2 Kings 19:35
And it came to pass that night, that the angel of the LORD went out…
The ministry of angels, for good or evil, has always been a subject of mystery and of interest to the human mind. Throughout all the creeds of the Eastern world a belief in the active and frequent interference of the angelic host is generally held. The subject of angels occupies no inconsiderable portion of .the Koran. Angels good or ill form the Suras of the Persians and the Rakshusas of the Hindoos. In the Old Testament of the Jews, in the New Testament of the Christians, angels are not uncommonly introduced. That God does make His angels ministering spirits, we have the authority of Scripture for asserting; but in what way they act, what appearances they present, what divisions they consist of amidst the varied orders of "thrones, dominions, princedoms, powers," we know not. Lessons to be learnt:
I. THAT ANGER IS AT TIMES COMMENDABLE. We find the Deity moved to hot anger against the Assyrian host, taking vengeance upon the multitude that formed the Assyrian army. It is true, that to say, God is angry, or jealous, is but to speak after the manner of men, is but to attribute human motives to the Godhead. Yet, if we could imagine anger to possess the Deity, even in the sense in which we use the word anger, it would be no diminution of His Divine perfections. Strife against sin, against wrong-doing, against injustice, against the oppression of the weak, against falsehood, against hypocrisy, this was implanted in us for the noblest purposes, this, in fact, is a virtue, and not a vice.
II. THAT WE SHOULD SEE GOD'S HAND IN ALL THE REVOLUTIONS OF HISTORY.
III. THAT A HAUGHTY SPIRIT OFTENTIMES PRECEDES A FALL. Pride, in its egotistical wilfulness, vanity, in its ridiculous pretensions, must be rooted out of the character before any good Christian seed can be developed. Every one that exalteth himself, whether in a spirit of godless self-sufficiency like Sennacherib, or of religious self-complacency like the Pharisees of old, shall be abased; and every one that humbleth himself shall be exalted. Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. Before honour is humility.
IV. THAT THE DISPENSATIONS OF PROVIDENCE ARE SOMETIMES VERY SUDDEN IN THEIR ACTION. On the very night that Sennacherib encamped, filled doubtless with an idea of his own grandeur, and with a belief that he was about to add to his glory and power by a decisive victory on the morrow, in "that night" the angel of the Lord smote his mighty strength to the ground. "The only thing to be looked for in the conduct of the French on any occasion," says a cynical observer, "is the unexpected" Might not the same statement, in a greater or less degree, be made about all nationalities and about all individuals?
V. THAT WE SHOULD LAY ALL OUR TROUBLES AND WEAKNESSES BEFORE GOD IN PRAYER.
(R. Young, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And it came to pass that night, that the angel of the LORD went out, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians an hundred fourscore and five thousand: and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses.
WEB: It happened that night, that the angel of Yahweh went out, and struck one hundred eighty-five thousand in the camp of the Assyrians. When men arose early in the morning, behold, these were all dead bodies.