What If?

Kevin DeYoung

READ : 2 Chronicles 32

So the Lord saved Hezekiah and the people of Jerusalem . . . He took care of them on every side. (32:22 NIV)

One of the most interesting books I’ve read in recent years is entitled What If? The World’s Foremost Military Historians Imagine What Might Have Been. It’s a book of counterfactual history where scholars suggest how history would be different if key battles like Waterloo or Gettysburg or D-Day had gone differently.

The first chapter, by William McNeill, is about the plague that saved Jerusalem in 701 B.C. Assyria was threatening to destroy Jerusalem and wipe Judah off the map. This was no idle threat. Nation after nation had fallen to this superpower from the north. But God would not abandon his people. “Because you have prayed to me concerning Sennacherib king of Assyria,” the Lord reassured King Hezekiah, “I will defend this city and save it.” Overnight the entire army was wiped out and the city spared, without one drop of Israelite blood being shed.

These events confirmed for the Jews the implausible and world-changing belief that their God was the only true God, making the failed siege of Jerusalem the most fateful might-have-been of history. “Never before or since,” writes McNeill, “has so much depended on so few, believing so wholly in their one true [G]od, and in such bold defiance of common sense.”


I trust you, God, even when all hope seems lost. Amen.