The Grief In God’s Heart

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Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. (Genesis 6:5-6)

The Grief In God’s Heart

It is impossible for humanity to understand the vast emotions of compassion, love, mercy, grace, and longsuffering of the eternal Father; who created the world, formed the human frame and set in motion the universe; and to experience the grief that fills His heart when He sees how man fills his existence with wickedness. When the world was completed and the first day of the earth’s days began, there was a freshness of a new creation that is beyond the imagination. The sun shone brightly on a world that was as untouched by the pollution of hatred, prejudice, murder, immorality, and rebellion. Two people stood in the midst of the most incredible garden man would never know and they felt no sorrow, no pain, and no shame. Adam and Eve enjoyed the paradise of Eden but for a short time and then because of their disobedience lost the communion of God as He cast them out. Cain and Abel would never know Eden or men like Noah, Abraham, Moses, and David would experience the joy of walking with God in the cool of the day. In the millennia that followed the final days of Eden, men multiplied on the face of the earth and terrible darkness overwhelmed their hearts. They turned away from God and became animals who abused themselves and others with the pleasures of the flesh, arrogance of pride and lust of the eye. In time the whole of humanity was so corrupt it would take a cataclysmic flood to cleanse the earth of all humanity save eight souls. As God looked upon His creation it grieved His heart to see what man had done. There was no joy, no happiness and no fulfillment in the things men sought. Their lives were ruined with the lust of the flesh and all they gained in life was left behind in death. The Lord God watched as His creation imploded with depravity, sensual immorality, hatred and wrath to no purpose. Humanity was a waste of carnal pleasures. This was not the reason God created man.

The language of the Holy Spirit as Moses penned Genesis is limited to fully express what it means when God was grieved in His heart. Fathers can feel a great loss or tragedy when their children rebel and turn their hearts away but how does man begin to fathom the incredible depth of God’s eternal love as He watches man over the centuries fight and kill one another, murder, rape and pillage His creation against one another? What does the Lord feel when He sees America murder more than sixty million babies in less than fifty years? How does the heart of God bear to see men and women exchange the natural use of what is against creation burning in their lust for one another committing what is shameful? The heart of God is grieved beyond imagination as humanity fills its heart with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, drunkenness and the debauchery of human fleshly pleasure. Homosexuality is an accepted norm which precedes the acceptance of pedophilia, bestiality and all perversions of sexuality. Mass shootings come in the decades of accepting the child in the womb as a ‘nothing being’ making the man more an animal than anything else as evolutionist would have the world believe. If man is just a creature that came out of the primeval ooze of millions of years of slime then human life is not sanctified as unique. To make matters worse, men point a bloody finger at God and blame Him for the miseries of the world. How does the heart of God take the abuse by the creation formed to show the glory of the eternal Father?

In the days of Noah, it grieved the heart of God that He had made man and He destroyed all but eight souls in the flood. As each voice cried out in fear when the waters covered the face of the earth, the grave resounded with an incredible noise as millions of lives were taken by the mighty hand of the Lord. It must not be forgotten that when the souls died on earth their spirits were received again by the hand of God who gave it. Every time a man dies his breath returns to God. How does the heart of the Lord take the sounds of man’s misery in death when there is no hope, no promise and no joy in their death? Save the eight souls who were saved that day, all of those spirits that returned to God were cast into a place of perdition. Another day is coming when the love of God will have to perform that same judgment. The Lord is not willing that any man should perish because it grieves His heart but His justice and wrath demands it. As God looks down on earth today and He sees the putridity of man’s desire for sin it breaks the heart of a loving Father who sent His only begotten Son as a sacrifice for the wretched creature called man. It does not matter whether we can ever understand how much God loves us but to accept His love we must know. His grace is so immense because sin is so great. Yes, the world is a dark place to live. Yet the light of God’s love beaming from His heart tells us there is hope. He loves me. He loves you. That is the part of God’s heart that warms my soul.

