Every leader I have ever talked to has a story of someone who came along and tried to ruin them as a leader and/or destroy their organizations.
These organization killers come in all shapes and sizes. They can be inside your organization or attack from the outside. They may try to distract the organization from their work. They may try to divide the workers pitting them against their leaders. They may even try to take control of the organization itself.
King Hezekiah was just such a leader who had to deal with someone who tried to destroy the people of Judah. Hezekiah was trying to keep the people of Judah following the Lord and safe from the aggressive king of Assyria who had already conquered Israel. You’ll find Hezekiah’s story recounted in 2 Kings 18-19, and Isaiah 36-37.
When the king of Assyria threatened to invade Judah, Hezekiah tried to buy-off the Assyrians by giving them gold from the temple of the Lord. That wasn’t enough and soon the king of Assyria sent his military commander, someone known only by his title of “the Rabshakeh,” to convince king Hezekiah and the people of Judah to surrender (2 Kings 18).
The Rabshakeh tried six different tactics to convince the leaders and people of Judah there was no hope in trying to defend their country; the only smart choice was to surrender.
- He tried to shake their confidence (vv. 19-21). The Rabshakeh belittled their military strength claiming not only could the people of Judah not defend themselves, even their allies could not help them withstand an attack.
- He belittled their faith (v. 22). The Rabshakeh belittled their faith in the Lord and their commitment to worship before the altar of the Lord.
- He claimed the Lord had sent him (v. 25). The Rabshakeh claimed the Lord himself had told him to come conquer Judah and destroy it.
- He divided the people against the leaders (vv. 26-30). The Rabshakeh spoke to the leaders of Judah knowing the people could hear him. He tried to frighten the people by claiming the leaders would cause the people great suffering if they did not surrender.
- He claimed Hezekiah was deceiving them (vv. 31 & 32b). The Rabshakeh said the people should not trust Hezekiah because he was deceiving them when he said the Lord would protect them.
- He promised great rewards if they surrendered (vv. 31b-32a). The Rabshakeh promised if they would surrender the king of Assyria would provide for them by giving them their own gardens for food and wine, a land of bread, olives, and honey. But they must surrender, otherwise, they would be killed.
Lessons for us from The Rabshakeh
You don’t have to be the leader of a country to have someone come against you.
Here are six tactics a modern day Rabshakeh will use to try to destroy you and your organization:
- You’re not good enough. The modern day Rabshakeh will say no matter how good you are, you are not good enough, you are not strong enough, you’ll never be successful, or this will never work.
- The Lord doesn’t care about you. The modern day Rabshakeh person will try to tell you the Lord doesn’t really care about you and that you are foolish for putting your faith in Him.
- The Lord told me to tell you. The modern day Rabshakeh will claim to have been told by God to bring a message to you to give up and do what they tell you.
- Divide and conquer. The modern day Rabshakeh will try to shake the confidence of the organization in the leader; pitting them against each other. He will try to convince the organization the leader is only going to bring them great harm.
- Your leader is lying to you. The modern day Rabshakeh will tell the organization the leader is not only wrong but is untrustworthy.
- It will all be better if you do what I say. The modern day Rabshakeh will make all kinds of promises of wealth and security, if only you do what they say. They threaten if you do not follow them, you will most certainly suffer great harm.
The world is full of modern day Rabshakeh’s. It takes great wisdom and faith to persevere against them. But remember the words of John the apostle as he encouraged those who faced false prophets “…you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4).
The same is true for us today, He who is in us is greater than he who is in the world, and that includes any modern day Rabshakeh!
Join the Conversation
As always questions and comments are welcome. Have you dealt with a modern day Rabshakeh in your role as a leader? What impact did they have on the organization?
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Category: Personal Development | Wisdom