I have felt like a chapter in my life had been completed and it was time to move on from writing on this blog. But over the last 5 months the Lord has begun to stir in me and prompt me to return to writing. You could say I feel compelled. It is a calling. One cannot and should not ignore a calling. Especially if it truly is the Lord's calling. For a long time now I struggled with wanting to write more. But what would I say? Did I really have anything worthy of reading that would bring hope and encouragement. So far the longest time I silenced the voice in my head. Later I would say. I have prayed that the Lord would give me words to write. It hasn't come till now. Just in this last week I have begun to put some of the pieces together that He has been building for me. So now the task at hand is to pick up the pieces and build a story out of them. God doesn't waste anything. He uses it all for His glory. For too long I have quenched the Spirit.
So you are probably wondering who the voice of the Rabshakeh is. Good question. The Rabshakeh can be found on the pages of the OT in 2 Kings Chapters 18 & 19. The Rabshakeh is the mouthpiece or orator for the king of Assyria Sennachrib. King Hezekiah of Judah (southern kingdom) has found himself with no options other than to pay tribute money to the King of Assyria. The northern kingdom has all ready been taken away captive. The temple and kingdom have been stripped of all riches. Sennachrib does not come in person but sends a delegation to speak to the people and king Hezekiah. It is in this exchange of words that the Rabshakeh insults the name of the Lord and questions the authority, power and ability of God to save his people. He stands above the people speaking in Hebrew so they would all understand the message, don't trust the King, he won't save you. You should make peace with Assyria and become our subjects. It's the words of the Rabshakeh that derail. Like the Enemy, the Deceiver, the Thief who comes to steal kill and destroy. The voices splinter and cut away at the promises of who my God is. It twist's the truth and causes me to doubt the very character of God. This is a dangerous place. Thankfully, Hezekiah had given the people instruction to not respond and hold their peace. If I could only hold my tongue.
"Set a guard over my mouth Oh Lord, keep watch over the door of my lips." Psalm 141:3
Hezekiah chose to seek God for direction. Is this where I go for direction? Is this my first choice? Do I go to the very throne room of God in prayer and not the phone? In order to silence the voice of fear I must hear from God. I can't do that with out it costing me something. My unbelief is wrapped up in my lack of faith. My faith is wrapped up in my commitment level to seek Him with all my heart, mind and soul. I must silence the thief of unbelief.
"Without faith it is impossible to please God'" Hebrews 11:6
These voices come is all sorts of packages. It may be difficult to recognize them with out spirtual eyes. This is why the Word is so clear in telling us to keep being filled of the Spirit. It may mean that some good things that come our way really aren't what the Lord whould have us be about. It means that some good things in the worlds eyes may not be good for me right now.
"All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify." 1 Corinthians 10:23
Our family has been through some stormy seasons. We have trusted in our faith to pull us through. Prayer has been the lifeline and anchor in the storm. When the circumstances surrounding you seem to overwhelm and all that can be seen is the storm itself where do you turn? Do I listen to the voices? Like the voice of the Rabshakeh who questions and insults the very name of God? Do I let those threats steal my joy and strength? Do I believe the promises of God over my circumstances?
It's in the example of Hezekiah's response to a letter sent from the King of Assyria that we find some answers. Hezekiah takes the letter and spreads it before the Lord. He then remembers who God is, His very character, the things He has done. His prayer is actually very simple.
"O LORD our God, I pray save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You are the LORD God, You alone." 2 Kings 19:19
Do I remember to take my circumstances and spread them before the Lord? Do I lay them out before Him in prayer and make know my requests? The only way to quench to voice of the Rabshakeh is to lift my voice against him to the Lord. It is in this place that the enemy must flee. The Assyrians did not know defeat was on it's way.
"For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places." Ephesians 6:12
In the end one angel destroys 185,000 Assyrians. God overcomes. We are more than conquerers.
"Now to him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to him be the glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever, Amen." Ephesians 3:20
I have more to write. The voice has been silenced.
If you want to hear more about King Sennacrib and the Rabshakeh you can download podcast sermons from Calvary Chapel Buhl of Pastor Jackie Roberts. I highly recommend it, time well invested!