Justin Smith


Isaiah 36:4-8

“This is what the great king of Assyria says: What are you trusting in that makes you so confident? 5Do you think that mere words can substitute for military skill and strength? Who are you counting on, that you have rebelled against me?...“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? …“I’ll tell you what! Strike a bargain with my master, the king of Assyria.


I remember growing up I always feared walking down what seemed like the endless hallway to my room in the dark of night. I was convinced that if I looked into any of the dark doors as I passed them there would be a creature staring at me ready to attack. Well, after many years and countless times down that hallway, I’m glad to say that I was never harmed by the lurking creatures. Isn’t it funny how we can work ourselves up into a tizzy over powerless threats and the fear of what “could be”. We get so frightened that it cripples us and dictates how we live life, whether it’s walking down a dark hallway or journeying through the twists and turns of life. We give these things power by believing in a lie, in something which doesn’t even pose a threat.

In Isaiah we find a similar situation where the king of Assyria is attempting to work the people into a tizzy with threats of what “could be”. He taunts them, making them question where their protection would come from. He falsely predicts their destruction if they don’t submit and obey, spouting lies and threats. But would God’s people buy it? Would they give this enemy king power by believing in his lies. Would they fear to the point of submitting to his demands even though their king, God, was their protector and the Assyrian king posed no actual threat? Hezekiah, the king of Jerusalem stepped in with Godly leadership and said: 1. Don’t respond to these messages, and 2. Let me take these concerns to God. These two steps would quickly become their keys to victory because as they submitted and obeyed God, He sent an angel to fight their fight, to protect them against their enemies, slaying 185,000 soldiers as they slept. The worthless threats were just that, worthless, in the face of the Almighty God.


I’ll be the first to admit that there are times where I allow the threats of the enemy, of what could be, to work me up into a tizzy. Fear of the future, concern for the chaotic circumstances, overwhelmed me, crippling me and dictating my actions. The “what if’s” capture my soul, and I give in, give in to straying from dependence on God alone, on trusting Him, and on believing Him. It’s in these times that I must remember Hezekiah’s 2 keys.

1. Don’t respond to the messages: Isn’t it interesting how when we entertain the negative thoughts, when we think about our worries, when we sit in the concerns of tomorrow, when we dwell on our lack, things get so much worse. What about when we take matters into our own hands, trying to stand as our own deliverer, our own provider, responding to the problems, the threats, the attacks on our own strength? Where does that get us? For me, it gets me sure defeat. The key: don’t do it on our own. Don’t respond in your own strength and power. Don’t turn your eyes to the problems, to the enemy, but keep your eyes fixed on God. That’s where your freedom will come from.

2. Take it to God: The best thing you can do in the face of lies and attacks is pursue the Truth, which is only found in Jesus. The Truth is that we face a defeated foe. The Truth is that we are overcomers. The Truth is that our God is Sovereign and Almighty. The Truth is that the strength and wisdom of this world are nothing compared to the strength and wisdom of our God. Although we might be outpowered, outnumbered, outwitted, our God never is.


Heavenly Father, I praise you for you are the Truth and in You there is peace, protection, and provision. In tough times, please help me to trust you, and in times of opposition, please help me to keep my eyes fixed on You and Your Truth. You are the Mighty God, and I will choose to live my life in Your promises.

In Jesus' name, Amen.

Devotions for July 22

Isaiah 36,37
Psalms 76
1 Peter 1

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