2 Kings 18* Good reign of Hezekiah in Judah, Idolatry. (1-8) Sennacheribinvades Judah. (9-16) Rabshakeh's blasphemies. (17-37)1-8 Hezekiah was a true son of David. Some others did thatwhich was right, but not like David. Let us not suppose thatwhen times and men are bad, they must needs grow worse andworse; that does not follow: after many bad kings, God raisedone up like David himself. The brazen serpent had been carefullypreserved, as a memorial of God's goodness to their fathers inthe wilderness; but it was idle and wicked to burn incense toit. All helps to devotion, not warranted by the word of God,interrupt the exercise of faith; they always lead tosuperstition and other dangerous evils. Human nature pervertsevery thing of this kind. True faith needs not such aids; theword of God, daily thought upon and prayed over, is all theoutward help we need. 9-16 The descent Sennacherib made upon Judah, was a greatcalamity to that kingdom, by which God would try the faith ofHezekiah, and chastise the people. The secret dislike, thehypocrisy, and lukewarmness of numbers, require correction; suchtrials purify the faith and hope of the upright, and bring themto simple dependence on God. 17-37 Rabshakeh tries to convince the Jews, that it was to nopurpose for them to stand it out. What confidence is thiswherein thou trustest? It were well if sinners would submit tothe force of this argument, in seeking peace with God. It is,therefore, our wisdom to yield to him, because it is in vain tocontend with him: what confidence is that which those trust inwho stand out against him? A great deal of art there is in thisspeech of Rabshakeh; but a great deal of pride, malice,falsehood, and blasphemy. Hezekiah's nobles held their peace.There is a time to keep silence, as well as a time to speak; andthere are those to whom to offer any thing religious orrational, is to cast pearls before swine. Their silence madeRabshakeh yet more proud and secure. It is often best to leavesuch persons to rail and blaspheme; a decided expression ofabhorrence is the best testimony against them. The matter mustbe left to the Lord, who has all hearts in his hands, committingourselves unto him in humble submission, believing hope, andfervent prayer.
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