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Pastor Steve Ellison
It seems impossible to read very far in the Bible without seeing clear evidence that God takes His Name and His reputation and His glory very seriously. 2 Kings 19 provides us with one such crystal-clear example. King Hezekiah and Israel were facing certain attack from Assyria, their powerful and cruel neighbor to the north. Hezekiah was very afraid. He sent word to Isaiah the prophet, inquiring as to what God would do for them. Isaiah said not to worry and gave a very good reason.
In fact, Hezekiah had already noted the very same reason in his inquiry to Isaiah. In verse four, Hezekiah pointed out that the Assyrian leaders were ridiculing the Living God. In verse six, Isaiah tells Hezekiah not to be afraid that God has indeed heard how the Assyrians have blasphemed Him. In their attempt to humiliate and intimidate the Israelites, the Assyrians foolishly impugned the Name of God. That turns out to be a huge mistake. Any such act will always turn out to be a huge mistake.
In our search of the Scriptures examining the questions that God asks we come to an irate one in 2 Kings 19:22 where God asked the Assyrians, “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! (NASU) Isaiah 37 is a companion chapter to 2 Kings 19. No less than eight times in those two chapters, it is pointed out that the Assyrians have reproached the Name of the Lord. God will never stand for that. He declared in 2 Kings 19:28,“Because of your raging against Me, And because your arrogance has come up to My ears, Therefore 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.” (NASU) The Assyrians will pay dearly for their insolence and arrogance against God. Their tongues will be stopped, and it will be a painful silencing.
There is both warning and comfort for Christians in this passage. We must be ever vigilant over our own selves. We must be careful in what we say against other people lest we find ourselves in the same position as the Assyrians. They intended to attack people and instead found themselves fighting God Himself. It is so very easy for us to become angry and to begin spewing forth angry words against others. We need to be careful that we are not attacking God’s people or God Himself. God will not stand for that. He will exact punishment.
God sends many instruments into our lives by which we are instructed, rebuked, or tested. We may or may not recognize those instruments for what they are sent to accomplish, thus we ought always to be careful with our words. We ought to remember Christ’s admonition that we will give an account for every idle/careless word we speak (Matthew 12:36). I suppose that arrogant, insolent, haughty words against God or His instruments will be accounted for also.
Perhaps it should be of some comfort to Christians that when our position seems weakest and cruel and powerful enemies are boasting and threatening, we can be sure that God hears. Not only does He hear, but He cares. Not only does He care, but He is able to defend. God will protect His Name and at the same time defend His people. Align yourself with God and the holiness of His Name. Forget the desire to defend yourself and leave that to God. That is our only guarantee of safety and security.