On what do you rest this trust of yours?


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Words hold immense power. They can build up or tear down, inspire faith or sow seeds of doubt. In the latest episode of our podcast, we explore several captivating stories from the Bible that vividly illustrate the profound impact of words on our lives and destinies.

The story of Hezekiah and the Assyrian threat offers a striking example. As the Assyrian king’s messenger attempted to undermine Hezekiah’s faith through persuasive words, we witness a battle of ideologies unfolding. The messenger questioned Hezekiah’s reliance on divine intervention, seeking to instill fear and doubt in his mind and heart.

This scenario resonates deeply with the modern challenges believers face today. Just as the Assyrian messenger employed tactics to dissuade Hezekiah from trusting in God, there are countless voices in our world that seek to erode our faith and confidence in God. Whether through social media, popular culture, or even personal relationships, we encounter narratives that can subtly (or overtly) shake the foundations of our beliefs.

In the face of such opposition, we can learn from the response of Eliakim, Shebnah, and Joah. They recognized the danger of the messenger’s words and took steps to protect themselves and their loved ones from discouraging influences. This highlights the critical importance of safeguarding our hearts and minds, being discerning about the voices we allow to shape our perspectives.

Despite the immense pressure to heed the Assyrian king’s words, Hezekiah turned to Isaiah, the prophet, for reassurance and guidance. He anchored himself in the truth of God’s promises, refusing to be swayed by deception. In our personal journeys, we too must cultivate the discipline of seeking wisdom from trustworthy sources, lest we be led astray by the persuasive rhetoric of those who would undermine our faith.

The story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego presents another powerful illustration of unwavering faith in the face of adversity. Even when confronted with the threat of death, these three men remained steadfast in their devotion to God. The recurring phrase “Even if” encapsulates the essence of their trust – they were willing to follow God, even if it meant enduring the fiery furnace.

The heart of the believer is truly to be found in the humility of saying even if, or, if the circumstances don’t play out the way I desire, I’m still going to follow and serve God.

Such resolute faith is a challenge to us all. In a world that constantly bombards us with narratives of fear, doubt, and compromise, we must cling to the unwavering truth of God’s Word and His promises. The stories of Hezekiah, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego remind us that our words and beliefs have the power to shape our destinies. May we ever strive to align our speech and thoughts with the principles of Scripture, allowing the transformative power of God’s truth to permeate every aspect of our lives.

When we hear the words and lies of the world and our enemy,  we need to take them and lay them before the Lord, and allow Him to replace those lies with his truth.

Even if he doesn’t change anything in our circumstances physically, he’s given us everything we need to stay focused on him to walk with him-even if nothing changes in our life, or our circumstances. And those are the words that we need to rely on. The promises that God gave us are not just for the here and now. They’re for eternity, but they’re also for the here and now.

READ TRANSCRIPT

Jennifer Smith (00:07):

Hey, we’re Aaron and Jennifer Smith, your host of the Marriage After God podcast. And lately we’ve been in a series talking about words. And in this episode today, we thought it would be fun to dive into two different Bible stories that show and reveal the power of words.

Aaron Smith (00:21):

Hey, welcome back to our show. We just want to invite you, if you haven’t already done it, subscribe to our channel. That way you can get every episode we do every week. And also, if you have not yet left a review on our podcast, if you’re listening anywhere on Spotify or iTunes, we’d love to have a review and a star rating that helps other people find our show. And ultimately, if you share our show on social media, that’s the best way to get the word out. So we appreciate it. Yeah, we’re glad you’re here and we got a pretty decent episode of Hope for you.

Jennifer Smith (00:50):

So Aaron,

Aaron Smith (00:52):

Yeah, last week, I just want to bring up I was pretty sick, not horribly sick. I was actually thanking God because I feel like all last year I feel like we didn’t get sick at all, or at least I didn’t. And so I’m pretty happy that it’s only been this one little thing. I had this head cold and a headache for a

Jennifer Smith (01:10):

Week. I remember you saying My face hurts.

Aaron Smith (01:12):

I’m finally feeling better. You might hear it a little bit in my throat, so bear with me, but I’m feeling a lot better. That’s

Jennifer Smith (01:19):

Good. When I read your note there that it says I’ve been sick, I was like, oh, he wants me to talk about how I’ve been feeling lately.

Aaron Smith (01:25):

Oh, we should talk about why

Jennifer Smith (01:27):

You’ve been sick. Honestly, I’ve also been sick, but not the same kind of sick.

Aaron Smith (01:30):

Yeah, what’s been going on? Are you all

Jennifer Smith (01:32):

Right? Yeah, I am. I’m great. All healthy signs. We found out that we are expecting again, we’re

Aaron Smith (01:39):

Pregnant.

Jennifer Smith (01:41):

Here comes baby number six. And so I’ve just been feeling real. This is the

Aaron Smith (01:47):

Sickest dub been right out of all the pregnancies.

Jennifer Smith (01:50):

No, I think Edith’s was the worst of it and lasted the longest, but this one has not felt great.

Aaron Smith (01:57):

You’ve had a pretty consistent morning sickness, not just in the morning.

Jennifer Smith (02:01):

Yeah, it’s not like a night certain part of the day, which with a lot of my other pregnancies, it was like from 3:00 PM on, but I was able to get sleep and stuff and this one has just been really restless. Not sure why, but

Aaron Smith (02:12):

So now you all know the secret’s out. Secret’s

Jennifer Smith (02:15):

Out.

