It may be that the Lord your God heard all the words of the Rabshakeh, whom his master the king of Assyria has sent to mock the living God, and will rebuke the words that the Lord your God has heard; therefore lift up your prayer for the remnant that is left. 2 Kings 19:4
It has been said that Hezekiah would have made a better priest than a king. He certainly was a ruler who allowed his faith to govern his political decisions. King Hezekiah led a national effort to restore the proper worship of Yahweh in the kingdom of Judah. Whatever Hezekiah’s faults and failings might have been, he tried his best to be faithful to God, and to trust in God’s provision even when the odds seemed stacked against him and his people.
After the Assyrians had conquered the Northern Kingdom of Israel, the invading army moved south and besieged Jerusalem. The leader of the Assyrian armies taunted the Jews who had taken refuge behind the walls of Jerusalem, and he derided Hezekiah’s belief in Yahweh’s deliverance. This story is one of a battle between Hezekiah’s faithfulness and Assyria’s sheer force. While we may be tempted to question the theology behind the event, history is quite clear about what happened next: the Assyrians inexplicably retreated, never to return to the kingdom of Judah. Hezekiah and his people were delivered, and they firmly believed that their deliverance came from God. Questions abound, of course, for all people of faith have experienced moments when prayers have not been answered, and bad things have befallen good people. But the teaching of this story is one that is echoed throughout the entire Bible: in the end, faith triumphs over force.
Do you believe in God’s deliverance?
Lord, scripture attests to the fact that You shower Your blessings on faithful people and unfaithful people alike. That means Your provision is offered to the Hezekiahs of the world as well as the Rabshakehs of the world. Therefore, it may be futile to try to figure out whose side You are on…perhaps because You love all sides involved in every dispute, disagreement, and conflict. So, what use is prayer? How can faith claim to triumph over force? How can we believe that good will eventually win over evil…when we are not always able to tell the difference between the two? There is so much we just do not know or understand. So, we will continue to pray for deliverance, and for the wisdom to know what is right…and we entrust the rest to You. In Jesus’ name, we pray. AMEN.