Friday, October 21, 2016

GOD DEFENDS HIS PEOPLE

Scripture says King Hezekiah was God-fearing: “He clave [held fast] to the Lord” (2 Kings 18:6).
During Hezekiah’s reign, Jerusalem was besieged by the Assyrians, the great world power of the day. This vast army had already captured Samaria and the cities of Judah, and now they surrounded Jerusalem. Their captain loudly taunted, “We have overpowered the gods of all nations. How do you expect your God to deliver you?”
GOD ON TRIAL
Here we see the Lord Himself on trial. His faithfulness was being questioned before the whole empire, before Israel’s enemies, even before His own people. What if He didn’t act?
As the crisis mounted, Isaiah stood by, watching it all. He had received a word from the Lord and he trusted in it fully. Now he committed God to that word, putting the Lord’s reputation on the line. He prayed, in essence, “God, my honor doesn’t matter. If You don’t deliver, I can always hide in the wilderness. It’s Your honor that is at stake.”
With that, Isaiah calmly spoke to Hezekiah regarding the Assyrian captain:
“He shall not come into this city, nor shoot an arrow there, nor come before it with shield, nor cast a bank against it. By the way that he came, by the same shall he return, and shall not come into this city, saith the Lord. For I will defend this city, to save it, for mine own sake” (2 Kings 19:32–34, my italics).
God will never let His trusting people be put to shame, and that night He delivered a powerful miracle. Scripture says 185,000 Assyrian soldiers died mysteriously, causing a huge panic, and the mighty army fled. Once again, God defended His people for His own sake.