One of the most interesting archaeological sites in Syria is called Tell Mardikh. It was only discovered in 1964. Its ancient name was Ebla.
They have discovered seventeen thousands of clay tablets which tell us more about the times when Abraham and his posterity was around.
Some of the tablets are kept at a small museum at Idlib. On one of them the name of Lachish in Israel is mentioned. Let me take you there.
The Assyrian king Sennecherib besieged this city and eventually destroyed. As I was walking on this ancient tell, many thoughts passed through my mind.
The inhabitants knew what the Lord expected from them but they apostatized. Listen to what Micah said of them:
Micah 1:13 O thou inhabitant of Lachish, bind the chariot to the swift beast: she is the beginning of the sin to the daughter of Zion: for the transgressions of Israel were found in thee.
Y. Aharoni excavated many pagan cultic objects at Lachis. When Sennecherib besieged the city, the inhabitants could not protect their stronghold. You cannot resist the enemy if you have sin in your hearts.
Sennecherib did something interesting when he returned to Nineveh after the destruction of Lachish. He told his artists to make a relief of the siege and destruction of the city.
Today one can see most of the Lachish battle in the British museum. When Sennecherib left with all the booty, he went to Jerusalem. He was going to do the same to the capital as he did to Lachish.
Walking on the Tell and looking at what’s left of the city, I thought came to me. While the inhabitants of Lachish forsook the God of their fathers, the inhabitants of Jerusalem worshipped Him in obedience.
King Hezekiah got the news that the mighty Assyrian army was approaching Jerusalem. Guess what he did in these terrible times of trouble?
2 Kings 19:19 “Now, O Lord our God, deliver us from his hand, so that all kingdoms on earth may know that you alone, O Lord, are God.”
After Hezekiah got up from his knees, he started digging a 533-meter tunnel. One team started at the Gihon spring the other at the pool of Siloam inside the city.
By doing this he wanted to deprive the Assyrians of water and at the same time have an abundant supply of water for Jerusalem during the siege.
King Hezekiah also did something else to fortify the city. He built an additional defense wall. What a lesson. After he prayed, he started to do what he could to protect the city.
Listen to God’s response to Hezekiah’s prayer and personal effort:
Isaiah 37:33-35 “Therefore this is what the Lord says concerning the king of Assyria: ‘He will not enter this city or shoot an arrow here. He will not come before it with shield or build a siege ramp against it. By the way that he came he will return; he will not enter this city, declares the Lord. I will defend this city and save it, for my sake and for the sake of David my servant.’”
God-fearing People who lived in Jerusalem had water during the siege. They enjoyed an additional wall of defense and they had the promise that God would protect them.
We have all these luxuries in Jesus. He supplies our thirst; He is a wall of defense; He promises protection from the enemy, the devil who wants to destroy us.
Are you thirsty? Come to Jesus the Fountain of living water. Do you need protection? Come to Jesus the Great Protector. Do you want assurance of salvation? Leave the Lachish of disobedience and come to Jerusalem. Come to Jesus.
In His embrace all our pain will disappear;
all our questions will be answered;
all our longings for CHRIST will vanish in a personal, physical encounter with our Redeemer.
Let us bring the joy of that glad day into the sadness of our present situation and rejoice proleptic.