2 Chronicles 32:1-8; 2 Kings 18 Making molehills out of mountains
Making molehills out of mountains
Facing trouble though faithful
2 Chronicles 32:1-8; 2 Kings 18-19
an English idiom which means to make a big deal out of a minor issue. Similar idioms exist in other European languages; a German equivalent is aus einer Mücke einen Elefanten machen, "to make an elephant out of a mosquito". Another idiom of this kind is the Romanian "a face din tantar, armasar", i.e. "to make a stallion out of a mosquito".
I. Trouble arises for the faithful
A. Following faithful lifestyle
(NKJV) 2 Chronicles 32 1 After these deeds of faithfulness,
1. Right things
2. Over time – 14th year
3. Prosperity and reward
B. Trouble comes
(NKJV) 2 Chronicles 32 1 … Sennacherib king of Assyria came and entered Judah; he encamped against the fortified cities, thinking to win them over to himself.
C. Enemy prevails
(NKJV) 2 Kings 18 13 And in the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities of Judah and took them.
1. Show progression
2. forty-six Judahite cities
3. Seige of Lachish / Eckron
a) Monument to victory in Lachish in British Museum
(1) Impalled bodies / Heads stacked high Human skins stretched on the wall
II. Personal wavering
A. Giving in
(NKJV) 2 Kings 18 14 Then Hezekiah king of Judah sent to the king of Assyria at Lachish, saying, “I have done wrong; turn away from me; whatever you impose on me I will pay.”
1. I have sinned against you
B. A heavy price to pay
(NKJV) 2 Kings 18 14 … And the king of Assyria assessed Hezekiah king of Judah three hundred talents of silver and thirty talents of gold. 15 So Hezekiah gave him all the silver that was found in the house of the Lord and in the treasuries of the king’s house. 16 At that time Hezekiah stripped the gold from the doors of the temple of the Lord, and from the pillars which Hezekiah king of Judah had overlaid, and gave it to the king of Assyria.
1. 11 tons of silver and one ton of gold
C. An ever increasing burden
(NKJV) 2 Kings 18 17 Then the king of Assyria sent the Tartan, the Rabsaris, and the Rabshakeh from Lachish, with a great army against Jerusalem, to King Hezekiah. And they went up and came to Jerusalem.
1. Can’t be trusted
2. Can’t be bought off
3. Captivity is the goal
! III. Psychological attacks
A. Claim: No one to trust
1. You have no one to trust
(NKJV) 2 Kings 18 19 … ‘Thus says the great king, the king of Assyria: “What confidence is this in which you trust? 20 You speak of having plans and power for war; but they are mere words. And in whom do you trust, that you rebel against me?
2. Invalid to trust in others
(NKJV) 2 Kings 18 21 Now look! You are trusting in the staff of this broken reed, Egypt, on which if a man leans, it will go into his hand and pierce it. So is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all who trust in him.
3. Trusting in wrong god
(NKJV) 2 Kings 18 22 But if you say to me, ‘We trust in the Lord our God,’ is it not He whose high places and whose altars Hezekiah has taken away, and said to Judah and Jerusalem, ‘You shall worship before this altar in Jerusalem’?” ’
4. Invalid to trust self
(NKJV) 2 Kings 18 23 Now therefore, I urge you, give a pledge to my master the king of Assyria, and I will give you two thousand horses—if you are able on your part to put riders on them! 24 How then will you repel one captain of the least of my master’s servants, and put your trust in Egypt for chariots and horsemen?
B. Claim: God is against you
(NKJV) 2 Kings 18 25 Have I now come up without the Lord against this place to destroy it? The Lord said to me, ‘Go up against this land, and destroy it.’ ”
C. Claim: friends turn against you
(NKJV) 2 Kings 18 26 Then Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, Shebna, and Joah said to the Rabshakeh, “Please speak to your servants in Aramaic, for we understand it; and do not speak to us in Hebrew in the hearing of the people who are on the wall.”
27 But the Rabshakeh said to them, “Has my master sent me to your master and to you to speak these words, and not to the men who sit on the wall, who will eat and drink their own waste with you?” 28 Then the Rabshakeh stood and called out with a loud voice in Hebrew, and spoke, saying, “Hear the word of the great king, the king of Assyria! 29 Thus says the king: ‘Do not let Hezekiah deceive you, for he shall not be able to deliver you from his hand;
D. Claim: Captivity of the world is not bad
(NKJV) 2 Kings 18 30 nor let Hezekiah make you trust in the Lord, saying, “The Lord will surely deliver us; this city shall not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.” ’ 31 Do not listen to Hezekiah; for thus says the king of Assyria: ‘Make peace with me by a present and come out to me; and every one of you eat from his own vine and every one from his own fig tree, and every one of you drink the waters of his own cistern; 32 until I come and take you away to a land like your own land, a land of grain and new wine, a land of bread and vineyards, a land of olive groves and honey, that you may live and not die.
