Saturday, July 10, 2010

2010 – July 10 – The Confidence Game

Study from God’s Word 2Kgs 18: 13 – 16; 2Kgs 20: 1 – 11; Isaiah 38: 9 – 20; 2Chron 32: 25 – 30; 2Kgs 20: 12 – 19 [Is 39: 1 – 8]; 2Chron 32: 31; 2Chron 1 – 8; 2Kgs 18: 17 – 25 [2Chron 32: 9 – 15 and Is 36: 2 – 10]; 2Kgs 18: 26 [Is 36: 11]; 2Kgs 18: 27 – 35 [2Chron 32: 16, 18-19 and Is 36: 12 – 20]; 2Kgs 18: 36-37 [Is 36: 21-22]; 2Kgs 19: 1 – 4 [Is 37: 1 – 4]; 2Kgs 19: 5 – 7 [Is 37: 5 – 7]; 2Kgs 19: 8 [Is 37: 8]; 2Kgs 19: 9 – 13 [2Chron 32: 17 and Is 37: 9 – 13]; 2Kgs 19: 14 – 19 [2nd Chron 32: 20 and Is 37: 14 – 20]; 2Kgs 19: 20 – 34 [Is 37: 21 – 35]; 2Kgs 19: 35 – 36 [2Chron 32: 21 – 22 and Is 37: 36 – 37]; 2Chron 32: 23; 2Kgs 20: 20 – 21 [2Chron 32: 32 – 33] … Passage for Reflection: 2nd Kings 18: 19 – 20 … NIV On what are you basing this confidence of yours? You say you have strategy and military strength – but you speak only empty words.

My Journal for Today: Today, as you can see documented in what I’ve been led to read from God’s word by LaGard Smith, my devotional Shepherd this year, I’ve been led into parallel passages, which chronicle – from three separate books of the Bible – the interaction between King Hezekiah, the Prophet Isaiah, and Sennacherib, the then King of Assyria. And what transpires historically is one of those great stories of faith in Scripture. Perhaps you know the scenario. Perhaps you need to go back into the Books of 2nd Kings, 2nd Chronicles, and Isaiah to read it; but in these historical dealings, we see God responding to the pleas and prayers of a faithful and obedient servant of God, Hezekiah, with God protecting His people with a miraculous victory over a far superior enemy.

And we see how Sennacherib taunted God’s people and Hezekiah, mocking the one, true God [never a good strategy!]; and in response we see the humble response of Hezekiah, going to the Temple to pray first and then consulting the Prophet, Isaiah, who gives Hezekiah the message of assurance Hezekiah needs, trusting in God first [always God first!] for His protection and deliverance.

In today’s highlight passage we read the words of Sennacherib’s emissary to the Jews, deriding Hezekiah’s confidence in God; and from it Dr. Smith asks me and his readers whether we have strong confidence in our God, … even when the circumstances of life seem overwhelming. Dr. Smith, in today’s devotional, invoked the analogy of the confidence men of the day put in “the Titanic,” … confidence which we know now was misplaced. And we can be like the people of those days, seeking for our confidence and answers in things like our education, our scientific prowess, our economic status, or our political/military might. But when we see all of this being overwhelmed by such acts of God as a devastating tsunami or hurricane or we see our natural resources being polluted by acts of man such as the oil spill now going on in the Gulf of Mexico, where do we place our confidence for solutions?

It’s one thing to have confidence in God when things are on a roll for us and we are safe and sound and secure in our well-being. BUT, … when those people on the Gulf now see their livelihood falling apart because of the oil spill, do they have confidence that God can deliver them … that the one, true God will provide for them? Where, Dr. Smith asks today, do we put our confidence? Do we place it in our selves? Do we seek human, scientific, political, or military answers? Whom do we follow into the battles of life when all seems as it may be a loss?

Hezekiah answered by going to God. So, did Moses, Job, and even God, Himself, in Jesus’ prayers to His Father for the Father’s will. I always love reflecting back on the confidence the Apostle Paul had to say to the Corinthian Christians (found in 1st Cor. 11: 1), (paraphrased) “You can follow me, because I follow Jesus, the Christ.” And there, my dear one, is where we must put our confidence … anywhere, … under any circumstance, … anytime!!

My Prayer for Today: Lord, my confidence lies in You and only You. Amen

No comments: