2 Chronicles 32:16 – 19

The messengers felt free to throw in their personal comments, putting down both GOD and God’s servant Hezekiah. The Message. Even Sennacherib’s officers felt free to pitch in with further derisory comments. It would not be true to say that such scoffing does not affect us. This is perhaps one of the main ways we are persecuted in the U.K: through cynical mickey-taking. It can hurt deeply and draw emotional blood. But however much mockery, scorn and derision may come our way, may God strengthen us to stand firm in the faith and to stick by Him and His cross. However loud the laughter and however raucous the language, it does not alter the reality of God nor the fact that ‘in the end, Jesus wins!’ (That’s how a simple man summed up the Book of Revelation.) Don’t let such a toxic atmosphere drive you into hiding as a Christian. If we confess Jesus before men, He’ll confess us before His Father. Don’t cease to be his servant (16). Don’t stop serving your Master because many senseless people don’t like Him and speak ill of Him. One day you will glad you were not ashamed when He shows Himself unashamed of you.

Mark Twain said, ‘A lie will travel half way round the world while the truth is still putting its boots on.’ But a lie is still a lie, no matter how many times it has had its passport stamped! Here is a repetition of the lie so loudly and forcefully proclaimed previously (17;13-15). For all that the volume is turned up loud it remains a lie. This lie was soon to be exposed, as all falsehood eventually will be. ‘Truth will out.’  You can’t stop it. May God give us eyes to see through the camouflage of deception and hold onto the truth, even though it may be in the face of a torrent of error. Verse 19 shows how mistaken Sennacherib and his crew were: They contemptuously lumped the God of Jerusalem in with the handmade gods of other peoples. The Message.

As we have seen in recent days, our enemy seeks to get our knees knocking on the way to crumbling altogether. He doesn’t want us standing, but on the floor. He uses intimidation tactics (18): The messengers would come up to the wall of Jerusalem and shout up to the people standing on the wall, shouting their propaganda in Hebrew, trying to scare them into demoralized submission. The Message. In the Ephesians 6 passage, where Paul calls four times for believers to stand in the face of the great battle we’re involved in (11, 13, 14), he also says this: In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one (16). In those days they had a sort of early version of the Molotov cocktail. It was an arrow, dipped in pitch, and set alight. It was then fired at the opposition. But the Roman soldier had a great body length shield to hide behind. It was made of wood and covered with leather. When the arrow whooshed into it, the flame just went out. Our enemy has many ‘fiery darts’ of fear that he regularly hurls our way. But through faith in God we can put them out. They need not harm us. There is a saying that goes, ‘Fear knocked at the door; faith answered, and there was nobody there!’ Somebody estimated that there are 366 ‘Fear not’s’ in the Bible. He said, ‘That’s one for every year, including leap year!’

Prayer: Lord grant that trust in you will evict all fear from my heart.