Wednesday, April 24, 2013

It's Not About You

Hezekiah received the letter from the messengers and read it. Then he went up to the temple of the Lord and spread it out before the Lord. And Hezekiah prayed to the Lord: “Lord, the God of Israel, enthroned between the cherubim, you alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth. Give ear, Lord, and hear; open your eyes, Lord, and see; listen to the words Sennacherib has sent to ridicule the living God.

“It is true, Lord, that the Assyrian kings have laid waste these nations and their lands. They have thrown their gods into the fire and destroyed them, for they were not gods but only wood and stone, fashioned by human hands. Now, Lord our God, deliver us from his hand, so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you alone, Lord, are God.”
II Kings 19:14-19

Hezekiah lived at a time when the people of God were divided. Ten of the twelve tribes of Israel (called Samaria) had already been taken into captivity by the great Assyrian empire. Hezekiah is king of the two remaining tribes of God's people: Judah and Levi (simply called Judah). Now the Assyrian king Sennacherib has set his eye on Jerusalem. He is determined to overthrow it and he is wise in the ways of war. Sennacherib sends the commanders of his army to taunt Hezekiah in front of his people in their own tongue. He tries to turn the people of Jerusalem against Hezekiah by promising them a new land which is as good as theirs (II Kings 18:31-32). Sennacherib warns the people not to let Hezekiah fool them into trusting their God. "No god has ever been able to hold my armies at bay," Sennacherib says. When Hezekiah and the people hold strong, Sennacherib sends a letter to Hezekiah urging him not to be deceived by his faith in God's protection. Hezekiah's response teaches us two very important things. 

First, Hezekiah understands that his difficult situation is not about him. Part of human nature is that we have an inherently self-centered worldview. Whether you are the king of your own country or just the king of your own house, it's hard not to think that the whole world is all about you. But Hezekiah understood that his situation wasn't about the insults he had suffered or the greatness of His name, it was about God. God had been insulted. His glory had been challenged. Hezekiah lays Sennacherib's letter before the Lord and asks Him to act decisively so that "all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you alone, Lord, are God.”

Your difficult situation, your problem...they aren't about you. The Bible teaches this truth over and over again. Your's not about you. It's about Jesus and His church (Ephesians 5:32). That difficult relationship you have with another believer... it's not about you either. It's about unity in the church and having the mind of Christ (Philippians 2:1-11). Your money? You guessed it! It's not about you. It's about what you can do with it for God. Your very life is not about you! It's about making disciples for Jesus of all nations (Matt 28:18-20).

Second, Hezekiah believes wholeheartedly that God was able to save Him. Hezekiah trusted God even when it was hard to do so. He trusted God even when all physical signs suggested that he shouldn't. Even when trusting God meant risking the lives of his whole nation, Hezekiah trusted. He believed that God was the one true God and that nothing was too hard for Him. And God rewarded his faith by miraculously saving Judah from the Assyrian army II Kings 19:20-37). What do you need faith that God can save you from today? Whatever it is, He has already dealt with it in the cross of Christ. Sometimes the victory of the cross reaches into our lives here and now. At other times we have to wait for eternity. But know that all those who are in Christ will be saved from every problem that they face in Him. 

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