2 Kings 18:13-37 – No Rivalry

Read 2 Kings 18:13-37

typewriter with paper that says, "Authority"

A new king from Assyria was coming for Judah! Hezekiah was going to face some opposition. But really, it was the LORD who was under attack by this new king. Hezekiah’s position was that by putting his trust in the LORD, the LORD would deliver Judah.

It was a bit like déjà vu, I’m sure, for Hezekiah. He had watched Israel fall to the Assyrians earlier on in his reign. He wasn’t going to let that happen to God’s people. He was more than willing to pay whatever earthly bribe it would take to avoid falling to Assyria. I had to wonder what treasures could be left after kings before him had also given tribute money.

What do you think Hezekiah’s answer will be to the Assyrian king’s question? “What are you trusting in that makes you so confident? Do you think that mere words can substitute for military skill and strength? Who are you counting on, that you have rebelled against me? I can almost guess. Hezekiah is trusting in the LORD, not Egypt unless that’s the help God provides. There is also the monetary payment as a bribe.

The king of Assyria seemed to have known that was the answer but didn’t understand how it worked. The shrines were not the LORD’s shrines, were they? To the contrary. Yet, the message to the people was meant to elicit fear. “Don’t let Hezekiah deceive you. He will never be able to rescue you from my power.” If there were any “wishy-washy” believers in the crowd, they were likely easily swayed. Hezekiah won’t be pleased with this situation. Hezekiah’s authority was being trampled.

Thankfully, the people remained quiet at the request of Hezekiah. But Hezekiah’s representatives showed some despair when they tore their clothes before bringing Assyria’s message to Hezekiah. I’m wondering if we don’t often question the authorities in our lives.

Who do we turn to for answers? Sure, some may turn to the legal system and governmental laws to tell us right from wrong. Having been a paralegal for 30+ years, I have a special relationship with the law and have seen firsthand how negligence, oppression, pride, greed, and deception are alive and well. It’s easy to doubt.

But there is no true rivalry, is there? When we are devoted to the authority of the LORD and his word, there is peace and clarity. We may not be in alignment with what’s “popular” in our culture today, and for me, that’s okay. I’d rather be putting all my trust in the LORD who will rescue me.

Actually, the rescue mission happened when Jesus came, lived and died. We can be sure of that. 1 John 5:4 says, “For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith.” God has no rivals who can be victorious. Remember Jesus’ words, “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”

praying hands looking up

Let’s pray …
Lord, you are mighty and worthy. Thank you for rescuing me. Help me to turn from other sources trying to distract me from you. I place my complete trust in you to shield me and direct my paths safely. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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