Beware the Enemy’s Intimidation Tactics

from Lynda Lindsey

After all that Hezekiah had so faithfully done, Sennacherib king of Assyria came and invaded Judah. He laid siege to the fortified cities, thinking to conquer them for himself. II Chronicles 32:1

Hezekiah to his military officers: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged because of the king of Assyria and the vast army with him; for there is a greater power with us than with him. With him is only the arm of flesh, but with us is the Lord our God to help us and to fight our battles.” And the people gained confidence from what Hezekiah the king of Judah said.  II Chronicles 32:7-8

When taunted by Assyria’s king: King Hezekiah and the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz cried out in prayer to heaven about this. And the Lord sent an angel, who annihilated all the fighting men and the leaders and officers in the camp of the Assyrian king. So he withdrew to his own land in disgrace. II Chronicles 32:20-21

Assyria invaded Judah in a bid to conquer the land for the Assyrian empire. Because Israel had just fallen to the Assyrians, Hezekiah understood the formidable power and military strength of the approaching enemy. Hezekiah painstakingly detailed a plan to reroute the water supply and fortify the city walls to thwart the onslaught. Hezekiah, recognizing the Lord’s arm is mighty and strong to save, relied on God for strength, advice, and encouragement. Hezekiah prayed, seeking God’s guidance and worked together with the prophet Isaiah to encourage the people to stand firm and not give up or give in to the enemy’s lies. 

Assyria’s king, a master of intimidation tactics, mounted an all-out assault to shake Israel’s faith, including making false promises, arrogantly and pridefully mocking and taunting the Israelites, ridiculing and blaspheming God, accusing both Hezekiah and God of ineffectiveness and deception, and planting lies and seeds of doubt among the people. The enemy even spoke to the Israelites working on the wall in Hebrew in an attempt to paralyze the workers with such fear that they would quit. We are not kings facing epic military battles, but we do face a foe just as determined to unseat our faith and sideline our life with the Lord; our enemy whispers the same lies in our ears.

Satan, known as the tempter, accuser, deceiver, and ruler of this world, comes as a roaring lion or an angel of light seeking those he can devour or deceive. Satan encourages pride and self-reliance; he excels at planting seeds of doubt, shame, and condemnation, blinding us to God’s goodness, forgiveness, grace and mercy. But like Hezekiah, we follow a God whose arm is not too short to save! Submit to God, resist the devil, stand firm in faith, put on the whole armor of God, be sober minded and watchful, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Make a plan. Pray. Consult God and His Word. Be strong and courageous. Be bold and confident. Don’t fear or be discouraged…for greater is He, Jesus, in us, than Satan in this world.