In the book of Isaiah, chapter 36, there is a story unfolding with two earthly kings. The king of Jerusalem and the king of Assyria. There are several key points in this chapter that I believe relates to life in general. I strongly encourage anyone reading today's blog to read the entire chapter of Isaiah 36. As believers, we must be incredibly careful about what we allow to speak into our lives during challenging times. It is easy to get caught up in the moment's emotion and not turn to God first. As the story evolves will see how easily faith can be challenged. The king of Assyria is planning an attack on Jerusalem. He sent a message to King Hezekiah to confront him and try to intimidate him into surrendering, based on his past successes, including conquering Judah. A part of the message is stated in verses 4-5, "Then the Assyrian king's chief of staff told them to give this message to King Hezekiah: This is what the great king of Assyria says: what are you trusting in that makes you so confident? Do you think that mere words can substitute for military skill and strength? Who are you counting on that you have rebelled against me?" The king's messengers go on to say to the people of Jerusalem in verse 18, "Don't let Hezekiah mislead you saying. The Lord will rescue us! Have the gods of any other nation ever saved their people from the king of Assyria?"
As I read this chapter, a few things stood out to me:
1. In verse 1, it states, "In the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah's reign. King Sennacherib of Assyria came to attack the fortified town of Juda and conquered them." -This says to me the length of time in a situation or circumstance does not matter.
2. In verse 2, it states, "Then the king of Assyria sent his chief of staff from Lachish with a huge army to confront King Hezekiah in Jerusalem……" -This says to me challenges can come to your home your front door to meet you no one is immune from them.
3. In verses 4-20, The king of Assyria's men used words to invoke fear and discredit what the people knew about God. – This says to me during challenging seasons, we tend to question our faith; In these times, more than any other, it is critical to make sure we stay connected to the word of God.
4. In verse 18- The messengers attacked God directly by warning them not to believe in God. -This says that the temptation to return to our old ways will show up during challenging moments.
5. In the last couple of verses 21-22, the people remain silent, and King Hezekiah's men return with a report, where they tore their clothes in despair. -This says to me in the face of uncertainty. Sometimes it is prudent to be quiet and trust even if you are fearful.
When we are faced with challenges that come to our door, loss of income, risk of health-related issues, and many other things. It is easy to slip into fear and resort back to old habits or behavioral patterns. Remember John 16:33 "I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth, you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart because I have overcome the world." Please do not miss God by chasing the false gods of money or prosperity teachings. Open His word and listen to Him as you read the scriptures. Psalm 37:25 puts it this way "Once I was young, and now I am old. Yet I have never seen the godly abandoned or their children begging for bread." In Philippians 4:19, Paul offers words of encouragement, "And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from His glorious riches which have been given to us in Christ Jesus."
Remember, God loves you, and so do I.