Monday, October 15, 2012

SENNACHERIB AND THE VISION OF ISAIAH...

                                                                  SENNACHERIB
Today I am writing about Isaiah 22, but before I begin I have to share some information tweeted to me, and I quote, "hey, someone is spreading horrible rumors about you."

The Internet is a two-edged sword. I brings some great global abilities to communicate about the Word of God, but it brings a commensurate risk because you put yourself out there, in the light for all to see... My task is simple, so I take my God-given talent to write and use it for His glory. Anyone who knows me, also knows that I come with baggage from a life of sin, as I have clearly articulated in prior posts. Normally I listen to God first and my readers, a distant second. I take accolades with the criticism and lay them both at the feet of my God. 

My approach is unique, because of several things:

  1. I believe in a Triune God. God the Father is the creator of our world, our species and every other species. My Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, became one of us, so that He could provide the ultimate and only sacrifice that has meaning in this world and the next. God the Holy Spirit was given to me at birth, along with my eternal soul. What I have done with that gift for most of my life is baggage that I am not proud of, but it's my baggage and my responsibility.
  2. I believe that all people of all nations, colors and creeds need to know about my God. My approach to all is the same, as taught by the Almighty Himself. I hate the sin and disbelief, but love the sinner, because he or she has been given the same gift of life at birth that I was given. 
  3. I believe in second chances and so does my God. He will take genuine repentance at any time, anywhere. Salvation is another gift from God that requires belief in the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus, coupled with genuine repentance. Is it permanent, you ask? Unequivocally and Absolutely, YES...
  4. I believe that even the saints sin everyday, just like the rest of humanity; however, a true believer will admit that sin to God, again and again, if need be, until he is able to conquer it with the help of his God. 
  5. I believe that God can use anyone willing to lay down his pride and his desire for wealth, trading it in on the study of the Word of God, while enlisting in God's service with whatever your particular talent might be...Mine is writing. I was born with this ability, but never used it for God until now. 
  6. I believe in dying for only three (3) causes in exactly this order:
  • MY GOD
  • MY FAMILY
  • MY COUNTY
      All else is just noise meant for distraction. When it is so loud that you forget about anyone of these six (6) items, you have a problem, not only with me, but with God himself.

Having been stuck on Isaiah 22 for several weeks now, I have resorted to the "pilpul," process of the Jews. Tearing apart each verse, reviewing etymology, sentence structure and other more educated thoughts on the subject is, in fact, fun for me. Every time I chisel my way through to a deeper meaning and understanding, it is like finding GOLD in Alaska during the gold rush. Each time I connect new dots that reveal hidden meaning for the 21st century, I am humbled that God would share his knowledge and wisdom with me.
                                                     INVASION OF SENNACHERIB
The destruction of the Hebrew nation happens repeatedly throughout the OT. God's grace has  allowed the nation to survive each time they were virtually annihilated. He dispensed judgement in the process of helping a remnant learn to love, respect and rely on the Almighty. All through their history God has given his chosen people second chances to become a permanent, loyal example to all others without success, despite all the miracles, the incredible leaders and his written Word. 

Ostensibly, the beginning of Chapter 22 has set the stage for yet another invasion, and virtual destruction of the race. God in his wrath has set up Jerusalem for the invasion by the powerful and  mighty Sennacherib. God starts out saying, "What do you want from me now?" If you have kids, how many times did you either think this or actually say it to your ungrateful munchkins? The Israelites chose to ignore God and worship elsewhere. They also broke the laws of Moses without regard, while basking in their time of peace and wealth. 

Long before Sennacherib was even close the people of Israel got wind of their impending demise. Today it would be tweeted or emailed, but back then it took days to get information in the desert. So now imagine you are in the middle of the walled city of Jerusalem as one of the chosen race. What do you do? Well here is what the Israelites did:

  • Chaos broke out in the streets. People were being killed, "without swords or arrows," because there was mass panic. Basically, it was every man, woman or child for themselves.
  • People went to the top of their homes and buildings screaming and yelling to avoid the mob rage.
  • Filled with terror, they trampled each other trying to get out of Jerusalem in time to avoid the Assyrian army. 
  • The first ones safely out of the city were those in power. The King and the commanders. They fled immediately leaving the people behind to be slaughtered.
                                                             JUDAH & JERUSALEM
Some were trying to call on God, I am sure, but He had already decided their fate. Everyone that fled was captured or killed. The people did everything in there power to protect themselves by "moving the water supply to a lower pool," so that the enemy had none to drink.  They tore down their houses to strengthen the walls of the city. God said, "but you never looked to the One who made it (the city) or have any regard for the One who planned it long ago." Rather than begging God for assistance, "tearing out your hair, wearing sackcloth or weeping for forgiveness," they chose to throw a party!! They got drunk, ate all the best food and chanted, "Let us eat and drink for tomorrow we may die!"

Isaiah then tells the people, "Till your dying day this sin will not be atoned for." What a troubling story for them centuries ago, and for us right now. How many of us have a huge problem, maybe not the size of Sennacherib, but huge to you, in your life before God. What do we all do? We are conditioned to try to fix it ourselves. Sometimes we enlist the support of others, sometimes we are so ashamed, we keep it buried deep while it destroys our soul a tiny bit more each day. These are big, physical and emotional problems including huge debt, unfaithfulness, killing, lying, stealing and cheating. We batten down the hatches, just like the Israelites and try to hid in a dark corner until the storm is over. God can and will help with all of these and many not mentioned. When you turn away from God, he stays permanently in place and waits while you destroy yourself trying to gain redemption or forgiveness somewhere else. When will all of us learn that the only way is to look God square in the eyes (figuratively), and humbly tell him the painful truth. No matter how long you have ignored Him and worshipped money, power, wealth and all that they have attached to them, HE NEVER MOVED OR FLINCHED ONE IOTA!

The longer you remain embroiled in sin, the more it will affect you mentally and of course, spiritually. Do not wait until our God has to end your existence, as the only choice. He is silently waiting for you now and has been there the entire time.

The destruction of Jerusalem by Sennacherib in Isaiah 22 is far from just a history lesson. Read it and learn from it. It is truly an amazing look at our Heavenly Father and our relationship with Him.

God Bless,

TDD



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Hearing from you is certainly not a requirement. Consideration of what is researched and written is all I ask of anyone who stumbles upon my writings. I believe that my God will take it from there. With His help I try to separate fact from fiction, sense from nonsense, and ultimately clarity from chaos.

IDENTITY THEFT!

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