2 Kings 18:31–32 “Thus says the King of Assyria: ‘Make peace with me and come out to me and eat each of his vine and each of his fig tree and drink each of the waters of his own cistern until I come and take you away to a land like your own land, a land of grain and new wine, a land of bread and vineyards, of olive trees and honey that you may live and not die. But do not listen to Hezekiah when he misleads you, saying, ‘The Lord will deliver us.’ ”
Observation: If the reader isn’t careful, these sound like sweet promises of God, don’t they? But the opposite is true: these are the siren songs of Satan himself. Hezekiah was one of Judah’s best kings. He trusted God (2 Kings 18:5), clung to the Lord (verse 6), and kept all His commandments. When the powerful King of Assyria attacked and conquered Judah, Hezekiah prayed to God while the Assyrian king’s envoys taunted the defeated Judeans. But God promised miraculous deliverance, a rescue so complete that the enemy would not be able to shoot a single arrow against Jerusalem, nor build any siege mound. God said, “I will defend Jerusalem,” and that night an angel came to the Assyrian encampment and killed 185,000 Assyrian soldiers, utterly defeating the enemy army (see 2 Kings 19:34–35).
Application: The saying, “They never knew what hit them!” comes to mind as I read of God’s supernatural defense of Jerusalem. It is unusual for a devotional reading to highlight the carefully crafted claims of the enemy, as this one does today. His lies are so appealing: make peace with me, and you will eat of your vine and fig tree and drink from your cistern. Follow me and I will give you a wonderful place to live with plenty of grain, wine, olive trees, and honey.
In short, we see the enemy’s clear strategy: taunt, lie, and make captivity seem appealing. It is little wonder that I so easily succumb to his appeals. After all, would he be called the father of lies if he weren’t really good at it? (see John 8:44). But God is faithful. Holy Spirit truth is always speaking to my heart. There is a veritable river of information rushing toward me from heaven targeting my heart rather than my ears. The problem is that heaven’s broadcast seems generally to come through small tweeters rather than the booming woofers used by the enemy. That’s why it is so critical that I work aggressively to do all I can to pursue quiet time with Him, to shut out extraneous sights and noises that continually accost me. His peace results; I am then able to notice that He has slain 185,000 of my enemies, exposing their impotence for all to see.
Prayer: Father God, make me wise enough to arrange my life so I can hear what You are saying and see what You are doing.