“I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong… but time and chance happen to all” Ecclesiastes 9:11 “And it came to pass that night, that the angel of the LORD went out, and struck in the camp of the Assyrians a hundred fourscore and five thousand: and when they arose early in the morning, behold, these were all dead bodies.” 2 Kings 19:35
Jerusalem was surrounded by an undefeated army. Inside they were weakened unto death through starvation. Certainly the battle would go to the strong as it had so many times before. But there’s a game changer here… Time and chance. I am talking about being in the right place at the right time or as was the case for the Assyrians, in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Time and chance are under God’s domain. He chooses if and when He will upset the apple cart or fill it with apples. All of our efforts can be undone in an instant or multiplied favorably beyond our comprehension. Remember the great catch of fish the disciples caught when they threw their nets on the other side?
Time and chance is where God works anonymously. In the case of the Assyrians, Hezekiah, king of Judah, took the letter from the king of Assyria with all its vile threats to the house of the Lord where he spread it before the Lord and prayed – fervently. God heard and introduced a game changer. That night 185,000 Assyrians died in their sleep.
Here is what likely happened… Jeremiah, a contemporary of Isaiah, prophesied how the Lord would raise up a destroying wind against those who would stand up against the Lord. (Jer 51:1) Though not specifically referring to the Assyrians, they certainly fell into that class. What you might not know is that there is a hot, dry wind called a Simoon that can raise the temperature and drop the humidity to such extremes that the body cannot release its heat. It is called a “poison wind” because of its suffocating clouds of dust and sand.
One of these actually hit Santa Barbara, CA in 1859 bringing the local morning temperature from a comfortable 77 degrees to 133 degrees within about two hours. The temperature stayed in around 130 degrees for the majority of the day and left as quickly as it came leaving many animals dead and people fearing the end of the world had come.
What would you think if it happened to you, especially as you saw the temperature climb past the eighties into the nineties, then past 110, 120, 130… in just 120 minutes and still climbing? Here is what I believe… The Angel of the Lord raised up a destroying wind and it wiped out 185,000 Assyrians. Those who had put their trust in God knew the destroying wind was the unseen hand of God. Those that didn’t believe were destroyed.
The great game changer, God Almighty cloaking Himself in “time and chance” to the unbelieving revealed Himself as a mighty deliverer to the people of God. The battle is not always to the strong, because time and chance do HAPPEN! If you need a game changer in your situation, you may want to follow Hezekiah’s example.