When we read the story of King Hezekiah of Judah as he stands before the envoy of the Assyrian Empire, we hear a reflection of the whispers the evil one is still using on us today. Whether in 2 Kings, 2 Chronicles, or here in Isaiah, this story still rings true with anyone who has faced off with the whispers of evil.
“On what are you basing this confidence of yours?” is still one of my favorite lines of the scriptures, because it sums up our entire faith in one question. And those who don’t follow Christ don’t understand our answer. “I am putting my confidence not in my own accomplishments or accumulation, but in God and His promises.”
“Your worldly alliances won’t help you.” Whether this is our political alliances or allegiances, our job titles or reputation with neighbors, it is true that if we look to this world to help us with life’s problems, we are looking in vain.
“You can’t depend on your righteousness.” Sometimes we try so hard to be perfect, to follow every law, to obey every word of scripture, only to find out that all of that work for righteousness “is like dirty rags.” When we rely on our own behaviors to earn God’s help in times of trouble, we will fail every time.
“Are you sure you’re even doing God’s will?” The ‘but God is on my side’ argument is a pretty common one as well. This one more often comes from critics within the Body rather than from the evil one. It’s what makes church fights so diabolical – we all claim to have God on our side, so we aren’t just opinionated, we are right. And not just right but Good. This makes us incapable of learning from our critics or changing our minds.
“My way is better and will make you happier.” The battle cry of every politician, which ultimately the King of Assyria is.
But the truly dangerous part of these arguments/whispers is how close they are to the truth. It is the truth that we cannot trust in ourselves, or others of this world, anything besides God Himself. But the final assumption of the dictator – you cannot trust anyone but me – is the truly evil whisper we can never believe. God is worthy, God is capable, and God will protect, provide, and see you through. God’s got this – never forget it.