Aaron Smith (02:15):

We’ve got baby number six on the way

Jennifer Smith (02:16):

For the podcast listeners. We probably won’t post it right away to social media, but maybe, we’ll, I don’t know yet. We might as well.

Aaron Smith (02:22):

They’re going to know.

Jennifer Smith (02:23):

You guys get to hear

Aaron Smith (02:24):

It first. You get to hear it first. So yeah, we got baby number six. We’re

Jennifer Smith (02:27):

Very excited.

Aaron Smith (02:28):

We don’t know the gender yet. We have no names picked out yet, but still early on. Oh man, our kids are so excited. They’ve been praying

Jennifer Smith (02:34):

For years. They’ve been praying for a year. Yeah,

Aaron Smith (02:36):

I feel like years, probably. Years. Yeah. They bring it up in the

Jennifer Smith (02:39):

Phases very intentionally. This last year they’ve been desiring it and they talk about it a lot and they ask when we can, yeah,

Aaron Smith (02:46):

When’s the new baby coming? We’re like, yeah, some of them understand how it works, the others, but we’re really excited. It

Jennifer Smith (02:54):

Feels a little strange just because all the others, I felt like were so close together. And so it’s been a four year gap. Edith is going to be, this is our biggest gap turning four soon. And so it’s just wild to think about us going back to having a baby.

Aaron Smith (03:08):

And she’s pretty excited Edith about being a big sister. Oh yeah. Yeah. It’s going to be huge. But I’m excited because we have a lot of older kids now, so we have so much helpful hands with a new baby.

Jennifer Smith (03:19):

Even in taking care of me lately, they’ve been so compassionate and just like, mom, can I get you water? Mom, can I, whatever they can do for me, I get these little love notes tied to the water that’s really fun.

Aaron Smith (03:30):

All of has been such a sweetheart. I love her. Yeah, she’s a very thoughtful human. Just the notes and the letters.

Jennifer Smith (03:40):

She brought me a snack. I was laying in bed, I took a nap and she had left on my end table, two paper plates that were left over from some party. It had butterflies and flowers on it, but they were pinched together with paper clips. And it said on the front, I love you. And so I opened it up and there was all these little cutout cards and each one said something different. You’re the best mom in the world. I love you so much. I can’t wait to see the baby. I’m so glad you’re pregnant. And it was just all these little stuffed cards in these two paper plates. And I thought she’s So

Aaron Smith (04:09):

The other funny night, I look over next to my bed and there’s this huge eight and a half by 11 green card that’s stapled together. So there’s stuff inside of it. I open it up, huge long letter of just telling me how much she loves me and little shapes cut out of fabric. And she’s funny. She’s always doing really cute stuff like that, which by the way, you were encouraged, inspired by her a little while ago. Yeah. You’re like, we should do a letter like that for her. And we did one and I stepped it on her pillow. So when she woke up, she saw it.

Jennifer Smith (04:39):

She loves it. She’s definitely a words of affirmation person reminds me of you in that way.

Aaron Smith (04:43):

Love it. She just goes out of her way to do it. Yeah, I love that. And you keep encouraging that.

Jennifer Smith (04:49):

So that’s what’s been going on in my downtime. I have been studying Esther, which has been a delight. I feel like I hadn’t read that book in a while, but the ladies in our fellowship, in our church had come together and said, okay, what do we want this next phase of ladies night to look like? Because we meet every other week. And so we spent some time praying about it and thinking about what it would look like. And we had just gotten done with a study and we decided, Esther. So for the next, I think it’s like 10 weeks,

Aaron Smith (05:18):

I’ve been enjoying listening to learn about it because you’re listening to these different YouTube videos about it. I like

Jennifer Smith (05:23):

Commentaries. Yeah. I look up YouTube. I got two commentaries from Amazon and I’ve just kind of been digging in and it’s been nice in having the downtime. You’ve been letting me rest in the evenings and stuff, and sometimes all day depending on how bad it’s, so using that time to kind of slow down and be with the Lord too has been really efficient and nice.

Aaron Smith (05:44):

Love it. I think it’s going to be a good study with all the stuff I’ve been hearing, all the,

Jennifer Smith (05:48):

So if you’re listening to this and you have also been digging into Esther or have in the past and have any little gems and treasures that you found, DM me on Unveiled Wife on Instagram because I’d love to be able to share ’em with the ladies group.

Aaron Smith (06:01):

Awesome. Okay, so we’re talking about words still. We have a few more episodes of this, but this episode we wanted to dig into a few stories in the Bible and in reality, if you’ve read the Bible for any amount of time, the majority of the Bible, first of all, it’s the word of God. This is, we believe as Christians who have our faith in Jesus Christ that the Bible is the inspired word of God. This is like it’s him. And so it’s about words and every story when you break it down to what’s going on, it’s about man listening to God. God says something and it’s either they do it or they don’t do it. And that’s kind of the prevailing story throughout all of scripture.

Jennifer Smith (06:39):

And I love how powerful scripture is in that it actually does transform the way that we think. And during family Bible time today, the kids were reciting some verses that they have been learning

Aaron Smith (06:51):

And they

Jennifer Smith (06:52):

Remembered all of them for the most part. But it’s so great. We got to encourage them that when they memorize scripture that they’re writing it on their hearts. That’s what that phrase means. And having it as a part of them and what they believe and what they know to be true and how when we know God’s word, it does change us. And I was talking to specifically one of the kids about how when they struggle with something like being kind to a sibling, they’re going to have opportunity where they’re going to hear Colossians three 12 and they’re going to remember what it means to clothe yourself with compassion and kindness and gentleness and gentleness. And that’s how God’s word transforms us is because the Holy Spirit brings it to remembrance. He brings it up, and then we get to choose in how to walk. We’re going to walk God’s way or we’re going to walk in the flesh. So also just a little plug, be doing family Bible time with your kids because oh man, they need to know this stuff.

