Saturday, August 30, 2014

Manasseh-Learning Lessons the Hard Way

By Mary Vee
II Kings 19 and II Chronicles 32-33

From the Journals of Isaiah

Photo Courtesy
Some people just have to learn lessons the hard way.

God did punish Sennacherib as He said He would. Remember, Sennacherib was the bully who picked on King Hezekiah? 

The bully became frightened and took his army home to Assyria. 

One day, while King Senacherib was worshiping his god Nisroch in a temple made special for this idol, his sons Adrammelech and Sharezer sneaked in behind him and thrust their swords into him, killing him.

Not wanting to be caught by any of their father's army, the two boys ran as fast as they could to get away. They kept running out of the city and west, to the land of Ararat. 

Their brother, Esarhaddon, took over as king of Assyria.

In the meantime, the Lord continued to send messages to Manasseh and his people to stop worshiping idols, but they wouldn't listen. I delivered every message God gave me. Trust me, He loved them very much and wanted to give them every possible chance to change from their wicked ways.

Since the people of Jerusalem and Judah kept worshipping idols and ignoring the Almighty God who had rescued them so many times, He had to give them the punishment.

The Assyrian army regrouped and marched toward Judah. They showed their power by taking the wealthy, smart, and beautiful people from Judah as prisoners. They dragged them away from their homes and forced them to walk for days to Assyria where the people of Judah became slaves. 

The Assyrian commanders took King Manasseh prisoner. They put a hook in his nose and put bronze chains on him. He had to walk in shame all the way to Assyria. Manasseh cried out, begging for mercy but the commanders didn't listen.

Many men, women, and children from Judea were also taken that day. They were frightened, but not yet sorry for disobeying God. The army was very cruel to them, pulling them away from their families, putting their hands and feet in chains, and beating them.

Not all of the men, women, and children were taken at this time. The smart, rich, and important people were taken captive at this time. The Assyrian army left the poor to take care of things.

I was sorry to see them cry, but in truth, God had warned them and they refused to listen. Hopefully they will cry out to God and say they are sorry soon. If not. They will have to wait the seventy years God said they would have to wait.

Sigh. If only they had listened and obeyed God.

1. Who is Sennacherib?
2. What was Sennacherib doing in the temple?
3. What did his two sons do?
4. Why did his sons run away?
5. What was going on in Judah (What was God doing?)
6. What didn't the people of Jerusalem do? (God asked them to do this)
7. What happened to them?

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Manasseh-Trouble Ahead But God Will Help Them

By Mary Vee
Isaiah 40-66

From the Journals of Isaiah

Photo Courtesy
I walked the streets of Jerusalem and Judah telling the people what was to come.

God would not put up with Manasseh and the people Judah's decisions to worship idols. He would not put up with disrespect to His laws.

The people will be taken away and will become slaves in another country.

But, God is also a loving God. Who, after their time of punishment, will restore the people of Judah to their homes. 

Jerusalem will be rebuilt and He has decided to use Cyrus as the tool to make it happen.

When the people cry out, ready to say they are sorry, God will listen.

He does not keep His words secret. He wants the people of Jerusalem to know in advance what will happen so they cannot say their idols and their worship of their idols brought the punishment and their forgiveness. He will not yield His glory to another.

God will prove Himself as the one who created the heavens, the one who is our protector, the one who will send a Messiah to help us.

Babylon will be cruel and for this Babylon will suffer.

Seventy years will pass, but the Lord will not forget those in exile. Then all mankind will know that the Lord is our Savior, our Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.

Come all of you who are thirsty. Come to the waters and you who have no money, come buy and eat...the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel will give you great things.

The Lord has revealed Himself to those who did not ask for Him. He was found by those who did not seek Him. To a nation that did not call on His name He said, "Here am I, Here am I." All day long He holds out His hands to us, a stubborn group of people.

He called to us but we did not answer. He spoke, but we did not listen.

If we want to be the person God honors we must be humble and really sorry for the things we have done wrong then honor His Words.

