“They spoke about the God of Jerusalem as they did about the gods of the other peoples of the world—the work of human hands. King Hezekiah and the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz cried out in prayer to heaven about this. And the LORD sent an angel, who annihilated all the fighting men and the commanders and officers in the camp of the Assyrian king. So he withdrew to his own land in disgrace. And when he went into the temple of his god, some of his sons, his own flesh and blood, cut him down with the sword.” (32:19-21)
For more of this story, read 2 Kings 18-19. Hezekiah’s prayer for deliverance was tagged with:
“…so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you alone, LORD, are God.” (2 Kings 19:19)
This prayer seems familiar, like when Moses talked the LORD out of killing the Israelites over the golden calf on account of what Egypt would think of Him. His reputation in the world is important.
Sennacherib was under the real impression Israel’s God was the same as everyone else’s. He would be proven wrong, seeing 185,000 of his men supernaturally killed, and he himself assasinated by his children in the temple of his own basic god.
While we can’t always change people’s minds about God, we can be a little more mindful about what our lives communicate about Him. Do I take His reputation into account before my own? I am a very impulsive person and I routinely speak before thinking, so fair to say I don’t take much into account.
I’ve reviewed some of what God has done in my life, thus far in 2017, and I’m pretty amazed at how He’s managed to keep my feet on the floor, knowing the emotional maelstrom it’s been. I want people to know the God of Bethany is strong, gracious, kind, powerful and true no matter what.
This comes through prayer and surrender, like how Hezekiah spread out Sennacherib’s defiant letter before the LORD and said, “YOU have got to do something.” I’ve got to be honest with myself and stop trying to take on the world’s problems. I’ve got to cry out in prayer to heaven about this.
Whatever it is, big or small, I want to openly recognize my desperate need for HIM. When I get out of the way, I give the world an opportunity to see God do something strong, gracious, kind, powerful and true.
Can’t wait to see what He will do, and who He will reveal Himself to.