“And Isaiah said unto them, Thus shall ye say unto your master, Thus saith the LORD, Be not afraid of the words that thou hast heard, wherewith the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed me.”
When Hezekiah was the king of Judah, Sennacherib the mighty king of Assyria came against Judah. The spokesman for the king of Assyria was Rabshakeh, and his words were blasphemous and disheartening to God’s people. Words can have such a devastating effect on the hearer. When Hezekiah heard these words, he was stricken with
fear. The king went immediately to the house of the Lord and sent servants and priests to see the prophet Isaiah. These words for Hezekiah came to Isaiah from the Lord, “Be not afraid of the words that thou hast heard.” Hezekiah was not to believe the threats of Rabshakeh. What wise and helpful advice this was for Judah’s king.
Isaiah counseled the king not to be terrified by the words that the wicked Rabshakeh had spoken to him. It will do us good to take heed to this wisdom as well. The power of words is immeasurable, and yet regularly underestimated. Entire movements have been spawned by the simple use of words, and even words that are not based on truth. Positive and encouraging words can give the inspiration to succeed and overcome great adversity. Negative and critical words can demoralize and defeat us before the battle even begins. Isaiah charged Hezekiah not to believe or be afraid of the “words that thou hast heard.”
Satan’s primary weapon against us is words. He uses words to create fear, confusion, and hopelessness. The enemy’s words are not audible words, but ideas and imaginations. When people believe the lies of the enemy, they can be bound by fear and doubt. Sometimes good people repeat the messages of evil, supposing them to be true, as did Peter when he rebuked Jesus for His plan to go to the cross. Jesus then rebuked Peter, saying, “Get thee behind me, Satan” (Matthew 16:23). Peter was verbalizing the thought that actually came to him from Satan. When we believe the devil’s lies, they become like truth to us. Good and capable servants of God can be rendered powerless because they believe the devil’s lies. Faithful, godly leaders have been defamed because of someone believing and repeating false information.