1. Why did the prophet Isaiah walk the streets of Jerusalem and Judah?
2. What will happen to the people?
3. But God is also a ____________ God and will _______ their cry.
4. What will Babylon do?
5. What will happen to them?
6. What does God want us to be like?

Monday, August 25, 2014

Hudson Taylor-Only Foreign Women Missionaries Could Do this Job

By Mary Vee
Year: April 1880 
Hudson Taylor: age 48

From J. Hudson Taylor's Notes

Photo courtesy
The goal has been set. Send women missionaries into the inland provinces of Shaanxi, Gansu, Sichuan, Guizhou, and Yunnan. Chinese girls and women desperately needed to know God loves them. 

And who knows, maybe a change can be made to keep them from being harmed.

The very first couple I asked, George and his new wife Emily, not only agreed but said they really wanted to go to Gansu. Emily ended up being the first foreign woman to enter the far west areas of China.

In November two more couples left, hoping to arrive by January. I'll let Mary Ann, one of the wives tell you the story.

"I must admit, I felt so very excited to go on this journey. My husband and I had been married only one month, so had Fanny and George. We wanted nothing more than to serve God where He needed us.

"Fanny and I packed our few belongings, spent several days in prayer with the team, and sat in classes then boarded our boat with our husbands on November 3. We will sail up the Yangtze River from Shanghai on the Pacific Ocean toward Chongging in the far west and hopefully reach there by January. Yes, this was a long journey! China is a very large country.

Photo Courtesy
"We had packed eleven boxes of books given to us from the Bible Society and stowed them below. I loved looking out at the countryside. Most of the time our boat wound through mountain passages. 

"The river was always deep and huge rocks hidden below the surface clunked against our boat. One morning a loud bang echoed through the hull. Muddy river water flooded in faster than it could be pumped out. The ship began to sink. 

"Our husbands shouted to us to swim to shore. We did as they said, not wanting to be in the water any longer than we had to. Fanny and I pulled ourselves to the shore and sat like wet rats watching our poor husbands working to save the luggage and boxes of books.

"The boat had to be saved. We still had a long way to go. Fanny and I pulled everything out of the luggage and boxes to dry them while our husbands went back in the water with the crew to raise the boat from the river bed.

"We slept under umbrellas, trying to keep the rain off of us. It didn't really help. The storm winds and water swished around us. I have a feeling we will won't be in Chongquing by January.

"Since God has called us to work in Chongquing, I'm sure we will get there...eventually.  I must admit, this is quite an adventure!"

Please pray for these two couples while they continue their journey.

J. Hudson Taylor
Missionary to China--Inland China!
So Very Blessed by God

Research resources: J. Hudson Taylor, An Autobiography by J. Hudson Taylor; It is Not Death to Die, a new biography of Hudson Taylor by Jim Cromarty; Hudson Taylor Founder, China Inland Mission by Vance Christie; J. Hudson Taylor, A Man in Christ, by Roger Steer, and Hudson Taylor's Spiritual Secret by Dr.and Mrs. Howard Taylor

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Manasseh- Following the Crowd

By Mary Vee
II Kings 20-21

From the Journals of Isaiah

a Baal idol Photo Courtesy
What amazes me is how easily the people of a nation follow their leader.

I thought, really hoped, the people of Judah had changed their hearts, truly loved God and loved to follow his laws as Hezekiah showed them.

I thought they had seen and felt the joy that could only come by following his ways. 

Instead they chose to do what was popular. 

Manasseh was only a boy of twelve-years-old when he became king. He didn't know what he was doing. 

He had friends that talked him into looking at what all the nations around Judah did. He didn't want to listen to his father's advisors. 

Manasseh and his friends didn't want to stand alone in a faith worshipping the Almighty God when all the other nations around them had idols decorating their cities and villages.

Manasseh's dad, King Hezekiah, was dead. This meant Manasseh could do what he wanted as the new king. He listened to his friends and rebuilt the high places his father had destroyed. He built altars to Baal and made new Asherah poles for the people to worship like his grandfather, Ahab had done. 

Manasseh bowed down to the stars and worshiped them. He built altars in the temple of the Lord. I wept and tried to speak with him. He would not listen to me.

