In the book of Isaiah 37 we find that Sennacherib the King of Assyria has made threats against Hezekiah and the people of Judah, to destroy them. Sennacherib sends his messengers with a mocking message to Hezekiah about how dare he trust in the LORD GOD to deliver him from the great Assyrian army. The message gloats about how that the many lands that he had conquered and that their gods were powerless against him. The message continues to rebuke and insult King Hezekiah, portraying him as a false prophet and liar about how GOD would deliver Judah. The messengers of Hezekiah tell the Assyrian messenger Rabshakeh to speak in Aramaic so the people would not hear the blasphemous message, Rabshakeh then boldly yells in Hebrew for all to hear, deriding King Hezekiah and his faith that GOD would deliver Judah. Talk about adding insult to injury! Now the Assyrians and King Sennacherib have a pretty solid case. hey have subdued many nations, conquering almost with ease those who fought them. Hezekiah had sought help from Egypt, but even Sennacherib insults Pharaoh.
Then in Isaiah 37:15-20, King Hezekiah goes to the House of the LORD and “Prays.” He prays a very simple but urgent plea to GOD to deliver Judah from the Assyrians. Then Isaiah the prophet sends word to King Hezekiah – “verse 21; because you have prayed to Me about . . . . . this is the word of the LORD spoken against him. The chapter goes on to reveal the plan of GOD against the Assyrians and how GOD would in fact deliver Judah, in fact there would be no battle in Judah. The battle happened within the Assyrian army – 185,000 soldiers were killed in one night by the angel of God. Sennacherib leaves to Nineveh with his tail between his legs so to speak.
Why is all this important? We have been inundated by one crisis after another for over 18 months. We have politics, media, pandemic and wars and rumors of wars overwhelming us. It is difficult to remain upbeat and hopeful.
I said something last year that has been brought back to my memory often. I prayed to God that we [the Church, Bride, Body of Christ] would stay in the pandemic until we learned what we were suppose to learn. It is no secret that the CHURCH and church have been declining for years. We have become more like the world, than the world like us. Sunday mornings have become more of a youth camp experience then a holy worship to God.
The cultural context has become “all about me” and my personal rights and comfort. Christianity has lost the cultural war, really big deal, the “World has always done the World, and is extremely good at it.” We are to be salt and light in the world, to expose the “darkness” not embrace it. The pandemic has caused many to leave the church, I believe they were really just waiting for an excuse, and got one. In the political realm, we have lost confidence in our leaders to have OUR interests in mind. Our allies have lost respect and confidence in the ability and wiliness of our leaders to honor time honored treaties. There is a great divide between people of all ethnicities, and it grows more everyday. Homosexuality has been rammed down our thoughts and we have become weary with fighting against it. Well known christian artists and leaders are leaving the faith disillusioned or for moral failure; pastors are leaving the ministry is droves.
My question is “when will we return to the HOUSE OF GOD and PRAY? The scripture is filled with incidents that when the people prayed, God delivered. Praying prayers of specifics, not some heartless generic prayer. If God is willing to respond to the King of Assyria in Jonah’s day and cause a 100 yr. revival using a carnal prophet, and he is willing to answer Hezekiah “BECAUSE YOU PRAYED” will He not honor the fervent prayer of a righteous man – James 5?
Have we come far enough in our trust in men, armies and our own self-sufficiency that we will finally and humbly pray to the Father in Heaven to deliver us from the tyranny of the world and evil? Then join me and declare a fast, call the elders together and PRAY, PRAY WITH FERVENCY, PRAY WITH UNITY, PRAY CONFESSIONALLY, PRAY REPENTANTLY – BUT PRAY!!! Our God is waiting to hear HIS PEOPLE PRAY, so HE may show forth HIS power and glory.
Have we learned anything yet?