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

    • 90,686 hits
  • RSS April’s Blog: A Writer’s Journey

    • Evil Parents and Rotten Kids
      A-ZE is for Evil Parents and Rotten KidsI present you Jimmy Kimmel's annual "I Told My Kids I Ate All Their Halloween Candy" video montage. It's an artful mixture of cruelty, humor, and ghastly awe. My favorite is Drawer Boy. Now there's an ax murderer in the making.Which is your favorite?
      noreply@blogger.com (April Gardner)
  • RSS Barn Door Book Loft

    • Book Winners
      Once again, we offer you a warm welcome to the Bookshelf of the Barn Door Book Loft. And before we announce our winners we’d like to offer a special thanks to these Christian authors who offered a sample of their writing to our faithful readers:Janet K. Brown who offered her Women’s Fiction  Worth Her Weight Christine Lindsay who offered her Christian Histor […]
    • A Warm Welcome to Lena Nelson Dooley
      I'm honored to host Lena Nelson Dooley on this blog site today! She's long been one of the authors I've admired. Lena, can you us: is there a story behind your book,  8 Weddings and a Miracle?This collection was put together by the editorial department at Barbour publishing using multi-published, and often award-winning, authors.What kind of b […]
    • 8 Weddings and a Miracle by Lena Nelson Dooley
      Back Cover BlurbSometimes Love Needs a Little Divine InterventionNine modern couples face challenges on their way to the marriage altar, and readers will delight in how God intervenes to get them to the point of "I do." Be it a meeting in the wrong place at the right time, an accident that opens hardened hearts, or weather that seems to blow things […]
  • RSS Clash of the Titles

    • February Releases Clash
      In the winter, we all need a pick-me-up, and often, a good book does just the trick!Clash of the Titles is pleased to present these brand new novels.Which one is calling you? Take a moment to browse, then choose which you're most likely to read first. VOTE BELOW from now until next Wednesday - tell your friends - then come back and see which book is thi […]
    • Featuring Julie Cosgrove's Christian Suspense Series
      From the first clap of thunder to the conclusion of the book,Julie B. Cosgrove holds the reader in the palm of her hand.                                               --Author Victoria Pitt CaineAbout Hush in the Storm:Jen, a young widow floundering in the storm of mourning, whose only lifeline is her humdrum job, is tossed into a maze of deceit and intrigue […]
    • Featured Novel: Baxter Road Miracle by Carlene Havel
      I read [Baxter Road Miracle] in one day, simply because I really didn't want to stop until I got to the end. Bet you will as well. Kudos to Carlene Havel for sharing this story with the world. --Amazon ReviewerBaxter Road Miracleby Carlene HavelAbout the book: Can faith move mountains? The Youngbloods are about to find out. Henry Youngblood is determine […]
  • RSS Little Bits Blog

    • Chloe's Decision 
      As I stated last week, November is NANOWRIMO. I'm working on the next Stones Creek novel. It's the story of Chloe, Noah Preston's sister. She comes to Stones Creek with her two children. If you would like to read her pre-story simply subscribe to Sophie's Special Emails. No more than twice a month will you receive an email with special co […]
    • Remembering Fudgsicles
      It is November and thus NANOWRIMO, National Novel Writing Month. The challenge is to begin a novel and write 50,000 words during the month. Since this occupies most of my focus for these four weeks I will be reposting previous articles each week this month. Fudgsicles, how long has it been since I’ve had a fudgsicle? I’m not sure, but they came to mind when […]
    • Are You Teachable?
      What? You think you know everything? I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news but no one knows everything. Oh, there is one, Hashem. He's omniscient. But no one else is. Even Yeshua (Jesus) isn't. He doesn't know the hour or day he will come again. Some people rejoice in learning something new. I tend to be one of those people. I read about […]
  • RSS Living Our Faith Out Loud

    • Review of Deborah Piccurelli's Love Comes Calling
      About the BookThe day new Christian, Derek Spencer, shows up on Charlie Parkes’s doorstep to make up for what he’d done, is the very day he falls in love with her. But Charlie’s sister mistakes him for a home improvement contractor, and he decides to play along until he finds a way to tell her who he really is.Charlie is attracted to Derek, but knows the att […]
    • Clear Your Emotional Clutter with Shelley Wilburn and Walking Healed
      Walking HealedA Journey of Forgiveness, Grace, and HopeEbook $2.99Print availableBuy on Amazon, Barnes and NobleShelleyWilburn Living with intimidation, oppression, depression, panic, and anxiety takes a toll on a person. We don’t often know why we are going through the things we are. We can’t explain the feelings we have or why we do the things we do. Many […]
    • ILTWD Have a book to promote and want to reach lots of new readers?
      Your book can be listed FOR FREE in our "Books for the Beach" directory that will be published in early May. The directory will be available at the official I Love To Write Day site at www.ilovetowriteday.org and also sent to readers who have requested a copy via e-mail. The FREE listing includes: Book title, author and Web URL (either your Website […]
  • RSS Nearly Brilliant

    • Book Review: Treasure Me by Christine Nolfi
      Birdie Kaminsky is the daughter of con artists and is herself a petty thief but once you learn how difficult her up bringing is you'll grow a soft spot for her. Having moved from place to place in order to keep one step ahead of the law (partly her fault and partly her parents) all she really  wants is a place to belong and  to fill the void in her life […]
    • Book Review: Georgiana Darcy's Diary: Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice Continued by Anna Elliot and Laura Masselos
      I'm a big Austen fan and I love Pride and Prejudice so my fear was this would be a feeble attempt at sequel. I was pleasantly surprised. Georgiana Darcey, Mr. Darcey's younger sister, is now 18 years old and in love with her co-guardian Colonel Fitzwilliams. Elliot and Masselos do a great job fleshing out some of the peripheral characters from the […]
    • Book Review: Standing Stones by Beth Camp
      This first book in a promising series, takes place in 19th century Scotland in the Orkney islands at the time of the Clearances. It was a time when wealthy landowners were changing their mode of land management and ruthlessly throwing tenants off the land.When Lord McDonald takes over the estate of Westland and its holdings, he's determined to make impr […]
  • 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 1,247 other followers

%d bloggers like this: