Beware the Lord’s hook…

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans

Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome.

Isaiah 37:21-29

Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent to Hezekiah, saying, “Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: Because you have prayed to me concerning Sennacherib king of Assyria,

this is the word that the LORD has spoken concerning him: “‘She despises you, she scorns you— the virgin daughter of Zion; she wags her head behind you— the daughter of Jerusalem.

“‘Whom have you mocked and reviled? Against whom have you raised your voice and lifted your eyes to the heights? Against the Holy One of Israel!

By your servants you have mocked the Lord, and you have said, With my many chariots I have gone up the heights of the mountains, to the far recesses of Lebanon, to cut down its tallest cedars, its choicest cypresses, to come to its remotest height, its most fruitful forest.

I dug wells and drank waters, to dry up with the sole of my foot all the streams of Egypt.

“‘Have you not heard that I determined it long ago? I planned from days of old what now I bring to pass, that you should make fortified cities crash into heaps of ruins,

while their inhabitants, shorn of strength, are dismayed and confounded, and have become like plants of the field and like tender grass, like grass on the housetops, blighted before it is grown.

“‘I know your sitting down and your going out and coming in, and your raging against me.

Because you have raged against me and your complacency has come to my ears, I will put my hook in your nose and my bit in your mouth, and I will turn you back on the way by which you came.’

 

We can call upon the Lord in our distress and he will hear. He has not changed. He cares for His own and will avenge those who arrogantly defame His name. He is not made by our hands; we are made by His. And that makes all the difference.

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God alone…

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans

Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome.

Isaiah 37:9b-20

And when he heard it, he sent messengers to Hezekiah, saying,

“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.

Behold, you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands, devoting them to destruction. And shall you be delivered?

Have the gods of the nations delivered them, the nations that my fathers destroyed, Gozan, Haran, Rezeph, and the people of Eden who were in Telassar?

Where is the king of Hamath, the king of Arpad, the king of the city of Sepharvaim, the king of Hena, or the king of Ivvah?'”

Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers, and read it; and Hezekiah went up to the house of the LORD, and spread it before the LORD.

And Hezekiah prayed to the LORD:

“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.

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.

Truly, O LORD, the kings of Assyria have laid waste all the nations and their lands,

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.

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.”

 

When trouble comes we can do as this king; we can recognize that only a living God has the power to destroy our enemy. We place our trouble before God and we acknowledge his greatness and power. We stand, as believers, on what He can do and He alone. This is where we put our trust, not in an earthly kingdom or nation, but in the spiritual kingdom of God who rules over all.

“From before time began, you are God alone, you are on your throne,

in the good times and bad, you are God alone, you are on your throne…”  – William McDowell

 

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Words…

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans

Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome.

Isaiah 37:1-9a

As soon as King Hezekiah heard it, he tore his clothes and covered himself with sackcloth and went into the house of the LORD.

 And he sent Eliakim, who was over the household, and Shebna the secretary, and the senior priests, covered with sackcloth, to the prophet Isaiah the son of Amoz.

 They said to him, “Thus says Hezekiah, ‘This day is a day of distress, of rebuke, and of disgrace; children have come to the point of birth, and there is no strength to bring them forth.

 It may be that the LORD your God will hear the words of the Rabshakeh, whom his master the king of Assyria has sent to mock the living God, and will rebuke the words that the LORD your God has heard; therefore lift up your prayer for the remnant that is left.'”

 When the servants of King Hezekiah came to Isaiah,

 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.

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.'”

The Rabshakeh returned, and found the king of Assyria fighting against Libnah, for he had heard that the king had left Lachish.

 Now the king heard concerning Tirhakah king of Cush, “He has set out to fight against you.”

 

Words disturb. Words hurt. Words frighten. But the Words of God bring peace, hope and understanding. Much is done with words. May we use words to heal hurts, bring peace, and give hope. May we not be found using words to bring fear, distrust, or dismay. The arm of the Lord is not shortened. God is still the same yesterday, today and forever.

 

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Whose words…

 For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans

Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome.

Isaiah 36:11-22

Then Eliakim, Shebna, and Joah said to the Rabshakeh, “Please speak to your servants in Aramaic, for we understand it. Do not speak to us in the language of Judah within the hearing of the people who are on the wall.”

 But the Rabshakeh said, “Has my master sent me to speak these words to your master and to you, and not to the men sitting on the wall, who are doomed with you to eat their own dung and drink their own urine?”

Then the Rabshakeh stood and called out in a loud voice in the language of Judah: “Hear the words of the great king, the king of Assyria!

Thus says the king: ‘Do not let Hezekiah deceive you, for he will not be able to deliver you.

Do not let Hezekiah make you trust in the LORD by saying, “The LORD will surely deliver us. This city will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.”

