“So one of the priests whom they had carried away from Samaria came and lived in Bethel and taught them how they should fear the LORD.” 2 Kings 17:28
For the last 4 years God has been training me to stand on stages and be His witness to all the world. And honestly, that was something I was thrilled about and terrified of all at the same time. I mean, I’m just an “un-schooled ordinary” mom from small town Indiana. (See Acts 4:13) Who am I to stand in front of people and tell them what God has taught me?
And yet that is precisely what God has called me to do. So, who am I? I’m the one God called. He called me to teach His word to His people for His purposes so that they would know His love. And yet, because this is what God has called me to do, this is what Satan has made me afraid of doing!
Satan, with his big fancy words filled with empty threats and threads of truth. All woven together to form a web of deception so cunningly that it looks like a wall. BUT! When we take Satan’s word-wall of deception and spread it out under the light of the Son we realize it is nothing more than a web; thin, fragile and meaningless. Satan has no power over us.
Like Sennacherib, in today’s reading, Satan’s words contain threads of truth: “Have any of the gods of the nations ever delivered his land out of the hand of the King of Assyria? Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim, Hena and Ivvah? Have they delivered Samaria out of the my hand? Who among the gods of the lands have delivered their lands out of my hands, that the LORD should deliver Jerusalem out of my hand? (2 Kings 18:33-35)
Here he is telling the truth. Those other gods couldn’t deliver those lands out of his hands. God explains why later in tomorrow’s reading. “Have you [Sennacherib] not heard that I [the LORD] determined it long ago? I planned from days of old what now I bring to pass, that you should turn fortified cities into heaps of ruins.” (2 Kings 19:25)
Here’s Sennacherib with all his big words of what he has done and how he conquered all those cities; no HE didn’t! God gave them to him. But not Jerusalem.
You see, Satan comes after us with these threads of truth. And while they are true, they’re not the whole truth. They’re only part of the truth. It’s kind of like that cheap jewelry at the store. It looks like the real thing, but it’s not. And usually after you wear it for a couple days it doesn’t look real anymore either. The same is true with Satan’s lies. At first they look like the real truth. But after you’ve walked in faith, speaking your words of truth for a day or two the fear starts to wear off and the terror starts to dull and the things that looked so frightening aren’t so bad anymore.
Satan tries to lure us into thinking that money can save us from our troubles, or that a new appliance will save us time, or that cute guy will save our hearts from languishing or that that doctor will save our life. Those are lies. Those things, those people they’re false gods, they’re idols of paper and metal, flesh and bone. They’re not real. They’re not lasting. And they can’t help you. But God can!
God knows your sitting down and your going out and coming in, and your raging against Him. (2 Kings 19:27) God knows you. He knows the needs of your body and the desires of your heart. He knows you. And He desperately wants for you to know Him more. He wants for you to know how much He loves you. He wants you to know how desperate He is to bless you. He wants to have a relationship where you’re as comfortable talking with Him as with your best friend. He wants you to know that you’re His beloved child, favored and dearly loved. He wants you to know that you can trust Him to save you because He’s GOD and He loves you with an abandon that is simply unmatched in this world. There is nothing in this world that can save you as completely as He can. There is no-one in this world that can love you like He does. There is no amount of money that can bring you peace and happiness the way He can. There is no doctor that can heal you more fully than He can.
Everything else is a false god.
Psalm 25:9 “He leads the humble in what is right; and teaches the humble His way.”
Exodus 4:12 “Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak.”
Isaiah 28:26 “For he is rightly instructed; his God teaches him.” (or her)
Luke 12:12 “For the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.”
Psalm 119:68 “You are good and do good; teach me your statuettes.”
John 16:13 “When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth”
Acts 4:13 “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus.”