“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or dismayed before the King of Assyria and all the horde that is with him, for there are more with us than with him. With him, is an arm of flesh. But with us, is the Lord our God to help us and to fight our battles. The people took confidence from the words of Hezekiah, King of Judah.”
-2 Chronicles 32:7–8
Are those not great verses? Here are the people of Judah surrounded by an Assyrian army, hundreds of thousands of them. It sure looks like they are outnumbered, and there’s no way they can win this battle.
God, we pray that in each of our lives today you would help us to abide in you.
And yet, Hezekiah looks at them and says, “Be strong and courageous. Don’t be afraid or dismayed before the King of Assyria and all the horde that is with him.” Listen to this language, “For there are more with us than with him.” What do you mean there are more with us than with him? Well, here’s what he means, verse eight, “With him is an arm of flesh, but with us is the Lord our God to help us and to fight our battles.” You can’t help but to think about Elisha and his servants surrounded by an army of soldiers, and Elisha saying, “God, open the eyes of my servant to see there are more with us than with them.”
God opens the eyes of Elisha’s servant, and the servant sees that there’s an angelic army surrounding them, protecting them. Think about Elijah when he’s going up against the prophets of Baal. It’s him verses 450 prophets of Baal. It doesn’t seem like there are more with Elijah than with Baal. But the beauty was, the Lord God was with Elisha, is with Hezekiah and the people of Judah here, and that changes everything. There’s a real sense in which perspective is the key to strength and courage.
Think about it, everything changed when Hezekiah said to the people, “God is with us. Therefore, we don’t need to be afraid or dismayed, because God will help us and fight our battles.” That changes everything. The most important thing for any one of us then is to make sure that we are with the Lord. The Lord is with us, and we know the only way that’s possible is through faith in him, and obedience to his word. Are we living in obedience to his word, and trusting in his presence with us, his promises to us according to his word?
God, we pray that in each of our lives today you would help us to abide in you. You would help us to worship you, to fix our eyes on you, and to obey you and your word. We know that this where blessing is found. We know that this is where courage is found. Just like you said to Joshua in Joshua chapter one, when you told him not to be afraid, to be strong and courageous as he meditates on your word day and night, and as he’s careful to do according to all that is written in it. God, we pray that you help us to abide in you, to obey your word, and to trust in you as we do, to have 2 Chronicles 32 type of perspective that leads to strength and courage.
God, we pray for your help in our battles. God, we pray that you would do that which we cannot do. We are weak and you are strong. We are hopeless on our own. You are our hope. We pray. Your joy is our strength. God, we pray for your help in all kinds of things that different ones of us are walking through right now. We pray for your help, and we pray that you would help us to be strong and courageous, to not be afraid or dismayed, but to look to you and trust in you, and rest in you in the help you promise to give.
All glory be to your name, oh God. If you are for us, nothing can stand against us. In Jesus’ name, we pray, amen.