Telling God He's God (1)

  • You may have heard me say this before on a previous teaching. True worship is when God’s people are telling God that He’s God. It’s not necessarily all verbal, but more resting in the promises of God and trusting in Him to do and perform what is needed.

    This story beginning in 2 Kings 18 reveals a Great Record of Faith. Although this study will take us to Psalms 46, first we must set this story up by going to 2 Kings 18.

    Lets begin with verses 1-3. Then we will jump to verses 13-15. As we progress through the verses, you will see that this story shows us the ways we discover the mysteries of faith. Many times it’s through trials and troubles. Maybe you remember in a previous teaching I said that trials do not occur to take anything away from you, but to get some things to you. The problem is nothing more than a foreshadowing of the forthcoming answer. Anyway, here’s the scriptures in the Easy to Read version.

    Hezekiah son of Ahaz was king of Judah. Hezekiah began to rule during the third year that Hoshea son of Elah was king of Israel. Hezekiah was 25 years old when he began to rule. He ruled 29 years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Abi, the daughter of Zechariah. Hezekiah did what the Lord said was right, just as David his ancestor had done.

    We notice in these verses that Hezekiah was King. Also, we notice he was an ancestor of David. He followed in the path set by his ancestor by doing what the Lord said was right.

    Study the verses following verse 3 to verse 13 and you will discover Hezekiah destroyed the false gods that were present at the time. He tore down the high places that exalted themselves against God. He trusted the Lord and there was no one like him among all the Kings of Israel. This was a strong man, who loved God, and desired God’s heart just like David. He stopped serving the king of Assyria to follow God. He was a great general also as evidenced by his victories over all the Philistine cities. Now verses 13-15.

    13 During Hezekiah’s 14th year as king, King Sennacherib of Assyria went to fight against all the strong cities of Judah. Sennacherib defeated them all.

    Hezekiah is in the middle of his reign as King. He’s faced with a tremendous foe who is winning victory after victory against his kingdom, or so it seems. Pressure is mounting around him. Sennacherib has shown his strength and ability. It would be enough to un-nerve anyone. 

    14 Then King Hezekiah of Judah sent a message to the king of Assyria at Lachish. Hezekiah said, “I have done wrong. Leave me alone, and I will pay whatever you want.” Then the king of Assyria told King Hezekiah of Judah to pay over 11 tons of silver and over 1 ton of gold.

    The word “Lachish” means impregnable. That means strong enough to resist attack. Not to be taken by force. Not to become overcome or overthrown. Words have meanings, just like our names have meanings. Hezekiah at this time, fell into the trap of reacting without seeking the Lord. He makes a decision that is nothing but compromise with the enemy. No matter what it looks like, we cannot compromise with the enemy. He is a liar and will renege each and every time.

    15 Hezekiah gave all the silver that was in the Lord’s Temple and in the king’s treasuries.

    Okay, so Hezekiah yields to Sennacherib. This man is Dictator of the Middle East. He wants to take over the entire earth. He desires the title “Great King or Dictator of earth”. He has already taken 10 northern tribes of Israel over 21 years before this time. Now he’s back, heading for Egypt, then Jerusalem. When Sennacherib gets so close, Hezekiah pays an exorbitant tax to prevent destruction.

    His gesture seems to have worked, but wait! Sennacherib realizes Hezekiah is still back there behind him. So he sends Generals back and gives orders to them. Stand outside the walls of Jerusalem. Yell at the wall saying “Give up, the tax you paid is not enough”.

    The enemy will entice you into compromise and make you think it will quiet him, but it will never be enough. He does this to us by making us think we have to perform works in order for God to bless us. We take his bait and try following the traditions of men or religious/legalistic rules and regulations.

    The problem is, whenever you believe you’ve done all you can and performed all the works necessary, he will find one more thing for you to DO. Mankind is used by the enemy all the time in the religious world. It can always come up with new rules to follow. Every time a church structured organization revisits the “by-laws” (how fitting is that name) they find another rule or two to add to control people.

