In a battle… what’s the next move?

Whether we like it or not we are in a battle, Satan attacks Christians, and even though we think that not talking about it will stop him picking us as a target, it won’t.

2 Corinthians 2:11
I don’t want Satan to outwit us. After all, we are not ignorant about Satan’s scheming.

When facing an enemy it is important to study their past performances, this will help you to –

Know the enemy – what are his tactics?Know his strengths – what does he do well?
Know his weaknesses – Decide how your personal strengths and weaknesses match up.

Taking a look at the meeting of the armies of Sennacherib vs Hezekiah which took place around 701BC helps us to see an enemy of God in action.

Sennacherib was the king of Assyria. In Isaiah 36, he sent out his supreme commander, his chief officer and his field commander with a large army to discourage the army of King Hezekiah before entering into battle.
2 Kings 18:17

Firstly Sennacharib tries to make Hezekiah uncertain about where he has placed his confidence?

Isaiah 36:5-6
You say you have counsel and might for war—but you speak only empty words. On whom are you depending, that you rebel against me? Look, I know you are depending on Egypt, that splintered reed of a staff, which pierces the hand of anyone who leans on it! Such is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all who depend on him.

Hezekiah is then told to remember the mistakes he had made in the past.

Isaiah 36:7
But if you say to me, “We are depending on the Lord our God”—isn’t he the one whose high places and altars Hezekiah removed, saying to Judah and Jerusalem, “You must worship before this altar”?

So far all the talking has come from one side of the battlefield. The Assyrian field commander starts to get louder as he begins to believe his own hype.

Isaiah 36:13
Then the commander stood and called out in Hebrew, “Hear the words of the great king, the king of Assyria!

He then discredits the leaders and God.

Isaiah 36:14-15
This is what the king says: Do not let Hezekiah deceive you. He cannot deliver you! Do not let Hezekiah persuade you to trust in the Lord when he says, ‘The Lord will surely deliver us; this city will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.

He tries to compromise and bargain with the people.

Isaiah 36:16
“…This is what the king of Assyria says: Make peace with me and come out to me. Then each of you will eat fruit from your own vine and fig tree and drink water from your own cistern

He points to his own “power” in contrast to God.

Isaiah 36:20
Who of all the gods of these countries have been able to save their lands from me? How then can the Lord deliver Jerusalem from my hand?”

Hezekiah, King of Jerusalem trusted in the LORD, the God of Israel. There was no one like him among all the kings of Judah, either before him or after him. 2 Kings 18:5

The people were told not answer.

Isaiah 36:21
But the people remained silent and said nothing in reply, because the king had commanded, “Do not answer him.”

God told them not to be afraid of the words that they had heard.

Isaiah 37:5-6
When King Hezekiah’s officials came to Isaiah, Isaiah said to them, “Tell your master, ‘This is what the Lord says: Do not be afraid of what you have heard—those words with which the underlings of the king of Assyria have blasphemed me.

God fought for them

Isaiah 37:35-36
I will defend this city and save it, for my sake and for the sake of David my servant!”  Then the angel of the Lord went out and put to death a hundred and eighty-five thousand in the Assyrian camp. When the people got up the next morning—there were all the dead bodies!

We need to…

1. Recognize when satan attacks.

For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
2 Corinthians 10:3-5

2. Remember who we are fighting.

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
Ephesians 6:12

3. Resist satan’s attack.

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.  And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.
1 Peter 5:8-10

4. Remember that Jesus is above ALL things.

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.

5. Realize that we are more than conquerors through Christ who strengthens us.

Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:37-39

Lastly, don’t forget… not everything is down to the devil, sometimes we need to be careful as we will reap what we’ve sown.

…those who plow evil and those who sow trouble reap it.
Job 4:8

Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License  Image used – The Reticent Knight by  CarbonNYC [in SF!] 

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