God Our Helper

“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 rested themselves upon the words of Hezekiah king of Judah.”
—II Chronicles 32:8

DURING HEZEKIAH’S reign, “Sennacherib king of Assyria came, and entered into Judah, and encamped against the fenced cities, and thought to win them for himself.” When he realized Sennacherib’s intentions, the account states that Hezekiah “took counsel with his princes and his mighty men to stop the waters of the fountains which were without the city: and they did help him. So there was gathered much people together, who stopped all the fountains, and the brook that ran through the midst of the land, saying, Why should the kings of Assyria come, and find much water? Also he strengthened himself, and built up all the wall that was broken, and raised it up to the towers, and another wall without.”—II Chron. 32:1-5

Knowing that the God of Israel was on their side, Hezekiah told the people, “Be strong and courageous, be not afraid nor dismayed for the king of Assyria, nor for all the multitude that is with him: for there be more with us than with him.” (vs. 7) The king then spoke the words of our opening text, in which he assured the people that the Lord would fight for them. The Israelites thus “rested” [Hebrew: leaned or took hold] upon the words of their righteous leader.

Sennacherib subsequently attempted to strike fear in the hearts of the Israelites. He said, for example, “Hath not … Hezekiah taken away his high places and his altars, and commanded Judah and Jerusalem, saying, Ye shall worship before one altar, and burn incense upon it? Know ye not what I and my fathers have done unto all the people of other lands? Were the gods of the nations of those lands any ways able to deliver their lands out of mine hand? Who was there among all the gods of those nations that my fathers utterly destroyed, that could deliver his people out of mine hand, that your God should be able to deliver you out of mine hand?”—II Chron. 32:12-14

While Hezekiah did what he could to defend the people against Sennacherib, he realized that they would be in the same unhappy position as all the other nations of the area unless the Lord, the God of Israel, came to their rescue. Thus he and the Prophet Isaiah “prayed and cried to heaven. And the Lord sent an angel, which cut off all the mighty men of valor, and the leaders and captains in the camp of the king of Assyria. So he returned with shame of face to his own land. And when he was come into the house of his god, they that came forth of his own bowels slew him there with the sword. Thus the Lord saved Hezekiah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem from the hand of Sennacherib the king of Assyria, and from the hand of all other, and guided them on every side.”—vss. 20-22


Paul says of the Christian’s battle that “the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God.” (II Cor. 10:4) Our battle is largely against the deceptions of Satan in his efforts to destroy us as New Creatures in Christ Jesus. As spiritual Israelites, however, we can be just as certain as Hezekiah was that “with us is the Lord our God to help us, and to fight our battles.” To assist us in our warfare, we have been provided with the “armour of God,” also called the “armour of light.” (Eph. 8:10-18; Rom. 13:12) Indeed, the light of truth found in God’s Word is, in this evil day, more important than ever before.

King Hezekiah expressed a vitally important fact to the people under his leadership when he said concerning Sennacherib and his army that “with him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the Lord our God to help us, and to fight our battles.” It is only by the Lord’s strength that we can be victorious. If we depend upon our own strength, the arm of flesh will fail us. Only with the Lord’s help, and because he is greater than all that be against us, can we hope to gain the victory.

Let us, then, remember the importance in every time of crisis to be reminded of Hezekiah’s statement that it is God who always is there to help and fight for us in every time of need. May we, like God’s ancient people, lean upon these words, trusting in them as one of the reassuring promises of the Word of God, that if we put our trust in him, he will bring us forth conquerors, yea, more than conquerors, through our Lord Jesus Christ. “Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory!”—I Cor. 15:57