In about 713 BC an Assyrian ruler named Sennacherib invaded Judah and threatened Jerusalem. In II Chronicles 32 (and II Kings 18) the bible tells us the story. Sennacherib sent some of his officers to Jerusalem with a message for the king of Judah, Hezekiah. For 15 verses these military men ranted and raved against Hezekiah and his dependence on the Lord. As they predicted the destruction of Jerusalem, they screamed their insults up to the men who stood guard along the wall protecting the city.
The interesting thing to note is the language that they spoke while they threatened the Jewish people. They were not screaming in their native tongue of Assyrian, but rather Hebrew. That way nothing needed to be translated. No nuance of the language would be lost on the simple people of Jerusalem. The insults and predictions of slaughter were in a language they clearly understood. They got the message loud and clear.
It struck me that Satan does the same thing for you and me. When he is attempting to divert our attention away from God and onto ourselves, when he wants to tempt us, when he seeks our destruction, he makes sure he “speaks our language”. Satan leaves nothing to chance. He makes certain he is on our “wave length”. He ensures the message is delivered.
If you are prone to materialism, I guarantee you Satan will “speak” to you through “things,” things that cost money. If you are deeply motivated by pride, you can be sure that your ego will be stroked by the dulcet tones of the enemy. If you are susceptible to excessive anger, you can expect Satan to down play your responsibilities to others and to loudly remind you how special you are.
If Satan has our “number” and clearly speaks our “language,” what tools or what language can we use to combat his temptations?
Well, back to our story in II Chronicles 32 – and notice the reaction of Hezekiah and his people. While the enemy screamed insults and threats, Hezekiah and the prophet Isaiah cry out in prayer. Their “language” was the language of devotion. They used their words to seek the Lord. They expressed their dependence on God and my, how He responded. God sent an angel “to annihilate all the fighting men, leaders and officials of the camp of Assyria…” (Verse 21)
So next time Satan is screaming a familiar tune of temptation in your ear, respond in a language of your own.”I will exalt you my God the King, I will praise your name forever and ever. Every day I will praise you and extol your name forever and ever.” (Psalm 145) That is the language we need to use!