Call to Worship: Psalm 80:7 “Restore us, God Almighty; make Your face shine on us, that we may be saved.”
Songs: Joy of the Lord - Rend Collective
Voice Of Truth - Casting Crowns
Stand (The Way) - Kutless
Scripture: Psalm 22
Song: Giants Fall - Francesca Battistelli
Scripture: Psalm 17
Sermon: God Cannot Be Mocked
Closing Song:We Won't Be Shaken - Building 429
Benediction: Isaiah 41:8 “But you, Israel, my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, you descendants of Abraham my friend, 9 I took you from the ends of the earth, from its farthest corners I called you. I said, ‘You are my servant’; I have chosen you and have not rejected you. 10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. 11 “All who rage against you will surely be ashamed and disgraced; those who oppose you will be as nothing and perish. 12 Though you search for your enemies, you will not find them. Those who wage war against you will be as nothing at all. 13 For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. 14 Do not be afraid, you worm Jacob, little Israel, do not fear, for I myself will help you,” declares the LORD, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel. 15 “See, I will make you into a threshing sledge, new and sharp, with many teeth. You will thresh the mountains and crush them, and reduce the hills to chaff. 16 You will winnow them, the wind will pick them up, and a gale will blow them away. But you will rejoice in the LORD and glory in the Holy One of Israel.”
Sermon: God Cannot Be Mocked!
Today we are looking at being surrounded by our enemies and how God steps in to defeat them. We will see how the enemy uses mockery to try to get us to turn away from God’s word but you will also see that by staying focused on God’s word and cry out to him for help he will save you when you call out. 1 Chronicles 5:20 “They were helped in fighting them, and God delivered the Hagrites and all their allies into their hands, because they cried out to him during the battle. He answered their prayers, because they trusted in him.” I find it interesting how much the enemy likes to use mockery in an attempt to put doubt in our minds. Mockery can be defined as “to make something appear foolish or absurd.” For example on the Rick Mercer Show, comedian Ron James while talking about a rock and how old it was, mocked the church. According to ROM, it was a 4.56 billion year old rock. James said sarcastically, “blasphemy, my pastor says the world is only 6000 years old” and Mercer bends over laughing and the canned laughter goes off. The enemy will try to get you to believe that your faith in God is absurd. It is also “showing contempt by derision.” “Derision is mean and attacking and more than just making fun of someone — it's mocking someone so forcefully and with such venom that you try to discredit the person completely.” We see this happen in all forms, from comedians to the press but it also happens to God’s servants by other so-called christians. 2 Timothy 4:3 “For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.” Let’s just say that today there are many with itchy ears. Mockery is how satan works. 2 Peter 3:1 “Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking. 2 I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles. 3 Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires.” Last week when Stephen Hawking died, we saw a sad story of a man who was actually given an extended life, who spent that life looking at the universe yet refused to acknowledge its creator. Not only that he has influenced millions by his reasoning including christians who now question their faith. Now he will get his answer when he stands before the theory of everything in judgment. People don’t seem to understand that God cannot be mocked and you will not get away with it. Galatians 6:7 “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 8 Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Sure a comedian, politician a musician or a physicist other christians may get away with it temporarily but not eternally. They will be called to account for every word spoken just as we will. Matthew 12:34 “For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. 35 A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. 36 But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. 37 For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”
To get a picture of this we are going to look at this amazing account of events found three times in the Old Testament. You can find it in 2 Kings 18, 2 Chronicles 32 and Isaiah 36 so obviously it is really important for us to understand and believe. Not only do you see a powerful enemy, you will see that enemy annihilated by God. One of satan’s favorite tools is to use mockery as mocking and arrogance are closely tied together. Remember the enemy is always so arrogant it will tell you what the problem is if you listen for it.
