Daily Devotional

by Larry Stockstill

What is it about praise that is so powerful? Why are we so strongly exhorted in so many scriptures to praise the Lord?

First, praise blesses God. When His people praise His name with dancing and make music to Him with tambourine and harp, the Lord takes delight in them (Psalm 149:4). We bless Him when we dance, clap, rejoice, and are glad in Him. The saints should ever "rejoice in his honor" and "sing for joy as they lie on their beds" (v. 5).

Second, praise engages mighty warfare against the enemy. If it is our honor to praise the Lord, then it is our glory to put our enemies to flight through praise (v. 9). Praise has the power "to bind their kings with shackles and their leaders with iron chains" (v. 8). As we praise God, the sentence upon our enemies as written in the Word of God is executed.

Never underestimate the power of praise. King Hezekiah's simple worship and prayer brought the angel of the Lord into his situation. In one night, the angel killed 185,000 Assyrian troops, and Judah was delivered from the enemy's hands (2 Kings 19:35).

Praise ye the Lord!

2 Kings 18:13-19:37

13 In the fourteenth yearS ver 2 of King Hezekiah’s reign, Sennacherib king of Assyria attacked all the fortified cities of JudahIsa 1:7; Mic 1:9 and captured them.14 So Hezekiah king of Judah sent this message to the king of Assyria at Lachish:2Ki 19:8 “I have done wrong.Isa 24:5; 33:8 Withdraw from me, and I will pay whatever you demand of me.” The king of Assyria exacted from Hezekiah king of Judah three hundred talentsThat is, about 11 tons or about 10 metric tons of silver and thirty talentsThat is, about 1 ton or about 1 metric ton of gold.15 So Hezekiah gaveS 1Ki 15:18; Isa 39:2 him all the silver that was found in the temple of the Lord and in the treasuries of the royal palace.

16 At this time Hezekiah king of Judah stripped off the gold with which he had covered the doors2Ch 29:3 and doorposts of the temple of the Lord, and gave it to the king of Assyria.

Sennacherib Threatens Jerusalem18:13, 17-37pp — Isa 36:1-2218:17-35pp — 2Ch 32:9-19

17 The king of Assyria sent his supreme commander,Isa 20:1 his chief officer and his field commander with a large army, from Lachish to King Hezekiah at Jerusalem. They came up to Jerusalem and stopped at the aqueduct of the Upper Pool,2Ki 20:20; 2Ch 32:4, 30; Ne 2:14; Isa 22:9 on the road to the Washerman’s Field.18 They called for the king; and Eliakim2Ki 19:2; Isa 22:20; 36:3, 11, 22; 37:2 son of Hilkiah the palace administrator, Shebnaver 26, 37; Isa 22:15 the secretary, and Joah son of Asaph the recorder went out to them.

19 The field commander said to them, “Tell Hezekiah:

“‘This is what the great king, the king of Assyria, says: On what are you basing this confidenceS ver 5; S Job 4:6 of yours?20 You say you have the counsel and the might for war—but you speak only empty words. On whom are you depending, that you rebel against me?21 Look, I know you are depending on Egypt,Isa 20:5; 31:1; Eze 29:6 that splintered reed of a staff,2Ki 24:7; Isa 20:6; 30:5, 7; Jer 25:19; 37:7; 46:2 which pierces the hand of anyone who leans on it! Such is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all who depend on him.22 But if you say to me, “We are depending on the Lord our God”—isn’t he the one whose high places and altars Hezekiah removed, saying to Judah and Jerusalem, “You must worship before this altar in Jerusalem”?

23 “‘Come now, make a bargain with my master, the king of Assyria: I will give you two thousand horses—if you can put riders on them!24 How can you repulse one officerIsa 10:8 of the least of my master’s officials, even though you are depending on Egypt for chariots and horsemenOr charioteers?25 Furthermore, have I come to attack and destroy this place without word from the Lord?2Ki 19:6, 22; 24:3; 2Ch 35:21 The Lord himself told me to march against this country and destroy it.’”

26 Then Eliakim son of Hilkiah, and Shebna and Joah said to the field commander, “Please speak to your servants in Aramaic,Ezr 4:7 since we understand it. Don’t speak to us in Hebrew in the hearing of the people on the wall.”

27 But the commander replied, “Was it only to your master and you that my master sent me to say these things, and not to the people sitting on the wall—who, like you, will have to eat their own excrement and drink their own urine?”

28 Then the commander stood and called out in Hebrew, “Hear the word of the great king, the king of Assyria!29 This is what the king says: Do not let Hezekiah deceive2Ki 19:10 you. He cannot deliver you from my hand.30 Do not let Hezekiah persuade you to trust in the Lord when he says, ‘The Lord will surely deliver us; this city will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.’

31 “Do not listen to Hezekiah. This is what the king of Assyria says: Make peace with me and come out to me. Then each of you will eat fruit from your own vine and fig treeS Nu 13:23; S 1Ki 4:25 and drink water from your own cistern,Jer 14:3; La 4:432 until I come and take you to a land like your own—a land of grain and new wine, a land of bread and vineyards, a land of olive trees and honey. Choose lifeDt 30:19 and not death!

