“Thus says the Lord God: ‘Pound your fists and stamp your feet, and say, “Alas, for all the evil abominations of the house of Israel! For they shall fall by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence.”‘”
When I read of the fall of Judah I am reminded of Achilles, who was one of the more famous characters in Greek mythology. He was the central figure of Homer’s Iliad, and the hero of the Trojan wars. The legend tells the story of Achilles, who was held by the ankle and dipped in the river Styx, providing him with supernatural protection in battle. As a result, his only weakness was his ankle that was not covered by the magical waters. It was this weakness that ultimately cost him his life.
Unlike the story of Achilles, Israel truly had supernatural protection. The great armies of Egypt, Canaan, and Assyria were no match for a nation who received its protection from the Lord. Their safety was never in their vast armies, high walls, or military ingenuity. It was the Lord, who was a mighty fortress protecting His people against their foes.
Tragically, Israel had an Achilles’ heel; an area of weakness that would ultimately destroy the nation. That weakness was their wandering heart. Like Samson of old, their strength lie in their commitment to the Lord. Each time they set aside the Word of God and picked up another practice of the surrounding nations, they came one step closer to their fall. Over the years they had come to the brink of disaster, only to call upon God, receive his mercy, and in essence, a stay of execution. This mercy caused them to misunderstand God and sin, thinking of themselves as indestructible. Even with the Babylonian army encamped about the city, they still foolishly thought deliverance would come. What they failed to realize was, sin will weaken an individual and a nation.
As a child of God, you are protected against the wiles of the devil. All of his attacks are shielded by the grace of God. There is no weapon formed against us that can prevail (Isaiah 54:17). That, however, does not mean we are indestructible. That does not give us license to sin or compromise, thinking we cannot be defeated. Like Achilles and Israel, we all have a weakness and that weakness is sin. The solution is to remove it from our lives and cling tighter to the promises of God’s Word.