“The field commander said to them, ‘Tell Hezekiah: ‘This is what the great king, the king of Assyria, says: On what are you basing this confidence of yours? You say you have counsel and might for war – but you speak only empty words. On whom are you depending, that you rebel against me? Look, I know you are depending on Egypt, that splintered reed of a staff, which pierces the hand of anyone who leans on it! Such is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all who depend on him. But if you say to me, ‘We are depending on the Lord our God’ – isn’t he the one whose high places and altars Hezekiah removed, saying to Judah and Jerusalem, ‘You must worship before this altar’?” Isaiah 36:4-10.
King Sennacherib of Assyria is threatening the folks in Jerusalem living under King Hezekiah.
He has a large army and is looking for those in Jerusalem to realize what they are up against and to give up.
Sennacherib gives the Israelites two reasons why that which they rely on cannot be trusted.
First, he discusses the Egyptians. They are an unreliable ally. They have burned others who have relied on them.
Second, he discusses God. Sennacherib’s angle is that since they are new to trusting God, how can they be sure that God will take care of them? (Note that when Hezekiah became king, he destroyed all the places where they used to worship and moved the worship center to one place, Jerusalem.)
My ultimate trust must be in God. All other things are potentially like the Egypt mentioned in these verses. They are terminal. They aren’t forever. They can wax and wane.
As far as being removed from where I usually worship goes, I have access to God wherever I’m located. I must not burden myself down with location semantics. I am never separated from the God I love.
My wife and I are currently in Maine for three months. That relocation puts us away from the church in Massachusetts we attend during the other nine months. Temporarily gone is the nicely structure church situation with its Bible studies and Sunday services.
The church in Maine that we had attended in previous years had a split during this past year and lost almost half of its regular attendees. We discovered this when we went to church there last month.
Should we move on to another church? Should we go to home-churching ourselves? BUT God knew best.
We have now gone to that church several Sundays in a row and are being fed some delicious spiritual food! The minister is tight to The Word (1 John) and we are learning.
Bible study? I “came across” (God in the details!) a book at a yard sale up here two days ago. “Listening for God” by Marilyn Hontz was a “random” pickup but in two days of reading it my approach to reading the Bible has dramatically changed. (If you have been reading this blog for a while, you have already noticed the difference.)
Point? My setting in Maine necessitates, at least for the time being, that I “Bible study” alone. Marilyn’s book has helped greatly.
The truth? My “Egypt’s” are not to be trusted.
The lie? God is not omnipresent.
Conclusions: My ultimate trust must be in God. I can find Him in any setting I’m in.