So many questions inspired by scripture.
So many answers provided by scripture.
Today’s questions and answers were brought to me by the Old Testament. The book of Isaiah.
- Who/what do you put your confidence in?
- How does that trust/confidence manifest itself?
- What happens when you put your confidence in someone/something other than God?
This passage prompted this series of questions and answers:
And Rabshakeh said unto them, Say ye now to Hezekiah, Thus saith the great king, the king of Assyria, What confidence is this wherein thou trusteth?” I say, sayest thou, (but they are but vain words) I have counsel and strength for war: now on whom dost thou trust, that thou rebellest against me? (Isaiah 36:4-5 KJV)
Rabshakeh works for the king of Assyria, Sennacherib. He is delivering a message to Hezekiah, the king of Judah. Eliakim, Shebna and Joah receive this message on behalf of Hezekiah (the “them” referred to in the verse).
You see, the king of Assyria was on a roll. He was conquering all the cities in Judah and had his eyes set on Jerusalem. He was pretty confident of another victory.
He makes the case for why he will be victorious again. He has people to advise him and the strength of his armies to back up his plans.
He then poses this question to Hezekiah and the people of Judah – who do you trust such that you would even think about going against me? Who is in your corner?
Thus saith the king, Let not Hezekiah deceive you: for he shall not be able to deliver you. Neither let Hezekiah make you trust in the Lord, saying, The Lord will surely deliver us: this city shall not be delivered into the hand of the king of Assyria. Hearken not to Hezekiah: for thus saith the king of Assyria, Make an agreement with me by a present, and come out to me: and eat ye every one of his vine, and every one of his fig tree, and drink ye every one the waters of his own cistern; Until I come and take you away to a land like your own land, a land of corn and wine, a land of bread and vineyards. Beware lest Hezekiah persuade you, saying, The Lord will deliver us. Hath any of the gods of the nations delivered his land out of the hand of the king of Assyria? Where are the gods of Hamath and Arphad? where are the gods of Sepharvaim? and have they delivered Samaria out of my hand? Who are they among all the gods of these lands, that have delivered their land out of my hand, that the Lord should deliver Jerusalem out of my hand? But they held their peace, and answered him not a word: for the king’s commandment was, saying, Answer him not. (Isaiah 36:14-21 KJV)
Well alrighty then!
Sennacherib was not pulling any punches. No equivocation. Don’t listen to Hezekiah. That God of his was not going to save them. Surrender or be defeated.
Look at the evidence, he says!
No one stopped him when he conquered Hamath, Arphad and Sepharvaim.
No one kept Samaria from him.
No one was going to keep him from taking Jerusalem.
Hezekiah’s people said nothing. Held their peace as Hezekiah had instructed them.
What was Hezekiah’s response?
And it came to pass, when king Hezekiah heard it, that he rent his clothes, and covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the house of the Lord. (Isaiah 37:1 KJV)
That’s right Hezekiah! Don’t listen to Sennacherib!
You know what God you serve! Go to Him and see what He has to say:
Therefore thus saith the Lord concerning the king of Assyria, He shall not come into this city, nor shoot an arrow there, nor come before it with shields, nor cast a bank against it. By the way that he came, by the same shall he return, and shall not come into this city, saith the Lord. For I will defend this city to save it for mine own sake, and for my servant David’s sake. (Isaiah 37:33-35 KJV)
And the Lord did exactly as He promised:
Then the angel of the Lord went forth, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians a hundred and fourscore and five thousand: and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses. So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed, and went and returned, and dwelt at Ninevah. (Isaiah 37:36-37 KJV)
The reward for Sennacherib’s trust in his false god, Nisroch?
…his sons smote him with the sword…(Isaiah 37:38 KJV)
I don’t think death is what Sennacherib had in mind. His god didn’t come through for him after all.
The message for me is this – when I am faced with harrowing situations, no matter what, I will put my confidence in the only true God. No matter what the circumstances look like. No matter what has happened in the past. No matter what the evidence suggests. I will always have faith that God will come through for me according to His will, in His time.
How do I demonstrate that confidence? I take all my issues to God in prayer – no one else. I will wait for Him to respond. I will not doubt Him.
When people speak contrary to my faith in God, I will not respond.
I will hold my peace.
What confidence is this?
The confidence that comes from serving the only true God. The creator of everything. The God who provides for all my needs according to His riches in glory. The God who loved me so much that He sent his only begotten son to die for my sins so that I could be reconciled to Him and have everlasting life.