My RSS feed says that consumer confidence has tanked – every place we turn, we hear about layoffs, rising prices, rough times. This isn’t the first time in history that this has happened. In fact, it happened in 2 Chronicles 32 (among many other times).
Hezekiah was king, and the king of Assyria invaded Judah. There is a whole sermon here, but I’ll jump to the end. The king of Assyria wanted to know “On what are you basing your confidence, that you remain in Jerusalem under siege?” (vs. 10)
When you are under siege, no trade goes in or out. Supplies are very limited, so there is rationing. The end is in sight. On top of that, the enemy stands at the walls every day, with his vast army, and yells at you about how you are doomed. The Assyrians would take people from the area and post them on stakes to die hideous deaths in full view of those inside the walls. The mental torture of being under siege was more than oppressive.
Yet, the people in Jerusalem were confident. How come they were confident?
How can we be confident in our current economic circumstances?
Listen to Hezekiah’s words to the people:
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged because of the king of Assyria and the vast army with him, for there is a greater power with us than with him. With him is only the arm of flesh, but with us is the Lord our God to help us and to fight our battles.” And the people gained confidence from what Hezekiah the king of Judah said.” (32:7-8 )
Their confidence wasn’t in winning, or stockpiles, or their ability to outsmart the Assyrians or in their weapons. Their confidence was in God’s ability to pull them through.
God has a different perspective, and He will continue to give us purpose and perspective even in the most difficult of times. Our confidence isn’t in the markets, the economy, our savings, our jobs, our abilities or ingenuity. Our confidence is in God Himself. Listen to Paul:
“Such confidence as this is ours through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God.” (2 Corinthians 3:4-5)