‘Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged because of the king of Assyria and the vast army with him, for there is a greater power with us than with him. With him is only the arm of flesh, but with us is the LORD our God to help us and to fight our battles.’ And the people gained confidence from what Hezekiah the king of Judah said.
2 Chronicles 32:7-8 (NIV)
Read: 2 Chronicles 32:1-23
Consider: There are a few kings of Judah that are worthy of mention. One such king is Hezekiah who reigned from around 727 – 698BC (the exact dates are uncertain). Many of the kings mentioned in the Bible started well in their reign, but fell away from God as time went by. However, Hezekiah started and ended well. At one point he did allow pride to creep into his heart, but he did repent of this and end his reign well.
If you are interested in finding out more about Hezekiah, he has four chapters of 2 Chronicles dedicated to his reign (2 Chronicles 29-32).
The incident recorded in 2 Chronicles 32 concerned Judah being invaded and Jerusalem being besieged by Sennacherib, king of Assyria, and what Hezekiah did in the face of such strong opposition. He could have capitulated, as many kings had done when faced by the Assyrian armies. It is obvious that Sennacherib and his commanders expected this to happen just because most nations and cities fell this way (32:10-19).
Instead, Hezekiah did two things. Firstly, he encouraged his military commanders and reminded them that while Sennacherib relied on strength of arms, they could rely on the strength of God (32:7-8). Secondly, Hezekiah turned to God in prayer (32:20).
Take encouragement from Hezekiah’s life. When faced with opposition, whether physical or spiritual, remember that God is with you and that you can rely on him. But don’t take God for granted, remember to bring your concerns to him in prayer. While most of us will not face physical opposition of the kind Hezekiah faced, we will face spiritual opposition. As Paul says in Ephesians 6:2 – For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
Pray: Father, may we take encouragement from Hezekiah’s words and see that whatever opposition we face you are stronger than those who oppose us. Give us a deep knowledge of how Christ is already victorious over evil and we have nothing to fear. Help us to stand firm. Amen