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The Final Word Of Isaiah

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And they shall go forth and look upon the corpses of the men who have transgressed against Me. For their worm does not die, and their fire is not quenched. They shall be an abhorrence to all flesh. (Isaiah 66:24)

The Final Word Of Isaiah

There is a remarkable resemblance of the book of Isaiah and the division of the Bible as produced by man in the last five hundred years. In the original text, the Old Testament was not divided by chapters and verses and when the New Testament was penned the authors did not divide the text with chapters and verses. It was not until the year 1228 that chapter divisions were introduced to the Bible and the entire Bible was first produced with chapters and verses in the Geneva Bible of 1560. What makes the book of Isaiah remarkable to this division of man is that while the Bible is made up of sixty-six books with thirty-nine in the Old Testament and twenty-seven in the New Testament, Isaiah’s book contains sixty-six chapters with a natural division of the first thirty-nine chapters warning against the judgment of the Lord with the final twenty-seven chapters showing the hope in the coming Messiah. The ending of Isaiah is much like the Revelation given to John showing the hope and promise of the Lord overcoming and bringing vindication against those who would stand against Him. Concluding his book, Isaiah proclaims the final victory over the rebellious hearts refusing to obey the will of God by those who were righteous and saved of Israel. The figure is very plain and demonstrative. It is not written to show the graphic nature of the destruction although the picture is clearly one of corpses and rotting flesh as would be found in the valley of Hinnom where the filth of the city of Jerusalem would be thrown. This would be an image Jesus used to describe the horrors of eternal hell. The final words of Isaiah were to reassure the righteous that God was in control, what happens to the nation of Israel is by the will of the Lord and regardless of the travesties of life that would fall upon the people; the Lord was faithful to keep His eternal promise of salvation. There is a reality to the final words of Isaiah like there is finality in the final words of John’s revelation. The love and the wrath of God will be evident to everyone as all nations are gathered before the throne of the Lord and judgment is meted out. For many, this judgment will be a terrible eternal fire where the worm does not die. On the other hand, not in a gloating or are manner, the righteous will see the justification of the Lord against evil by experiencing the mercy and love of God in their promise of eternal life.

Israel had been warned about their rebellion to the words of the Lord spoken through the prophets and for the most part, ignored the pleas of God to repent and turn away from their idols. There were many who were righteous who lived among the nation of Israel who was faithful to God. They did not allow the pollution’s of the idolatrous world to change their hearts away from the Lord. Sadly, judgment came to both classes of people as the Assyrians and Babylonians punished the nation of Israel. The righteous suffered along with the unrighteous because they were all taken to captivity but the hope and promise of the righteous helped them endure the cruel conditions of their captives. Isaiah assured the righteous God was aware of their plight and that salvation would be found in eternal life. They would see a day when the unrighteous would be brought to justice for denying the Lord and as victors over the forces of evil, the righteous would look upon the slain bodies of those who did not trust in the Lord and see the judgment of God upon them. The love and wrath of God are demonstrated throughout the book of Isaiah as the warnings to repent are given followed by the hope of the Coming One. In the final message of the Bible, the love and wrath of God are seen warning those who would trifle with His commands and instill hope in the hearts of the faithful to endure to the end.

The final words of Isaiah are representative of the final expression of all humanity. A day will come when the unrighteous will be punished and the righteous exalted. That is the will of the Father. There is no clearer message than seeing the goodness and severity of the Lord evidenced throughout the pages of holy writ. God is full of love and compassion but He is a Lord of judgment that will bring His wrath upon those who do not give Him glory. Isaiah said that man was created for the glory of God and those who call on His name will be saved. The Lord formed man in His image to live in His presence and to abide in His love. It was man who rebelled against the word of God and it was man who refused to repent. Like Israel of old, humanity is filled with a spirit of rebellion. They refuse to follow the words spoken by the prophets, teachers, and guides of His word. The Bible is cast aside as a book of myths that is out of date, out of time and completely useless. This does not change the word of the Lord as centuries of abuse have not changed the Bible. It remains intact as it was when first penned and continues to show all men the saving grace of God. In the final day of man’s existence when the world is destroyed and humanity has come to an end, there will be the witnessing of the righteous victorious over the unrighteous by the power of God. All flesh will come and worship the Lord. What makes a difference is what happens to all those who come before the Lord when the book of life is opened. Blessed are those who keep His commandments that they may have the right to the tree of life and may enter through the gates into eternal life. But outside are the bodies of the slain and those who refused to worship the true and living God. Isaiah’s final words are the final words of God.

