No Confidence in the Flesh
Truly, O Lord, the kings of Assyria have laid waste all the nations and their lands, and have cast their gods into the fire. For they were no gods, but the work of men's hands, wood and stone. Therefore they were destroyed. So now, O Lord our God, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you alone are the Lord. Isaiah 37:18-20
Look out for the dogs, look out for the evildoers, look out for those who mutilate the flesh. For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh. Philippians 3:2-3
In Isaiah’s day, Sennacherib king of Assyria and his army romped across the world destroying kingdoms at will. He boasted that Judah would be next. After all--he reasoned--all the nations had their gods and none of them had been able to stand up to mighty Sennacherib. Hezekiah was intimidated, but he made the right response. He called on the prophet Isaiah for help and prayer. He prayed and repented himself. He asked God to intervene in such a way “that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you alone are the Lord.”
God heard and answered in a decisive way.
Sennacherib was diverted from Judah and then murdered by two of his own sons while he was worshipping his idols. How fitting! Sennacherib trusted in his flesh and in empty idols rather than seeking the true and living God of Israel. Meanwhile, Hezekiah and Judah were safe.
Paul warned the Philippians of the “Sennacheribs” that threatened them and elevated themselves as if they were perfect by their own law keeping. They trusted in their flesh. Paul said to look out for them. They seek their own righteousness and their own glory, but “we put no confidence in the flesh” wrote the Apostle.
Think about it
Beware of false teachers who diminish the need for faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, who say we are capable of attaining righteousness apart from Him. These do not glory in Him but, like Sennacherib, trust in themselves. Flee them. Put no confidence in your flesh or in those who tell you to do so.
© 2017 John A Carroll Used by permission