Aaron Smith (07:45):

I felt really, really emboldened this morning. I was listening to a podcast I was telling you about by Jordan Peterson and he’s interviewing this author of a book about how therapy and certain things are just affecting culture right now. But all I kept hearing was there’s a message being pushed on everyone, especially the children. And I was like, I need to make sure that my kids know the right message. I need to make sure that they’re hearing over and over and over again, God’s message, God’s word, and that it’s there so that they can combat when at whatever point, when the world, when they’re in the world, they’ll be able to have that foundation. And that’s what this series has been about. The words we hear, the words we speak the words we receive, the words we believe, and the world has their words and the enemy has his words and God has his, and we need to be putting our minds on his word. And so we’re going to be on his word today. I love this link you put in here. There’s a website called bible stories.org, and I clicked on it and it’s literally just link from Genesis all the way to Revelation of all these main stories in the Bible and it titles them. And I was like, this is

Jennifer Smith (08:53):

Cool. It’s a very simplified way of digging through scripture specifically for stories. It was funny, when I was doing some research for today’s episode, I kept typing things in the power of words revealed through a story in the Bible or Bible stories that show the power of words the same thing. It wasn’t like giving me what I wanted and I was very, Google failed. I don’t want to see disappointed. But yeah, I was like, how do I find what it is that I’m looking for? Maybe I just wasn’t clear in understanding what I was looking for for you guys, but to say the least, I did find this website and it was cool just to be able to trickle

Aaron Smith (09:27):

Through all the stories, all the stories,

Jennifer Smith (09:29):

The bullet

Aaron Smith (09:29):

Form. I think the point, because I was doing the same thing and I was realizing, like I said, the majority of the Bible is these, it’s stories of words being believed and heard and back and forth and God speaking and the people listening or not listening. And so it’s not that there’s maybe one specific story that’s like, oh, that shows it perfectly. It’s like it’s the story of the Bible. It’s like it’s his word or the world’s word, and what do we

Jennifer Smith (09:52):

Receive? I think I was looking for words that are really sticky words that we even still look at today or hold fast to today, which I think that we’ll see in the second story. What I meant when I was looking for

Aaron Smith (10:07):

Something

Jennifer Smith (10:08):

Specific, it’s kind of like when you are, we had talked about this in another episode, but when you’re watching a movie and there’s just that one line in there that you walk away from and you memorize it because it is sticky. I was looking for something like that.

Aaron Smith (10:21):

I think one of ’em would be like John 3 16, 1 of the most famous verses in the Bible. Elliot was trying to recite it this morning, and I told him, I said, Elliot, it used to be our generation and maybe the generations before, the majority of people could recite that verse,

Jennifer Smith (10:36):

Even if they’re not

Aaron Smith (10:38):

Really

Jennifer Smith (10:38):

Strong believers or have

Aaron Smith (10:39):

Faith. And the sad thing is now the current generations of young adults and teens, there’s a lag. They probably don’t even know what it is. They’ve never heard that verse. So it’s amazing how certain verses scriptures and ideas can shape a worldview and then that gets lost. It’s gone. So parents, you need to be teaching your kids read these things. You may know them, but they don’t make it a part of your life. Okay, so the first story we’re going to be talking about, this is a pretty awesome story, and I don’t know if you’ve read this before. If you haven’t, please go to Second Kings and read about this story of King Hezekiah, excuse me. And it’s in Second Kings in chapter 18. And this is a story of King Hezekiah early on in his kingship and his ruling in Judah. And he was age 25 when he became king, which is pretty awesome to think about that he was so young, but there was even younger kings I realized in Israel’s history.

(11:42)
But he was age 25 and it says in the Bible that he loved the Lord and kept all his laws and statutes. And so it starts off King Hezekiah’s story this way. And actually throughout kings first and second kings, many of the stories of the kings start off this way. Either they obeyed the Lord or they did not follow their father’s way and they turned. And so you have this idea of it always starts off of does this king love the Lord or not this one did. King Hezekiah loves the Lord and kept all his laws and statutes. And then all of a sudden in the 14th year of his rule, the King of Assyria, another country, another ruling people comes to attack Judah. This kingdom was already attacking Israel, already took away people to Babylon from Israel and had been taking out Egypt and all these other places.

(12:38)
The king of Assyria was doing this, just destroying all these other nations, winning every left and right. It’s pretty bleak, pretty scary. You’re king, a new king. You’re like, oh wait, I see everything happening around here. And so I’m just setting up the story for us and I’m going to read the scriptures. And then the King of Assyria sends a great army with some messengers to Judah because Hezekiah rebels against the king. He’s not going to serve the king of Assyria. And so he sends a great army with hopes that they would capture Judah and that they would take down the nation. So he sends this great army. That’s what the Bible says. So that puts us in two kings, chapter 18, starting in verse 19. I’m going to read this and then we can talk about, it says in the REBs Sheah, that word by the way means like servant to the prince or servant to the king.