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The Case Against Jesus

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Then Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. And Pilate said to them, “Behold the Man!” Therefore, when the chief priests and officers saw Him, they cried out, saying, “Crucify Him, crucify Him!” Pilate said to them, “You take Him and crucify Him, for I find no fault in Him.” The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and according to our law He ought to die because He made Himself the Son of God.” (John 19:5-7)

The Case Against Jesus

There is no doubt the legal case against Jesus was a travesty of justice and mockery of Roman law. The Jews and the Romans accused, tried, convicted and executed Jesus in a manner that was illegal from beginning to end. It was not because Jesus was the Son of God and had committed no sin that made the case against Jesus so heinous in the legal sense. Showcased before all humanity the trial of the man from Nazareth was fraught with a frenzied, misguided zeal bent on hatred, envy, and fear. Pontius Pilate, the procurator of Judea, became the central figure in the trials of Jesus. Tried by the Jewish courts and Roman law, Jesus would ultimately be condemned by Pilate for crucifixion. After standing before Annas and Caiaphas in the Jewish courts, Jesus was brought before Pilate for the final decision on the disposition of his case. Pilate could find no fault in the man and tried to release Him to the people. To placate the crowd, Jesus had been scourged which was a severe beating leading a person close to death but this did not satisfy the Jews. Again Pilate sought to release Jesus but then the Jews cried out that Jesus must be killed because He had made Himself to be the Son of God. They told the governor they had a law, and according to that law, Jesus should die. The Law of Moses condemned those who would blaspheme the name of the Lord. Ironically, the law called for the person to be stoned but the Jews wanted the cruelest of punishments for Jesus when requesting crucifixion. The Mosaical law warned against those who would rise up and call themselves prophets who were not prophets. In the language of the law, God had said for the people not to listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams, for the Lord their God would test them to know whether they loved the Lord their God with all their hearts and with all their souls. One of the evidence of whether a man was a prophet of the Lord was whether what he said came to pass. The people were warned to not listen to a man who would entice them from the way in which the Lord commanded them to walk. It was this law the Jews appealed to Pilate to deliver Jesus to be crucified. What makes the death of Jesus so horrific was the law used to condemn Him was the same law that should have exonerated Him of guilt. Time and again Jesus proved He was the Son of God because the words that He taught were from the Father and His miracles proved He was the Son of God. The Law of Moses proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that Jesus was the Christ the Son of God as Peter would later prove a few months later at Pentecost.

The second travesty of the trial of Jesus was how easily the Jews manipulated Pilate. After Jesus had been scourged, Pilate delivered Jesus and declared Him innocent. The Jews cried out the Law of Moses demanded Jesus to be put to death and charged Jesus with blasphemy. However, the charge they now presented for executing Jesus was changed from their original charge that brought Jesus before the Roman court earlier. They had arraigned the man from Nazareth for blasphemy and condemned Him to die which would lead to the death of Jesus. When they had brought Jesus before Pilate, in the beginning, they accused Jesus of sedition against the Roman government and Caesar. There could be no reason Pilate would have listened to the Jews in the beginning if they were charging Jesus with breaking Jewish law as Pilate would not have accepted the charge. After arresting Jesus in the garden and taking Him before the Sanhedrin, the whole multitude arose and led Him to Pilate and began to accuse Jesus as a fellow perverting the nation, forbidding to pay taxes to Caesar and calling himself a king. These were very serious charges in the Roman courts. When Pilate found no basis for the charge the Jews further insisted that Jesus stirred up the people to sedition. This also was proven false. The trials of Jesus took place over a few hours without legal representation or due process of law. When the Jews brought Jesus, in the beginning, their charge was sedition but finding Pilate unwilling to accept the charge the Jewish leaders changed in midstream and charged Jesus with blasphemy. To charge a man as a rebel was a serious crime but had failed in proving Jesus guilty. Pilate knew the Jews were bringing Jesus up on charges for envy. The cowardly heart of Pilate could see what the Jews were doing and he allowed an innocent man to be executed. In the final attempt to kill Jesus, the Jews accuse Him of blasphemy, which was the very proof of His innocence. He was the Son of God and His miracles proved what the Law of Moses demanded.

