2 Chronicles 32:1-23

Jan 18, 2023    Pastor Daryl Zachman

“‘Be strong and courageous! Don’t be afraid or discouraged because of the king of Assyria or his mighty army, for there is a power far greater on our side! He may have a great army, but they are merely men. We have the LORD our God to help us and to fight our battles for us!’ Hezekiah’s words greatly encouraged the people.” (2 Chronicles 32:7–8, NLT)

The words of a leader carry great weight. A leader who is unbelieving, pessimistic or faultfinding can weigh down the people to despair. Remember the ten spies who came back with a negative report? (Numbers 13:27-33) On the other hand, a leader who is believing, optimistic and encouraging can empower the people to accomplish great works. Words have power to build or destroy.

The people of Jerusalem were under severe attack. According to the Assyrian records, King Sennacherib had already taken forty-six fortified cities in Judah. Now his field commander was standing outside the wall of Jerusalem threatening to take it as well. Moreover, he spoke in Hebrew in the hearing of the Jews on the wall, hoping to undermine their confidence in the LORD and in Hezekiah.

Hezekiah knew that if he said nothing, then the enemy would succeed in psychological warfare, and soon the people would lose heart and surrender to the Assyrians. Therefore, Hezekiah encouraged the people to trust in the LORD.

“There is a power far greater on our side!”

Hezekiah could say this because his conscience was clear. They had done everything to eradicate idolatry from the land and restore the pure worship of Yahweh. Following Passover, the people’s hearts had been so transformed that they smashed all their sacred images. Now Hezekiah could encourage them that God was with them.

We find such encouragement in the New Testament as well.

“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31, NKJV)

“You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4, NKJV)

Finally, Hezekiah knew that God would fight this battle for them. How did he know that? Because Hezekiah knew the Word of God. He knew that when Jehoshaphat was in a similar situation, he cried out to the LORD. Then God sent a prophet, saying, “Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed at this great horde, for the battle is not yours but God’s.” (2 Chronicles 20:15)

The result of Hezekiah’s words was that the people were greatly encouraged. The situation had not changed yet, but the people’s hearts were now strong in the Lord.

Our words are weighty; they can build-up and heal or tear-down and destroy. May God help us choose the best ones!