Instead he built more idols. He added altars to all the starry hosts in both courts of the Temple, and sadly, even offered his own son for a sacrifice to these idols. 

He became excited and encouraged the people to join him in practicing sorcery. He even went to fortune tellers. I am so sad to say they people did as he asked. No one that he was willing to listen to rebelled or try to teach him to turn away.

Then one day he took the carved Asherah poles that he ordered to be made and put it in the temple. God's temple! The temple God said, "In this temple and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, I will put my Name forever....if only they will be careful to do everything I commanded them and will keep the whole Law that my servant Moses gave them."

But the people did not listen.

Manasseh sadly led them astray. The people of Judah did more evil than the nations God had punished before them.

One thing I can tell you, though. Manasseh may be leading the people down a wrong path and this may look like he has won, but God has already said the people of Judah will be punished for not obeying His laws.

They wouldn't have to be punished, if they would only say they were sorry.

Unfortunately, I have a feeling they are enjoying all these bad things too much to care. Come back to see what happens. 

1. Who was Manasseh's father?
2. What did Manasseh want to change for what his father did?
3. Why did he want to make these changes?
4. Who tried to help him?
5. How old was Manasseh when he became king?
6. Why did the people follow him?
7. Do you think this will turn out well? Why?

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Hezekiah-His Last Good Works

By Mary Vee
II Kings 20, II Chronicles 32

From the Journals of Isaiah

The people of Jerusalem mourned deeply when King Hezekiah's died. I have seen other kings of Israel and Judah die and not receive this kind of respect mainly because they were not good kings. But the people had seen what a good king Hezekiah had been and how much he loved God.

He wasn't perfect. No one but God is. But God told me to write Hezekiah's acts of devotion in the sacred books so that everyone could read about this faithful king.

I'd like to share with you one of the most important acts Hezekiah did that saved the city. 

The pool of water used by the people was outside the city walls. Walking to get water was not a problem. But when an army came to attack, the soldiers could take the water then stand guard to keep the people of Jerusalem away.

Hezekiah mapped out a plan to dig a tunnel going from the center of the city to the pool outside the walls. The direction of the water moved through the tunnel to the center of the city. He then blocked off any access to the water to anyone outside the city walls.

This was not an easy project. It took several years. To speed the process, Hezekiah assigned men to dig from both sides. One team started in the city and the other started out at the pool. 

He used our best skills, but knew if one team angled a bit one way or the other the two ends would never meet. Hezekiah prayed asking God to help them with the project. 

One miraculous day the men broke through, connecting the two tunnels. The water flowed into the new pool inside the city. I wish you could have heard the people rejoicing.

But the work wasn't done. The teams had to make a block to prevent anyone from stealing the water from outside the city. The soldiers and workers spent long hours finishing the project. 

This new water system saved the city. If an attacking army didn't have water to drink, they couldn't stay long. This is one of the projects Hezekiah did during his rein as king of Judah.

And so the people mourned Hezekiah, the good king of Judah.

From Mary Vee: Here is some interesting news. This tunnel, built by Hezekiah so many years ago is still used today to supply water to the city! Imagine the work that was done to make it last so long!

1. Was Hezekiah a good or bad king?
2. How did God honor Hezekiah?
3. Isaiah shares one of the many good acts down by Hezekiah. What did he do?
4. What problems did the workers have?
5. Why was this such an important project?

Monday, August 18, 2014

Hudson Taylor-Tell the Girls About Jesus

By Mary Vee
Year: April 1880 
Hudson Taylor: age 48

From J. Hudson Taylor's Notes

Photo Courtesy
Having missionaries in all of the Chinese provinces has taught us so much about the culture. Whether they live in the mountains by the ocean, or in the city, all the Chinese have the same basic cultural ways.

I wrote an article in our mission's magazine that would be read by thousands of English to let them know about the children and women here in China.

We have long been able to tell the men about Jesus simply by respecting many the Chinese ways. The problem is, we can't seem to speak with the women. The mothers teach the children. If the mother has not learned to read or write, or learned about God's love then she can teach only what she knows.

