusalem had not been conquered.
The gods defeated by Sennacherib and boasted of by the Rabshakeh were gods of men. The God of Jerusalem sent His angel to kill 185,000 men in one night. There is no God like Jehovah God and no Lord as mighty as the Lord of Hosts. He still rules in the affairs of men. He is still powerful. He is still majestic. And He is the Lord God that gave His Son to die for you and me so that we could live with Him. We do not fear the angel that took the lives of 185,000 men because we serve the Son who came to give us life. Now that is a great story.