Wednesday, 27 July 2016

The Destruction of Sennacherib

We were reminded about this at the recent convention in Brighton, reminded how, when they trusted in him, Jehovah saved his people - how loyal God is to those who are loyal to him.

As 2 Chronicles 32:1 records, the situation for God's people looked hopeless:

 "After these things and these acts of faithfulness, King Sen·nachʹer·ib of As·syrʹi·a came and invaded Judah. He besieged the fortified cities, intent on breaking through and capturing them. "

Nothing so far had been able to stand in his way.  Many of the cities of Judea had fallen to his armies.  As for Jerusalem, though Sennacherib sent threatening letters warning Hezekiah that he had not desisted from his determination to take the Judean capital (Isa 37:9-20), the record shows that the Assyrians did not so much as “shoot an arrow there, . . . nor cast up a siege rampart against it.” Jehovah, whom Sennacherib had taunted, sent out an angel who, in one night, struck down “a hundred and eighty-five thousand in the camp of the Assyrians,” sending Sennacherib back “with shame of face to his own land.”—Isa 37:33-37; 2Ch 32:21.

And it reminded me of this magnificent poem by Bryon

The Destruction of Sennacherib
by George Gordon Byron

The Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold,
And his cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold;
And the sheen of their spears was like stars on the sea,
When the blue wave rolls nightly on deep Galilee.
Like the leaves of the forest when Summer is green,
That host with their banners at sunset were seen:
Like the leaves of the forest when Autumn hath blown,
That host on the morrow lay withered and strown.
For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast,
And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed;
And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill,
And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still.
And there lay the steed with his nostril all wide,
But through it there rolled not the breath of his pride:
And the foam of his gasping lay white on the turf,
And cold as the spray of the rock-beating surf.
And there lay the rider distorted and pale,
With the dew on his brow and the rust on his mail;
And the tents were all silent, the banners alone,
The lances unlifted, the trumpet unblown.
And the widows of Ashur are loud in their wail,
And the idols are broke in the temple of Baal;
And the might of the Gentile, unsmote by the sword,
Hath melted like snow in the glance of the Lord!

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