The girls have a difficult life. While she is still very little, she is allowed to play with boys, have fun outside, and laugh. But when she reaches the age of a girl she will have her feet bound and must stay inside doing chores. She may be taught to read and write while in her home.

In the Chinese culture, marriages are promised when the girl is a baby. When she is a teenager she is sent to the family's home where her future husband lives. Sometimes she is sent when she is still a little girl because her family can't afford to feed her. 

At her future husband's home, the girl must obey all the rules of the boy's mother. Any one can tell the girl to do work in the house. If something goes wrong, the girl is punished, whether she did the wrong thing or not.

Many girls suffer so much they run away or kill themselves.

We want to find a way to help these girls. In my article to the English, I asked more women to come to China to be missionaries to the girls. These women will be able to go in the homes and talk with the ladies, maybe talk with the girls, too.

I pray for the girls in China, that they can know God's love and not surfer so much.

My wife, Jennie has some great ideas. Now we need workers.

J. Hudson Taylor
Missionary to China--Inland China!
So Very Blessed by God

Research resources: J. Hudson Taylor, An Autobiography by J. Hudson Taylor; It is Not Death to Die, a new biography of Hudson Taylor by Jim Cromarty; Hudson Taylor Founder, China Inland Mission by Vance Christie; J. Hudson Taylor, A Man in Christ, by Roger Steer, and Hudson Taylor's Spiritual Secret by Dr.and Mrs. Howard Taylor

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Hezekiah-The Bully Walked Away in Silence

By Mary Vee
II Kings 19, Isaiah 37

From the Journals of Hezekiah

I have seen God's amazing power in action. Since I am one of His creations, I don't think it bothers God too much when I am surprised at what He can do.

I have faith He can do anything. But sometimes, I am just so blown away when I see what He's done. My heart pumps hard and I feel a bubbly happiness inside. 

God sent Isaiah to tell me He would take care of the problem with king Sennacherib of Assyria.

And He did!

Last night God sent the angel of the Lord to Sennacherib's army camp and put to death a hundred and eighty-five thousand of their men. This was not all of their army. There were plenty more soldiers.

When the remaining soldiers and Sennacherib woke the next morning and found the dead bodies he ordered the remaining soldiers to break camp and go back home.

He didn't say anything.

He didn't yell at those of us watching from the city walls.

He didn't cry out, raise his fist, or say any more mean things.

Instead, he and his men left in silence....ashamed.

He and his army returned to Nineveh, their home, and stayed there. They didn't gather new troops to come back and attack. They just stayed home.

Word spread about what the Almighty God did, and how powerful He is. Countries all around us brought gifts to the people of Jerusalem and offerings to present to the Lord. 

For the rest of my days as king, the nations all around us respected Judah and our God.

A while back I was very sick. I cried to the Lord for healing. He said I could live fifteen more years. That time has come to an end. I am thankful for the extra time to help Jerusalem walk in the ways of the Lord and hope that I have please Him.

Praise and glory to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the Almighty One.


1.  Who did God send to give Hezekiah a message?
2.  What was the message?
3.  What did God do?
4.  What did Hezekiah and the people of Jerusalem see the next morning?
5.  What did Sennacherib and his men do?
6.  What did the nations around Jerusalem do?

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Hezekiah-God's Promise to Punish the Bully

By Mary Vee
II Kings 19, Isaiah 37

From the Journals of Hezekiah

Last time I told you about the mean things Sennacherib had done. He is the king of Assyria.

That guy is such a bully. And when bullies yell mean things, nothing can be said back. If anyone tries to say anything back, the bully works very hard to say even meaner things.

I walked away from him and went to the temple where I prayed to God.

In my day, God sent messages to people through his prophets. The prophet Isaiah lives here and loves the Lord with all his heart. 

Isaiah came to my chamber and said God had a message for me. God said, "I have heard your prayers about Sennacherib, king of Assyria, and have said these things against him:

"Who are you to insult Jerusalem? Your insults are really against me, the Holy One of Israel.
You have sent messengers who have shouted cruel things against me.
You brag about things you have done to frighten the people of Jerusalem.
What you didn't know is I had planned for you to succeed in those very things.
I even know where you live and when you come and go 
and how you are so angry against me.
Because you have been so angry, I will force you to go back to your homes 
and end the battles."

