It was amazing to see that at the conclusion of Operation Defensive Shield, Hamas declared victory! Never mind that huge parts of Gaza are in ruins, never mind that all Hamas’ plans were revealed and thwarted, and that they lost hundreds of fighters; still they declared victory.
Amazingly, many in Israel believed it and became downcast. Many newspapers carried articles enumerating how Israel failed in this and in that, how Israel should have brought an end to Hamas, but didn’t and how the leadership of the country failed.
Most of the Islamic terror groups use the same psychological warfare to try to discourage their enemies, and frighten them, into submission. This is why ISIS is using social media to shock the world and frighten the west, but they are not as strong as they seem; so say the PKK Kurdish fighters who are successfully pushing them back in many places.
The reality of the situation
The reality of the situation is quite different. The truth of the matter is that the Lord moved providentially, and through very difficult circumstances brought to naught Hamas’ plans. Through this unexpected eruption of hostilities, Israel has destroyed much of Hamas’ infrastructure in Samaria and Judea, found and destroyed attack tunnels, meant to be used this very Rosh Hashana (Jewish New Year) in a devastating massive attack against Israel. Israel also destroyed much of Hamas’ rocket arsenal; and this has freed her, for now at least, to be prepared to deal with trouble from the north, if it erupts.
We listen to the enemy too much
Through this, I realized that we listen to and watch the enemy too much. Sometimes, we watch and listen to what the enemy is doing, more than we watch for and listen to, God! Just see how much time you spend on the Internet vs. the time you spend in your Bible and you’ll get the point. This is true, often, in our own lives too— we receive the assessment of the Flesh or the Devil rather than seeing things from God’s perspective. Is there really any other, worthwhile, perspective other than God’s?
This kind of strategy is not new
When Sennacherib the Assyrian king, surrounded Jerusalem in 701 B.C. he tried to frighten and discourage Hezekiah into submission. He had no internet in those days so he sent his leaders to speak by shouting, to the people on the walls of Jerusalem. He used big words, boasted of his many successes, declared that the gods were with him, and promised that if the Jews surrendered, they would have a fine future, but elsewhere.
The full story of this incident can be read in Isaiah 36-37, 2Ki 18-19, 2Chro 32:1-24
But Sennacherib made a big mistake
He defied the God of Israel, the only true God.
“Beware lest Hezekiah persuade you, saying, The LORD will deliver us. Hath any of the gods of the nations delivered his land out of the hand of the king of Assyria? Where are the gods of Hamath and Arphad? where are the gods of Sepharvaim? and have they delivered Samaria out of my hand? Who are they among all the gods of these lands, that have delivered their land out of my hand, that the LORD should deliver Jerusalem out of my hand? Isaiah 36:18-20
Sennacherib made two wrong assumptions: he compared the God of Israel to the gods of the nations, and made himself to be more powerful than God.
This was not a good idea!
“You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “and my servant whom I have chosen, that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor shall there be any after me. I, I am the LORD, and besides me there is no savior. I declared and saved and proclaimed, when there was no strange god among you; and you are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “and I am God. Yea, before the day was I am he; there is none who can deliver from my hand; I work, and who can turn it back? Isaiah 43:10-13
"All the nations are as nothing before him, they are accounted by him as less than nothing and emptiness. To whom then will you liken God, or what likeness compare with him?" Isaiah 40:17-18
"Do you not know? Do you not hear? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth?" It is he who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers; who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them like a tent to dwell in; Is. 40:23 who brings princes to nothing, and makes the rulers of the earth as emptiness. Isaiah 40:21-22
What did the Leaders of Judah do in the face of such an attack?
First - They told the people not to listen nor respond to the enemy - Isaiah 36:21
Second - Hezekiah spared no effort to get to the Lord - Isaiah 37:1-4
Third - They prayed! Isaiah 37:3-4,16-20. [It is good to note that their prayer did not only consist of what the enemy said, but in declaring who God is.)
Fourthly - They waited to hear from the Lord -- Isaiah 37:6-7, 21-35
This time, the Lord sent His Angel— “And the angel of the LORD went out and struck down 185,000 in the camp of the Assyrians. And when people arose early in the morning, behold, these were all dead bodies.” Isaiah 37:36
War is not a game played on the Internet
I am not suggesting that Israel sit back and does nothing, after all, Hezekiah prepared well by diverting the Gihon spring into the city, thus protecting Jerusalem’s water sources and depriving the enemy of the same. This is still considered an unparalleled engineering feat to this day.
But, I am saying that those of us who are called to prayer and intercession, should not allow ourselves to be influenced by the enemy’s prating and boastings. We should not be downcast or be frightened by everything we see and hear the enemy say and do. Instead, we should turn to the Lord, see Him, cry out to Him on behalf of our nation and press on till we hear, and perhaps also see, His answer.
Let us then turn from the enemy to God and pray - Yeshua has won the victory!!
"Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus," Hebrews 10:19
"Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." Hebrews 4:16
On Him we rest our trust!
Jerusalem Prayer Center