.           all rights belong to Tanis Harms –
.             refer to

OBEDIENCE AND OUTCOME – written by Tanis Harms
TOPIC:        obedience, consequences
SCRIPTURE:    2 King 17-20, 2 Chron.29-32, Isaiah
Style:        allegory/conversation:  Isaiah offers
.             kings insight regarding their actions
.             COMMANDER
Set & Props:  2 crowns for Hoshea and Hezekiah,
.             big white scarf or robe for Isaiah
.             maybe a sword for the Commander


NARRATOR   This story goes way back in time,
.          when the nation of Israel was split in two.
.          And each part had a king.
.          During this particular time,
.          the king of Israel was Hoshea.

(HOSHEA steps out at stage left.)

NARRATOR   The king of Judah was Hezekiah.

(HEZEKIAH steps out at stage right.)

NARRATOR   During these times, God would use prophets
.          to help teach and direct His people
.          and their kings.  One such prophet was Isaiah.

(ISAIAH enters and goes to stand at center stage.)

NARRATOR   The prophets would warn the kings
.          to stop sinning and stop worshipping idols.
.          The prophets told them to obey God.

(ISAIAH steps toward HOSHEA.)

ISAIAH     King Hoshea, you need to obey God,
.          or it will not go well for you.

HOSHEA     Who cares!  I’m going to do exactly
.          what I want.

(HOSHEA turns his back on ISAIAH, so ISAIAH steps back.)
.                                                       2
NARRATOR   Hoshea only reigned for nine years,
.          because he was a bad king and
.          did evil in the sight of the LORD.
.          And he made his people do evil things too.
.          So God allowed the king of Assyria
.          to fight Hoshea’s kingdom,
.          and make Hoshea his servant.
.          So Hoshea had to pay the king of Assyria
.          lots of money every year.

(COMMANDER enters and marches up to HOSHEA.)

COMMANDER  Assyria has fought you and won the war.
.          You will now serve the king of Assyria
.          and pay him lots of money every year.

(COMMANDER marches off.)

ISAIAH     (to HOSHEA)  I warned you to obey God.

HOSHEA     I don’t care, I’m still going to do
.          what I want.

ISAIAH     It’s not too late, you know.
.          If you are truly sorry, change your ways,
.          and obey God – it will go well with you.

HOSHEA     I don’t care.  I’m going to do what I want.
.          Hm, and I want to stop giving the
.          king of Assyria my money.  Year after year
.          I have to pay the king of Assyria
.          lots of my money.  I am tired of doing this.
.          I think I’m going to try to make a deal
.          with the king of Egypt.  I’m going to offer
.          to give money to the king of Egypt instead.

ISAIAH     Don’t you first want to see
.          what God wants you to do?

HOSHEA     I still don’t care.  I’m still going
.          to do what I want.

NARRATOR   But the king of Assyria found out that
.          Hoshea was giving money to the king of Egypt
.          instead, so he had Hoshea thrown into prison.

(COMMANDER marches up to HOSHEA and lightly whacks      3
the crown off of his head.)

HOSHEA     Hey!

COMMANDER  The king of Assyria has found out
.          that you are giving money to the king of Egypt
.          instead.  You are now going to prison.
.          And we are going to destroy your kingdom
.          completely.  All of your people will now
.          be slaves to the king of Assyria.

(HOSHEA cries as the COMMANDER takes HOSHEA’S arm
and leads him off stage.)

ISAIAH     I warned you to obey God.

NARRATOR   Israel had been taken into captivity –
.          where they still continued to sin.
.          God had once saved Israel from being slaves
.          in Egypt, and God could have saved them
.          from being slaves in Assyria,
.          but they refused to obey God.

HOSHEA     (from off stage)  Waaaaah.
.          I lost my kingdom, and now I’m a slave.

ISAIAH     I warned you to obey God.

NARRATOR   Now all of the Israelites were slaves –
.          all except for the tribe of Judah.
.          But they were not obeying God either.
.          Until Hezekiah, king of Judah,
.          decided to listen to the prophets,
.          who warned them to stop sinning
.          and stop worshipping idols.
.          They told them to obey God.

(ISAIAH approaches HEZEKIAH.)

ISAIAH     King Hezekiah, you need to obey God,
.          or it will not go well for you.

HEZEKIAH   This makes sense to me.  In fact,
.          the first thing I would like to do
.          is fix up the temple so we can
.          all worship our Lord.
.                                                      4
(HEZEKIAH speaks out to congregation like they are
his people.)  

HEZEKIAH   We all need to worship our Lord God.
.          We have made the Lord very angry
.          because we have sinned
.          and we have worshipped idols.
.          We must change our ways,
.          destroy all of the idols, and then
.          only worship and obey God.

NARRATOR   And the Lord God heard Hezekiah
.          and the people’s prayers
.          and healed and blessed the people.
.          And Hezekiah did what was good, right and true
.          before the LORD his God;
.          so that there was peace in the land,
.          and things went well for them.

ISAIAH     See!  God is faithful.

NARRATOR   Now, the evil king of Assyria noticed
.          that the land of Judah was getting rich
.          and wanted to take this land also.
.          So the king of Assyria tried to make war
.          with King Hezekiah.  But King Hezekiah
.          kept on obeying God, so things still
.          went well for them.

ISAIAH     (to Hezekiah)  Do not give up obeying God.

HEZEKIAH   (speaking to congregation)
.          We will not serve the king of Assyria.
.          We will only serve God.  So be strong
.          and courageous!  Do not fear because
.          God is much greater than the king of Assyria
.          and all his armies.  They are only flesh,
.          but the Lord our God will help us.

NARRATOR   The people listened to Hezekiah’s words
.          and trusted God.  So now the king of Assyria
.          sent his commander to try to trick
.          King Hezekiah and the people.

(COMMANDER marches up beside HEZEKIAH and speaks
to the congregation.)
.                                                       5
COMMANDER  Listen up you people.  God has sent me
.          to talk some sense into you.
.          Don’t let your King Hezekiah trick you.
.          Just tell him to give up your city.
.          If you serve the king of Assyria,
.          things will go well for you.
.          But if you stay and fight,
.          you will only suffer.  Who is YOUR God
.          that He can deliver you from Assyria?
.          Assyria has attacked many nations,
.          and the gods of those nations were NEVER
.          able to protect THEM.  What makes you think
.          that YOUR God can protect you?
.          Your King Hezekiah is LYING to you.

(COMMANDER marches off.)

NARRATOR   When King Hezekiah heard about this,
.          he asked to see the prophet of Isaiah.

(ISAIAH steps up to HEZEKIAH.)

HEZEKIAH   So, what should we do?

ISAIAH     We need to pray and ask God for help.

(ISAIAH and HEZEKIAH bow their heads in prayer.)

NARRATOR   That night, the LORD sent an angel to destroy
.          the entire army of Assyria.  The people
.          of Assyria were so angry at their king,
.          that they killed him.  Thus, the land of Judah
.          was safe and had peace once again.

HEZEKIAH   (to congregation)  Thank you, thank you.

ISAIAH     Ah, you should be thanking God.

HEZEKIAH   But my people are bringing me gifts.

NARRATOR   Yes, the people began to bring gifts
.          to the Lord, as well as to King Hezekiah.
.          And he became a very famous king throughout
.          all the nations.  But King Hezekiah
.          started to get full of pride,
.          so God allowed Hezekiah to become very sick.
.                                                       6
HEZEKIAH   (wiping his forehead weakly)
.          Oh no!  What have I done?
.          I want to get better.  I’m dying.
.          (turns to ISAIAH)  Please help me.

ISAIAH     You need to turn away from your pride
.          and stop sinning.  And you should
.          be asking God for help.

HEZEKIAH   (looking up)  Help me, Lord,
.          please heal me.  I don’t want to die.

NARRATOR   Hezekiah humbled his heart
.          and God healed him.
.          Both he and the people of Judah
.          humbled themselves and prayed.
.          Because they obeyed God,
.          things began to go very well for them
.          once again, and continued to do so
.          as long as Hezekiah was their king.
.          And Hezekiah became known
.          as one of the greatest kings ever.

HEZEKIAH   (starts to bow, but stops short)
.          Thank you – ah! – wait – sorry.
.          I only became a great king because of God.
.          God is great.

(HEZEKIAH exits.)