#012: What to do When Facing Opposition

These days I feel like Christians are facing more and more opposition on a daily basis. There is opposition to our beliefs, our values, and even our way of life. Our workplaces are certainly no exception.

Assyrian Empire, Opposition

It seems many “alternative” religions are given a free pass while Christians who express their faith are viewed with disdain.

The Scripture records many instances of God’s children facing opposition, and no one understood opposition better than Hezekiah. The Assyrians had expanded their empire by conquering the northern kingdom of Israel, and now were turning their eye toward the southern kingdom of Judah. Hezekiah had already tried to buy off the Assyrian invaders, but eventually the Assyrians planned yet another campaign to conquer Judah. That’s where we pick up the story in 2 Kings 19:

2 Kings 19:14-19 (ESV)
14 Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers and read it; and Hezekiah went up to the house of the LORD and spread it before the LORD. 15 And Hezekiah prayed before the LORD and said: “O LORD, the God of Israel, enthroned above the cherubim, you are the God, you alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; you have made heaven and earth. 16 Incline your ear, O LORD, and hear; open your eyes, O LORD, and see; and hear the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to mock the living God. 17 Truly, O LORD, the kings of Assyria have laid waste the nations and their lands 18 and have cast their gods into the fire, for they were not gods, but the work of men’s hands, wood and stone. Therefore they were destroyed. 19 So now, O LORD our God, save us, please, from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you, O LORD, are God alone.”

Background. Hezekiah became king of Judah when he was 25 years old. 2 Kings 18 says “he did right in the eyes of the Lord.” He removed the high places and broke down the Asherah poles. He trusted in the Lord. When Hezekiah was 29 years old Shalmaneser king of Assyria invaded Samaria (Northern kingdom) and conquered it in three years. When Hezekiah was 39 years old Sennacherib came up against the fortified cities of Judah and took them. Hezekiah paid Sennacherib to withdraw stripping the silver and gold from the house of the Lord and the king’s treasuries. Sennacherib sent emissaries to threaten Hezekiah, saying the Lord will not protect Judah any more than He protected any of the other nations Assyria had conquered.

Response. Hezekiah receives the letter from the messengers and after reading it spreads it before the Lord and prays for God to save them. Through Isaiah, Hezekiah receives the prophecy that the Lord has heard his prayer and will save Judah. That night the angel of the Lord struck down 185,000 Assyrians. The next morning Sennacherib departed, returning home to Nineveh.

Application

As a believer, it is not a matter of if you will face opposition. The Scripture clearly says we will! The question is, “How will you respond?” Hezekiah went to the Lord in prayer, laying out the situation and asking for God’s help. Prayer should be our first response to any and all opposition in our lives!

Join the Conversation!

As always questions and comments are welcome. Have you experienced opposition to your faith in the workplace? How have you handled it?

Category: Skills | Conflict Management

 

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