“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 what Hezekiah the king of Judah said. II Chronicles 32:7-8
When I sit in my office and compare the things I want to do with the things I am able to do, I find a certain power gap there. Some of the things I think would be good for the organization will require the approval, or at least cooperation, of others. I can’t do them by myself. I don’t have the power. The same is true for me outside the office. In my family, in my church, in what seems like my whole life, I have only a limited ability to do the things I think need to get done. I only have so much power.
In our text for today, the nation of Judah has found itself in a similar situation. The vast armies of Assyria have surrounded Jerusalem. The people of the city can’t fight their way out. Their best hope is for a long, demoralizing siege in which they slowly starve to death within the city’s walls. The other possibility is that the Assyrians will storm the city, set fire to it, break down the walls, and slaughter them all by the sword.
Judah is clearly overpowered. Except that it is not.
King Hezekiah reminds the people that God is for them and that His power is infinitely greater than the army which threatens them. The Lord God could dispense with the Assyrians in short order. It turns out Hezekiah was right. Later in that same chapter the Lord sends an angel who annihilates the Assyrian army. It turns out it was never a problem of power. It was always a question of courage. Would the Judeans trust that God would deliver them from the superior force or surrender to fear?
As for Judah, so for me. All the problems I face, that I perceive as a lack of power, are really only tests of my faith and courage. If I believe God is for me in any of the things I am trying to accomplish, it comes down to whether I will trust Him to make them happen. Let’s give up asking God to give us more power, my friends. Let’s beg Him for the courage to believe He will provide for our needs in Christ Jesus. Let’s serve as Hezekiah to one another, en-couraging one another to trust in the Lord.