King Hezekiah and the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz cried out in prayer to heaven about this. – 2Chr. 32:20 NIV
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Sennacherib, the king of Assyria had thought of attacking the fortified cities of Judah with the goal of having them for himself. The result of the developmental efforts of King Hezekiah in growing the prosperity of his people must have enticed him and made him want to covet their land. It was simply a case of greed on his part, as the bible did not indicate any other reason why Sennacherib would marshal such a large army against Judah. In order to achieve this is his ignoble objective, he sent a message through his officers, not to King Hezekiah, but directly to the people, in a strategy that was aimed at creating distrust and disunity between the king and his people, and also to discourage them in their new found faith that has no doubt prospered them. As part of his strategy, he also attempted to misinform the people about the god that Hezekiah got them to serve claiming that it was the altar of this same god that Hezekiah had earlier destroyed (2Chr. 29:1-36), and questioned how they expected the god that has been so treated to support them in their battle, as Hezekiah was making them believe. More so, every other nation who had such beliefs ended up regretting, as none of their gods could withstand his army when they came visiting. It would therefore be wise for them to stop believing Hezekiah in his attempt to convince them that this god will save them and that they should do the needful by quietly submitting to his army before he comes invading – 2Chr. 32:9-15. His officers who delivered the message also added their voices to that of their king who in his message had also gone ahead to ridicule Jehovah, describing Him as the work of human hands – 2Chr. 32:16-19.
Though, king Hezekiah had done all humanly possible to confront the physical and psychological threats posed by King Sennacherib and his invading army, he in the company of Prophet Isaiah approached Jehovah, asking for His intervention and Jehovah did not delay in responding to their pleas, as an angel was sent into the battle by Jehovah, who annihilated the army of Assyria, their leaders and their officers with their king having to do a quick retreat in disgrace and shame, back to his own land where he was cut down with a sword by some of his sons – 2Chr. 32:20-21. Jehovah had not only granted victory to the one who trusts in Him, but went ahead to take care of him on every side, such that a battle aimed at decimating him ended up increasing him, not just materially but also in terms of his influence amongst nations – 2Chr. 32:22-23.
The tool of mis-information remains one that the devil will always use in his attempt to defeat the children of God. That is a tool that is natural to the him because it requires the ability to lie, an act that the bible says is natural with him – Jn. 8:44. It is not unusual for many including Christians, to find themselves become victims of this great tool of the devil where they have to battle a wrong impression that has been created by his agents about them. Unfortunately, this is a battle that physical weapons of war cannot be deployed against neither can one explain oneself out of it. It is a battle that one will have to fight with patience and spiritual support if one is to become victorious.
Sennacherib attempted to misinform the people of Judah so that the king can loose their support and become vulnerable. How far he succeeded is not very clear but what is clear is that for every time that he succeeds, the same people were also going to be victims of his mis-information. He tried to convince them that the god that Hezekiah introduced them too was the same god that King Ahaz was worshipping and whose altar, Hezekiah had destroyed, wondering how such an angry god would be expected to grant them support against his army.
It is not unlikely that some would have believed this propaganda and Hezekiah knew that the only one that can grant victory in such circumstances was Jehovah.
The Christian who is a victim of propaganda must learn to go back to God as it is not a battle that can be won in the physical realm. For the period during which the propaganda is believed, such must retain faith in Jehovah and learn to tolerate the pain that will come at such times until Jehovah arrives in the situation. This is because propaganda works on the thinking of men and the battle will only be won either by the one that can lie the most or for the targets of propaganda to be made to see themselves as mere pawns in the hands of the propagandist. The latter will be possible if a successful process of dis-information can be done but this is more effectively done by Jehovah who is acclaimed to have the hearts of all including kings and can turn it the way he so desires – Prov. 21:1-9. Attempting to humanly fight propaganda may be a waste of resources as the available proof may not be sufficient to convince a people who may have already made up their minds on what to believe.
Many today have reacted to propaganda only to later discover that they were also victims of being wrongly informed. The damage sometimes may be reversible but in some cases may actually be permanent and regretted as destinies may have suffered irreparable damage. It is important for the one that acted on propaganda to know that their will be no one to blame for such negative decisions so it is better for all to verify every information before acting on them, especially where such reactions will have major impact on others. It may not be possible to avoid being a target of propaganda but it is advisable for the Christian, to seek the Lord and await His directives on such occasions, as any other approach may also make such a propagandist and become guilty of the same offence. The assurance is that if indeed such relies on the timing of the intervention of Jehovah, it is very likely that it will eventually end in thanksgiving as Jehovah will definitely reveal why He allowed such to happen in the first place.
Verify that information before reacting as that will save you from regrettable actions just as the victim of propaganda must learn to retain belief in the Lord and His saving ability. He will soon reveal why he allowed the situation in the first place, if indeed such is, and remains loyal to Him. May Jehovah grant us his protection against being targets of propaganda and protect us from being victims of mis-information in Jesus name. Amen.