King Hezekiah of Judah was in a tight spot. He was desperate, afraid and felt dejected. Sennacherib, king of Assyria had laid siege against Judah, he had captured some of its fortified cities and was coming for Jerusalem. He sent his supreme commander to deliver a message to Hezekiah hoping to both threaten and entice him to surrender. To make his case more persuasive the supreme commander says, “Furthermore, have I come to attack and destroy this place without word from the Lord ? The Lord himself told me to march against this country and destroy it.’ ” 2 Kings 18:25.
Yes, God had used pagan kings to punish His people for gross disobedience; as a matter of fact ten years prior to this seige God had delivered Samaria (Israel) into the hand of the Assyrian king. This however was not the case this time. Sennacherib knew that Judah believed in and served God and so as Hezekiah resisted surrendering he figured if he threw in a “God said”, the king would cave.
Hezekiah did something most of us do not do: he decided to verify from God whether indeed He would not deliver Judah. So he tore his clothes, put on sack cloth as a sign of mourning and went into.the temple to pray (19 v.14-17). He sent messengers to the Prophet Isaiah asking him to pray as well (19 v. 4). He did not give in to the smooth talking, persuasive commander (read all of 2 Kings 18), he sought to confirm if the Lord had indeed spoken to the latter.
Jesus faced a similar situation after he was driven by the Holy Spirit into the dessert to fast for forty days and forty nights. Tired and hungry after the fast, the devil stepped in to tempt Jesus to bow to him among other things, with enticing words supported by bible quotations.
The fact that someone claims to speak for God does not always mean he does. They say if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck then it must be a duck. Not so in many cases especially when it comes to spiritual matters. Not everything is what it seems. So Paul admonishes us in 1 John 4:1 as follows, “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” Test by checking to see if what they say accords with the bible-the inerrant word of God. Test by looking at the fruit they bear for by their fruit you shall know them. Matthew 7:20.
Do not be quick to surrender because someone says “God says” for many have lost their way and pierced themselves with many piercings because they failed to double check. May God help us not to fall prey to smooth talking charlatans.
Love, Lady Monica