Reflections In Hindsight

Grace in the Rearview Mirror…it's closer than it appears

  • Ephesians 4:29

    Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (NIV)

    **MATERIAL ON THIS SITE IS COPYRIGHT PROTECTED. For permission on reprints or reusing this material, please contact the individual authors. For sharing the actual post, please use the share buttons.

  • Blog Archives

  • Blog Stats

    • 85,868 hits
  • RSS April’s Blog: A Writer’s Journey

    • Cinema Saturday-- The 41 Most Unexpected Cat Jumps of All Time
      Why do jumping cats freak us out so much? And why do we laugh so hard at people who are freaking out?I'm one of those awkward laughers--someone who laughs at inappropriate times, such as when my husband does the splits on an icy sidewalk or when my child runs smack-dab into a doorpost. Unfortunately, compassion is not my go-to emotion. I do eventually f […]
      noreply@blogger.com (April Gardner)
  • RSS Barn Door Book Loft

    • An Excited Welcome to Diane and David Munson!
      I'm thrilled to welcome mult-published authors David & Diane Munson to the Barn Door Book Loft! I've read their books and enjoy the plots and their talent! David, Diane: Can you tell us a bit about your family, and what it is like where you live?It’s interesting that you ask that question. Facing Justice was our debut novel and the publisher as […]
    • Facing Justice by Diane and David Munson
      Back CoverExFeds, former Federal prosecutor Diane Munson and former undercover Federal Special Agent David Munson draw on their true-life experiences in this debut suspense novel about Special Agent Eva Montanna, whose twin sister died at the Pentagon on 9/11. Eva dedi cates her career to avenge her death while investi gating Emile Jubayl, a member of Eva’s […]
    • Congratulations to This Week's Winners
      Once again, we offer you a warm welcome to the Bookshelf of the Barn Door Book Loft.Before we announce our three winners we’d like to offer a special thanks to:Sarah Sundin who offered her Historical Romance  In Perfect Time.Carrie Stuart Parks who offered her Thriller  A Cry From The Dust. And Chawna Schroederwho  offered her High School Curriculum  Bearing […]
  • RSS Clash of the Titles

    • July New Releases Clash
      Here at Clash of the Titles, the end of another month calls for the beginning of another Clash.We present to you five brand new novels for your perusing pleasure. Which would you pick up first? Let us know by casting your vote below! Check back here on Thursday, September 4th for the contest results.Big secrets never stay hidden, and it’s the darkest ones th […]
    • O'Barr's Latest: Tender Shadows
      Author Ann Gaylia O'Barr visits today!She brings with her, in the form of her latest novel, all her experience as a Foreign Service officer in the turbulent Middle East. Tender Shadows is one of seven such novels and will appeal to lovers of foreign lands, culture, adventure, and romance.PURCHASEAmazonAbout Tender Shadows:When Beth Wilhite’s U.S. State […]
    • "A Place in His Heart," a New World Romance!
      Today's featured novel,A PLACE IN HIS HEART is a historical romance authored by Rebecca DeMarino. It's her debut novel and book one of The Southold Chronicles."I hope my readers find pure entertainment! I hope they enjoy the love story, with all of the ups and downs of Mary and Barnabas. I hope they get lost in a time period that was so far di […]
  • RSS Little Bits Blog

    • Taking A Break
      If you are a regular reader you'll know I didn't post last week. We had just gotten home from vacation. Yellowstone National Park is fantastic. You know how things go when you get back. Well, that was the way it was for me. Add in an unplanned dental event and an 8 hour round trip to Chicago for a TV interview about Seeing The Life and you can prob […]
    • Sin Still Makes You Stupid and Your Stupidity  Ripples, Floods, or Tsunamis  
      A couple of years ago I wrote posts entitled Sin Makes You Stupid and The Ripple Effect. It's one of those truths that seem to be forgotten or glossed over. It's a truth we should be aware of and watch for within ourselves and others. The stupidity of sinning overflows into the lives of others. The consequences to ourselves is often increased expon […]
    • What's Next?
      Seeing The Life is off to a great start. It is garnering 5 star reviews and good publicity. Rhubarb Fest this year was good, even though I don't eat rhubarb. I left at noon on Saturday when the radar showed rain coming. I didn't want the books I had to get wet.So, what's next? I keep getting asked that question. When's your next book comi […]
  • RSS Living Our Faith Out Loud