We want to look at this story because in the midst of this attack by the enemy, God moved in a powerful way and saved His people. Now this wasn’t just sticks and stones will break my bones, the enemy was going to demolish and destroy them and take any survivors captive and remove them form the land God had given them. This is an account of God moving mightily to save his people. We will see the enemy mock and God mock back in victory. They were already warned this was going to happen. They have been warned just as we have been warned. Deuteronomy 4:25 “After you have had children and grandchildren and have lived in the land a long time—if you then become corrupt and make any kind of idol, doing evil in the eyes of the Lord your God and arousing his anger, 26 I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you this day that you will quickly perish from the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess. You will not live there long but will certainly be destroyed. 27 The Lord will scatter you among the peoples, and only a few of you will survive among the nations to which the Lord will drive you.” Deuteronomy 28:49 “The Lord will bring a nation against you from far away, from the ends of the earth, like an eagle swooping down, a nation whose language you will not understand, 50 a fierce-looking nation without respect for the old or pity for the young. 51 They will devour the young of your livestock and the crops of your land until you are destroyed. They will leave you no grain, new wine or olive oil, nor any calves of your herds or lambs of your flocks until you are ruined. 52 They will lay siege to all the cities throughout your land until the high fortified walls in which you trust fall down. They will besiege all the cities throughout the land the Lord your God is giving you.” Habakkuk 1:5 “Look at the nations and watch— and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told. 6 I am raising up the Babylonians, that ruthless and impetuous people, who sweep across the whole earth to seize dwellings not their own. 7 They are a feared and dreaded people; they are a law to themselves and promote their own honor. 8 Their horses are swifter than leopards, fiercer than wolves at dusk. Their cavalry gallops headlong; their horsemen come from afar. They fly like an eagle swooping to devour; 9 they all come intent on violence. Their hordes advance like a desert wind and gather prisoners like sand. 10 They mock kings and scoff at rulers. They laugh at all fortified cities; by building earthen ramps they capture them. 11 Then they sweep past like the wind and go on— guilty people, whose own strength is their god.” 2 Chronicles 36:15 The Lord, the God of their ancestors, sent word to them through his messengers again and again, because he had pity on his people and on his dwelling place. 16 But they mocked God’s messengers, despised his words and scoffed at his prophets until the wrath of the Lord was aroused against his people and there was no remedy. 17 He brought up against them the king of the Babylonians who killed their young men with the sword in the sanctuary, and did not spare young men or young women, the elderly or the infirm. God gave them all into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar. 18 He carried to Babylon all the articles from the temple of God, both large and small, and the treasures of the Lord’s temple and the treasures of the king and his officials. 19 They set fire to God’s temple and broke down the wall of Jerusalem; they burned all the palaces and destroyed everything of value there. 20 He carried into exile to Babylon the remnant, who escaped from the sword, and they became servants to him and his successors until the kingdom of Persia came to power. 21 The land enjoyed its sabbath rests; all the time of its desolation it rested, until the seventy years were completed in fulfillment of the word of the Lord spoken by Jeremiah.” So you see that not only will the enemy use mockery but God’s messengers will be mocked by their own people.
Can you imagine one of God’s prophets turning away just because they were mocked but many Christians have become easily unsettled with uncertainty because they have entertained the thoughts of these mockers. They still can’t decide if God created the universe in six days. Even at Pentecost, God’s servants were mocked. Acts 2:13 “Some, however, made fun of them and said, “They have had too much wine.” God’s servant Elisha was mocked in 2 Kings 2 by some boys making fun of his lack of hair but it did not end well for those boys. Jesus himself was mocked. Luke 23:35 “The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.” But even then do not turn form God and be faithful as Daniel was and believe God would fulfill his promise and carry out his plan. I like how Habakkuk described it in Habakkuk 3:1 “Lord, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, Lord. Repeat them in our day, in our time make them known; in wrath remember mercy.” When Habakkuk described the power of God he said, “16 I heard and my heart pounded, my lips quivered at the sound; decay crept into my bones, and my legs trembled. Yet I will wait patiently for the day of calamity to come on the nation invading us. 17 Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, 18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. 19 The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights.” So Habakkuk looked past the strength of the enemy and feared the strength of God, something the enemy won’t do, as they will just keep arrogantly mocking not realizing how near to disaster they are.