(13:33)
It’s a messenger. So in the REBs, Sheah said to them, say to Hezekiah, thus says the great king, the king of Assyria, on what do you rest this trust of yours? Do you think that mere words are strategy and power for war? In whom do you know now trust that you have rebelled against me. Behold, you are trusting now in Egypt that broken readed of a staff which will pierce the hand of any man who leans on it. Such is Pharaoh, king of Egypt to all who trusted him. But if you say to me, we trust in the Lord our God, is it not he whose high places and altars Hezekiah is removed, saying to Judah and to Jerusalem, you shall worship before this altar in Jerusalem. Come now, make a wager with my master that the king of a cereal, I will give you 2000 horses if you are able on your part to set riders on them.

(14:24)
How then can you repulse a single captain among the least of my master servants, when you trust in Egypt for chariots and for horsemen, moreover, it is without the Lord that I have come up against this place to destroy it. The Lord said to me, go up against the land, this land and destroy it. There’s a lot here. But what is essentially happening is this messenger, this cheka is not just taunting the king, but he’s trying to put doubt. He’s trying to tear down whatever hope he has in whatever he’s holding onto so that he would give up. That’s what’s happening. And that’s his main strategy. Even though he has this great army, he comes up against the Judah with words. And I even think it’s so funny that even states, he’s like, what do you think words are a strategy for war? And this is exactly what he’s doing.

(15:19)
He’s using words as a strategy for war. And so the question is, and the main theme is like are if you’re going to say that you’re putting your tress on the Lord, isn’t the king the one that told you to tear down all these other altars? And earlier on in two kings, one of the first things Hezekiah did when he became king was he went around and he tore down all the high places, all the altars, all the idols. And he pretty much was like, no, we’re going to worship the Lord. Only we’re going to get rid of all of this stuff. And so now this messenger’s using these words to discourage the people of Judah. And it makes me think, how often are we attacked in the same way, how often do you feel like the enemy come to you? He says, oh, you’re going to trust in the Lord. What has he done for you over here? What has he done for you over here? Are you going to walk in that? Do you ever feel that way in your own life?

Jennifer Smith (16:10):

Yeah, definitely. And I feel like it comes in little increments. It’s not like everything all at once, but definitely points to different areas of my life where I feel like I’m struggling or I feel like I am insecure. I doubt my own abilities. And you do hear those little, the questionings

Aaron Smith (16:29):

Maybe when it comes to prayer like, oh, what’s prayer going to do? You’ve been praying, hasn’t done nothing. I’ve done nothing. Yeah. And the enemy tries to come in and not just attack us head on, he tries to use words to convince us out of defending ourselves, out of attacking out of this is the strategy of war that the rep check

Jennifer Smith (16:52):

Is bringing deceiving that he even says, like you said, it’s

Aaron Smith (16:55):

Like, oh, you’re just going to use words,

Jennifer Smith (16:56):

Words for a strategy. But that’s,

Aaron Smith (16:59):

It’s exactly how he attacks. And there’s been many times in my life that I was just bringing up in the last episode how I’ve had this feeling of just wanting to give up. This is too hard just continuing on in our work and doing family Bible time every day and being consistent in that and these feelings of I’m a failure and I feel like that. And the enemy’s like, yeah, why don’t you give up? Yeah, it’s not working.

Jennifer Smith (17:25):

He affirms all of those

Aaron Smith (17:26):

Thoughts and the holy Spirit’s like, no, no, just take the next right step. Rely on me. Don’t rely on your flesh.

Jennifer Smith (17:33):

I do like up here where the way that it’s phrased, I think, I dunno, verse 18 on what do you 19 on? What do you rest this trust of yours? I don’t know why. The way that it’s worded is when you think of trust, it seems like just a concept of what you believe.

Aaron Smith (17:56):

Yeah, what are you trusting in?

Jennifer Smith (17:57):

But this sounds physical. What do you rest your trust on?

Aaron Smith (18:01):

Well, it almost sounds like you have your trust. This is how much trust I have. If you’re listening, I’m making this bull shape with my hands and I’m going to place my trust over here and I’m going to leave it with you name it. What are you leaving it with? Your bank account, your education, your strength, your health, or are you leaving it with God? He’s like, on what do you rest this trust of yours? He’s like this trust that makes you so bold to deny, to rebel against us. What is it? If you say it’s Egypt, you’re going to fail because we just took out Egypt and the Pharaohs, that’s what it talks about. He’s like, you’re going to rest your hand on not snap and it’s going to snap and snap your hand. He’s like, but if it’s the Lord, you’re resting it on, which the REBs sheah knows it’s he’s resting it in the Lord.

(18:51)
And I love that. I don’t love it. I just think it’s so interesting that even the REBs Shaka, he mentions how Hezekiah did the right thing before the Lord and uses as a tool. He says, oh, that thing that you believe was right, tearing down everyone’s idols, tearing down everyone’s high places. You’ve essentially told everyone here, only serve this one God. And do you believe that one God is actually going to take care of you. You did the wrong thing. And that’s another thing I feel like we as believers get attacked on is don’t do that right thing because that’s going to hurt you. Go and teach your kids about the Bible. Oh, you name what the world wants to call you for doing that. Oh, you’re going to go pray for this person. Oh, you’re going to go sacrifice over here. You’re going to go lay down yourself like this. Oh, if you lay yourself down for your spouse, oh, they’re just going to step all over you. Don’t do the right thing. Don’t do the thing that God wants you to do that God’s calling you to

Jennifer Smith (19:51):

Do. How for people listening, how do you navigate when you are trying to do the right thing and you are trying to put your trust in the Lord? And you do hear those voices whether they’re closest to you, other believers or the world voices. But how do you stand strong and in confidence?

