2007-09-05 / Religion

'ENEMY IN DISGRACE'

(by: Pastor James Scarborough, Donalsonville Assembly of God)

When disaster pursued King Hezekiah of Judah, he responded much as we would - he went to work preparing to face the threat. II Chronicles says that he repaired the walls around Jerusalem, installed other fortifications, and built a large stockpile of weapons. All of this was probably appropriate, but after all these human efforts, it was by the supernatural intervention of God that the enemy, Sennacherib of Assyria, was defeated: "And the Lord sent an angel, who annihilated all the fighting men and the leaders and officers in the camp of the Assyrian king. So he withdrew to his own land in disgrace. And when he went into the temple of his god, some of his sons cut him down with the sword" (II Chronicles 32:21, NIV).

Certainly this is one of the mighty interventions of God for His people in the ancient day that should give us more reason to rely upon Him in the modern day. It is also yet another opportunity to be reminded of the common denominator that exists in the victories among God's people in both the ancient time and in our day - it is that mighty spiritual weapon that we know as prayer. Notice what preceded the defeat of the Assyrians in II Chronicles 32: "King Hezekiah and the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz cried out in prayer to heaven about this" (verse 20).

Hezekiah prepared his army to face the Assyrian threat by submitting words of encouragement. Maintaining our spiritual courage in those times when outward evidence of a positive outcome is lacking is a key to our steadfastness in faith. As the king encouraged them to be strong and fearless, he included a powerful truth that we as followers of Jesus Christ need to carry with us at all times: "for there is a greater power with us than with him [the Assyrian king]" (verse 7). Then he elaborates in the next verse, "With him is only the arm of flesh, but with us is the Lord our God to help us and to fight our battles." The difficulties of life will begin to diminish when we remember that as children of God we do not - indeed, cannot - overcome our obstacles in our strength alone. May we be encouraged as we allow God to fight our battles for us.

As verses 9-19 demonstrate, the fierceness and persistence of the enemy in this account must not be overlooked. This was no child's game, it was all out war. It was not a catch and release fishing trip; it was a journey to the frying pan. When the devil attacks us with doubts and fears, we must counter it with unwavering faith, as we stand firmly and uncompromisingly on the truths of God's Word.

After all the taunting pride of the Assyrians, they were brought down in disgrace. Why? Because God's people kept their faith in Him as their sincere prayers ascended to Heaven, resulting in God's miraculous intervention. II Chronicles 32:22 gives this glowing summary of what God did: "So the Lord saved Hezekiah and the people of Jerusalem from the hand of Sennacherib king of Assyria and from the hand of all others. He took care of them on every side."

Be encouraged! He will intervene in your life and circumstances too. Trust Him. Cry out to Him. Let Him fight your battles.Then watch the enemy of your soul limp away in disgrace.

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