“Do not listen to Hezekiah, for he is misleading you when he says, ‘The Lord will deliver us.’33 Has the god2Ki 19:12 of any nation ever delivered his land from the hand of the king of Assyria?34 Where are the gods of HamathS 2Ki 17:24; S Jer 49:23 and Arpad?Isa 10:9 Where are the gods of Sepharvaim, Hena and Ivvah? Have they rescued Samaria from my hand?35 Who of all the gods of these countries has been able to save his land from me? How then can the Lord deliver Jerusalem from my hand?”Ps 2:1-2

36 But the people remained silent and said nothing in reply, because the king had commanded, “Do not answer him.”

37 Then EliakimS ver 18; Isa 33:7; 36:3, 22 son of Hilkiah the palace administrator, Shebna the secretary, and Joah son of Asaph the recorder went to Hezekiah, with their clothes torn,S 2Ki 6:30 and told him what the field commander had said.

Jerusalem’s Deliverance Foretold19:1-13pp — Isa 37:1-13

19 When King Hezekiah heard this, he toreS Ge 37:34; S Nu 14:6 his clothes and put on sackcloth and went into the temple of the Lord.He sent EliakimS 2Ki 18:18 the palace administrator, Shebna the secretary and the leading priests,Jer 19:1 all wearing sackcloth,S Ge 37:34 to the prophet IsaiahIsa 1:1 son of Amoz.They told him, “This is what Hezekiah says: This day is a day of distress and rebuke and disgrace, as when children come to the momentHos 13:13 of birth and there is no strength to deliver them.It may be that the Lord your God will hear all the words of the field commander, whom his master, the king of Assyria, has sent to ridiculeS 1Sa 17:26 the living God, and that he will rebuke2Sa 16:12 him for the words the Lord your God has heard. Therefore pray for the remnantS Ge 45:7; S Jer 37:3 that still survives.”

When King Hezekiah’s officials came to Isaiah,Isaiah said to them, “Tell your master, ‘This is what the Lord says: Do not be afraidS Dt 3:2; S Jos 1:9 of what you have heard—those words with which the underlings of the king of Assyria have blasphemedS 2Ki 18:25 me.Listen! When he hears a certain report,S Ex 14:24; Jer 51:46 I will make him want to return to his own country, and there I will have him cut down with the sword.ver 37; 2Ch 32:21; Isa 10:12’”

When the field commander heard that the king of Assyria had left Lachish,2Ki 18:14 he withdrew and found the king fighting against Libnah.S Nu 33:20; S 2Ki 8:22

Now Sennacherib received a report that Tirhakah, the king of Cush,That is, the upper Nile region was marching out to fight against him. So he again sent messengers to Hezekiah with this word:10 “Say to Hezekiah king of Judah: Do not let the god you dependS 2Ki 18:5 on deceive2Ki 18:29 you when he says, ‘Jerusalem will not be given into the hands of the king of Assyria.’11 Surely you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all the countries, destroying them completely. And will you be delivered?12 Did the gods of the nations that were destroyed by my predecessors deliver2Ki 18:33; 2Ch 32:17 them—the gods of Gozan,2Ki 17:6 Harran,S Ge 11:31 Rezeph and the people of Eden who were in Tel Assar?13 Where is the king of Hamath or the king of Arpad? Where are the kings of Lair, Sepharvaim, Hena and Ivvah?”Isa 10:9-11; Jer 49:23

Hezekiah’s Prayer19:14-19pp — Isa 37:14-20

14 Hezekiah received the letter2Ki 5:7 from the messengers and read it. Then he went up to the temple of the Lord and spread it out before the Lord.15 And Hezekiah prayed to the Lord: “Lord, the God of Israel, enthroned between the cherubim,S Ge 3:24; S Ex 25:22 you aloneS Ge 1:1; S Jos 2:11 are God over all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth.16 Give ear,Ps 31:2; 71:2; 88:2; 102:2 Lord, and hear;S 1Ki 8:29 open your eyes,S Ex 3:16 Lord, and see; listen to the words Sennacherib has sent to ridicule the living God.

17 “It is true, Lord, that the Assyrian kings have laid waste these nations and their lands.18 They have thrown their gods into the fire and destroyed them, for they were not godsIsa 44:9-11; Jer 10:3-10 but only wood and stone, fashioned by human hands.Dt 4:28; Ps 115:4; Ac 17:2919 Now, Lord our God, deliver1Sa 12:10; Job 6:23; Ps 3:7; 71:4 us from his hand, so that all the kingdomsS 1Ki 8:43; 1Ch 16:8 of the earth may knowS Jos 4:24; S 1Sa 17:46 that you alone, Lord, are God.”

Isaiah Prophesies Sennacherib’s Fall19:20-37pp — Isa 37:21-3819:35-37pp — 2Ch 32:20-21

20 Then Isaiah son of Amoz sent a message to Hezekiah: “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: I have heardS 1Ki 9:3 your prayer concerning Sennacherib king of Assyria.21 This is the word that the Lord has spoken againstIsa 10:5; 33:1 him:

“‘Virgin DaughterIsa 47:1; Jer 14:17; 18:13; 31:4; 46:11; La 2:13; Am 5:2 Zion

despisesPs 53:5 you and mocksPr 1:26; 3:34 you.

Daughter Jerusalem

tosses her headJob 16:4; Ps 44:14; 64:8; 109:25; Jer 18:16 as you flee.

22 Who is it you have ridiculed and blasphemed?S 2Ki 18:25

Against whom have you raised your voice

and lifted your eyes in pride?

Against the Holy OneLev 19:2; 1Sa 2:2; Job 6:10; Ps 16:10; 22:3; 71:22; 78:41; 89:18; Isa 1:4; 6:3; 57:15; Hos 11:9 of Israel!

23 By your messengers

you have ridiculed the Lord.

And you have said,Isa 10:18; Jer 21:14; Eze 20:47

“With my many chariotsPs 20:7; Jer 50:37

I have ascended the heights of the mountains,

the utmost heights of Lebanon.

I have cut downIsa 10:34; 14:8; 33:9; Eze 31:3 its tallest cedars,

the choicest of its junipers.

I have reached its remotest parts,

the finest of its forests.

24 I have dug wells in foreign lands

and drunk the water there.

With the soles of my feet

I have dried up all the streams of Egypt.”

25 “‘Have you not heard?Isa 40:21, 28

Long ago I ordained it.

In days of old I plannedIsa 22:11 it;

now I have brought it to pass,

that you have turned fortified cities

into piles of stone.Mic 1:6

26 Their people, drained of power,Isa 13:7; Eze 7:17; Zep 3:16

are dismayedPs 6:10; 71:24; 83:17; Isa 41:23; Jer 8:9 and put to shame.

They are like plants in the field,

like tender green shoots,Isa 4:2; 11:1; 53:2; Jer 23:5

like grass sprouting on the roof,

scorchedJob 8:12; Ps 37:2; 129:6 before it grows up.

27 “‘But I knowPs 139:1-4 where you are

and when you come and go

and how you rage against me.

28 Because you rage against me

and because your insolence has reached my ears,

I will put my hook2Ch 33:11; Eze 19:9; 29:4; 38:4; Am 4:2 in your nose

and my bitIsa 30:28 in your mouth,

and I will make you returnver 33

by the way you came.’

29 “This will be the signS Ex 7:9; S Dt 13:2; Lk 2:12 for you, Hezekiah:

“This year you will eat what grows by itself,Lev 25:5

and the second year what springs from that.

But in the third year sow and reap,

plant vineyardsPs 107:37; Isa 65:21; Am 9:14 and eat their fruit.

30 Once more a remnantS Ge 45:7 of the kingdom of Judah

will take rootIsa 5:24; 11:1; 27:6; Eze 17:22; Am 2:9 below and bear fruit above.

31 For out of Jerusalem will come a remnant,S Ge 45:7

and out of Mount Zion a band of survivors.Isa 66:19; Zep 2:9; Zec 14:16

“The zealIsa 9:7 of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.

32 “Therefore this is what the Lord says concerning the king of Assyria:

“‘He will not enter this city

or shoot an arrow here.

He will not come before it with shield

or build a siege ramp against it.

33 By the way that he came he will return;ver 28

he will not enter this city,

declares the Lord.

34 I will defend2Ki 20:6 this city and save it,

for my sake and for the sake of DavidS 2Sa 7:15 my servant.’”

35 That night the angel of the LordS Ge 19:13; S Ex 12:23 went out and put to death a hundred and eighty-five thousand in the Assyrian camp. When the people got up the next morning—there were all the dead bodies!Job 24:24; Isa 17:14; 41:12; Na 3:336 So Sennacherib king of Assyria broke camp and withdrew.S 2Ki 12:18 He returned to NinevehS Ge 10:11 and stayed there.

37 One day, while he was worshiping in the temple of his god Nisrok, his sons Adrammelek2Ki 17:31 and Sharezer killed him with the sword,S ver 7 and they escaped to the land of Ararat.S Ge 8:4 And EsarhaddonS 2Ki 17:24 his son succeeded him as king.

Assyria Invades Judah

13 In the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah’s reign,The fourteenth year of Hezekiah’s reign was 701 B.c. King Sennacherib of Assyria came to attack the fortified towns of Judah and conquered them.14 King Hezekiah sent this message to the king of Assyria at Lachish: “I have done wrong. I will pay whatever tribute money you demand if you will only withdraw.” The king of Assyria then demanded a settlement of more than eleven tons of silver and one ton of gold.Hebrew 300 talents [10 metric tons] of silver and 30 talents [1 metric ton] of gold.15 To gather this amount, King Hezekiah used all the silver stored in the Temple of the Lord and in the palace treasury.16 Hezekiah even stripped the gold from the doors of the Lord’s Temple and from the doorposts he had overlaid with gold, and he gave it all to the Assyrian king.

17 Nevertheless, the king of Assyria sent his commander in chief, his field commander, and his chief of staffOr the rabshakeh; also in 18:19, 26, 27, 28, 37. from Lachish with a huge army to confront King Hezekiah in Jerusalem. The Assyrians took up a position beside the aqueduct that feeds water into the upper pool, near the road leading to the field where cloth is washed.Or bleached.18 They summoned King Hezekiah, but the king sent these officials to meet with them: Eliakim son of Hilkiah, the palace administrator; Shebna the court secretary; and Joah son of Asaph, the royal historian.

Sennacherib Threatens Jerusalem

19 Then the Assyrian king’s chief of staff told them to give this message to Hezekiah:

“This is what the great king of Assyria says: What are you trusting in that makes you so confident?20 Do you think that mere words can substitute for military skill and strength? Who are you counting on, that you have rebelled against me?21 On Egypt? If you lean on Egypt, it will be like a reed that splinters beneath your weight and pierces your hand. Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, is completely unreliable!

