May 25, 2017
2 Chronicles 32
Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked, and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.
LET IT GLOW
King Hezekiah's faith in God remained strong. Although he lived in dangerous times faced powerful enemies, and confronted idolatry, this king chose to continue to worship and serve God. It takes courage to seek God when the forces of evil surround you. God will honor the heart that commits to follow Him (2 Chron. 6:5). God is pleased to prosper/honor those who strive to please Him rather than seek the approval of people (1 Samuel 2:30).
Before Hezekiah became king of Judah, his father Ahaz had been raided by the Philistines and Edomites, then turned to Assyria for help by giving them tribute from the Temple and shutting the doors of the Temple. King Ahaz turned to pagan idol worship instead of remaining faithful to God. When Hezekiah took over as king, he repaired the Temple and reestablished the sacrificial system and stopped paying tribute to Assyria. He determined to recover independence for his nation. (During this time, Israel's 10 northern tribes were taken captive by Assyria in 722 B.C.)
What was going on as a result of this refusal?
The Assyrian King Sennacherib retaliated, entered Judah ready to attack Jerusalem. He laid siege to the fortified towns, giving orders for his army to break through their walls. (verse 1)
Hezekiah had a plan, which we will discuss. In the meantime, the king prayed to God and encouraged his people:
- Be strong and courageous!
- Don't be afraid of the king of Assyria or his mighty army, for there is a power far greater on our side.
- He may have a great army, but they are merely men.
- We have the LORD our God to help us and to fight our battles for us!
- Hezekiah's words greatly encouraged the people. (verses 7-8)
Obedience sometimes leads to greater testing, for our good and the glory of God. (Wiersbe)
It was the sinfulness and greediness of Assyria's king that brought him to the point of preparing to invade Judah. He worshiped idols, dead deities made by the hands of men, but Judah worshiped the One True Living God who is all-powerful.
Why should we be surprised when problems come our way in spite of our faithfulness to obey God?
Friends, I marvel at God's timing of words I hear in this study. My husband is facing some serious health issues right now. We have been waiting for improvement the last 6 months as the doctors adjusted and removed medications, but to no improvement. Now we are waiting for an appointment of another test to give us answers to questions. Hopefully, next week we will hear the answers, but in the meantime, we are waiting with a shield of faith and sword of the Lord's Word.
God is the strength of my heart. My portion forever. Psalm 73:26b
LET IT GROW
What did Hezekiah do in preparation of an attack by Assyria?
- He stopped the flow of the springs outside Jerusalem. This kept the Assyrian army from having a water supply since they camped there.
- He repaired all the broken sections of the wall, erected towers, and built a second wall outside the first wall. Talk about support.
- He enforced the supporting terraces.
- He manufactured large numbers of weapons and shields.
- He appointed military officers over the people and assembled them before him in the square of the city gate.
- Hezekiah sent officials to with the Assyrians.
This illustrates God giving plans of defense against the evil enemies. Dear ones, let us use God's Word against our enemy, Satan. He is out to destroy us and our witness but our only defense if Scriptures. Jesus used them when tempted in the wilderness and he overcame temptation, not sinning.
Just as God proved a mighty warrior for Jehoshaphat, so He proved Himself again with Hezekiah. (David Jeremiah)
Next time we will discuss how the Assyrian's words tried to discourage the people of Judah and if they were successful.
LET IT GO
Stay in God's Word, sharpening my sword and using it against evil.
Ask God to fight my battles.
Keep my shield of faith always before me, stopping the darts of discouragement.