Miles to go...

I have miles to go... please pray each day for the next leg of my Biblical journey!

Friday, August 31, 2012

Days 33 & 34: Liberal Propaganda

2 Chronicles 32:9-12

New Living Translation (NLT)
Dung Beetles maneuvering crap. (c)  lockstockb 

Sennacherib Threatens Jerusalem

While King Sennacherib of Assyria was still besieging the town of Lachish, he sent his officers to Jerusalem with this message for Hezekiah and all the people in the city:
10 “This is what King Sennacherib of Assyria says: What are you trusting in that makes you think you can survive my siege of Jerusalem? 11 Hezekiah has said, ‘The Lord our God will rescue us from the king of Assyria.’ Surely Hezekiah is misleading you, sentencing you to death by famine and thirst! 12 Don’t you realize that Hezekiah is the very person who destroyed all the Lord’s shrines and altars? He commanded Judah and Jerusalem to worship only at the altar at the Temple and to offer sacrifices on it alone.


Disclaimer: I know that God is neither a democrat, nor a republican. But who can deny that the Biblical world-view is conservative? Who can argue that God demands honesty, integrity, and moral behavior? Nobody, that's who. So if the opposite of conservative values is a liberal agenda, then the lies told to King Hezekiah and all of the residents of Jerusalem in an attempt to make them more compliant and easier to defeat amounts to sheer propaganda.

Hezekiah was a good guy. He was only 25 when he began ruling over Judah. Not that 25 is young, in comparison to some of the kings who took the throne as children. He was the exact opposite of his father, Ahaz, who had been so bad that he wasn't even allowed to be buried in the royal cemetery. Hezekiah was much more like King David had been about 11 generations earlier. He repaired and reopened the Temple that his daddy had ransacked, stolen from, and then closed. He rededicated the temple, he restored the Passover with a celebration that was unlike any that had been seen since the days of Solomon.

After the festival, all the Asherah poles, the images and altars of Baal, and all the sacred shrines and pillars of other gods were smashed, cut, burned, and removed from all the towns of Judah, Benjamin, Ephraim, and Manasseh. And that's just the beginning! But on to the point, here.

Sennacherib, the king of Assyria, came along and invaded Judah, attacking and breaking through the walls of all the fortified towns. While King Hezakiah was busy repairing all the damage, Assyrian officers made a detour from attacking the town of Lachish to take a message to Jerusalem for Hezekiah, but making sure that the entire population of the city heard the lies they spewed.

There was a definite motive for the lies. They used scare tactics and half truths to instill doubt in the people of Jerusalem, so that they'd be easier to defeat. The Assyrians claimed that Hezakiah had misled them about God's protection, and that just as no god had come to the rescue of any other nation, neither would God come to theirs. They went on about how Hezekiah had destroyed the Lord's shrines and altars, leaving only one standing, and that he had effectively sentenced Judah to death by famine and thirst because of it. 

Lies. Liberal propaganda designed to cow the masses into submission, or at least to cause them to doubt their king so badly that the confusion would make them easier to defeat. Pretty much like what we see happening all around us today, isn't it? I promise, I won't elaborate on my political rants here. 

But what Sennacherib and his men didn't grasp is that God isn't like the other gods. He's real! And He cares for His people. So when Hezekiah prayed, God listened. He sent an angel to destroy the Assyrian army, including all the commanders and officers. King Sennacherib had to return to Assyria with his tail tucked between his legs. He was so disgraced that when he entered the temple of his god, some of his own sons were waiting there, armed with swords, and killed him.

(v.22) That is how the Lord rescued Hezekiah and the people of Jerusalem from King Sennacherib of Assyria and from all the others who threatened them. so there was peace througout the land.