So now the enemy has taken the land and only Jerusalem is left. Here we see the enemy surround and mock but we will also see the enemy mocked and defeated, so trust in God. This account is about King Hezekiah and the opposition he faced from Sennacherib king of Babylon. The king of Assyria had already taken Israel. 1 Kings 17:5 “The king of Assyria invaded the entire land, marched against Samaria and laid siege to it for three years. 6 In the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria captured Samaria and deported the Israelites to Assyria. 7 All this took place because the Israelites had sinned against the Lord their God, 13 The Lord warned Israel and Judah through all his prophets and seers: “Turn from your evil ways. Observe my commands and decrees, in accordance with the entire Law that I commanded your ancestors to obey and that I delivered to you through my servants the prophets. 14 But they would not listen and were as stiff-necked as their ancestors, who did not trust in the Lord their God. 15 They rejected his decrees and the covenant he had made with their ancestors and the statutes he had warned them to keep. They followed worthless idols and themselves became worthless. They imitated the nations around them although the Lord had ordered them, “Do not do as they do.”
What should we have learned from this? Don’t do as they do but it is already too late as we have done the same. 2 Kings 17:40 “They would not listen, however, but persisted in their former practices. 41 Even while these people were worshiping the Lord, they were serving their idols. To this day their children and grandchildren continue to do as their ancestors did.” Because of this, the enemy has ravaged our land already. Only the remnant is left standing.
During the time of Israel’s last king Hoshea, Hezekiah became king of Judah. Then the enemy comes against Judah. 1 Kings 18:13 “In the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah’s reign, Sennacherib king of Assyria attacked all the fortified cities of Judah and captured them.” 1 Kings 18:17 “The king of Assyria sent his supreme commander, his chief officer and his field commander with a large army, from Lachish to King Hezekiah at Jerusalem. They came up to Jerusalem and stopped at the aqueduct of the Upper Pool, on the road to the Washerman’s Field. 18 They called for the king;” And so it begins, as Jerusalem was about to be destroyed. What is interesting is the approach the enemy takes. Right away they begin to mock. This is a tool the enemy uses as seen throughout scripture and a tool satan still uses today.
Here is an account of this mockery from 2 Chronicles 32:9 “Later, when Sennacherib king of Assyria and all his forces were laying siege to Lachish, he sent his officers to Jerusalem with this message for Hezekiah king of Judah and for all the people of Judah who were there: 10 “This is what Sennacherib king of Assyria says: On what are you basing your confidence, that you remain in Jerusalem under siege? 11 When Hezekiah says, ‘The Lord our God will save us from the hand of the king of Assyria,’ he is misleading you, to let you die of hunger and thirst. 12 Did not Hezekiah himself remove this god’s high places and altars, saying to Judah and Jerusalem, ‘You must worship before one altar and burn sacrifices on it’? 13 “Do you not know what I and my predecessors have done to all the peoples of the other lands? Were the gods of those nations ever able to deliver their land from my hand? 14 Who of all the gods of these nations that my predecessors destroyed has been able to save his people from me? How then can your god deliver you from my hand? 15 Now do not let Hezekiah deceive you and mislead you like this. Do not believe him, for no god of any nation or kingdom has been able to deliver his people from my hand or the hand of my predecessors. How much less will your god deliver you from my hand! 16 Sennacherib’s officers spoke further against the Lord God and against his servant Hezekiah. 17 The king also wrote letters ridiculing the Lord, the God of Israel, and saying this against him: “Just as the gods of the peoples of the other lands did not rescue their people from my hand, so the god of Hezekiah will not rescue his people from my hand.” 18 Then they called out in Hebrew to the people of Jerusalem who were on the wall, to terrify them and make them afraid in order to capture the city. 19 They spoke about the God of Jerusalem as they did about the gods of the other peoples of the world—the work of human hands.” This is where the arrogance of the mockers becomes their downfall. They actually believe what they are saying but God cannot be mocked.
