MAY 17

Chapter 32 records the invasion against Judah by Sennacherib, the king of Assyria. Note especially Hezekiah's encouragement to his soldiers as Sennacherib comes. He says, "Be strong and courageous, be not afraid nor dismayed for the king of Assyria, nor for all the multitude that is with him: for there be more with us than with him. With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the Lord our God to help us, and to fight our battles." When they received this message, "The people rested themselves upon the words of Hezekiah king of Judah.".

The words of the Lord brought comfort to the people of Judah. They believed their king, and they were not discouraged in the face of the enemy. Hezekiah did not want to fight the war against the Assyrian army but, in the face of discouragement, he sought the Lord's face, and God gave him the courage to fight the battle. He also gave him a message of encouragement for his people and, as we see in verse 21, the Assyrian army was destroyed.

The last verse of chapter 32 records Hezekiah's death. Chapter 33 records the idolatry of Manasseh and Amon, and their wicked rule. Many historians note that Manasseh was probably the most wicked king that ever ruled over Judah. Verses 1-10 of chapter 33 cover some of his wicked deeds; then his captivity and restoration (verses 11-13). His reform and death are covered in verses 14-20, and Amon began his rule in verse 21.

The reign of Josiah is recorded in chapter 34. He was only eight years of age when he became king, and he reigned 31 years. He is known as one of Judah's best kings. He fought against idolatry and a great revival took place under his rule. This revival was greatly the result of finding the Mosaic Law which was lost during Manasseh's reign of terror.

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