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  • Writer's pictureAlan Fong

Not Even an Inch

Now in the fourteenth year of king Hezekiah did Sennacherib king of Assyria come up against all the fenced cities of Judah, and took them. And Hezekiah king of Judah sent to the king of Assyria to Lachish, saying, I have offended; return from me: that which thou puttest on me will I bear. And the king of Assyria appointed unto Hezekiah king of Judah three hundred talents of silver and thirty talents of gold. And Hezekiah gave him all the silver that was found in the house of the LORD, and in the treasures of the king's house. ~2 Kings 18:13-15


An old cliché says, “If you give the enemy an inch, he will take a foot.” This means that someone who desires to take advantage of you will always seek to take more than what you give up. The king of Assyria was the reigning world power. He defeated kingdom after kingdom. Israel had been taken captive by him. This king had been eyeing Judah for several years and making advances and threats against the walled city of Jerusalem. He wanted Jerusalem badly. He had heard about the faith of Hezekiah, but to him, he saw this as another conquering opportunity. Hezekiah thought that by giving up a little, Assyria would go away. Instead, he learned that if you give the enemy an inch, he will always take a foot.

We see the strategy of the enemy.

Sennacherib and Assyria took Israel captive 8 years prior. When this happened, this may have shaken Hezekiah. He may have started thinking what he would do if Assyria came and tried to do the same thing with Judah and Jerusalem. He may have been wishful in his thinking and hoped that Assyria would go away. The truth is Sennacherib and Assyria had their eyes on Jerusalem as another conquest. We must remember that the enemy of the soul never sleeps. He is always watching and constantly seeking to make advances against us. Don’t assume that the enemy does not have you on his radar screen.

We see the strength of the enemy.

Every day Hezekiah would look beyond the fortified walls of Jerusalem and see the masses of the Assyrian army. He may have heard his generals advise him that they were outnumbered compared to the Assyrians. The military size, strength, and superiority eventually wore on Hezekiah after several years. He forgot that his name means, “the Lord is my strength.” The enemy will intimidate and seek to scare us by making us look smaller and weaker compared to him. If we are looking at the enemy more than we are looking to the Lord, our faith will weaken.

We see the surrender to the enemy.

Hezekiah did something that he would not have done a few years before: he started to give away silver and gold to the king of Assyria. He started to give him a little here and a little there. He thought that if he gave him a little money, then he would leave him alone. He was so wrong about this! Sennacherib saw this as a sign of weakness and sent an entourage of men to tell him to surrender the entire city. When Sennacherib saw that he was given an inch, it was time to take a foot. That’s what the enemy does: he looks for gaps, weaknesses, compromise, and false assumptions on our part. When this happens, the enemy will come upon us with great strength. We must remember that "a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump." Lot looked at the city of Zoar and said, “Is it not a little one?” If you give the enemy an inch, he will always take a foot. He will always take more than what you give up.

We see the steadfastness against the enemy.

There is one time-tested way to not let this happen to us. We must be steadfast and hold our ground. We must keep our eyes on the Lord and rely upon His strength. We must resist the devil so that he will flee from us. "Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation."

Be careful to not give in to the enemies of the soul. Keep your faith strong by spending time in God’s Word and on your knees in prayer. Don’t give an inch, or else you’ll lose more than that!

Have a resilient God Morning!

Bible Reading Schedule: Proverbs 19-21

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