Chapter-a-Day 2 Kings 18

Then he stepped forward and spoke in Hebrew loud enough for everyone to hear, "Listen carefully to the words of The Great King, the king of Assyria: Don't let Hezekiah fool you; he can't save you. And don't let Hezekiah give you that line about trusting in God, telling you, 'God will save us—this city will never be abandoned to the king of Assyria.' Don't listen to Hezekiah—he doesn't know what he's talking about. 2 Kings 18:28-31a (MSG)

Taking a step back and looking at today's chapter and you find a great example of the ancient art of seige warfare. Seige warefare has been a lucrative enterprise throughout history and the Assyrians would have easily made the all-star team. It's bullying and extortion on a national level. You simply amass a large army, surround a weak city, and then demand a huge sum of money to back down. If the city refuses, you destroy it mercilessly (the Assyrians were known to hack the limbs off their victims and leave piles of disembodied arms and legs outside the city gate as a calling card). If the city was too big or well fortified, you simply waited and let the inhabitants of the city slowly starve to death and implode because you've cut off their supply lines. Of course, you make sure a few survivors make it out and escape to nearby towns so that the news of your terror psychologically begins to intimidate the next city on your list.

Part of successful seige warfare was the application of psychological pressure by continually taunting the surrounded city. It was the ancient form of talking smack that you still see on the football field or basketball court. If you can get inside your opponent's head, you have the edge.

I believe we all have experienced, even to a minimal degree, a feeling of being beseiged. It could be bullying on the playground, being the victim of the neighborhood gang, or being singled out and verbally beat down by a parent, teaching, coach or authority figure. I think that our spiritual enemy uses the same tactics: surround, cut off, harass, intimidate, and get inside the head.

The answer to a seige is perseverance, strong will, and a Deliverer.

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