War of Words

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Last message we were introduced to a man whom the Bible identifies as “The Rabshakeh.” He was a trash-talking envoy of the great and terrible King Sennacherib of Assyria. In 701 bc the Assyrian army encircled Jerusalem and the Rabshakeh sidled up to within earshot of Jerusalem’s defenders and fired off the opening volley in a war of words. It was a powerful opening salvo too that shook the hearts of those who heard it. King Hezekiah’s representatives hurried back to Hezekiah in dismay and when the words of the Rabshakeh were repeated to him even their echo caused the king to tear his clothes. Everything that the Rabshakeh said was designed to deceive, discourage and stir doubt among God’s people. What’s interesting from this war of words, however, and what sets it apart from so many that I have witnessed was that neither Hezekiah nor his people fired back a response to the Rabshakeh.

However, this was truly a war of words, and the Rabshakeh brought a pea shooter to a gun fight. Although it is true that Hezekiah and the people of Jerusalem did not trade barbs with the Rabshakeh they were not altogether silent. They unleashed some heavy duty ordinance. They fought the Rabshakeh by speaking truth to one another and also by talking to God in prayer.

We will be following up on our study of Isaiah 36 by diving into chapter 37 in which Hezekiah models for us how to fight the words of the enemy by speaking to God and by speaking truth to one another.