Skip to comments.1 Kings 3:5-12; 2 Kings 19:14-22, 32-35 GOD'S ANSWER TO THE DEFEATED BELIEVER
Posted on 11/24/2018 5:52:45 AM PST by Pilgrim's Progress
1 Kings 3:5-12; 2 Kings 19:14-22, 32-35 GOD'S ANSWER TO THE DEFEATED BELIEVER, or, WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS!
Its amazing how when things are going our way how we live by faith. Amen? But when it goes a little crazy, we become skeptics and we try to do things on our own. Thats when we are tested. People cant understand why they never grow, they never get close to Godits because when He puts something in your way for you to trust Him, you dont trust Him. You always use plan B. And if you are a Christian, it just wont work out right at all. Because you have to keep repeating, the same trial over and over again. Of all of it, when all else fails, thats probably the key to all our Christianityalways stick with Plan A.
I started thinking about some things, when all has failed. When everything you tried to do fails, what do you do?
Consider with me these Scriptures . . .
In Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said, Ask what I shall give thee. And Solomon said, Thou hast shewed unto thy servant David my father great mercy, according as he walked before thee in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with thee; and thou hast kept for him this great kindness, that thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day. And now, O LORD my God, thou hast made thy servant king instead of David my father: and I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in. And thy servant is in the midst of thy people which thou hast chosen, a great people, that cannot be numbered nor counted for multitude. Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people? (1 Kings 3:5-9).
And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing. And God said unto him, Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment; Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee (1 Kings 3:10-12).
Im telling you. You must notice these characters in the Bible. Now, a lot of people dont know the difference. They hear preaching, they try to bring things doctrinally into it and they forget about the devotional and practical aspects of Scripture. All Scripture All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is practical. When we look at things, we want to understand what in the world we are going to do when everything else fails. All that I have is the Book.
So, when I come here to Solomon Im saying, Here we got a prayer here. Hes going before God. Hes perplexed, man. All of a sudden, hes in charge. Were talking a million people, at least. Thats vast! And hes got no understanding. Now, he can lay down the law, whatever he said could of went, but instead he chose the best thing to do when his back was up against the wall. And he remembered his father going before Godremembered that his father, right? with the psalms that hed written along the way. I think they heard them. Solomon heard his fathers heart, singing out to God and heard all those things that David would recite, choirs would sing, and so, he wanted that God. And he went to that God. That is who is addressed his prayer to. And what we are seeing here is that God answered his prayer. Thats a blessing.
Were living in a day and age, Im telling you, where it is getting difficult for Christians to live right.
Now, we find in 2 Kings in chapter 19, Sennacherib invades Judah and has already killed many kings and taken control of their lands. The king of Assyria sends Hezekiah a letter of threatenings. King Hezekiah was at his wits end. When all else fails, right? He takes the letter and lays it before the Lord . . .
And Hezekiah received the letter of the hand of the messengers, and read it: and Hezekiah went up into the house of the LORD, and spread it before the LORD. And Hezekiah prayed before the LORD, and said, O LORD God of Israel, which dwellest between the cherubims, thou art the God, even thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; thou hast made heaven and earth. LORD, bow down thine ear, and hear: open, LORD, thine eyes, and see: and hear the words of Sennacherib, which hath sent him to reproach the living God. Of a truth, LORD, the kings of Assyria have destroyed the nations and their lands, And have cast their gods into the fire: for they were no gods, but the work of men's hands, wood and stone: therefore they have destroyed them. Now therefore, O LORD our God, I beseech thee, save thou us out of his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that thou art the LORD God, even thou only (2 Kings 19:14-19).
Wow! Thats a pretty good prayer. Desperate. Especially when you are seeing this conqueror coming in, after he had conquered all those peoples. Hes killed multitudes of people, were talking about thousands, and now his eyes are on Hezekiahs reign. Thats scary. So, instead of panicking and trying to make deals like we know some other kings did there, he laid the letter out before God.
He just believed that God saw the letter with His eyes. He believed that, he really did!
Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent to Hezekiah, saying, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, That which thou hast prayed to me against Sennacherib king of Assyria I have heard. This is the word that the LORD hath spoken concerning him; The virgin the daughter of Zion hath despised thee, and laughed thee to scorn; the daughter of Jerusalem hath shaken her head at thee. Whom hast thou reproached and blasphemed? and against whom hast thou exalted thy voice, and lifted up thine eyes on high? even against the Holy One of Israel (2 Kings 19:20-22).
Whoa! Oh, you need Me now, do you?
I mean, you give a letter, by faith, to God because you are in a jamand He comes back reminding you of some stuff. You ever have that happen to you?
Therefore thus saith the LORD concerning the king of Assyria, He shall not come into this city, nor shoot an arrow there, nor come before it with shield, nor cast a bank against it. By the way that he came, by the same shall he return, and shall not come into this city, saith the LORD. For I will defend this city, to save it, for mine own sake, and for my servant David’s sake. And it came to pass that night, that the angel of the LORD went out, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians an hundred fourscore and five thousand: and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses (2 Kings 19:32-35).
. . . the angel of the LORD went out . . . How many angels? One angel. ONE ANGEL! How many dead? . . .
an hundred fourscore and five thousand . . . 185,000 dead . . . ONE ANGEL . . . just emphasizing that.
behold, they were all dead corpses . . . Dead corpses. Dont you like that? I mean, I like my King James Bible. Okay, they were corpses. No, they . . . were . . . DEAD . . . corpses! DEAD CORPSES! Just to let you know. Theys dead. How many? 185,000. There were bodies lying everywhere.
God took care of Hezekiah, but God also read the riot act to him. He told him how his country was acting. In other words, God didnt have to do it. And Hezekiah came before God and cried out to Him for mercy. Basically, thats what he did.
And usually, you and I, when we come to God and cry out to Him like thatwe already know our conditionbut our backs are up against the wall. Where else can we go? Face the music. Go before God the FatherHe already knows everything. Thats why I like old-fashioned church altars, the old praying bench. And I know the Spirits gotta move in your heartso if the Spirit doesnt move on us for a long timeI wonder about that too, dont you? Why arent you moved to do anything anymore? Why am I not? What has to happen? What has to happen, before we can say, When all else fails?
Now, its pretty bad. Yea, most of you got God like you got a spare tire. You only get up and get it when you have a flat. And I think about that and say, Oh man, thats me, Lord, yea, thats me. Then you got to think, whats going to happen next to drive me to Him? It would sure be a lot easier if I would just stay in contact with Himevery day Oh God, I messed up again, please help me. You dont grow
Dont let this stuff add up! Thats the way to do it.
If the truth was known, if we all really sat down and made a list each of us would have at least a whole day. If we could remember everything and put it on a sheet of paper, ever since we knew the Lord, and what Hes done in our lives, and how He got us out of jams. I mean, really, if itemized them and elaborated a little bit on theseIm telling youwed have a whole lot. But to get us daily to understand how important it is to stay close to Him, thats a whole other ballgame.
And I guess the message is to get us to focus on staying close to God on a daily basis and not let junk pile up in our trunk, where we keep our spare time.
A lot of times with this eternal security, guess what we do? We take it for granted. Were saved any way, were going to heaven. Hey, what a deal! One preacher suggested that folks that believe in eternal security ought to live like they could lose it just so they will not drift to the left or to the right.
Story after story in the Scriptures have men and women in situation of, when all else fails. And Christian, you know, you know that. Why? Well, because youve been in situations where, when all else fails. If youre a Christian, come on! Youve been there! Youve been up and down in your journey. Youve been pushed up against the wall. When there aint anybody around, you crawled away somewhere and begged God for some answers. I like reading about these characters. I like seeing God acknowledging that He hears your prayers, but also, p. s., youve been living like hell! And your heart goes, Oh man, I know Lord, and I know You know. Im sorry, be merciful. Man, anything he gets is better than nothing.
