“How then can the LORD deliver Jerusalem from my hand?”
2 Kings 18:35
We may question God’s willingness to help us, but we can never doubt his ability to deliver us. He may be unwilling to rescue us from trouble, for it may not be in accordance with his sovereign will, yet at the moment when he decides to act, the thing is immediately done.
“How then can the LORD deliver Jerusalem from my hand?” the Assyrian general taunted. Many gods had failed to keep their worshippers from being devoured; the God of the Israelites would soon be proven to be the same as all the others.
Was the Lord any different from all the other gods who had failed to deliver their people from the Assyrians?
All the other gods were created by people with the sole function of bringing their worshippers protection, and they became mere images of wood and stone if they failed to deliver. They were created to serve, not to be served, and their masters were the ones who made them.
We are created to serve the Lord and have absolutely no right to demand that he do anything for us, and whatever he does for us is out of his mercy, not out of his responsibility. We are beholden to him in all ways; he owes us nothing and we owe him everything.
So we submit to him when things don’t go our way and we give him thanks and praise when he decides to shower us with goodness. There is no room for grumbling at all, for whatever he does to or for us is for the sake of our eternal well-being.
May we always align our will with his will, our delight with his delight, our goal with his goal, and our desire with his desire. If we do so, there is nothing but redemption in our lives and, no matter what befalls us, it’s always God’s success.
All things are redeeming, because they are designed with a redemptive purpose, which is to bring us closer to the heart of God, and away from the desire of men, causing us to be more like Christ, and less like the world, more Christ-centered, and less me-centered, more God-conscious, and less self-aware.
So we no longer ask the “why” question, but always ask the “how” question. The “why” question leads nowhere and often hits a dead end, yet the “how” question opens up all possibilities. “How shall I glorify the Lord under the circumstances?” This is the question that we should ask ourselves in whatever situation we find ourselves, be it good or bad, joyful or sorrowful.
The Assyrians were in for a great surprise, for they had no earthly idea what the Lord was able to do and how he was going to do it. When the Sovereign God decides to act, there is no stopping to him.