Monday, June 25, 2012

Faithful leadership tested

"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or dismayed before the king of Assyria and all the horde that is with him, for there are more with us than with him. With him is an arm of flesh, but with us is the LORD our God, to help us and to fight our battles." And the people took confidence from the words of Hezekiah king of Judah.
2 Chronicles 32:7-8

Hezekiah's leadership was tested when the Assyrians threatened Jerusalem. Hezekiah had the courage to make spiritual leadership his first priority. And now a physical threat emerged to the safety of the nations. Sennacharib was a proud pagan. The Assyrians were rampaging through the Middle East leaving a bloody trail of carnage and conquest in their wake. It was not a pretty picture. Judah faced the real possibility of annihilation. But God stopped the attack and delivered Judah from Assyrian cruelty.

Hezekiah was confident in God's ability to deliver His people. His encouragement was that God would protect Jerusalem. And his faith was rewarded. God sent a destroying angel of death throughout the Assyrian camp. The mightiest warriors and officers died, leaving Sennacharib with no command structure. The Assyrian army limped home. There Sennacharib, who had openly defied God (2 Chronicles 32:17-19) was assassinated while worshiping in his pagan temple. He thumbed his nose at God only to find his own idols impotent to protect him.

God protected Judah and rewarded the faithfulness of king Hezekiah. And real courage was fueled by faith. There is no doubt from this passage that God is good. Judah learned this by the trial that came. God was faithful in their faithfulness to Him.

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