I mean, when you start reading this Bible, character after character starts displaying these same characteristics. Why? Because flesh is flesh, whether under law or under grace. That body has tendencies to do things against an almighty God. And if you belong to God, there is accountability. Now, in the flesh, and then later at the Judgment Seat of Christ. Its scary stuff, really.
So, we look up different Bible characters going through similar situations, and then we find some Bible promisesmaybe with the characterhow they did this, and what we should do, by example. And next thing you know, lo and behold, God does something for us. And the worst thing we can do is become skeptical because He doesnt answer us immediately. Dont you turn your back on God thinking that He is not hearing. Dont you do that! Its so stupid!
Some of us messed up our lives for 20-30 years. You are going to come to God and snap your fingers? Hes not no bellhop, man. He considers our prayer. He considers our life. He knows our journey. He knows the end from the beginning. We wait on Him! He doesnt wait on us, in the sense of a waiter. We wait on God, and we just trust that He hears us. And by bringing up characters in the Bible sometimes before Him, I wish You would bless me like You blessed Hezekiah. It that type of people and their attitudes and their backslidden condition, doing all those wrong things, but You heard them. And then You answered them, favorable! Lord, I need that!
I mean, you think about . . . we wont go to all of it . . . but you think about the backslidden Nazarite. You know who he is, right? That judge? Samson, right? He cried out at the end. What happened? Well, God used him to kill more in his death than he did in his life. Well, see? As a Calvinist, that was His plan anyways. Yea right. His eyes were blinded. All these things that took place to him in his humiliation was because of his backslidden condition. Because He disobeyed God. He disobeyed his parents. That was at the outset. He took for granted his strength and played with it. Full of pride! So, God humbled him.
And finally, at the end when his back was against the wall . . . when all else failed. He called out to God, and we know the storyhis hair grew backand sometimes when we look at that how he killed more at his death than in his life, therefore it was Gods plan. You better see what he went through and why he went through it. And where is Samson today? Well, I can read about him in Hebrews 11. Whats that mean? Well, thats the hall of fame of faith. Isnt that amazing? Who did that? God did that. Why? Samson cried out. No more pride. No more arrogance. He cried out to God. He knew he was wrong and wanted to honor God in his death. A lot of us are old, we can do the same thing—cry out to God and honor God in our old age. Right?
We know that when you go through this Bible if you can, and I think you can, go through it once a yearforce yourself. I already did that. Well, keep doing it and I hope God convicts you every time you sit down to your relaxation time, that goes into 1, 2, 3 hoursand you know if you gave to God an hour a dayone hour? and if even if you are a slow reader you can get a whole lot accomplished. Just think about that. Why? You go through all these characters. You get mad with themwhen they get mad, you get madand when they get glad you get gladthen all of a sudden you see Gods side, you get mad at them because these dummies are doing this again. And then, BOOM! God shows you that you are like the dummy! And then God does something over here, and helps us out and we say, Bless God! What a merciful God! Hes still a just God, but He is a merciful God.
Then we come over to the church age, my goodness! You cant lose that Holy Ghost! You are sealed with the Holy Ghost! Christ is in You! The Hope of glory! Even though you lose the flame of revival, bless God, the pilot light still remains lit! You still got hope! What a blessing.
When all else fails. Trust God! Why? He loves you more than anybody else does, He loves you more than you even love yourself. Trust God! Hes your father! Believe His Word. Have faith. Yea, faith! Therere hundreds of verses in your Bible that cover topics that youre going through. People in here usually get one of these lists. We pass them out usually. Its got all these circumstances and all these different verses that go with them. Yea!
How about, He makes a way of escape. Remember that one? I Corinthians 10:13. With the temptation? Oh, I cant escape. God says you can. You just called God a liar. Well . . . NO! What it is, is you missed the way of escape because you kept goingyou didnt want to listenso you go down that hill, from yielding (BOOM!) to sin. So, youre in a position now where you cry out to God for forgiveness and cleansingget back upbut He does provide a way to escape.
And then you can do all things through Christ Jesus, which what? strengtheneth you. Not you strengthening yourself, He does that. So that implies your surrender, your humility, your humbling to His strength. Oh God, please help my will. Strengthen my will.
