Updated on January 6, 2014
Chronological Bible: June 22, When the best answer is no answer at all…
- 2 Kings 18:17-19:7
- Isaiah 36:2-37:7
Rabshakeh boldly called out to the people of Israel to not trust in the deliverance of the Lord. His cries sound so much like the same enemy cries of today, I cannot help but copy/paste them:
“Thus says the king: ‘Do not let Hezekiah deceive you, for he will not be able to deliver you out of my hand. Do not let Hezekiah make you trust in the Lord by saying, The Lord will surely deliver us, and this city will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.’ Do not listen to Hezekiah, for thus says the king of Assyria: ‘Make your peace with me and come out to me. Then each one of you will eat of his own vine, and each one of his own fig tree, and each one of you will drink the water of his own cistern, until I come and take you away to a land like your own land, a land of grain and wine, a land of bread and vineyards, a land of olive trees and honey, that you may live, and not die. And do not listen to Hezekiah when he misleads you by saying, “The Lord will deliver us.” Has any of the gods of the nations ever delivered his land out of the hand of the king of Assyria? Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivvah? Have they delivered Samaria out of my hand? Who among all the gods of the lands have delivered their lands out of my hand, that theLord should deliver Jerusalem out of my hand?’” –2 Kings 18:29-35, ESV
Do you see the same temptations then as we face now? The promise of plenty calls out to a people who have tasted want. Taunts throwing seeds of doubt regarding the Lord’s faithfulness to deliver catch the wind and sail throughout the people. And then proof that other gods have fallen before the king of Assyria seem to show the all-powerfulness of the one trying to dissuade the people from faith.
What are the taunts throwing seed in the field of your heart and mind? What are the delicacies promised by the melting voice of the enemy? He taunts and prowls and growls. But what should you do in response? What did the people do in response?
“But the people were silent and answered him not a word, for the king’s command was, ‘Do not answer him.'” –2 Kings 18:36, ESV
The king commanded that the people not answer the taunts, the questions, the flaming arrows hurling their way. Sometimes a word is needed. But sometimes all the enemy seeks is for you to break. Just one crack, just one word opens the door for a debate. And that debate leads to more doubt, more attempts to justify, and ultimately more spiraling, entangled in a war of words with an enemy whose proclamations are best answered with one thing: silence.
When the Lord tells you to be silent before the taunts, believe Him. For sometimes the most frustrating things to an enemy is your complete unwillingness to engage.