Human Confusion, Divine Presence

 
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Tuesday of the 12th week of the year, based on 2 Kings 19:9-11,14-21,31-36

Sennacherib he sent messengers again to Hezekiah, saying, 10‘Thus shall you speak to King Hezekiah of Judah: Do not let your God on whom you rely deceive you by promising that Jerusalem will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria. 11See, you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands, destroying them utterly. Shall you be delivered?
Hezekiah’s Prayer

14 Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers and read it; then Hezekiah went up to the house of the Lord and spread it before the Lord. 15And Hezekiah prayed before the Lord, and said: ‘O Lord the God of Israel, who are enthroned above the cherubim, you are God, you alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; you have made heaven and earth. 16Incline your ear, O Lord, and hear; open your eyes, O Lord, and see; hear the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to mock the living God. 17Truly, O Lord, the kings of Assyria have laid waste the nations and their lands, 18and have hurled their gods into the fire, though they were no gods but the work of human hands—wood and stone—and so they were destroyed. 19So now, O Lord our God, save us, I pray you, from his hand, so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you, O Lord, are God alone.’

20 Then Isaiah son of Amoz sent to Hezekiah, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: I have heard your prayer to me about King Sennacherib of Assyria. 21This is the word that the Lord has spoken concerning him:
She despises you, she scorns you—
virgin daughter Zion;
she tosses her head—behind your back,
daughter Jerusalem.

31for from Jerusalem a remnant shall go out, and from Mount Zion a band of survivors. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.

32 ‘Therefore thus says the Lord concerning the king of Assyria: He shall not come into this city, shoot an arrow there, come before it with a shield, or cast up a siege-ramp against it. 33By the way that he came, by the same he shall return; he shall not come into this city, says the Lord. 34For I will defend this city to save it, for my own sake and for the sake of my servant David.’
Sennacherib’s Defeat and Death

35 That very night the angel of the Lord set out and struck down one hundred and eighty-five thousand in the camp of the Assyrians; when morning dawned, they were all dead bodies. 36Then King Sennacherib of Assyria left, went home, and lived at Nineveh.


Scripture passage from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright 1989, 1993, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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About Martin Badenhorst, O.P.

Martin is a member of the South African Vice-Province and is a former lecturer in Hebrew Scriptures, World Religions, and Systematics at St. Joseph Theological Institute in Cedara, KwaZulu/Natal, South Africa. He has been pastor of Welkom and Bronville, prior of the formation priory, Emaphethelweni, and student master. He is currently assigned in Springs on the East Rand in the Gauteng province.