And the king of Assyria sent the Tartan, the Rab-saris, and the Rabshakeh with a great army from Lachish to King Hezekiah at Jerusalem. And they went up and came to Jerusalem. When they arrived, they came and stood by the conduit of the upper pool, which is on the highway to the Washer’s Field.
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? Do you think that mere words are strategy and power for war? In whom do you now trust, that you have rebelled against me? Behold, you are trusting now in Egypt, that broken reed of a staff, which will pierce the hand of any man who leans on it. Such is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all who trust in him. But if you say to me, “We trust in the Lord our God,” is it not he whose high places and altars Hezekiah has removed, saying to Judah and to Jerusalem, “You shall worship before this altar in Jerusalem”? Come now, make a wager with my master the king of Assyria: I will give you two thousand horses, if you are able on your part to set riders on them. How then can you repulse a single captain among the least of my master’s servants, when you trust in Egypt for chariots and for horsemen? Moreover, is it without the Lord that I have come up against this place to destroy it? The Lord said to me, “Go up against this land and destroy it.”’” II Kings 18:17, 19-25 ESV
Now I know that the Lord saves his anointed;
he will answer him from his holy heaven
with the saving might of his right hand.
Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.
They collapse and fall,
but we rise and stand upright.
O Lord, save the king!
May he answer us when we call. Psalm 20:6-9 ESV
During World War I, British balloons flew over Germany. They didn’t fly to drop bombs or any other weapon that would kill people. Instead, they dropped papers, and on these papers were German words and pictures that were meant to discourage the German people and their army. One of these, for example, was a cartoon that showed a long line of American soldiers marching from the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor all the way across the ocean into France. The words under the cartoon were, “Die erste Million,” which means, “the first million.” The British were telling the Germans that the American army would be coming to Europe to help fight the Germans. They wanted to make the Germans feel as if they couldn’t win the war, and that they should give up.
The king of Assyria sent some officials to Jerusalem, who surrounded the walls and shouted things to King Hezekiah’s officials and the people of Jerusalem who were on the walls. They wanted to discourage the people of Judah and make them want to surrender to Assyria. They told them that they didn’t have enough soldiers to fight the Assyrian army, and even if the Assyrians loaned them 2000 horses they wouldn’t have enough soldiers to put on them. They also told them that Egypt was weak, and wouldn’t be able to help them. Worst of all, they told lies about God. They said that God wouldn’t be able to help them, and also that when King Hezekiah had taken down the high places where the people had been worshiping idols, they had actually stopped worshiping the true God. They also said that God had told Assyria to conquer Jerusalem. All of these words made the people fearful and worried.
We also sometimes feel fearful and worried. The devil and his evil angels whisper lies to us about God, and people around us sometimes tell us lies about God, too. Worst of all, our own sinful hearts tell us things that aren’t true. They tell us that God doesn’t love us or care for us, and that when we have troubles, it’s proof that God doesn’t care or that he can’t help us. Our hearts tell us that our sins are so bad that God can’t forgive us and keep us as his children. But these are all lies. God proved his wonderful love for us when he sent Jesus to die for us on the cross. We can always look to Jesus when we feel discouraged and wonder if God is there for us. We can be sure that because of what Jesus did for us, God will always love us and forgive all our sins and welcome us into his family, no matter what happens.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for sending Jesus to bring us back to you. Please help us always to trust in him. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.