Friday, April 09, 2010

Provider or Enemy?

Bill Rice Ranch - First Light Devotionals 

Isaiah 33:14b-15 "Who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings? He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly; he that despiseth the gain of oppressions, that shaketh his hands from holding of bribes, that stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil;"
God is a wonderful God, but He is a terrible enemy (one to be feared).
Sennacherib, as leader of the Assyrian army, would know that truth first-hand. His forces conquered God's people, and Sennacherib also scorned them. You probably recall the scornful letter he sent to Hezekiah which mocked God and threatened Israel (II Kings 18). Hezekiah took the actual letter and "spread it before the Lord."
Sennacherib is a great example of the fact that God is a wonderful but a terrible enemy. Isaiah 33:1 is a message from God to Sennacherib (in particular) and Assyria (in general). God did work against Sennacherib, and he was "spoiled" just as God said. Even worse, God said "they shall deal treacherously with thee," and that is exactly what happened. Sennacherib withdrew in battle was murdered by his own two sons. Proverbs 19:19 reminds us, "Smite a scorner, and the simple will beware."
Sennacherib was a scorner, and God dealt with him. What is the response to God's fighting against Sennacherib? "The sinners in Zion are afraid. . . ." (verse 14) They also ask a good question in verse 14: "Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?" In other words, who could dwell with such a God?! (see Psalm 15) God answers that question in verse 15-"He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly. . . ." The man that walks right and talks right!
Notice that the answer is the person that does right by other people. Sennacherib was a scorner, and his tactic for life was laying seige, conquering, and strong-arming his way through. But that is in stark contrast to Hezekiah, a man who was desperate and on his knees before a powerful God. Hezekiah sought God's help; Sennacherib thought he didn't need help.
God is a wonderful God but a terrible enemy. Who is God an enemy against? People like Sennacherib. For whom is God a provider? People like Hezekiah who spread their concerns and troubles before the Lord. Who will God dwell with? Those who do right by other people. I cannot possibly be with the God of Heaven if I am not doing right by people on earth.
God is Judge (verse 22), and He is also a Defender (verse 2). We need to remember that God dwells with those who do right, and most of our doing right boils down to what we do with the people in our life today. God is a wonderful provider, but He is a terrible enemy that should be feared.

Prayer Requests
1. Revival services tonight in Kalamazoo, MI 
2. Deaf Rally in Concord, NH this weekend
3. Bill Rice Ranch Homeschool Conference and Competition (April 8-10)
4. Ranch evangelists preaching this weekend in Franklin, IN; Greeneville, TN; Renovo, PA; Centralia, IL; Dixons Mills, AL; and Middletown, DE
Missed a First Light?  Browse the archives here: firstlight-blog 
Bill Rice Ranch | 627 Bill Rice Ranch Road | Murfreesboro | TN | 37128

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