The enemy usually starts off by mocking the God you serve as we saw the field commander do. He then tries to get the people to turn on Hezekiah and then mocks their strength. 1 Kings 18:23 “Come now, make a bargain with my master, the king of Assyria: I will give you two thousand horses—if you can put riders on them!” He also speaks their language so everyone can hear the taunts, to make everyone afraid. satan knows your language by the way to put fear in you. He likes to hit your weak spots. They said “Please speak to your servants in Aramaic, since we understand it. Don’t speak to us in Hebrew in the hearing of the people on the wall.” Then he twists the promises of God. satan is a master deceiver. 2 Kings 18:31 “This is what the king of Assyria says: Make peace with me and come out to me. Then each of you will eat fruit from your own vine and fig tree and drink water from your own cistern, 32 until I come and take you to a land like your own—a land of grain and new wine, a land of bread and vineyards, a land of olive trees and honey. Choose life and not death!” You need to remember that when you are surrounded in a walled city, your supplies are going to disappear. The enemy is, as we have said so many times, so arrogant they will tell you the truth about the situation. They were supposed to trust in the Lord. The land they are in was the Promised Land not the land of captivity that the enemy would take them to. Mocking and flat out lies are closely related. You see they mock you to try to weaken you. He says they can offer what God promised which is a flat out lie just like it was twisted in Numbers 16:12 “Then Moses summoned Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab. But they said, “We will not come! 13 Isn’t it enough that you have brought us up out of a land flowing with milk and honey to kill us in the wilderness? And now you also want to lord it over us! 14 Moreover, you haven’t brought us into a land flowing with milk and honey or given us an inheritance of fields and vineyards.” satan is very good at twisting things around and getting you to turn on God. Don’t listen to him. He is a liar. John 8:44 “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”
So they keep taunting the people of Jerusalem except this time they say things that have actually happened, trying to get them to doubt the promises of God. 2 Kings 18:33 “Has the god of any nation ever delivered his land from the hand of the king of Assyria? Have they rescued Samaria from my hand? 35 Who of all the gods of these countries has been able to save his land from me? How then can the Lord deliver Jerusalem from my hand?” So the people are thinking; hum that’s true but they did not fall for it. “36 But the people remained silent and said nothing in reply, because the king had commanded, “Do not answer him.” This is usually the best case for mockers. Proverbs has lots to say about them. Proverbs 1:22 “How long will you who are simple love your simple ways? How long will mockers delight in mockery and fools hate knowledge?” Proverbs 29:8 “Mockers stir up a city, but the wise turn away anger.” Proverbs 13:1 “A wise son heeds his father’s instruction, but a mocker does not respond to rebukes.” Proverbs 22:10 “Drive out the mocker, and out goes strife; quarrels and insults are ended.” Proverbs 21:24 “The proud and arrogant person—“Mocker” is his name— behaves with insolent fury.” These are few sayings concerning mockery. But we also see it in action with Nehemiah, Job, David and Jesus. Mocking is just the enemy’s efforts to get you to stop what you are doing.
We see this when Nehemiah was rebuilding the wall. Nehemiah 2:17 “Then I said to them, “You see the trouble we are in: Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been burned with fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace.” 18 I also told them about the gracious hand of my God on me and what the king had said to me. They replied, “Let us start rebuilding.” So they began this good work. Once others found out what they were doing, they mocked and ridiculed them to get them to stop. When Job persevered in his suffering, his so-called friends mocked him. Job 21:3 Job said, “Bear with me while I speak, and after I have spoken, mock on.” Job 17:1 “My spirit is broken, my days are cut short, the grave awaits me. 2 Surely mockers surround me; my eyes must dwell on their hostility.” Job 30:1 “But now they mock me, men younger than I, whose fathers I would have disdained to put with my sheep dogs.” Job 30:9 “And now those young men mock me in song; I have become a byword among them.” Then we have David. Psalm 35:11 “Ruthless witnesses come forward; they question me on things I know nothing about. 