Summary: An look at how to respond when things aren’t going the way you think they should.
WHEN THINGS DON’T HAPPEN LIKE YOU EXPECT
Verse 1 says, Sennacherib, king of Assyria came and entered Judah. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t want anyone invading my country. I wouldn’t want people coming in and stomping all over the place, destroying my cities and killing my people. This was not a good time for Judah.
Verse 1 says, “After these things” Sennacherib invaded. What were these things? Well, the things spoken of here start back in chapter 29. There we read that Hezekiah became king in Judah. He was 25 years old when he became king. Chapter 29 and verse 2 tells us that Hezekiah did what was right in the Lord’s sight.
Verse 3 of chapter 29 tells us that he opened the doors of the Lord’s temple and repaired them. In the following chapters we read that he had the priests purify themselves again. They had the temple cleansed. He started the worship of the Lord again. For the first time in many years, Hezekiah and the people celebrated the “Passover” again. Hezekiah had the idols and alters in Judah destroyed. In other words, when the people got right with God; when a godly king got on the throne; when revival came to Judah; then, Sennacherib invaded.
We are accustomed to thinking that when bad things come our way, it must be because we are doing something wrong, or we are out of God’s will, or we are being punished. God sometimes works that way, but sometimes the difficulties come and the hard times come, simply because we are doing what God has called us to do in the first place and the Devil is giving us grief.
My friends, The Devil doesn’t like it when God’s people start acting like God’s people. He doesn’t like it when they begin to get right with God. He doesn’t like it when they begin to act in faith. It is usually when a plane is over the target that it starts running into flak. If you’re not running into flak, you’re probably not where you’re supposed to be or you may not be doing what you’re supposed to be doing.
> John 16:33 I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world!
Let me ask you, who was it that was stoned in the New Testament? It was the vocal witnesses for Jesus Christ. Who were the ones imprisoned? In the Old Testament, do you remember Shaddrack, Meshack & Abednigo? You remember Daniel? How about Jeremiah, the weeping prophet? Do you remember the opposition Moses encountered, or Noah? Or how about Joseph? Just because hard times come doesn’t mean you are out of God’s will. It could mean you are doing exactly what God has called you to do.
How do God’s people respond when these attacks, when these invasions, when these setbacks and discouragements come?
I. GOD’S PEOPLE RESPOND
1. With Humility
Hezekiah consulted with his officials and warriors. He approached the leaders. He sought council. He said, “I’m the king. I know it’s my responsibility to lead this nation. Ultimately the buck stops here, but, give me your council.”
Hezekiah didn’t beat his chest and say he would handle all of the difficulties. He didn’t buck up and say he could handle it on his own. He humbled himself.
When things happen that we don’t expect, God’s people respond with humility.
2. With Clearing
They stopped up the waters. Hezekiah knew the enemy was coming. He knew he was going to be attacked. He knew the enemy was looking for an opportunity to destroy him, and he said, “Let’s don’t give him anything he can use against us. Let’s stop up the water.”
My friends, the Bible says we are in a battle. We are in a war against the Devil and his friends. We know that if we are truly God’s soldiers that we are going to be attacked. We know the Devil and his boys are going to launch their fiery darts at us. We need to make sure that we don’t do anything to comfort him. We need to make sure we don’t give him any tools he can use against us.
The Devil has many weapons at his disposal he can use to attack God’s people and God’s church. On some he uses pornography. On others he uses pride. Sometimes he uses jealousy. Sometimes he uses anger, bitterness or unforgiveness. Sometimes he uses things as simple as hurt feelings or envy.
My friends, you and I need to cover the waters. We need to get the things out of our lives and out of the church that the devil and his boys can use against us. We need to deal with the sin. For some it may mean we need to go to a brother or sister and apologize. Some may need to get rid of premium channels on their TV. Some may need to get some books out of their house. Some may need to find some new friends that don’t lead us astray. Some of us may need to stop long enough to thank God for the blessings He’s already given us. We need to stop up the waters.