“Then the angel of the Lord went out and struck 185,000
in the camp of the Assyrians…”
Isa. 37:36a; NASB
Have you ever felt like no matter what you do you just cannot win? Hezekiah, king of Israel, could certainly have felt like this when the Assyrians had them surrounded, demanding their surrender. Because Assyria had the most powerful and ruthless army on earth, Hezekiah knew he had little chance of avoiding defeat without God’s help. His people were starving to death because of the Assyrian siege surrounding Israel. They sent a letter demanding Israel’s surrender. In that letter, the king of Assyria made it clear to Hezekiah they had no chance of escaping defeat. In the natural world, it looked like Israel’s fate was sealed. The Assyrians would surely kill most of them (including Hezekiah) and enslave the rest. The good news for Hezekiah (and Israel) was that God’s hand was on them.
In our personal lives, we can sometimes feel like Hezekiah must have. Although our personal situations do not have such potential devastation, we can still feel as if things are hopeless. This is especially true when there is turmoil involving those we love. You might have a family situation that seems to have no chance of a good resolution. Maybe there is turmoil or discontent with your church family. There might be a disagreement with superiors or co-workers that seems impossible to resolve without hurting feelings. This is an evil world, and bad things can happen to anyone. The determining factor will always be how you decide to view the situation.
In the Bible, Paul makes many statements about coping in this evil world. All of them require faith and a love for the Lord. In his second letter to the Corinthians he wrote, “for we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Cor. 5:7). We know this world will present troubles that will affect us from time to time. These troubles can feel overwhelming. Regardless of how things appear, we need to walk by faith. This means living each day knowing God is in control, trusting His love and care for our needs. We serve a God that is bigger than anything this world can throw at us. It may look like everything happening in our lives is uncontrollably hopeless, but it is not. There are some important pointers we can get from Hezekiah about walking by faith.
Second Chronicles, chapters 29-31, tells of Hezekiah’s determination to bring Israel back to the Lord. He eliminated the high places, brought back the tithe, re-instituted the Passover, and brought Israel back into favor with the Lord. He loved and worshipped the Lord God. This was all before the problems with the Assyrians I mentioned earlier. This is what we need to do in our own lives. We should always work on becoming closer to the Lord in prayer and actions, especially when things are going well in life. The closer we are with Jesus during the good times, the stronger our faith will be when things go wrong. Then, instead of fear, sadness, and depression, we can be strong knowing that God is with us through all things.
When Assyria threatened Israel, Hezekiah could confidently respond by telling the people, “With him is only an arm of flesh, but with us is the Lord our God to help us and to fight our battles” (2Chron. 32:8). Hezekiah took the letter of doom from the Assyrians and spread it out before the Lord in the temple and prayed. The result was God defeating the enemy while Israel slept.
No matter how big your problems seem to be, God is bigger. Spend time prayerfully reading His Word every day. Trust in Him with all your heart. Jesus died for your sins and rose from the dead, defeating the enemy. That is the most important truth of this life. All other issues pale in comparison.
God bless and have a great week