[SW221] 02/19/2016 message notes by
Reverend/Evangelist Susan J. Wynn ©2016
“The Enemy’s Letters”
When Satan wants to defeat us, what techniques does he use? King Hezekiah will show us!
Text: 2Kings 18 & 19, Isaiah 37:14
First things first — I must show you why Hezekiah knew what to do when he received letters from the enemy. Then you’ll know how to get into position to have the same discernment.
In 2Kings 18, we learn that Hezekiah clung to the Lord (v. 6). What does that mean? He stuck to the Lord like glue (that’s the meaning of the original Hebrew word!). He wrapped himself around the Lord and made himself pliable in the Lord’s hands, so the Lord gave him the desires of his heart, and his desires were the Lord’s desires (Psalm 37:4-5). He committed all of his ways to the Lord. It is the equivalent of loving God intensely, to the point where you consult Him and obey Him on everything, and I mean everything! Hezekiah KNEW God.
So what technique did Satan use first? He cast doubt, saying. “Has any one of the gods of the nations delivered his land from the hand of the king of Assyria?” (See 18:33.) None had been able to defeat Assyria, but that’s because those gods were no gods at all. They had eyes but could not see, ears but could not hear, they had feet but could not walk, they had to be nailed to something so they wouldn’t fall over, they were the work of men’s hands, made of gold or wood or stone (Psalm 115:4-8). They were not living gods.
What was Hezeliah’s command, because he knew the enemy’s “ambassador” would try to deceive his people? “Do not answer him” (18:36).
Hezekiah humbled himself and mourned upon hearing the enemy’s words, tearing his clothes and wearing sackcloth. Then he entered the house of the Lord. He sent the religious leaders to the prophet, Isaiah. They couldn’t see a way out. But Isaiah sent them back to Hezekiah with a reassuring message. The Lord said, “Don’t be afraid . . . the Assyrians have blasphemed Me.”
To blaspheme is to angrily insult, criticize harshly, hack at, belittle, defame, mock and question the Lord’s worth. The enemy was so arrogant that they didn’t seem to realize Who they were blaspheming — He is a God that is always victorious!
He promised that He would make them turn tail and run, and that the king of Assyria would die by the sword in his own land.
But the enemy wasn’t ready to retreat yet. He wrote letters and sent them by messengers to Hezekiah. What did the enemy say? The same thing Satan will try to say to everyone who clings to God and loves and obeys Him —
— Your God deceives you; He can’t save you
— Your God can’t defeat us, just as other gods can’t defeat us (your God is just like them)
— Where are all those kings we have defeated? They are dead.
Want to hear what Satan will put in your mind?
— Did God really say (Genesis 3:1)?
— Bow to me and I will make you famous (Matthew 4, to Jesus Christ!)
— You can’t be healed; you are too sick
— You can’t be saved; your sin is too great
— You can’t be delivered; the Lord isn’t strong enough
— You can’t be purified; the Lord is not able
— You can’t minister; you don’t have what it takes
— You are beyond help; give up
So what do you do when you are surrounded by all of these blasphemies of the one true living God?
Take his letters, and spread them out before the Lord (19:14)! Hallelujah!
Just like Hezekiah, pray before the Lord, “O Lord, the God of Israel, who are enthroned above the cherubim. You are the God, You alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth.
“Incline Your ear, O Lord and hear; open Your eyes, O Lord, and see, and listen to the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to reproach the living God.”
King Hezekiah agreed that all the nations and lands Assyria had attacked were devastated, their gods cast into the fire, “for they were not gods but the work of men’s hands, wood and stone, so they have destroyed them” (19:18).
“Now, O Lord our God, I pray, deliver us . . .” Why? “So that the whole earth may know that You alone, O Lord, are God.”
Well, Isaiah didn’t need a messenger to come to him from Hezekiah, to let Isaiah know Hezekiah had prayed. No! Isaiah received a word from the Lord. “Because you have prayed to Me . . . I have heard you” (19:20).
And to Sennacherib, the Lord says, “Whom have you reproached and blasphemed, and against whom have you raised your voice and haughtily lifted up your eyes? Against the Holy One of Israel” (19:22).
“Because of your raging against Me, and because your arrogance has come up to My ears, I will put MY hook in your nose, and MY bridle in your lips, and I will turn you back by the way which you came” (19:28).
Do you see what happens when you — the one who follows hard after the one true God, (Father and Son and Holy Spirit), who sticks to Him like glue, who obeys, who is filled with the Holy Spirit — spread out Satan’s threats?
Look at 19:35. That night, the angel of the Lord struck 185,000 in the camp of the Assyrians. When the remainder arose, they looked around and saw all the corpses. So they turned tail and ran!
And just as God promised, Sennacherib was murdered by the sword, by his own sons.
That is Satan’s end, when the Lord wraps everything up. But for now, beloved who follow and stick like glue and obey and love God, call out to Him when you hear Satan’s accusations, and whenever he sends you a letter blaspheming your God, the Lord will surely answer.
But what if you are not following after the Lord? What if you disobey Him? What if you go your own way, sinning and repenting and doing the same sin all over again and repenting. I tell you, He knows you never repented the first time, because if you had truly repented, you would have asked God to change your heart. Your tears don’t impress Him. He is waiting for you to ask Him to change you permanently and wonder-fully!
Cry out to Him to cleanse and purify your heart as the hearts of the 120 were cleansed at Pentecost and the hearts of Cornelius and his whole house (Acts 15:9) were purified in the same way! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!Then you will cling to Him and wrap yourself around Him and obey Him and love Him, even with His own love. And then you will be in position to bring Satan’s threats and letters before the Lord, and He will hear you!