“How then can your god deliver you from my hand?” 2 Ch. 32:14
Sennacherib was exactly right in his claim, for all the gods to whom the other nations adhered were vanities, who could have done nothing to protect to protect their worshipers. The Syrian king might have sounded rather arrogant, but he had reason to act that way: since all the other gods were nothing, he himself was the god who could cause devastation if he so desired.
Thus, he asked the Israelites: “How then can your god deliver you from my hand?”
Surely it made absolutely no sense to Sennacherib that the Israelites put their faith in God, for the Lord appeared to him to be exactly the same as all the useless idols he had come across in his military campaigns over the years. Humanly speaking, the king’s reasoning sounded rather logical and hard to refute.
Are there other realities beyond the grasp of human perception? If so, what are they? What we have come to know are merely the things what we have perceived to be true through our senses, and anything beyond is result of our speculation, which cannot be and should not be the bases of our knowledge.
That might have been how the Israelites who were besieged perceived reality, unless they were enabled to look at things by faith, not by sight, believing that even though the reality they were encountering seemed rather hopeless, with the Lord standing by their side, there was always hope.
Faith in the Lord is a way of seeing, and it takes our entire life time to learn how to see accurately. We are indeed easily beguiled by the way we have been taught to see, which is based on sensual perception. All truth claims, scientific and otherwise, are built on what has been discovered and recognized globally to be true. Layer after layer of truth claims have been added on to the existing ones over the centuries, and it has become an impossibility to bring the foundation of human knowledge into question. Have we ever entertained the likelihood that the cornerstone upon which we have built the pyramid of our knowledge might be erroneous?
We may claim to be Christians, yet the way we acquire knowledge and perceive reality seems to be no different from those of the world. Obviously, the way Hezekiah perceived reality was entirely different from how Sennacherib did, and the conclusions they drew from a set of similar circumstances was rather dissimilar, and only one of the two would be proven right at the end. They couldn’t have both been right, could they?