The antagonist speaks the language of fear better than anyone. The language of faith is our best response.
3 min read
We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ…2 Corinthians 10:5
Aren’t bi-lingual people amazing? People like my wife, who can speak fluently in more than one language, inspire us by the way they can just step right into another world with their gift of language.
As we know, it’s one thing to study a language all through high school, but another to be able to speak it conversationally. That’s me with Spanish…I know it, but only enough to get myself in trouble.
Language is powerful because it’s a tool that can be used to facilitate communication. But as we see in today’s story from Scripture, language is also a weapon that can be abused for unholy purposes. The adversary used it to play a mind game.
The opposite of love language
Hezekiah was the good king of Judah and things were going quite well under his leadership. That is, until one day a wicked king from a neighboring country (Assyria) sent one of his underlings to try to intimidate Hezekiah into submission. Like a true bully, Sennacherib was on a power trip and trying to devour all of the vulnerable in his path.
When the bad king’s messenger came to deliver his annoucement of doom, Hezekiah’s delegates asked him if he would be kind enough to use his own language – not Hebrew – so the people would not understand it and be alarmed.
“Then Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, and Shebnah, and Joah, said to the Rabshakeh, ‘Please speak to your servants in Aramaic, for we understand it. Do not speak to us in the language of Judah within the hearing of the people who are on the wall.‘” (2 Kings 18:26)
Did the aggressor accommodate the request? Of course, not. In hopes of intimidating the Hebrew soldiers on the walls, he blurted all his threats in their language so that they could all get the drift: Surrender, or be destroyed.
Here’s the caution for today: The antagonist of our souls is multi-lingual. He’s crafty this way. He knows and speaks lots of languages. And he is an expert in the language of fear. He tries relentlessly to get in our heads with it. Especially when we’re facing something stressful, the adverary’s goal is to psych us out and discourage us from trusting in God.
But here’s the encouragement for today: As with Hezekiah and his people, there’s no need to panic. When the messenger was done taunting, the people didn’t say a word. Per Hezekiah’s instructions, they did not dignify the threats with a response. They didn’t buy into the enemy’s nonsense. They kept their poise and stayed focus on these simple truths: God was with them. He was for them. Everything was going to be okay.
Friend, the same is true for you. If perhaps the enemy is trying to psych you out with a message of fear today, trust God and hold tightly to these simple truths: God is with you. He is for you. Everything is going to be okay.
It’s a new day with God. Run with it.