Just the facts
Isaiah 36: Be reasonable. Face the facts.
There’s nothing theoretical about the threat Sennacherib of Assyria and his great army is to Jerusalem. They can crush that city as they have crushed many others. The king sends a spokesman with his terms of surrender and he minces no words in telling them what will come if they don’t give in. He offers them a choice: be starved and then destroyed, or surrender and be relocated to a distant land under the rule of Assyria. The king’s man, Rabshekah, isn’t much of a diplomat. He’s convinced that these pitiful people are in his hands and that either through defeat or surrender his army will win the day. He says to them, “Be reasonable…face the facts…” pointing out that they couldn’t mount an opposing army even if they were given horses and chariots with which to fight. Those words strike terror in the hearts of all who hear them. In that terror all of God’s promises are forgotten and they’re ready to do the “reasonable” thing and abandon their faith. I am, I think, a reasonable person and generally do a good job of learning the facts and acting on what I’ve learned. However, there’s a whole set of “facts” that can only be seen with the eyes of faith. Rabshekah’s facts ignore the fact that these are the people of God and that God has something to say about what happens to them. In the decisions I make I must remember that I’ve surrendered my life to the Lord and, even though some facts aren’t apparent to me, they’re clear to him. When I’ve done my spreadsheet of pluses and minuses, I must remember that there’s a dimension beyond my view and that dimension is every bit as real as the facts and figures I might collect. If I’m going to be truly reasonable, I must carefully listen to the Lord. That’s the only way I can really keep my facts straight.
Take Away: Even though some facts aren’t apparent to me, they’re clear to the Lord.
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