The book of 2 Chronicles chapter 32 is a passage of Scripture I have come to love. Each time I get to read it, I always find lessons to take home. Not just because it tells of how not to rest on your oars when we have accomplished something spectacular, but it also exposes the enemy and some of the strategies he is willing to employ just to ensure he does not loose any battle for our soul.
Here we see Hezekiah, the then king of Israel who had just successfully carried out a religious reform including a centralized celebration of the Passover of the Lord God of Israel in Jerusalem amongst other things.
He had so succeeded where his father Ahaz had failed that the final verse of chapter 31 closed with these words:
In all that he did in the service of the Temple of God and in his efforts to follow God’s law and commands, Hezekiah sought his God wholeheartedly. As a result, he was very successful-NLT.
Then begins chapter 32.
“After Hezekiah had faithfully carried out his work, King Sennacherib of Assyria invaded Judah”.
The devil’s first strategy against Hezekiah and the israelites:
1. THE TRIAL THAT COMES WITH-“AFTER HEZEKIAH HAD FAITHFULLY CARRIED. OUT HIS WORK”:
This is where we get really comfortable with ourselves and the environment. We somehow remain in the euphoria of the victory we have just won that the tendency to let down our guards and thereby fall prey to the enemy of our souls is peak.
We have faithfully carried out the work and this should qualify us for a “timeout” from trials. Well; ask Hezekiah, he experienced differently. First thing the devil employed to destabilize the children of Israel was to attack them physically after they had successfully returned to general assembly of praise and worship of God and the destruction of idolatry, purifying themselves before God.
After they had fully carried out the work probably needing rest and doing more of reflection than projection, all of which are okay in its self, the enemy pounced.
This goes to say that we should not allow ourselves be detracted at any time. The business of watching and praying is an all-time event not to be trifled with in the least. May the glory of our latter be more than the former always.
Hezekiah’s response: Hezekiah cut off water supply that could have served the enemy even if it was going to affect them as well. But not before STRENGTHENING HIMSELF-KJV. This for me is very key given the obvious-“how do you fight a battle you have not prepared for?” How do you play lead role, when the script is foreign to you? You clearly can not give what you don’t have, so leaders, we should make out time to “strengthen ourselves” adequately in the Word and knowledge of God so as not to appear before the enemy clueless and tactless regarding the situation were in. It is then we can draw from the storehouse we have built inside and can be instant to the leading of the Holy Spirit.
This must have resulted in the comfortable way in which he delivered the encouragement speech he gave to the people.
They were clearly determination to do away with whatever physical things that would enable the enemy in its fight against them, they were prepared to make that sacrifice. They went ahead to carry out massive repairs of broken walls, erecting towers, even constructing a second wall around the already existing wall.
From all indication, Hezekia did not go to bed just because he had concluded a successful religious reform. He had a “watch and pray” mentality. This is the kind of attitude we all should have, not withstanding a current victory or otherwise.
Something that is also worthy of point-out is that Hezekiah took counsel with his Princes and mighty men. Some of us in leadership at times find it as time-wasting and maybe beneath us and probably a sign of weakness to take counsel with the immediate surround of leadership, or even father down the line, preferring rather to display our wisdom and abilities to the people and further cement the superiority we think we possess in handling issues. Imagine the wisdom of waking up to a shutdown existing waterways and the reaction this would present in a time as critical as the one the children of Israel were in. I get that there are times when you have to step up as the leader, but how the children of Israel could have responded to the rude shock of having something as vital as water taken so abruptly from them without the prior knowledge of their immediate leaders is better left to the imagination. So Let’s learn to “step up” as the Spirit directs us and not as our canal selves dictates.
2. EVIL REPORT:
We all know that the devil will always twist what God says with the intent to deceive and derail us from His original desire and destination for us. Eve and the serpent in the garden of Eden is a case in point. Yet, we run helter-skelter when the devil approaches with his lies.
We need to be thoroughly grounded in God’s Word so as not to be so deceived but be apt to recognise the devil when he surges and deal with the situation promptly without relent or fear.
3. COMMON GROUND:
Once we allow the enemy a foothold, he tries to capture the entire arena. The devil can only have access in our lives and situation to the extent to which we invite him. Let us all be vigilant and wise. Is there a broken hedge in our lives that the enemy uses to find his way into our business? A weakness? A habit, say of “prayerlessness”? As we turn to the Holy Spirit, we will be empowered by His Spirit in our inner man and be quickened to perform as children of the Most High.
4. MISPLACED PRIORITY: Maybe it’s just me, but I could not keep from wandering what these “people” where doing at the place and time on the top of the city wall, to now become available to the spectacle the enemy was putting up! They couldn’t have been sentry or lookout, for how many “people” do you need per time, per area, to do the subtle work of a lookout?
The enemy so made it worth their while that they spoke to God’s people in their own language. The enemy of God’s children could speak “christianese” and this quickly led to despair and tears all around the camp.
What familiar place, issue, possession etc, is the enemy using to gain access to our peace of mind? Cut lose now and regain your sanity. Step up and say no to his tricks, regain your freedom today!
The KJV version in verse 18 of the chapter says that the reason the enemy spoke to those on the wall in the Jews speech was “to affright them, and to trouble them, that they might take the city”
Is there fear and trouble involved? The enemy is probably speaking a familiar language to distract, distraught, and disarm you with the intent to take the city. We must not allow him!
The enemy will use everything in his arsenal, including past achievement or the lack of it, twist it and make you look bad and feel guilty. But if you will cry out to God like Hezekiah did, He will do what only He can.
God sent an angel. Just one and that was it!
God knows how to take care of His own, He knows how to magnify His own like He did for Hezekiah. We just have to look to Him and wait patiently for Him.
Let’s not allow the devil toy with our minds and displace us from what and where God is taking us to.
Let us consciously and continously cast down every high think that exalts itself against the knowledge of Christ!
The battle is already won!
🙂 🙂 🙂
Live, Love, Learn, and Grow!