12 They repay me evil for good and leave me like one bereaved. 13 Yet when they were ill, I put on sackcloth and humbled myself with fasting. When my prayers returned to me unanswered, 14 I went about mourning as though for my friend or brother. I bowed my head in grief as though weeping for my mother. 15 But when I stumbled, they gathered in glee; assailants gathered against me without my knowledge. They slandered me without ceasing. 16 Like the ungodly they maliciously mocked; they gnashed their teeth at me. 17 How long, Lord, will you look on? Rescue me from their ravages, my precious life from these lions. 18 I will give you thanks in the great assembly; among the throngs I will praise you. 19 Do not let those gloat over me who are my enemies without cause; do not let those who hate me without reason maliciously wink the eye. 20 They do not speak peaceably, but devise false accusations against those who live quietly in the land. 21 They sneer at me and say, “Aha! Aha! With our own eyes we have seen it.” 22 LORD, you have seen this; do not be silent. Do not be far from me, Lord. 23 Awake, and rise to my defense! Contend for me, my God and Lord. 24 Vindicate me in your righteousness, LORD my God; do not let them gloat over me. 25 Do not let them think, “Aha, just what we wanted!” or say, “We have swallowed him up.” 26 May all who gloat over my distress be put to shame and confusion; may all who exalt themselves over me be clothed with shame and disgrace. 27 May those who delight in my vindication shout for joy and gladness; may they always say, “The LORD be exalted, who delights in the well-being of his servant.” 28 My tongue will proclaim your righteousness, your praises all day long. Psalm 22:7 “All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads.” Psalm 74:18 “Remember how the enemy has mocked you, Lord, how foolish people have reviled your name.” Psalm 80:4 “How long, Lord God Almighty, will your anger smolder against the prayers of your people? 5 You have fed them with the bread of tears; you have made them drink tears by the bowlful. 6 You have made us an object of derision to our neighbors, and our enemies mock us. 7 Restore us, God Almighty; make your face shine on us, that we may be saved.” Psalm 89:50 “Remember, Lord, how your servant has been mocked, how I bear in my heart the taunts of all the nations, 51 the taunts with which your enemies, Lord, have mocked, with which they have mocked every step of your anointed one.” Psalm 119:51 “The arrogant mock me unmercifully, but I do not turn from your law.”
Then we see this mocking with Jesus. Matthew 20:19 “and will hand him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified. On the third day he will be raised to life!” Matthew 27:29 “and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand. Then they knelt in front of him and mocked him. “Hail, king of the Jews!” they said.” Matthew 27:31 “After they had mocked him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him.”
We have been warned about this mockery but we have also been warned not to give in to it. Isaiah 64:4 “Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him.” If you look at the website this week you will see a pack of wolves on the home page as they like to surround their prey. Jesus said Matthew 7:15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.” Luke 10:3 “Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves.” Acts 20:29 “I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock.” Know that it is not only the enemy who will mock you, it will be people who call themselves christians also. Ezekiel 22:23 “Again the word of the Lord came to me: 24 “Son of man, say to the land, ‘You are a land that has not been cleansed or rained on in the day of wrath.’ 25 There is a conspiracy of her princes within her like a roaring lion tearing its prey; they devour people, take treasures and precious things and make many widows within her. 26 Her priests do violence to my law and profane my holy things; they do not distinguish between the holy and the common; they teach that there is no difference between the unclean and the clean; and they shut their eyes to the keeping of my Sabbaths, so that I am profaned among them. 27 Her officials within her are like wolves tearing their prey; they shed blood and kill people to make unjust gain. 28 Her prophets whitewash these deeds for them by false visions and lying divinations. They say, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says’—when the Lord has not spoken. 29 The people of the land practice extortion and commit robbery; they oppress the poor and needy and mistreat the foreigner, denying them justice.”
