Sounds a Lot Like God
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me,” Christ said in John 10:27. But what happens when we hear a voice that sounds a lot like God, yet we are unsure if it is Him? I was reading 2 Kings 18 and the language used in verses 31-32 sounded a lot like God.
…Make peace with me and come out to me. Then each of you will eat fruit from your own vine and fig tree and drink water from your own cistern, until I come and take you to a land like your own—a land of grain and new wine, a land of bread and vineyards, a land of olive trees and honey. Choose life and not death!...
(2 Kings 18:31-32 NIV)
When I read this text, my mind instantly thought of God’s words to the Israelites in Deuteronomy 8, “ For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land—a land with brooks, streams, and deep springs gushing out into the valleys and hills; a land with wheat and barley, vines and fig trees, pomegranates, olive oil and honey; a land where bread will not be scarce and you will lack nothing… (Deuteronomy 8:7-9 NIV)
The language is similar, no? Sounds a lot like God to me. However, that’s not God speaking in 2 Kings 18. Those are the words the Assyrian messengers said to Hezekiah when the Assyrian King demanded the city to be given unto him.
Now, the scripture tells us Hezekiah was a man of God. It’s recorded that he did right in the sight of the Lord, that God was with him, and that he was successful in anything he overtook. So, since he was God’s child, he should know God’s voice, right?
Well, unfortunately, even as children of God, sometimes we mess up. Sometimes we are unsure of what God is saying to us. Although Hezekiah went many years as a successful king, eventually a few of his cities were seized by the king of Assyria. Scripture states this happened because the children of Israel neither listened to nor carried out the Lord’s commands.
It should also be noted that when the Assyrian King initially laid siege to Hezekiah’s cities, Hezekiah asked the Assyrian King to withdraw from him. Hezekiah promised he’d give the king whatever he asked for. The Assyrian King requested silver and gold. To my surprise, King Hezekiah stripped the temple of the Lord from its silver and gold and gave it to the king.
But that wasn’t enough to keep the Assyrian King satisfied. He wanted more, and the referenced text above is what his messengers told Hezekiah and the inhabitants of Judah. But that’s not all the messengers said. In verse 25, they also said the Lord Himself told their king to march against Judah and destroy it. What was Hezekiah to think?
Hezekiah admitted that he and his people had done wrong in the eyesight of God. It’s understandable if Hezekiah thought the Assyrian takeover was their punishment, right? But were the Assyrians truthful in their statements? Had God really sent them?
Hezekiah had previously told the people to not fear the Assyrians and that God would deliver them. But with the Assyrian threat looming, he wasn’t sure. And with the Assyrian compromise sounding similar to something God has previously promised, what voice was Hezekiah to believe?
God’s voice, of course. But which one was God’s voice? Well, as we read on, it becomes evident that the Assyrians were actually mockers of God. They said, “do not let the god you depend on deceive you”. They insinuated that no other god had ever delivered their people from them; thus, Hezekiah’s God would not deliver him or his people either.
You see, if the enemy talks long enough, he’ll be found out. The enemy may imitate God’s voice. They may even use scripture to support their stance (Satan did this with Jesus). But eventually, their hearts will be revealed. And to be absolutely sure, Hezekiah did what we should all do when we are unsure of what to believe. He prayed.
And God delivered. Despite the sins of Israel, God delivered. Regardless of Hezekiah giving away gold and silver from the temple of the Lord to the enemy, God delivered them. The night Hezekiah prayed, God sent an angel that put to death 185,000 Assyrian soldiers.
When the remaining Assyrian men rose the next morning surrounded by death, they fled. The Assyrian King also died by the hands of his own sons. Hezekiah and his people didn’t have to lift a finger. God took care of it all.
So, what can we gather from this? I don’t know about you, but I took away a few things. Firstly, we see that the enemy can sound a lot like God. Satan knows the language of God and can use it against us. Therefore, we need to be in tune with Christ so that we can counter any lies he conjures against us that may sound like God. We need to be God’s sheep so that we can truly hear and know His voice.
Secondly, God is gracious, and His mercy is amazing. Although fault was found in both Hezekiah and the children of Israel, God still delivered them. I was sure that God was going to remind Hezekiah of selling the temple items. I was sure God was going to let the Assyrians rule over Judah because of their sins as punishment… even if the punishment came from mockers of God. Yet, God defended them. You can’t tell me that we don’t have a merciful God!
And thirdly, we should always seek God in prayer, whether we think God is upset with us or not. Sometimes we are so ashamed of our sins that we become embarrassed to ask God for guidance or help. We may think that He has abandoned us and that we have no right to ask Him of anything.
But if Hezekiah hadn’t of prayed, who knows what may’ve happened? When God answered the prayer He said, “I have heard your prayer”. We have to send the prayer for it to be heard. Don’t let your guilt or the enemy keep you from talking to God. I’ve been there. I know how it feels to blatantly disobey God and yet want to talk to Him.
When I was living in sexual sin, God kept telling me to stop, and I wouldn’t. And when I wanted to send a prayer to Him, I felt as if I shouldn’t. I thought it took some nerve to ask God to listen to me when I wasn’t listening to Him.
But in my sins, God listened. Now that I am free of that sin, I realize it’s not hard to believe that Christ listened to me in sin considering He died for us while we were yet sinners. And when I came out of my sins, He gave me new life filled with beauty.
So, I’ll leave you today asking that you ponder over 2 Kings 18-19. Read it for yourself and if you’re up to it, let me know what lessons you gathered from it. That’s it, reader. Thanks for lending me a bit of your time. Lord’s willing, I’ll see you next week. Be Blessed!
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