22 “But perhaps you will say to me, ‘We are trusting in the Lord our God!’ But isn’t he the one who was insulted by Hezekiah? Didn’t Hezekiah tear down his shrines and altars and make everyone in Judah and Jerusalem worship only at the altar here in Jerusalem?

23 “I’ll tell you what! Strike a bargain with my master, the king of Assyria. I will give you 2,000 horses if you can find that many men to ride on them!24 With your tiny army, how can you think of challenging even the weakest contingent of my master’s troops, even with the help of Egypt’s chariots and charioteers?25 What’s more, do you think we have invaded your land without the Lord’s direction? The Lord himself told us, ‘Attack this land and destroy it!’”

26 Then Eliakim son of Hilkiah, Shebna, and Joah said to the Assyrian chief of staff, “Please speak to us in Aramaic, for we understand it well. Don’t speak in Hebrew,Hebrew in the dialect of Judah; also in 18:28. for the people on the wall will hear.”

27 But Sennacherib’s chief of staff replied, “Do you think my master sent this message only to you and your master? He wants all the people to hear it, for when we put this city under siege, they will suffer along with you. They will be so hungry and thirsty that they will eat their own dung and drink their own urine.”

28 Then the chief of staff stood and shouted in Hebrew to the people on the wall, “Listen to this message from the great king of Assyria!29 This is what the king says: Don’t let Hezekiah deceive you. He will never be able to rescue you from my power.30 Don’t let him fool you into trusting in the Lord by saying, ‘The Lord will surely rescue us. This city will never fall into the hands of the Assyrian king!’

31 “Don’t listen to Hezekiah! These are the terms the king of Assyria is offering: Make peace with me—open the gates and come out. Then each of you can continue eating from your own grapevine and fig tree and drinking from your own well.32 Then I will arrange to take you to another land like this one—a land of grain and new wine, bread and vineyards, olive groves and honey. Choose life instead of death!

“Don’t listen to Hezekiah when he tries to mislead you by saying, ‘The Lord will rescue us!’33 Have the gods of any other nations ever saved their people from the king of Assyria?34 What happened to the gods of Hamath and Arpad? And what about the gods of Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivvah? Did any god rescue Samaria from my power?35 What god of any nation has ever been able to save its people from my power? So what makes you think that the Lord can rescue Jerusalem from me?”

36 But the people were silent and did not utter a word because Hezekiah had commanded them, “Do not answer him.”

37 Then Eliakim son of Hilkiah, the palace administrator; Shebna the court secretary; and Joah son of Asaph, the royal historian, went back to Hezekiah. They tore their clothes in despair, and they went in to see the king and told him what the Assyrian chief of staff had said.

Hezekiah Seeks the Lord’s Help

19 When King Hezekiah heard their report, he tore his clothes and put on burlap and went into the Temple of the Lord.And he sent Eliakim the palace administrator, Shebna the court secretary, and the leading priests, all dressed in burlap, to the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz.They told him, “This is what King Hezekiah says: Today is a day of trouble, insults, and disgrace. It is like when a child is ready to be born, but the mother has no strength to deliver the baby.But perhaps the Lord your God has heard the Assyrian chief of staff,Or the rabshakeh; also in 19:8. sent by the king to defy the living God, and will punish him for his words. Oh, pray for those of us who are left!”

After King Hezekiah’s officials delivered the king’s message to Isaiah,the prophet replied, “Say to your master, ‘This is what the Lord says: Do not be disturbed by this blasphemous speech against me from the Assyrian king’s messengers.Listen! I myself will move against him,Hebrew I will put a spirit in him. and the king will receive a message that he is needed at home. So he will return to his land, where I will have him killed with a sword.’”

Meanwhile, the Assyrian chief of staff left Jerusalem and went to consult the king of Assyria, who had left Lachish and was attacking Libnah.

Soon afterward King Sennacherib received word that King Tirhakah of EthiopiaHebrew of Cush. was leading an army to fight against him. Before leaving to meet the attack, he sent messengers back to Hezekiah in Jerusalem with this message:

10 “This message is for King Hezekiah of Judah. Don’t let your God, in whom you trust, deceive you with promises that Jerusalem will not be captured by the king of Assyria.11 You know perfectly well what the kings of Assyria have done wherever they have gone. They have completely destroyed everyone who stood in their way! Why should you be any different?12 Have the gods of other nations rescued them—such nations as Gozan, Haran, Rezeph, and the people of Eden who were in Tel-assar? My predecessors destroyed them all!13 What happened to the king of Hamath and the king of Arpad? What happened to the kings of Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivvah?”

14 After Hezekiah received the letter from the messengers and read it, he went up to the Lord’s Temple and spread it out before the Lord.15 And Hezekiah prayed this prayer before the Lord: “O Lord, God of Israel, you are enthroned between the mighty cherubim! You alone are God of all the kingdoms of the earth. You alone created the heavens and the earth.16 Bend down, O Lord, and listen! Open your eyes, O Lord, and see! Listen to Sennacherib’s words of defiance against the living God.

17 “It is true, Lord, that the kings of Assyria have destroyed all these nations.18 And they have thrown the gods of these nations into the fire and burned them. But of course the Assyrians could destroy them! They were not gods at all—only idols of wood and stone shaped by human hands.19 Now, O Lord our God, rescue us from his power; then all the kingdoms of the earth will know that you alone, O Lord, are God.”

