Focus Scripture: Isaiah 36:13-19
The commander of the Assyrian army yells out to the people of Jerusalem lies and half-truths in an effort to get them to give up without even a fight. He promises them safety and ease. He promises them that life will be alright under Assyrian rule. And he threatens them with certain defeat if they do not surrender--after all, he says, we have conquerred everyone. Later, we will learn from Hezekiah that the commander is telling the truth, at least on this last part. But the commander goes too far when he ways that his previous success is evidence that no god can or will stand against him. That is too much. God will not stand for it. And so when Hezekiah prays for God to save them, God says he will.
What is the lesson here? Certainly that we should pray to God for our deliverance, rather than listen to the rhetoric of the one trying to tear us down. We need to recognize that oen who is intent on harming us may say anything to convince us to give in. It does not make it true. And it will not make us safe.
There are many who will use half-truths and even outright lies to take advantage of God's people. We need to pray to God when we are being attacked. We need to ask for the gift of discernment so we can see through the lies and half-truths. And we also can learn another lesson, to simply not engage in a battle of rhetoric. That is what the people were instructed to do, just don't even respond. And that took much of the wind out of the arguments the commander would have made. Because if you do not respond, then the enemy does not know where the chink in the armor is, where the half-truth might find a place to take root, what lie or promise you are vulnerable to. And without that information, the enemy is much less likely to success. So rely on God, do not engage in an agrument with one seeking to harm you, and always, pray.