May 30, 2024


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Rev. Innocent Peace-Udochukwu
President Living Fountain Ministries Int’l LIFOM.

“I myself will put a spirit in him, so that he shall hear a rumor, and return to his own land; I
will cause him to fall by the sword in his own land.’ ”
Isaiah 37:7

In the country of Nigeria today there is palpable fears all over the land, because it seems like there is no stopping BUHARI and his FULANI jihadists, people are living in unmitigated fear and untold hardship because of the unimaginable violence, killings, Kidnappings and rapings carried out by the jihadist army and it seems there is no hope nor salvation coming from anywhere but I as a prophet of the most high God is telling you today that BUHARI and his jihadist army shall hear a rumour after a blast from the God of Israel and shall fall by their own swords.

God will fulfill His words and promises!

The Sovereign God of the Universe is Lord over the nations, and calls you to depend solely on him for deliverance from whatever trial you experience. In Isaiah 36-37, Israel faces the threat of an Assyrian invasion. King Hezekiah’s prayer for deliverance is answered by God through the prophet, affirming God’s intent to protect Judah. In our own trials, we can learn from Hezekiah’s prayer to petition the Lord for deliverance by: worshiping during our prayers, expressing the reality of our need, renouncing reliance on any material or man-centered attempts at self-salvation, and declaring our faith in God’s ability to deliver us. No matter our tribulation, our hope is, and always will be, in God alone.

Assyria just like BUHARI and his jihadists says to the people of God, “You won’t survive.” In our scripture, we find that Judah is back up against a wall by one of its contemporary nations. The superpower army of Assyria has already taken down a number of the cities, and now it surrounds Jerusalem. And, while we did not read it this morning, the first part of the story gives a word spoken by the Assyrian representatives, “You won’t make it! You don’t have enough soldiers. Are you going to rely on the Egyptians to help you? We’d break them like a stick. Are you going to rely on God? He’s abandoned you, and has joined our side.”

Now, as the Jews looked over the Jerusalem wall, I’m sure they felt that way, feeling like they were abandoned like God had joined the other side. It’s that feeling you get when you believe it, “We won’t make it. We won’t survive.” But when no one from Jerusalem responded to the Assyrians, they closed in, even more, calling out, “Hear the word of the Great king, the king of Assyria: Don’t let your own king, Hezekiah, trick you. He cannot save you. You have lost. You will be taken from your land, from everything you have, and no one can save you.” They kept going, “Did anyone save the others that we conquered? Did any of the gods of those other nations save them? No, and neither will yours.”

“Thus says the king: ‘Do not let Hezekiah deceive you, for he will not be able to deliver you. Do not let Hezekiah make you rely on the Lord by saying, The Lord will surely deliver us; this city will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.’
Isaiah 36:14-15

On the surface, this seems to be a simple comment from one king against another. Of course the king of Assyria is going to believe in his power over the king of Israel. He’s had victory after victory in the lands around Israel. There is no stopping his army.

Do not let Hezekiah mislead you by saying, The Lord will save us. Has any of the gods of the nations saved their land out of the hand of the king of Assyria? Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim? Have they delivered Samaria out of my hand? Who among all the gods of these countries have saved their countries out of my hand, that the Lord should save Jerusalem out of my hand?’ ”
Isaiah 36: 18-20

The king of Assyria makes it quite clear that not only is he more powerful than Hezekiah, he is more powerful than the God of Israel.
That’s quite a bold claim. One that shouldn’t be taken lightly.

When King Hezekiah heard it…he tore his clothes, covered himself with sackcloth: The tearing of clothes and the wearing of sackcloth (a rough, burlap-type material) were expressions of deep mourning, usually for the death of a loved one. Hezekiah took this report regarding Rabshakeh seriously, knowing how dedicated they were to the complete conquest of Jerusalem.

Hezekiah’s initial reaction is good. He sees the situation for what it really is. Often, when we are in some kind of trial or difficulty, we handle it poorly because we never see the situation accurately. Jerusalem’s situation is desperate, and Hezekiah knows it.

