And he [Sennacherib] wrote letters to cast contempt on the Lord, the God of Israel, and to speak against him, saying, “Like the gods of the nations of the lands who have not delivered their people from my hands, so the God of Hezekiah will not deliver his people from my hand.” And they shouted it with a loud voice in the language of Judah to the people of Jerusalem who were on the wall, to frighten and terrify them, in order that they might take the city. And they spoke of the God of Jerusalem as they spoke of the gods of the peoples of the earth, which are the work of men's hands. (2 Chronicles 32:17-19).The last verse, in particular, keeps coming back to my mind. What does it mean to speak of God as I speak of the gods of the people of the earth? Usually when a verse keeps popping into my head, it means that the Lord is trying to tell me something about my heart. My list of the present "gods of the peoples of the earth" would include money, status, education, success, beauty, and security, to name just a few. How do I as a Christian speak of those "gods"?
When I speak of them, I shake my head at the foolishness of trusting in these wordly gods. I might say things like "Those things can't save you," or "You will find out that it's not enough," or "You're believing in the wrong things."
However, there are times when I am speaking of my God, the God of the Bible, that I say things like "Oh, He won't do that for me. The answer to that is always 'no'," or "Yeah, I figure whatever is the hardest, that's what God will make me do," or "He COULD do that, but He probably won't."
Just today I was talking to a friend about a situation in my life, and she suggested that possibly the Lord might be using it to put me more in touch with my emotions and (this is the one that got me) more open with those emotions in front of other people. My exact response was a sarcastic "Yippee." Which really means "Great. Not what is comfortable, not what I was asking for, and not what I wanted." Which in turn says to whomever is listening, "Yeah, well, that may be what God is doing, but I think it's a terrible idea and I don't like it and what does He know anyway, and (like Sennacherib told the Jews) HE IS NOT DELIVERING ME from this situation either fast enough or in the way I want."
And they spoke of the God of Jerusalem as they spoke of the gods of the peoples of the earth, which are the work of men's hands. (2 Chronicles 32:19)Ouch. Actually, way more than ouch. Never do I want to speak of the Lord in a way that denigrates His work in my life or His power and sovereignty. I had to stop and repent and affirm to God that I want to speak of Him as Who He really is. My correct response to God working in my life, even when it is not in the way I (and what do I know?) desire, is to say "I don't like this, Lord, but I trust Who You are and what You are doing, and I will accept this as good."
Because the God of the universe is not the work of men's hands, and He deserves glory and honor from my lips.