THE DEVIL CAN’T HAVE YOU
This sermon is about the story of King Sennacherib coming with a great army against Jerusalem. By this time history teaches that Israel is shattered. It has split into two kingdoms – the Northern Kingdom of Israel and the Southern Kingdom of Judah. Hezekiah was king of Judah. The dominant nation of that time was Assyria. The Assyrian king, King Sennacherib, had pretty much taken control of the surrounding areas. King Sennacherib with his great army had already captured Samaria, Israel had already been separated from the two tribes, Judah was separated from the ten tribes, Samaria had fallen and many other great empires had fallen also, Sennacherib’s army (Assyrians) had already come through Judah and captured 46 of their cities and Judah was next on his list
King Hezekiah had gotten prepared for almost two years knowing that the Assyrian army was coming. Sennacherib had an evil commander that he sent to challenge and mock Hezekiah’s people. One day King Hezekiah and the children of Judah looked over the walls, and suddenly the valleys and the hills were filled with the Assyrian army.
King Sennacherib sent his commander to King Hezekiah to ask basically for their surrender. Hezekiah sent out his people to talk with the Assyrian commander and they engage in a loud conversation and debate. The Assyrian commander began to harass the Israelites by bragging about the strength of his king and the power of his nation they ask Judah “who do you think you are to withstand this great and powerful nation”? He says we are calling for your full surrender; we want you to know that no army, no-gods have been able to stand against the Assyrian army. We have already captured 46 of your cities, you nation is gone, Israel is gone, and Samaria is gone.
King Sennacherib needed Judah in order to launch their next attack against Egypt. His commander is really disrespecting Judah and is telling them that it’s just a matter of time. He tells them “you are going to surrender any ways—so just give up”. Nobody has been able to stand against our army. He was so full of arrogance and pried that He offered Judah 2000 of their horses if Judah was able to provide 2000 trainmen to ride them. He says we know how week you are, so just give up.
SATAN IS DETERMINED TO DESTROY ANY RIGHTEOUS PERSON HE CAN FIND. HE IS DETERMINED IN DESTROYING YOU IF YOU HAVE SET YOUR HEARTS TO SEEK GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART
A. The devil had a personal fight with Hezekiah
1. Hezekiah had an evil father known as Ahaz. Ahaz was 20 years old when he became king and he had ruled for 16 years prior to Hezekiah. During his 16 years of reign, Ahaz packed more evil into Judah than any man up to this time. Ahaz closed down all the temples and had closed all types of worship. This man offered his own son as a human sacrifice. This man was the most-wicked king in the history of Judah, and during those 16 years he had devastated Judah. The glory of the Lord had departed; no one was worshipping the Lord except a small remnant. Isaiah had warned Ahaz, but he didn’t listen he just got deeper into idolatry.
2. Hezekiah took over Judah while Judah was spiritually blind; there was nothing but darkness in the land. Hezekiah came to power, and broke all family curses and patterns he was nothing like his father Ahaz. The bible says that Hezekiah did what is right before the Lord his God.
3. Hezekiah was a holy and righteous man. The first thing he did when he walked into his position was to knock all the idols down. He burned all the false gods. He dealt with homosexuality and sodomy in the land. He went into the house of God and restored and sanctified all the Levites. He cleaned the temple of the Lord, and trashed all the garbage, all filth, and all the idols that had pilled up. A revival broke loose in the land through the ministry on Hezekiah. He lead one of the greatest pass-over, it went on for fourteen days. He destroyed the brass serpent that Moses had created. The Israelites had turned it into an idol. He is quoted in the bible for saying “ We will not worship this peace of brass we are going to worship Jehovah”
B. The devils weapons have not change, He still uses the same weapons of warfare He did against Judah and Jerusalem
1. He is the father of Lies – His first lie was that he told Judah God has ordered all your present troubles, God is angry with you, and you are under judgment. He said in
a. Isaiah 36:10 Furthermore, have I come to attack and destroy this land without the LORD? The LORD himself told me to march against this country and destroy it.”
b. Sometimes you may feel, that God is behind your pain. You may feel that God has put you through your trouble. You may think that God is punishing you for your disobedience and for your sin; you may feel that God hates and has a personal fight with you.
c. But that is not Biblical. The scripture teaches
i. When we were enemies of God Jesus Christ died on the Cross-for our sins (Romans 5:8b)
ii. For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life (Romans 5:10)
iii. Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him and afflicted. But he was pierced for out transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. (Isaiah 53:4-5)
iv. But were sin increased, grace increased all the more (Romans 5:20b)
2. His second lie took place when he told them “All yourself denial has been in vain because you have displeased the Lord.” He said in
a. Isaiah 36:7 if you say to me, ‘‘We are depending on the LORD our God” -- isn’t he the one whose high places and altars Hezekiah removed, saying to Judah and Jerusalem, ‘‘You must worship before this altar”?