Beyond the legal ramifications of the trials of Jesus, humanity exhibited its worst character in the death of Jesus. There have been many cases throughout history where justice was mocked and innocent people have suffered but none as completely as a man who had no sin. Jesus was a man who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil. He always sought the good and welfare of others and often took away their pain physically and spiritually. His power was manifested through His miracles as a testimony to who He was and the elders, scribes and Jewish leaders could never deny a miracle of Jesus. They tried to attack His teachings and failed on every point. The hatred of the Jews before Pilate as they screamed for the death of Jesus was the model for the impact of sin on the heart of men and the reason Jesus died. Pilate knew Jesus was innocent but was more concerned for himself than the man who stood before him. The Son of God willingly allowed what was wrong to be done to Him so that what was right in the mind of His Father would save the creatures that cried out for His death. Jesus prayed to the Father to forgive His accusers. What more could be said and what more could be done? Praise God for His love. Thank you, Jesus, for your sacrifice.

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Coming To God With The Wrong Attitude

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It came to pass in the seventh year, in the fifth month, on the tenth day of the month, that certain of the elders of Israel came to inquire of the Lord, and sat before me. Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Son of man, speak to the elders of Israel, and say to them, thus says the Lord God: ‘Have you come to inquire of Me? As I live,’ says the Lord God, ‘I will not be inquired of by you.’” (Ezekiel 20:1-3)

Coming To God With The Wrong Attitude

Israel had been taken captive to Babylon and would spend seventy years in bondage before being allowed by the Lord to return to the homeland of their fathers. Their rebellion and refusal to obey the Lord had brought the wrath of God against them. In the fifth year of the captivity of King Jehoiachin, God had come to Ezekiel the priest to prophecy to the captive people the word of the Lord. A few years later certain elders of Israel came to inquire of the Lord seeking the counsel through Ezekiel. The response of God was not what they expected and instead became a severe rebuke of the attitudes that were still being manifested by the people against the Lord and the plight of their captivity. Although prophets like Jeremiah, Isaiah, Amos, and Hosea had warned the people of the impending doom if they did not repent, Israel became a stiff-necked people refusing to change their ways. Incredibly they still wanted to argue with the Lord after their captivity. The elders of Israel wanted to blame their fathers for their plight and refused to acknowledge any guilt on their part. A proverb that was common at the time was told again and again that the fathers have eaten sour grapes and the children’s teeth are set on edge. The Lord told Ezekiel to tell the people He did not want to hear the proverb anymore. Sin had put the people in Babylon and they would have to accept their punishment. What made the visit by the elder’s anger God was they came with no remorse for their sins. It was easy to blame their fathers but they remained vigilant in their refusal to accept accountability for their own actions. They expected God to forgive them as if they could tell the Lord what to do. Their hearts of pride and arrogance delivered them into the hands of the heathen nation of Babylon because the Lord had allowed it. They dared come before the Lord God demanding answers. He refused.

David, the psalmist of Israel, said that repentance comes from a broken and contrite spirit. To dare come before God with a haughty heart will bring nothing but the fierce anger of the Lord. The elders of Israel were reminded of the abominations they had committed against the Lord and how throughout the history of Israel God had dealt with the people with mercy, grace, love, and longsuffering but to no avail. There was nothing more the God of Israel could do for His people and so they were banished to captivity. It seemed incredulous that now the elders came before Ezekiel seeking an audience with the Lord with unrepentant hearts demanding answers. The word of the Lord was clear and demonstrative. They would not be going back to Israel. The captivity would last the full seventy years and those who came into the captivity would never go home. Those who returned as the remnant were a new generation. Coming to God with the wrong attitude did not help their cause. If anything, it confirmed the reason God punished them in the beginning. Refusal to see one’s own sin is greater blindness than those who cannot see. Israel rejected God and He rejected them. Their attitude was that God owed them everything and they came to collect. The problem was their failure to appreciate how great the ocean of God’s mercy was and how small their boat.

