Week of Monday, October 12 – Saturday, October 17
The Great Defender - Man as a Defender
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or dismayed before the king of Assyria and all the horde that is with him, for there are more with us than with him. With him is an arm of flesh, but with us is the LORD our God, to help us and to fight our battles.” And the people took confidence from the words of Hezekiah king of Judah. —2 Chronicles 32:7-8 (ESV)

Hezekiah became king of Judah at the young age of 25 and reigned for 29 years. The Bible says of Hezekiah: “he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord” (29:2). Yet growing up, he had a poor role model. His wicked father, King Ahaz, worshiped idols, built their altars, introduced pornographic objects of pagan worship into the Temple of God, and even burned his own son alive as an offering to the god Molech (2 Kings 16:3). In his failure as a defender, the nation of Judah was easily defeated by the nations who attacked them during his reign (2 Chronicles 28:5-25). As a result, Ahaz had demoralized the people of God, he had desecrated the Temple of God, and he had defamed the name of God. Because Ahaz did not trust or obey the one true God as Israel’s great Defender, he failed in each of his God-given roles as a man, husband, and father.
Thankfully, Hezekiah didn’t follow in his father’s footsteps. When he took the throne, Hezekiah immediately showed decisive leadership in addressing the biggest existential threat to the nation’s survival: The judgment of God because of idolatry! Hezekiah removed the heathen “high places” of worship, broke up the pagan pillars, and cut down the idols. Plus, he re-opened the Temple to the Lord, cleaned out of all the filth, and ordered that worship of the one true God begin again. Finally, he had the people renew their celebration of the Passover. Under Hezekiah’s leadership, God responded by pouring out revival on the nation of Judah.

When the powerful nation of Assyria invaded Judah (see 2 Chronicles 32), the people saw a totally different result than they experienced under Ahaz. With Hezekiah, there was no cause for panic or fear when the physical threat of this massive army showed up on Judah’s doorstep. Faced with seemingly impossible odds, Hezekiah cried out to the great Defender because he was confident that their God was greater than any force that could come against them. The Bible tells us that God sent a single angelic warrior to take out 185,000 Assyrian soldiers, and that sent the enemy packing (v 20-22; 2 Kings 19:35-36)! Hezekiah served his people well as a defender mainly because he trusted God as their ultimate Defender.

When facing a potential threat to you, your family, or those in your charge, do you demonstrate to others unshakable confidence that your Defender is greater than any foe you face? Do your words and actions express that your God is mightier than anything you and those you love will encounter? Being a man who defends, rescues, and rises up against the wicked begins with depending on the ultimate Defender, remembering, “with us is the LORD our God, to help us and to fight our battles” (32:8).

  • What do you need to defend your family against in your own home? Hezekiah cleaned out the Temple of pornographic objects. Have you done that? How are you defending against that filth getting into your house and into the hearts of your family?
  • When you and your family face difficulties, what attitude do you show: Fear or Faith? Do you cringe and cower or do you demonstrate confidence and courage that is rooted in your dependence on God?
  • Pray for the humility to bow before God as your ultimate Defender and remind those in your charge that God is greater than anything or anyone who may come against you.
  • Courage in the face of threats is fundamental to being a God-fearing “Defender.” Muster your courage and rely on your savior as your great defender.