Isaiah Predicts Judah’s Deliverance

20 Then Isaiah son of Amoz sent this message to Hezekiah: “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: I have heard your prayer about King Sennacherib of Assyria.21 And the Lord has spoken this word against him:

“The virgin daughter of Zion

despises you and laughs at you.

The daughter of Jerusalem

shakes her head in derision as you flee.

22 “Whom have you been defying and ridiculing?

Against whom did you raise your voice?

At whom did you look with such haughty eyes?

It was the Holy One of Israel!

23 By your messengers you have defied the Lord.

You have said, ‘With my many chariots

I have conquered the highest mountains—

yes, the remotest peaks of Lebanon.

I have cut down its tallest cedars

and its finest cypress trees.

I have reached its farthest corners

and explored its deepest forests.

24 I have dug wells in many foreign lands

and refreshed myself with their water.

With the sole of my foot

I stopped up all the rivers of Egypt!’

25 “But have you not heard?

I decided this long ago.

Long ago I planned it,

and now I am making it happen.

I planned for you to crush fortified cities

into heaps of rubble.

26 That is why their people have so little power

and are so frightened and confused.

They are as weak as grass,

as easily trampled as tender green shoots.

They are like grass sprouting on a housetop,

scorched before it can grow lush and tall.

27 “But I know you well—

where you stay

and when you come and go.

I know the way you have raged against me.

28 And because of your raging against me

and your arrogance, which I have heard for myself,

I will put my hook in your nose

and my bit in your mouth.

I will make you return

by the same road on which you came.”

29 Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Here is the proof that what I say is true:

“This year you will eat only what grows up by itself,

and next year you will eat what springs up from that.

But in the third year you will plant crops and harvest them;

you will tend vineyards and eat their fruit.

30 And you who are left in Judah,

who have escaped the ravages of the siege,

will put roots down in your own soil

and will grow up and flourish.

31 For a remnant of my people will spread out from Jerusalem,

a group of survivors from Mount Zion.

The passionate commitment of the Lord of Heaven’s ArmiesAs in Greek and Syriac versions, Latin Vulgate, and an alternate reading of the Masoretic Text (see also Isa 37:32); the other alternate reads the Lord.

will make this happen!

32 “And this is what the Lord says about the king of Assyria:

“His armies will not enter Jerusalem.

They will not even shoot an arrow at it.

They will not march outside its gates with their shields

nor build banks of earth against its walls.

33 The king will return to his own country

by the same road on which he came.

He will not enter this city,

says the Lord.

34 For my own honor and for the sake of my servant David,

I will defend this city and protect it.”

35 That night the angel of the Lord went out to the Assyrian camp and killed 185,000 Assyrian soldiers. When the surviving AssyriansHebrew When they. woke up the next morning, they found corpses everywhere.36 Then King Sennacherib of Assyria broke camp and returned to his own land. He went home to his capital of Nineveh and stayed there.

37 One day while he was worshiping in the temple of his god Nisroch, his sonsAs in Greek version and an alternate reading of the Masoretic Text (see also Isa 37:38); the other alternate reading lacks his sons. Adrammelech and Sharezer killed him with their swords. They then escaped to the land of Ararat, and another son, Esarhaddon, became the next king of Assyria.

13 Now in the fourteenth year of king Hezekiah did Sennacherib king of Assyria come up against all the fenced cities of Judah, and took them.

14 And Hezekiah king of Judah sent to the king of Assyria to Lachish, saying, I have offended; return from me: that which thou puttest on me will I bear. And the king of Assyria appointed unto Hezekiah king of Judah three hundred talents of silver and thirty talents of gold.

15 And Hezekiah gave him all the silver that was found in the house of the Lord, and in the treasures of the king's house.

16 At that time did Hezekiah cut off the gold from the doors of the temple of the Lord, and from the pillars which Hezekiah king of Judah had overlaid, and gave it to the king of Assyria.

17 And the king of Assyria sent Tartan and Rabsaris and Rabshakeh from Lachish to king Hezekiah with a great host against Jerusalem. And they went up and came to Jerusalem. And when they were come up, they came and stood by the conduit of the upper pool, which is in the highway of the fuller's field.

18 And when they had called to the king, there came out to them Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, which was over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and Joah the son of Asaph the recorder.

19 And Rabshakeh said unto them, Speak ye now to Hezekiah, Thus saith the great king, the king of Assyria, What confidence is this wherein thou trustest?

20 Thou sayest, (but they are but vain words,) I have counsel and strength for the war. Now on whom dost thou trust, that thou rebellest against me?

21 Now, behold, thou trustest upon the staff of this bruised reed, even upon Egypt, on which if a man lean, it will go into his hand, and pierce it: so is Pharaoh king of Egypt unto all that trust on him.

22 But if ye say unto me, We trust in the Lord our God: is not that he, whose high places and whose altars Hezekiah hath taken away, and hath said to Judah and Jerusalem, Ye shall worship before this altar in Jerusalem?

23 Now therefore, I pray thee, give pledges to my lord the king of Assyria, and I will deliver thee two thousand horses, if thou be able on thy part to set riders upon them.

24 How then wilt thou turn away the face of one captain of the least of my master's servants, and put thy trust on Egypt for chariots and for horsemen?

25 Am I now come up without the Lord against this place to destroy it? The Lord said to me, Go up against this land, and destroy it.

