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Cringe-Worthy

Daily Reading: 2 Kings 16

 

So Ahaz sent messengers to Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria, saying, “I am your servant and your son. Come up and rescue me…” (2 Kings 16:7)

 

Devotional Thought: Scripture certainly does not paint Ahaz, king of Judah in a complimentary light: "He did not do what was right in the eyes of the Lord his God… [and] even burned his son as an offering" (v. 3).  So when Israel waged war on Judah, it is no surprise that he reacted with complete unfaithfulness.  Rather than crying to the Lord for deliverance (a practice King David had developed and modeled), King Ahaz turned to his enemies for protection.  “So Ahaz sent messengers to Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria, saying, ‘I am your servant and your son.  Come up and rescue me…’” (v. 7).  This groveling request from the king of God’s chosen people is indeed "cringe-worthy."

 

We too can often turn to the wrong person/thing/habit for rescue.  In our weakness, we assume that the very enemies of our soul – self-reliance, excessive riches, spiritual/emotional isolation, idols of comfort – will protect us rather than destroy us.  Persecution, trials, and suffering are all meant to draw us nearer to the Source of our joy and peace, and yet we persist in dragging ourselves further away. 

 

We can see it clearly in the story of Israel and all of her kings.  This alliance between Israel and Assyria was in truth putting Israel under the authority of Assyria and obligating them financially and otherwise.  God’s people would pay dearly for Ahaz’s faithlessness.  Just one generation later, King Hezekiah (Ahaz’s son), who was a godly and faithful king, would have to undo the consequences of all that his father had done.  Many lives were lost in the process.  If only Ahaz had remembered his standing and position before the Lord!  If only we would!  For we are God’s children… “we are heirs – heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ,” (Rom. 8.17).

 

Jenny

 

Prayer: Lord, too often we turn to the wrong things for comfort, peace and joy.  Expose these heart-idols to us and help us to trust in you to supply all of our needs.  Amen.

 

Psalm of the Day: 18.7-12

7 Then the earth reeled and rocked; the foundations also of the mountains trembled and quaked, because he was angry.

8 Smoke went up from his nostrils, and devouring fire from his mouth; glowing coals flamed forth from him.

9 He bowed the heavens and came down; thick darkness was under his feet.

10 He rode on a cherub and flew; he came swiftly on the wings of the wind.

11 He made darkness his covering, his canopy around him, thick clouds dark with water.

12 Out of the brightness before him hailstones and coals of fire broke through his clouds.

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