Yesterday we started a look at something that happened in the Old Testament. Sennacherib king of Assyria is preparing to attack Judah and he tells them YOUR GOD CAN’T DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT. King Hezekiah prays about it and asks that God will save Judah from Sennacherib so that everyone on the planet would know that the God of Judah was the one true God.
This story is told in 2 Kings as well as in 2 Chronicles, but I want to focus on 2 Kings because it gives us a prophecy that God lays out against Sennacherib. When God delivers a message, He really delivers a message! I’m leaving it formatted the way it is in the Bible.
2 Kings 19:21- 28 This is the word that the Lord has spoken concerning him:
“She despises you, she scorns you—
the virgin daughter of Zion;
she wags her head behind you—
the daughter of Jerusalem.
22 “Whom have you mocked and reviled?
Against whom have you raised your voice
and lifted your eyes to the heights?
Against the Holy One of Israel!
23 By your messengers you have mocked the Lord,
and you have said, ‘With my many chariots
I have gone up the heights of the mountains,
to the far recesses of Lebanon;
I felled its tallest cedars,
its choicest cypresses;
I entered its farthest lodging place,
its most fruitful forest.
24 I dug wells
and drank foreign waters,
and I dried up with the sole of my foot
all the streams of Egypt.’
25 “Have you not heard
that I determined it long ago?
I planned from days of old
what now I bring to pass,
that you should turn fortified cities
into heaps of ruins,
26 while their inhabitants, shorn of strength,
are dismayed and confounded,
and have become like plants of the field
and like tender grass,
like grass on the housetops,
blighted before it is grown.
27 “But I know your sitting down
and your going out and coming in,
and your raging against me.
28 Because you have raged against me
and your complacency has come into my ears,
I will put my hook in your nose
and my bit in your mouth,
and I will turn you back on the way
by which you came.
So yeah. Ever been smacked down so hard by words that you’ve already lost the fight before it even begins? Sheesh. But then look at this a few verses later. Remember how yesterday I talked about Hezekiah’s prayer, that he asked God to save them not for his own glory, but so that God would have glory? Well here’s God still talking, and I want you to pay attention to the reason why He’s saving Jerusalem from this attack.
2 Kings 19:34 For I will defend this city to save it, for my own sake and for the sake of my servant David.”
God answered the prayer, but He also went above it. Yes, He’s saving the city for His own sake, so that like Hezekiah asked, God would be known and glorified through the victory. But why else is God doing it? For the sake of His servant David. You see what happens when you put the focus on God? When you forsake yourself and pour all that you have into God, when you stop worrying about your own stuff and instead make God’s kingdom and His glory and His fame your focus, something magical happens. God picks up the slack. The second you stop fussing over yourself, the second you let go of yourself and trying to take care of yourself and provide for yourself and glorify yourself, the second you stop all of that and instead pour all of yourself into God, then God takes over taking care of you. You finally got out of His way, and He says “now let me show you what it means to be taken care of.”
So God’s spoken, and Sennacherib obviously ain’t gonna have a good time with what comes next. Did it take some bloody battle with a lot of good men sacrificing their lives to turn the king of Assyria away? Nope. God’s got this one handled.
2 Kings 19:35-37 And that night the angel of the Lord went out and struck down 185,000 in the camp of the Assyrians. And when people arose early in the morning, behold, these were all dead bodies. 36 Then Sennacherib king of Assyria departed and went home and lived at Nineveh. 37 And as he was worshiping in the house of Nisroch his god, Adrammelech and Sharezer, his sons, struck him down with the sword and escaped into the land of Ararat. And Esarhaddon his son reigned in his place.
Let’s remember what kicked all of this off. Sennacherib was coming to attack, and he told the people of Judah YOUR GOD CAN’T HELP YOU. If you’ll excuse a little internet speak, I’m just gonna go ahead and say lol. God can’t? Well, buddy, God did, in a manner that made it abundantly and irrefutably clear that this was God’s doing and He alone was responsible for the victory. The next time you hear someone say that God can’t do something, I want you to take a step back, smile, then look up, because that’s generally about the time God’s going to do something.
I feel so strongly right now that there are people reading this who feel like God can’t do something. God can’t heal our nation, God can’t break my addiction, God can’t reach my lost family members, God can’t love me. Friend, I’m telling you right now that doubting God’s ability to do something good or to save you or save something is about as senseless as doubting whether or not the sun is going to rise tomorrow morning. If you’re facing a “God can’t” situation, if you’ve got a “God can’t” in your heart, then I urge you, I’ll even beg you, take it to Him in prayer. Tell Him what you don’t think He can do! He’s your father, He’s your friend, and we can talk to our parents and to our friends. Now, I’m not suggesting that we challenge God and try to play games with Him. “God, I bet you can’t turn my book collection into solid gold, dur dur dur.” That’s just you being stupid, and it’s not the sort of prayer that’s likely to get you anywhere with God. But if you’ve got a legitimate hang-up in life, a problem or issue so huge and maybe so enduring that it feels like God can’t, then I beg you to talk to Him about it. God can. God does.
And if you’re in a situation of attack the way that Hezekiah was, if you’ve got people coming against you saying that GOD CAN’T HELP YOU, well, pray like Hezekiah did, then get ready to see something supernatural take place. “God can’t” out of the mouth of your enemies is like an activating phrase for the power of God. Little do those know that what they mean as an insult and a curse against you is actually the key to your victory over them. Give God the glory, let Him show the doubters and the haters in your life what He can and can’t do. And pray that they’ll be so moved by the display that they’ll fall on their face and repent and give their lives to God in that very moment. Glory to God in all things.
PRAYER AND CLOSING
Father God, I come before you today and say that you can. God can. My heart goes out to those who are feeling like you can’t do something in their lives or in their situations. Lord, show them how wrong they are. Visit with them, love on them, show them what you think of the word impossible. That word doesn’t exist with you. I’ve seen the impossible happen when you’re involved, God, I know it doesn’t apply to you. I speak victory over those who are feeling like you can’t do something, I speak breakthrough and I speak peace. Let today be the day that they learn that there are no limits to your love and to your power. And God, thank you for how you take care of us. When we let go of ourselves and focus on you, you take hold of us and lift us up. It’s like you ask for that one gesture of trust on our part, then you sweep in and show us how you love. Thank you for that care, and thank you for that love. Thank you that you are the God who can, the God who does, and the God who will. Let everything I do, everything I say, and everything I think be for your glory, my incredible king. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.
I love you guys. God’s present in your situation, even if you don’t realize it. Reach out to Him in prayer, even if you’re in a period or moment of doubt.