Week Nineteen, Day Two
This title sets Israel's God apart from the false gods of the surrounding nations. Unlike idols of wood and stone, made by human hands, the Living God is himself Maker of heaven and earth. He alone is the source of our life. We live because he lives. The prophet Jeremiah reminded God's people that "every goldsmith is shamed by his idols. His images are a fraud; they have no breath in them" (Jeremiah 10:14).
And Hezekiah prayed to the LORD: "O LORD, 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, O LORD, and hear; open your eyes, O LORD, and see; listen to the words Sennacherib has sent to insult the living God." (2 Kings 19:15-16)
PRAYING THE NAME
O LORD, 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,O LORD, and hear; open your eyes,O LORD, and see; listen to the words Sennacherib has sent to insult the living God.
It is true, O 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 men's hands. Now, O LORD our God, deliver us from his hand, so that all kingdoms on earth may know that you alone,O LORD, are God. (2 Kings 19:15-19)
Reflect On: 2 Kings 19:14-37
Praise God: Because he is God over all the earth.
Offer Thanks: Because God hears your prayers and sees your need.
Confess: Any lack of prayerfulness for yourself, your family, your community, or the world.
Ask God: To deliver you from your enemies.
Hezekiah looked out over the siege works surrounding Jerusalem, reviewing his preparations for the inevitable assault. He had rebuilt the city's walls, constructed strong towers, and produced a large cache of weapons and shields with which to repel the Assyrian invasion. The tunnel beneath Jerusalem had been his greatest achievement, ensuring the city's water supply. But even it could not guarantee Jerusalem's safety. For Sennacherib had already crushed forty-six towns in Judah and carried off tens of thousands of captives. He had also invaded a city twenty miles to the west, taking its elders and flaying them alive as punishment for the city's disloyalty. Hezekiah held a letter in his hand. Now he raised it to the light and read the words of Sennacherib: "Do not let the god you depend on deceive you when he says, ‘Jerusalem will not be handed over to the king of Assyria.'"
Clutching the letter to his breast, King Hezekiah hurried to the temple, prostrating himself before the Lord and spreading it out as evidence against his enemy. "Give ear, O LORD, and hear; open your eyes, O LORD, and see; listen to the words Sennacherib has sent to insult the living God."
Unlike gods of wood and stone, fashioned by the hands of living men, Hezekiah knew that it was the Living God himself—the One who had fashioned both heaven and earth—who would determine the fate of nations. So the king of Judah prayed and trusted. Then with his own eyes he saw the deliverance God devised for his people, destroying an enemy that had seemed invincible in the course of a single night.
But what has his story to do with ours? Like it or not, we all have enemies with which to contend, though often these enemies come from inside rather than outside. We have trouble controlling our anger. We become addicted to something or someone. We fall into depression. Things look hopeless. Each of us can name our poison— the problem that looms so large we think it is beyond God's power to deliver us.
Whatever difficulties besiege you today, reject the lie that they cannot be defeated and then lay out your complaint to the Lord, praying:
Listen, O Lord, and hear; open your eyes, O Lord, and see.Though my enemy is strong, you are stronger still. Deliver me from evil and today bring glory to your name. For you are the Living God who loves me—the One who sees, who hears, and who always acts to save me. Amen.
For more from Ann Spangler, visit her blogspot on Christianity.com. Be sure to check out Ann's newest book, Praying the Attributes of God: A Daily Guide to Experiencing His Greatness.