Look Who's Talking
"Isaiah said to them, "Thus you shall say to your master, "'Do not be afraid because of the words that you have heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed Me.'" (Isa. 37:6)
They were messengers sent by the king of Assyria on a mission. Their assignment: to cast doubt in the minds of Hezekiah and his people and convince them that God cannot be trusted with their future. And they advanced a convincing argument if one was to observe the current state of affairs in Israel. The people were suffering, economic conditions had bottomed out, and food and water were scarce commodities. "Beware that Hezekiah does not mislead you,'" they warned, "'saying 'The Lord will deliver us.' Has any one of the gods of the nations delivered his land from the hand of the king of Assyria?'" (Isa. 36:18). In other words, if one was to look at the visible signs of life, there wasn't much hope in the air. But, Isaiah's response to the Assyrians gave hope to Hezekiah: "Therefore thus says the Lord concerning the king of Assyria, "He will not come to this city or shoot an arrow there . . . for I will defend this city to save it for My own sake and for My servant David's sake. Then the angel of the Lord went out and struck 185,000 in the camp of the Assyrians . . ." (Isa. 37:33-36).
Isaiah's assurance of victory is helpful for us living in today's world. In similar ways, the voice of the Assyrian messengers can be heard echoing the same alarm in the current state of affairs of the world. With nothing but bad news filling the airwaves and the printed page, there can be a tendency in our minds to listen to the voice of doubt and question whether God can truly be trusted with our future. We have a tendency to base our beliefs and form our faith upon what we see, rather than what we know. We give up hope when all we see is dread and doom and develop an attitude of defeatism that overshadows any hope in the Lord. But, here Isaiah reminds us that regardless what we may face, or what we may read and hear, if we remain faithful and focus on what's above, and not set our minds on things of this earth, God's people will be preserved. Notice Hezekiah didn't need to lift a finger to defeat the Assyrians; God intervened and fulfilled His promise.
This is such a good reminder for me to keep my eyes fixed on things above. My tendency, like others, is to look around, to assess and evaluate my situation and even allow my confidence to be influenced by the things I see. But, faith is "the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen" (Heb. 11:1). It shouldn't matter what I see, or what I hear; my confidence must be based upon the hope that comes from the Father and remind myself that I am "protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time" (1 Pet. 1:5). It's not what I see that counts; it's what I know to be true that matters.
Father, thank you for the daily reminders to place my faith and hope in you and not allow myself to be influenced by my surrounding circumstances. Regardless what I may hear, or what others may say, may my confidence be fixed upon you and the promise that you have already given to me. May I move forward and live my life confidently for you today.