Friday, December 10, 2010

I know where you live.

I love that no matter how many times I read the Bible I always find something interesting that I hadn't noticed the last time. Today I read about the time that Sennacherib, king of Assyria, sent an army to attack and capture Jerusalem (Isaiah chapters 36 and 37). I really enjoy reading this story because it is a beautiful picture of God's power and protection when everything seems hopeless.
Sennacherib was so sure of himself. He sent a messenger to talk to Hezekiah's (the king of Judah) officials to try to scare them into surrendering.
He was all 'What makes you people think that you are going to be able to stand against me? You talk tough but you got nothin'! Have the gods of all the other nations I've conquered ever helped them out? No! Not one of the gods of the countries I have conquered has been able to stop me so how could the Lord save your city from me?' 

But God told King Hezekiah,through the prophet Isaiah,
“Do not be afraid of the words which you have heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed Me. Surely I will send a spirit upon him, and he shall hear a rumor and return to his own land; and I will cause him to fall by the sword in his own land.”

Well, not too long afterwords, Sennacherib heard that some other king was coming to fight with him so, just like God said, he went back to his own land...but not before he had dealt another psychological blow to Jerusalem:
'Listen, don't think that just because I'm going away you're safe. Oh no. I'll be back. And don't listen to that God of yours when he tries to tell you that your city is going to be OK. Haven't you heard about all the nations I have conquered? You are going to end up just like them.'
Well, here's what God had to say to that!
"Whom have you reproached and blasphemed?
      Against whom have you raised your voice,
      And lifted up your eyes on high?
      Against the Holy One of Israel.
      ...I have brought it to pass,
      That you should be
      For crushing fortified cities into heaps of ruins.
      Therefore their inhabitants had little power;
      They were dismayed and confounded;
      They were as the grass of the field
      And the green herb,
      As the grass on the housetops
      And grain blighted before it is grown."

Here comes my favorite part!
" But I know your dwelling place."
Modern paraphrase:  'Sennacherib, you act all tough. You think you are all that and a bag o' chips, but I am the one who gave you the authority and strength to conquer all those nations in the first place! Pipe down, buddy. I know where you live.'

That's a pretty sobering statement. And it can be a terrifying statement or a beautiful statement depending on where you stand with God.
For the Christian who loves and serves God it is wonderful to hear. God knows where the people who want to hurt us live; he has the power to keep them from harming us.
For Sennacherib, who had just blasphemed God twice, giving himself credit for what God had given him the authority to do, it must have been terrifying to hear the Lord of the universe who holds all power in His hands tell him  'I know where you live.'

The point of this post: Don't mess with God; He knows where you live.
Read it for yourself here.

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