Summary: If you are feeling like the wall of life has taken away your hope and joy, then keep reading for the key to scaling life’s most difficult walls is to be found and secured in faith in our Lord Jesus Christ
Online Sermon: http://www.mckeesfamily.com/?page_id=3567
“With your help I can advance against a troop; with my God I can scale a wall”
What our minds know as sweet doctrine our hearts have yet to be fully experienced. Even though we know that we are not to worry about our lives, what we shall wear as clothes, eat or drink; most Christians are consumed with the unending dangers that Tomorrow might bring! Fear of the unknown is somewhat understandable because our memories of the pain and aguish of past trials and tribulations have proven that by chance crushing burdens are truly “lurking” around the next corner. These burdens come in many forms such as personal attacks from enemies, financial insolvency, marital disagreements, death of loved ones or physical diseases but the most difficult burden Christians face is the constant assault on their holiness by the spiritual forces of evil of this dark world (Ephesians 6:2)! The yoke of these burdens often feels like unsurmountable walls that will forever keep us stuck in our tribulations to drown in our fear and despair. If you are feeling like the wall of life has taken away your hope and joy, then keep reading for the key to scaling life’s most difficult walls is to be found and secured in faith in our Lord Jesus Christ!
Conquering One Troop
Enemies … most don’t want them and yet they spring forth like bad weeds in a garden! Even though we are created in the image of God each one of us have our own unique nuances. Our identities are forged not just in our experiences but with other factors such as our family, culture, religion, workplace environment, social status and by the characteristics of our peer groups. While the world says uniqueness is to be tolerated and celebrated, practically this is not usually the case. Differences often repulse people, especially when one has wronged another! Having enemies is inevitable especially if one is a Christian because the Light that shines in us exposes the evil deeds of others and testifies that they are not right with God (John 3:20, 15:18-25)! When people revolt against us, who can do us serious physical, financial, spiritual or psychological harm; terror and desperation often flood into our souls. Since we have not been given a Spirit of fear (2 Timothy 1:7), the Psalmist rightly reminds us that we are to have faith that God can help us advance against the “one troop” that is seeking our demise. To understand this phrase better let’s turn to the story of what Hezekiah did when the far more powerful king of Assyria threatened to defeat his kingdom.
Even though Hezekiah did “what was good and right and faithful before the Lord his God” (31:20), we are told that the vastly more powerful king of Assyria, Sennacherib, invaded and laid siege to the fortified cities of Judah (32:1). Despite blocking the streams that flowed through the land, making repairs, building an additional wall, and forging numerous weapons and shields (32:2-5); Jerusalem’s military officers still needed words of hope from their king because Assyria had a vast and superior army (32:6-7). Hezekiah’s military was scared for very good reasons. First, according to the Assyrian annals Sennacherib had just swept through Judah and ransacked forty-six towns and villages, taking more than 200,000 captives. And second, while he was attacking Lachish, Sennacherib sent officers to tell Hezekiah and the people that their confidence in God saving them was foolish for other nations prayed to their gods and yet they were easily defeated (32:9-17). Even though Hezekiah had paid tribute to the Assyrian king earlier (2 Kings 18:14) this foreigner was now outside their walls calling out his threats in Hebrew to instill fear in the hearts of those stationed on the wall (32:18) with the frightening message: surrender and live or fight and die (2 Kings 18:32)!
Imagine for a moment that you were on the wall of Jerusalem that fateful night! As you look out upon the vast Assyrian army you know that you are supposed to be brave and confident in the Lord and yet you find yourself trembling in fear. You reason to yourself that this is understandable considering that you had just spent the last several days wondering what happened to your relatives and friends who lived in the conquered cities of Judah? Are they dead or have they been taken captive? As you again look out at the vast army your heart breaks for you can’t help but feel overwhelmed with the thought of loosing everything and living your retirement years as a slave or worse yet having your wife or children killed … how could you ever live with such a horror? Facing Assyria, you think aren’t your fears more of a reality check than fantasies of an overactive imagination? You conclude that it is inevitable, Jerusalem is about to fall as easily as the other fortified cities of Judah!