God then said to me: "This year, Hezekiah, you will eat what grows by itself from the crops, and next year too. But the third year, plant seeds and reap a harvest. A group of people from Judah will stand strong like the crops. There will be survivors staying in Jerusalem."

This made me feel better. I knew then that we would be able to stay.

Isaiah finished telling me God's message by saying what would happen. "Sennacherib will not enter Jerusalem. He won't shoot an arrow here. He won't bring his army or his weapons. He will go back home and not enter Jerusalem.

"I will defend this city and save it for my sake and for the sake of David my servant."

I must admit. I felt so much better knowing God would take care of the bully.

1. Bullies sure can cause us to feel bad. What was the first thing Hezekiah did to stop the bully?
2. In the days that Hezekiah lived, what is one way God sent messages to people?
3. Describe the prophet Isaiah.
4. God said not to worry. The bully meant their mean words against ___________
5. What did God say he would do to the bully?
6. What did God say would happen to Jerusalem?

Monday, August 11, 2014

Hudson Taylor-The Donkeys Ate Our Pillows

By Mary Vee
Year: April 1880 
Hudson Taylor: age 48

From J. Hudson Taylor's Notes

Photo Courtesy
God has blessed the China Inland Mission more than I had ever dreamed. 

Because of His mercy, the mission had finally gained the respect of other missions. I sure remember the days when other missionaries had nothing but bad words to say about CIM. 

We were different and they didn't understand. The CIM missionaries and I agreed we should dress like the Chinese people. Our job was to show them God's love not to teach them the English way. 

So far, God has sent seventy Europeans and one hundred Chinese nationals to serve as missionaries and they serve in sixty-four locations, all working to share the love of God with the Chinese people. 

One of the greatest lessons I have learned is the importance of helping Chinese christians to become national pastors and teachers. While teaching English missionaries to dress, eat, speak, and live like Chinese, we still lacked a special quality to teach and witness to the people that only the national Christians had. Our new focus is to raise up Chinese pastors and teachers to become witnesses to their people.

With all the problems settled for the time being, I went on a journey with my assistant, Joe Coulthard, to visit all of our mission stations. In less than one month's time, we walked or rode our donkeys three hundred miles. Some of the missionaries lived in such poor areas we had to spend the night with our mules. 

We prayed for all our missionaries, thanking God for all He had done, then turned off the lanterns. Neither my assistant, nor I slept well that night because our mules kept eating the straw we had bunched together for pillows.

One of the missionary families I visited needed my medical help. The wife had dysentery, the oldest child had whooping cough, and the baby...unfortunately died in my arms. I did what I could for them then suggested they take time to rest at our new resort in Yantai. I remember how much the rest helped me.

The trip to visit all of our missionaries and help with what they needed took about three years and we traveled fifteen thousand miles. I really enjoyed seeing each station and the work being done there.

The mules and I also learned to get along with each other. I left them a big pile of straw before going to sleep each night.

Please pray for our missionaries, both nationals and those who have followed God's call to come to China and share the love of God with the Chinese people.

J. Hudson Taylor
Missionary to China--Inland China!
So Very Blessed by God

Research resources: J. Hudson Taylor, An Autobiography by J. Hudson Taylor; It is Not Death to Die, a new biography of Hudson Taylor by Jim Cromarty; Hudson Taylor Founder, China Inland Mission by Vance Christie; J. Hudson Taylor, A Man in Christ, by Roger Steer, and Hudson Taylor's Spiritual Secret by Dr.and Mrs. Howard Taylor

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Hezekiah-What to Do When the Bully Comes Back

By Mary Vee
II Kings 18 and II Chronicles

From the Journals of Hezekiah

Photo courtesy
Sennacherib, king of Assyria was an evil man. He has been bullying my people. This king told the people of Jerusalem that God couldn't help them. He also said they should surrender to him and he would take good care of them. Of course he wasn't telling the truth.

