Today you should read: Isaiah 37
In this chapter, the glory of God falls on both those who love Him and those who oppose Him. Near the end of the previous chapter, Sennacherib, king of Assyria, sends his messenger to give warning to anyone who follows the Lord that their hopes of being delivered are foolish—the God they follow can’t be a match for such a great king, after all, who among the gods had yet delivered them out of his hand? His challenge was enough to shake the people of God and many of them cowered in silence. But they brought the news to Hezekiah, who was a man of God. He followed the true God, who was more than a match for King Sennacherib, and about to bring justice to His people.
John Piper says, “Your prayers are God’s appointed means by which he brings His own victory.” God doesn’t need us in order to achieve His mission; He is completely self-sufficient. However, God calls us to pray, and humbly to seek His face, especially when we find ourselves in trouble and need Him to intervene, (2 Chronicles 7:14). Instead of surrendering in fear, Hezekiah prayed. He sought God in adoration and desperation. He brought his urgent plea to God for Him to save the people and God proved His great power. He showed up and it was game over for Sennacherib, King of Assyria.
I think the last few months in my life have been a time of great need of the Lord. I’ve seen some spiritual warfare in my family, situations around me but within my reach, and within my own heart. Maybe you find yourself in a situation where it’s clear that you are no match for the enemy, or the sin that’s plaguing you, or the war going on in your family. Please turn to the Lord. Let desperate prayer be your first instinct. Be faithful, consistent, and expectant in your prayer. By the beautiful grace of God, I can say that I have most definitely seen God show up in the situations of my life recently. I believe God responds to our prayers, in His timing for His glory and our good, and He delights to bring us salvation both ultimately and in our current situation.
Two things to carry with you:
1. There is no one like our God. Sennacherib challenged God’s people because he had not yet seen that any god could be a match for his great power. But as Hezekiah confessed in prayer to God, “they were no gods, but the work of men’s hands, wood and stone. Therefore they were destroyed,” (v. 19). Think about the other false “gods” of the world in which we live: the gods of Buddha, Allah, Morality, Pleasure, Power, Money, Acceptance just to name a few…which one of them has ever healed a disease, eased a fear, given answers to our existence, or calmed a storm? Which one silenced Satan, our enemy, and rescued us from our sins and the death we were headed for? Only Jesus can! He is that good! I love that.
2. God loves to rescue us. (2 Thes. 1:6) He isn’t willing that any of us should stay stuck in our plight or stuck in our sins. He will defend us, as God says through Isaiah, “I will defend this city to save it, for my own sake and for the sake of my servant David,” (v. 35). Just like in this chapter, as God sent an angel to slaughter a hundred and eighty-five thousand Assyrians, (that’s right—v. 36) and even brought the demise of Sennacherib himself, God responds to our plea for help when we call to Him, and even sent His Son to be the rescue for sinners once and for all when there was no other hope for us. God came to us and brought His victory that stands in our defense now and forever.
Posted by: Taylor Gilliam, west music intern