Preparation: Read and study 2 Chronicles 32:1-23 and 2 Kings 18:17-19:36.
Make two messages by rolling two pieces of paper into scroll shapes and tying each with a string.
Choose two children to be the messengers. The first messenger will bring the letter from the king of Assyria. The second messenger will bring Isaiah’s message.
Presentation: Say, How would you feel if a bully told you he was going to beat you up tomorrow? Allow children to answer. Most of us would be terrified.
Even though Hezekiah was king of the Israelites, God’s chosen people, he felt terrified. The king of Assyria, a bully, had promised to destroy Hezekiah and his kingdom.
This man was Sennacherib, and he was the king of Assyria. Sennacherib wanted to fight against Judah, King Hezekiah’s kingdom. Hezekiah knew he had to do something to protect his people from the king of Assyria. He worked hard fortifying the city walls, organizing an army, and storing water in case the enemy attacked the city. Hezekiah did everything possible to protect his kingdom.
On one day, King Hezekiah looked out his window in the palace and saw some men running towards the palace. Ask your first messenger to bring you the prepared scroll. “Who are those men?” he asked himself. “What do they want?”
The men were messengers sent by Sennacherib, the king of Assyria. They carried a letter for King Hezekiah. Open the prepared message as if you are reading it.
Don’t trust that your God will save you. I have come to capture you. Remember how I destroyed the countries around you. Your God won’t be able to save you.
Sennacherib, king of Assyria
Hezekiah knew that the king of Assyria had a great army. His army had conquered many other countries surrounding Judah. King Hezekiah was afraid, but he knew what he needed to do. He took the letter and ran to the temple. He got on his knees and placed the letter before the Lord.
Then Hezekiah prayed, “Oh Lord, You are God of all the earth. Please, hear me, oh God. The king of Assyria wrote saying that You are too weak to save us from his army. He’s coming to capture us. Please help us. Then the whole world will know that you are the one true God.”
After Hezekiah prayed, he did one more thing. He sent a message to Isaiah, God’s prophet. “Pray. Pray long,” the message said. “The king of Assyria is mocking our God. There’s no doubt that God will punish him for this.”
Isaiah sent the king a message. Ask the second messenger to bring you the second prepared scroll. Open the message and begin to read:
Don’t worry. God won’t allow the king of Assyria to harm you or the people. God has heard your prayer. He will take care of you.
God did as He said. That night, an angel visited Sennacherib’s army and destroyed thousands of soldiers. When Sennacherib woke up the next morning and saw what God had done, he felt terrified. He fled Judah and returned to his own country.
When the story is finished, have a discussion time with the children. Say: Hezekiah didn’t send the king of Assyria a message picking a fight with him. He avoided trouble. What are some ways we can avoid frightening situations?
What did Hezekiah do to protect the city? Allow children to answer. Yes, he improved the city’s defenses. How can you protect yourself from fear? Allow the children to answer. Then suggest that they can protect themselves from fear by memorizing the Word of God, being careful about what they watch on television or read in books, trying not to think of frightening things, etc. What was the most important thing Hezekiah did? Allow children to answer. Hezekiah immediately prayed to God for help and asked Isaiah to pray for him. When you are afraid, it is important for you to pray for help and to ask others to pray for you.