“In the fourteenth year that Hezekiah was king of Judah, the emperor of Assyria, … (he) ordered his chief official to
… go … to Jerusalem with a large military force to demand that King Hezekiah should surrender”
live in a world where powerful forces are at work. all are obvious but some of them bare their teeth from rich countries. Some have huge armies. But nowadays the possession of nuclear arms is equally important. Financial muscle is another form of power that often determines the outcomes in international affairs. Then there are whole blocs of countries that combine to influence decisions and trade. Tough though these realities might be for small and weak nations, they are how the world works – and they just have to fit in as best they can. Israel was one of the little “nuisance” nations in Isaiah’s day. And Judah was just the southern bit of Israel. Sennacherib ruled a big and powerful empire – Assyria (Iran today). In Christ’s day, seven hundred years later, Rome had become the dominant power.
Our faith was born, not in some isolated monastery or beautiful little country chapel. It arose in the real world, where mighty emperors pushed little people and nations around, sent armies to subdue troublesome uprisings and exacted heavy tribute from those they conquered.
Bloodshed, wholesale slaughter and slavery for the defeated people were the order of the day.
Do not hanker for “the good old days before all this trouble started”. They never existed! Pick up the cross of Christ in the middle of today’s strife and struggle, power-plays and conflicts, and carry it up hill and down dale, as Jesus himself did.