This is now the third account we have read of Hezekiah and the invasion of Judah by Sennacherib, king of Assyria, and also, his sickness, recovery, and visit from the Babylonians. We learn some details in this account that did not come out in the other accounts.
“Be strong and courageous; do not be afraid or dismayed before the king of Assyria, nor before all the multitude 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.” 2 Chr 32:7-8
This is so true of anyone who is in a covenant of peace with the LORD their God, as Asa was, and as Hezekiah was. No matter how many the enemy might have with him, us plus the LORD is always a majority. Something I learned early in my life through reading my Bible: the arm of flesh will fail me. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but failure is guaranteed to come one day, perhaps when I can least afford it. However, the arm of the LORD never fails.
The LORD our God is the One who helps us. The Hebrew for “help” (Strong’s H5826) is the same root that “helpmeet” comes from (Gen 2:18), and means, the one who sees what cuts the head; in other words, the friend or ally who sees who the enemy is, where the attack is coming from, and how the attack is succeeding.
According to Webster’s, if the LORD our God will help us, it means He will give us assistance or support, He will make things more pleasant or bearable, improve or relieve us; He will rescue or save us; He will be of use or benefit to us; He will further our advancement; He will change things for the better. This is true of the LORD our God! This is why we do not need to be afraid or dismayed, depressed or discouraged!
In those days Hezekiah was sick and near death, and he prayed to the LORD; and He spoke to him and gave him a sign. But Hezekiah did not repay according to the favor shown him, for his heart was lifted up; therefore wrath was looming over him and over Judah and Jerusalem. Then Hezekiah humbled himself for the pride of his heart, he and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the wrath of the LORD did not come upon them in the days of Hezekiah. 2 Chr 32:24-26
The favor which the LORD showed to Hezekiah, is the Hebrew word gemuwl, Strong’s H1576, and it is the same favor or benefit the Psalmist describes:
Bless the LORD, O my soul;
And all that is within me, bless His holy name!
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
And forget not all His benefits (gemuwl):
Who forgives all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases,
Who redeems your life from destruction,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,
Who satisfies your mouth with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. Psa 103:1-4
We have to remind ourselves of the great favor the LORD shows us every single day, and bless Him for it! Yes, blessed be the LORD, who daily loads us with benefits (Psa 68:19)! That blessing, praise, thanksgiving, gratitude, and worship is how we repay the LORD for the favor He shows us, for how can we repay to the LORD anything? Our heartfelt and sincere gratitude is the only means we have in our hands to return to Him!
We need to keep in mind, even when we are in the middle of our worst circumstances, how great the favor from the LORD is that is resting upon us! If we think things are bad, that is just because we have no concept of how bad it could really be should His favor be removed from us. So bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name!