There was good reason for Hezekiah to be so humble before the Lord. “City after city has fallen to Sennacherib and long lines of deportees are already snaking their bitter way into exile – and it is all Hezekiah’s fault! He followed the lunatic policy of rebellion and was bewitched by Egyptian promises. He might as well have sold his people himself. But even when a matter is our own fault we can still pray about it. And the Lord can always be trusted to pity his people.”

Thus says the Lord …
What does God have to say to that? Through the words of the prophet Isaiah:

Isaiah 37:5–7
When the servants of King Hezekiah came to Isaiah, Isaiah said to them, “Say to your master, ‘Thus says the Lord: Do not be afraid because of the words that you have heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have reviled me. I myself will put a spirit in him, so that he shall hear a rumor, and return to his own land; I will cause him to fall by the sword in his own land.’ ”

God addresses the very basic emotion that is now troubling the people of Israel — fear. They know that the king of Assyria is powerful. They believe that all true power comes from God. So if there’s a powerful king ready to invade, it might be some form of divine punishment, and almost destined to happen.
However, that is not the response of God. This is not the time for divine punishment. This is the time for divine protection. Protection that comes not from the might of the army of Israel, but protection that comes from the word of God.

Our cry does not go unheard. The prophet Isaiah stands before Assyria and says, “Do not fear because of what Assyria has said. God will respond.” Prophets step into the midst of violence and suffering, speaking of a world of peace. This prophet comes in speaking the same good news that is spoken throughout scripture, “Do not fear. God is with us.” The prophet presents an alternative, one that is not about destruction nor about fighting back. The prophet rejects the logic of defeat and claims of the word about survival by speaking a new claim and giving a new logic. The prophet rejects fighting back, the prophet rejects fleeing from suffering. The prophet comes in preaching the sweetest tasting words for those in suffering, “God will respond.” The good news of the prophet is that God responds with a presence which casts out fear. Assyria told the people of God, “You won’t survive.” But we know that’s not true. The people of God did survive the pressures of suffering.

God is with us even when we hear the words, “You won’t survive.” The prophet is not saying that there won’t be suffering. Of course, there is suffering. The prophetic response to suffering is claiming that God is with us. I do not pretend that we all have walked in here without a deep understanding of pain. We know it all too well. The world has convinced us that we can’t win; the voice of the world says so. But, friends, today the prophet Isaiah speaks with a different kind of voice: “Do not fear. God is with us.” I know that the prophetic word is true. I know it is true because I am the teary-eyed-boy, and these were my fears, my sufferings, and my pains. Where the world has only ever taught me that I might as well give up, God breaks in and offers something else. God breaks in an offers Immanuel. Immanuel is the place where suffering meets peace. For us, Christ has become the claim that we will survive. Christ has become the claim that our suffering is not done alone. We are not abandoned. God has broken into our scripture and into our lives offering us peace in the face of our suffering. Hear the words of the prophet today. Be at peace. Reject the claim that you won’t make it. The prophetic word of Isaiah is the offer of “God with us.” God is with us. God is with us. Do not fear!

“And the angel of the Lord went out and struck down 185,000 in the camp of the Assyrians. And when people arose early in the morning, behold, these were all dead bodies. 37 Then Sennacherib king of Assyria departed and returned home and lived at Nineveh. 38 And as he was worshiping in the house of Nisroch his god, Adrammelech and Sharezer, his sons, struck him down with the sword. And after they escaped into the land of Ararat, Esarhaddon his son reigned in his place.”
Isaiah 37:36-38

God took away Hezekiah’s fears by removing the enemy.
What an amazing answer to prayer! God struck down 185,000 Assyrians in the night.

That’s our God!

Our God is above all other Gods.

There is no God like our God.

And this is the God we pray to too!

Friends, if something is troubling you today, remember to not give way to the enemy’s tactic of fear. Instead, go to the Lord in prayer. Imagine God on his throne, as he truly is. Let God remove all of your fear as you lay all the details out before Him. Seek God’s glory in the situation and wait on the Lord.

Trust that God will work things out for your good and his glory.

God loves you!