“Now therefore, O Lord our God, I beseech thee, save thou us out of his hand,
that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that thou art the Lord God, even thou only.
For I will defend this city, to save it, for mine own sake,
and for my servant David’s sake.” 2 Kings 19:19, 34 KJV
“Thud, crack, thud!” though jarring, the noise seemed like music to their ears. With fierce passion and unrelenting animosity Rabshakeh’s men rambled through the forests. Destroying the towering oaks and fir trees they moved forward, pleased at the destruction they created.
The crashing sound of boulders could be heard as the men rolled huge rocks over the streams and rivers that sustained the people of the nations they waged war with. Cutting off all supply of life and hope, they chose to weaken the inhabitants before striking at their lowest moment.
“So we will do to the children of Israel,” shouted the general of King Sennacherib’s army. Jealous to the bone over the blessing on God’s people, they marched forward towards the coasts of the Holy Land.
Back within the safety of the fortified city, King Hezekiah walked pensively in thought, unaware of the enemy’s hordes that rallied towards them.
The city of Jerusalem woke up to a beautiful day, restful and content, for they knew God whom they trusted. He was always watching over them. The man He had chosen to be their king was like no ordinary man, for knowing the complete inadequacy of his human strength, chose to cling to only his Maker and Lord – and in so doing, was strengthened and rose to be the shepherd he was called to be.
King Hezekiah quickly turned, interrupted from his thoughts as the door of his parlor opened, and a man came rushing in. His face was pale with fright and his eyes imploring. With trepidation he fell to his knees, handing a scroll to the king.
“O king,” the scroll read, “don’t be deceived into thinking your God will save you.” Who was this? King Hezekiah looked at the inscription below. King Sennacherib of Assyria, in no flinching terms had challenged, vowing to bring to nothing their nation and people, just as they had done to the nations about them. Mocking, cursing, swearing and intimidating, the warrant that was sent to sound death spread quickly through the ranks of Israel’s armies and tribes.
Fear and panic swept through, as the people fled to the safety of the innermost towns of the city. The messengers of the enemy not content with the evil proclamation, sent word yet to the people, threatening of destruction to come. “Don’t be fooled by your God and king,” was the repeating message of the enemy camp.
True, these things were done to kings and nations who worshipped idols of their own making – but what match is mere man to his Creator, the breath of whose nostrils comes from Him above?
Running to the temple, King Hezekiah fell to his knees, and he laid the scroll before God. “Lord, you know the words of the enemy, how they seek to destroy and annihilate your chosen. You, Master, are our defense, our strength and rock of refuge.” Shaken and in despair, he poured his heart out to the only One who could and would save them.
While yet the cry was in his mouth, the word of the Lord came to Isaiah, the prophet. He came forth to the king with these words of life and assurance, “Don’t fear what the enemy has said, my king. Thus says the Lord,” King Hezekiah looked at the man of God, watching for every word from above, “the enemy will not enter this city, nor shoot a single arrow, nor camp about, nor build embankments. I will cause him to hear a rumour, and turn away to his own land where he will be smitten. As a beast dragged away will he be taken, with a hook in his mouth.”
The invaders turned, not without more wicked words of warning to the children of Israel.
As the enemy hordes camped that night, the angel of the Lord smote them, slaying 185000 men.
The days went by, and one day as King Sennacherib walked up and down his bedchamber, his sons smote him and he died.
What tragic end that needlessly man must call upon himself, by choosing to alienate himself from God, by choosing to defy the Almighty, and daring to fight Him as if with an equal?
The end, however, for those who trust in God, is always peace, for God’s presence turns away forces of darkness, drives away the enemy and sets His children free. This is His unending promise of help and protection every moment and in time of need.
The forces of darkness that bring pain, fear, sickness, defeat or lack – they have no power of a child of God, one who is redeemed by the blood of Christ. Under the shadow of His wings (Psalm 91:1), you are forever safe. Never fear the taunting voice of sickness, poverty, worry or despair. Instead, begin to walk in the victory that is already yours through Christ. Speak His Name, and all bondage and chains will fall, as easily as dry leaves on a breezy autumn day. The power of God, as a rushing wind will drive the forces of darkness and bring to an end the attack of the enemy.
At the name of Jesus, every knee will bow and every tongue proclaim that He is Lord. Turn your cares to praise, for God who loves and cares for you, is on your side, and when the enemy comes in, the Spirit of God like a flood will raise the banner against him. Cheer up and look forward with expectation for the victory is yours!