“As for Hezekiah … like a caged bird I shut up in Jerusalem his royal city. I barricaded him with outposts, and exit from the gate of his city I made taboo for him.”
ANNALS OF SENNACHERIB
If Sennacherib had succeeded Judaism would have have been likely destroyed, much as the Northern Kingdom of Israel was totally obliterated by his father Sargon II just two decades before in 722BC.
And of course with no Judaism there have been no Christianity.
Truly this was a day that would have completely changed world history!
Yet God acted miraculously, and probably through a plague or pandemic cast upon the Assyrian army.
“That night the angel of the LORD 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!”
2 KINGS 19:35
Pandemic can be a curse or it can be a blessing. God is always in control, working towards His far grander purposes.
What an amazing, yet often forgotten victory this was!!!
So what do we learn? God is always in control. Even through pandemics.
Sometimes indeed they are his very instruments!
All of this was recalled by the famous Midlands poet Lord Bryon in his infamous poem written in 1815.
The Destruction of Sennacherib The Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold, And his cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold; And the sheen of their spears was like stars on the sea, When the blue wave rolls nightly on deep Galilee. Like the leaves of the forest when Summer is green, That host with their banners at sunset were seen: Like the leaves of the forest when Autumn hath blown, That host on the morrow lay wither’d and strown. For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast, And breathed in the face of the foe as he pass’d; And the eyes of the sleepers wax’d deadly and chill, And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still! And there lay the steed with his nostril all wide, But through it there roll’d not the breath of his pride: And the foam of his gasping lay white on the turf, And cold as the spray of the rock-beating surf. And there lay the rider distorted and pale, With the dew on his brow and the rust on his mail; And the tents were all silent, the banners alone, The lances unlifted, the trumpet unblown. And the widows of Ashur are loud in their wail, And the idols are broke in the temple of Baal; And the might of the Gentile, unsmote by the sword, Hath melted like snow in the glance of the Lord!
To hear the poem to music and with animation click above
To gain more historic context click above.