God sent a message to me, Hezekiah, king of Judah and loyal servant of the Almighty God, saying not to be concerned. He would punish Sennacherib.

Sennacherib heard that the king of Egypt was marching across the land to fight him. After hearing the report he sent messengers to me again. Can you imagine that?

I am not afraid of him because God said He would take care of the problem. 

Still I will tell you what Sennacherib said, "Do not let the god you depend on deceive you when he says Jerusalem will not be handed over to the king of Assyria. Surely you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all the countries, destroying them completely. And will you be delivered? Did the gods of the nations that were destroyed by my forefathers deliver them? The gods of Gozan, Haran, Rezeph, and the people of Eden who were in Tel Assar. Where are all those kings? You will end up like them.

I did not answer him.

Instead I went up to the temple of the Lord and laid the papers with the message out before the Lord. I prayed these words: 

"O Lord, God of Israel, enthroned between the cherubim, you alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth. Give ear, O Lord, and hear. Open your eyes, O Lord, and see. Listen to the words Sennacherib has sent to insult the living God. 

"It is true, O Lord that the Assyrian kings have laid waste all these nations and their lands. They have thrown their gods into the fire an destroyed them, for they were not god but only wood and stone, made by men's hands. Now, O Lord our God, deliver us from his hand so that all the kingdoms on earth may know that you alone, O Lord are God."

Come back next time to see what God said. 

1. What lies did Sennacherib tell the people of Jerusalem?
2. Even after he heard the king of Egypt was marching against him, Sennacherib did what?
3. Did Hezekiah listen to the bully's words?
4. What did Hezekiah do?

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Hezekiah-God Comforts When Bullies Are Mean

By Mary Vee
II Kings 18 and Isaiah

From the Journals of Hezekiah

Photo Courtesy
I couldn't handle the horrible news Eliakim, Shebna and Joah brought to me. 

As king of Judah, it is my duty to lead my people. They all heard Sennacherib's cruel words about the Almighty God. 

I could handle him saying lies about me, but when he said, "How can the Lord deliver Jerusalem from my hand." He made fun of the power of God. Big mistake.

Yes, I know God can easily take care of Sennacherib, but I love God and would not want anyone to speak evil of Him. 

I felt embarrassed to even speak to the prophet Isaiah about the problem so I sent Eliakim, Shebna, and Joah to tell him my thoughts:

"This day is a terrible day, One where cruel and mean things are said by the bullies surrounding us. It's like having no strength to give birth. It may be that the Lord your God will hear all the words of the field commander, whom his master, the king of Assyria has sent to make fun of the living God. And when He hears those words He will punish Sennacherib for what he has done. Isaiah, please pray for those from all Israel that still survives."

Isaiah sent a message back to me. "This is what the Lord says. Do not be afraid of what you have heard. Every word the king's helpers said against me I have heard. The words are not against you. Listen! I am going to put such a spirit in him that when he hears a certain report he will return to his own country, and there I will have Sennacherib put to death.

1. Why was King Hezekiah upset?
2. King Hezekiah tore his clothes and wept. He went to the temple. Why didn't he talk to the prophet Isaiah?
3. What message did he send to the prophet?
4. What did message did God give to Isaiah to say to Hezekiah?

Monday, August 4, 2014

Hudson Taylor-A School Built from a Shipwreck

By Mary Vee
Year: April 1879 
Hudson Taylor: age 46

From J. Hudson Taylor's Notes

Photo Courtesy

We had a field to start building a school for missionary children, a hospital, and a place for missionaries to come and rest. Time to get busy.

Building supplies can be difficult to get. Charles Judd and I prayed, asking God to give us what we needed.

Neither Charles nor I had experience building a house. We kinda made steps up as we went. We hired some local men to chisel out stones out of the gully on our property. 

Next we made bricks from the surface soil on the land. 

We heard about a sunken ship called the Christian. The wreck had oak and Norwegian pine. We bought the damaged ship and used the deck for rafters in our new house and the oak for heavy beams. 

