Now it came to pass in the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah that Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities of Judah and took them.
In Isaiah 36:1, we see Sennacherib, king of Assyria, not only coming up against the fortified cities of Judah but also taking them. If the cities were fortified, how did Sennacherib manage to take them? This is a critical scenario to look at when considering the spiritual life of a person.
When a person becomes weak in the spirit or when the foundation of their life is not Jesus, there is a high possibility of the devil taking control of their life. The fortification of your spirit is not enough; it needs to be upgraded and strengthened from time to time.
That’s why you need to keep renewing your mind by the Word of God, offer continuous prayers to God, and stay filled with the Holy Spirit. It’s a continuous, regular process. Furthermore, you need to ensure your flesh doesn’t grow stronger than your spirit.
When your flesh grows stronger, you become weak in spirit. Interestingly, the name Sennacherib means “sin has replaced the brothers,” according to Wikipedia. When sin enters, you lose protection, you lose authority, you lose what’s yours, and you lose your blessings.
It can also be said that when your spirit is weak, you become vulnerable to sin. In this case, it seems the fortified cities of Judah were not fortified enough, because of which Sennacherib (sin) was able to take them.
When the devil wants to take you down, the first thing he does is attack your fortified city. Now, what does the fortified city signify here? It’s your soul. Your soul is the gateway to your spirit. If your soul is corrupted or compromised spiritually, the devil can then attack or weaken your spirit.
But how can one capture a fortified city? This can be possible if the city is not fortified enough or has weak fortification. Every time you allow the devil to enter your soul, you expose your spirit to darkness and make it vulnerable. Sin is what makes your spirit weak, so that you can’t resist the devil and his temptations, seek the presence of God, and stay on the path of Heaven and life.
Your spirit becomes weak when the foundation of your life is not built on Jesus Christ. This is when your body grows stronger than your spirit. But when you have the Holy Spirit in you, your spirit grows stronger and rules over your flesh.
Once your soul is corrupted by sin, it stops the flow of the anointing, revelation, and God’s glory to your spirit. But the Word of God is powerful and can save your soul.
For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
The Rabshakeh sent by the king of Assyria stood by the aqueduct, showing his control over it. Next, the Bible says he was sent to King Hezekiah at Jerusalem, the capital city of Israel.
Then the king of Assyria sent the Rabshakeh with a great army from Lachish to King Hezekiah at Jerusalem. And he stood by the aqueduct from the upper pool, on the highway to the Fuller’s Field.
What is an aqueduct? It’s a conduit, channel, or bridge used to convey or carry water long distances or from one location to another. The Rabshakeh standing by aqueduct signifies the obstacle the devil creates through sin to not allow the Spirit of God or the glory of God to flow in you and through you. Sin enables the devil to hijack your soul and keep you away from the presence of God.
Importantly, Jerusalem, in the above verse, symbolizes the heart, which is part of the soul. The heart is the first area the devil tries to hijack before gaining control over your entire soul.
But when you give your life to Jesus Christ, He enters your life and gives you power over sin and the devil. Simply come to Jesus, repent of your sins, and invite Him in your heart to have this power and life in abundance. Then death will no longer rule over you.
Next, the devil tries to steal or attack your identity in Christ, your ministry, or your calling. In the following verses, we see the Rabshakeh conveniently dropping the title ‘king’ whenever he addressed King Hezekiah and addressing his own king as “great king.”
Then the Rabshakeh said to them, “Say now to Hezekiah, ‘Thus says the great king, the king of Assyria…
…whose altars Hezekiah has taken away,…
…Do not let Hezekiah deceive you,…
nor let Hezekiah make you trust in the LORD,…
Do not listen to Hezekiah;…
Beware lest Hezekiah persuade you,…
In the entire chapter 36 of the Book of Isaiah, not even once did the Rabshakeh address King Hezekiah as king. Even the Bible addresses King Hezekiah as king right in the first verse of the chapter.
Now it came to pass in the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah…
The influence of the Rabshakeh’s words and his fear were so strong on the servants of King Hezekiah that they tore their clothes and also dropped the title ‘king’ when addressing King Hezekiah while speaking with Prophet Isaiah.
…came to Hezekiah with their clothes torn, and told him the words of the Rabshakeh.
And they said to him, “Thus says Hezekiah…
But Prophet Isaiah reminds the servants of King Hezekiah that King Hezekiah is still their king, their master. And that’s one of the functionalities of a prophet – reminding the people of God their identity in Christ.
And Isaiah said to them, “Thus you shall say to your master,…
You may say the Rabshakeh did address King Hezekiah as the master of his servants.
