The Assyrian Empire had taken over the ten-tribe kingdom of Israel. Now Sennacherib, the king of Assyria, wanted to take over the two-tribe kingdom of Judah. He began taking the cities of Judah one by one. But the city he wanted most was Jerusalem. What Sennacherib did not know was that Jehovah was protecting Jerusalem.
Hezekiah, the king of Judah, paid Sennacherib a lot of money to leave Jerusalem alone. Although Sennacherib took the money, he still sent his powerful army to attack Jerusalem. The people in the city were scared because the Assyrians were getting closer and closer. Then Hezekiah told them: ‘Don’t be afraid. The Assyrians are strong, but Jehovah will make us even stronger than they are.’
Sennacherib sent his messenger, the Rabshakeh, to Jerusalem to make fun of the people. The Rabshakeh stood outside the city and shouted: ‘Jehovah cannot help you. Don’t let Hezekiah trick you. There is no god that can protect you from us.’
Hezekiah asked Jehovah what he should do. Jehovah answered: ‘Don’t be scared by what the Rabshakeh says. Sennacherib will not take Jerusalem.’ Next, Hezekiah received some letters from Sennacherib. The letters said: ‘Just give up. Jehovah can’t save you.’ Hezekiah prayed: ‘Please, Jehovah, save us, so that everyone will know that you are the only true God.’ Jehovah told him: ‘The king of Assyria will not come into Jerusalem. I will protect my city.’
Sennacherib felt sure that Jerusalem would soon be his. But one night, Jehovah sent an angel to where the soldiers were camped outside the city. The angel killed 185,000 soldiers! King Sennacherib lost his mightiest soldiers. He had no choice but to go home defeated. Jehovah protected Hezekiah and Jerusalem, just as he had promised. If you had been there in Jerusalem, would you have trusted in Jehovah?
“The angel of Jehovah camps all around those fearing Him, and he rescues them.”—Psalm 34:7