Reading through the Bible together
Immediately on the heels of Hezekiah’s reforms and acts of restoration in Judah, chronicled in the previous chapter and II Kings 18, comes an invasion of the land by Sennacherib king of Assyria. When Hezekiah finds out that the King of Assyria intends to make war with Jerusalem, he rallies the people and exhorts them not to fear: “With [Sennacherib] is only an arm of flesh, but with us is the Lord our God to help us and to fight our battles” (verse 8, NASB). We don’t need to fight our battles alone with mere flesh, but can combine our human strength with God’s divine power.
Whereas Hezekiah’s reforms had torn down the relics of false religion, Sennacherib’s threats make no difference between what is true and false. He likens God to any other god—“Now therefore, do not let Hezekiah deceive you or mislead you like this, and do not believe him, for no god of any nation or kingdom was able to deliver his people from my hand or from the hand of my fathers. How much less will your God deliver you from my hand?” (verse 15).
Sennacherib points to his past experience—his defeat of other nations—to try to convince the people that their God also will be defeated. But what worldly experience dictates is not always true. God, as revealed in Scripture, is our only unchanging Guide. Hold fast to what is true no matter what the world may be telling you.
Our convictions about what is clearly right and wrong often come under attack. Today and each day, let us ask the Lord to make us strong in our discernment of right and wrong.
Vice President of Resources
Generation. Youth. Christ.