E. Claim: God can’t help
(NKJV) 2 Kings 18 32 … But do not listen to Hezekiah, lest he persuade you, saying, “The Lord will deliver us.” 33 Has any of the gods of the nations at all delivered its land from the hand of the king of Assyria? 34 Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim and Hena and Ivah? Indeed, have they delivered Samaria from my hand? 35 Who among all the gods of the lands have delivered their countries from my hand, that the Lord should deliver Jerusalem from my hand?’ ”
1. He is no different than other religions that have no impact
IV. An effective method
A. Worked and planned hard
(NKJV) 2 Chronicles 32 2 And when Hezekiah saw that Sennacherib had come, and that his purpose was to make war against Jerusalem, 3 he consulted with his leaders and commanders to stop the water from the springs which were outside the city; and they helped him. 4 Thus many people gathered together who stopped all the springs and the brook that ran through the land, saying, “Why should the kings of Assyria come and find much water?”
5 And he strengthened himself, built up all the wall that was broken, raised it up to the towers, and built another wall outside; also he repaired the Millo in the City of David, and made weapons and shields in abundance. 6 Then he set military captains over the people, gathered them together to him in the open square of the city gate, and gave them encouragement, saying,
B. But Knew his real strength was God
(NKJV) 2 Chronicles 32 7 “Be strong and courageous; do not be afraid nor dismayed before the king of Assyria, nor before all the multitude that is with him; for there are more with us than with him. 8 With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the Lord our God, to help us and to fight our battles.” And the people were strengthened by the words of Hezekiah king of Judah.
C. Took the crisis to God
1. Entered the presence of God
(NKJV) 2 Kings 19 14 And Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers, and read it; and Hezekiah went up to the house of the Lord,
2. Laid it before the Lord
(NKJV) 2 Kings 19 14 … and spread it before the Lord.
a) Utter dependence on God
3. Acknowledged God’s primacy
(NKJV) 2 Kings 19 15 Then Hezekiah prayed before the Lord, and said: “O Lord God of Israel, the One who dwells between the cherubim, You are God, You alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth.
a) Faith statements
4. Desired God’s involvement
(NKJV) 2 Kings 19 16 Incline Your ear, O Lord, and hear; open Your eyes, O Lord, and see;
a) Seeking His activity
5. Sought God’s glory
(NKJV) 2 Kings 19 16 … and hear the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to reproach the living God. 17 Truly, Lord, the kings of Assyria have laid waste the nations and their lands, 18 and have cast their gods into the fire; for they were not gods, but the work of men’s hands—wood and stone. Therefore they destroyed them. 19 Now therefore, O Lord our God, I pray, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You are the Lord God, You alone.”
a) All about Him – show His power in the world – Defend Himself
V. God acts
A. God really hears
(NKJV) 2 Kings 19 20 Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent to Hezekiah, saying, “Thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘Because you have prayed to Me against Sennacherib king of Assyria, I have heard.’ 21 This is the word which the Lord has spoken concerning him:
1. God is the one being abused by enemies doings
(NKJV) 2 Kings 19 22 ‘Whom have you reproached and blasphemed? Against whom have you raised your voice, And lifted up your eyes on high? Against the Holy One of Israel. 23 By your messengers you have reproached the Lord, And said: “By the multitude of my chariots I have come up to the height of the mountains,
2. God has allowed them their success
(NKJV) 2 Kings 19 25 ‘Did you not hear long ago How I made it, From ancient times that I formed it? Now I have brought it to pass, That you should be For crushing fortified cities into heaps of ruins. 26 Therefore their inhabitants had little power; They were dismayed and confounded;
3. God will pull the plug
(NKJV) 2 Kings 19 28 Because your rage against Me and your tumult Have come up to My ears, Therefore I will put My hook in your nose And My bridle in your lips, And I will turn you back By the way which you came.
B. God personally defends
(NKJV) 2 Kings 19 32 “Therefore thus says the Lord concerning the king of Assyria: ‘He shall not come into this city, Nor shoot an arrow there, Nor come before it with shield, Nor build a siege mound against it. 33 By the way that he came, By the same shall he return; And he shall not come into this city,’ Says the Lord. 34 ‘For I will defend this city, to save it For My own sake and for My servant David’s sake.’ ”
C. God Himself provides salvation
(NKJV) 2 Kings 19 35 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. 36 So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed and went away, returned home, and remained at Nineveh.
D. God shames
(NKJV) 2 Chronicles 32 21 Then the Lord sent an angel who cut down every mighty man of valor, leader, and captain in the camp of the king of Assyria. So he returned shamefaced to his own land.
E. God destroys
(NKJV) 2 Chronicles 32 21 … And when he had gone into the temple of his god, some of his own offspring struck him down with the sword there.
1. (delays 20 years)
F. God restores
(NKJV) 2 Chronicles 32 22 Thus the Lord saved Hezekiah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem from the hand of Sennacherib the king of Assyria, and from the hand of all others, and guided them on every side. 23 And many brought gifts to the Lord at Jerusalem, and presents to Hezekiah king of Judah, so that he was exalted in the sight of all nations thereafter.