Never in the history of the Nation had such large-scale panic been experienced. From the palace to the populace reality about the immensity of the threat facing them was dawning on all. The ominous poison from the sting of Sennacherib spread like a plague. Great fear had seized the land. In a defiant show of might, he had paraded his chief officer, the supreme commander and his field counterpart all seasoned warriors to deliver the spine chilling message to Hezekiah and the Nation that demanded nothing short of unconditional surrender.
Hezekiah’s officials and those nearby stood petrified as they speechlessly listened. It was a dark day for the Nation. The trio was a gruesome picture of terror redefined. The towering burly and intimidating figures in full combat gear underlined by their tanned faces spoke of trouble phenomenal. The supreme commander’s husky tone sent a chill down every stomach!
From the privacy of his room, Hezekiah went through the letter for the fifth time, occasionally pausing to control the great sense of anxiety raging within him. He understood only too well how limited his options were. No one could argue against Sennacherib’s insurmountable conquests. He had been unstoppable on the mountains, through the plains, on the hills and valleys. Was this the end? Wondered Hezekiah.
He had never been this afraid before. For a moment flashbacks of his frightful childhood moments came flooding back. He remembered that night as a boy walking home when he thought he had seen a herd of elephants barricade the road. He was stranded for two hours until his cousin found him. He remembered the surprising relief when they walked past the spot where he could have sworn he had seen three monstrous bulls converge in apparent readiness to charge at him!
This day however was such a contrast in many ways. First of all, it was broad day light! Secondly, the three elephants standing at the city gate were no hoax! No cousin would be coming to his aid either!
As a matter of fact, he had already succumbed under pressure from the supreme commander not so long ago when he had been forced to give a hefty ransom in silver and gold, depleting the royal treasuries. He had strategically but unsuccessfully hoped to kindle God’s wrath against Sennacherib by depleting the temple treasuries to settle the ransom. Was his boldness not a validity thus? Was it any wonder he claimed in his threats to have been sent by God Himself? This time round he was back demanding for his very soul. Hezekiah was in great fear.
Security forces all over the Nation were in disarray. All morale sunken. There was great discouragement everywhere. A recommendation sent to Hezekiah moments ago had strongly leaned on full compliance to Sennacherib’s demands to avert casualties in the looming crisis.
When Hezekiah finally stepped out of his room, all options but one were gone. His mind was fully made up; a verdict that was rapidly relayed all across the land in decree. It was action time! On his knees, he spread the letter wide open before the Lord’s presence in his quiet place. Not a single letter, word, highlight or punctuation was obscured.
Lord Jesus, forgive me for times when in the enormity of the challenge your face has seemed hazy and distant. You know my mind and heart and what I go through in my constant struggle with fear. You know the mountains I have to face in the New 366; both known and unknown to me and know only too well just how badly I need you to scale even the least of them. I praise you, He who is before all things. You were before 2012! Lead me Lord, for you are my confidence and sufficiency through it all. Lord, graciously hear me I pray in your Name. Amen.
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