Because You Prayed

We employ a booklet entitled Our Daily Bread out of Grand Rapids, MI for our devotions.  I have used the entry today as the title for this post.  It deals with Assyrian King Sennacherib and his invasion of the southern Kingdom of Judah in 701 B.C.  The Assyrians were conquered by the Babylonians (modern day Iraq) who in turn fell to Persia (modern day Iran) who would be defeated by the  Greeks before their downfall before the Romans.  Empires come and go but God remains the same.

Sennacherib sent a note to King Hezekiah (whose name means Jehovah of strength) of Judah saying he would destroy his Kingdom just as he had other nations.  But Judah was not like other nations, especially under a godly warrior king like Hezekiah.  He took the note from the Assyrian King to the temple and “spread it out before the Lord.”  (Isaiah 37:14)  He then prayed and asked for help from Almighty God.

Soon afterward Isaiah the Prophet delivered a message from the Lord to Hezekiah the King:  “Because you prayed to Me against Sennacherib, King of Assyria, the Lord has spoken.”  (Isaiah 37:22)  That very night the Angel of the Lord struck and 185,000 Assyrian soldiers died.  Sennacherib would leave Jerusalem never to return.  His army didn’t even “shoot an arrow.”  (Isaiah 37:33)

There is a lesson for us in our land today both as individuals and a corporate people.  We are overwhelmed with problems.  Many of them made for us by our leaders who do not respect freedom.  We have a President who embraces Iran and stiff arms Israel. This is very dangerous.  As we look at the Empires above they are all gone–the Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks and Romans all lost their status as world leaders.  In fact, no one even speaks Latin, the language of Rome, anymore.  But Israel has returned home after nearly 2,000 years in exile (70 A.D. till 1948) when President Harry Truman signed off on establishing the modern State of God’s Chosen.

What do the Empires noted above have in common?  They all fell even as Israel goes on. No other People have survived as the Hebrews have despite persecution and banishment from their homeland for nearly two millennia. What should we do in the face of enemies all about us?  Hezekiah’s example is timeless and timely.  He spread the note from Sennacherib before God and The Almighty answered.

One does not hear much of Barack Obama’s going to worship or praying.  On the contrary he seems most comfortable on the golf course even when flooding overwhelms Baton Rouge.  He also often wears an expression of arrogance that reminds me of photos I have seen of Benito Mussolini, the Italian dictator in WWII, who fancied himself a modern day Caesar.  Mussolini is gone and Obama soon will be.

Those who wish to succeed him do not seem to be people of prayer either.  Let us stand in the gap and pray daily for our nation.  Let us learn from Hezekiah and Isaiah and their stance for God.  If we do, He will hear and answer.  Psalm 34:4 says, “I sought the Lord and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.”  And let us remember Lamentations 5:21, “Return us to Yourself, O Lord, that we may be restored.”  Let us do this for our children and grandchildren and a generation yet unborn.



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