The Assyrians had been carrying away Israel captive and they wanted to attack Judah too. They sent their whole army against Judah. The Bible calls it a great host (II Kings 18:17). One of the generals, Rabshakeh, is a big shot, and mocks Hezekiah's faith in God. What confidence is this wherein thou trustest? he says (II Ki. 18:19). He calls Hezekiah's faith vain words. He laughs at the idea that Hezekiah trusts in God because he says Hezekiah has taken away all God's high places and alters, and told the people of Judah that they can only worship at the alter in Jerusalem. You can read about it in II Kings 18. In reality it was the idolatrous high places and alters Hezekiah took away, but this wicked man didn't know the difference between the true God and an idol. Hezekiah had restored the proper worship to Judah, not taken it away. Then Rabshekah says this. Am I now come up without the LORD against this place to destroy it? The LORD said to me, Go up against this land, and destroy it. Let not Hezekiah deceive you: for he shall not be able to deliver you out of his hand: neither let Hezekiah make you trust in the LORD, saying, The LORD will surely deliver us, and this city shall not be delivered into the hand of the king of Assyria. Harken not to Hezekiah: for thus saith the king of Assyria, Make an agreement with me by a present, and come out to me... (II Kings 18:25, 30-31).
Did you get it? Rabshekah says GOD told him to destroy Judah! Well, if he says God told him to destroy Judah then it must be true???!! Right?? Rabshekah did exactly what so many are doing today. He tried to deceive the people of Judah into thinking that Hezekiah was not following God, and he was actually the one doing God's will. He casts doubt on the truth by mocking the steps Hezekiah took to rid Judah of idolatry. After he plants those seeds of doubt, he proclaims himself as God's true messenger. Satan's tactics really haven't changed that much in 3,000 years. He's still casting doubt on God's truth and then setting his own agents up as the supposed "real" men of God.
So, how do we know if it is Hezekiah who was following God or if Rabshekah was really the right guy? The testimony of Hezekiah was already established in the beginning of II Kings 18. Nothing had changed about that except some guy now says it's not true. What did Hezekiah do? What only a true Christian would do. He prayed (II Kings 19:1). Hezekiah was delivered. God proved Himself faithful to the one who truly followed Him. But, Hezekiah's faith was tested again (II Kings 19:8-15). Rabshekah returned to Assyria, but then they send in Sennacherib. In the end we see that the Assyrians are ultimately destroyed. And it came to pass that night, that the angel of the LORD went out and smote in the camp of the Assyrians an hundred fourscore and five thousand: and when the arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses (II Kings 19:35).
Who was the one that was truly following God? Did Rabshekah have God on his side, like he said he did? He said it was God who told him to destroy Judah. He mocked and ridiculed Hezekiah's trust in the Lord. Just because someone says they're a Christian, doesn't mean they are! Hezekiah was a wise man. He knew God, and when he was tested he ran straight to the Lord. May we exercise that same kind of wisdom!
Things haven't changed much today. In fact we see this kind of thing happening A LOT in 21st century "Christianity." People claim to be of God and to be Christian, but that doesn't necessarily mean they are. There's a lot of "Rabshakeh's" in the world today, and there's a lot of Christians who will accept anything as long as it says it's Christian. We cannot just blindly accept everything with the label "Christian" on it as being God's truth. II Timothy 3:13 says that... evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. The Bible warns over and over again about false teachers (II Peter 2:1), wolves in sheep's clothing (Matt. 7:15), and it tells us that Satan can transform himself into an angel of light (II Cor. 11:14). That means Satan can make himself look like he's the one who's right. That's scary!!!
We must exercise discernment and care because things are not always what they seem. I actually avoid Christian bookstores and authors because most "Christian" books have false teaching in them. I avoid a lot "Christian" music, because it's worldly and dishonouring to God. Just because it calls itself "Christian" doesn't mean it is. Our standard is God's Word, not what people call "Christian." Just because someone says God told them to do or say something, doesn't mean He did. What would have happened if Hezekiah believed Rabshakeh was from God like he said he was? I think Jerusalem probably would have been destroyed. As true believers, we need to do what Hezekiah did when someone came along saying God spoke to him. We need to go to the Source. We need to pray and test everything that calls itself Christian by the Bible. God's given us His complete revelation in His Word. If something that says it's "Christian" is not in the Bible, then it's not Christian. It's that simple. What men say doesn't matter. It's what God says that's the truth. Hezekiah knew that, and it saved a lot of people. May we exercise that same wisdom today.