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A Practical Commentary On Holy Scripture by Frederick Justus Knecht D.D.

[2 Paralip. 29–32]

DURING the reign of Achaz the people of Juda were visited with a terrible calamity. That unhappy king had sacrificed his own children to the idol Moloch, one of the chief gods of the Gentiles. He had closed the gates of the Temple, and broken the sacred vessels. The Lord therefore delivered him into the hands of the king of Syria, who slew in one day a hundred and twenty thousand men of Juda, while two hundred thousand women and children were carried into captivity.

Achaz having died a short time after, his son Ezechias ascended the throne. This pious prince immediately cast down the altars which his unhappy father had everywhere raised to the pagan gods; he threw open again the gates of the Temple, and exhorted the Levites to purify it from the profanations that had taken place there; saying that it was because of the sins of the people, and, above all, because of their idolatry, that so many misfortunes had come upon them.

And God blessed Ezechias and was with him in all he did; so that in his days the kingdom of Juda regained all its former prosperity. Nevertheless it came to pass that after some years, Sennacherib, king of Assyria, came with a mighty army, and besieged Jerusalem.

Then Ezechias went to the Temple and prayed. He also sent priests, clothed in sackcloth, to the prophet Isaias, to ask him to intercede with God on behalf of him and his people. The prophet sent word to Ezechias not to fear, for that God had heard his prayer, and would destroy the Assyrians, and that their king, returning to his own country, should perish by the sword.

That same night the angel of the Lord went to the camp of the Assyrians, and killed one hundred and eighty-five thousand warriors. Thus Sennacherib was obliged to return in disgrace to his own country. There he went to the temple of his god, and his own sons slew him with the sword. Thus was fulfilled the prophecy of Isaias.

Ezechias, some time after, fell sick and lay at the point of death. The prophet Isaias was sent to tell him to put his house in order, for that he must die. The king, terrified at the thought of death, turned his face towards the Temple, and prayed with tears that God might prolong his life. God heard his prayer, and sent the prophet again to tell him that fifteen years should be added to his life. And so it came to pass; and at the end of the fifteen years he died, after a happy and prosperous reign, the reward of his fidelity to God.

The Justice of God. The holy king Ezechias was blessed by God, and saved from a great danger in the most wonderful way. On the other hand, the pride of Ozias was punished by a life-long illness; and all the other kings of Juda who were unfaithful to God were punished by Him in different ways.

In the hour of danger we ought to do as the pious king Ezechias did. He took every possible human precaution to defend Jerusalem,. and then, full of confidence, humbly asked God’s protection. In the hour of need we, in the same way, ought to do all we can ourselves, though we must not depend on our own efforts for success, but humbly pray to God for help and deliverance. “Our help cometh from the Lord l”

The power of prayer. The marvellous help which was sent to Ezechias ought to prove to us the power and efficacy of fervent prayer.

APPLICATION. Have you always prayed with confidence? Very likely you have prayed for many things, and have not received them because you lacked confidence. Have more faith, for the future, when you pray, especially in times of trouble and spiritual need; and then you will certainly be heard.








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