I love the way King Hezekiah of Judah trusted in the Lord. King Hezekiah was a son of Ahaz; he was 25 years old when he became king. There was a time during the fourteenth year of his reign when Sennacherib king of Assyria attacked Judah and captured it. Sennacherib then summoned his chief officer and his field commander with a large army and sent them with these words to king Hezekiah who was at the time in Jerusalem:
On what are you basing this confidence of yours? You say you have the counsel and the might for war—but you speak only empty words. On whom are you depending, that you rebel against me? – 2 Kings 18:19
But if you say to me, “We are depending on the Lord our God”—isn’t he the one whose high places and altars Hezekiah removed, saying to Judah and Jerusalem, “You must worship before this altar in Jerusalem”? – 2 Kings 18:22
Upon reading that part, there came a sudden reckoning of moments that I have kept on experiencing since the time I became a Christian. For many times, many of us have met those questions from people who doubt this faith in God. They have even told us that we’re either crazy or out of our minds. Should I say they provoke, ridicule, humiliate and scoff upon knowing that we trust and depend on Someone who is actually invisible.
But lo and behold, what is our vindication?
He (Hezekiah) did what was right in the eyes of the Lord. – 2 Kings 18:3
Hezekiah trusted in the Lord, the God of Israel. – 2 Kings 18:5
He held fast to the Lord and did not stop following him; he kept the commands the Lord had given Moses. – 2 Kings 18:6
And the Lord was with him; he was successful in whatever he undertook. – 2 Kings 18:7
Hallelujah! Despite those derision, criticisms and mockeries, we will never stop believing and trusting God in our lives! Neither hindrance nor any condemnation can ever prevent us from pursuing our destiny! And rest assured that God is always with us, and He will always bring us from victory to victory.
But the battle is ongoing. In this world, Christians always undergo such testings so that their faith will come out pure and strong. There are also deceptions along the way but take heart, we are always guided by the wisdom of the Lord. The enemy is so adept at deceiving and sowing lies:
Furthermore, have I come to attack and destroy this place without word from the Lord? The Lord himself told me to march against (you) and destroy (you). – 2 Kings 18:25
The enemy would even make us believe that he is rather from and with the Lord against us! That’s a tactic that he does when he wants to burden us with condemnation and guilt. He would also confuse us and convince us that God is not worthy to be trusted:
Do not let Hezekiah deceive you. He cannot deliver you from my hand. Do not let Hezekiah persuade you to trust in the Lord when he says, ‘The Lord will surely deliver us…’ – 2 Kings 18:29,30
Do not listen to Hezekiah, for he is misleading you when he says, ‘The Lord will deliver us.’ Has the god of any nation ever delivered his land from the hand of the king of Assyria? Who of all the gods of these countries has been able to save his land from me? How then can the Lord deliver Jerusalem from my hand? – 2 Kings 18:32,33,35
As we can see, the king of Assyria tried to fool them not just once, but twice! Our enemy the devil is so persevering at misleading us. And as a king of lies as he is, he would also lure us to his own greatness and wealth and would persuade us that he is actually the source of life!
Make peace with me and come out to me. Then each of you will eat fruit from your own vine and fig tree and drink water from your own cistern, until I come and take you to a land like your own—a land of grain and new wine, a land of bread and vineyards, a land of olive trees and honey. Choose life and not death! – 2 Kings 18:31-32
Truth is, the enemy will do anything to deceive us! Hence, we are called to
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. – 1 Peter 5:8
King Hezekiah was a wise king, after all. What did he instruct the people to do as a reply to those messages sent by King Sennacherib to them?
But the people remained silent and said nothing in reply, because the king had commanded, “Do not answer him.” – 2 Kings 18:36
What should we do in response to those people or circumstances that bombard us with the filth of distrusting and doubting God, provoking us to despise Him?
Just pray in silence, solitude and isolation. Do not reply to those mockers, but instead RESPOND to God’s instructions to you!
King Hezekiah might have called it a day of distress and rebuke and disgrace to the Lord whom the king of Assyria has sent to ridicule the living God (2 Kings 19:3,4), but the Lord never failed to comfort and assure His faithful people:
Do not be afraid of what you have heard—those words with which the underlings of the king of Assyria have blasphemed me. Listen! When he hears a certain report, I will make him want to return to his own country, and there I will have him cut down with the sword. – 2 Kings 19:6,7
He instead prayed to God. His trust and faith in the Lord never faltered!
And Hezekiah prayed to the Lord: “Lord, the God of Israel, enthroned between the cherubim, you alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth. Give ear, Lord, and hear; open your eyes, Lord, and see; listen to the words Sennacherib has sent to ridicule the living God.” – 2 Kings 19:15-16
All I could say is, “What a faith!” After all, that is what God requires of us- faith. Against all the odds, it is what we should have to overcome and outwit those shrewd deceptions that the king of lies besiege us. God hears a faithful prayer, He sees a faithful heart. He knows a hopeful spirit and a mind that is confident in His wisdom. Like that of King Hezekiah, God is longing for a heart that fully trusts in Him. And when He finds it inside of us, He would answer us in a way He responded to the faithful king of Judah:
I have heard your prayer. – 2 Kings 19:20