The problem of sin and the failure to recognize the need for repentance still brings men to the Father seeking what they will never find. God will not hear the prayers of the unrepentant. Without a broken heart and a contrite spirit, the ears of the Divine will not be inclined to listen. Godly sorrow comes from a penitent heart begging for the mercy and grace of a loving Father. When the prodigal son returned to his father he did not come with demands but with tears. Jesus told of two men who went to pray and the result was one came to brag and the other to petition. God does not ignore sin. He is a righteous God who demands the penitent come to Him with a spirit of love understanding the measure of mercy allowed to even to be ushered into the presence of the throne room. No man can demand of God and God will not tolerate a haughty spirit of unrepentant pride. The elders of Israel mistakenly believed the Lord owed them an explanation and reason for their plight. If they would have heeded the words of the prophets they would not be in Babylon. Their stubborn hearts, rebellious spirits, and immoral minds brought them to destruction and they deserved every measure of God’s wrath. How could they dare approach God demanding answers? The Lord said He would not be inquired of by them. No man can come to the Father without first emptying self and coming to the Creator of the world on their knees. The humility of man is the exaltation of a righteous God who requires His name be glorified among men. Every knee will bow one day and no man will stand arrogant in the final day. Praise God for He is great.

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The Church Is A Pillar, Not A Pillow

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These things I write to you, though I hope to come to you shortly; but if I am delayed, I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. (1 Timothy 3:14-15)

The Church Is A Pillar, Not A Pillow

When describing the New Testament church, the first-century writer’s many expressions denoting the various characteristics of the body of Christ. Paul would call the church a bride, a house, a family and in his letter to Timothy, call the church the pillar of truth. This would be a vivid description for anyone living in the Greco-Roman world of Paul’s day where buildings continued the legacy of the Greeks while incorporating innovative designs from the Romans to showcase an empire defined by its architectural accomplishments. The Doric, Ionic and Corinthian styles of columns shaped the styles of the Roman buildings. There were many columns or pillars that were simply designed for ascetic value but many were necessary for the structure to remain whole. To this illusion, Paul described the church as a body that supported the truth and established the foundation of righteousness in a community. On the surface, truth stands by itself but the character of those who profess Christ will be as pillars in a community in confirming the body of divine truth that cannot be found in the wisdom of men. The function of a pillar is to bear the load of the building helping it to remain intact and whole. While a column seems to an inactive object its function is very active in maintaining the integrity of the structure which without proper support would fail. Engineers spend countless hours defining the placement and purpose of the pillars in the building knowing the importance of its proper location and structure to the whole of the building. Truth is essential for any community to have as a stabilizing force of goodness, righteousness and the conduit of the gospel to a lost and dying world.

The church of the living God is the pillar of truth, not the pillow of compromise. One of the characteristics of the early church was the spiritual fervor of the saints in a world fully set against any effort to preach Jesus and Him crucified. Falling under the hand of persecution for many years, the early church did not diminish but grew in greater numbers. The most dangerous time for the church is when there are no objections or oppressions. Faced with the onslaught of Saul of Tarsus, the saints were scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria preaching the word. They did not go to sleep but they took the truth and built pillars everywhere. Upon these pillars of truth, churches were established and souls were saved. There was no time for apathy and dispirited hearts to fade away with indifference and indecision. As pillars of truth, the persecuted Christian’s abounded more and more. God had warned the people of Israel that when they possessed the land that flowed with milk and honey, the greatest danger they would face would be in their desire to forget God and live in their comfort of luxury. Like Israel of old, the church can turn away from its work of being pillars of truth in a community where the truth is supported, manifested and the word of God exalted to a place where the church becomes a place of pillows for apathy, sleep, and indifference. The buildings remain standing and the front porch light is on and that is all the light anyone in that community will see of the people of God. Saints in many churches show up at 11 am sharp and leave at 12:00 dull. Sermons are not listened to but slept through. Hearts are no longer on fire but smoking coals barely glowing with the love of God. The church has become a place for pillows.

There is a great need for revival in the church of Christ to retain the character of the pillar and ground of the truth. The structure of the local congregation must be refitted with the bricks of God’s word so that it will be a place of truth in the community. Too much pillow talk will not convert souls to the pure gospel of Jesus Christ. Pillar talk establishes what God has said as an authority with the Bible the only measure of authority. Paul told Timothy to preach the word because the pillar of truth is built from the mortar of preaching Christ crucified. Churches are dying from the failure to establish the teaching of the Bible and choosing to tickle the ears of the hearts that have no desire to obey God. The ease of prosperity is crumbling the bastions of truth and faith. Paul exhorts the Christians of every century to remember the function and purpose of the church as a pillar of truth that all men can build their hopes upon. Jesus concluded His great mountain sermon by showing the impact of those who build their houses on the sand. They will end in destruction. Building life upon the rock of Jesus will secure the dwelling in the love of God and create a foundation to construct the pillar of truth so that all can see. The church is the pillar of truth and will remain so until the Lord returns. Whether that pillar is evident in the community will be determined by those who choose to build pillars rather than sleep on pillows. Are you building or are you sleeping?

