The mighty Sennacherib, king of the Assyrians, was camped with his army outside the walls of Jerusalem. He was certain of a victory—all human reasoning said Jerusalem was hopeless. King Hezekiah, however, had more than human reasoning on his side and was not going to give up that easily.
Hezekiah took counsel of his men. Evidently, Jerusalem was set up with waters flowing, even outside the city. The decision was made to stop the waters. The question was asked, “Why should the kings of Assyria come and find much water?” (II Chronicles 32:4)
Hezekiah had been leading the people in a great revival, a returning to the Lord God of Israel. It was evident that God was blessing his efforts, and Hezekiah was determined to continue in the path of holiness. So, just as the people had recently pitched in to restore the temple services and destroy the idols in the land, now they worked together to stop the waters of the fountains which flowed outside the city.
Do we ever consider watering the enemy, so to speak, in our evangelistic efforts? As we seek to share Jesus with the children, do we rely on methods and attractions of the world? Or do we rely solely on Heaven’s methods? Hezekiah refused to water the enemy.
Then the work was shifted. The people looked for broken places in Jerusalem’s wall and built it back up—they needed a strong barrier between themselves and the Assyrian attackers. The original wall raised high and strong, they built up a second wall outside the first.
They may have been situated right in the middle of their enemies, but they were not going to allow that to be reason for an easy defeat.
We are called to live in this world, but it is critical that we “be not conformed to this world”. We must keep the fortifying walls of God’s commandments fully intact, built up strong as a defense against the enemy. Repeatedly, we are urged to teach our children the ways of the Lord “that they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments”. (Psalm 78:7)
Of course, the law itself cannot save us any more than the walls alone were going to save Jerusalem. As Paul said in Romans 3:27, “Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.” We must trust God in spite of our past, and in spite of our human frailty; just as Hezekiah and the people had chosen to do. They were not going to let their trust be an excuse to just sit back in inactivity, though.
So as Sennacherib stood without the walls, anticipating his great victory, Hezekiah stood within the very same walls, preparing his people for battle….