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Prayer Defeats Fatalism (Part B)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston
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September 4, 2023 6:00 am

Prayer Defeats Fatalism (Part B)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

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September 4, 2023 6:00 am

Pastor Rick teaches from the book of the Acts

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Cross Reference Radio
Pastor Rick Gaston
Cross Reference Radio
Pastor Rick Gaston
Cross Reference Radio
Pastor Rick Gaston
Cross Reference Radio
Pastor Rick Gaston

Why was he showing them everything?

Because he was boasting. Look at this. Yeah, God healed me. You know, I'm just really good. I fortified Jerusalem against them.

I had waterways dug in. And yeah, you know, look at this. Pride made him careless and will make us careless. Pride caused him to let his guard down and will cause us to let our guard down. Self-serving pride. It exalts the self. It puts me above others.

And it makes me feel like I deserve to be blessed. This is Cross-Reference Radio with our pastor and teacher Rick Gaston. Rick is the pastor of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville. Pastor Rick is currently teaching through the Book of 2 Kings.

Please stay with us after today's message to hear more information about Cross-Reference Radio, specifically how you can get a free copy of this teaching. Prayer Defeats Fatalism is the title of Pastor Rick's message and today he'll be teaching in 2 Kings chapter 20. I will defend the city. This is fulfilled. God, when this is not a coincidence, he's going to do it.

It's not going to be anybody else. So Hezekiah asked for a reversal of a divine decision and he got it. Prayer defeats fatalism. Life is not fatalistic.

I get that from this. I can pray and I can pray to God in heaven even if I pray to God in heaven and all of a sudden I'm right there with him. I mean, it's the story of David Livingston. They found him on his knees, dead. One minute he's talking to God, the next minute he's talking to God.

I mean, who doesn't want to go that way? And David Livingston was a remarkable man, sleeping up in the trees, hoping that the lions wouldn't eat him at night. He could hear them out there. Oh man, all because he was determined to take the gospel to where no one else took it. Verse 6, and I will add to your days 15 years, I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria and I will defend this city for my own sake and for the sake of my servant David. Here's David just being held up. Again, be careful when you want to criticize David or don't overdo it. This suggests that at least part of his illness occurred during the events in chapter 19 when the Assyrian army came or before the army was deployed.

So it's around there, it's between the, but before the final invasion when the angel wipes them out. Verse 7, then Hezekiah said, take a lump, then Isaiah said, take a lump of figs. So they took and laid it on the boil and he recovered. There it is well documented that in the Middle East this was a practice on ulcerated sores and other ancient writings, but had they tried this, and they probably already did, had they tried this before God pronounced it, it would have not, it would have done nothing.

God has to be the one. I can get a headache and take Tylenol and I pray, you know, sometimes, Lord I hope this works, it's a real bad one, but God could say, you know what, I don't want it to work. He could do that, but that, just trying to put things in perspective for us, God can use a lump of figs.

He can use mud in your eyes. Remember Jesus took some of the earth, spat on it, and put it in the guy's eyes, or he can use a surgeon, or he could just do it. Verse 8, and Hezekiah said to Isaiah, what is the sign that Yahweh will heal me and that I may go up to the house of Yahweh, the third day? It's kind of stuck with him, did it not, the whole thing about the house of the Lord.

I don't, I think I would have said, what's the sign I'm going to find some relief from this suffering? And that probably would have been it, but he says, and go to the house of the Lord. We can hear in this tone, I think, the longing to go to the house of the Lord. He is desperate for assurance.

That just tells us how, you know, he doesn't want to go. Then Isaiah said, I think what's so powerful about this is what Isaiah did not say. Then Isaiah said, this is the sign to you from Yahweh, that Yahweh will do the thing which he has spoken. Verse 9, shall the shadow go forward 10 degrees or go backwards 10 degrees? And Hezekiah answered, it is easy, an easy thing for the shadow to go down 10 degrees, but let the shadow go backward 10 degrees.

So Isaiah, verse 11, the prophet cried out to Yahweh and he brought the shadow 10 degrees backward by which it had gone down on the sundial of Ahaz. I have no problem believing God's miracles. I have no problem believing Genesis 1.

If I had a problem with Genesis 1, I'd have a problem with the rest. Paul appeals to the unbeliever without using direct scripture. He says, for since the creation of this world, his invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.

You won't be able to say, well, I didn't. How would I know there was a God? That's why the fool has said in his heart, there's no God. God is not angry with Hezekiah for making the request. How dare you doubt me? Didn't the prophet say you're going to live?

