“And they shouted it with a loud voice in the language of Judah to the people of Jerusalem who were on the wall, to frighten and terrify them, in order that they might take the city.” (II Chronicles 32:18, ESV)
Once again Jerusalem was surrounded by her enemies. An emissary of the Assyrian king loudly taunted the Jews, mocking their God and trying to terrify the people so they could overtake the city. (The story is given in both II Chronicles 32 and Isaiah 36-37.)
The Assyrian strategy sounded good, at least to them, but they made two mistakes. First, they insulted Almighty God and mocked His ability to help the people of Judah. Next, they compared God to the false and powerless gods of other nations.
“Don’t let Hezekiah deceive you! Don’t let him fool you like this! I say it again—no god of any nation or kingdom has ever yet been able to rescue his people from me or my ancestors. How much less will your God rescue you from my power!” (II Chronicles 32:15, NLT)
Sennacherib, the Assyrian king, believed his own lie. He should never have underestimated God’s ability to save His people. Sennacherib’s boast may have sounded threatening, but he was wrong. Very, very wrong. Israel’s God was the all-powerful One True God.
Receiving Sennacherib’s threats in a letter, Hezekiah knew just what to do. He went to the house of the Lord and he prayed (Isaiah 37:14-20). He laid Sennacherib’s letter before the Lord and left it in His powerful and capable hands. God sent the prophet Isaiah to Hezekiah to assure him all would be well.
“For I will defend this city, to save it for My own sake and for My servant David’s sake” (verse 35).
How did the story end? The angel of the Lord went through the camp of the Assyrian army and slew 185,000 soldiers. The defeated Sennacherib returned home and was slain by enemies in the house of his god, Nisroch.
It does not pay to mock God and question His power, as we learn in Job 9:4.
“God is wise in heart and mighty in strength. Who has hardened himself against Him and prospered?” (NKJV)
How can we apply the lessons in this story to our own lives?
When problems arise and the enemy’s voice declares, “God can’t help you out of this one,” don’t believe him. The voice may be loud and mocking to put fear in your heart, but don’t despair. Our God is all-powerful and will never forsake us in our time of need. Like Hezekiah, take your petition to the Lord, lay it before Him, and let Him know you trust in His power to handle the situation perfectly. He won’t disappoint you.
Thank you, Lord, that when I feel overwhelmed and hear the enemy’s mocking voice in my ear, I know I can trust You. Your power is not diminished, and I can rely on Your strength to bring me through even the most challenging of situations.
- “For nothing will be impossible with God.” (Luke 1:37, ESV)
- “Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you.” (Luke 10:19, ESV)
- “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. (Job 42:2, ESV)
- “That your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.” (I Corinthians 2:5, ESV)
- “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10, ESV)
(SUGGESTION: In the comments area below, please leave us your favorite faith-building verse.)