b. What the pagan general failed to realize, of course, was that those altars were built in opposition to God’s word, that the only place he was to be worshipped was in the temple in Jerusalem. Hezekiah himself had torn down these rival altars
c. All of these good things that you think they are godly, they are in vain. You did it with a wrong motive, because look at the problem you are in. If you have been so faithful why are you going through this hard time? The devil wants you to think that all you have done is worthless
3. His third lie took place when he told them ”Others bigger than you have fallen so, how do you hope to make it?”
a. Isaiah 36:18-20 Do not let Hezekiah mislead you when he says, ‘The LORD will deliver us.’ Has the god of any nation ever delivered his land from the hand of the king of Assyria? Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim? Have they rescued Samaria from my hand? Who of all the gods of these countries has been able to save his land from me? How then can the LORD deliver Jerusalem from my hand?”
b. This is a lie because the Bible teaches that
i. He who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:6)
ii. We are more that a conqueror through Christ Jesus (Romans 8:37b)
iii. That greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world (1 John 4:4b)
iv. That no weapon form against you will prosper (Isaiah 54:17)
v. That if God is for us, who can be against us (Romans 8:31)
vi. That if you seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, all things will be added unto you (Mathew 6:33)
WHEN FACED WITH A STRONG BATTLE, REMEMBER YOUR SPIRITUAL POSITION
A. Remember that this is not our battle – The battle belongs to the Lord
1. Rabshakeh the Assyrian Commander suggested that Hezekiah is perhaps counting on his own army to withstand the Assyrian attack. In Isaiah 36:8 he said “Come now, make a bargain with my master, the king of Assyrian: I will give you two thousand horses—If you can put riders on them”. In these words he points out the weakness of Judah from a military physical viewpoint
2. According to a military’s viewpoint it was impossible for Judah to win this battle. They did not have the manpower, they did not have the weapons, and they did not have the motivation.
a. What is impossible to man is possible to God (Luke 18:27)
b. For nothing is impossible with God (Luke 1:37)
c. For God chose the weak things of this world to shame the strong (1 Corinthian 1:27)
d. It is not by power or by might, but by my spirit says the lord (Zechariah 4:6)
e. When I am weak then I am strong (2 Corinthian 12:10)
f. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realm (Ephesians 6:12)
B. Humble your self and turn it over to God
1. Isaiah 37:1 When King Hezekiah heard this, he tore his clothes and put on sackcloth and went into the temple of the LORD
a. Humble yourself before the Lord and he will lift you up (James 4:10)
b. Humble yourself, therefore under God’s mighty hand that he may lift you up in due time (1 Peter 5:6)
c. Whoever humbles himself will be exalted (Mathew 23:12)
C. Turn to Prayer as your Ultimate Weapon
1. Isaiah 37: 14-20 Hezekiah received the letter from the messengers and read it. Then he went up to the temple of the LORD and spread it out before the LORD. And Hezekiah prayed to the LORD: ‘‘O LORD Almighty, God of Israel, enthroned between the cherubim, you alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth. Give ear, O LORD, and hear; open your eyes, O LORD, and see; listen to all the words Sennacherib has sent to insult the living God. ‘‘It is true, O LORD, that the Assyrian kings have laid waste all these peoples and their lands. They have thrown their gods into the fire and destroyed them, for they were not gods but only wood and stone, fashioned by human hands. Now, O LORD our God, deliver us from his hand, so that all kingdoms on earth may know that you alone, O LORD, are God.”
a. If you believe you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer (Mathew 21:22)
D. The Lord Will Fight For You
1. Isaiah 37:6-7 Isaiah said to them, ‘‘Tell your master, this is what the LORD says: Do not be afraid of what you have heard—those words with which the underlings of the king of Assyria have blasphemed me. Listen! I am going to put a spirit in him so that when he hears a certain report, he will return to his own country, and there I will have him cut down with the sword.”
2. Isaiah 37:33-36 ‘‘Therefore this is what the LORD says concerning the king of Assyria: ‘‘He will not enter this city or shoot an arrow here. He will not come before it with shield or build a siege ramp against it. By the way that he came he will return; he will not enter this city,” declares the LORD. ‘‘I will defend this city and save it, for my sake and for the sake of David my servant!” Then the angel of the LORD went out and put to death a hundred and eighty-five thousand men in the Assyrian camp. When the people got up the next morning—there were all the dead bodies!
a. Exodus 14:14
b. Exodus 23:27
c. Leviticus 26:3-13