Hezekiah tried to buy off King Sennacherib of Assyria when he attacked them to defeat them (2 Kings 18:14-16). Sennacherib took the money but attacked the Jews anyway (2 Kings 18:17).
Jehosophat, in a similar situation, turned to God instead of trying make a deal with his enemy. God delivered him (2 Chronicles 20:17) and the nation responded in praise and thanksgiving to God (2 Chronicles 20:12). When God didn’t deliver, though, the prophets stayed faithful to God even though they were greatly persecuted and often killed (Hebrews 11:32-38).
LESSON FOR TODAY: Often we are tempted to compromise with sin, to back off when the battle gets intense, to fade a bit in our commitment to God – and when we do the pressure from the enemy seems to let up. So we back off a bit more from our obedience to God and enjoy the rest from battle. What is happening, though, is that we are trying to buy off the enemy. He’ll take what we give him, but he’ll soon be back stronger than ever and then we will be in worse shape than before. Surrender to the enemy is certainly one way to find relief from conflict, but then there is no spiritual growth, no fruit of the spirit, no reward in eternity and no peace in this life. The only way for victory is to trust God and continue to stand against the enemy (Ephesians 6:11-14).
Throughout all the Jews’ battles, God was with His people and helping those who turned to Him. He often used angels to protect His people and bring judgment on His enemies (2 Kings 6:15-17; 19:35; 2:11; Psalm 34:7; 68:17; 91:11; Zechariah 1:8; 6:1-7; Revelation 19:11).
LESSON FOR TODAY: God’s angels today fight for us as they did for God’s people in times past. They protect us at times and in ways we aren’t aware of (Hebrews 1:14; Matthew 26:53). We don’t see them or if we do they appear as human beings (Hebrews 13:2). We aren’t to pray to them, for we are fellow warriors in the fight to advance God’s kingdom against the kingdom of darkness. It’s good to know we aren’t ever alone in our battles, though.
(If I can answer questions or offer personal counsel, or if you would like a free copy of my Spiritual Warfare Handbook, email me at Jerry@ChristianTrainingOrganization.org or download it from http://sw.christiantrainingonline.org/. My next book, Spiritual Warfare in the Bible, which is a more advanced treatment of spiritual warfare, is also available there for free.)