Isaiah 36:4 NIV
The field commander said to them, "Tell Hezekiah:
"'This is what the great king, the king of Assyria, says: On what are you basing this confidence of yours?
In reading this chapter it occurred to me that the strategy Sennacherib uses to try and discourage Judah is the same strategy Satan often uses. First he removes the human safety net we so often rely on. In the case of Judah, Sennacherib discredits Egypt. In our case the Enemy threatens the loss of a job, the inability to pay our bills, overwhelming medical expenses, immoral and/or insecure government, family conflicts, etc.
When our human sources of security are knocked out he hits us with the second punch. He questions God's willingness and/or ability to protect and deliver us. He brings to mind people who have trusted God and apparently God didn't come through. People lost their homes, people lost their families, people ended up in jail, people planned big outreach events only to have them go unattended. He whispers in our ear, "See, they trusted God and He didn't come through. What makes you think He will come through for you?" In the case of Sennacherib, he claims that YHWH won't help because Hezekiah destroyed His high places. Of course this is a distortion of the truth, but the enemy always deals in lies and half-truths.
Finally, when Sennacherib's envoy can't seem to convince the officials speaking on behalf of Hezekiah, they make sure the message is taken to the people. We have often seen over the years that if the Enemy can't get to a pastor then he often attacks his wife and children. If he can't discredit the leadership of a church, he attempts to divide the Body. Satan doesn't care how he stops the work of God, only that he stops it.
In taking the message to the people, Sennacherib's envoy promises what they never intend to deliver. Peace and prosperity is not what they intend for the people of Judah, but that's what they promise. It reminds me of Eden when the serpent says, "You can be like God." He promises us peace through drugs and alcohol, but delivers brokeness. He promises happiness through unbridled sex, but delivers loneliness and disease. He promises peace and happiness through wealth but delivers neither. Yet, somehow we seem to keep falling for the lies.
The good news is that the people didn't fall for the lies, and we don't have to either. Recognizing the ploy of the enemy is the first step in avoiding the trap. We need to trust the God who loves us no matter what our emotions, our circumstances and the Enemy is telling us.
Father, thank you that you are always faithful. Thank you that you have given us victory. In you I rest.
By His grace,