26 Then said Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, and Shebna, and Joah, unto Rabshakeh, Speak, I pray thee, to thy servants in the Syrian language; for we understand it: and talk not with us in the Jews' language in the ears of the people that are on the wall.

27 But Rabshakeh said unto them, Hath my master sent me to thy master, and to thee, to speak these words? hath he not sent me to the men which sit on the wall, that they may eat their own dung, and drink their own piss with you?

28 Then Rabshakeh stood and cried with a loud voice in the Jews' language, and spake, saying, Hear the word of the great king, the king of Assyria:

29 Thus saith the king, Let not Hezekiah deceive you: for he shall not be able to deliver you out of his hand:

30 Neither let Hezekiah make you trust in the Lord, saying, The Lord will surely deliver us, and this city shall not be delivered into the hand of the king of Assyria.

31 Hearken not to Hezekiah: for thus saith the king of Assyria, Make an agreement with me by a present, and come out to me, and then eat ye every man of his own vine, and every one of his fig tree, and drink ye every one the waters of his cistern:

32 Until I come and take you away to a land like your own land, a land of corn and wine, a land of bread and vineyards, a land of oil olive and of honey, that ye may live, and not die: and hearken not unto Hezekiah, when he persuadeth you, saying, The Lord will deliver us.

33 Hath any of the gods of the nations delivered at all his land out of the hand of the king of Assyria?

34 Where are the gods of Hamath, and of Arpad? where are the gods of Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivah? have they delivered Samaria out of mine hand?

35 Who are they among all the gods of the countries, that have delivered their country out of mine hand, that the Lord should deliver Jerusalem out of mine hand?

36 But the people held their peace, and answered him not a word: for the king's commandment was, saying, Answer him not.

37 Then came Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, which was over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and Joah the son of Asaph the recorder, to Hezekiah with their clothes rent, and told him the words of Rabshakeh.

19 And it came to pass, when king Hezekiah heard it, that he rent his clothes, and covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the house of the Lord.

And he sent Eliakim, which was over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and the elders of the priests, covered with sackcloth, to Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz.

And they said unto him, Thus saith Hezekiah, This day is a day of trouble, and of rebuke, and blasphemy; for the children are come to the birth, and there is not strength to bring forth.

It may be the Lord thy God will hear all the words of Rabshakeh, whom the king of Assyria his master hath sent to reproach the living God; and will reprove the words which the Lord thy God hath heard: wherefore lift up thy prayer for the remnant that are left.

So the servants of king Hezekiah came to Isaiah.

And Isaiah said unto them, Thus shall ye say to your master, Thus saith the Lord, Be not afraid of the words which thou hast heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed me.

Behold, I will send a blast upon him, and he shall hear a rumour, and shall return to his own land; and I will cause him to fall by the sword in his own land.

So Rabshakeh returned, and found the king of Assyria warring against Libnah: for he had heard that he was departed from Lachish.

And when he heard say of Tirhakah king of Ethiopia, Behold, he is come out to fight against thee: he sent messengers again unto Hezekiah, saying,

10 Thus shall ye speak to Hezekiah king of Judah, saying, Let not thy God in whom thou trustest deceive thee, saying, Jerusalem shall not be delivered into the hand of the king of Assyria.

11 Behold, thou hast heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands, by destroying them utterly: and shalt thou be delivered?

12 Have the gods of the nations delivered them which my fathers have destroyed; as Gozan, and Haran, and Rezeph, and the children of Eden which were in Thelasar?

13 Where is the king of Hamath, and the king of Arpad, and the king of the city of Sepharvaim, of Hena, and Ivah?

14 And Hezekiah received the letter of the hand of the messengers, and read it: and Hezekiah went up into the house of the Lord, and spread it before the Lord.

15 And Hezekiah prayed before the Lord, and said, O Lord God of Israel, which dwellest between the cherubims, thou art the God, even thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; thou hast made heaven and earth.

16 Lord, bow down thine ear, and hear: open, Lord, thine eyes, and see: and hear the words of Sennacherib, which hath sent him to reproach the living God.

17 Of a truth, Lord, the kings of Assyria have destroyed the nations and their lands,

18 And have cast their gods into the fire: for they were no gods, but the work of men's hands, wood and stone: therefore they have destroyed them.

19 Now therefore, O Lord our God, I beseech thee, save thou us out of his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that thou art the Lord God, even thou only.

20 Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent to Hezekiah, saying, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, That which thou hast prayed to me against Sennacherib king of Assyria I have heard.

21 This is the word that the Lord hath spoken concerning him; The virgin the daughter of Zion hath despised thee, and laughed thee to scorn; the daughter of Jerusalem hath shaken her head at thee.

22 Whom hast thou reproached and blasphemed? and against whom hast thou exalted thy voice, and lifted up thine eyes on high? even against the Holy One of Israel.

23 By thy messengers thou hast reproached the Lord, and hast said, With the multitude of my chariots I am come up to the height of the mountains, to the sides of Lebanon, and will cut down the tall cedar trees thereof, and the choice fir trees thereof: and I will enter into the lodgings of his borders, and into the forest of his Carmel.

24 I have digged and drunk strange waters, and with the sole of my feet have I dried up all the rivers of besieged places.

25 Hast thou not heard long ago how I have done it, and of ancient times that I have formed it? now have I brought it to pass, that thou shouldest be to lay waste fenced cities into ruinous heaps.

26 Therefore their inhabitants were of small power, they were dismayed and confounded; they were as the grass of the field, and as the green herb, as the grass on the house tops, and as corn blasted before it be grown up.

27 But I know thy abode, and thy going out, and thy coming in, and thy rage against me.

28 Because thy rage against me and thy tumult is come up into mine ears, therefore I will put my hook in thy nose, and my bridle in thy lips, and I will turn thee back by the way by which thou camest.

29 And this shall be a sign unto thee, Ye shall eat this year such things as grow of themselves, and in the second year that which springeth of the same; and in the third year sow ye, and reap, and plant vineyards, and eat the fruits thereof.

30 And the remnant that is escaped of the house of Judah shall yet again take root downward, and bear fruit upward.

31 For out of Jerusalem shall go forth a remnant, and they that escape out of mount Zion: the zeal of the Lord of hosts shall do this.

32 Therefore thus saith the Lord concerning the king of Assyria, He shall not come into this city, nor shoot an arrow there, nor come before it with shield, nor cast a bank against it.

33 By the way that he came, by the same shall he return, and shall not come into this city, saith the Lord.

34 For I will defend this city, to save it, for mine own sake, and for my servant David's sake.

35 And it came to pass that night, that the angel of the Lord went out, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians an hundred fourscore and five thousand: and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses.

36 So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed, and went and returned, and dwelt at Nineveh.

37 And it came to pass, as he was worshipping in the house of Nisroch his god, that Adrammelech and Sharezer his sons smote him with the sword: and they escaped into the land of Armenia. And Esarhaddon his son reigned in his stead.

Acts 21:1-17

On to Jerusalem

21 After weS Ac 16:10 had torn ourselves away from them, we put out to sea and sailed straight to Kos. The next day we went to Rhodes and from there to Patara.We found a ship crossing over to Phoenicia,Ac 11:19 went on board and set sail.After sighting Cyprus and passing to the south of it, we sailed on to Syria.S Lk 2:2 We landed at Tyre, where our ship was to unload its cargo.We sought out the disciplesS Ac 11:26 there and stayed with them seven days. Through the Spiritver 11; Ac 20:23 they urged Paul not to go on to Jerusalem.When it was time to leave, we left and continued on our way. All of them, including wives and children, accompanied us out of the city, and there on the beach we knelt to pray.Lk 22:41; Ac 9:40; 20:36After saying goodbye to each other, we went aboard the ship, and they returned home.

We continued our voyage from TyreAc 12:20 and landed at Ptolemais, where we greeted the brothers and sistersS Ac 1:16 and stayed with them for a day.Leaving the next day, we reached CaesareaS Ac 8:40 and stayed at the house of PhilipAc 6:5; 8:5-40 the evangelist,Eph 4:11; 2Ti 4:5 one of the Seven.He had four unmarried daughters who prophesied.Ex 15:20; Jdg 4:4; Ne 6:14; Lk 2:36; Ac 2:17; 1Co 11:5

10 After we had been there a number of days, a prophet named AgabusAc 11:28 came down from Judea.11 Coming over to us, he took Paul’s belt, tied his own hands and feet with it and said, “The Holy Spirit says,S Ac 8:29 ‘In this way the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem will bindver 33 the owner of this belt and will hand him over to the Gentiles.’”1Ki 22:11; Isa 20:2-4; Jer 13:1-11; Mt 20:19

12 When we heard this, we and the people there pleaded with Paul not to go up to Jerusalem.13 Then Paul answered, “Why are you weeping and breaking my heart? I am ready not only to be bound, but also to dieAc 20:24 in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.”S Jn 15:21; S Ac 9:1614 When he would not be dissuaded, we gave upRu 1:18 and said, “The Lord’s will be done.”S Mt 26:39

15 After this, we started on our way up to Jerusalem.S Ac 19:2116 Some of the disciples from CaesareaS Ac 8:40 accompanied us and brought us to the home of Mnason, where we were to stay. He was a man from Cyprusver 3, 4 and one of the early disciples.

Paul’s Arrival at Jerusalem

17 When we arrived at Jerusalem, the brothers and sistersS Ac 9:30 received us warmly.Ac 15:4

Paul’s Journey to Jerusalem

21 After saying farewell to the Ephesian elders, we sailed straight to the island of Cos. The next day we reached Rhodes and then went to Patara.There we boarded a ship sailing for Phoenicia.We sighted the island of Cyprus, passed it on our left, and landed at the harbor of Tyre, in Syria, where the ship was to unload its cargo.

We went ashore, found the local believers,Greek disciples; also in 21:16. and stayed with them a week. These believers prophesied through the Holy Spirit that Paul should not go on to Jerusalem.When we returned to the ship at the end of the week, the entire congregation, including womenOr wives. and children, left the city and came down to the shore with us. There we knelt, prayed,and said our farewells. Then we went aboard, and they returned home.

The next stop after leaving Tyre was Ptolemais, where we greeted the brothers and sistersGreek brothers; also in 21:17. and stayed for one day.The next day we went on to Caesarea and stayed at the home of Philip the Evangelist, one of the seven men who had been chosen to distribute food.He had four unmarried daughters who had the gift of prophecy.

10 Several days later a man named Agabus, who also had the gift of prophecy, arrived from Judea.11 He came over, took Paul’s belt, and bound his own feet and hands with it. Then he said, “The Holy Spirit declares, ‘So shall the owner of this belt be bound by the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem and turned over to the Gentiles.’”12 When we heard this, we and the local believers all begged Paul not to go on to Jerusalem.