 

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I Know Your Dwelling Place

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But I know your dwelling place, your going out and your coming in, and your rage against me. Because your rage against me and your tumult have come up to my ears, therefore I will put my hook in your nose and my bridle in your lips, and I will turn you back by the way which you came. (Isaiah 37:28-29)

I Know Your Dwelling Place

Sennacherib was king of Assyria which was the most powerful nation on earth that had crushed the Babylonian kingdom. He entered Israel with an army over 200,000 men devastating the land as he conquered city after city. Hezekiah was king of Judah and attempted to bribe the Assyrian king to retreat but to no avail. While the Egyptians were enlisted to aid the people of God against Sennacherib, they were defeated at Eltekeh. Hope seemed to fade for the people of God as Sennacherib encamped outside Jerusalem fully intent on destroying the city and its inhabitants. Isaiah was a prophet during these turbulent times and reassured Hezekiah that God would deliver him and the people from the wrath of the Assyrians. Things looked very dark as Sennacherib boasted against the Lord God of Israel and there seemed to be no force on earth that would deter his mighty army. King Hezekiah tore his clothes, covered himself with sackcloth and went into the temple to pray for God’s deliverance. Because of his prayer, the Lord told Hezekiah that Sennacherib would be turned back and the holy city of God would be saved. Then the angel of the Lord went out and killed 185,000 of the army of Sennacherib in one night causing the Assyrian king to flee back to Nineveh. About twenty years later the king would be assassinated by his sons. Adam Clarke wrote, “His sons smote him – what an awful punishment of his blasphemy! Who can harden his neck against God, and be successful? God does not lightly pass by blasphemy against himself, his government, his word, his Son, or his people. Let the profligate take care!”

The word of the Lord was very clear against Sennacherib. Isaiah reassured Hezekiah that God was in control and while his faith had waned when seeking the help of the Egyptians; it was the Lord God who would deliver him. Often man fails to see the bigger picture of God’s power and might in the affairs of things trusting more in themselves and the help of others than patiently waiting for the will of the Lord to be accomplished. Sennacherib had brought great destruction to the people of God and stood at the gates of Jerusalem with an incredible army that seemed indestructible. What Hezekiah saw was an impossible task and Isaiah tried to assure the king that all of the impossibilities of men are nothing for the possibilities of God. Hezekiah had tried to bribe the Assyrian king but to no avail. He had sought the help of the Egyptians but they were crushed by Sennacherib. It was not until the king went to God in prayer that the hand of the Lord was opened to defeat the Assyrians. The language of Isaiah to the king was very clear that God was in control and would take care of the Assyrians. God knows the dwelling place of Sennacherib and what he has done, where he is and what his plans are. Nothing happens on planet earth that God is not aware of. Faith should have guided the heart of Hezekiah to know that while an overwhelming army stood at his gate, the God of the universe stood at his heart ready to defend and destroy those who would boast against the divine. The rage of the Assyrians was known by God and He would repay them in full. There was no greater power than the power of God and no nation or army would be able to stand against the will of God. Isaiah reassures Hezekiah there is nothing to fear because God knows everything there is to know about Sennacherib and his army.

It was customary when the invading armies came into the land to carry away the noble captives, hooks would be placed in the nose and lips showcasing them as captives before the people. God uses the same language against Sennacherib to show that God will do the same to the Assyrian king. In one night, 185,000 soldiers died. The hand of the Lord made this possible. Disheartened, Sennacherib fled back to Nineveh never to return. Hezekiah did not do this. It was not a fluke or unknown disease that ravaged the camp. An angel of the Lord smote 185,000 men in one night because God had decreed their deaths.  Because of the rage of the Assyrian king against the Lord God of Israel, he paid the price with a humiliating defeat and his own death years later by the hand of his sons. God never relinquished control. Hezekiah learned that God’s will is always accomplished in His way and in His time. There are many things to fear in life but when one has a prayerful heart like Hezekiah they will see the power of God working in their lives to His glory. The victory over the Assyrians is just a small sample of the many times God has shown His people that He will care for them if they will trust Him. Righteousness will always prevail and overcome evil. God knows the dwelling of all men and will execute His judgment as He sees fit because all things that work in this world are under His hand.

