Trust In The Salvation Of The Lord


Now therefore, do not let Hezekiah deceive you or persuade you like this, and do not believe him; for no god of any nation or kingdom was able to deliver his people from my hand or the hand of my fathers. How much less will your God deliver you from my hand?’”

(2 Chronicles 32:15)

In 2 Chronicles 29 we see Hezekiah became king at age 25 years old. He did what was right in the sight of the Lord. In the first year of his reign, he opened the doors of the Temple and repaired them. The peoples fathers had failed in keeping the ways of the Lord, turning their backs on Him, forsaking Him and turning their faces away from God’s dwelling place. Because they were disobedient and turned their backs on God, the wrath of the Lord fell upon Judah and Jerusalem and God allowed trouble, desolation and jeering to come upon them. The consequences that came upon the people caused their fathers to be killed and their sons, daughters and wives to be taken into captivity. Hezekiah saw all of this and made a covenant with the Lord in hopes that God’s wrath would turn away from them. Hezekiah got the priests and Levites together to clean out the temple telling them not to be negligent but that the Lord has chosen them to stand before Him, serve Him and to minister to Him and burn incense. In other words, Hezekiah was telling them they must not turn away from their duties and start doing their job! Hezekiah then sent a request to all of Israel and Judah and sent letters to Ephraim and Manasseh to come to the house of the Lord to keep the Passover, yet another thing their fathers stopped doing. Hezekiah then sent runners throughout Israel and Judah telling the children of Israel to return to God and if they do, God will return to the remnant who escaped from the hand of the kings of Assyria. The letter advised them not to be like their fathers who were stiff-necked (stubborn) and turned away from God but requested that they submit to God and enter into His sanctuary and serve Him so that the fierceness of His wrath will be turned away from them. Hezekiah noted that if they returned to the Lord, their brethren and their children will be treated with compassion by those who lead them captive so they may come back to the land. The people came, the priests and Levites praised the Lord day by day singing and worshiping Him and then the priests and Levites blessed the people. Their voice was heard; and their prayer came up to God’s holy dwelling place in heaven. The people were in unity and God received them.

Here we see one man who made a difference. Hezekiah realized that due to their fathers stubbornness and sinful ways which caused them to turn away from the Lord, the problems they were having was due to their disobedience. This caused their fathers to be killed and their wives and children to be taken into captivity. Why is it we can’t seem to comprehend what our actions do to those around us? What we do affects our relationships and our well being and that of our families. Hezekiah wanted to restore peace and safety to the people but he knew this required repentance and returning to God. Whenever we we turn to God and repent of our sins, He will accept us with open arms, bringing healing and restoration but not without us doing our part. The people had to repent first, then change their ways and observe His commands which are in the Word of God.

Once the people repented and turned back to God, they began to take care of the house of the Lord. This means they were in one spirit, working together. What happens when we change, are in one spirit and working together or even changing individually? We can expect to encounter hindrances and obstacles. Once the people turned back to the Lord,  became one in spirit and began working together, another enemy came to discourage them. Sennacherib, King of Assyria entered Judah (Judah means “praise”) and  encamped against them with the plan of winning them over to himself. When Hezekiah saw that Sennacherib’s purpose was to make war with Jerusalem, he instructed his leaders and commanders to stop the water from going outside the city so the enemy would not have water for themselves. He then strengthened his area, building up all the walls that were broken, raising it up to the towers and built another wall outside. He also made weapons and shields in abundance. He then gave encouragement to the military captains, telling them the following in 2 Chronicles 32:7-8:

 “Be strong and courageous; do not be afraid nor dismayed before the king of Assyria, nor before all the multitude that is with him; for there are more with us than with him. With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the Lord our God, to help us and to fight our battles.” And the people were strengthened by the words of Hezekiah king of Judah.

Here we see King Sennacherib’s first tactic was to enter the land. He made an active move upon his foe. But it’s important to note what King Hezekiah did when he saw that the enemy had entered into the land. He built up the walls and made weapons and shields in abundance and then he encouraged his army to trust in God. King Hezekiah did not allow what he was seeing happening on the outside to affect him on the inside. He made a commitment to God that He and the people would follow Him no matter what relying on the faithfulness of God to provide and protect them. This doesn’t mean he never expected anything bad to happen, but it did mean that no matter what came his way, he would trust in the Lord’s salvation. When he saw the enemy had entered the land, he encouraged the people. It’s important for leaders to stand firm and not allow outside circumstances to cause fear and discouragement in themselves nor their people. When we have God on our side, we have to trust His Word that He will battle for us.

