Shovels and the Scriptures – Episode 3

In Episode 3, we head east to an archaeological find from modern-day northern Iraq. Bridgett and Justin walk us through detailed, sculpted stone “reliefs” from a 7th century BC Assyrian palace; the enormous reliefs, unearthed over a century and a half ago, are today on display at the British Museum. The reliefs, sort of “brag pieces” created by the Assyrian Empire to celebrate their conquest of Lachish in 701BC, help us to appreciate the tremendous alarm and anxiety that King Hezekiah and God’s people faced as the Assyrian army moved to threaten Jerusalem. While acknowledging the serious and daunting threat, Hezekiah also acknowledges God’s greatness, and prays a prayer of dependence. We can learn from the model of Hezekiah’s prayer; when we face pressures and stressors in life, we can be honest with God about our feelings and anxieties, and ask Him for His competent help! That leads us to part of Hezekiah’s prayer, which features as this episode’s verse: “Lord God of Israel who is enthroned above the cherubim, You are God—You alone—of all the kingdoms of the earth. You made the heavens and the earth” (2 Kings 19:15).

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