31 Days of Being Still:: Second Chances

Psalm 46:7 The LORD Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Sometimes it's hard to believe that God will be with you in troubling times. We know what we have done. We understand the depth of our sins. We have messed up more than once, in small and big ways, and we know that there is no reason for God to be with us, except that He is.

I am enjoying the story at 2 Kings 18. I found myself wanting to write the entire thing out here, which honestly began to distract me a little. So, as I try to refocus, what I would love is if you go refresh your memory of the story, particularly verses 7-8, then 13-16.

Hezekiah told the Assyrians he would no longer pay them tribute, and then they came knocking on his door. What did he do then? He paid the tribute. He took the gold and silver from the palace and the Lord's house to pay the tribute. I wonder if he realized what he had done as he watched them ride off into the sunset with the silver and gold? I think he must have surely realized the truth of the matter somewhere along the way, because when they came back again he sang a different song. In chapter 19 instead of looking for more tribute to hand off, or instead of surrendering to the army, he sent word to Isaiah and headed into the Temple to pray.

What I love about this part of the story is that Hezekiah obviously got scared. When the Assyrians came to his door he panicked and he gave them what they asked for. His fear was great and his trust was in the gold and silver he was handing off. But even though he messed up that time, God did not abandon him the next time. When trouble came knocking again Hezekiah went to God, and the response was not, "Oh, I'm sorry. Your trust and faith wavered. In fact, you completely forgot to trust me and instead trusted that you could take care of everything through gold and silver. Why don't you try using some more of that gold and silver this time and see what happens?" No, the response God sent through Isaiah was much more positive and encouraging.

2 Kings 19:6-7 Isaiah answered them, "Tell your master, 'God's word: Don't be at all concerned about what you've heard from the king of Assyria's bootlicking errand boys—these outrageous blasphemies. Here's what I'm going to do: Afflict him with self-doubt. He's going to hear a rumor and, frightened for his life, retreat to his own country. Once there, I'll see to it that he gets killed.'"

How is this encouraging to US in our times of trouble? Because even if God has told you to be still so you didn't hurt others, even if you chose not to be still and turned away from God instead, when you turn back He is there waiting. Waiting for you to be still and know that He is Lord, yet again.


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