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Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Choose carefully…

Judah has been attacked.  Assyria is already the victor with some of the cities.  Now they want to take the capitol city of Jerusalem.

Then the Assyrian king's chief of staff told them to give this message to Hezekiah: "This is what the great king of Assyria says: What are you trusting in that makes you so confident? Do you think that mere words can substitute for military skill and strength? Who are you counting on, that you have rebelled against me? On Egypt? If you lean on Egypt, it will be like a reed that splinters beneath your weight and pierces your hand. Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, is completely unreliable! "But perhaps you will say to me, 'We are trusting in the LORD our God!' But isn't He the One who was insulted by Hezekiah? Didn't Hezekiah tear down His shrines and altars and make everyone in Judah and Jerusalem worship only at the altar here in Jerusalem? What's more, do you think we have invaded your land without the LORD's direction? The LORD Himself told us, 'Attack this land and destroy it!'" (2 Kings 18:19-22, 25 NLT)

It’s bad enough that they they Assyrians are winning in battle.  Now, they are taunting king Hezekiah before attacking Jerusalem.  To make things worse, they are telling Hezekiah that the LORD sent them to do this!  The problem, however, is that their earlier statement definitely did not come from the LORD.  Hezekiah did not tear down the shrines and altars of the LORD.  He tore down shrines and altars that pulled people away from the LORD.  The Assyrian king doesn’t know what he’s talking about.  He doesn’t have a message from the LORD.

This is what the king says: Don't let Hezekiah deceive you. He will never be able to rescue you from my power. Don't let him fool you into trusting in the LORD by saying, 'The LORD will surely rescue us. This city will never fall into the hands of the Assyrian king!' But the people were silent and did not utter a word because Hezekiah had commanded them, "Do not answer him." (2 Kings 18:29-30, 36 NLT)

How about you?  Have you ever had someone bring you a message from the LORD?  What’s their track record?  Do they always get it right when they receive and bring a message from the LORD?  Choose carefully who you trust in battle.