But the Rabshakeh said, “Has my master sent me to your master…
However, the Rabshakeh also dropped the title ‘master’ in the later verses of Isaiah chapter 36. The enemy does not tell a lie directly, so that he could hide the lie and his identity. He twists the truth to deceive you and make you believe the lie. A twisted truth is a lie! The enemy is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
But then why did Prophet Isaiah address King Hezekiah as a mere master of King Hezekiah’s servants? This is because you only get a revelation from the Lord as per the capacity and level of your spirit. At this point in time, King Hezekiah’s servants had come under the influence of the Rabshakeh’s words. They couldn’t even see King Hezekiah as their master, let alone as their king.
Therefore, Prophet Isaiah started the prophetic Word addressing King Hezekiah as ‘master.’ However, when the full prophetic Word entered the spirits of King Hezekiah’s servants after hearing it and when they saw the hand of God working in the favor of King Hezekiah, the eyes of their spirits were opened, and they got the revelation of the identity of King Hezekiah.
In the letter written by the king of Assyria, he had addressed King Hezekiah as the king of Judah. Sometimes, God uses the enemy to reveal or remind your identity in Christ. What a powerful thing it is when the Lord causes your enemy to reveal your identity in Christ or your enemy to honor you according to your identity in Christ!
Interestingly, when God intervened and the prophetic Word was released by Prophet Isaiah, the king of Assyria addressed King Hezekiah as king.
…So when he heard it, he sent messengers to Hezekiah, saying, “Thus you shall speak to Hezekiah king of Judah,…
When you allow God to intervene and take charge of your situation and when you carry His Word, the enemy will have no choice but to bow down before the Lord. Your identity in Christ will also be restored, so much so that even the enemy will confess your identity in Christ.
Another interesting thing to notice is that even though the king of Assyria and the Rabshakeh try to displace the identity of King Hezekiah by dropping his title and through other means, the Bible still addresses the king of Assyria as king. And yet, the king of Assyria does not prevail against King Hezekiah and God’s people. He perishes in his own land, just as Prophet Isaiah had prophesied.
This is called a shameful and utter defeat. Despite all his strength, power, experience, authority, and identity, the king of Assyria loses the battle and his position as a king and perishes in his own house and at the hands of his own people. Even his god whom he worshipped couldn’t save him.
So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed and went away, returned home, and remained at Nineveh. Now it came to pass, as he was worshiping in the house of Nisroch his god, that his sons Adrammelech and Sharezer struck him down with the sword; and they escaped into the land of Ararat. Then Esarhaddon his son reigned in his place.
Next, the devil attacks and challenges your faith whenever he tries to pull you down. He sows seed of evil and makes you doubt God, His plans, and your Man of God.
…“What confidence is this in which you trust? I say you speak of having plans and power for war; but they are mere words. Now in whom do you trust, that you rebel against me?
Thus says the king: ‘Do not let Hezekiah deceive you, for he will not be able to deliver you; nor let Hezekiah make you trust in the Lord, saying, “The Lord will surely deliver us; this city will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.”’ Do not listen to Hezekiah;…
Beware lest Hezekiah persuade you, saying, “The Lord will deliver us.”…
The devil also attacks your prophecy, or the prophecy given to you. He mocks you and insults you before other people.
But the Rabshakeh said, “Has my master sent me to your master and to you to speak these words, and not to the men who sit on the wall, who will eat and drink their own waste with you?”
The devil asks for something from you in return for God’s presence and blessings in your life. He wants to trade with you, trade your anointing and blessings for temporary happiness and false blessings. No wonder, he was a trader or used to trade in the pre-Adamic age.
“By the abundance of your trading you became filled with violence within, and you sinned; therefore I cast you as a profane thing out of the mountain of God; and I destroyed you, O covering cherub, from the midst of the fiery stones.
The Word of God has the power to change anybody’s life. The Word is everything. The Word is God. If you don’t have the Word, you don’t have God. If you don’t have God, you don’t have life. You’re as good as the dead. The devil knows this very well. Wars are not only won by weapons, but also by words.
That’s why the Rabshakeh kept saying to the people in Jerusalem to not listen to King Kezekiah and not trust in the Lord. According to Romans 10:17, faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. Hearing what? Hearing God. But how? Through His Word (logos or rhema).
…‘Do not let Hezekiah deceive you,…
Nor let Hezekiah make you trust in the Lord,…
Do not listen to Hezekiah;…
Beware lest Hezekiah persuade you,…
It is wise to hold your peace and not answer your enemy. It is wise to go into the house of God and inquire of the Lord instead. That’s maturity for you. Moreover, you don’t need to answer your opposition because it is God’s job, and He is able to answer them on your behalf but in His own way.
But they held their peace and answered him not a word; for the king’s commandment was, “Do not answer him.”
We’ll learn more about dismantling the attack of the enemy in another blog post. Until then, may the grace of the Lord be with you all. Amen.