2 Chronicles 32:1
“After these deeds of faithfulness, Sennacherib king of Assyria came and entered Judah; he encamped against the fortified cities, thinking to win them over to himself.”
I find it interesting, and somewhat disturbing, that after reading of the faithfulness of Hezekiah, we find him facing what will prove to be the fight of his life. The Assyrian army, with its seemingly innumerable forces, marched against Jerusalem, surrounded the city, and began to threaten the people. These were not idle threats. The Assyrian army had not only defeated all of Judah’s neighbors, but had also conquered other cities within Judah itself. No force had been strong enough to withstand Assyria, and it would seem ludicrous to think the tiny city of Jerusalem and its inhabitants would have even the remotest of chances. Nonetheless, we read of Assyria’s defeat and Hezekiah’s exaltation. Two things grab my attention.
First, I am struck by he fact that Hezekiah and Judah had to face this battle in the first place. The chapters leading up to this event speak of the great faithfulness of the king, and of widespread revival. After the king made a personal and public commitment to the Lord, he began a work that would lead many others back to God. This work became so extensive that revival broke out throughout Judah and even spread into Israel. People who had fallen from the Lord, were returning to him, and righteousness once again began to be the defining characteristic of Judah. It would seem that a person who devotes themselves to the Lord, would be free of the kind of attack Hezekiah is undergoing. Instead, we find him facing the largest army ever to step into Israel’s borders. Our commitment to Christ will not eliminate battles, but it will give us the tools that guarantee victory.
The second thing that stands out to me, is the way in which Judah succeeded in battle. In a bold a defining statement Hezekiah declared,
2 Chronicles 32:8 “‘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.”
Victory was found by clinginging to the Word of God, in the midst of attack and confusion. Hezekiah realized that the only way to find real success was not to fight Assyria by natural means, but with spiritual ones. Man to man, sword to sword, or army to army, Judah had no chance of victory, but choosing to cling to, rely upon, and follow after YHWH would ensure victory. They proved their allegiance to the Lord by gathering together, looking into the Word, and praying accordingly. In the midst of national, or our own personal battle,s we will find success when we choose to cling to the Lord in prayer.