This account of Hezekiah is just one of the many times where God steps in and defeats our enemies. We saw this victory with the Elisha and the siege, 2 Kings 7:6 “When they reached the edge of the camp, no one was there, 6 for the Lord had caused the Arameans to hear the sound of chariots and horses and a great army, so that they said to one another, “Look, the king of Israel has hired the Hittite and Egyptian kings to attack us!” 7 So they got up and fled in the dusk and abandoned their tents and their horses and donkeys. They left the camp as it was and ran for their lives. 15 They followed them as far as the Jordan, and they found the whole road strewn with the clothing and equipment the Arameans had thrown away in their headlong flight.” We saw this in Esther when the tables were turned. Esther 9:1 “On the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, the month of Adar, the edict commanded by the king was to be carried out. On this day the enemies of the Jews had hoped to overpower them, but now the tables were turned and the Jews got the upper hand over those who hated them.” Esther 9:20 Mordecai recorded these events, and he sent letters to all the Jews throughout the provinces of King Xerxes, near and far, 21 to have them celebrate annually the fourteenth and fifteenth days of the month of Adar 22 as the time when the Jews got relief from their enemies, and as the month when their sorrow was turned into joy and their mourning into a day of celebration.” We saw this with Jesus and those who mocked him defeated by his resurrection. Matthew 28:5 “The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6 He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”
Now we see the enemy defeated because they trusted in God. Psalm 119:51 “The arrogant mock me unmercifully, but I do not turn from your law.” This was crucial for Hezekiah. Here they did the right thing and went to the prophet Isaiah. They said to Isaiah, 2 Kings 19:3 “This is what Hezekiah says: This day is a day of distress and rebuke and disgrace, as when children come to the moment of birth and there is no strength to deliver them. 4 It may be that the Lord your God will hear all the words of the field commander, whom his master, the king of Assyria, has sent to ridicule the living God, and that he will rebuke him for the words the Lord your God has heard. Therefore pray for the remnant that still survives.” This is hard sometimes but it is not you they ridicule but God. Then Isaiah responds. 6 Isaiah said to them, “Tell your master, ‘This is what the Lord says: Do not be afraid of what you have heard—those words with which the underlings of the king of Assyria have blasphemed me. 7 Listen! When he hears a certain report, I will make him want to return to his own country, and there I will have him cut down with the sword.’” Now it is interesting that after they received this word from the Lord, the enemy hit them again with a message to Hezekiah: 10 “Say to Hezekiah king of Judah: Do not let the god you depend on deceive you when he says, ‘Jerusalem will not be given into the hands of the king of Assyria.”
This is the part I really want us to grasp. During this time of confession before God believe that God will hear your cry and come to you. Cry out Lord save us, hear us from heaven, “Restore us, God Almighty; make Your face shine on us, that we may be saved.”
2 Kings 19:14 “Hezekiah received the letter from the messengers and read it. Then he went up to the temple of the Lord and spread it out before the Lord. 15 And Hezekiah prayed to the Lord: “Lord, the God of Israel, enthroned between the cherubim, you alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth. 16 Give ear, Lord, and hear; open your eyes, Lord, and see; listen to the words Sennacherib has sent to ridicule the living God. 17 “It is true, Lord, that the Assyrian kings have laid waste these nations and their lands. 18 They have thrown their gods into the fire and destroyed them, for they were not gods but only wood and stone, fashioned by human hands. 19 Now, Lord our God, deliver us from his hand, so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you alone, Lord, are God.” Do you believe today that God will hear your cry and save you from the enemy? Then we have this amazing response from Isaiah. “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: I have heard your prayer concerning Sennacherib king of Assyria. 21 This is the word that the Lord has spoken against him: 21 This is the word that the LORD has spoken against him:
Now remember the people have been mocked over and over by the enemy. So when people mock you because of your faith, this is the same response you can have as we serve the same God. Isn’t it interesting that this word of the Lord starts off this way with God now doing the mocking? Proverbs 1:24 “But since you refuse to listen when I call and no one pays attention when I stretch out my hand, 25 since you disregard all my advice and do not accept my rebuke, 26 I in turn will laugh when disaster strikes you; I will mock when calamity overtakes you— 27 when calamity overtakes you like a storm, when disaster sweeps over you like a whirlwind, when distress and trouble overwhelm you. 28 “Then they will call to me but I will not answer; they will look for me but will not find me,
29 since they hated knowledge and did not choose to fear the Lord.” Proverbs 3:34 “He mocks proud mockers but shows favor to the humble and oppressed.” Isaiah then says,
2 Kings 19:21 “Virgin Daughter Zion despises you and mocks you. Daughter Jerusalem tosses her head as you flee. 22 Who is it you have ridiculed and blasphemed? Against whom have you raised your voice and lifted your eyes in pride? Against the Holy One of Israel! 23 By your messengers you have ridiculed the Lord. And you have said, “With my many chariots I have ascended the heights of the mountains, the utmost heights of Lebanon. I have cut down its tallest cedars, the choicest of its junipers. I have reached its remotest parts, the finest of its forests. 24 I have dug wells in foreign lands and drunk the water there. With the soles of my feet I have dried up all the streams of Egypt.” 25 “Have you not heard? Long ago I ordained it. In days of old I planned it; now I have brought it to pass, that you have turned fortified cities into piles of stone. 26 Their people, drained of power, are dismayed and put to shame. They are like plants in the field, like tender green shoots, like grass sprouting on the roof, scorched before it grows up. 27 “ ‘But I know where you are and when you come and go and how you rage against me. 28 Because you rage against me and because your insolence has reached my ears, I will put my hook in your nose and my bit in your mouth, and I will make you return by the way you came.’
