We enjoyed our first day here in Orlando. Stephanie and family arrived late last night. The boys still headed to the pool for a late night swim after they go settled. I spent some time at the pool with Nathan and Mason and Carter this morning. For me most of the afternoon was spent doing some writing, followed by some emails and my blog. But overall, a good day. Tomorrow is Lego-land!
BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY… ‘The great king, the king of Assyria, says: What can you trust in now? You say you have battle plans and power for war, but your words mean nothing…Don’t let Hezekiah talk you into trusting the Lord by saying, ‘The Lord will surely save us. This city won’t be handed over to the king of Assyria.’…“Don’t let Hezekiah fool you, saying, ‘The Lord will save us.’ Has a god of any other nation saved his people from the power of the king of Assyria? Isaiah 36:4-5,16-18 NCV
As you look at the rant of the King of Assyria to Hezekiah and the people it is designed to create fear and intimidation. Assyria has just taken Israel captive and conquered the city of Samaria. Now, the King is setting his sights on the plum of Jerusalem the capital city of Judah.
The King of Assyria begins by taunting King Hezekiah. He then speaks to the people and as he does, he degenerates the Lord God of Heaven. Some one should have leaned over to him and said, “I don’t think you want to do that.”
The current King of Assyria had not learned anything from the time of Jonah the prophet when God had sent a message of judgment to Nineveh his capital city. The King of that time repented in ashes and God delayed judgment. Now Sennacherib, is showing his arrogance and defiles the name of the Lord. He treats the Lord like any man-made god whose power had not protected other nations.
We see the response of the people and of King Hezekiah. The people did not respond. They were instructed not to enter a taunting match with the Assyrian messengers. Hezekiah tried his best to shield his people from the fear and terror being spewed by the Assyrians.
Hezekiah was one of Judah’s “good Kings.” He honored the Lord for most of his life and even had the people celebrate the Passover for the first time in generations. Hezekiah goes into mourning, showing his humility before the Lord. As he prays he acknowledges the real danger and the successful exploits of the Assyrians. Like Jehoshaphat of Hezekiah realized, “….we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” (2 Chron 20:12)
As Hezekiah was praying and calling out to the Lord, God sent Isaiah the prophet with the message, ‘Don’t be afraid of what you have heard. Don’t be frightened by the words the servants of the king of Assyria have spoken against me. Listen! I am going to put a spirit in the king of Assyria. He will hear a report that will make him return to his own country, and I will cause him to die by the sword there.’” (Isa. 37:6,7 NCV)
This is what the Lord said about the King of Assyria, “You have insulted me and spoken against me; you have raised your voice against me. You have a proud look on your face, which is against me, the Holy One of Israel!” (Isa. 37:23) The Lord continued and told Sennacherib, “I allowed you to turn those strong, walled cities into piles of rocks…“‘I know when you rest, when you come and go, and how you rage against me. Because you rage against me, and because I have heard your proud words, I will put my hook in your nose and my bit in your mouth. Then I will force you to leave my country the same way you came.’ (Isa. 37:26,28-29 NCV)
We see that an angel of the Lord went out and killed 185,000 Assyrian soldiers. When Sennacherib returned to his home town, he was killed by two of his own sons as he worshiped his false gods. Judah was defended without swing a sword or shooting an arrow. We see that the Lord, “is able to save by many or by few” and is also able to protect His own by His divine power, through His actions alone.
Hezekiah passed the “test of trust.” He realized that without God, he was without hope. He sought the Lord and the Lord honored the sincerity of his heart and defended the honor of His own name through defeating the Assyrians.
In our lives, when we pass the “trust test” and rely on the Lord when our “back are against the wall” we always find the Lord faithful to come to our aid. Perhaps the real challenge is trusting the Lord in all situations and at all times, that is the true test of trust.