 Do not listen to Hezekiah. For thus says the king of Assyria: Make your peace with me and come out to me. Then each one of you will eat of his own vine, and each one of his own fig tree, and each one of you will drink the water of his own cistern,

 until I come and take you away to a land like your own land, a land of grain and wine, a land of bread and vineyards.

 Beware lest Hezekiah mislead you by saying, “The LORD will deliver us.” Has any of the gods of the nations delivered his land out of the hand of the king of Assyria?

 Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim? Have they delivered Samaria out of my hand?

 Who among all the gods of these lands have delivered their lands out of my hand, that the LORD should deliver Jerusalem out of my hand?'”

 But they were silent and answered him not a word, for the king’s command was, “Do not answer him.”

Then Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was over the household, and Shebna the secretary, and Joah the son of Asaph, the recorder, came to Hezekiah with their clothes torn, and told him the words of the Rabshakeh.

 

Whose words will we believe? Will we allow the words of the ungodly to enter our hearts and minds or will we feed on the words of the Lord God? That is the difference between a fearful life and one held in peace.

 

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Where is our trust…

 

 For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans

Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome.

Isaiah 36:1-10

In the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities of Judah and took them.

And the king of Assyria sent the Rabshakeh from Lachish to King Hezekiah at Jerusalem, with a great army. And he stood by the conduit of the upper pool on the highway to the Washer’s Field.

And there came out to him Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was over the household, and Shebna the secretary, and Joah the son of Asaph, the recorder.

And the Rabshakeh said to them, “Say to Hezekiah, ‘Thus says the great king, the king of Assyria: On what do you rest this trust of yours?

 Do you think that mere words are strategy and power for war? In whom do you now trust, that you have rebelled against me?

Behold, you are trusting in Egypt, that broken reed of a staff, which will pierce the hand of any man who leans on it. Such is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all who trust in him.

 But if you say to me, “We trust in the LORD our God,” is it not he whose high places and altars Hezekiah has removed, saying to Judah and to Jerusalem, “You shall worship before this altar”?

 Come now, make a wager with my master the king of Assyria: I will give you two thousand horses, if you are able on your part to set riders on them.

 How then can you repulse a single captain among the least of my master’s servants, when you trust in Egypt for chariots and for horsemen?

 Moreover, is it without the LORD that I have come up against this land to destroy it? The LORD said to me, Go up against this land and destroy it.'”

 

 

The world notices when we turn our backs on our God. It makes us appear weak and vulnerable. They begin to flex their collective muscles for they know of God also. Those who rely only on their own strength, the strength of ‘Egypt’ will find no strength in comparison with what we have when we rely on God. We can see this being played out in our world today. Let us turn to the One who can defeat any enemy, especially the enemy of our very souls. Let us rely on His strength.

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I believe; therefore I speak

 For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans

Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome.

Gen 1:3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.

God spoke; it was.  The omnipotent power of God’s spoken word!

Pro 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.

There is power in our words.  We speak life and death to our relationships, our thoughts, our actions.   The words we speak may be harsh or kind, loving or damning, encouraging or destroying.  We are created in the image of God and carry the ability to create and destroy; however limited it may be.

Gen 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

Add faith; add belief and the power of the Holy Spirit is added to our words and they can bring life and light to a dark world.

2Co 4:13 Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, “I believed, and so I spoke,” we also believe, and so we also speak,

We believe; and so we speak.  There is power in our spoken words when we speak the word of God.

When we speak the words of God, His power is unleashed and will not return empty but will accomplish what they are set to do.

Isa 55:11 so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

We can pray the word over our circumstances, our nation, our faith.  We can speak the word daily in our conversation.  We can sing the word to our heart and to our God.  When we know the word, we can give life.  When we know the word we can give hope.  When we know the word our prayers will be answered.

Mat 7:7“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

Mat 7:8For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened

Spend time in His word.  Get to know it.  Speak it; share it.  Bring light to a dark world.

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A Holy Priesthood…

 

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans

Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome.

1 Peter 2:5 and Malachi 2:1-17, 4:2

1Pe 2:5 you also as living stones are built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

 

