Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Fighting life's battles

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TODAY’S SPECIAL: 2 Chronicles 32-34; Psalm 79

“‘Be strong and courageous; do not be afraid nor dismayed before the king of Assyria, nor before all the multitude that is with him; for there are more with us than with him. With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the Lord our God to help us and to fight our battles.’” 2 Chronicles 32:7,8

Judah’s King Hezekiah gave the encouragement, above, to his subjects in the face of Sennacherib’s (king of Assyria) invasion of Judah. But before he said these things, he was busy doing what he could to fortify and protect his territory from the Assyrian threat.

  • He stopped the flow of water to the land (2 Chronicles 34:3,4).
  • He repaired the Jerusalem wall (2 Chronicles 34:5).
  • He manufactured and distributed new arms (2 Chronicles 34:5). 
  • He organized the army (2 Chronicles 34:6).

Then he gathered the people for the pep talk.

Not surprisingly, Sennacherib reaction to Hezekiah’s speech was to mock it and Hezekiah’s faith in God. Sennacherib sent a delegation to Jerusalem to challenge Yahweh and  instill fear (2 Chronicles 34:10-15).

Sennacherib’s mockery and threats brought Hezekiah and Isaiah (the prophet) to their knees: they “prayed and cried out to Him…” 2 Chronicles 34:20.

Then God intervened supernaturally: “… sent an angel who cut down every mighty man of valor, leader, and captain in the camp of the King of Assyria" (2 Chronicles 34:21).

I think Hezekiah here demonstrates some great life principles for us too. When we’re under attack or in trouble—physically, financially, socially or in whatever way we:
  • Do all we can. We follow doctors’ orders, put our financial house in order, attempt to make peace with our enemies, or whatever the situation dictates.
  • Encourage ourselves in God, refusing to give in to the fear and what-ifs of the situation, reminding ourselves that “there are more with us than there are with them.”
  • Pray. Though we've done all we can, in the end our trust is in God and His coming through for us. In His time He will, as He did for Hezekiah and his subjects.  

PRAYER: Dear Father, help me to remember that I have more than the “arm of flesh” with me; I have the Lord, God of heaven and earth. Amen.

Psalm 79

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Thanks for reading! This year we are using The Bible Project "Timeless Reading Plan" to read through the Bible in 2018. If you'd like to read along in your own Bible, you can download a pdf of the reading plan HERE.

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