In times of war, an opposing/invading army would send out one person who sole responsibility was to persuade the soldiers/civilians to give up the fight and surrender. This “mouthpiece” of the enemy would boast of the strength of their forces while simultaneously degrading opposition. They would even promise mercy to those who would abandon the fight and overthrow their leaders. This tactic has been used for centuries to soften the resolve of those involved in conflict. Axis Sally, Tokyo Rose, Hanoi Hannah were the more modern representations of this “battle for the minds” as they used radio to broadcast enemy propaganda to opposing forces in World War 2 and the Vietnam War.
The Assyrian army has lay siege to Jerusalem. They have cut off both the food and water supplies, trying to starve out the inhabitants of the city …effectively ending the invasion. To speed this up , they send out a messenger to speak to the people.
The message delivered has two components that we all should be familiar with , as these as the same two arguments Satan uses against us with great frequency.
Who is going to deliver you? Doubt
The enemy would have you first doubt the power of the one you have placed your trust in. Let me be more specific, Satan would have you doubt that God has the power to deliver you. He (Satan) will offer all kinds of arguments that point to the fact that God cannot save you. Satan will give example of others who have fallen, others who have quit, others who have surrendered to the pressures, temptation, enticements. He will have you believing that the quick solution he is presenting is better than what God has promised. This applies to your faith, family , finances, or friends. The main goal is to have you doubt what God can do.
Why would God choose to deliver you? Despair
The enemy would also have you despair over what you have done. Satan stands before God day and night, accusing us. Seeking to discredit us, but not with lies. He seeks to discredit us before God with our failures and failings. Those same arguments that start with “Remember what you did…” are designed to make us think that our sin would cause God to reject us. Satan wants us to give in to despair and think that the all powerful Creator of the universe will not bother to deliver us because of what we have done.
How do we respond to these arguments?
Prayer (2 Kings 19:1-4)…When the enemy comes to talk to you about God, go talk to God about the enemy. The king of Judah gathered his counselors and they all began to pray. Praying that God had heard the words of the enemy and that He (God) would deal with the enemy directly.
Listen (2 Kings 19:5-7)…The shouts of the enemy are nothing compared to the voice of God. God answers. This is always the toughest part because the enemy is really there to distract you from hearing what God is saying. When the broadcast of the enemy is causing you to wander and wilt in your faith….change the channel. God is always speaking/working…but we have to seek to be tuned in to what He is saying/doing….not what the enemy presents
Confess (2 Kings 19:14-19)… When the enemy reminds you of your past, remind him of his future. Start with recognizing who God is. When we recognize who God is, it causes us to respond in repentance (Is 6:5-7) and God will cleanse us when we confess our sin. The important part about this is that it frees you from the accusation of the enemy (Romans 8:1-2). Finally, when you recognize who God is, who you are, you also see the enemy for who they are. Bullies who boast of victories over nothing (2Kings 19:17-18)
The enemy is not who he would have you think he is…and God is definitely more than the enemy presents. Don’t give in to doubt and despair. Victory is just around the corner
“It is true, Lord, that the kings of Assyria have destroyed all these nations. 18And they have thrown the gods of these nations into the fire and burned them. But of course the Assyrians could destroy them! They were not gods at all—only idols of wood and stone shaped by human hands.19Now, O Lord our God, rescue us from his power; then all the kingdoms of the earth will know that you alone, O Lord, are God.” 2 Kings 19:17-19