Aaron Smith (20:13):

This is what we’re going to get into in a minute of what Hezekiah does, but that’s the reality is because we’re going to believe something as Christians.

Jennifer Smith (20:21):

Well, we’re going to hear it, right? We’re going to hear a lot of

Aaron Smith (20:24):

Differences. We believe that’s the truth that tells us to be a certain way and the world’s going to be like, no, if you do that, you’re going to lose this. We’re going to treat you this way. You’re going to feel this way. If you look at Hezekiah, he did the right thing and the army’s coming him anyway, because you might say, well, why is the army came against him if he’s done so well? If he’s loves God and he did the right thing and he tore down the idols and he turned his nation towards serving God only then why is this army even here? Why is he being forced? We tend to think this way as believers. We talked about this on Sunday as we tend to look at, I did all the right things. Why isn’t God blessing me? Why isn’t God taking away this pain?

(21:03)
Why isn’t God taking away this suffering? Why isn’t God protecting me in this way, the way we think he should be doing it? And then the enemy uses that and says, see, your god’s not helping you. And that’s what this she had just said. He said, I’m actually here on behalf of the Lord. He told me to come destroy you. And he is telling Hezekiah, he’s like, you think your lord’s going to protect you? But he’s like, what if the Lord told me to come to destroy you? Which very well. I mean that’s what the god’s done in the past with Israel, but Hezekiah was serving God. And so even when this bad thing was coming against him, even though he did all the right things, this was the story of our marriage in the beginning. We believed we deserve something from God because we saved ourselves and we believed we did all the right things.

(21:48)
We were missionaries sacrificing things, loving God. And we’re like, why are we suffering? And the enemy enemy told us over and over and over again, he’s like, yeah, you should quit. He’s not giving you what you deserve. Those what’s the point? Yeah, why are you doing this? Why are you doing this? But he did what was right and this happens to us. And that’s what’s hard is he immediately got opposition. He got opposition in a major way, but I love what the leaders do. So you said, what do we do? What are we doing? We feel like we’re supposed to serve God in this way. We’re doing the right thing. We’re trying to walk in his ways. And so listen to what the leaders do. This is something that as believers we should be doing for each other. Two kings 18, 26 through 29, then Elia Kim, the son of Hill, Kayah and Shena and Joa said to the cheka, so this is what’s really cool.

(22:44)
So the army comes against Judah and they’re all on the outskirts, and these messengers are yelling out at the city gates and there’s people on the walls and there’s the people inside the city. And so all of these leaders of Judah are there listening and they yell out, please speak to your servants in Aramaic for we understand it. Do not speak to us in the language of Judah within the hearing of the people who are on the wall. So what’s happening is these leaders, they’re trying to protect the people from hearing what the recheck is saying. Why do you think he would do that? Why do you think they would try and stop them from hearing it?

Jennifer Smith (23:25):

Because they don’t want the people to doubt or become insecure or wrestle like

Aaron Smith (23:30):

Exactly

Jennifer Smith (23:30):

The opposition.

Aaron Smith (23:31):

They’re trying to protect the ears of the people so that they wouldn’t be discouraged, wouldn’t believe the lies wouldn’t be fearful. So this is a major thing. They were trying to protect him. And this is something that we need to do as parents. I was just talking to about with my kids that we won’t be able to protect them forever. And you’ll see in this story, it doesn’t happen

Jennifer Smith (23:53):

And we won’t be able to ask the world to speak in a different

Aaron Smith (23:55):

Language and we can yell out as loud as we want. And the world’s not going to change the way they talk. They’re not going to speak. They’re going to speak specifically, they want our kids ears, but we can now, when they’re in our homes, do our best to protect them. What are they listening to? What are they watching? What message messages are we allowing them to hear? What messages are we sharing? And so these leaders, they speak to us in Ara Mary because we can understand that and the people won’t, so they won’t be able to hear it. And so that’s their strategy. And then the revs Shaka does this, which

Jennifer Smith (24:30):

Again has to do with words.

Aaron Smith (24:31):

Yeah, it has to do with words. But the revs Shaka said to them, has my master sent me to speak these words to your master and to you and not to the men sitting on the wall who are doomed with you to eat their own dung and to drink their own urine. So he just doubles down. He’s like, no, this is exactly what we’re doing. We want these people to be fearful. We want them to recognize that they’re doomed. We want them to believe that if you believed you’re doomed, you’re probably going to

Jennifer Smith (24:56):

Be doomed. They knew the power of their words.

Aaron Smith (24:59):

And then in verse 28, then the reps has stood and called out in a loud voice in the language of Judah specifically went against these leaders. He’s like, Nope, we’re going to specifically speak in your language so they can all hear this. Hear the word of the great king, the king of Assyria, thus says the king, do not let Hezeki deceive you for he will not be able to deliver you out of my hand.

Jennifer Smith (25:20):

Scary.