Why do we got to put me through this? He doesn't do any of that. That's what I meant by, it's remarkable by what Isaiah does not say. God is as though God is saying to Hezekiah, I know life.

I know life under the sun can be very rough and I'm going to accommodate you on this. In the days of Jesus, it was a lot different. Why was it a lot different? Hezekiah wasn't looking at multitudes atop of multitudes being healed right in front of him and then doubting him. He was looking at multitudes atop of multitudes being healed right in front of him and then doubting. And in the days of Christ, after all that he did, no one should have doubted. Not one should have doubted. It was just not justifiable.

If someone is walking around with a machete, slashing everybody they come in touch with, would you doubt that you're going to be next if you're standing in front of that guy? That's in the negative. In the positive, Christ just healed everyone, unless he found unbelief to be too dominant. We have no reason to believe Hezekiah abused this moment later in his life and all of a sudden became, you know, a healing ministry, which I don't know who would have the gall to say we're a healing ministry and you go there and nobody's getting healed. No legitimate ones, but they do. They're out there. Anyway, God doesn't explain his miracles and I'm not going to try to do it for him. All I know is that what I know, I know a lot more. I mean, I know I'll be hungry at around 9 30 tonight.

God did this and I believe it because there's too much of the Bible to back it up. You know those people who resist the police as though the police are going to go away. I mean, don't you know that they're going to back it up? They're going to, I was listening to this policeman that became a fireman. He's telling about being a policeman in New York City. He says, one of the best feelings about being a policeman in New York is when you ask for assistance, everybody was there.

They just converge and I'll attest to that. I saw, I was working in Brooklyn up on a lift and it was a methadone clinic there and before the clinic opened, the addicts, the heroin addicts, they would gather outside this little bodega, this little coffee shop and it would be hundreds of them and they'd be so loud, chattering. Well, they all went in and when the gates opened and this one, he comes out, he's in the coffee shop and he's angry and he throws, you see, you don't see him, you see a coffee and a bagel or something come flying out the door. At the same time, there's this little police woman coming up. She must have been like two foot one. I mean, but she's strutting around, right? So we're watching all this because we're going to help her if it came to that.

It would take us time to get down but we wouldn't. Anyway, watching this, so she comes up and he comes out the store and she tells him, hey, pick that up and he smacks her. Pow! So she's on the phone, she gets on the, she backs it up, she calls it in and within seconds, the housing police were there, the transit police, the city police, it was everybody, the police from Montana, they were just, this is true story. We counted over 24 cars.

We're probably missing some. It took them more time to back out. Really, they were all just in there and they had to back out one by one. The first ones there, they couldn't get out. Of course, they arrested the guy and you know he got a beat down. At least you could hope and so I don't know where I'm talking about here.

Just the feeling of the support that they knew, the police knew they had their comrades backing them up. Well, shouldn't we as Christians, don't we love it when the scripture backs it up? It backs up what it says. When we get to the prophecies fulfilled from this moment with Isaiah, a hundred years later, you would think the Jews would, the unbelieving Jews that gave Ezekiel such a hard time, you would think they would say, hey, wait a minute, Isaiah laid out prophecies about the treasures of the temple being taken by the Babylonians, who at the time was a do-nothing little state and it's now fulfilled. I think I'll start believing the Bible because it backs it up and that's the point that I was after. Now, another interesting thing is God turns the clock back. You know, you can get into how he did it. He slowed the earth down gradually.

I don't want to get into that, but I do want to say this. It was on the sundial of Ahaz, the father of Hezekiah. Isaiah the prophet had said the Assyrians aren't coming into Jerusalem to Ahaz and said, would you like a sign? And, oh no, I don't want a sign because he was just an arrogant, no good king. And here, God slaps the miracle on the sundial of the wicked king Ahaz, like a part like, you know, I'm going to do the miracle anyway on the thing that's got your name on it. I see little things like that.

I like that. Anyway, Isaiah adds a little bit more in his account of this experience in Isaiah 38. He talks about the prayer of Hezekiah once he's healed and he was so grateful to God. He writes, indeed it was for my own peace that I had great bitterness, but you have lovingly delivered my soul from the pit of corruption. You have cast all my sins behind your back.

How many times do you have to hear that to love it? And so Hezekiah, you know, God heals him and he just pours out this gratitude. And again, regardless of how many prayers go unanswered, I will strive to trust and obey. Though he slay me, I will trust in him, said Job.

