Then the Rabshakeh said to them, “Say now to Hezekiah, ‘Thus says the great king, the king of Assyria: “What confidence is this in which you trust? You speak of having plans and power for war; but they are mere words. And in whom do you trust, that you rebel against me? Now look! You are trusting in the staff of this broken reed, Egypt, on which if a man leans, it will go into his hand and pierce it. So is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all who trust in him. But if you say to me, ‘We trust in the Lord our God,’ is it not He whose high places and whose altars Hezekiah has taken away, and said to Judah and Jerusalem, ‘You shall worship before this altar in Jerusalem’?” ‘ Now, therefore, I urge you, give a pledge to my master the king of Assyria, and I will give you two thousand horses—if you are able on your part to put riders on them! How then will you repel one captain of the least of my master’s servants, and put your trust in Egypt for chariots and horsemen? Have I now come up without the Lord against this place to destroy it? The Lord said to me, ‘Go up against this land, and destroy it.'” (2 Kings 18:19-25)
Boasting Against The Lord
One of the amusing views of the angels is the pride of man and his incessant boasting. The scriptures remind humanity the highest he can get is lower than angels. All men are restricted in the boundaries of their habitation because God has established the line of his existence and regardless of what men can do, they will never be able to cross that line. When God created man He gave Him dominion over the earth but that is all. The universe is beyond his grasp as early man discovered when they tried to build a tower in their arrogance. God confused their language effectively creating a divided world inhibiting the will of man.
During the turbulent times of the divided kingdom of Israel and Judah, the king of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities of Judah and took them. The king of Judah, Hezekiah, tried to dissuade the Assyrian king with gold stripped from the temple of the Lord and other gifts but to no avail. Sennacherib sent a great army against Jerusalem demanding the king submit to his rule. It was a dire situation with great fear among the people. The king of Assyria sent a spokesman to negotiate with the inhabitants of Jerusalem demanding their surrender. Trying to break the will of the people, the Rabshakeh sought to compromise their trust in God. He boasted their victories over the other “gods” of the nations and lands they conquered. The king of Assyria boasted that no god could stand against him. This included the Lord of Israel.
Boasting against the one who created the world is an exercise in fatality. Sennacherib was a great military leader and made Assyria a powerful and terrible army that conquered many nations. Coming up against Jerusalem was not unlike any of the other nations they had conquered but the Lord God of Israel was not to be trifled with. Isaiah the prophet gave assurance to the king and the people of Jerusalem that God would deliver them. It came to pass on a certain night the angel of God killed 185,000 Assyrian soldiers. When the surviving Assyrians woke up the next morning, they found corpses everywhere. Then King Sennacherib broke camp and returned to his own land. One day while he was worshiping in the temple of his god Nisroch, his sons Adrammelech and Sharezer killed him with their swords.
The Lord God will not be trifled with by the pride and arrogance of men. There has never been a time in history that God’s will has not been accomplished over those who tried to enforce their pride against Him. Pharaoh learned many hard lessons that destroyed his country when he sought to defy God. The children of Israel became an object lesson of the cost of rebellion. In the early days of the church, King Herod was struck down by an angel of God for his pride. All of the Khans, Caesar’s, Hitler’s, Stalin’s, and despot of power are struck down. If there is one lesson from the present distress of COVID-19 is that no nation on earth is as powerful as they thought. Economies are in shambles, health concerns are real and confusion rules the hearts of those who boasted many months ago of their power and might.
Boast against God at your own peril. Great and powerful men (and women) will shake their fists against the knowledge of God until death separates their spirit from their body. As eternity dawns, their clenched fists of rebellion will open to hands pleading for a mercy that will not be granted. It is then they will meet face to face the Creator, Ruler, Sovereign, and Lawgiver of the world. Sadly, in their arrogance, they will face an eternity of eternal fire and condemnation. Sennacherib boasted against the Lord God while he was alive but learned in death that God rules.