For several days now I’ve been reading and rereading 2 Chronicles 32:1-33. Even though King Hezekiah lived many years ago and there is no opposing King Sennacherib marching forward to lay siege on my land, I still see the parallels in my own world. During a time when Hezekiah probably expected to be experiencing ease instead he found himself on the verge of war. When the passage opens it states after he had faithfully carried out his work, then King Sennacherib invaded Judah. Yet Hezekiah lived in Jerusalem not Judah so that wasn’t so bad. However he soon realizes that old Sennacherib does not planned to just invade Judah but also Jerusalem.
When trouble is down the street on someone else door, it’s easy to be concerned one day but become consumed with our daily doings the next day. But nothing commands our attention like it does when trouble stroll itself into our front yard.
If you listen to much of the feel good Christianese today, we are lead to believe that we can expect good in this life. And oh how deserving we are after doing F A I T H F U L L Y what is expected of us, right? How do obedience and faithfulness deserve opposition and terror? What happened to our smooth ride guarantee? Truth is we were never granted one. Instead we were given assurance that God would be with us in it, a sufficiency of His grace, and peace that surpasses understanding.
Jesus never tried to hide the truth from us. He tells us there will be trouble. There will be persecution.
Granted I’d just assume bypass that part and get on to the good but neither of us have that option. But we do have the options:
- To choose what we say
- To choose what sayings we give the most weight.
King Hezekiah chose to use his words to encourage the people by saying, “Be strong and courageous! Don’t be afraid of the king of Assyria or his mighty army, for there is a power far greater on our side! He may have a great army, but they are just men. We have the LORD our God to help us and to fight our battles for us!” ( 2 Chronicles 32:7-8 NLT)
One thing I like about the King’s word is that they were a honest assessment. He didn’t attempt to deny that a real enemy existed and he was powerful. Our faith does not have to cause us to falsely deny facts. However, the facts must not silence our faith in God’s power. If you read the passage before the one mentioned above, you will see that Hezekiah was not just speaking words of encouragement but he also took action repairing broken down places in town that would be easy entry ways for the enemy to gain access.
Where are the breached places in your spiritual home that leaves room for the enemy to slip through?
While Hezekiah chose to uplift, Sennacherib took a different approach. Before he ever stepped foot on Jerusalem soil he sent messengers to carry a word of doubt, insult, and fear. He asked, “What are you trusting in that makes you think you can survive my siege of Jerusalem?” Then he proceeds to describe how he has defeated every other nation before them.
Is that not how the tormentor of our souls does us now? Before a thing fully manifests, he plants seeds of doubts, worry, frustration and shows how the myriad of people before us were defeated when trying to overcome a similar obstacle.
In terror, doubt, worry, frustration we are easier prey and easier to stray from what we know is truth. That is why just mere words are so important.
Whose words are you trusting more in at this moment?
The easy, safe answer is to say God but there are times, when if I take an honest look I’m cowering in the corner because I have lent my ears too much to the tormentor, who says what makes me think I can survive.
At times he speaks loudly and other times his voice is soft and subtle but his words threaten to take me off course, if I do not manage to choose better words to hear and meditate upon.
May I pray for you precious one?
I thank you for your Word that is eternal truth! I thank you for the one who reads these words. I pray that you would help us to be ever watchful of not just the words in which come out of our mouths but the words in which we let sink into our souls. Show us the breached places Lord and give us the wisdom on how to repair them Lord. Whatever trouble, distress, or dis-ease we might find ourselves in help us to see you right there in it with us. In Jesus name, Amen.
Photo Credit: Sonja Langford via Snapwire with edited and text added by Wanda W.