by Clarence E. Macartney

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Strange Texts but Grand Truths (15 of 17)
Horses to Those Who Can Ride
Clarence E. Macartney
Isaiah 36:8

This is a leaf torn from the ancient history of
Jerusalem, when Sennacherib besieged the city and "the
Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold." Held up
by the siege of the stronghold of Lachish, Sennacherib
sent one of his generals, Rabshakeh, on to Jerusalem
to demand the surrender of the city. The speech of
Rabshakeh was a curious combination of bombast,
blasphemy, and boasting. He even went the length of
claiming that Sennacherib's invasion of Judah was
undertaken by divine authority, and that Hezekiah
himself, who had destroyed the high places in Judah,
was the enemy of God. He warned the people of
Jerusalem against reliance upon deliverance from their
trouble by the help of Egypt. It would be folly for
them to let Hezekiah persuade them that the Lord would
deliver them. It would fare with them just as it had
fared with other cities which had put their confidence
in their gods and had consequently been taken and
sacked by Sennacherib. Rabshakeh called the roll of
those cities and bade the besieged Jews look at the
trail of smoke and ashes which Sennacherib's army had
left behind it.

The insulting speech of Rabshakeh reached its climax
when he taunted the ambassadors of Hezekiah with the
military impotence of Jerusalem. How could they resist
Sennacherib when they had no army with which to oppose
him? Even if he, Rabshakeh, were to loan them two
thousand cavalry horses, it would do them no good, for
they had no soldiers to mount them. They could not
stand against even a single captain of a small
detachment of Sennacherib's army, not to speak of
resisting the whole host of Assyria. As events turned
out, Sennacherib learned that Jerusalem and the people
of God had defenses and resources other than soldiers
and horses and chariots of war. God stretched forth
his hand and smote the ...

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