2 Chronicles 31-32, Acts 20:1-16
In 2 Chronicles 31 we read of the great things King Hezekiah had done to help Judah return to the Lord. Under the direction of Hezekiah the places and instruments of worship to foreign gods were destroyed and the kingdom of Judah was restored in relationship with the God of Abraham. Human nature would lead us to think that a time of ‘smooth sailing’ would follow but we must remember that there is a spiritual battle going on and every child of God will face trials. It is ironic that the trials that Satan would use to destroy us are the very trials that God uses to build our faith and demonstrate his mastery in every situation. We can learn a lot from how Hezekiah and little Judah faced the overwhelming army of Assyria.
When Hezekiah learned of the approaching army he prepared for their arrival. He stopped the waters so the invaders would not have the convenience of any unnecessary advantages. He then strengthened their defenses by repairing and reinforcing the walls. He strengthened their offences by constructing towers that would give them a strategic advantage. He set the people to manufacturing the weapons that would be needed. He set up the structure for an army and commenced training. He reminded the people that although the situation may look bleak they should take comfort in the knowledge that the Assyrians relied solely on the strength of the flesh but Judah was relying of the power of the living God.
When we are faced with trials we too should not give the enemy any footholds or unnecessary advantages. When facing trials we should first find out the facts. Many sleepless nights have been spent because questions were not asked and assumptions were erroneous. Secondly, knowing what we are facing and knowing what God’s word says about the issue uniquely positions us to effectively fortify our defenses. Our faith is strengthened by the Word. Through careful examination of the Word we know if and where we are deficient and what corrective measures must be taken. Once we know the facts and have fortified our faith we can face the trial fearlessly placing our confidence in our source of strength, our Lord and Savior Jesus.
When the king of Assyria attempted to undermine the faith of Judah and spoke out against the Lord, Hezekiah took the letter and spread it out before the Lord and prayed (see Isa.37:14-15). The results were miraculous. The Lord slew 185,000 of the Assyrian army in one night. When God’s children bring their needs before the Lord with humbleness and sincerity the results often far exceed the expectations.