“After these acts of faithfulness, Sennacherib king of Assyria came and invaded Judah. [Hezekiah said,] ‘Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or dismayed before the king of Assyria and all the horde that is with him, for there are more with us than with him. With him is an arm of flesh, but with us is the Lord our God, to help us and to fight our battles.’ And the people took confidence from the words of Hezekiah king of Judah.
“After this, Sennacherib sent his servants to Jerusalem to Hezekiah and to all the people, saying, ‘On what are you trusting, that you endure the siege in Jerusalem? Is not Hezekiah misleading you, when he tells you, “The Lord our God will deliver us from the hand of the king of Assyria”? Has not this same Hezekiah taken away his high places and his altars? Do you not know what I and my fathers have done to all the peoples of other lands? Who among all the gods of those nations was able to deliver his people from my hand, that your God should be able to deliver you from my hand? No god of any nation or kingdom has been able to deliver his people from my hand. How much less will your God deliver you out of my hand!’ And his servants said still more against the Lord God and Hezekiah. And he wrote letters to cast contempt on the Lord, and to speak against him. And they shouted it with a loud voice to frighten and terrify them. And they spoke of the God of Jerusalem as they spoke of the gods of the peoples of the earth, which are the work of men’s hands.
“Then Hezekiah the king and Isaiah the prophet prayed because of this and cried to heaven. And the Lord saved Hezekiah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and he provided for them on every side.” 2 Chronicles 32:1,7-20,22
Hezekiah had led righteously and wisely, yet encountered a formidable foe in Assyria’s heathen king, whose first swipe was to undermineJudah’s faith and slander his God. As with all who know not God, Sennacherib underestimated the Almighty and His people. Hezekiah’s godly response? Direct attention to the LORD, and pray!
When faced with spiritual slander, are we so bold? We might be tempted to stew in the injustice of attacks, or allow our minds to run trails of fear and doubt, but these play right into the devil’s conniving hand. He is wily in his lies and trickery, and does all he can to sabotage truth, confuse our beliefs, distort reason, and spread spiritual poison. Rather than yield to his deceit, would we remind ourselves that our God rules above all gods, and enlist spiritual confidantes to pray expectantly together? The One who is ‘great with us’ is never surprised or flustered, but prays for us, provides Spirit-filled friends to come alongside, and protects our souls. (John 8:44; 17:15; Revelation 12:9-10)
We may not experience the remarkable deliverance Hezekiah did, but we will know the spiritual victory of trusting the only trustworthy One, and knowing Him better.
One and Only, let me never stop reinforcing my defenses against the enemy’s slander. Keep strong my convictions and generous my encouragement of others’ faith, trusting Your outcomes.