SENNACHERIB THREATENS jERUSALEM
15Isaiah 36:4-6 (NLT) Then the Assyrian king’s chief of staff told them to give this message to Hezekiah:
“This is what the great king of Assyria says: What are you trusting in that makes you so confident? 5 Do you think that mere words can substitute for military skill and strength? Who are you counting on, that you have rebelled against me? 6 On Egypt? If you lean on Egypt, it will be like a reed that splinters beneath your weight and pierces your hand. Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, is completely unreliable!“
So often, when ancient Israel was threatened by military oppressors, the people fled into various military alliances to provide for the national defense. Yet real peace is never political. It is an interior state of confidence that is derived from our love for God. Such indwelling peace is the basis of our personal worship.
King Sennacherib’s field commander – an Assyrian pagan – sends a message to Hezekiah, king of Judah, reminding him that he has falsely put his trust in military alliances when he should have put his trust in God. While King Hezekiah is still remembered as one of the best kings of Judah, this taunt from his godless enemy should have been a prompt for him to renew his trust in the true God of Israel. God is able to use pagans as well as fellow believers to remind us of the source of true peace.
Listen to the counsel of a hobo, particularly when it rebukes our weak righteousness. A beggar approached the front door of a house. He intended to ask for charity, but when he met the woman of the house, she rebuked him for his unkempt appearance, his lazy lifestyle, and his poverty. She slammed the door in his face and left him dejected, still feeling the stabbing force of her sharp tongue.
The beggar then went around to the rear of her house and knocked on the back door. When the same woman opened the door, the poor beggar remarked, “Oh, please forgive me. I came to this door hoping that the angry woman I met at the front of the house might have a sister who would be kinder and more like our dear Lord Jesus at the back door.” The woman felt the surgical scalpel of his truth. Peacelesness often erupts in anger. If this is true in our lives, let’s claim our confidence in grace and let peace guide us into better worship.
When we embrace the peace that God has to offer, our outlook on life is changed. We rely on God for our confidence and find ourselves free to worship Him. Let the events of our lives today remind us of our reliance on God. Listen to those pagan and not-so-pagan voices, and find our worship for God once again.