Who Do You Listen To?

2 Kings 18:17-37

Hezekiah’s initial response to the Assyrian’s threat did not produce the outcome he expected. Sennacherib has proven himself as someone whose integrity is unreliable by ancient standard, where he continued to invade Jerusalem after keeping the tribute paid by Hezekiah. The mocking question by the king of Assyria, “On what do you rest this trust of yours?,” is to crush the morale of the people of Judah. The faith of both king Hezekiah and the people of Judah is once again tested through this event. Can they be strong and courageous? Do they still believe that the LORD their God is with them to help and to fight their battles? (2 Chronicles 32:8).

Assyria’s spokesman focuses on military and religious reasons that Judah should surrender. Out of three reasons, they got two right. “On what do you rest this trust of yours?”

  1. They were right that Hezekiah could not rely on his own military power. The Assyrians can easily defeat Hezekiah’s army and invade Jerusalem.

  2. They were right that Egypt is unable to rescue Jerusalem. Indeed, the Egyptians can only hurt those who depend on them. Assyria’s “great king” can destroy any ally Judah possesses.

  3. They were deadly wrong by equating Yahweh with pagan gods which they have defeated and falsely represent God. Their theology brings dire consequences to themselves. Their voices represent ‘satanic’ voices in order to get people of God to doubt God’s word and God Himself, and ultimately yielding to satanic voices.

At the core of the issue is who do you listen to? Who should Hezekiah and the people listen to? Should they listen to God’s word and promises, and continue to trust Him, or should they be realistic in facing the situation, yield to their common sense and the obvious, and listen to voice of the Assyrians? If Hezekiah fails to listen well to God, he will be defeated by his enemy!

Who and what you listen to will determine your response. The Bible warns us to listen rightly, as listening implies obedience. Adam and Eve had listened wrongly and sinned. Cain did not listen to God’s warning and murdered his brother. Israel was commanded to hear God’s word and be careful to do them, that it may go well with them; “Hear, O Israel: the LORD our God, the LORD is one.” (Deuteronomy 6:3-5) God, the Father, wants us to listen to His Son as He said, “This is my beloved Son; listen to Him.” (Mark 9:7) God gives us the Scripture. God has appointed teachers and prophets for equipping the saints, and for the building up of the body (Ephesians 4:11, 14). Listen well with all your might. Hear the living and active word of God.

“To draw near to listen is better than to offer the sacrifice of fools.” (Ecclesiastes 5:1)