Aaron Smith (25:21):

Yeah,

(25:22)
Scary. So you hear those words, these people hear those words, and the sek is hoping that they will rebel or surrender like King Hezeki, you’re failing. You’re doing something all wrong. We’ve lost. You need to give up and make this better for us. But again, this story, the whole purpose of this story that’s happening first of all is historical, but shows the process of a king who loves God and also shows the process of how the enemy wants to tear down with words and wants to convince and turn our beliefs from the truth to lies

Jennifer Smith (26:04):

And is relentless

Aaron Smith (26:05):

And is relentless. And so in two kings, 1830, let’s keep navigating through this and see the process. First we had the leaders trying to stop the words like, Hey, speak to us and we will relay the message and the enemy’s like, Nope, we’re going to say this as loud as we can so that most people can hear it. So verse 30, do not let Hezekiah make you trust in the Lord by saying The Lord will surely deliver us, and this city will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria. Do not listen to Hezekiah. For thus as the king of Assyria, make your peace with me and come out to me. Then each one of you will eat of his own vine, each one of his own fig tree, and each one will drink the water of his own cistern until I come and take you away to the land like your own, a land of grain and wine, a land of bread and vineyards, a land of oil, trees and honey, olive trees and honey that you may live and not die. Do not listen to Hezekiah when he misleads you saying The Lord will deliver us. The enemy is going to present to us as he did to Jesus and as he does to everyone,

Jennifer Smith (27:15):

Everything you could ever want,

Aaron Smith (27:16):

You serve God and you will die. You will suffer. You come out, you surrender to me. I’ll make your life easy. I’ll take away all the burdens. You’ll be on my side. There’ll be no more contention, no more strife, no more fighting, no more arguments, no more bloodshed, just surrender. This is so much better. I’ll give you something. The king’s lying to you, don’t listen to him. This is our story, Christians, that God’s like trust in me. Listen to my words.

Jennifer Smith (27:49):

I was going to say that the enemy strategy of using words for war has not changed much. He still lures us in and temps us with all the things that we want and desire. The same way this happened. And the same way all the way back to the Garden of Eden,

Aaron Smith (28:08):

He told Jesus, you don’t have to do it this way. Just serve me and I’ll give you everything. And Jesus is like, no, serve the Lord your God. Only even under suffering. But this is the tactic of the enemy, is to convince us that following God and trusting in him is not good, is the wrong choice. And he’s going to use the evidence of, look at this army standing here. Do you think your God has stopped us? Even the rubs shack even does that. He’s like, have the other country’s Gods stopped us? Nope. Do you think yours is now going to stop us and he is going to use what we see in the world? Wow. Look at all the victories that the enemy’s having. We’re losing, quote unquote, we’re not winning. We’re not having victory. So do we just give up? Do we listen to that? Do we give into that? Or do we trust the Lord and believe what he says regardless of all of the evidence around us, regardless of how loud the voice is of the enemy.

(29:16)
So do not listen. That’s the message. Don’t listen to the enemy. That was what the leaders were trying to do is trying to stop the ears of the people, the most vulnerable, the weakest saying, don’t listen to this. And because he wants the rep, Shaka wants them to listen to him. And the message of the king of Assyria, not to the king Hezekiah who’s pointing them to God and saying, no, the Lord will protect us. I have this question, wonder why that is? Whose voice are we listening to? Who voice do you listen to when you don’t feel well? When you are scared of the future? Is it the enemies saying, oh yeah, those things are going to happen and you are going to fail and you are going to lose and it’s going to be painful.

Jennifer Smith (30:11):

I would say that I hear it, but I don’t listen to it. What I listen to is what I find in scripture. And oftentimes what I listen to is you. I hear your voice often encourage me and speak truth and remind me what the scriptures say. And I think that’s a huge testament to the marriage relationship and how powerful it is that we can just stand in that place, kind of like the leaders. Were trying to be protective in that way. I think that spouses can do that for each other.

Aaron Smith (30:39):

Amen. And that’s men. One of your greatest roles is to be that like those leaders of Judah, to recognize the lies and to try and stop those voices.

Jennifer Smith (30:50):

But I would say that we can’t be doing that for each other if we ourselves are not in the word and believe in confidence, the truth that is there. Because you can’t offer that to someone else if you don’t believe it.

Aaron Smith (31:01):

It’s true. You got to believe the right words first. So let’s move on a little bit more. I’m coming to the end of my story and then we’ll do your story next. But let’s learn from what Isaiah does. Isaiah was the prophet in this time, and he was the prophet to King Hezekiah. And God comes to Isaiah and tells him to go to King Hezekiah and to reassure him, he says, go reassure.

Jennifer Smith (31:26):

God knows what we need Hezekiah.

Aaron Smith (31:27):

And so two kings 19, six, Isaiah said to them, say to your master, thus says the Lord, do not be afraid because of the words that you have heard with which the servants of the king of Assyria have reviled me. He says, don’t be afraid.

Jennifer Smith (31:44):

It reminds me of when Jesus says they’re going to persecute you because they hate me.

Aaron Smith (31:49):

He’s like,

Jennifer Smith (31:50):

We have to remember.

Aaron Smith (31:51):

He’s like, but take heart. I’ve overcome the world. So Isaiah, this is what God says through Isaiah. So it’s God really going to King Hezekiah, but he’s using Isaiah. He’s saying, do not be afraid because of the words that you have heard. Do not be afraid. This is especially in the world we live in now, do not be afraid of the words that the news tells you. Do not be afraid of what the enemy is speaking against you as a believer as because you’ve put your faith in Jesus. Do not be afraid because in reality, the words that are being spoken are reviling God, not you, not me. It’s revealing God. It’s against God. And so he reminds him of the truth and encourages him not to be afraid. And then the next thing we need to learn is how Hezekiah responds. So we have the leaders how they responded.

(32:44)
We have Isaiah and how he responded going and reassuring like you were just talking about the husband and a wife can do this together of reassuring each other of the truth, but this is what Hezekiah does. 19 verse 14, Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers and read it. So there’s this letter that gets brought to him, and Hezekiah went up to the house of the Lord and spread it before the Lord. This is his response. He takes a letter, he reads it, and then he goes straight to the house of the Lord and lays it on the altar and pray. And that’s what we should be doing. How often do we get in our cycles of like we’re in this feedback loop of fear, this feedback loop of I’m not good enough, this feedback loop of like, I’m not capable or God’s not with me.

