Defying the odds…

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2 Chronicles 32:After this, while King Sennacherib of Assyria was at Lachish with all his forces, he sent his servants to Jerusalem to King Hezekiah of Judah and to all the people of Judah that were in Jerusalem, saying, 10 “Thus says King Sennacherib of Assyria: On what are you relying, that you undergo the siege of Jerusalem? 11 Is not Hezekiah misleading you, handing you over to die by famine and by thirst, when he tells you, ‘The Lord our God will save us from the hand of the king of Assyria’? 12 Was it not this same Hezekiah who took away his high places and his altars and commanded Judah and Jerusalem, saying, ‘Before one altar you shall worship, and upon it you shall make your offerings’? 13 Do you not know what I and my ancestors have done to all the peoples of other lands? Were the gods of the nations of those lands at all able to save their lands out of my hand? 14 Who among all the gods of those nations that my ancestors utterly destroyed was able to save his people from my hand, that your God should be able to save you from my hand? 15 Now therefore do not let Hezekiah deceive you or mislead you in this fashion, and do not believe him, for no god of any nation or kingdom has been able to save his people from my hand or from the hand of my ancestors. How much less will your God save you out of my hand!” 

King Hezekiah had been a good king for Israel, following the laws and commandments of God – and prospering. Here he was put to the test. The king of Assyria sent messengers to Jerusalem to warn the people of his intention to lay siege to the city and take it by force. He offered some solid, logical reasons why the Jews would be foolish to resist. After all, many other nations thought their gods would save them – and didn’t. Surely Israel would be the same.

It wasn’t.

It often doesn’t make sense to trust in the Lord. Our eyes tell us there is no hope. Even well-meaning people will say the same. And given God’s general tendency to wait until the last possible moment to come to the aid of his people, we can start to believe the naysayers. I have done so – on many occasions. But this morning I’m reminded that God defies the odds all the time. It may not look good for you and me right now, but the Lord is with you friends. Lord, let it be so. Amen.

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