Monday, April 19, 2010

That Crazy Sennacherib

This past Sunday morning I was laying in bed reading my son Riker a Bible story. It was from 2 Chronicles 32, the account of how God saved Judah from Sennacherib of Assyria and his army. In the story Sennarcherib taunts the city of Jerusalem and it's king (Hezekiah) as he prepares to lay siege to the city. It's a great story, God vs the huge ego (and army) of Sennacherib. I love the author's commentary in verse 19 "These officers (the Assyrians who were taunting the people on the walls) talked about the God of Jerusalem as though he were one of the pagan gods, made by human hands." Subtle foreshadowing and theological commentary!

God of course protects his people. "King Hezekiah and the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz cried out in prayer to heaven about this. And the Lord sent an angel, who annihilated all the fighting men and the leaders and officers in the camp of the Assyrian king. So he (Sennarchib) withdrew to his own land in disgrace. And when he went into the temple of his god, some of his sons cut him down with the sword."

I explained to my son what the word annihilated meant. Then I asked Riker if he knew what that last part meant, "some of his sons cut him down with the sword." He was unsure. I said that Sennacherib's own sons killed him! I speculated about some of the reasons - maybe the sons were embarrassed by their father's defeat in Jerusalem or maybe they were impatient to get to the throne.

After a very long pause pause, Riker looked at me and said "Dad, don't worry, I won't kill you." I told him thank you and felt reassured. My throne (and life) are safe.

As amusing as this was Jobina told me that later on Riker was looking up and reading the story again his own Bible and for that I am grateful and encouraged. I may end up being a disaster as a father, but hopefully some day he'll tell his friend "Well, at least I remember him reading Bible stories to me." That wouldn't be the worst legacy to have.

(By the way, if you want to have fun with people during a sword drill, call out "Hezekiah 3:32." I tell you I never get tired of that one.)

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