“And the people gained confidence from what Hezekiah the king of Judah said.” 2 Ch. 32:8
What we proclaim with our mouths isn’t always what we believe with our head, but what we reckon to be true with our hearts. Something that doesn’t necessarily go against reason, but goes beyond reason. This isn’t really a kind of wish fulfillment kind of thing; it’s rather a statement by faith.
“For we live by faith, not by sight,” wrote Paul in 2 Corinthians. Sight is located in the realm of reason, but faith resides outside of mere human reason.
So what else could King Hezekiah have done under the circumstances? Had he operated by sight he would have had lost heart, for from a human point of view, the situation was rather hopeless. Yet by faith he was able to proclaim to the Israelites that they would emerge from the predicament unscathed and victorious. It might have sounded naïve to some, yet the king said the right thing to the people, not necessarily from his head, but from his heart, fortified by his strong faith in the almighty God.
“I believe; therefore I have spoken,” the apostle wrote in the same epistle.
Does it really matter that I still harbor some doubt concerning the things that I am about to proclaim? Surely, faith is a matter of the heart more than of the mind and, as Pascal put it: “The heart has its reasons of which reason knows nothing,” I can still speak with boldness, knowing that human reason may fail, but God’s reasoning will never falter.
Indeed, saying the right thing at the right time is a spiritual discipline that needs to be constantly exercised. In many aspects, the words we utter are reality forming, and we evoke certain things to come into being by our utterance. It’s an act of creation out of something. “The word of the Lord will never return to us void” By the same token, our proclamation based on God’s truth will surely take effect in accordance with God’s sovereign will.
Consequently, “And the people gained confidence from what Hezekiah the king of Judah said.” There was at the least one thing that the people derived from the king’s proclamation of faith: “The people gained confidence.” And more importantly, the confidence and hope they had gained wasn’t false at all, since it was grounded on God’s faithfulness.
So no matter how seemingly hopeless the situation may appear to us, we ought to continue to utter words of blessing, encouragement, and hope, not merely based on human wishes, but on God’s goodness and mercy, which is endless. By our utterance of God’s truth, God’s reality is created and revealed.