WORDS OF WISDOM
A MESSAGE OF DESPAIR AND A MESSAGE OF HOPE
"Therefore thus says the LORD concerning the king of Assyria: He shall not come into this city, shoot an arrow there, come before it with a shield, or cast up a siege ramp against it."
2 Kings 19:32 ( NRSV )
King Hezekiah is totally beside himself. A message has come to him directly from the king of Assyria, that leaves this Israelite King in despair. He is in sackcloth and ashes with a heart full of fear. He has sought the help of Isaiah, God's messenger. He has also gone up to the temple of the Lord himself, where he spreads out the enemy's message of defeat, before God.
It is truly a time when a follower of God faces a situation that is hopeless to human eyes.
- From the enemy, comes a message to Hezekiah of his defeat and destruction.
The Assyrian king, this powerful enemy, does not come himself but sends the message and it is enough to cause debilitating fear in Hezekiah. Why is Hezekiah so afraid? Because the message contains historic facts which Hezekiah cannot dispute.
History shows that no country attacked by an Assyrian king, has ever survived. They are all destroyed completely.
History also shows that the gods of these people did not deliver them from the hands of the Assyrian kings.
- From the Omnipotent God comes a Message to Hezekiah of his deliverance.
The Israelite's God and Loving Heavenly Father, does not come Himself but sends His message and it is enough to bring transforming hope in Hezekiah.
Why is Hezekiah so alive again? Because of The Lord's Word that cannot be denied by Hezekiah.
The Lord God speaks His authority over Sennacherib, King of Assyria and his mighty army.
The Lord says that this enemy will not enter the city.
The enemy will not shoot an arrow there.
The enemy will not come before the city with shield.
The enemy will not build a siege ramp against the city.
Yes, Hezekiah holds two messages. One is of fear and despair; the other is of hope and healing.
He chooses to stake his life and that of his people, on the message of God.
The Message is still a way used by the deceiver and the Deliverer, to reach us.
In our hearts, hands and minds, we hold the message of the deceiver that says there is no hope. We are shown greed, poverty, self-righteousness, lack of forgiveness, envy and spite, as some of his alive and well companions. The deceiver boasts about the many hearts he has won over the years and says that God is not able to save us from the atrocities that he, the enemy, causes people to commit.
On the other hand, we are shown, mercy, self- sacrifice, forgiveness, healing and help from, A God of Love, who Himself came in human flesh to save us from the message of the evil one. The Lord's message is one of hope. Hope frees us from the enemy who cannot harm those who, through repentance, have given themselves to Christ.
Are you facing some deep crisis while holding both messages? On which will you choose to stake your life, this Season of NOEL? Like Hezekiah, though you may be in sackcloth and ashes, with a weary and fainting heart, may you be free to believe by faith, through grace, God's Message of Hope in Jesus.The enemy will not defeat you.