Living with Threats
by Dr. Ken Matto
(2 Ki 19:11 KJV) Behold, thou hast heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands, by destroying them utterly: and shalt thou be delivered?
Here we come upon a scene where the King of Assyria is threatening the land of Judah. His emissaries have come to King Hezekiah and told him that no nation has been able to stand against the army of Assyria. Hezekiah is told that if he capitulates, then the people will be able to live in peace. The problem is that probably Hezekiah has heard of the cruelty of this pagan nation. When these men came to Hezekiah and attempted to intimidate them, they made the gravest error anyone can do. Instead of stopping at intimidation techniques they had gone on to attack the Lord God of Israel. These Assyrians were so arrogant, they thought that they would be able to attack God and get away with it. This is when Hezekiah showed wisdom and approached Isaiah to intercede on their behalf. Hezekiah was hoping that God had heard the challenging words of the Assyrian delegation and would deal with them. Well as you read the balance of the chapter, you will find that God indeed had judged the King of Assyria and caused him to return home where he was murdered by his own children. The great lesson here is that you do not challenge God and then expect to get away with it. There may be a time period between your blasphemy and the time that He will judge that incident, but nowhere in Scripture do we read that anyone gets away with attacking the person or character of God.
Now when we read this portion of Scripture, we need to make a personal application. When anyone attacks us or threatens our Christian walk, what is our response? Do we kowtow to the demands of those who are harassing us or do we defend the Gospel? A Christian can never live under the rules of any pagan society. Just like the Assyrians who came in and attacked the person of God as being weaker or equal to the false gods of the other nations they conquered. One of the biggest mistakes that the unbeliever makes is to equate Christianity with world religions. The false religions of the world serve Satan. Unbelievers may think that Christianity is just another religion and they try to bring Christians down to the level of religious people. If the world can get Christians to think they are nothing more than religious people, then they have won a major victory. Christians are blood bought, redeemed people saved through the shed blood of Christ on Calvary which is as detached from religion as the rich man was from Abraham and Lazarus in the parable in Luke 16.
As Christians we know who we are in Christ and we must never accede to the fallacious claims of unbelievers who attempt to bring us down to join the hell bent crowd of religion. You do not have to debate these unbelievers but all you have to do is just witness but give a good strong witness of who you are in Christ. If any of the Elect are in that crowd, eventually when their day of visitation is at hand, they will remember your testimony of the Gospel. We just need to be faithful to the Word and faithful to God in our walk. Unless we are openly sinning, the unbeliever has no case against you. Let them rant and rave as the Assyrians did. Their word came to nothing and neither will the words of the unbelievers. However, on Judgment Day all the words that they spoke, they will have to give an account for. God will always have the last word when it comes to the unbelievers. You just remain faithful. (2/21/03)