Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Defeat of a Dreadful Foe (Part 2)

“For there is a greater power with us than with him.” (2 Chronicles 32:7).

The Bible says that the king of Assyria "laid siege to the fortified cities, thinking to conquer them for himself." The fact is that God had indeed blessed Hezekiah, so much so that the king of Assyria became envious to the point of war. He invaded in order to possess for himself the many blessings God had showered upon Hezekiah.

Sennacherib brandished his blade, and bellowed out his demands to Hezekiah in full expectation of an immediate and cowering surrender – just as many other nations before had done. He could not have been more mistaken.

Hezekiah, good man that he was, never doubted the Lord for a moment, nor did he fear Sennacherib for an instant. Instead, he rallied the people and encouraged them, saying, “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 the words of king Hezekiah (see 1 Ch.32:7,8).

While Sennacherib amassed his army and prepared for a full frontal assault, King Hezekiah and the prophet Isaiah bowed their heads in prayer. And the Lord answered them. The Bible says,
“the Lord sent an angel, who annihilated all the fighting men and the leaders and officers in the camp of the Assyrian king.”

Hey, you want to know how powerful God is? He sent one angel – ONE! And annihilated Sennacherib’s army. Wow! What do you suppose an entire army of angels could do?

And what of Sennacherib? What happened to him? The Bible goes on to say,
“he withdrew to his own land in disgrace. And when he went into the temple of his god, some of his sons cut him down with the sword.”

Those who follow in the footsteps of Satan are doomed to meet his own fate. “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!” (Isaiah 14:12). In this story Sennacherib is a figure representing Satan. Just as Sennacherib met a disgraceful end, so likewise will the devil.

Isn’t this in fact exactly what happened to Satan at the cross? Jesus, having accomplished everything His Father sent him to do, finally goes up Calvary’s mountain to die upon an old rugged cross. And just as Sennacherib laid siege to Judah, Satan surely must have thought his moment of ultimate conquest had come as he watched Jesus die at the hands of the Romans. But, in the same manner that God had baited the Assyrian king into a snare from which there was no escape – so likewise the devil was drawn and quartered by Christ at the Cross!

Tomorrow, we’ll finish up this three part series by showing what all this means for you and me today!

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