13 But he said, “Why all this weeping? You are breaking my heart! I am ready not only to be jailed at Jerusalem but even to die for the sake of the Lord Jesus.”14 When it was clear that we couldn’t persuade him, we gave up and said, “The Lord’s will be done.”

Paul Arrives at Jerusalem

15 After this we packed our things and left for Jerusalem.16 Some believers from Caesarea accompanied us, and they took us to the home of Mnason, a man originally from Cyprus and one of the early believers.17 When we arrived, the brothers and sisters in Jerusalem welcomed us warmly.

21 And it came to pass, that after we were gotten from them, and had launched, we came with a straight course unto Coos, and the day following unto Rhodes, and from thence unto Patara:

And finding a ship sailing over unto Phenicia, we went aboard, and set forth.

Now when we had discovered Cyprus, we left it on the left hand, and sailed into Syria, and landed at Tyre: for there the ship was to unlade her burden.

And finding disciples, we tarried there seven days: who said to Paul through the Spirit, that he should not go up to Jerusalem.

And when we had accomplished those days, we departed and went our way; and they all brought us on our way, with wives and children, till we were out of the city: and we kneeled down on the shore, and prayed.

And when we had taken our leave one of another, we took ship; and they returned home again.

And when we had finished our course from Tyre, we came to Ptolemais, and saluted the brethren, and abode with them one day.

And the next day we that were of Paul's company departed, and came unto Caesarea: and we entered into the house of Philip the evangelist, which was one of the seven; and abode with him.

And the same man had four daughters, virgins, which did prophesy.

10 And as we tarried there many days, there came down from Judaea a certain prophet, named Agabus.

11 And when he was come unto us, he took Paul's girdle, and bound his own hands and feet, and said, Thus saith the Holy Ghost, So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man that owneth this girdle, and shall deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.

12 And when we heard these things, both we, and they of that place, besought him not to go up to Jerusalem.

13 Then Paul answered, What mean ye to weep and to break mine heart? for I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.

14 And when he would not be persuaded, we ceased, saying, The will of the Lord be done.

15 And after those days we took up our carriages, and went up to Jerusalem.

16 There went with us also certain of the disciples of Caesarea, and brought with them one Mnason of Cyprus, an old disciple, with whom we should lodge.

17 And when we were come to Jerusalem, the brethren received us gladly.

Psalm 149:1-9

Psalm 149

Praise the Lord.Hebrew Hallelu Yah; also in verse 9Ps 33:2; 103:1

Sing to the Lord a new song,S Ps 28:7; S 96:1; Rev 5:9

his praise in the assemblyS Ps 1:5 of his faithful people.

Let Israel rejoiceIsa 13:3; Jer 51:48 in their Maker;S Job 10:3; Ps 95:6; Isa 44:2; 45:11; 54:5

let the people of Zion be glad in their King.Ps 10:16; 47:6; Isa 32:1; Zec 9:9

Let them praise his name with dancingS Ex 15:20

and make music to him with timbrel and harp.S Ps 57:8

For the Lord takes delightPs 35:27; 147:11 in his people;

he crowns the humble with victory.Ps 132:16

Let his faithful people rejoiceS Ps 132:16 in this honor

and sing for joy on their beds.Job 35:10; Ps 42:8

May the praise of God be in their mouthsPs 66:17

and a double-edgedHeb 4:12; Rev 1:16 sword in their hands,Ne 4:17

to inflict vengeanceS Nu 31:3; S Dt 32:41 on the nations

and punishmentPs 81:15 on the peoples,

to bind their kings with fetters,S 2Sa 3:34; S Isa 14:1-2

their nobles with shackles of iron,2Ch 33:11

to carry out the sentence written against them—Dt 7:1; Eze 28:26

this is the glory of all his faithful people.S Ps 145:10

Praise the Lord.

Psalm 149

Praise the Lord!

Sing to the Lord a new song.

Sing his praises in the assembly of the faithful.

O Israel, rejoice in your Maker.

O people of Jerusalem,Hebrew Zion. exult in your King.

Praise his name with dancing,

accompanied by tambourine and harp.

For the Lord delights in his people;

he crowns the humble with victory.

Let the faithful rejoice that he honors them.

Let them sing for joy as they lie on their beds.

Let the praises of God be in their mouths,

and a sharp sword in their hands—

to execute vengeance on the nations

and punishment on the peoples,

to bind their kings with shackles

and their leaders with iron chains,

to execute the judgment written against them.

This is the glorious privilege of his faithful ones.

Praise the Lord!

149 Praise ye the Lord. Sing unto the Lord a new song, and his praise in the congregation of saints.

Let Israel rejoice in him that made him: let the children of Zion be joyful in their King.

Let them praise his name in the dance: let them sing praises unto him with the timbrel and harp.

For the Lord taketh pleasure in his people: he will beautify the meek with salvation.

Let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud upon their beds.

Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand;

To execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people;

To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron;

To execute upon them the judgment written: this honour have all his saints. Praise ye the Lord.

Proverbs 18:8

The words of a gossip are like choice morsels;

they go down to the inmost parts.Pr 26:22

Rumors are dainty morsels

that sink deep into one’s heart.

The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.

Jun 30 Jul 2
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