Declaring the Truth
We would like to close with this beautiful example from the life of Hezekiah. In fact it stands as a radically different response from what we had just studied in a few chapters earlier in Isaiah when they trusted in Egypt. When we humble ourselves before God, God reveals a whole new view of our lives.
This applies to those caught in the frenzy of desperation or to those who just want to set their lives on the right foundation. Remember how the blocks quivered in the block demonstration?! What are you trusting? Will events shake your life? What will you do?
King Hezekiah just received an official message from the imperial army that they were surrounded and should give up. We read with interest King Hezekiah's response.
|Then Hezekiah took the letter from the hand of the messengers and read it, and he went up to the house of the LORD and spread it out before the LORD. (Isaiah 37:14)
We will note three important steps that we should take when a crisis hit.
Declare the truths of God
|And Hezekiah prayed to the LORD saying,
"O LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, who art enthroned above the cherubim, Thou art the God, Thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth. Thou hast made heaven and earth."
|What truths are said about God?
- Lord of many (hosts)
- God over his country (Israel)
- Lofty throne deserving all respect
- Confesses only God deserves attention
- Only God who made the earth and heaven.
Detect the truth of the situation
|"Incline Thine ear, O LORD, and hear; open Thine eyes, O LORD, and see; and listen to all the words of Sennacherib, who sent them to reproach the living God. Truly, O LORD, the kings of Assyria have devastated all the countries and their lands, and have cast their gods into the fire, for they were not gods but the work of mens hands, wood and stone. So they have destroyed them.
|What did Hezekiah say about his situation?
He asked God to:
- See his situation.
- Hear the evil king's reproach against the Lord.
- Note how the evil king devastated many countries.
- Observe the challenge the king has brought against the Living God of Israel. He boasts he can wipe You out too!
Admit the truth of our needs
|"And now, O LORD our God, deliver us from his hand that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that Thou alone, LORD, art God.
|What did he say about his own needs?
- He wanted God to receive glory.
- He wanted the king's words made vain.
- He wanted Israel to see God's greatness.
|Hezekiah couldn't do one thing about all these threats but pray. He sought out God to do what he couldn't do. He was not selfreliant but Godreliant. God did it!
|When Hezekiah was desperate, he spread that letter of troubles out before the Lord and prayed. He rejected temptation and cast his anxieties upon God.
We need to master these three steps. When we become alarmed, we need to go straight before the Lord and tell Him at least these three things. We need to identify what is causing the worries and go back to our simple recovery steps.
The truth of God breaks through our sin's defense wall. This happens as we gain His perspective of Him, our situation and our needs. Through praise, whether in prayer or song, we actually declare the relevance of God's Word to our lives. His thoughts then gradually become our thoughts. Our faith increases. Confusion dissipates. We follow through with obedience.
At times the point of crisis is very noticeable such as a failed course and the implications it has on your future. At other times, though, it is not very easily seen. This is because of two reasons.
(1) Big worries often come from small issues.
(2) The issue seemed trivial but it hit a deep down insecurity such as "I need to be accepted." Many practical cases will be covered in the next session.
In all these cases, the treatment is the same. Some cases will require more investigative work to see what the real problem is. But in essence, the steps toward healing are the same. We need to face our difficulties and honestly bring them before God. It works! We are cutting away at the lack of trust upon which the worries and fears are built.
We might try avoid dealing with the problem, but it will come at us more fiercely next time. It is best to be responsible, admit our stubbornness and confess our helplessness. Then we will see God mighty in action.
There is a great difference between being a poor driver and a driver who takes his hands off the wheel while his foot is still on the gas pedal. The poor driver is like the typical person who doesn't know quite what is coming at him as he goes down the street. He does his best but sometimes he is distracted or the windshield is dirty. This is like the way we often handle our worries - poorly.
But there are also the drivers who take their hands off the steering wheel. They give up on life. They hear Satan's voice say, "It is no use. Just give up. You can't do anything about it anyway." These temptations have led quite a few people to be institutionalized. They just took their hands off their lives and let them go wherever they would. Please don't do this. You will end up dead or in one of the many unpleasant mental wards across the world. Instead remember the constant love of God. Speak to Him. Don't listen to those voices leading you into danger.
Help comes from taking responsibility for our lives.
You might protest saying, "Didn't you say that Hezekiah couldn't do anything?!" I said he couldn't do anything but pray. Sincere prayer to the Almighty Creator is the most important thing one can do in such situations. Stating the truth about our circumstances is taking responsiblity about our lives. You might think it will lead into deeper depression, but if it is done rightly by using God's Word, it leads straight to the throne of God.
Remember God uses crisis times to bring us to Himself. This is what He always has wanted. It just takes us a long time to come, doesn't it?
Let's review the main principles and applications of this session. Next page