Jennifer Smith (33:35):

What if this happens? What if that happens

Aaron Smith (33:38):

And we’re ruminating on those negative words, those lies in reality instead of ruminating on the word of God, that reassures us, that reminds us going to God and saying, God, here’s the message from the enemy and lay it down in the altar and ask him to speak to us.

Jennifer Smith (33:58):

That’s good.

Aaron Smith (34:01):

Yeah, it was really good. I was loving the story as I was digging. There was so much stuff in it I wanted to, because there’s earlier on stuff, there’s later on stuff, and it was too much. So you should go read it. It’s in Second Kings starting in chapter 18 even probably a little bit before that. But cool. So why don’t we go on to the next

Jennifer Smith (34:23):

Story? Okay, mine’s much briefer. But again, how I mentioned Jess is encouraging though it’s still encouraging. In the beginning of this episode, we both had mentioned how we were Googling what powerful stories in the Bible reveal or use words that I used, the phrase sticky and I couldn’t find what I was looking for in being able to share with you guys. And so then I started thinking, okay, well what stories in the Bible have impacted me? What words do I remember what has had an impact in my life? So you’ve had

Aaron Smith (34:56):

Your own sticky words. Yes.

Jennifer Smith (34:58):

Who needs Google? So I thought about this last year and the phrase even if really stood out to me. So I went back to Daniel and read through that and I told Aaron, I think this is the story that I want to share. And you guys are all familiar with it. This is a very famous story in the Bible. We’ll still read about it. It’s in Daniel three 12 through 18. It says, there are certain Jews whom you have appointed over the affairs of the province of Babylon, Shadrach, MHA, and a Bendigo. These men, O King, pay no attention to you. They do not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up. Then Nebuchadnezzar in furious rage commanded that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego be brought. So they brought these men before the king Nebuchadnezzar answered and said to them, is it true?

(35:46)
Oh, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the golden image that I have set up. Now, if you are ready, when you hear the sound of the horn pipe, trigon, harp, bagpipe and every kind of music to fall down and worship the image that I have made well and good, but if you do not worship, you shall immediately be cast into a burning furry theory, fiery furnace. And who is the God who will deliver you out of my hands? Shadrach, Micha and Abednego answered and said to the king, oh Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If this be so our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. And this is verse 18, and this is the part that stands out.

(36:37)
But if not, and some versions say even if be it known to you O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up. And so the reason that I wanted to share this, again, different versions say it a little bit different, but it means the same thing. So it says, but if not, or even if that is the sticky phrase, those are the powerful words that I think so many people rely on clinging to put their trust in when it comes to their relationship with the Lord. This idea that this really bad thing is happening, but no matter what, I’m going to serve the Lord in it. And

Aaron Smith (37:14):

Even if he doesn’t change, my circumstance doesn’t even if it doesn’t heal me, even if he doesn’t

Jennifer Smith (37:18):

Save,

Aaron Smith (37:18):

He

Jennifer Smith (37:18):

Got me out of this. As humans and in our flesh, there are so many different ways that we desire an outcome. There are preferences, there are opinions that we have about the ideal

Aaron Smith (37:29):

We know best, the

Jennifer Smith (37:30):

Ideal

Aaron Smith (37:31):

Situation, God, you’re not doing it right, Lord, you need to switch this up a bit.

Jennifer Smith (37:34):

But the heart of a believer is truly to be found in the humility of saying even if or, but if not, if the circumstances don’t play out the way that I desire, I’m still going to follow God.

Aaron Smith (37:47):

Their relationship with God wasn’t contingent on their circumstances,

Jennifer Smith (37:51):

Which is beautiful, beautiful. And what a powerful testimony to Nebuchadnezzar and everyone else who’s listening these words that, and this is so long ago, you guys, and even still today, these words are so powerful.

Aaron Smith (38:05):

I think it’s interesting that the same, so the enemies of Hezekiah said, who is this God? You’re putting your trust in? Yeah, they don’t believe him. And Nebuchadnezzar says, who is this God that’s going to deliver you out of my hands? This is a tactic of the enemy is to make us doubt God’s relationship to us. Make us doubt God’s ability in our life. Make us doubt what God’s promised. Yeah.

Jennifer Smith (38:34):

Which again, love their response here because they’re basically saying, of course we believe he has the power to deliver us, and he could do that. But if he doesn’t, we’re still not going to bow down to you. And that’s the kind of position and heart that we need to have before the Lord and before every circumstances and opposition and negative thing that we face against which we’re going to, we are going to experience tribulation, hardship, unwanted circumstances, and we have to have this heart of worship towards the Lord. And I think that I keep using the word beautiful. It really stood out to me,

Aaron Smith (39:05):

No matter what message the world preaches to us, no matter what lies come our way, we are going to believe God’s word, what he has said, what he has promised over those. And that’s getting harder and harder to do in these days because the world wants you to stop believing and stop trusting in your God.

Jennifer Smith (39:27):

So I was going to just share a couple of highlights from this last year of why this phrase stood out personally to me. And the idea of sharing it with you is just to be an encouragement, but also to know that I’m sure there’s been things in your life where maybe you received the same set of words from someone, or maybe you needed to hear this. And you can go back to those moments and say, well, I chose to honor God regardless of my circumstance. And that’s a blessing for you, and I want you to know that. So the first thing I thought of is this time last year, actually, I think it was January, it was right in the beginning of the year, I had gone to just a doctor checkup. They do like an annual checkup, and my doctor was concerned of finding a lump in my breast and I had to go get a mammogram, which you think in your mind, I’m too young for this.

