IS GOD WAITING ON YOU TO BELIEVE –
Everyone living in Judah saw the havoc that Sennacherib, the king of Assyria, brought on their brethren along the coast of Israel. But now it was their turn as Sennacherib decided he wanted to rule over Judah as well. They felt so ill prepared to repel the mighty force of this heathen monarch. Why didn’t God do something to stop this tyrant before he got so close? Why must they live in fear when their God was more powerful than this despot? However, when King Sennacherib’s troops reached Mt. Zion’s slopes, God took over. His defeat of this great Assyrian army caused the descendants of Asaph to write a psalm to commemorate that victory. Thus, it became a song for all God’s people to sing down through the ages as a reminder of God’s support for the people who trust Him to do His best for their best.
“Our One True God is revered by His people in Judah; yes, He is renown in Israel because of who He is. His presence has been established in His sanctuary in the City of Peace; He lives among His people in Zion. He was there to brake all the fiery arrows shot from the bows of their enemies; putting an end to every conflict by smashing their shields and breaking their swords. You were brilliant in the way You defending the holy mountain under assault. Even the battled-hardened among the enemy were fatally wounded and stripped of their weapons, making these foreign troops unable to carry out a successful attack. O One True God, You spoke and both horse and chariot froze in terror; yes, You proved to be awesome! Who can possibly stand up against You once You decide to take action? From on high You declared victory; and Your people, though gripped with fear, calmed down as they saw You O One True God rise to carry out Your plan to deliver all those in the land unable to fight back against the enemy. One day even the fiercest of Your enemies will kneel before You; yes, our One True God will bring them to their knees. So everyone everywhere join in and give the LORD Eternal our One True God all the praise He deserves. For He keeps in check all those who rule without compassion, thereby inspiring reverence for Him among all those in power.” Psalm 76:1-12
Reflection: Years ago whenever the well-known infidel Colonel Robert G. Ingersoll would deliver one of his lectures against religion and the Bible, his fame and oratorical ability always assured him of large crowds of both admirers and skeptics. Although he was the son of a Congregational minister, his father’s own liberal thinking clashed with those of the conservative congregation and this ignited the flame of doubt in young Ingersol’s mind. Even though he was a civil war veteran and trained as a lawyer, he found his most popular forum was that of bashing politics, the clergy, and the Bible. Sometimes he attracted crowds numbering over 50,000. After one very inflammatory speech in which he severely attacked people’s faith in God, he dramatically took out his pocket watch and said loudly, “I’ll give God a chance to prove that He exists and is almighty; I challenge Him to strike me dead within 5 minutes!” Dead silence came over a stunned audience; as the time ticked away people began to grow uneasy. Some left the hall, unable to take the nervous strain, and the increasing suspense caused one woman to faint. At the end of the allotted time the atheist exclaimed derisively, “See! There is no God. Look, I’m still alive!” After the lecture a young fellow saw a Christian lady he knew and said to her, “Well, Ingersoll certainly proved something tonight!” Her reply was memorable. “Yes he did,” she said. “He proved God isn’t taking orders from atheists.” When my father told this story, he ended it this way: “The Christian lady replied, ‘Yes he did. He proved you cannot exhaust God’s patience in 5 minutes.’” Either way, God’s patience proves to be more powerful than any weapon the enemy might throw at His people. In this psalm the writer illustrates how sometimes God’s patience proved to be more powerful than any weapon the enemy might throw at His people. So often believers want God to act or react within seconds after the wicked make their threat. It helps to remember God chose to wait over 400 years before bringing His children out of Egypt; he allowed David to run for years from Saul before letting him become king; He caused Hezekiah to experience tremendous fear and anxiety before bringing the threat of invasion against him to an end. It all worked out according to God’s will and purpose, and that’s what counts in the long run. We all may become frustrated with God’s method of dealing with our enemies, but never make the mistake of trying to outguess our Heavenly Father.