Ron's Reflections

Against All Odds
Friday, May 13, 2016 by Dr. Ron Susek



Against All Odds
 
by Ron Susek
©Golden Quill Publications

 
On what do you rest this trust of yours?
Isaiah 36:4

 


     If you are facing a no-win situation, as did Hezekiah, then it is time to enter the arena of intercession. Hezekiah's story offers some excellent insights.
     This God-fearing king of Judah did not have a fighting chance when he found Jerusalem surrounded by the formidable forces of the Assyrian army. The Rabshakeh (a high ranking Assyrian military officer's title) knew Hezekiah was overpowered and decided not to waste military strength on him. So, he employed threat and intimidation in an effort to gain an easy victory.
     The Rabshakeh started by mocking the power of words up against the might of the sword. "Do you think that mere words are strategy and power for war?" he asked.
     Next, he attempted to shake Hezekiah's hope in Egypt, his ally. He called Egypt a broken reed of a staff that will pierce the hand of any who lean on it.
     The mouthy Assyrian leader tried to divide the loyalty of Hezekiah's army by sarcastically assailing Hezekiah's obedience to God. He knew that Hezekiah had torn down the high places. He must also have known that many were not pleased that their throwback to sacrificial worship of pagan gods was interrupted by Hezekiah. Sarcasm flowed as he said, "But if you say to me, 'We trust in the LORD our God,' is it not he whose high places and altars Hezekiah has removed . . . .?'" (36:7). Actually, this act of obedience gave Hezekiah an advantage with God.
     Bribery was the Rabshakeh's next strategy. He offered Hezekiah two thousand horses, which could remove the need for Egyptian support.
     The Rabshakeh then claimed to have been sent by God. "Moreover, is it without the Lord that I have come up against this land to destroy it? The Lord said to me, 'Go up against this land and destroy it'" (36:10).
     The Assyrians had wiped out one nation after another. In this light the Rabshakeh warned, "Beware lest Hezekiah mislead you by saying, 'The Lord will deliver us.' Has any of the gods of the nations delivered his land out of the hand of the king of Assyria?"
     With these ringing in his ears, Hezekiah sought advice from Isaiah the prophet, then slipped alone into the arena of intercession to present his case to God.
     The next night, the angel of the Lord slew one hundred and eighty-five thousand Assyrian soldiers. Judah was delivered and King  Sennacherib's sons assassinated him.
     When, like Hezekiah, you enter the arena of intercession with all odds stacked against you, many of the Rabshakeh's arguments may ring in your ears. Seek wise counsel, then spread your case before the Lord. Certain that you have pleased Him with faith--obedience, you can be equally certain of His readiness to fight on your behalf.
 
Immanuel: God with you!
Your friend,
Ron 

 

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