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Those swine

by davesandel on June 23rd, 2020

June 23, 2020               (today’s lectionary)

Those swine

Two chapters later, not much has changed except the names of the leaders. I guess that’s true today too. Really not much changes except the names of the leaders.

Hezekiah, always in my mind one of the “good “ kings of Israel (Judah), gets a threatening letter from the current king of Assyria challenging God’s promises.

Do not let your God on whom you rely deceive you!

You are doomed!

Oooh, that sounds very contemporary to me.

But Hezekiah did not keep this secret from God or anyone else. He headed to the temple, spread the letter out on the altar, and prayed his heart out.

Sennacherib is taunting the living God!

He HAS laid waste wherever he wanted.

But you are not an idol made of wood or stone

You alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth

In you MADE the heavens and the earth

Incline your ear and listen!

Open your eyes and see!

Save us from the power of this man.

Isaiah sent word that God heard Hezekiah’s prayer.

Sennacherib will not reach this city or shoot an arrow into it.

He will shield and save this city for his own sake

That night a plague struck the Assyrian camp, and 185,000 soldiers were “struck down.” A whole camp of corpses!

So Sennacherib broke camp, and went back home. It wasn’t long after that two of his kids murdered him, and a third took his place as king.

Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised

In the city of our God, in the mountain of his holiness

Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth

Jesus cries out, standing in Jerusalem,

I am the light of the world! Follow me …

Was he thinking of Sennacherib and so many others when he said

Do not give what is holy to dogs.

Do not throw your pearls before swine.

When we settle for surrender and forsake sacrifice, we might not live for long.

Those swine might trample you underfoot, then turn and tear you to pieces.

Those swine!

Jesus turns us around.

Leave the wide gate that leads to destruction.

Look instead to the road less traveled.

It is the narrow gate that leads to life.

We watched a new version of Pilgrim’s Progress this spring. We watched the pilgrim start excited down the narrow road, watched him turn aside, then return and try again. And again. And again. I thought I was watching my own story, right there on the screen. Take a look, see if you do too.

(2nd Kings 19, Psalm 48, John 8, Matthew 7)

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