In 701 BC, the Assyrian army had Israel pinned inside their walls. Assyrian victory was certain. They taunted the Jews; “Do not let Hezekiah deceive you! He cannot deliver you. Do not let Hezekiah persuade you to trust in the Lord when he says, ‘The Lord will surely deliver us’”.
Hezekiah could have fought and been reduced to a pile of rubble. He could have surrendered and gone into captivity. But what he did led to one of the greatest stories in the Bible. It says in Isaiah that when Hezekiah heard the taunts, “he went into the temple of the Lord”.
Hezekiah presented his case and reasoned together with God. The basis for his case was not their dilemma; it was that this commander of the Assyrian army had been sent to ridicule the living God.
I see a similarity in this story and what we are facing today as a Clinton victory seems almost as sure as Assyria’s. The fighting has not worked. It is tempting to surrender. Ah, but the third option. I believe it is time we go into the temple of the Lord. And what is the basis of our case? I believe they too have been sent to ridicule and mock the living God. They do not regard him as God.
As a result of one man choosing to reason with God, without any other effort, “the Assyrian army broke camp and withdrew. They returned to Nineveh and stayed there.”
It is refreshing to hear common sense from at least one of our presidential candidates. It is baffling to see the opposition—the opposing team, sure; but its own team members?
Some believe Trump is rude. Some, that our country needs God and not simply a good business man. Some, that his ideas are too extreme.
We’re beginning to see the not so rude side. And surely, can God not be seen in his passion for fairness, his love for justice and his hatred of evil. If his ideas are a little extreme, is it not because for far too long we have drifted and in many cases been forcefully pushed so far away from what our country is to be about that extreme measures are now necessary?
Isaiah had a message for his day that the people might’ve thought was a little extreme. They might’ve thought God was not with him and maybe that he was a little rude. His mindset reminds me of Trumps. “Therefore I have set my face like flint, and I know I will not be put to shame. He who vindicates me is near.”
I believe Trump knows what he can do for our country and its people. It’s not just about the next 4 years or even 8. It is about restoration or extinction. The goal of “fundamentally” changing our nation is in full swing. Hillary will keep it going. Trump gives us one last chance.
Passion! A genuine, down to the bone, love for our country, its people and the way of life we have worked to establish; it’s missing. I just finished reading, At the Edge of the Precipice, about Henry Clay and the Great Compromise. Our congressmen had passion back then; and that passion, primarily of three individuals, swayed the whole nation.
It was 10 years before the Civil War, and though the tensions that would eventually lead to war were in full swell, the additional tension in 1850 was the threat of a split nation. Daniel Webster, one of the three individuals, “spoke with a conviction that moved both his colleagues and the entire country”. John C. Calhoun, another one of the three, though he would die before the month was ended, “rose from his sickbed and entered the chamber to hear what his colleague had to say”. It was packed.
Henry Clay was the third individual and the one who was actually referred to as “the Great Compromiser”. His passion and energy was centered on preserving our divided union. It is the reason we are still the United States. At times when he would address his colleagues, “half the house would be in tears”.
Our government is running amuck. Where is this missing element of passion from our elected officials? They should be raising hell. Instead . . . they are raising funds. Our senator, Roy Blunt is chief in this; but he is not alone.
After Samson told Delilah the secret to his strength, she conspired against him and had his hair cut off during his sleep. When he woke up, he went out as before to free himself from the Philistines who had bound him. The Bible says, “But he did not know that the Lord had left him.” His strength was gone.
In our sleep, our own government has conspired to take away our strength. For the last 50 years or so, it has clipped away the morality which God, through his church, has established in our great nation. Samson’s strength was lost with each clip; one and then another until it was all gone. Likewise with us; take prayer out of schools (one clip), legalize abortion (another clip), push for the acceptance of the homosexual lifestyle (another clip); and before you know it, we’re waking up and realizing our strength is gone.
Samson’s strength came back. It didn’t happen immediately when he realized the mistake he had made. He didn’t get to say “Sorry God” and then be as he was before. His strength returned at the incredibly slow rate of hair growth. Over time, the damage done, clip by clip, was reversed as his hair grew back.
Likewise our strength will not return, just because we wake up and say “Sorry God”. It will return as, clip by clip, we restore the morals that our government has cut.
Water, without any help, will flow. There are a couple of places in my yard where water flow has been a challenge to control. This is the beginning of our fourth growing season; and though I have not completely won, I have gained.
I hate to think of what my yard would look like if I had not done all I have to improve it. Without a doubt there would be deep ruts where the flow would have carried away the good soil and new grass. It has taken, and will continue to take, consistent attention to keep the water under control. It will never be stopped – water will flow; but it can be directed and controlled.
So it is with evil. Evil will never be stopped. Evil, without any help, will flow. And if consistent attention is not given to the control of it, it will cut and carry away the good that so many before us have worked to establish.
There was a time when good people restrained evil. Abortion was restrained until Wade’s stand gave way. What started as a little rut is now a deep and ugly, seemingly permanent, cavernous ditch. The homosexual world was at one time restrained. Not any more. Both are wide open, in your face, acceptable; and to view it otherwise is considered archaic.
Nobody but me can be blamed for my yard. Nobody but us are to blame for our nation.
This is the one instance in Judges, where, the people have forgotten God . . . again; and “the Philistines have shattered and crushed them for eighteen years.” This time though, when they called for help, God said no. “Go and cry out to the gods you have chosen. Let them save you when you are in trouble.”
So he lets them simmer for eighteen years; until he reaches this point of not being able to bear their misery any longer. It’s interesting who he picks this time to help them. It says, “Jephthah the Gileadite was a mighty warrior.” But, of all Gilead’s sons, Jephthah was the son of a prostitute.
Interesting to me that God picked the best man for the job. He was a mighty warrior. Israel needed a warrior to fight against the people who were oppressing them. Jephthah’s whole life had prepared him for this time.
We are at a time in our own country, when for far too long, wrong has oppressed what is right. Consider the most recent example. The idea of abortion becoming illegal is “out of touch” with most people. And one step further, if it becomes illegal – meaning it is against the law – only one person is saying the woman should be punished. People have forgotten what right even looks like.
Judges 9:23 says, “God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the citizens of Shechem.” Gideon’s 70 sons from his many wives had become rulers. Abimelech, a son from a concubine, asked the citizens if they would prefer one ruler instead of 70. They agreed. Abimelech then killed the 70 innocent brothers.
Both the act of the killing, and the citizen’s willingness to go along with it, displeased God. So he sent this evil spirit between them so that they turned against each other. They ended up wiping each other out. The city and its people were destroyed by Abimelech, and Abimelech, in the process, got his head split open.
I wondered about us. Has God sent an evil spirit between our government and its citizens? Is he displeased that our government has authorized the killing of the innocent? That our citizens, by a lack of resistance, show a willingness to go along with it? Innocent babies are aborted. Innocent Christians are beheaded and burned alive.
The citizens could have stood and said, “No!” to Abimelech. But they had slipped far enough from God – far enough in their moral values – that when Abimelech came along, they were not sharp enough to catch the fault; and they went along.
Have our citizens slipped? Are we no longer moved to the point of standing and saying, “No!”? Has our salt lost its savor? Going along does not have a good ending.