This Is Our God
How would you answer if someone asked you, “Do you trust God?” and followed up with, “What is God like?” Your answer to the second question will determine your answer to the first.
In my spiritual re-charge times this week, I’ve been reading in the book of Isaiah. I love that book! It’s a mixture of warnings to and judgments of God on the nations, including his own chosen people; prophetic words about the coming Messiah, promises from the Creator to His children, reminders of the frailty of mankind, and a mosaic of the magnitude and glory of the God of the universe.
In Isaiah 36; the city of Jerusalem was threatened by the Assyrian king, Sennacherib, who had been successfully attacking and conquering all the fortified cities of Judah. He had also conquered major cities of Samaria. Envoys came with a message from Sennacherib to persuade King Hezekiah to surrender Jerusalem peacefully to the Assyrian army, in order to avoid unnecessary slaughter.
The messengers added a warning to the people listening from the top of the wall of Jerusalem: “Do not let Hezekiah deceive you. He cannot deliver you! Do not let Hezekiah persuade you to trust in the Lord . . .”
The diatribe against the Lord continues in verse 18:
“Do not let Hezekiah mislead you when he says, ‘The Lord will deliver us.’ Have the gods of any nations ever delivered their lands from the hand of the king of Assyria? Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim? Have they rescued Samaria from my hand? Who of all the gods of these countries have been able to save their lands from me? How then can the Lord deliver Jerusalem from my hand?”
There was truth in what the messengers were saying; the other cities of Israel hd fallen to the Assyrian siege. It appeared that no one could stand against Sennacherib’s armies. God had allowed the Assyrian conquerors’ victory . . . for a time . . . to punish His own people for their apostasy; for their idolatry. Sennacherib had taken the glory for himself and his military might.
But Hezekiah was a man of prayer; a king who knew what God was like, worshiped Him, and believed in the power of the Living God. And it was to God that he turned in this time of trouble.
In Isaiah 37:16-20 we read Hezekiah’s prayer:
“Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, enthroned between the cherubim,you alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth. Give ear, Lord, and hear; open your eyes, Lord, and see;listen to all the words Sennacherib has sent to ridicule the living God.
“It is true, Lord, that the Assyrian kings have laid waste all these peoples and their lands. They have thrown their gods into the fire and destroyed them, for they were not gods but only wood and stone, fashioned by human hands.
Now, Lord our God, deliver us from his hand, so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you, Lord, are the only God.”
In answer to that prayer of faith, God sent a message to Sennacherib that his victories and his days were numbered.
Isaiah 37:29: “Because you rage against me and because your insolence has reached my ears, I will put my hook in your nose and my bit in your mouth, and I will make you return by the way you came.”
The angel of the Lord was sent forth and put to death a hundred and eighty-five thousand men in the Assyrians camp that night. When Sennacherib got up the next morning and saw the devastation, he broke camp and withdrew, returning to Nineveh; Jerusalem was spared, as the Lord God has often done, both in Scripture times and in more modern times.
One day not long after this encounter with the Living God, as Sennacherib was worshiping in the temple of his ‘god’, Nisroch, two of his own sons “cut him down with a sword”. Apparently Sennacherib’s ‘god’ could not save him.
In chapter 40, Isaiah describes the majesty and kindness of God to remind us all that He is worthy of our trust, as He had proved in answer to Hezekiah’s prayer:
You who bring good news to Zion, go up on a high mountain. You who bring good news to Jerusalem, lift up your voice with a shout, lift it up, do not be afraid; say to the towns of Judah, “Here is your God!”
See, the Sovereign Lord comes with power, and he rules with a mighty arm. See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him.
He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.
Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens?
Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket, or weighed the mountains on the scales and the hills in a balance?
Who can fathom the Spiritof the Lord, or instruct the Lord as his counselor?
Whom did the Lord consult to enlighten him, and who taught him the right way?
Who was it that taught him knowledge, or showed him the path of understanding?
Is. 40:25-29 “To whom will you compare me? Or who is my equal?” says the Holy One. Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one and calls forth each of them by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.
The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.”
This was Hezekiah’s God and this is our God.
Do you know Him? Do you trust Him enough to turn to Him when your “city” is besieged by the enemy of your soul? A final word from our Father: “Be still and know that I am God”
©2012, Marcy Alves
- Ayolope writes about God (ayolope.wordpress.com)
Posted on September 23, 2012, in Christian Growth, God Encounters, Reflections and tagged believing God, creator God, God of power, Hezekiah, Isaiah, Israel, Jerusalem, knowing God, Sennacherib, the Living God, trusting God, what is God like?. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.