A VICTORY WITHOUT A BATTLE

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[2 Chronicles:32:1-23]; [2 Kings:19:14-37].

Lesson No.: 
344
Class: 
Junior
Memory Verse: 

“With us is the LORD our God to help us, and to fight our battles”(II Chronicles 32:8).

Notes: 

  Busy for the Lord
Half-hearted service for God had no place in the life of Hezekiah. Read Lesson 340 and learn of the worth-while tasks accomplished by him. God’s blessings always follows those who serve the Lord with all their heart; and, like Hezekiah, they, too, will prosper.

Very often when people begin to work for the Lord, Satan will come along and try to hinder the work. Jesus once told a story about a man who sowed good seed in a field. But during the night an enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way [Matthew:13:24-25]).

A Wicked King’s Boast
In this lesson we find that an enemy came lurking around to try to hinder the good king Hezekiah in his work for God. Sennacherib, king of Assyria, came with an army and pitched camp near by the fenced cities of Judea and thought he could take them. After all, had he not won a great many battles in his day? Why, with his great army of more than 185,000 strong, he boasted, “No god of any nation or kingdom was able to deliver his people out of mine hand, . . . how much less shall your God deliver you out of mine hand?” What was Sennacherib trying to say? Was he saying that the God of Hezekiah was weaker than the gods of the heathen nations [2 Kings:19:12-13])? Let us see.

It possibly did not matter so much to Hezekiah what King Sennacherib said against him, but when letters were received which contained railings against the Lord God of Israel whom Hezekiah loved, worshiped, served, and obeyed, that was going one step too far.

Hezekiah’s Trust
Did Hezekiah send his soldiers out at once to fight the enemy now that his army was well-organised? Captains had been appointed, walls had been built up, a great many weapons of warfare had been made. All was in readiness, but Hezekiah’s trust was not in those things.

In the street of the city he told his army not to be afraid of the king nor the great army that was with him, for “there be more with us than with him,” he said. Sennacherib was trusting in the strength of his great army; but Hezekiah said, “With us is the LORD our God to help us, and to fight our battles.” What words of encouragement from their leader! All fear was removed from the army of Judah – they had faith in their leader.

Faithful Leaders
How thankful we are today for leaders who take their stand for God and encourage our hearts to trust in the God of Hezekiah! If we are fortunate enough to have overseers, pastors, and ministers of the Gospel who dare to trust God when the enemy seems the strongest, let us appreciate them and “esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake” [1 Thessalonians:5:13]).

There are always some who try to shake the faith of those who trust in God and in their leader. Someone will say, “You don’t have to follow his advice,” or, as Sennacherib said, “Let not Hezekiah deceive you, nor persuade you . . . neither yet believe him.” But we know that God is with those whom He has appointed to watch over the flock, and it is our privilege and duty to have utmost confidence in their judgment.

The Prayer Weapon
But the victory was not yet won -– there was something more to do. Speaking words of encouragement goes a long way toward lifting up the feeble one. A word of cheer goes far toward raising the faith of one who is discouraged. But there is more for us to do than just say to a sick one, “Oh, you’ll be all right!” There is something more than a smile or a handshake or a bouquet of flowers for a shut-in who is fighting a battle against sickness or discouragement. Those things are very good, but there is still a better weapon of warfare that we must use against the enemy. It is the weapon of prayer, the only weapon that really puts the enemy down -– not merely a moment or two of hurried prayer, but the prevailing kind that holds on until the answer comes.

Jacob prayed until the breaking of day, and his prayer was answered [Genesis:32:24]). Elijah prayed seven times before he had the desires of his heart [1 Kings:18:43]). Hannah continued in prayer and weeping before the Lord until her prayer went through, and she “was no more sad” [1 Samuel:1:10-18]). That kind of praying brings results today.

Hezekiah’s Prayer
As we think upon King Hezekiah, we can almost see him as he goes into the house of the Lord. His face expresses the earnestness of his heart and in his hand he carries the letter of defiance to the God of Israel, written by Sennacherib, king of Assyria. We see Hezekiah kneel in prayer; we hear him say, “O LORD God of Israel, . . . thou art the God, even thou alone.” In his prayer he admits that the king of Assyria has destroyed other nations and lands and cast their gods into the fire. “For,” he adds, “they were no gods, but the work of men’s hands, wood and stone: therefore they have destroyed them.” He pleads with God: “Save thou us out of his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that thou art the LORD God, even thou only.”

God will never fail to answer a prayer from the depths of the heart of one who lives close to God, as did Hezekiah. God sent a messenger from Isaiah the prophet of God to tell him, “That which thou hast prayed to me against Sennacherib . . . I have heard” [2 Kings:19:20]). The Lord said that Sennacherib should not come into the city nor shoot an arrow there, nor come before it with a shield, but he should return the same way by which he came. “For I will defend this city, to save it, for mine own sake, and for my servant David’s sake.”

Victory
The battle had been fought by Hezekiah upon his knees, and victory was just ahead. No gun was fired, no arrow was shot, no smoke of battle arose in the enemy camp. During the night, while God’s army rested in peace, the angel of the Lord stalked through the enemy camp. Early in the morning when Hezekiah’s men arose they discovered 185,000 corpses in the enemy camp! Sennacherib, the proud boaster, returned to his own land defeated and ashamed.

The Devil’s Lies
That is the way the god of this world works -– he promises victory, joy, wealth, peace, and prosperity. Those who believe his lies are many times stripped of all that is good, worth-while, and honourable. Many a young girl has been blinded by the god of this world and has sold her beauty, purity, and virtue for the lies of the devil, and has been left with nothing but regrets. Young boys, too, are hoodwinked by the devil’s promises of popularity or money-making, and the feeling that they can sin without being found out.

The Lord God, Ruler of All
This time Sennacherib had been overcome by a God stronger than Nisroch, his favourite god. What happened? Nisroch has let you down, Sennacherib. Why don’t you turn unto Hezekiah’s God? Why don’t you admit that He and he alone is the Lord God?

Back to the house of Nisroch goes Sennacherib, once more to worship before this dumb idol. God in Heaven sees it all. It is enough! This is the last time, Sennacherib, that you shall worship your god or any other god. The door of mercy is closed for you. Your chance to repent is now past. His own sons slew him that very day as he was in the house of his god.

“Though a sinner do evil an hundred times, and his days be prolonged, yet surely I know that it shall be well with them that fear God” [Ecclesiastes:8:12]). 

Questions: 

 1. What did Hezekiah do to protect his cities? Was his trust in those things?
2. Tell of his words of encouragement to his army. Did his soldiers have faith in their leader?
3. What was the boast of Sennacherib? Had he ever been defeated?
4. What kind of letters did he send to Hezekiah?
5. What did Hezekiah do when he received them?
6. How did he know that his prayer was answered?
7. In what was Sennacherib trusting?
8. Tell what happened in the enemy camp during the night.
9. What was the end of Sennacherib?
10. What does this lesson teach us?