Isaiah 36:7 – “But if you say to me, ‘We trust in the Lord our God,’ is it not He whose high places and whose altars Hezekiah has taken away, and said to Judah and Jerusalem, ‘You shall worship before this altar’?”’ NKJV
I think I’ve mentioned before that this battle is one of the most detailed battles in the word, written in three different books of the Bible. The first thing I noticed, the first time I read this battle is that the Assyrians were nothing more than bullies! They spent the majority of their time throwing insults, hoping to intimidate the Israelites into submission. If there is one modus operandi of the devil, intimidation would get my vote as his specialty.
Let’s look at a few of the insults hurled at the citizens of Judah:
- What are you trusting in?
- I heard you are making plans for a war, but they are mere words.
- Are you trusting in the assistance of Egypt? He’s a broken reed and so are those who trust in him.
- Are you trusting in God?
- Didn’t Hezekiah take away His high places and altars and said you could only worship here in Jerusalem?
- Come on, surrender and make a pledge and we will give you 2,000 horses, if you have men you can put on them!
- Didn’t the Lord say to us, “Go up against this land, and destroy it!
- Don’t let Hezekiah deceive you, he won’t be able to deliver you!
And the insults continued on and on, with one intent, to intimidate the people of God. And the devil has been using this form of attack on the people of God for centuries; often times quite effectively.
Today he would more likely say things like:
- Do you really think God will heal you? He didn’t heal Brother So and So. As a matter of fact, he died.
- Do you expect Jesus to come from heaven and marry you? You will be waiting until eternity.
- Do you really think that by giving that church ten percent of your income, you are going to make it to the next paycheck and have more than enough? Are you stupid? You can’t pay your bills now!
- Why would God want to use you? There is nothing special about you. Get real!
- Don’t you dare go over and tell that person that! That wasn’t God. He is not talking to you. That’s you!
- You think because you said that prayer that you are saved. That is so not true. If that’s all it took, everybody would be saved.
- You are a worthless, low down, dirty, rotten sinner, and that’s all you will ever be. God can’t possibly love you!
And the list can go on and on and on. And some nights, and some times in your head, it does! And it seems as if you can’t shut the lying, hateful words up and so you begin to feel tormented in your mind and in your spirit. And when you start thinking like that, he is being effective against you!
Hezekiah’s advice to his people was not to respond. This makes sense, because this was not an individual battle, but a battle against the masses. And maybe, just maybe, it is good advice when the devil is using an actual person. But generally, I would say that now is the time to go on the attack!
How? The same way Jesus went on the attack! With God’s word!
- Every lying thought needs to be cast down! You need to open your mouth and declare that “by His stripes you are healed!” That you will live and not die and continue to declare the works of the Lord! He is your healer!
- You need to take a firm grip on the word that says, “It is not good that man is alone!” God’s idea, not mine! So He will work it out! And until He brings you together, you will use your time and talents to promote His kingdom and trust that your future spouse is waging war on him also!
- Bring all the tithes into my storehouse, God said, and He will rebuke the devourer. So devil, you are rebuked in Jesus’ Name! Wealth and riches are in your house and you are blessed!
- God has plans, a purpose, an expected end for you to get to, and God will bring it to pass! Therefore you can trust in Him to direct you, lead you, guide you. And you can become the enemy’s worst nightmare.
- God manifests Himself, by His Spirit, to His people that they might be encouraged. A word of knowledge is a gift of God. And at the very least, you will encourage your brother, or your sister, so you will share what has dropped in your spirit and trust God with the rest!
- All those who call upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved! You called! You are saved! You are redeemed of the Lord and are saying so, because He told you to!
- You are loved by God! You are fearfully and wonderfully made. And equally as importantly, you are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus, not a low down dirty sinner. Satan is a liar, and the Father of lies and you are to resist every negative thought and comment and hide under the shadow of the Almighty God! You are His sheep and you only listen to your Shepherd, now put the devil behind you!
You cannot be silent when the taunting, tormenting, intimidating spirits of the enemy come knocking at the door of your mind or your heart! You must make a decision to attack him with the only thing that works! God’s word! It worked for Jesus in the wilderness and it will work for you! This is your time for talking back! Get sassy with it! And let him know that you are not taking this mess anymore! Wonderful Jesus!