Thursday, July 10, 2014

July 10 – Back off!

“He will not enter this city, nor will he shoot an arrow here. He will not attack it with his shielded warriors, nor will he build siege works against it. He will go back the way he came — he will not enter this city,” says the Lord. “I will shield this city and rescue it for the sake of my reputation and because of my promise to David my servant.”   (Isaiah 37:33-35   NET)

These are the words of a God who loves His people!  This is a story that shows exactly what we can expect of our God when threats are being shot at us from every direction.  He is the champion of the oppressed who stands in defiance against the attacks of the enemy and shouts, “Back off!” while driving them away with one swipe of His hand.  All of us have dreamed of a rescue as magnificent as this, and It’s what God wants to do for us all.

The city of Jerusalem was under siege by the ruthless King Sennacherib.  Judah’s King Hezekiah knew that Jerusalem was next, but instead of panicking, he relied on God to save them. He went straight to the Temple, tore his royal robes in anguish and cried out to God to rescue His people from this evil king.  

But as usually happens when it comes to attacks of the devil, Sennacherib’s threats got worse.  He started taunting and insulting God Himself, shouting at all of the people of Jerusalem about how easily he had wiped out every other nation and city. None of their gods saved them, why should the Israelites believe their God was any better?

The threats got worse, so King Hezekiah complained to God more, presenting all of those threats to God in the Temple.  He demanded that God keep His promises to His people, and God answered in a big way.  God responded so swiftly that an angel swept through the enemy’s camp and killed 185,000 troops.  When they woke up the next morning, Sennacherib’s army was annihilated. 

For those who hear our messages in church, this story encapsulates so much of what we teach:  1. Satan’s threats can easily be overcome by God, no matter how convincing he may appear. 2. Panicking and thinking that the solution is only up to you is the reaction that brings the worst results.  Do the opposite – run to God’s house to pray immediately.  3.  When things look like they are getting worse (predictable strategy of the devil that we fall for all the time), stay the course, eyes forward, and get even more aggressive in faith.  4. God will fight for us to defend His own name which is stamped upon every true believer.  5. Miracles come to those who know God’s mind and heart, who make God’s enemies their own enemies.  

Face down your oppressors.  Believe that as you fight through your prayers that God is proclaiming to all the threats of the devil, “Back off!  This one is Mine!”

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