And you think about where it says, He giveth power to the faint. When you are ready to check out, when you are ready to quit, God gives you power.
The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished (II Peter 2:9).
Us saintsYESHe can deliver His saints.
Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good (Romans 12:21).
Thats just a few. There are hundreds of verses in the Bible just like these. Many of them we have heard preached. We have read them in our Bible reading. They live somewhere in the back of your brain, if you have been brought up in church you have had Sunday school lessons that covered all of these subjects. You got Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. You got the fiery furnace. You got Daniel in the lions den. You got all the stories. Yes, you got all the stories. Impossibilities, but God comes through.
So, we are saved. We are going to heaven. And when all else fails, we go into this tizzy. We start reacting like a lost person. Some Christians that dont have enough power will backslide. They wont consider their heavenly Father at all.
Someone will say, Well, theyre lost now! You better watch out with all that stuff. You havent read your Bible. People get depressed. Beyond. The Devil can slip them bunches of stuff. Well, then God allowed it! He allows your willthats the keyyour will. Im not a Calvinist. What do you will? And sometimes you can be so weak that you cant even cry outif you just wait on Him in the darkHell come to you. Why? He loves us. Hell do something for us, He really will. But you have to give the problem to Him, when all else fails.
I think about this individual named Helen Keller. She was blind and deaf. She started life off with failure. It wasnt until she was taught by a loving teacher, to communicate and experience some mature difficulties, that she began writing and lecturing with great passion and power from God. You see, her teacher was a Christian, and her passion was Jesusif you ever read about that. She had many moments when all else failed. Who? The teacher. I cant even comprehend that! Did you ever watch that movie, Helen Keller, or read the book? Im telling you what, man. The child was like a living animal. She had no structure, no discipline, of any kind!
Now the teacher never wanted recognition. She believed her calling was from God to teach this girl. And that is all the accolades that she ever took, or ever wanted, or ever needed. It was a ministry, and Helen Keller was her lifes goal. Now, naturally, through sacrifice Helen learned, Helen was saved, Helen helped others because she was taught that by an example to herselfwhen all else fails.
I think about the poem that Helen Keller wrote, fitting for her . . .
They took away what should have been my eyes
(but I remembered Milton’s Paradise).
They took away what should have been my ears,
(Beethoven came and wiped away my tears)
They took away what should have been my tongue,
(but I had talked with god when I was young)
He would not let them take away my soul,
possessing that I still possess the whole.
Now, Milton . . . When I say Milton, a lot of people dont even know who he is anymore. They are not even being educated anymore, it seems like. But he had an experience in his life.
Blind men seldom quote books, but it is not so with Milton. The prodigious power, readiness, and accuracy of his memory, as well as the confidence he felt in it, are proved by his setting himself, several years after he had become totally blind, to compose his Treatise on Christian Doctrine, which, made up as it is of Scriptural texts, would seem to require perpetual reference to the Sacred Volume.
Did you catch that? AFTER he was blind, he took up his theological work.
A still more extraordinary enterprise was that of the Latin Dictionarya work which, one would imagine, might easily wear out a sound pair of eyes. After five years of blindness, he undertook these two vast works, along with Paradise Lost.
I never knew that! A Latin Dictionary, are you kidding me? And then a theological, verse-by-verse stuff that he believed and taught. Doing that after he was blind.
That is what encouraged Helen Keller when she read Paradise Lost. Thats where we get that.
And so, here we are, we got eyes, we got ears, we get put up against the wall. We get discouraged. We faint. The assurance I got for my salvation finally came when I realized that I was calling God a liar. What do you mean? Well, He saved me. There was a change. There was some rough stuff afterwards. And I could never get it settled because of all the different preaching and teaching I heard about how you could do it, you could not do it, how to be saved.
Finally, I went to the Bible and I looked at that. And God took me down the Romans road again, Whosoever that shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. I went through those verses over and over again. And in my mind, I was saying, Lord, why do You keep bringing me over here, man?