    • Lindsey Paley's new book, The Wish List Addiction
      Now, how can you not stop and ask about this intriguing title?Lisa: Lindsey, tell us about the book.Lindsey: Lots of us make lists - some of us, like Rebecca, draw up lots of different lists. There's the daily 'To Do' list, the carefully researched 'Wish List' and the 'Bucket List'. They are a safety net for our overloaded […]
    • Susan Rush's Just Over the Horizon - great story!
      Just Over the HorizonSusan Rush c. July, 2014 Astrea PressInspirational fiction e-book, 250 pp $3.99 Buy on Amazonalso on Kobo From the Publisher: While grieving the death of her eccentric nana, Sarah discovers an unexpected gift. She soon grows dependent on the heirloom, a little box, for comfort and guidance. Feeling restless and needing a change, Sarah ac […]
    • Get on Board and Stay on Board by Pearl Nsiah-Kumi
      My friend Pearl Nsiah-Kumi, who is a multi-published Christian Author, has put together an inspiring book for us, Get On Board and Stay On Board. It is a collection of poems, short articles and short Bible studies based on scripture, to encourage non-Christians to place their faith in Jesus, and also to support Christians to have a closer relationship with G […]
  • RSS Nearly Brilliant

    • BOOK REVIEW: FLABBERGASTED BY RAY BLACKSTON
      From the moment I started this book by Ray Blackston I couldn’t put it down. I can’t attribute it to one particular thing but to a gift of combined talents that hooked me. These include his superb writing, keen observations, ability for humor, and a unique story telling style, all from a single man’s perspective.The main character, Jay, an investment broker […]
    • Book Review: Healing Grace by Lisa Lickel
      When Grace Runyan experiences the loss of her husband, she moves to escape her pain and her past. She rents a home in a small Michigan town next door to a seriously  ill man with a young son. Grace’s personal tragedy and hurts run deep. The  more we get to know her, the more secrets we learn about her. As she begins to care for the little boy, and finds hers […]
    • Book Giveaway: Mothers & Daughters: Mending a Strained Relationship
      Here's your chance to win a print or electronic copy of my book, Mothers and Daughters: Mending a Strained RelationshipHere's a bit more about the book.Mothers and daughters. In perhaps no other relationship are our hopes so high, and the dysfunction so disappointing. You feel locked into a hurtful relationship that you must deal with, and it' […]
  • BLOG NEWS

    Thank you for your encouragement and support for the past three years. We've had fun connecting with you and hope you've found useful material here on Reflections. And here's the but... Reflections In Hindsight is closing on December 21, 2012. Elaine and Sophie and I can be found over at http://authorculture.blogspot.com; April can be found at Clash of the Titles, http://www.clashofthetitles, http://www.aprilgardner.com and watch for news for more novels from her!; Janet is ever-present on the Internet with her very special words of wisdom and grace at http://www.janetperezeckles.com, and Luther--who knows where he'll show up next, but I'd watch my back if I were you... Book Reviews are always important, so I, Lisa, will continue to offer them through my blog, as well as those promotions for your new books or book launches, or your news.
  • Second Monday: Sophie Dawson

  • Tuesdays – Promotion in Motion

  • Wednesdays: Life of a Writer – April & Positivity – Lisa Lickel

  • Thursdays – Luther’s on board

  • Fridays – Revolutionary Faith, Devotions by Elaine

  • Saturdays – Janet Perez Eckles

  • Sunday – Reflections Book Reviews

  • Blog Authors

  • The Barn Door

  • The Barn Door Book Loft. Free Books! Book Giveaways.

  • John 3:16 Marketing Network widget and many other great free widgets at Widgetbox! Not seeing a widget? (More info)>

King Hezekiah Does it Right

Posted by Ben Erlichman on March 17, 2011

When I was growing up in the suburbs, I attended a church in Milwaukee. It’s because of that church, my loving Christian parents, and the people at that church that I became the person I am today. I was blessed to have had a pretty extensive biblical training as a youth, but in 20 years of growing up in a pentecostal denomination, I never once heard the Bible story I’m about to tell you.

How much do you know about Hezekiah? Probably not much. He was King over the Nation of Judah (which had split from the nation of Israel several years back) and the Bible says that he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord. Perhaps you’re familiar with this part of the story: Isaiah the prophet told him that he was going to die soon, so Hezekiah humbled himself before the Lord. Then the Lord told him that He would add 15 years to Hezekiah’s life from that point forward. As a sign to Hezekiah, the sun moved backward ten steps leading up to the temple (meaning He made the sun go backwards).

