Ever feel like you can never get on top of a problem? Here it is again, rearing its ugly and persistent head, and the thought comes,
“You’ll never win.”
Well, then, you’re in R-E-A-L-L-Y good company.
Once again, God’s people were being assailed by a foreign entity, this time Assyria (you could substitute any number of names on the evil entity, like anger, depression, loneliness, whatever, they all fit quite well into the same storyline.)
This time, the enemy used a few interesting tactics worth looking at; thankfully, we get to listen in:
“Listen to this message from the great king of Assyria! This is what the king says: Don’t let Hezekiah deceive you. He will never be able to rescue you. Don’t let him fool you into trusting in the Lord by saying, ‘The Lord will surely rescue us. This city will never fall into the hands of the Assyrian king!’
“Don’t listen to Hezekiah! These are the terms the king of Assyria is offering: Make peace with me—open the gates and come out. Then each of you can continue eating from your own grapevine and fig tree and drinking from your own well. Then I will arrange to take you to another land like this one—a land of grain and new wine, bread and vineyards.
“Don’t let Hezekiah mislead you by saying, ‘The Lord will rescue us!’ Have the gods of any other nations ever saved their people from the king of Assyria? What happened to the gods of Hamath and Arpad? And what about the gods of Sepharvaim? Did any god rescue Samaria from my power? What god of any nation has ever been able to save its people from my power? So what makes you think that the Lord can rescue Jerusalem from me?”
Warfare always involves strategy. Here, the enemy—
- Spoke in the language of the people (Satan knows just how to communicate his message to us most effectively, sometimes even using those close to us.)
- Offers what seems to be a better option than what God clearly wants, (a neatly disguised slant on the serpent’s original “hath God truly said?” from back in the Garden…)
- Comparisons (generally a slippery slope)
- Mixes truth with misunderstanding, misinterpretation, or outright lies.
I rather like the king’s initial response:
“But the people were silent and did not utter a word because Hezekiah had commanded them, ‘Do not answer him.’”
Lots more could be/has been said about our counter-strategy, but I’ll end instead with this encouragement~~
Isaiah 36: 13-21 Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.