Sermon Reflections from A Faithful Tomorrow | Damon Hopkins | March 19, 2023
We had the privilege of hearing from Damon Hopkins again this Sunday. His text was from Isaiah Chapters 36 and 37. This is a very rich passage that has much to teach us in 2023. Damon pointed out that King Hezekiah was remembered for his faithfulness to God. What a wonderful legacy that I know each one of us would love for our lives. 2 Kings referred to King Hezekiah 18:3 “And he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, according to all that David his father had done. And 18:5 “He trusted in the Lord, the God of Israel, so that there was none like him among all the kings of Judah after him, nor among those who were before him.”
King Hezekiah chose to believe God when he was in a situation that was ‘against all odds’. He saw no physical way he could defeat the king of Assyria, Sennacherib. The Assyrian army was brutal and overpowering. They had marched through northern Israel and taken them captive. They had conquered lands and people around Judah. Sennacherib had his eyes on Judah and was marching towards Jerusalem. He sent a messenger to ‘scare’ King Hezekiah into submission. The messenger announce publically that they were doomed and that their God would not and could not save them from the mighty Assyrians. King Hezekiah sent word to the prophet Isaiah asking him to inquire of the Lord. Isaiah brought this message of hope from the Lord, Isaiah 37:6-7 “Isaiah said to them, “Say to your master, ‘Thus says the Lord: Do not be afraid because of the words that you have heard, with which the young men of the king of Assyria have reviled me. 7 Behold, I will put a spirit in him, so that he shall hear a rumor and return to his own land, and I will make him fall by the sword in his own land.’” I’m sure Hezekiah was encouraged by this news.
Then, Sennacherib heard that Cush was going to come to Judah’s aid and join the fight. He sent a letter to King Hezekiah defaming the power and might of God. Isaiah 37:10 ““Thus shall you speak to Hezekiah king of Judah: ‘Do not let your God in whom you trust deceive you by promising that Jerusalem will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.” When Hezekiah got the letter he made a bold choice. He went to the temple and laid the letter before God and prayed: 37:16-20 “O Lord of hosts, God of Israel, enthroned above the cherubim, you are the God, you alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; you have made heaven and earth. 17 Incline your ear, O Lord, and hear; open your eyes, O Lord, and see; and hear all the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to mock the living God. 18 Truly, O Lord, the kings of Assyria have laid waste all the nations and their lands, 19 and have cast their gods into the fire. For they were no gods, but the work of men's hands, wood and stone. Therefore they were destroyed. 20 So now, O Lord our God, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you alone are the Lord.”
What does King Hezekiah’s prayer say about Hezekiah’s faith? He knew whom to trust. He knew that Sennacherib was just a man but God was God and sovereign over all people, place, times and events. He knew that God was bigger than his greatest fears. He knew that God would defend His name. He knew where he should place his trust He prayed so that he could move forward. At present he was blocked in by Sennacherib but that was only temporary as God was greater than this earthly king and would deliver them just like Isaiah had told him. He chose to trust God when things got difficult.
What about you? Do you choose to trust God to provide, rescue and deliver you day by day? Hezekiah’s hope was propelled forward though prayer. How do you face difficulties? Do you chose to go it alone or turn to God and ask Him for help? Hezekiah followed the advice James gives in James 1:5-6 “ If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. James 4:2b-3 You do not have, because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.” King Hezekiah knew that God had the wisdom and power to save them so He asked in faith, not doubting. He also knew He needed to humble himself and ask God for help.
I pray you will take some time this week and read Isaiah 36 and 37. Let King Hezekiah’s experiences speak to you as you consider how you can incorporate prayer into your life in a new and vibrant way. Prayer brings results- ask Hezekiah or someone at Crossroads. God answers prayer!
ISAIAH: A VISION FOR THE FUTURE | A Faithful Tomorrow
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