Today’s Thoughts: The Arm of Flesh
"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged because of the king of Assyria and the vast army with him, for there is a greater power with us than with him. With him is only the arm of flesh, but with us is the LORD our God to help us and to fight our battles." 2 Chronicles 32:7-8
Many years ago, a woman in my bible study quoted a part of this verse to me. We were discussing the decision to close down the bible study because there were too many conflicts in the class. She said to me, “We don’t fight with an arm of flesh but with the help and power of the living God.” She quoted this in context with King Hezekiah who also found himself in conflict over his kingdom.
Hezekiah was a king who helped focus God’s people back to the pure and true worship of God. He restored the temple, tore down the high places built to other gods, reinstated God’s feasts and celebrations and was known as a king that led people to celebrate the one and only true God. But now, another nation came up to war against him. Hezekiah knew that this other king had the strength and ability to overcome the Israelites in battle. That king also caused a lot of conflicts for King Hezekiah.
Hezekiah could have just surrendered to the fear caused by the tactics and overconfidence of the king of Assyria but he didn’t. Instead, Hezekiah started building up his military defenses, working hard on repairing broken parts of the walls around the city and making more weapons. Then he spoke the words of these verses that encouraged the people. These words, however, were not just bursts of intimidation as with the king of Assyria, but came from a heart of passion and purpose from the Lord. By verse 20 of the story, Hezekiah and the prophet Isaiah were crying out to the Lord, knowing that He has the power to fight the battle for them. And He did. Verse 22 says, “So the LORD saved Hezekiah and the people of Jerusalem from the hand of Sennacherib king of Assyria and from the hand of all others. He took care of them on every side.”
We worship a God who takes care of us on every side. It was good that Hezekiah prepared for battle, but it was better that Hezekiah prepared His heart to turn to the Lord. The arm of flesh is limited. We need to be prepared to fight as we use the weapons God has given us. The strongest weapon is a tender heart that knows the Scriptures and how to turn to the Lord on our knees. No battle is too great for the Lord.
Years ago, the ladies and I in the bible study prayed these verses to God regarding the bible study class. We did the best we could in maintaining the class and addressing the problems that challenged us. Then we got on our knees and cried out the Lord. He heard our prayer and answered. The class didn’t close as He intervened and took care of us on every side. If you are in a situation today in which you need to see the Lord on your side, go to your knees and start asking for help. God is waiting to show His power no matter what circumstance you are facing.