Pastor’s Desk November 12th

Scripture Passage:  “And Hezekiah received the letter of the hand of the messengers, and read it: and Hezekiah went up into the house of the Lord, and spread it before the Lord.”  II Kings 19:14
 
Dear Friends,
 
     Abraham Lincoln once said, “I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go.”  This past week was one of those weeks.  I found myself totally inadequate and unable to handle the situation I found myself in.  The unexpected death of a 15 year old young man in our church left everyone asking why? And there was no answer.  I looked for and prayed about what words to say to the family, but there were none.  I found myself trying to work but totally consumed in my thoughts about the family and the fact I had been asked to do his funeral service.  If I could not find the words to say to his family in private, what would I say to everyone in a public service?  I did not want to say anything that would add to the family’s grief, but there is no way to conduct a funeral service without talking about death.  I always say my job is to honor God and honor the person we are remembering.  I want to comfort the family yet challenge those present to consider their mortality.  My heart was completely crushed, my emotions in shambles, and my mind completely unable to focus on the task at hand.  As the service time drew near, I found myself totally at God’s mercy and unprepared to preach.  As I prayed, I begged God to help me and give me the words to say.  I kept saying over and over, “Lord, I can’t do this without you.  You have to help me.” “The family is depending upon me and the crowd is curious as to what I am going to say.”  “There will be some that will agree with my theology and others that will question it.”  “I must be true to Scripture but at the same time be honest with the family and comfort them in the hope we have in Christ Jesus.”   This was a deadline I had to meet whether I was ready or not.  Hezekiah came to mind. I found comfort and help in the way he approached a very difficult situation and the method he used to handle it.  Unless you have experienced being “at wits end” you will not understand fully this devotional.  If you have, it will cause you to remember the faithfulness of God and how he delivered you against all odd.  If you are there now, this is for you. 
     King Hezekiah began his reign when he was twenty–five years old.   His heart was tender and he had an insatiable desire to please God.  A great reformation took place during his tenure as king and the nation prospered both spiritually, materially, and financially.  He tore down the groves dedicated to false god’s, restored temple worship and the Passover, restored the importance of the Word of God, and reinstated the tithe to support the tabernacle and the priests.  When things are going well, the devil will always do everything within his power to discourage and tear down everything that has been built up during the time of revival.  The greatest and most powerful army of Hezekiah’s day was Assyria.  When king Sennacherib heard that Judah was prospering he decided to set his armies against Jerusalem and take everything for himself.  No one else had been able to fight against him and in his opinion this little nation did not stand a chance against his armies.  He sent a letter to King Hezekiah and the people in leadership roles to scare them into submission.  He reminded them that he had destroyed all the nations that he had come up against and there had been none of their gods that he had not destroyed.  His words were, “Do not let Hezekiah deceive you into believing your God will be any different.”  The first thing Hezekiah did was contact the prophet Isaiah and ask him to pray.  God sent word through Isaiah for Hezekiah not to be afraid because of Sennacherib’s words.  God was going to send a blast upon him, so he would hear a rumor and return to his own land.  After returning he would fall by the sword in his own land.  (II Kings 19:7)  The second thing Hezekiah did was to pray himself.  He took the letter into the house of God and spread it out before the Lord.  He stated his confidence in the Lord and prayed for deliverance so that “All the kingdoms of the earth may know that you are the Lord God, even you only.”  (II Kings 19:19)  The result was that God honored their prayers. Sennacherib departed and returned to Nineveh where he died in the house of Nisroch, his god.  Two of his sons murdered him there and fled into the land of Armenia.    The enemy was neutralized, the nation was delivered, Hezekiah was encouraged, and God was glorified.
 
     I do not know what enemy you are facing today or what impossible situation you are up against.  You may be at a point where you are begging God to help you and acknowledging you cannot make it if he does not.  I do know these things:  1. God honors and answers prayer.  2.  When you are at your weakest, HE is at HIS greatest.  3.  He is an on-time God.  He never moves too soon, or too late.  4.  He is the true and living God and there is no one else like Him.  5.  He is in-charge and when the dust settles it will be evident He was there all the time.  Be blessed and be strong in the Lord because you have nowhere else you need to go in your time of trouble.
 
In Christ,
Pastor Johnny