Today’s readings.. (Judges 12,13), (Isaiah 37), (1 Peter 3,4,5)
As we read of King Hezekiah’s desperate prayer because of the invading and mocking hordes of the Assyrians, it occurred to us that there are today some modern equivalents. The Assyrian armies had been boasting of their conquests, as we read yesterday in Isaiah 36 – they were sure that Jerusalem would suffer a similar fate. Deserters must have joined them, for the Assyrians are aware that Hezekiah had removed “the high places” [v.7] at which many of the people liked to worship instead of coming to the Temple. The Assyrian king makes false claims about what the God of Israel is supposed to have said (v.10).
There are parallels to this today in the beliefs of those who read into the Bible things it does not say and who criticise those who remain faithful to what God has caused to be written. In today’s chapter (37), we read how the plight of Jerusalem gets worse. This causes Hezekiah to come to see Isaiah (v.5) and we read of the reassurance the prophet gives the king. In the same way today, and more so in the days that are coming, we will turn to God’s prophets and to the reassurance of the words of his Son and the Apostles. Hezekiah receives a letter from the Assyrians (v.14) and takes it into the Temple and there prays …. “O LORD of Hosts … you are the God, you alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; you have made heaven and earth. Incline your ear O LORD, and see, and hear all the words of Sennacherib which he has sent to mock the living God.” [v.17-18]
God does hear, he does see, he does act. We are about to see a parallel in our days. Atheists are becoming more blatant and more public in mocking believers and belief in God. The man Dawkins is one of the worst; many are getting bolder in mocking God and Christianity. There is much, of course, to be ashamed of in the behaviour of some who claim the name of Christ, such as many Catholic Priests. Let us pray for God to act in dealing with these mockers. All those who mock or ignore the living God and the Saviour he sent into the world – will really fear when his judgements begin. We read Peter’s message on this today, “The end of all things is at hand: therefore be self-controlled and sober minded … as one who serves by the strength that God supplies…” [1 Pet. 4 v.7,11] Let us seek as much of this strength that we can – and we know the source!.