A MAJORITY OF ONE
by Richard W. De Haan & Christopher C. Warren
"With him is only the arm of flesh, but with us is the Lord our God to help us..." (1 Chronicles 32:8, NIV)
When Sennacherib, king of Assyria, invaded Judah, Hezekiah knew that the city would come under attack, so he went into action to defend the city. He built up the broken wall and raised up another outside of it. He also "made large numbers of weapons and shields" and "appointed military officers over the people" (vv.5-6).
But it would take more than that to save the city from the onslaught of the powerful armies of Sennacherib. So Hezekiah called the people together to encourage them. In the face of their seemingly hopeless situation, he declared: "There is a greater power with us than with him" (v.7).
How could he say this? He gives the answer in the very next verse. "With (Sennacherib) is only the arm of flesh, but with us is the Lord our God to help us fight our battles" (v.8). That was their hope. Sennacherib had power, men, and prestige -- "the arm of flesh" -- but the inhabitants of Jerusalem had the Lord!
Is there some "enemy" pressing in on you today? Do you feel as though the opposition is about to crush and destroy you? Does everything seem hopeless? Take heart! With the Lord on your side, you are never outnumbered.
There are many interesting things about this story that the New Covenant Christian should make a special note of. Firstly, Sennacherib invaded inspite of "all that Hezekiah had so faithfully done" (v.1). Those who do good are going to invite the attention of the enemy who will do all he can to destroy. If you are serving to walk the path of the Lord, expect opposition!
"King Hezekiah and the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz cried out in prayer to heaven... And the Lord sent an angel, who annihilated all the fighting men and the leaders and officers in the camp of the Assyrian king. So he withdrew to his own land in disgrace. And when he went into the temple of his god, some of his sons cut him down with the sword" (vv.20-21).
Secondly, when news that Sennacherib was on the march reached him, Hezekiah didn't just go and pray. He did all that HE could do first. He built defences, made weapons, and organised his troops. God expects us to do our part -- we have to make our own investment in faith.
Thirdly, they called upon the Lord for deliverence realising that they could not succeed in their own strength. We cannot know our own weakness without first doing all we can. It is then that we can truly appreciate the task or the problem facing us and cultivate the faith necessary for the Lord to intervene. Faith must be active -- we must do our part: "Faith, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead" (James 2:17, NIV).
We may not necessarily be surrounded by armies but we are certainly surrounded by problems that seem insurmountable. Do your part, have faith in the Lord, and He will help you overcome, no matter how "impossible" the solution to the problem may seem to be. With God on your side, you always have a majority of one.
This page was created on 17 May 1998
Last updated on 17 May 1998
Reproduced with Thanks