Friday, July 25, 2008

Is God's Hand Shortened?

July 25: Isaiah 37-39 & Psalm 76

14 Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers, and read it; and Hezekiah went up to the house of the Lord, and spread it before the Lord. 15 And Hezekiah prayed to the Lord: 16 “O Lord of hosts, God of Israel, enthroned above the cherubim, you are the God, you alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; you have made heaven and earth. 17 Incline your ear, O Lord, and hear; open your eyes, O Lord, and see; and hear all the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to mock the living God. 18 Truly, O Lord, the kings of Assyria have laid waste all the nations and their lands, 19 and have cast their gods into the fire. For they were no gods, but the work of men's hands, wood and stone. Therefore they were destroyed. 20 So now, O Lord our God, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you alone are the Lord.”

33 “Therefore thus says the Lord concerning the king of Assyria: He shall not come into this city or shoot an arrow there or come before it with a shield or cast up a siege mound against it. 34 By the way that he came, by the same he shall return, and he shall not come into this city, declares the Lord. 35 For I will defend this city to save it, for my own sake and for the sake of my servant David.”

36 And the angel of the Lord went out and struck down a hundred and eighty-five thousand in the camp of the Assyrians. And when people arose early in the morning, behold, these were all dead bodies. 37 Then Sennacherib king of Assyria departed and returned home and lived at Nineveh. 38 And as he was worshiping in the house of Nisroch his god, Adrammelech and Sharezer, his sons, struck him down with the sword. And after they escaped into the land of Ararat, Esarhaddon his son reigned in his place.
Isaiah 37:14-20 & 33-38

Is God's Hand Shortened?

As we look at today's devotional we must backtrack a little to yesterday's reading where our story began. Sennacherib, king of Assyria, had just taken the 10 tribes of Israel into captivity and now he had his sights on Judah.

2 And the king of Assyria sent the Rabshakeh from Lachish to King Hezekiah at Jerusalem, with a great army. And he stood by the conduit of the upper pool on the highway to the Washer's Field. 3 And there came out to him Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was over the household, and Shebna the secretary, and Joah the son of Asaph, the recorder.

4 And the Rabshakeh said to them, “Say to Hezekiah, ‘Thus says the great king, the king of Assyria: On what do you rest this trust of yours? 5 Do you think that mere words are strategy and power for war? In whom do you now trust, that you have rebelled against me? 6 Behold, you are trusting in Egypt, that broken reed of a staff, which will pierce the hand of any man who leans on it. Such is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all who trust in him. 7 But if you say to me, “We trust in the Lord our God,” is it not he whose high places and altars Hezekiah has removed, saying to Judah and to Jerusalem, “You shall worship before this altar.”
Isaiah 36:2-7

As we read today's reading we see Hezekiah prostrating himself before God, asking for help; God miraculously answered Hezekiah's prayer by defeating the Assyrian army Himself! Then, in Isaiah 38 we have another miraculous account when Hezekiah prayed and asked the Lord to give him a longer life. God added 15 years to Hezekiah's life and gave Hezekiah a sign by making the shadow on the sun dial go back ten steps.

As we have shared these devotions together, we have read of miracle after miracle performed by God on behalf of His children. Sometimes we overlook their significance because they are found in the Old Testament Scriptures, but we should not do so!

My question for you to ponder this day is, Is God's Hand Shortened in the days in which we now live? Is He still able to perform such miracles today? I would like to encourage you to understand that God works miraculously in your life every single day! His angels take an active part in every moment you live!

. . . for he [the Lord] has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." So we can confidently say, "The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?"
Hebrews 13:5b-6

Pray to God that you will not live this day as those who have no hope.

Is God's Hand Shortened? No, praise God!

What an amazing God we have!

God Bless You,

All Scriptures are from the English Standard Version of the Bible.

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