Before that happened, though, God did something that I found even more amazing than making the sun go backwards. By the time Hezekiah became king, the aforementioned nation of Israel had already been captured and put into captivity by the Assyrians, the dominant world power of the time. But Hezekiah resisted the Assyrian kings and Judah remained its own autonomous nation for more than 100 years after Israel fell into captivity.

Sennacherib, the Assyrian king, did not like that. So he sent his gigantic army (probably 200,000 people or more) to take over Judah. Hezekiah sends three officials out to meet the Rabshakeh (the Assyrian Field Commander) to talk things out. The Rabshakeh outright slanders God by equating Him to the Gods of all the other countries Assyria has fought against and vanquished. He’s speaking for the king of Assyria, and he basically says “You guys are dead if you try to fight us, and your God can’t save you. No one can.”

Given the size of the Assyrian army, Hezekiah and his people were understandably scared and worried. But instead of giving in or trying to rely on outside help (like Egypt) to save them, Hezekiah does this: “When King Hezekiah heard this, he tore his clothes and put on sackcloth and went into the temple of the LORD.” (2 Kings 19:1) He humbled himself before the Lord. He contacted Isaiah the prophet, who told him: “Tell your master, ‘This is what the LORD says: Do not be afraid of what you have heard—those words with which the underlings of the king of Assyria have blasphemed me. 7 Listen! When he hears a certain report, I will make him want to return to his own country, and there I will have him cut down with the sword.'”

Well, that didn’t even phase Sennacherib, the Assyrian king. Via the Rabshakeh, the king sent Hezekiah a letter that basically recapped what he’d said the other day–stuff like, “Your God can’t save you” and “we’re going to kill you so bad that you won’t even believe it.”

So what does Hezekiah do? He takes the letter into the temple and spreads it out on the altar before God, then he prays.

15 “LORD, the God of Israel, enthroned between the cherubim, you alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth. 16 Give ear, LORD, and hear; open your eyes, LORD, and see; listen to the words Sennacherib has sent to ridicule the living God.

17 “It is true, LORD, that the Assyrian kings have laid waste these nations and their lands. 18 They have thrown their gods into the fire and destroyed them, for they were not gods but only wood and stone, fashioned by human hands. 19 Now, LORD our God, deliver us from his hand, so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you alone, LORD, are God.” (2 Kings 19:15-19)

Then Isaiah has a few words to say. I highly recommend you read 2 Kings 19:20-34. Most notably, Isaiah, prophesying, says,  “‘By the way that he came he will return; he will not enter this city, declares the LORD.  I will defend this city and save it, for my sake and for the sake of David my servant.'”(verses 33-34)

Then God more than handles the situation–He sends “the angel of the LORD” out to the Assyrian camp, and the angel puts to death 185,000 soldiers, which inspires Sennacherib to go home. There, his two sons murder him in the temple of his false god.

Remember how I said the army was probably around 200,000 people? For me, that’s a blind guess. I have no idea, except to use the number that the angel killed as a base. If you’re thinking percentages, losing 185k men must have been a pretty big blow to the Assyrian army, because they gave up and went home afterward. Now, if they had a million men in the army, they’d probably stick around. Heck, even if they had over 400,000 they might stay. I think it was less than that, though. I have a feeling that a blow that size crippled their army. Within the next 100 years, the Babylonian empire rose to power and replaced the Assyrian empire, and I’m betting this incident had something to do with it.

So what can we take away from this? I think the message is simple this week: when you’re in trouble, God can help you. Sure, there’s a difference between an army coming against you and trying to figure out how you’re going to pay your next mortgage bill, but sometimes they don’t seem too different. While I have to advocate responsibility and common sense along with faith, for me, faith is foundational. Note that if you somehow got yourself into a bad situation through bad decisions, God can still redeem you if you’re willing to repent (literally turn away) from your old ways, but He may not always save you from the consequences of your actions, or from the consequences I might incur from bad decisions I might make.

But God loves you, and He wants you to live free and in a relationship with Him. Happy Saint Patty’s Day.

-Ben

 

“Tell your master, ‘This is what the LORD says: Do not be afraid of what you have heard—those words with which the underlings of the king of Assyria have blasphemed me. 7 Listen! When he hears a certain report, I will make him want to return to his own country, and there I will have him cut down with the sword.’”

One Response to “King Hezekiah Does it Right”

  1. Jen S. said

    Great reminder, Ben! God is bigger than any army or battle we’ll ever face!

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,249 other followers

%d bloggers like this: