April 15, 2016

2 Kings 19:19 “Now, O Lord our God, deliver us from his hand, so that all kingdoms on earth may know that you alone, O Lord, are God.”

Hezekiah had his head and his heart on straight. Faced with an existential threat from one of the major tyrants of world history, he turned fully to God. He didn’t ignore circumstances: he acknowledged that Sennacherib in his conquests had destroyed numbers of local deities, just as the letter boasted, but his focus was on the Creator of the universe, not some human creation. We don’t have a very good grasp of his situation emotionally, because few of us are in that sort of a polytheistic society. However, we also tend to fail to have as complete trust in God as Hezekiah did. As came up in yesterday’s reading, we tend to turn to anything but God, and we certainly suffer for it. If God’s people would depend more fully and clearly on Him, then those who don’t yet know Him would be more likely to pay attention when we tell them about Him. As it is, much of the world considers religion peripheral to life at best, which is why they are so mystified at Muslim extremists: they can’t imagine why anyone would take any religion that seriously. Christians serve a very different God from terrorists, but their dedication should be no less.

I had a very interesting “wake-up call” on this issue just last night. At 9:26 I discovered that my cell phone’s emergency warning system works, when it suddenly gave off a siren noise and then a voice said, “This is an earthquake. This is an earthquake.” That removed any question as to what the shaking I was feeling might be! I had been in the middle of writing an email, so I completed that and then went to turn on the TV to check the news, discovering that it had been a magnitude 6.4, centered a few hundred kilometers away from us. We had some after-shocks, and then at 10:06 another pretty strong one. We did go to bed after that, but experienced several more after-shocks, as well as a text message from a friend checking on us that woke us up. All in all an interesting night! That certainly wasn’t in the class of Sennacherib threatening to wipe out the nation, but it was a reminder that our trust must be in God, the Maker of heaven and earth, rather than in anything less. Thankfully there seems to have been very little real damage from this earthquake, but it could easily have been otherwise. I need to remember, and to tell others, that we are all totally dependent on the grace of God, so that more people may turn to Him in repentance and faith.

Father, thank You for last night. It’s the strongest I’ve ever felt, even though it wasn’t damaging around here. Help me make full use of everything You allow us to experience to point others to You, so that they may have every opportunity to receive Your salvation, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!


About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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