(Isaiah 36:4-5 ESV) 4 And the Rabshakeh said to them, “Say to Hezekiah, ‘Thus says the great king, the king of Assyria: On what do you rest this trust of yours? 5 Do you think that mere words are strategy and power for war? In whom do you now trust, that you have rebelled against me?
I think I’m feeling unsettled right now about what I’m hearing. Everyday seems to be filled with words, words, and more words! People are speaking their minds about politics, the economy, elephants and donkeys, budgets, which public bathroom we should use; guns, entitlements, taxes, refugees, illegal aliens, deportation… words, Words, WORDS!!!
Everyone has an opinion about everything, and, of course, their opinion is always correct. “If you elect me, I will do so and so…” “No, if you elect me I will do such and such.” “If you marry me I will make you happy.” And the rhetoric continues building each day…
In our passage of scripture, Hezekiah was being tormented by the Rabshakeh (the name given to the chief cup-bearer or the vizier of the Assyrian court; one of Sennacherib’s messengers to Hezekiah). The Rabshakeh was threatening Hezekiah in behalf of his boss, the king of Assyria.
First, he tried to weaken Hezekiah’s faith by asking, “On what do you rest this trust of yours?” In other words, prove the existence of your God. I can’t see him! What makes you think He will come through for you? Then, the Rabshakeh insults Hezekiah by implying that he had no strategy for victory—mere words! Notice, “Do you think that mere words are strategy and power for war?” He was basically telling Hezekiah that he was just full of hot air! All the words in the world would not help Hezekiah against his enemy. Finally, the Rabshakeh reminded Hezekiah that he had burned his bridges and could not rely on the King of Assyria for assistance. Those days were gone! His words were strong and meant to strike fear into the heart of Hezekiah. Listen to his tone…“In whom do you now trust, that you have rebelled against me?
What the Rabshakeh didn’t understand was that Hezekiah wasn’t trusting in him OR the king of Assyria! Never did! And, he wasn’t going to start now!
Rabshakeh’s implication that mere words would be useless ultimately backfired! In the next chapter, Hezekiah used MERE WORDS to PRAY to God concerning the threat from the king of Assyria. MERE WORDS, when backed by faith-filled prayer IS strategy AND power for war. MERE WORDS (prayer) caused God to intervene and give Hezekiah an overwhelming victory.
So, use your words… And, use them wisely!
PRAYER: Father, I will use my words to thank you for the many times you have intervened in my life to produce blessing on my behalf. And, I intend to use my words to establish an ongoing atmosphere of faith! I trust You! Amen.