Thursday, January 1, 2009

Read Thru... Watching & Waiting


Earlier this week, I was reading in Isaiah 36 about when the King of Assyria threatened Hezekiah, King of Judah... The Assyrians had already conquered the "fortified towns of Judah" & Jerusalem was next. What the King of Assyria said to Hezekiah was much like what I've been hearing from the enemy lately- "What are you trusting in that makes you so confident?" "Do you think that mere words are strategy & power for war?" "Don't let your God deceive you with promises..."

The "enemy" is outside my walls shouting crap at me... trying to reason with me to take his bribe b/c the hope of God's promise & provision seems bleak... What was King Hezekiah's response? He tore His clothes in despair. He sought counsel from Isaiah & went to the Temple of the Lord. When the enemy's messenger returned some time later with a letter, Hezekiah took it, laid it out & prayed. It was there, before God, that Hezekiah acknowledged the threat of the enemy & appealed to God's mercy. In all that time, he hadn't spoken a word to the enemy & instructed his people to follow suit. In all that time, the people waited... no doubt seized with fear.

The result? Isaiah sent word to Hezekiah that (in short) the King of Assyria was dead meat & his armies wouldn't even step foot in Jerusalem. How? Why? Because Hezekiah prayed (Is. 37:21-22) & God already had plans for Assyria (Is.33). And just like Isaiah said, the Assyrians turned back & King of Assyria was later murdered (Is. 37:36-38).

Its true that the enemy has conquered the masses... He's made promises & provided in ways that seem to rival God's own promise & provision... Still, I strain to hear only one voice amidst all the shouting going on outside my walls- I strain to hear that voice behind me saying "This is the way, walk in it"... (Is. 30:21) I'll take the threat of the enemy to God in prayer, knowing He will hear; knowing that His plan of deliverance is already in motion... This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel says, even to me: "Only in returning to Me & resting in Me will you be saved. In quietness & confidence is your strength..." (Is. 30:15) So I step back from the wall & wait... My soul waits for the Lord like watchmen wait for morning (Ps. 130:6)... Like the watchmen of Judah's walls waited...

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