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
In this story, the Assyrian army has surrounded Jerusalem, and the king of Assyria is flaunting his power over the God of Israel, saying, “No god of any nation or kingdom has been able to deliver his people from my hand. How much less will your God deliver you out of my hand!” Taking their cue from their king, the rest of the Assyrian army began to taunt the living God. And this is the indictment that the inspired writer of Chronicles had to say about them: 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.”
How blind and foolish were the Assyrians! They spoke about the King of the universe in the same way they spoke about their own idols! Do you feel the horror of that? By putting God on the same plane as their idols, they demeaned His glory. And God’s response was swift and just: the angel of the LORD slaughtered 185,000 Assyrians in one night.
This story is a sobering reminder and warning to us. Our view of God is too small, our perception of His power is too limited, and our amazement at His grace is weak at best. In failing to grasp His exaltation, we risk speaking of Him as less glorious than He really is. Take a moment today to take stock of your life: how do you think and speak of God? Does your life and speech portray Him as distant, or unloving, or uninvolved, or less holy than He really is, smaller and less powerful than He really is, or even non-existent? Is the reality of who He is in His sovereignty, holiness, and grace on display in your words? We are those who have known and been changed by His love; let us speak of Him as He really is, so that a listening world would hear of His spectacular glory and grace.
Father, Forgive me for blaspheming You with my words. I take Your name in vain, not just in cursing, but every time I speak of You as less beautiful, powerful, and holy than You really are. Open my eyes to see You for who You really are, so that my life and my words would conform to reality, so that You would be honored.
“Lord make me as holy as a pardoned sinner can be.” ~Robert Murray M’Cheyne
This post is written by Brendan Beale, author of Cross Connections