Mal 2:1- And now, O priests, this command is for you.  If you will not hear, and if you will not set it on your heart to give glory to My name, says Jehovah of Hosts, then I will send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings. And indeed I have cursed it, because you do not set it on your heart.   Behold, I am rebuking your seed; and I will spread dung upon your faces, even the dung of your appointed feasts. And one shall lift you up to it.   And you shall know that I have sent this command to you, to be My covenant with Levi, says Jehovah of Hosts.   My covenant with him was life and peace, and I gave them to him for fear; and he feared Me, and he is awed before My name.   The Law of Truth was in his mouth, and iniquity was not found in his lips. He walked with Me in peace and uprightness, and turned away many from iniquity.  For the priest’s lips should guard knowledge, and they should seek the Law at his mouth; for he is the messenger of Jehovah of Hosts.  But you have turned out of the way; you have caused many to stumble at the law. You have corrupted the covenant of Levi, says Jehovah of Hosts.  Therefore I have also made you despised and low before all the people, just as you have not kept My ways but are lifting up faces in the law.   Is there not one Father to us all? Has not one God created us? Why do we act deceitfully, each man with his brother, to profane the covenant of our fathers.  Judah has dealt treacherously, and an abomination is committed in Israel and in Jerusalem. For Judah has profaned the holy place of Jehovah, which He loves, and has married the daughter of a foreign god.  Jehovah will cut off from the tents of Jacob the man who does it; stirring and answering; or offering a food offering to Jehovah of Hosts.  And this is a second thing you have done, covering the altar of Jehovah with tears, weeping, and groaning, yet not facing toward the food offering, and taking it with delight from your hand.  Yet you say, Why? Because Jehovah has been witness between you and the wife of your youth, against whom you have dealt treacherously; yet she is your companion and your covenant wife.  And did He not make you one? Yet the vestige of the Spirit is in him. And what of the one? He was seeking a godly seed. Then guard your spirit, and do not act treacherously with the wife of your youth.  Jehovah, the God of Israel, says He hates sending away; and to cover with violence on his garment, says Jehovah of Hosts. Then guard your spirit, and do not act treacherously.  You have wearied Jehovah with your words. Yet you say, In what have we wearied Him? When you say, Every evildoer is good in the eyes of Jehovah, and He delights in them; or, Where is the God of justice?

 

Peter speaks to us. All believers entering into a new covenant with God under Christ are given the commission to be a holy priesthood. We have an awesome responsibility to be light in a dark world. We are covered by the blood of Christ as we stand before God. We are covered with His righteousness. In gratitude to Him for what we receive we then act in love toward God and fellow-man. In that place we have the commission to minister to; to serve; to share that which we have with those in need. Speaking not only in physical terms but also in spiritual terms; those around us have physical and spiritual needs that we can meet if we will stay alert to the Holy Spirit’s leading. What are the duties of a priest but to listen, assist, share the Word of God, advise in holy counsel, bring those seeking into the presence of God? And that priest bears additional responsibility to stand clean before God. What a responsibility! It should humble us all. That said, the question is… Are we found faithful?

 

In Malachi, God gives warning…do we heed it? Do we pick up our share of the responsibility of the church of Christ or do we leave it for another? Do we seek God’s face, in prayer and through scripture to hear his voice, know his word?

“… For the priest’s lips should guard knowledge, and they should seek the Law at his mouth; for he is the messenger of Jehovah of Hosts. …”

We do not do this alone, for that we are not capable. We do this through the work of the Holy Spirit within us, on us and through us. It is not our work but His; we are the willing vessels.

 

If we avoid our part in the work of the Kingdom of God we fall prey to the actions of those who cause the unbelieving world to hate us, to despise us, to call us on our hypocrisy.

“guard your spirit, and do not act treacherously….”

Mal 2:17 You have wearied Jehovah with your words. “

There are many who name the name of Christ who also weary not only God but us all with their words. Their words are not kind, gentle, exhibiting self-control, loving; they do not demonstrate the fruit of the Holy Spirit. And they grieve God and His people.

 

“…you have turned out of the way; you have caused many to stumble …” “… You have corrupted the covenant of Levi, says Jehovah of Hosts.   Therefore I have also made you despised and low before all the people, just as you have not kept My ways…” “… Is there not one Father to us all? Has not one God created us? Why do we act deceitfully, each man with his brother, to profane the covenant of our fathers. …”

These are the words of God to His priesthood, to his people, to his church…do they fit us as a group today?, as individuals today? It is time to do some serious searching of our actions and words. It is time to immerse ourselves in the Word of God so we know when something is not right, so we can truthfully judge the words of others, not a judgment of passing sentence, but a judgment of knowing truth from lie, knowing that which has been distorted to please a perverse generation from what is true to God’s spoken Word. We are responsible to know the difference; knowing the difference gives us the ability to walk righteously before God and man; knowing the difference gives us the ability to share truth not lies, kindness not name-calling or scorn, gentleness not harshness…

 

“… you say, In what have we wearied Him? When you say, Every evildoer is good in the eyes of Jehovah, and He delights in them; or, Where is the God of justice? …”

Today do we hear evil called good and good called evil? What is the cause? Have we been faithful believers or do our actions justify some of what we hear? It is time to be light, not darkness. It is time to be the children of God. It is time to be found faithful.

“…But to you who fear My name, the Sun of Righteousness shall arise, and healing will be on His wings. …”

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