Well, if Job can do it, I can certainly seek to do it. Because I know God knows what he is doing, I will trust him. Verse 12, at that time, Barodach, Baladan, the son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent letters and a present to Hezekiah, for he heard that Hezekiah had been sick. Well, again, the ambassadors come, I think, soon before the second siege or otherwise he wouldn't have been able to get to the city. And they heard of this miraculous healing and it likely contributed to the Assyrians saying, you know what, they're looking for help from the Babylonians, we're going to go and get rid of this king. His healing and testing fits perfectly here.

He passes the test. Again, I read 2 Chronicles 32-31. However, regarding the ambassadors of the princes of Babylon, whom they sent to inquire about the wonder that was done in the land, God withdrew from him, from Hezekiah, in order to test him that he might know all that was in his heart. Well, when they come, the king is just loaded with pride and that's the problem with him. This is where he stumbles and I think it was probably what he's talking about when he says that he throws my sins behind his back, so let's look at it. Verse 13, and Hezekiah was attentive to them and showed them all the house, verse 13 again, of his treasures, the silver, the gold, the spices, the precious ointment, and all his armory, all that was found among his treasures, there was nothing in his house or in all his dominion that Hezekiah did not show them.

Well, that must have taken some time. The historian pulls it on pretty thick. He says everything. He showed them everything, and this is inappropriate. It was pride, it was short-sighted, it was naive, but it was hospitality. It's careful how we seek to impress people, especially strangers, and the wealth of the kingdom should have been a guarded secret, and he should have known better. But, and he should have known better, he's going to show them the crown jewels. Pride motivated the king to show off the crown, the crown's possessions, and God was displeased with his motive. Going back to 2 Chronicles, but Hezekiah did not repay according to the favor shown him, that the healing, for his heart was lifted up, therefore wrath was looming over him and over Judah then Hezekiah humbled himself for the pride of his heart. He and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the wrath of Yahweh did not come upon them in the days of Hezekiah. Loose lips sink ships, and so why was he showing them everything? Because he was boasting. Look at this. Yeah, God healed me. You know, I'm just really good. I fortified Jerusalem against them.

I had waterways dug in, and yeah, you know, look at this. Pride made him careless, and it will make us careless. Pride caused him to let his guard down, and will cause us to let our guard down. Self-serving pride. It exalts the self.

It puts me above others, and it makes me feel like I deserve to be blessed. Nehemiah, you know, he did not immediately share his intentions when he came to Jerusalem. He saw the mess.

He went out to look at it by himself, and he makes it clear. I didn't tell anybody what I was up to, because he knew what would happen, the problems that would make. Mary, the virgin Mary, twice we read that she hid these things in her heart. She hid these things in her heart. They were not for everybody. They wouldn't understand it. And then God Himself, Revelation 10, verse 4, Now when the seven thunders uttered their voices, I was about to write, but I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, Seal up the things which the seven thunders uttered, and do not write them.

Daniel had similar experiences. Look, information is not for everybody all the time. It's on a need-to-know basis many times, and it's very, you know, we get emotional, we get prideful, we get sloppy, and we don't shut our mouths. And I think it is a discipline to be tight-lipped, to know when to be quiet.

It's not an easy one for any of us, I don't think, some easier than others. Hezekiah, he's rebuked by Isaiah for showing the treasures of the kingdom to unbelievers. And now we get verse 14, Then Isaiah the prophet went to King Hezekiah and said to him, What did these men say?

And from where did they come to you? So Hezekiah said, They came from a far country, from Babylon. Because again Babylon at this time is not what Nebuchadnezzar is going to make it, Babylon the Great. It's just this, you know, a little tiny kingdom. Verse 15, And he said, What have they seen in your house? So Hezekiah answered, They have seen all that is in my house. There is nothing among my treasures that I have not shown them. So he's so naive, he's like, he's telling them.

I don't think he's boasting. I think he can sense in the prophet's voice that there's an inquiry going on. This is an inquisition, and he's respecting the rank. This is the prophet Isaiah. He is not doing as other kings, well you mind your business, I'm the king.

Asa, you know, was one king that did that, and he paid for it. But Hezekiah is submitted to the prophet, he's telling him everything. But likely someone came to Isaiah and said, The king is taking these foreigners all over the place, showing them everything. It's got to be, Isaiah, you got to do something. And two questions. What did they see?

Where did they come from? Verse 16, Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, Hear the word of the Lord. This ain't good. This is the, this is the air horn blowing. If a man thinks that God cannot speak to man, then that man's concept of God is defective. The Bible says, Hear the word of Yahweh, in context, of course, coming from the prophet.

But it is not limited to this event. Otherwise, we wouldn't have an entire book of Isaiah, etc. Verse 17, Behold, the days are coming when all that is in your house and what your fathers have accumulated until this day shall be carried to Babylon. Nothing shall be left, says Yahweh. Now, granted, Hezekiah had given a lot of weight to the Assyrians to try to buy it, pay them off.