    As you study through the rest of this chapter, you will notice how the enemy toys with the people’s feelings and tries to reason with them about their impending doom. Basically saying all the other gods couldn’t save their cities, so don’t tell us about your God. They try to convince the people to give up. Hezekiah is distressed. He has received a letter from the enemy. Isaiah 37:14 says Hezekiah received the letters and then he goes into the temple.

    He’s thinking – No doubt Sennacherib will wipe us out. These are the greatest armies ever seen. Here’s the problem. Everything Sennacherib said was against God. Why didn’t God do something? Have you been there? In situations where you wonder why God didn’t do something? Remember. God is not in control of everything, but He is in charge. He has given us dominion, power and authority over all sickness, disease, evil spirits and wickedness in high places. All we need to do is become commanders of that power.

    Now Hezekiah sends a message to Isaiah. Why? Hezekiah is a great King who loves God and has followed after all that the Lord has said. However, he is not the strong prophet who hears so clearly and succinctly from God like Isaiah does. This is important. There are people in your life that have giftings you need to utilize and rely on in this Christian walk. We are all part of the body with different and various functions and callings. You do not stand alone in this walk of faith, and you cannot.

    Hezekiah spells out to Isaiah the tremendous problem he’s facing. Isaiah responds in 2 Kings 19:6,7.

    Isaiah said to them, “Give this message to your master, Hezekiah: The Lord says, ‘Don’t be afraid of what you heard from the commanders. Don’t believe what those “boys” from the king of Assyria said to make fun of me. Look, I will send a spirit against the king of Assyria. He will get a report warning him about a danger, so he will return to his own country. And I will cut him down with a sword in his own country.’”

    Hezekiah refuses to surrender. The messengers go and tell Sennacherib. Sennacherib is so mad, he writes a letter. When Hezekiah gets the letter, he goes into the temple of God.

    2 Kings 19:9-15.

    Then the king of Assyria heard a report that said, “Tirhakah, the king of Ethiopia, has come to fight against you.” So the king of Assyria sent messengers to Hezekiah again.

    10 He told them, “Tell King Hezekiah of Judah these things: ‘Don’t be fooled by the god you trust when he says Jerusalem will not be defeated by the king of Assyria. 11 You have heard what the kings of Assyria did to all the other countries. We completely destroyed them! Will you be saved? No! 12 Did the gods of those nations save their people? No, my ancestors destroyed them all. They destroyed Gozan, Haran, Rezeph, and the people of Eden living in Tel Assar. 13 Where is the king of Hamath? The king of Arpad? The king of the city of Sepharvaim? The kings of Hena and Ivvah?’” 14 Hezekiah received the letters from the messengers and read them. Then he went up to the Lord’s Temple and laid the letters out in front of the Lord. 15 Hezekiah prayed before the Lord and said, “Lord, God of Israel, you sit as King above the Cherub angels. You alone are the God who rules all the kingdoms on earth. You made heaven and earth.

    Look what he does. He doesn’t panic. He doesn’t blame God for what is coming against him. He doesn’t get religious and say “God is putting me through this to show me something”. That’s hogwash. NO! Instead he begins to realize once again who God is. He stopped and was still. The more we realize who God is, the smaller in proportion our problem is.

    After he tells God He’s God, then he begins to pray. Not a big elaborate prayer. It doesn’t have to be a great prayer. The fact you’re talking to God is faith. The fact you stopped trying to find your own answers and realize God is in charge is faith. So the prayer doesn’t need to be the hottest thing going.

    What is he doing here? He’s sunbathing in God. He’s resting in God. The Holy Ghost urged Hezekiah to pray. He can’t make you pray, but He is the encourager and the comforter. Why? Because God knew we would need encouragement and comforting. Well Glory!

    Up until this time, Hezekiah has only heard of the stories of faith and God’s deliverance. He’s only heard of the trouble others have had and God’s answer. Now, he’s about to become one of those stories.

    I will stop part 1 right here and leave you in suspense. We haven't even gotten to Psalms 46 yet, so get ready for the powerful conclusion to this story in part 2. Grace and Peace.