God then showed us another wreck called the Ada. We bought teak from that ship and made the floors of our building. The cabins, doors, locks, cupboards, from the ship also worked well with our building. We only had to pay two dollars for a hundredweight. 

We still had work to do like squaring the door, making keys for the locks, and working with some of the teak that had holes left from bolts. We laid the teak, moving pieces around to keep the holes from landing in places where people would walk.

The house didn't have the master builder look to it, but it will do. We built five rooms upstairs and five downstairs with an outhouse and a lean-to. 

The European onlookers were surprised at how fast we built the house. Well, we weren't experts, but the house is still standing!

This building served as the China Inland Mission school for missionary children. Within a short time, the boys and girls filled the school.

At the end of the year, 1879, mostly due to sicknesses that kept bothering me, I moved the CIM office to Yantai. By living in a place that kept me healthy, I could do much more for the service of God.

Praise God for His help and support.

J. Hudson Taylor
Missionary to China--Inland China!
So Very Blessed by God

Research resources: J. Hudson Taylor, An Autobiography by J. Hudson Taylor; It is Not Death to Die, a new biography of Hudson Taylor by Jim Cromarty; Hudson Taylor Founder, China Inland Mission by Vance Christie; J. Hudson Taylor, A Man in Christ, by Roger Steer, and Hudson Taylor's Spiritual Secret by Dr.and Mrs. Howard Taylor

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Hezekiah- Bullies Like to Lie

By Mary Vee
II Kings 18 and II Chronicles 32

From the Journals of Hezekiah

Photo Courtesy
As king of Judah and a man who loves to serve God, hearing men say mean things about God really hurt my heart.

I didn't like listening to Sennacherib's official shouting lies to the people of Jerusalem. They said them so loud, all my soldiers and citizens standing on the wall heard them. 

I looked at the people's faces and saw their strength drain from them. They were listening to the bullies. 

After my official Eliakim, Shebna and my field commander, Joah asked the Assyrians to speak in the Aramaic language, the bullies refused and shouted  louder in Hebrew, the language our people understood.

The Assyrians said, "Do you think we only want Hezekiah and you to hear our message? No we want the soldiers and the citizens to hear. They need to know we will conquer and force them to have nothing to eat."

The commander stepped away from the officials and set his hands by his mouth to help his voice go farther. "Hear the word of the great king of Assyria. People of Jerusalem, do not let Hezekiah deceive you. He can't save you from us. Don't let Hezekiah persuade you to trust in the Lord. We will conquer Jerusalem. 

"Don't listen to Hezekiah. Make peace with us and come join us. Every person who surrenders will have plenty to eat and drink. You will be taken to a land like Jerusalem. A land of bread and vineyards, olive trees and honey. Choose life and not death."

I wanted to cover my ears. I have served God as king of Judah and tried to teach the people to always worship Him. I wish I could make the bullies stop shouting. I wish the people of Jerusalem couldn't hear them. But the bullies didn't stop.

The official shouted again. "Don't listen to Hezekiah. He is misleading you when he says the Lord will deliver you. Has the god of any nation ever delivered them from our hands? Where are their gods now? How then can the Lord deliver Jerusalem from my hand?"

I can't even write any more of the horrible things the officials said. They called out in Hebrew to the people of Jerusalem standing at the wall just to scare them in order to capture our city. They even insulted our God by saying the God of Jerusalem was the work of men's hands. I couldn't stop my tears. The Almighty God, our creator, should not have to hear such words.

But, thanks be to God, the people of Jerusalem kept silent and said nothing back to the bullies. I had commanded them not to answer anything the bullies said. 

When the officers came back inside the city and told me the rest of the mean things the bullies said about us and God, we fell to our knees and tore our clothes. We put on sackcloth and went to the temple of the Lord and cried out to Him.

Come back next time to see what happened.

1.  Who were the bullies?
2.  The bullies said mean things about Jerusalem, king Hezekiah, and God.  What did the people do?
3.  Did any of the people from Jerusalem rush out accept the gifts from the bullies?
4. When the officials came back in the city and told king Hezekiah the rest of the message, what did they all do?