It was like a voice came out of nowhere, right? I use the word stupid. Because you are stupid! Why? Because you keep calling Me a liar!
Do you like being called a liar? People used to have duels and kill one another over stuff like that. And here, Christians go around, after having been there when it happenedwhen they got savedand went through some difficulties not knowing the Scriptures to grow in the Lord, they started accusing God of something He didnt do. Because the Devils done got them in their minds. Listen, if there is a time and a place and you know you left this life and you asked Jesus Christ to save you, then you went into the light and you are no more in darkness.
Its the Devils job to confuse us and to put us against the wall. But it is our job to cry out Abba, Father! To cry out to God for help! And Im telling you, the Devil is slick like this. If we dont get our prayers answered immediately, if we dont start getting blessed, like we think we should (because we are watching TV and all this other junk), then we accuse God! And Im telling you, its hard to get your prayers answered when you are calling God a liar!
If you are His kid, you are under Him. He is a holy God, He is a just God, He is a righteous God. When you mess up you need to come to Him and get that thing cleaned up. And when its cleaned up and you are waiting for answersjust wait! Why? I read the Scriptures. And I read about all sorts of characters and studies that are in this Bible, and Im finding out that that is the way it works! Hes the Boss! Oh man!
So, when all else fails, guess what? Stay with Him when all else fails. Then youll be used to just going to Him when the stuff hits the fan. It will! Because we are proved. Our faith is proved. Do you want to come forth as gold? Do you want to have a good judgment at the Judgment Seat of Jesus Christ? Then you are going to have to learn to suffer with Him. For righteousness sake, do right. You have to learn to get right when you are wrong. Just admit it, just get right!
You are going to have to really believe what the Book says. And this Book should be your final authority. Dont trust in yourself. Dont trust in the confidence of the flesh, trust in God. Its all about God. This is a God thing. If you are saved, there is a supernatural event that happened to you. You have a supernatural Bookthis King James Biblethat goes with it, you got the Holy Ghost you are sealed with. I mean, you got a convicter, a teacher, a comforter. You got Jesus Christ wrapped up in that Holy Ghost inside of you. What a blessing!
But you gotta believe that! You gotta practice the presence of God every day. Be a creature of habit. Talk to Him. Tell Him you are sorry, as many times as you got to, you just do it. Do you know what that does for Him? That makes Him, like, personal. It puts Him right there with you. And when you dont do that, you ignore Him. Hes somewhere off. Like Earl Hughes said, a spare time. Youre just waiting for a flat tire, so you can go get Him out of the trunk.
You dont want a God like that, and God doesnt want a kid like you. He wants you get close to Him, grow and have fellowship with Him. Thats why He saved us.
So, whether in the valley or on the mountain top, whether being a bad kid all dirtied up, or not, you need Him to clean you. You need to come home and have that stuff taken care of. If you dont maintain that, Im telling you, you are just loading up a wagon full of junk. Eventually youre going to start hitting that top of that hill with that wagon, and when it starts to go down, it aint gonna stopand when it doesI aint gonna say it wont stop, it will stopabruptlyand everything in there will just cover you up. Spiritually speaking, you will be so depressed and discouraged and darknessyoull think there is no hope again.
Im telling you, there is hope! But you didnt have to fill that wagon with a load of stuff. You put the stuff in the wagon. God knows how to take it, how to empty your wagon, clean you up, give you peace in your heart, and you can be led by the peace of God instead of your stupid mind. It messes up at times, because you are not developing the mind of Christ.
The Holy Ghosts purpose is to convict us of things that are wrong. Its our job to receive the conviction and to tell God we are sorry
You need to get the slate clean again. Get the Blood of Jesus Christ, Gods Son, to cleanse you. Make you have peace.
That is a fair summary of the colloquial elegance of the rest of what you posted. You made a very thorough, coherent teaching out of the deeply sincere and humble prayers of Solomon and Hezekiah.
Deep and meaningful exposition, will read and absorb. Thank you so much.
God is good to us, all the time!
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