‘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
Consider: There is no denying that Sennacherib was a mighty king, who had defeated kingdoms and nations throughout the middle east. He was a fearsome adversary by any standards. When he came up to fight against Hezekiah, king of Judah and lay seige to Jerusalem, Sennacherib thought his success was guaranteed.
Sennacherib’s problem wasn’t that he over-estimated the strength of his army, but that he under-estimated the power of God. In 2 Chronicles 32:19 we read:
They spoke about the God of Jerusalem as they did about the gods of the other peoples of the world – the work of human hands.
Sennacherib was doomed to failure, he just didn’t realise until it was too late. The ignominious end to his military campaign against Hezekiah is recorded in 2 Chronicles 32:21
And the LORD sent an angel, who annihilated all the fighting men and the commanders and officers in the camp of the Assyrian king. So he withdrew to his own land in disgrace.
I think it is wonderful that Hezekiah spoke to his people in such a positive way, despite the immediate danger from Sennacherib. His words acted as a real confidence booster to them.
The church today is facing increasing pressure from a secular society that wishes to see the demise of faith. Believing in nothing but the ‘arm of flesh’, these people don’t understand that they cannot defeat God. The church should take confidence from the fact that ‘with us is the LORD our God’.
Pray: Father, the increasing onslaught against Christian values in society causes us to grieve for our nations. We thank you that the ‘arm of flesh’ is no match for your power and authority. Amen