After King Sennacherib realized King Hezekiah and the people were not going to back down so easily, he chose another tactic…to bring discouragement to them through intimidation and fear with words. He sent his servants to Jerusalem to deliver a message to Hezekiah and all of Judah who were in Jerusalem, first discouraging the people against trusting their leader, Hezekiah, that he was persuading them to give themselves over to die by famine. Here he tried to put fear in the hearts of the people regarding their provisions telling the people not to trust in God. Next, Sennacherib attempted to point out problems in Hezekiah’s leadership decision to do right by God in 2 Chronicles 32:12:

“Has not the same Hezekiah taken away His high places and His altars, and commanded Judah and Jerusalem, saying, “You shall worship before one altar and burn incense on it?”

Sennacherib tried to intimidate and cause fear and discouragement in the hearts of the people by reminding them of his military success in other lands and Assyria’s previous military success by their fathers in 2 Chronicles 32:13-14:

 “Do you not know what I and my fathers have done to all the peoples of other lands? Were the gods of the nations of those lands in any way able to deliver their lands out of my hand? 14 Who was there among all the gods of those nations that my fathers utterly destroyed that could deliver his people from my hand, that your God should be able to deliver you from my hand?”

Finally, Sennacherib tried to persuade the people into thinking Hezekiah, their leader, was deceiving them about God’s ability to protect and provide and had his servants speak against out against God and Hezekiah in vs 15-16:

“Now therefore, do not let Hezekiah deceive you or persuade you like this, and do not believe him; for no god of any nation or kingdom was able to deliver his people from my hand or the hand of my fathers. How much less will your God deliver you from my hand?’”

Furthermore, his servants spoke against the Lord God and against His servant Hezekiah.”

When we turn back to God, repent and make changes to ourselves, our workplace, our schools, our churches, our community, even our nation, we will have opposition. The enemy, utilizing people, will try to cause problems, use intimidation and fear, discouragement and try to turn us against each other and our leaders so we will not succeed, especially when we had made a commitment to move forward together. He will chop away at our strength and draw out our weaknesses such as fear, doubt, anger, fighting, jealousy, pride, etc. When we are in unity and working together with God, we become a strong force. But when we are against each other, then we are not with God and are unable to stand up against not only the enemy but problems and situations that come our way. We have to be observant to what is really going on. The people were once in captivity and defeated, but now they have risen up, made the decision to turn back to God and trust Him which means God has set them free from captivity. Once the enemy has seen this, he will now try to get them back into captivity through different measures as we’ve mentioned.

So what happened? Did the people cave in to fear or did they trust in God? In vs 20 we see that King Hezekiah and the prophet, Isaiah, went straight to the source that could help them…God! They prayed and cried out to heaven. Sennacherib was about to see first hand who was really the powerful one! After hearing the prayers and cries from Hezekiah and Isaiah, God sent an angel who cut down every “mighty man of valor”, leader and captain in the camp of Sennacherib who them returned shamefaced to his own land. Once there, Sennacherib went into the temple of his god and was struck down with a sword by some of his own children.

Many times when we change for the better and get closer to God, the enemy will enter into our praise (remember, Judah means praise) and will do everything he can to get us to stop praising, worshiping and trusting God. He will try to intimidate us with words and actions from others, he will try to discourage us with fear and doubt, he will remind us of his past successes in our lives in getting us to fail and fall, or he will try to turn us against each other or against those who are trying to help us by twisting our thoughts about them and what they are doing. He will even try to convince us not to trust in the Lord’s salvation because He won’t be able to help us. When we encounter this, what should we do? We must build up our walls, make more weapons and shields, speak encouraging words to oursleves and others, cry out to God in prayer and then trust in the Lord’s salvation. This means we dive more into the Word of God and build up our shield of faith. We then utilize the Word of God, which is our Sword of the Spirit, and speak out scriptures that apply to the situation. We go in prayer and cry out to God and then wait upon Him to save us.

Do not allow intimidation, fear and discouragement to rule you. Do not allow yourself to be ruled by your emotions over what’s happening on the surface. Remember, the enemy works on the surface to try and defeat us, but God works behind the scenes, fighting our battles for us. We must trust in the salvation of the Lord no matter what we see happening. We have a great and mighty God who is capable of doing what we can’t do. Trust Him!

The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked came against me To eat up my flesh, My enemies and foes, They stumbled and fell. Though an army may encamp against me, My heart shall not fear; Though war may rise against me,
In this I will be confident. (Psalm 27:1-3)

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? (Psalm 27:1-3)

Lord, I surrender all of my fear and doubts to You over what I see on the surface. Strengthen my faith! You are more than capable of fixing any problem or situation in my life, even those things that seem broken to pieces and unable to be put back together. Help me to walk according to you Word, to raise my shield of faith and my Sword of the Spirit so I can defend what you have given me…my freedom. Thank you for breaking my chains and setting me free and help me to be alert of the tricks of the enemy to lead me back into captivity. Thank you for your faithfulness and love. In Jesus name I pray…Amen!