Do not fear when the enemy surrounds you and mocks you. The power of God will defeat them just as He did with the Assyrians. 2 Kings 19:29 “This will be the sign for you, Hezekiah: “This year you will eat what grows by itself, and the second year what springs from that. But in the third year sow and reap, plant vineyards and eat their fruit. 30 Once more a remnant of the kingdom of Judah will take root below and bear fruit above. 31 For out of Jerusalem will come a remnant, and out of Mount Zion a band of survivors. “The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this. 32 “Therefore this is what the LORD says concerning the king of Assyria: He will not enter this city or shoot an arrow here. He will not come before it with shield or build a siege ramp against it. 33 By the way that he came he will return; he will not enter this city, declares the LORD. 34 I will defend this city and save it, for my sake and for the sake of David my servant.’ ” 35 That night the angel of the LORD went out and put to death a hundred and eighty-five thousand in the Assyrian camp. When the people got up the next morning—there were all the dead bodies! 36 So Sennacherib king of Assyria broke camp and withdrew. He returned to Nineveh and stayed there. 37 One day, while he was worshiping in the temple of his god Nisrok, his sons Adrammelek and Sharezer killed him with the sword, and they escaped to the land of Ararat. And Esarhaddon his son succeeded him as king.
So we have great hope in this time where the enemy has prevailed and thinks the will be victorious. Isaiah 29:13 “The Lord says: “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is based on merely human rules they have been taught. 14 Therefore once more I will astound these people with wonder upon wonder; the wisdom of the wise will perish, the intelligence of the intelligent will vanish.” 15 Woe to those who go to great depths to hide their plans from the LORD, who do their work in darkness and think, “Who sees us? Who will know?” 16 You turn things upside down, as if the potter were thought to be like the clay! Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, “You did not make me”? Can the pot say to the potter, “You know nothing”? 17 In a very short time, will not Lebanon be turned into a fertile field and the fertile field seem like a forest? 18 In that day the deaf will hear the words of the scroll, and out of gloom and darkness the eyes of the blind will see. 19 Once more the humble will rejoice in the LORD; the needy will rejoice in the Holy One of Israel. 20 The ruthless will vanish, the mockers will disappear, and all who have an eye for evil will be cut down— 21 those who with a word make someone out to be guilty, who ensnare the defender in court and with false testimony deprive the innocent of justice. 22 Therefore this is what the LORD, who redeemed Abraham, says to the descendants of Jacob: “No longer will Jacob be ashamed; no longer will their faces grow pale. 23 When they see among them their children, the work of my hands, they will keep my name holy; they will acknowledge the holiness of the Holy One of Jacob, and will stand in awe of the God of Israel.
So to the remnant of the Lord who are left; be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid. Once more a remnant of the kingdom of Judah will take root below and bear fruit above. For out of Jerusalem will come a remnant, and out of Mount Zion a band of survivors. “The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this. I will defend this city and save it, for my sake and for the sake of David my servant.’ God gave David a promise and he will keep it until the time for this world is to end. Acts 4:24 “Sovereign Lord,” they said, “you made the heavens and the earth and the sea, and everything in them. 25 You spoke by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of your servant, our father David: “Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? 26 The kings of the earth rise up and the rulers band together against the Lord and against his anointed one. 27 Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed. 28 They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen. 29 Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. 30 Stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” 31 After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.