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The Unknown Prophet Who Was A King

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Men and brethren, let me speak freely to you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. Therefore, being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that of the fruit of his body, according to the flesh, He would raise up the Christ to sit on his throne, he, foreseeing this, spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ, that His soul was not left in Hades, nor did His flesh see corruption. (Acts 2:29-31)

The Unknown Prophet Who Was A King

A prophet is one who foretold future events as well as preaches to the people of his day. There are many great prophets named in scripture like Moses, Samuel, Nathan, Elijah, Elisha, Micaiah, and Isaiah to name a few. These men lived in turbulent times seeking to bring the people to the Lord with calls of obedience and repentance. Many prophets were persecuted and killed by those who opposed their message of divine judgment. There were false prophets who served Baal as in the days of Ahab and Jezebel. One prophet who is largely unrecognized as part of the prophetic company was also a king, shepherd, psalm writer, inventor of musical instruments and best known for his giant-killing. David was a prophet of God. On the Day of Pentecost when Peter delivers his stirring message of salvation in Jesus Christ, the apostle shows the Jews that David prophesied about the coming of the kingdom and events of the early church. This would all come from the book of Psalms where Peter quoted a number of passages proving Jesus was the Christ. His first reference from David is from Psalm 16 and then points out that as a prophet, David spoke concerning Christ and His resurrection. Peter reminds the Jews that David died a long time before and his tomb could be found and investigated where his bones remained.  He quotes Psalm 110 to establish the divine authority of the rule of Christ as one sitting on the throne of David. When the king had decided to build a temple for God, the Lord refused to grant his request and instead told David that through his lineage a house would be established that would be established forever. As a prophet, David was setting forth to coming of Christ.

Peter’s argument showing David as a prophet convicted the Jews gathered on Pentecost that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of God. His references to David were well known by the devout men gathered in Jerusalem that day and accepting the words of David convinced them of how God had shown His will long ago through David. Prophets established the word of God throughout the ages and were used by the early church to confirm the word of Christ. As a prophet, David spoke of the resurrection of the Christ bearing testimony of the will of the Lord being established for many centuries. This concrete examination of the old scriptures was not doubted by the early disciples as it had moved them to obey the gospel of Christ. Jesus had told His disciples the Law of Moses, and the Prophets and Psalms all spoke of Him and this would include the writings of David. The pattern of divine revelation throughout the Old Testament will lead to the single conclusion that Jesus of Nazareth, delivered up by the Jews and crucified by the Romans, is both Lord and Christ. This connects the value of the Old Testament with the teachings of the New Testament. David bridges both covenants as a prophet of God speaking of things yet to come and Peter explaining how the writings of David seven hundred years earlier were fulfilled in Jesus Christ. The focus is on the new covenant with better promises in Christ. Peter would later use the second psalm as a testimony of the writings of David to show how the persecution of the Sanhedrin would not dispel the work of the Lord as no one could withstand the authority of the Lord and Christ.

David was among many who are unknown as prophets and yet accomplished so much for the Lord as a prophet. The writings of the shepherd king are prolific in the Old Testament and they all point to the power of the coming Christ. He saw by faith those days that would come where the glory of God would be revealed in a greater fashion. It is hard to imagine how David would have viewed the coming of the Christ but it is certain he would have been amazed if he were standing before the Christ and witnessing His teaching, miracles, and ministry. One could only imagine what David would have said to the first Christians on Pentecost as a prophet of God. Like Abel of old, though being dead, the humble king of Israel testified to all the Jews that Jesus was the Christ. His writings bore the marks of God’s Son. This should bring a fresh appreciation for the study of the Old Testament to see Jesus in the early writings of men like David. Philip, the evangelist in teaching a man from Ethiopia, used the old scriptures to preach Jesus. Peter proved Jesus was the Christ in part through the writings of an unknown prophet named David. To God be the glory.

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