(40:19)
Some people would probably say, no, you’re not. But I was terrified. I was so scared and I didn’t even feel like sharing it with a lot of people. I shared it with obviously Erin and a couple of close friends just for prayer. And I was sitting in the waiting room and I had already had my first check. And my sister-in-law was texting her back and forth, and she wrote in big, bold letters and texts me right back, even if, and then comes back and says, remember in Daniel that no matter what happens, Jen, God is good and he’s got you. And it was so encouraging. And right after I read those and I was feeling all good, the technician came out and said, so the one side that we were concerned about looked okay, but there’s this other side. And I was like, oh, no. So I had to go back for another exam and it was just my mind was racing, but all I could think about were these words, even if, and I just kept thinking, God, no matter what happens, at the end of the day, I know you have me and I know that you are the one authoring my story and I’m going to trust in you and it, it’s a hard thing to do. I’m not making it sound easy. I’m just

Aaron Smith (41:21):

Well, it’s a surrender. It’s a laying down of your own life and saying, no matter what happens, I’m not going to stop serving you. I’m not going to stop following you.

Jennifer Smith (41:29):

But this is how powerful words can be. Because just moments before I was in that rap race of anxiety and frustration and wondering what if and my what if got turned into even if, and it was such a really cool, I

Aaron Smith (41:44):

Like that. Turn your what if, even if. There you

Jennifer Smith (41:46):

Go. Yeah. So then I feel like this phrase came up several other times, but the one other thing that really stood out to me was I already talked about our ladies group, but every other year we do a retreat, and my friend was in charge of setting up the theme and planning it all out. I remember this, she wrote to us and said, Hey, a lot of us have been through some hard things this last year. I’m thinking, what if we did, even if as the theme, and I got taken back to this moment in January where I was like, yes, that’s so beautiful. And I was thinking about all the different hardships that some of the women have faced this last year, and it just felt so good. And so the whole theme for the weekend was even if, and it was so beautiful.

(42:29)
So in learning the guitar, I know I’ve shared this with you guys. I’m not that great by any means, but I found this song called Even If by Mercy Me, which you should go look up. It’s a great song, but I think I have some of the lyrics here. Oh, the chorus. It says, this is what the, even if song says, I know the sorrow. I know the hurt would all go away if you just say the word, but even if you don’t, my hope is in you alone. And I got to share it. I sang the song and played it for the women’s retreat. And here we go back to the power of words, knowing that God, in just a word, in just a breath, in just His power could change our circumstances, could change us, could change everything. Right now, I think that’s a big power to believe in, and I do believe that, but I also have faith and believe that even if he doesn’t change anything, my hope is going to be in him.

Aaron Smith (43:28):

Well, because he’s given us, even if he doesn’t change anything in our circumstances physically, he’s given us everything we need to stay focused on him to walk with him, even if nothing changes in our life, in our circumstances. And those are the words that we need to rely on. The promises that God gave us are not just for the here and now. They’re for eternity, but they’re also for the here and now. They secure our minds, they protect our hearts, and those are what we need to be. Listening to those words, just like Hezekiah and just like Isaiah reassuring Hezekiah and just like those leaders trying to protect from the lies, the discouragement, that we would be that to each other, not only would we believe it ourselves, but that we would do it for each other and remind each other when we recognize, oh, what you’re saying. That’s not what God says. Let’s believe what God says over what we feel or over what that person’s saying or over what the news is saying or what the world is saying.

Jennifer Smith (44:31):

I also just want to add that that’s really good. As you were talking, I kept going back to the fiery furnace and I just kept thinking, there’s this other song we like to sing another in the fire, another the kids love that one, but to be reminded that when we believe in Jesus, we are not alone. He is with us. And whether those fiery flames of whatever circumstance we’re facing, scorch us or not, he is with us. We need to be reminding each other that in marriage, because there’s going to be opposition to your marriage. There’s going to be hardship, there’s going to be fire, flaming arrows, whatever you want to call it, maybe even every single day. And we can’t afford to feel like we’re going through it alone. Our husbands, our wives, we need each other. We need to be that voice reminding them of what is true, reminding them that the Lord is with us walking with us in it all.

Aaron Smith (45:30):

That was good. I want to pray for us. We’ve come to the end. Father, we love you. We thank you that you’ve given us your words and that we can trust them, that they’re perfect, that they’re complete, that there’s nothing about them that we need to doubt. And even when we do have doubts, God, you’re patient with us. And your Holy Spirit guides us to truth and reminds us of the truth. And I just pray, Lord, as believers, as Christians, as those listening, have faith in your Son Jesus, God, that you would renew our minds and by doing so, transform our lives, God, that we would do Hezekiah. And that when we get the words, the lies of the world and our enemy, that we would take them and lay them before you, and that we would allow you Lord, to replace those lies with your truth.

(46:16)
And that we would do Isaiah and the leaders of Israel and Judah, that we would come to each other and encourage each other with the truth and remind each other often of what your word says. And I just pray for all those listening, God, that you would grow them in this area and grow, Jennifer and I in this area as well, that we would learn to hear your words so loudly that the lies in the words of the world would be so hard to hear. We love you in Jesus’ name. Amen. Amen. Thanks for being here with us. We look forward to having you next episode.

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