He just got it all back through just, you know, the statesmanship and taxes, and so he's pretty happy about that. Verse 18 continues the judgment, And they shall take away some of your sons who will descend from you whom you will beget, and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon. Well, Assyria will never get hold of any of this wealth, but a hundred years later Babylon will. This is predictive prophecy.

It is going to be fulfilled. We'll get to it in 2 Kings 24 and 25. Daniel was from the tribe of Judah. It is believed Daniel was a eunuch and that he is certainly of the Davidic line. It's clearly stated in Daniel 1.6.

So, again, back to my earlier statement, you would think it was starting to happen. It was startling that a hundred years later the Jews would read this and not be devoted to Yahweh. It's like reading, you know, the prophecies that are happening today about a cashless society, not being able to buy or sell without the mark.

There's just the ability to move so many troops that you couldn't do in the ancient world, but you can do now. You would think that someone would say, God's word needs to be trusted because we're seeing prophecy. That's why Peter said we have the more sure word of prophecy. The people that he said that to knew the prophecy was fulfilled in Christ and you would think they would repent and they don't. It's enough to make you lose heart if you give into the flesh. Verse 19, so Hezekiah said to Isaiah, the word of Yahweh which you have spoken is good, for He said, will there not be peace and truth at least in my days? Hezekiah said, look, I've been dealing with the Assyrians all my life. I just got better. Now I messed up with this pride thing. Can I be spared this judgment? I mean, it's a very human thing here.

I love that it's there. It's not the most heroic thing, but what's he supposed to say? Well, I sure hope I get suffer these things in my lifetime.

That'd be crazy. God is not petty. The king repented, but God still said, I know where this is going to go and the Babylonians will be back. They're going to make note of this and as their kingdom grows, somebody's going to bring it up.

You know what? There's some nice stuff in Judah and we need it. Verse 20, again, you know, the kingdoms would say, look, if we don't loot it, somebody else will.

So we might as well. Verse 20, now the rest of the acts of Hezekiah, all his might and how he made a pool and a tunnel and brought water into the city. Are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? Yeah, well, you can go through that tunnel to this day.

It's there. And so he channeled more than just Hezekiah's tunnel from the Gihon Springs to the pool of Siloam and this would allow them to withstand a siege. Verse 21, so Hezekiah rested with his fathers, then Manasseh his son reigned in his place.

Well, his reign was remarkable. Again, coming in the days of dark times with the Assyrians, there are two thoughts about Manasseh. One, that he was born after God spared Hezekiah's life. Now Manasseh is going to be the worst of all the kings in the Bible, I think.

There's some runner-ups, but he had 55 years to be evil and he used almost all of them to do just that. The legend has it he's the one that had Isaiah stuffed in a hollowed log and then sawn in two. Well, we'll get to him starting next next session, but some believe that had Hezekiah died and not had his life extended, that Manasseh would not have been born. Well, if that's true, then Josiah would not have been born either. So, I mean, I used to like that one. Some good Bible teachers have that position.

Spurgeon has that position. But when you look at, when you try to reconcile the reigns of the kings and the co-regencies, you know, it starts leaning towards, you know what, Manasseh was probably already alive when all of this was taking place. So it's not a big deal. What it does do is it keeps you maybe from going out saying, if he died, we wouldn't have Manasseh as though that was the only story. There's a little bit more to the story. And so, you know, there's evidence for both sides, but I think going against my earlier opinion from years ago, it leans towards, yeah, he's probably a little kid at this time, but he was already there.

Anyway, it doesn't have to be satisfied. Judah will move instantly from the good King Hezekiah to the beast Manasseh, who messes up the nation so badly that decades later God is saying, because of what Manasseh did, I'm not going to reverse, even though Manasseh gets saved in the end of his life. Man, you can't just make this stuff up. Thanks for joining us for today's edition on Cross-Reference Radio. This is the daily radio ministry of Pastor Rick Gaston of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville in Virginia.

We trust that what you've heard today in the book of 2 Kings has been something to remember. If you'd like to listen to more teachings from this series, go to Once more, that's We encourage you to subscribe to our podcast too, so you'll never miss another edition. Just go to your favorite podcast app to subscribe. Our time is about up, but we hope you'll tune in again next time as we continue on in the book of 2 Kings. We look forward to that time with you, so make a note in your calendar to join Pastor Rick as he teaches from the Bible right here on Cross-Reference Radio.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-09-04 08:17:59 / 2023-09-04 08:27:52 / 10

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