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We do live in uncertain times. I don’t think you need me to tell you this fact. I am sure you have been watching the news or catching blimps here and there. It seems here lately there has only been BAD NEWS. I want you to ask and answer yourself this question.
- Do you feel safe and secure?
- Do you feel like the Hand of God is upon this nation?
- Do you feel like the grace and blessing of God is continuing to protect us, even from ourselves? Or have you noticed lately, no matter how hard we try every effort is like wadding through quicksand…. everything turns into an effort of futility.
Now, if you believe we are living in uncertain times, be of good courage. A lot of people lived in uncertain times and learned to trust God through difficult circumstances. And now we live in uncertain times too and this means the Bible should be more relevant today than any other time in our life. We should be looking to it for answers to the difficulties we face. II Chronicles 32 speaks to this very issue and I am going to spend four or five blogs talking about what King Hezekiah did to face the same uncertainties we face.
Take moment and find a sheet of paper or pull up the notepad on your computer or phone. Write down or type in the thing or things you are most worried about in your life right now. Set it aside, because we will come back it later.
There is a core principle which must be established in our lives before any of us can even attempt to trust and know God more intimately in difficult circumstances. It goes like this… Life Is Uncertain, but God Is Not. Life will throw a lot of uncertain people, things and events at you. But, it must be settled in your heart and spirit… life is totally uncertain, but God is not. No matter what happens you will always be the apple of God’s eye and kept in the center of His hand. God loves you. He is not trying to make life more difficult for you. He seeks only the very best for you. As Christians, knowing God is in control, should dictate how we respond to crisis.
Now listen to what I am about to say… Most Christians are not going to fare well in these future difficult times. Why? The truth is not in them and the difficult times will bear that reality. Just because some believers will be exposed shouldn’t dissuade you from pursuing the Lord with all your heart. Real believers are planters. They plant truth in their lives in good times and bad. Bad circumstances only causes them to plant more vigorously.
This is why Hezekiah is a good example for us today. When he became king, corruption abounded. Yet, he pursued the Lord with all his heart. After 11 years of reform, you would have thought he would have blessed with peace and tranquility, but no.
After these acts of faithfulness Sennacherib king of Assyria came and invaded Judah and besieged the fortified cities, and thought to break into them for himself. 2 Chronicles 32:1
Does anyone have a problem with this? For 11 years, Hezekiah has done everything right, but trouble still came his way. Now most people would say something like this “God, I don’t understand…I was doing everything right, why did You let this happen? God I thought if I followed You, I wouldn’t have these types of problems!” Have you ever question God like this?
Here’s what Hezekiah knows: Life is uncertain, but God is not. This young king is more familiar with God than the difficult circumstances he faces. So rather than shaking his fist at God and blaming Him or pouting, because God is not fair. He simply concludes, “that’s life. It rains on the just and unjust“. Hezekiah didn’t turn to Prosaic to fight off depression. He moved forward by taking steps to ensure he had done all he is supposed to do. In times of uncertainty, we still have responsibility.
This is important. Let me explain. Suppose you knew a farmer and visited his farm one day. There you saw him sitting on his tractor, pouting. You ask, “what’s wrong?” The farmer quickly retorts, “Well I’m mad with God, because the harvest isn’t what I thought it would be.” You look out at the fields and sure enough there is nothing growing. Out of curiosity, you start to ask questions, “What’s wrong? Did it not rain enough?” He confesses, “It rained plenty.” You further inquire, “Is the soil not fertile?” He says, “No, it’s great. That’s why I am so mad. I’ve got good soil, I’ve had good rains. It should have been a good harvest.” So you inquire, “Well what kind of seed did you plant?” “Well I didn’t plant any,” he asserts.
What are you going to concude from a situation like this? If you don’t sow the seed, how can you expect a harvest? Yet, this is precisely what people do in difficult circumstances. They stop praying. They stop giving. They stop putting the word of God inside their heart. They stop fighting for right and wrong. Even in difficult and uncertain times we must be planters, knowing we cannot harvest if there is NO SEED in the ground.
When uncertainty comes and it always does… There are some things we are responsible to do. God will always do His part. We have God’s promise in His word. This is what Hezekiah knew…Life is uncertain but God is not. Hezekiah knew he could count on God, but he also knew his responsibility.
Stay with me… next we will see what Hezekiah did next to assure Sennachrib didn’t defeat him.