March 6, 2013

The Only One

"Do not listen to Hezekiah, for he is misleading you when he says 'The LORD will deliver us.'  Has the god of any nation ever delivered his land from the hand of the king of Assyria?  Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad?  Where are the gods of Sepharvaim, Hena and Ivvah?  Have they rescued Samaria from my and?  Who of all the gods of these countries has been able to save his land from me?  How then can the LORD deliver Jerusalem from my hand?"

2 Kings 18:32a-35

Through the loss of a job, the extreme busyness after gaining a new one and moving to a new area, the LORD has been teaching me quite a bit recently. Primarily how to rely on Him, and only Him, instead of entertainment, socializing, or many other things. My prayer since hitting the real world in 2011 has been for God to put me through such experiences as will drive me to only be satisfied by Him. Having experienced the emptiness of the comfort of worldly things, my hunger for God and doing his work has grown, and though it's not irreversible I aim to focus on God and close off that option as much as possible.

This passage in 2 Kings reminded me of that this morning. The commander of the Assyrian armies, speaking for the king, lets the Israelites (of Judah) know that no god so far has been able to save their people from the might of their army. He invites them to surrender. They do not, as Hezekiah is a wise and God-fearing leader. The context in regards to Judah's recent history makes the situation even more powerful. For several generations beforehand, Judah had been blatantly turning away from God. Ahaz, Hezekiah's father and predecessor, was the worst, setting up places of idol worship all over the land. At that point Judah was nigh indistinguishable from the other nations; until Hezekiah came and cleaned up shop. And thank God for placing him there when he did.  Our God is the only one, the only power we can rely on.

"That night the angel of the LORD went out and put to death a hundred and eighty-five thousand men in the Assyrian camp.  When the people got up the next morning- there were all the dead bodies!  So Sennacherib king of Assyria broke camp and withdrew.  He returned to Nineveh and stayed there."

2 Kings 19:35-36