Greetings brothers and sisters in Christ. This week our suggested reading is 2 Kings 19:8-28, and could rightly be called a Tale of Two Kings. The kings are Sennacherib, king of Assyria, and Hezekiah, king of Judah. Assyria is attacking Judah, and Sennacherib sends a letter to Judah, mocking God, in order to cause Judah and Hezekiah to lose hope. But instead of losing hope, Hezekiah brings the letter and lays it before the Lord. He praises God for who He is, and asked that Judah would be delivered, that God may be glorified through the salvation of His people. God answered Hezekiah. That night the angel of the Lord strikes down 185,000 of the Assyrians, and after Sennacherib returns home, he is assassinated by two of his own sons.
These two kings are an accurate parallel of the Christian and the world. The man or woman who rejects Christ depends on their health, their wealth, their power and influence, their own toughness and determination, or their own goodness to save them. Like Sennacherib, many boast of their own accomplishments and glory in their own strength. But the wise man takes his troubles and lays them before God, depending on His strength to carry him through. It is the wisdom in that decision that we need to show to those we read to.
Below in an outline to give you some ideas for your preaching:
Introduction and read the verses
Two kings who trusted in very different things
One trusted in his own strength and accomplishment, and one trusted in the mercy of God
What is your trust in? You may not be a conquering king, but you are probably trusting in your own accomplishments
Are you trusting in Intellectual prowess, either your own or someone else’s, to deny and scoff at God? Will science save you? Science is not bad in itself, but it can not save you, and by now Darwin himself knows the truth!
Romans 1:22 - Claiming to be wise they became fools
2 Peter 3:3-5 - knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. They will say, "Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation." For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God,
Are you trusting in financial success or accomplishment to save you? Wealth is not bad in itself, but it is the root of all kind of evil, and envy and covetousness are sins against God. No amount of money will help you stand before God.
Proverbs 11:12 - Riches do not profit in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death.
Mat 19:24 - Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God."
Are you trusting in your own goodness to get right with God? Perhaps you have said “God knows my heart” – Yes, he does! That should not comfort you, but frighten you!
Jeremiah 17:9 - The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?
See verses 27 and 28. God knows all that we do, and knows our rebellion against Him. He knows every sin we commit, even those we have forgotten. He knows the wicked things we have done, and He knows the good things we have failed to do.
He knows our greed and envy, which is covetousness
He knows our anger and hatred, which he sees as murder
He knows our lustful, X-rated, pornographic thoughts, which are adultery
He knows the idols we have replaced Him with, idols of money, power, pleasure, and personal autonomy
Pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps, doing good deeds to get right with God? It won’t work.
Romans 3:10-12 - "None is righteous, no, not one;
no one understands;
no one seeks for God.
All have turned aside; together they have become worthless;
no one does good,
not even one."
Isaiah 64:6 - We have all become like one who is unclean,
and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment.
We all fade like a leaf,
and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.
Enjoying pleasure and not worrying about it? Wake up now while you have time!
1 Corinthians 15:32 - If the dead are not raised, "Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die." Do not be deceived: "Bad company ruins good morals." Wake up from your drunken stupor, as is right, and do not go on sinning. For some have no knowledge of God. I say this to your shame.
Luke 12:19-21 - And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.' But God said to him, 'Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?' So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God."
James 4:13-14 - Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit"— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.
As Hezekiah was, you are in deadly peril. But as Hezekiah was delivered through his trust in God, you too can be delivered! God, who is rich in mercy, sent Jesus Christ to earth, that we might be delivered from the wrath to come. (1 Thes 1:10)
So repent today towards God, and put your faith in Jesus Christ alone (Acts 20:21), and through Jesus sacrifice, your sins can be atoned for, paid in full by His blood (Romans 3:23-26). Repent and trust Christ today, while God has given you time.
Thanks for being part of Project Ezra. Have a great weekend, and a great time of outreach. Remember, we have just a couple weeks until out Halloween reading, and still have less that 60 confirmed participants. If you haven’t responded yet, please do. If you are on the Maybe list, change that maybe to a yes, grab some brothers and sisters in Christ, and get out there and tell someone about He who is worthy to be praised!
For the praise of His glory,