Last night in our gathering, a friend shared with us a passage (2 Chronicles 32) about what happens when you act in confidence that our God really is good. Honestly, I never paid attention to this passage in the way that he shared it with us.
If I Ever Have A Son His Name Could Be...
Hezekiah was king of the people of Judah and he went against the traditions of his fathers, not in an arrogant way, but humbly and faithfully following God's ways (see the end of chapter 31). It even says that he (Hezekiah) prospered in everything he did. Man, I want it to end there.
No Way I Would Ever Name a Son...
Sennacerib then enters the scene. As the chapter turns from 31 to 32, it says "After these acts of faithfulness...Sennacerib king of Assyria came and invaded Judah..." Its hard to understand the squabbles of ancient kings, but one thing is clear: Hezekiah didn't just act in faith and then get to coast in his prosperity. Somehow, in God's goodness (right? "goodness"?) he allowed this evil king to do evil things to a faith-filled man (Hezekiah) and his people.
The Heart Question
I have to stop right there for today. It brings up a lot of questions. Why would God allow this? Is God good because it sure seems like a good God would just turn this invading army away to "repay" Hezekiah for his faithfulness?
For Hezekiah, this is done and over with. The story is written and the ending has happened. (Go ahead and read on...its worth it to see what God does!) What lingers is the question: who is God in all of this? Can I trust him?
No Easy Answers...Just His Presence
Is God good? I have to believe he is, but just not always how we want him to be good. He will be good to us by rooting out all places in us where we are afraid to be confident in him and where we believe lies about him. God sends armies to besiege our cities, not to harm us, but to deepen us.
Grace Means He Wants To Show Us that He is Trustworthy
He wants us to see him come through. Let me say that again: he wants us to see him come through. Not just in someone else's life, but our life; to taste and see that the Lord is good...not just when we prosper, but when war is waged against us.
The real war, though, is the war that the Lord is waging against our unbelief. He wants to win our hearts away from foolish fear. Let me say that again too: he WANTS to win our hearts. For stubborn people like me, it takes being pressed beyond my ability to get me to look to see if God will come through, but that is when the taste of his goodness goes deep and settles our soul.
Often it is when an army encamps around us, but it is in those moments we get to see the faithfulness of a loving God, even when our fear is overwhelming.
The life of trusting God is not gathering up enough energy to believe, but a life of seeing our faithful God come through on our behalf. Over and over and over again.
"Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war arise against me, yet I will be confident." Psalm 27:3
HT: Jason Thibeaux