Ps Peter Mortlock
2 Corinthians 3:4-5 And we have such trust through Christ toward God. 5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God.
D L Moody’s favourite verse was:
Isaiah 12:2 Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid.
Moody said – you can either travel in life first class or second class:
Second Class says, “When I am afraid, I will trust in the Lord.”
First Class says, “I will trust in the Lord and not be afraid.”
He said, “Why travel second class on your way to heaven?”
Definition of trust:
– To have confidence in.
– To rely upon.
– To depend upon.
– Literally – a standing.
– To stand under.
– To stand upon a foundation.
The Story of Hezekiah
One chapter before the story starts, Isaiah brings this amazing prophecy:
Isaiah 35:1-10 The wilderness and the wasteland shall be glad for them, and the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose; 2 It shall blossom abundantly and rejoice, even with joy and singing. They shall see the glory of the Lord, The excellency of our God. 3 Strengthen the weak hands and make firm the feeble knees. 4 Say to those who are fearful-hearted, “Be strong, do not fear! He will come and save you.” 5 For waters shall burst forth in the wilderness, And streams in the desert…. 8 A highway shall be there, and a road, and it shall be called the Highway of Holiness. But the redeemed shall walk there….10 And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with singing, with everlasting joy on their heads. They shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
The story starts in chapter 36:
Isaiah 36:1 Now it came to pass…
This story is also found in 2nd Kings 18 and happened in the 14th year of the reign of King Hezekiah.
Hezekiah was a good and faithful king
2 Kings 18:1-7 Now it came to pass in the third year of Hoshea the son of Elah, king of Israel, that Hezekiah the son of Ahaz, king of Judah, began to reign…. 3 And he did what was right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his father David had done. 5 He trusted in the Lord God of Israel, so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor who were before him. 6 For he held fast to the Lord; he did not depart from following Him, but kept His commandments, which the Lord had commanded Moses. 7 The Lord was with him; he prospered wherever he went.
But he still had an enemy
Hezekiah was a good King, one who had served God faithfully. But that didn’t mean there wasn’t an enemy out there who was out to rob, kill and destroy.
The King of Assyria sent a general by the name of Rabshakeh to besiege and take the City of Jerusalem, Hezekiah’s city. Rabshakeh stood outside the city, and in the language of the people in Jerusalem, decried their trust in their God and belittled their trust in their king.
The enemy undermined their trust in God
Five times he questioned their trust. He cried out:
– What confidence is this in which you trust? (v4)
– In whom do you trust? (v5)
– You say to me, “We trust in the Lord our God,” but… (v7)
The enemy spoke discouragement to them
– He spoke words of defeat and discouragement to them.
– He questioned their faith, their confidence, their trust in God.
– The enemy reminded them of other kingdoms he had defeated.
– He offered them a better life.
– He told them not to believe King Hezekiah, saying he would deceive them.
We also have an enemy
The enemy will do the same to you! The enemy always wants to undermine your trust in God. One of his greatest tools is discouragement. That is why we are told to encourage ourselves in the Lord and to encourage one another daily.
Here is their response:
Isaiah 36:21 But they held their peace and answered him not a word!
Isaiah 37 begins with Hezekiah going into the House of the Lord, and sending for Isaiah the prophet, saying, “This is a day of trouble.” (v3)
Isaiah sends word to the King: “Do not be afraid.” (v6)
The enemy’s letter and Hezekiah’s response
Then in Isaiah 37:10 the enemy sends a letter to Hezekiah saying, “Do not let your God in whom you trust deceive you.”
Hezekiah takes the letter and goes back up to the house of God,
Isaiah 37:14 And Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers, and read it; and Hezekiah went up to the house of the Lord, and spread it before the Lord. 15 Then Hezekiah prayed to the Lord, saying: 16 “O Lord of hosts, God of Israel, the One who dwells between the cherubim, You are God, You alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth. 17 Incline Your ear, O Lord, and hear; open Your eyes, O Lord, and see; and hear all the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to reproach the living God. 18 Truly, Lord, the kings of Assyria have laid waste all the nations and their lands, 19 and have cast their gods into the fire; for they were not gods, but the work of men’s hands—wood and stone. Therefore they destroyed them. 20 Now therefore, O Lord our God, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You are the Lord, You alone.” 21 Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent to Hezekiah, saying, “Thus says the Lord God of Israel, ‘Because you have prayed to Me against Sennacherib king of Assyria, 22 this is the word which the Lord has spoken concerning him:
(Also found in 2 Kings 19:14-21)
The enemy’s defeat
The passage goes right through to v35 with God speaking directly against the King of Assyria, prophesying and declaring his defeat and doom. It ends with God saying in v35, “For I will defend this City to save it.”
Our response – go to the place of prayer
Many of us have been faithful in the house, in giving – faithful to the Lord. Yet we find ourselves in this ‘day of trouble’. When the enemy comes to discourage you, when hard times come, when the enemy is whispering or shouting at you saying, “You’re no good, you can’t do it, it won’t work out, God won’t help you with your business, job, or health….”
- Go to the place of prayer.
- Listen to the man of God that is declaring the enemies defeat and your victory.
- Hold fast to the promises of God.
- Trust in His word.
- Depend upon it.
- Stand upon it.
- Stand under it.
Isaiah 37:36–38 speaks about Sennacherib King of Assyria being assassinated as he was worshipping in the house of Nisroch his god.
2 Corinthians 1:9-10 Yes, we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead, 10 who delivered us from so great a death, and does deliver us; in whom we trust that He will still deliver us.
2 Samuel 22:1-4 Then David spoke to the Lord the words of this song, on the day when the Lord had delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul. 2 And he said: “The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; 3 The God of my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, My stronghold and my refuge; My Savior, You save me from violence. 4 I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised.
2 Samuel 22:29 So shall I be saved from my enemies. “For You are my lamp, O Lord; The Lord shall enlighten my darkness. 30 For by You I can run against a troop; By my God I can leap over a wall. 31 As for God, His way is perfect; The word of the Lord is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him. 32 “For who is God, except the Lord? And who is a rock, except our God? 33 God is my strength and power and He makes my way perfect. 34 He makes my feet like the feet of deer and sets me on my high places. 35 He teaches my hands to make war, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze. 36 “You have also given me the shield of Your salvation; Your gentleness has made me great. 37 You enlarged my path under me; so my feet did not slip.
Psalm 22:12 Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him.
The little boy in Sunday school had been singing the Hymn “Trust and Obey”. He went home and told his mum, who had fallen on tough times, what he thought they had been singing – Trust and OK. Everything will be OK when you trust in the Lord.
There is favour in times of famine
No matter where you find yourself, God’s favour is on you.
- Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego found favour in the fire.
- Noah found favour in the flood.
- Elijah found favour in a time of fatigue.
- Jonah found favour in the whale.
- Isaac and Joseph found favour in the famine.
- The early Christians found favour in the fury.
- Paul said, “I’ve fought the good fight.”
- We too can find favour in the fight.