The Warp and Woof of God’s Enemies

“Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities of Judah and took them…

“The Rabshakeh said to them, ‘Say to Hezekiah, “Thus says the great king of Assyria: On what do you rest this trust of yours? Do you think that mere words are strategy and power for war? In whom do you now trust, that you have rebelled against me?.. If you say, ‘We trust in the Lord our God,’ is it not he whose high places and altars Hezekiah has removed, saying to Judah and Jerusalem, ‘You shall worship before this altar’?.. Is it without the Lord that I have come up against this land? The Lord said to me, ‘Go up against this land and destroy it.’”

“Then the Rabshakeh stood and called out in a loud voice in the language of Judah: ‘Do not let Hezekiah deceive you, for he will not be able to deliver you. Do not let Hezekiah make you trust in the Lord by saying, “The Lord will surely deliver us. This city will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.” Do not listen to Hezekiah. Make your peace with me and come out to me. Then each of you will eat of his own vine, and fig tree, and… drink the water of his own cistern, until I come and take you away to… a land of grain and wine, of bread and vineyards. Beware lest Hezekiah mislead you.'” Isaiah 36:1,4-5,7,10,13-18

The Rabshakeh, a high-ranking military officer, was sent by King Sennacherib to unnerve Hezekiah and the people of Judah to topple their trust, disparage their God, and ruin their land. His psychology was to inflate the greatness of Assyria and belittle King Hezekiah’s faith in the Lord’s help. He undermined his royal authority by speaking directly to his people in their common parlance, doing all he could to discourage the soldiers and distract them with false promises. Such is the texture of the enemy’s tangle, and it has been so since the beginning. (Genesis 3:1-7)

Unbelievers do not comprehend the mind of Christ, but they certainly pretend to, and use their mental wiles to mimic truth and unsettle vulnerable believers. While their understanding is warped, their strategy is keen and effective when they bark loudly enough. We can buffet ourselves against attack by knowing our unique, almighty God, His word, and His ways. (1 Corinthians 2:14)

The Rabshakeh compared Israel’s God, who was personal, to other nations’ gods that are man made. He belittled their divine defenses matched against his numerous and muscular ones. While his gloating had merit by earthly measures, he failed to grasp the true spiritual nature of all warfare, and that there is only one ultimate Victor. (Ephesians 6:10-12; Revelation 17:14)

It’s important we not only ground ourselves in God’s word, but understand its context. The Lord would use Assyria as His instrument for judgment, but their pride too, in time, would be debased. (Isaiah 10:5-6)

Where do we fall prey to the devil’s distortions of God’s character? Where are we temporizing our allegiance to God’s word in order to adjust it to our preferences? In whom do we really trust?

Father, foundation of my thinking and doing, may I believe and trust in You alone.

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