King Hezekiah was one of the truly great kings of Judah. He was faithful to God like few kings before or after him. He tore down the pagan altars, cleared the debris of idolatry from the temple and restored true worship to the nation. Hezekiah did everything right.
We might think, if there were ever a soul that deserved the blessing of God, it was good King Hezekiah. So what happened as he finished cleaning up the land and turning the hearts of the people back to their God? He was besieged by the king of Assyria.
This might have been an opportunity for Hezekiah to complain to God and ask, “Why? I’ve done everything you asked me to do. I’ve done more for you than any other king before me, and this is the thanks I get?” I know I certainly would have reacted that way. I react that way at a lot less hardship and trouble in my life.
But Hezekiah did not lose faith. He did not give in to the fear. He did not question God. Instead he cried out to the Lord.
Often, after we have restored true worship and committed ourselves to faithfulness, we will then suffer attack. I have seen it time and time again, not only in my own life, but in the lives of others. This is an opportunity for God to test us, to see what we are made of, to see if our faithfulness is really genuine. Will we complain to God when our lives are besieged? Or, like Hezekiah, will we remain faithful?
2 Chronicles 32 tells of of some very specific steps Hezekiah took as he trusted God through his time of testing:
He stopped up the springs so that the Assyrians would not have water. He cut off that which would have strengthened the enemy. He was going to make it as difficult as possible for the Assyrians to besiege him. We must cut ourselves off from anything that would feed the attack against us. Make sure our own actions are not strengthening our enemy and making his job easier.
He strengthened himself, built up the broken wall, fortified the city and armed everyone. He committed to preparation and everything he could do to be ready. We must strengthen ourselves as well with the weapons available to us. That means more prayer, more time in God’s word, and more time with fellow warriors.
He encouraged the people and strengthened their resolve so that they would not be prey to the Assyrian threats and intimidation. He reminded the people that, “there are more with us than with them.” We must use the word of God to strengthen our resolve. We must view this siege as an opportunity to build our faith. Stay in the scriptures that encourage us to trust in God, lean on Him, and wait on Him.
He humbled himself and cried out to God. He joined with the prophet Isaiah in prayer and petition before God. Hezekiah was humble enough to recognize he could not do it alone, that he needed a man of God to stand with him. And, ultimately, he recognized his utter inability to withstand the attack apart from God’s power fighting for him. He did not rely on his own strength, but on God’s.
Maybe, like Hezekiah, you have been faithful to God. And yet, like Hezekiah, you hear your enemy on the wall hurling taunts and insults your way. Maybe you’ve been questioning where God is. And just maybe you’ve been thinking your own faithfulness and goodness is enough to carry the day. Maybe that’s why you’re in this place.
The attack is meant to humble us, to remind us that no matter how sincerely we follow God, we are not saved by our own righteousness. It always has been and always will be God’s power that will get us through. Period.
So don’t give up. Follow the above steps. Strengthen yourself in His word and in His presence. Don’t submit to the fear and questioning. Don’t listen to the intimidation and humiliation the enemy throws your way. One day you will see the victory of the Lord.
#1 by Bryan Scott on May 27, 2011 - 8:19 AM
Good stuff Dave. Thanks for the inspiration through the Holy Spirit.
#2 by Cathy Joulwan on May 27, 2011 - 10:53 AM
Dave I was just reading about this last night. Couldn’t sleep and the Lord led me to this in Scripture. What an encouragement. God bless you!!
#3 by Dave Kirby on May 27, 2011 - 4:49 PM
Thanks Cathy. So glad it encouraged you.