Today’s Reading – 2 Chronicles 32 – 33 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)
Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Matthew 6:33
Read a previous post from this passage – “The Grace of God”
Read the “0525 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon
“6 And he set captains of war over the people, and gathered them together to him in the street of the gate of the city, and spake comfortably to them, saying, 7 Be strong and courageous, be not afraid nor dismayed for the king of Assyria, nor for all the multitude that is with him: for there be more with us than with him: 8 With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the LORD our God to help us, and to fight our battles. And the people rested themselves upon the words of Hezekiah king of Judah.” (2 Chronicles 32:6-8)
There is a tremendous truth contained in the passages listed above, beginning with the story of Hezekiah found in today’s reading. The southern kingdom of Judah was under siege from the great and powerful Assyrians during the reign of Judah’s King Hezekiah. But when this great army with a far superior military might threatened the people of God, Hezekiah demonstrated both great leadership as well as great faith.
Notice first that he calmed the people. In verse six, the Scriptures tell us that Hezekiah spake comfortably to the people. He did not make the situation worse by panicking. He kept calm under a tremendous amount of pressure and His strength served to strengthen the people. Notice also that his strength was based upon his great faith. He knew that God was going to help them. He trusted that the Lord would deliver the people of God from the Assyrians. How did he know that? Well, he knew God, but according to 2 Kings 19, he was also assured by God through Isaiah that Jerusalem would be spared:
“14 And Hezekiah received the letter of the hand of the messengers, and read it: and Hezekiah went up into the house of the LORD, and spread it before the LORD. 15 And Hezekiah prayed before the LORD, and said, O LORD God of Israel, which dwellest between the cherubims, thou art the God, even thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; thou hast made heaven and earth. 16 LORD, bow down thine ear, and hear: open, LORD, thine eyes, and see: and hear the words of Sennacherib, which hath sent him to reproach the living God. 17 Of a truth, LORD, the kings of Assyria have destroyed the nations and their lands, 18 And have cast their gods into the fire: for they were no gods, but the work of men’s hands, wood and stone: therefore they have destroyed them. 19 Now therefore, O LORD our God, I beseech thee, save thou us out of his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that thou art the LORD God, even thou only. 20 Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent to Hezekiah, saying, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, That which thou hast prayed to me against Sennacherib king of Assyria I have heard. … 32 Therefore thus saith the LORD concerning the king of Assyria, He shall not come into this city, nor shoot an arrow there, nor come before it with shield, nor cast a bank against it. 33 By the way that he came, by the same shall he return, and shall not come into this city, saith the LORD. 34 For I will defend this city, to save it, for mine own sake, and for my servant David’s sake.” (2 Kings 19:14-20, 32-34)
Elisha demonstrated the same calmness under pressure that Hezekiah did. When he was under attack, he assured his servant that God would fight for them.
“15 And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! how shall we do? 16 And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them. 17 And Elisha prayed, and said, LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.” (2 Kings 6:15-17)
David also taught his son Solomon:
“20 And David said to Solomon his son, Be strong and of good courage, and do it: fear not, nor be dismayed: for the LORD God, even my God, will be with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee, until thou hast finished all the work for the service of the house of the LORD.” (1 Chronicles 28:20)
In the New Testament, Paul summed up this same assurance and peace that we can have inside the will of God this way:
“31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31)
We do not need to panic; we only need to be sure that we are doing what God wants us to be doing and then rest in the fact that He has our backs. There is great peace in being inside the will of God.
Posted in Devotions by Phil Erickson with 2 comments.