Reading Hezekiah’s prayer in Isaiah 37 this morning … Rabshakeh, sent by Sennacherib the king of Syria, has mocked Israel and written-off Yahweh as just another god. Hezekiah begins his prayer with a declaration of praise to the Almighty Creator — a beautifully eloquent “hallowed be Thy Name!” He then urgently petitions Yahweh to hear the mockery of Sennacherib and to respond with salvation for Israel. Then the whole earth will know that Yahweh is like none of the so called gods of the kingdoms that have fallen to Sennacherib — Yahweh is God alone!
We live in a world that oppressively grows ever-more pagan and anti-Christ. Especially disturbing is the dismissal and mockery of God by declaring good to be evil and evil to be good. We see this as the worship of self rears its ugly head in so many ways — from unforgiveness and bitterness to the murder of inconvenient human life and celebration of immorality. I find my heart crying out for justice. Indeed, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit the outrage and anger I feel — and it’s strangely mixed with sorrow for those being deceived and destroyed.
It’s so easy to get waylaid by these emotions — to be distracted from what a righteous response should be. Hezekiah kept the right perspective, praying for God’s glory and only proper recognition. How can we accomplish this in our lives?
In Paul’s letter to the churches of Galatia, he declares something that is both an encouragement and an exhortation: “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.” (Gal. 6:7) We need to hear this — loud and clear! Our God can and does and will eternally defend His honor quite well, thank you! Vengeance is His for He alone can execute justice with mercy and love.
Be exhorted! If we sow in spite and hatred and vengeance, we will reap the bitter fruit of our own sin — and that is exactly what the enemy of our souls is hoping for! Sowing to the flesh is a demonstration of the god we serve. We must sow to the Spirit and reap eternal life. This is spiritual warfare and the battles cannot be waged in the flesh alone. Yes, we must do all we can to seek justice and mercy … in the gentle and humble walk of Holy Love as He fills us.
Be encouraged! Judgment has already been pronounced upon the forces of darkness — “lo, his doom is sure!” And hope is held out at the Cross of Jesus, in His precious Blood, for all those who are lost and deceived … yes, and for all of us who are His, our hope is glorious and eternal!