This is the same ploy the enemy uses today. He appeals to what we want to hear in the moment. Like Judah wanted peace and provision, we, too, have needs and desires through which the enemy baits us to do his bidding. He promises fulfillment, happiness, love, and supply for our deepest yearnings and greatest fears. Yet, what he offers isn’t ours to hold. If we reach for it, we grasp air. His promises are empty and aren’t ours to attain. It’s HIS satisfaction, HIS delight, HIS purpose that is achieved. We, on the other hand, are but his prisoners, taken where we can be subjected to his gloating, enslaved to His will.
So what is his will?
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Since Hezekiah had torn down the high places and established the One True God as the Sovereign over the nation, Satan wasn’t receiving worship in Judah. Therefore, his plan was to put Judah where they WOULD worship him. He’d subject the people to idol worship in Assyria, a place that DID invite demonic strongholds through the gods elevated in that area. Crush. Rob. Take. Annihilate. Decimate. So that he could be in charge.
In the same way, Satan is never going to be comfortable with our place as God’s children. His greatest desire is to BE God and to have our worship. In his attempts to attain this position, he works tirelessly against us, using subtlety and fear to draw us into his plan. He does this because he lacks the power to MAKE us do his bidding. We have to CHOOSE. And we’d never purposely choose destruction. Therefore, we have to believe the lies rather than the truth nestled among them when Satan speaks to our minds. That’s what permits him to work his plan against us.
Like Judah’s hope, our answer doesn’t lie in our own strength but in God’s. Judah didn’t respond to Rabshakeh and his threats; instead, they turned to God. In humility, Hezekiah and his people prayed, and God gave them a promise of deliverance. Rabshakeh returned to Assyria and his taunts were reduced to threatening letters. Again, Hezekiah bent prayerful knees to God, and again God replied, “I have heard…he shall not come into this city, nor shoot an arrow there, nor come before it with shield, nor build a siege mound against it. By the way that he came, by the same shall he return, and he shall not come into this city…For I will defend this city to save it…” And God did. The angel of the Lord went into the Assyrian camp and killed 185,000 people. When the Assyrian king saw it, he hurried home and remained there until his sons murdered him in the temple of his god. (Notice the plan Satan has—even for his servants?)
So what can we learn from this?
1. The enemy wants to be God.
2. The enemy wants Lordship of our lives.
3. The enemy uses threats/fear and temptation to draw us into his will, enabling him to kill, steal and destroy in our lives.
4. We have a victory plan: Avoid engaging the enemy on his terms. Go, instead, to God and voice humble prayer to Him. Listen to what God has to say. Choose to consistently trust God’s Word, even when the hour looks bleak. Wait and watch as God unfolds His promise.
Tip/Tidbit: What tactic does Satan most often use to accomplish his plan in your life: Threats or Temptation? 2 Corinthians 2:11 says, “…we are not ignorant of (Satan’s) devices.” Today, take courage in these truths: You are not the victim; Satan is the powerless one, and you have a God who is fighting for you.