Wednesday, October 31, 2018
2 Chronicles 32:6 – 8 6He appointed military officers over the people and assembled them before him in the square at the city gate and encouraged them with these words: 7“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged because of the king of Assyria and the vast army with him, for there is a greater power with us than with him. 8With him is only the arm of flesh, but with us is the LORD our God to help us and to fight our battles.” And the people gained confidence from what Hezekiah the king of Judah said.
Feelings of insecurity can be debilitating. Someone has defined insecurity this way: showing up for your first day at your new job and finding that your name is written on the door in chalk—and there’s a wet sponge hanging next to it.
Maxwell Maltz, who wrote Psycho-Cybernetics, estimates that 95 percent of people in our society have a strong sense of inadequacy. The deepest need for acceptance has never been satisfied. Personal worth and an understanding of purpose are almost non-existent. Circumstances and people have become the enemies of our value. To enhance our own opinion of self we seek to control events and compete against people. Sometimes we compete against events and seek to control people. Our lives spiral downward into self-absorption, all to prove that we are worth something and have something to offer. We need someone to give us confidence.
The nation of Israel was in a similar condition following 150 years of rule by ungodly kings. Hezekiah, a descendant of David, did what was right in the eyes of the Lord. He cleansed the temple and restored the priesthood so that the people could worship God. He reinstituted the Passover and brought back a sense of spiritual security to the people. He showed the people through His own faithfulness to God that spiritual health was to be their priority. As a result, the nation prospered.
This is what Hezekiah did throughout Judah, doing what was good and right and faithful before the LORD his God. In everything that he undertook in the service of God’s temple and in obedience to the law and the commands, he sought his God and worked wholeheartedly. And so he prospered. (2 Chronicles 31:20 – 21)
But just when the spiritual seems to be in control, the physical attacks and demands equal time. The king of Assyria sees the prosperity of Israel and decides he wants it for himself. The people immediately start to notice how little protection they have against the invasion because the walls of Jerusalem need repair. They also realize that the prosperity of their land will now be used against them. When the enemy lays siege to their city they believe it will be an easy victory for him because the enemy will have all the resources they need to supply their army and the wall will not be able to stop their advance. Their insecurities have been magnified because they have taken their eyes off of God and have begun looking at what man can do to them because of their perceived inferiority.
Hezekiah is faced with a huge encouragement challenge. Words alone may not be enough to return confidence to the people. He goes to work immediately. First, he takes some men and plugs up all the springs of fresh water in the territory surrounding Jerusalem. The enemy would no longer have a source of water for an extended siege of the city, while the people in the city would still have plenty.
The lesson here is that sometimes we need to sacrifice a material benefit for the sake of spiritual security. When the things of the world become the provision of the enemy, get rid of the things of the world. Our earthly prosperity can quickly be turned against us and become the weapon of Satan to defeat us. Be willing to sacrifice any of this earth’s prosperity for the sake of your spiritual prosperity.
Second, Hezekiah begins repairing the walls of Jerusalem. He adds towers to the wall for better visibility and protection. He builds another wall outside the first wall. He also builds weapons and shields in abundance and reinforces the organization of army commanders over the people.
The lesson here is also important. When the world attacks with insecurity, do everything you can to build your spiritual security first. The battle for security is not a physical one, but a spiritual one. Don’t seek to find security out in the world, but rather find it in the city of God and do everything you can to fortify that city. Repair the places where your spiritual wall has fallen down. Get back to church. Get involved in a small group Bible Study. Start praying again. Be thankful and praise God. Then, add at least one more wall of defense to your life by getting involved in a new area of ministry. Time must not be an excuse. It seems we always have enough time to add another earthly item to our already saturated calendars, but we find lots of excuses for not adding another spiritual ministry. What has happened to our priority system? Is it any wonder that we feel insecure? God, the provider of eternal security, has been pushed aside by earthly pursuits of prosperity. Come back into the city and start rebuilding the spiritual center of your life.
Finally, Hezekiah speaks to the people and reminds them that for life to be secure it must be viewed from the heavenly perspective and not the earthly. He encourages the people to be strong and courageous and to conquer their fears and insecurities. Then he tells them how to do it. Stop looking at the strength of the enemy and start looking at the strength of the Lord our God. The enemy does not outnumber us because we have the hosts of God’s army with us. The enemy cannot overpower us because we have the power of Almighty God to fight for us. The people listened to his words, believed them, and then acted upon them by becoming confident again.
Maybe you are the person feeling insecure today. Put your hope in God and be confident. Do what Israel did – get rid of the earthly things that are becoming the enemy’s weapons against you. Rebuild your spiritual center and then expand it. Then trust in the power of God to protect you and win your battles. You will conquer your fears and insecurities and be confident again.