Yesterday, I went on a quiet rant. My pen huffin’ and puffin’ against the pages of my journal.
This morning, I thought I would share why all of the hot air.
It all started in the book of Isaiah. Verse 36:4 to be exact.
This one line triggered me.
Do you think that mere words are strategy and power for war?
Let me explain.
The context is this: The King of Assyria, Sennacherib, had come up against all of the cities of Judah, overtaking them one by one. His armies were large and powerful. His next target? Jerusalem. With the city now completely surrounded, the king sends Rabshakeh, one of his highest ranking military officers, to stand at the city gates and relay a message to King Hezekiah.
He called it “relaying a message.” But I call it “talking smack.”
Say to Hezekiah, Thus says the great king of Assyria: On what do you rest this trust of yours? Do you think that mere words are strategy and power for war? In whom do you now trust, that you have rebelled against me?” Isaiah 36:4-5
At this point the men standing nearby aren’t paying much attention to Rabshekah. And they sure aren’t eager to relay his cynical message to Hezekiah.
Then, like a big ol’ smarty pants, Rabshakeh yells over the wall, “Hear the words of the great king: Do not let Hezekiah persuade you to trust in the LORD when he says, ‘The LORD will surely deliver us. This city will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria. (then he begins to bargain) For this says the King of Assyria: Come make your peace with me and come out to me. Then each one of you will eat of his own vine and each of his own fig and you will drink the water of your own cisterns… Isaiah 36:15-16
So why was I so ticked? Why the rant in my journal?
This is what I wrote…
Oh, these cynical words of Rabshakeh are still so true of our culture today! Christians who stand on God’s Word, who believe it for deliverance, are ridiculed for their faith. Critical eyes are rolled at our “ignorance”.
Using God’s Word in hardship has become, at best, a “nice” thing to do. Not a strategy for war.
The cynic says…
You need healing?...oh, God’s Word is nice.
You need peace?…oh God’s Word is nice.
You need freedom?...oh God’s Word is nice.
Your marriage is broken?...oh, God’s Word is nice.
Your husband lost his job?…oh, God’s Word is nice.
You need stability?…oh, God’s Word is nice.
You need hope?…oh, God’s Word is nice.
God’s Word may be nice…but not effective.
Well to the cynics, I say…. um, NO. It’s not just nice. It is power and strategy for WAR.
Heck yes. And here’s why:
We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12
What other weapon would I choose? If I’m going into battle with the powers of this present darkness, I need the Light of Life on my side, Amen? (John 8:12) The fight is not with man. Our wrestle is always of spiritual nature. If we choose to see it or not.
And you know what? I’ll come out of the battle smelling like a rose. With a wreath of victory adorning my head.
The world (a.k.a. unbelievers and even cynical Christians) look at my/our faith as flaky.
Something “more substantial” or “more reliable” is needed in life’s hardest trials. Faith is nice. But it’s risky.
“We shouldn’t put all of our eggs in such a flimsy basket.”
Well to all the Rabshakeh’s out there, I’m screamin’ over your walls today…
There is nothing more POWERFUL. God’s Word will move any obstacle in my way. Any enemy attack. Any fear. Or hardship. Nothing is too difficult for Him.
I don’t care how many armies surround my camp, I’ll go to my grave with this as my anthem.
Oh, and speaking of graves, I thought you’d appreciate knowing the Lord took out Sennacherib and his big ol’ army. I guess God’s Word was a pretty good strategy for war, after all. Hmm. Smart move, Hezekiah.
So be encouraged today, solider. Your best tactic for war is always faith in God’s Word.
Don’t let the Rabshekhah’s convince you otherwise.
Lord, today I am especially thankful that you fight for me. That you equip your people with Your Word – a loving yet lethal weapon. Let me never fear what people think of me. Let me never fear how I am viewed for standing on your WORD in the battles of this life. They will always rise against me, surrounding me on every side. But the victory is yours. And mine. Through faith in Christ Jesus and the POWER OF YOUR WORD. In Jesus Name, Amen.