Scripture Reading: 2 Kings 18:1-19:13 / Acts 27:13-44 / Psalm 82:1-8
We live in a world that is not hesitant to speak loudly and boldly. Amazingly, they think they need to be heard and believed! Thankfully, there are voices that speak words of encouragement and edification but there are also voices that spew defeat, discouragement and doubt. Sometimes we feel like we are caught in the middle…not knowing what to believe.
The Assyrian army surrounded Jerusalem and promised certain destruction to the city if they did not surrender. The army commander belittled, mocked, and ridiculed them as well as their God. His words were so biting; they sent fear through the leaders and those on the city wall. The commander wanted them to hear that Israel would “have to eat their own filth and drink their own urine.” (2 Kings 18:27)
Who would Israel listen to? God, Hezekiah, the commander, the king of Assyria? The commander shouted, “Hear the word of the great king, the king of Assyria…Do not let Hezekiah deceive you…when he says the Lord will deliver you.” (vs.28)
Twice he shouts, ”Do not listen to Hezekiah” (vs.31,32) He repeatedly challenges and questions God’s power and protection. His words were filled with deceit …promising peace through surrender, prosperity in Assyria and protection in the Assyrian gods and king.
I don’t know if they believed all the words of the commander but they knew that the commander believed his own words. They humbled themselves, sought the counsel of the prophet Isaiah and heard him declare, “This is what the Lord says: Do not be afraid of what you have heard – those words with which the underlings of the king of Assyria have blasphemed me.” (19:6) God further promised to deliver Israel and defeat Assyria.
We have a choice – to believe or not believe the voices of the world. We must be careful because our eyes can be blinded and ears deafened by the enemies deceit and lies. Fear will drive us to doubt and defeat. We must look and listen to God and His Word. God always knows and tells the truth…He is the one we are to listen to!