The following is an excerpt from a sermon I gave last night from 2 Kings 19
King Hezekiah and the kingdom of Judah are at the end of their rope, sapped of all strength:
“This day is a day of distress and rebuke and disgrace, as when children come to the point of birth and there is no strength to deliver them.” (2 Kings 19:3)
What is the reason for such shame and weakness?
Sennacherib’s army has steamrolled through Judah and has now set up camp around Jerusalem.
This is the same army that has knocked off a great number of other kings and kingdoms as Sennacherib likes to remind people:
Surely you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all the countries, destroying them completely. And will you be delivered? 12 Did the gods of the nations that were destroyed by my forefathers deliver them: the gods of Gozan, Haran, Rezeph and the people of Eden who were in Tel Assar? 13 Where is the king of Hamath, the king of Arpad, the king of the city of Sepharvaim, or of Hena or Ivvah?” (2 Kings 19:11-13)
In light of such calamity and distress Hezekiah drops anchor in the storm through prayer (2 Kings 19:14) and God replies through his servant Isaiah saying among other things against Sennacherib:
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. (2 Kings 19:25)
Long before Sennacherib was ever a blip on the radar screen God had ordained his victories and conquests.
Knowing the true explanation always sucks the pride out of one’s balloon.
In another way, a little predestination cuts arrogance down to size.
Predestination, of course, makes some Christians nervous; they shudder at the mention of the “P” word.
All I can say is – if you don’t want predestination, well then go ahead and live a comfortless life, bite your nails and swallow your tranquilizers watching the evening news.
I however prefer the pillow of predestination…that is, of having a God big enough that he is never surprised by blathering Sennacheribs of this age.
Predestination is the pillow of faith.
It was Joseph’s pillow.
He endured immensely difficult situations because:
You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.(Gen. 50:20)
It is our pillow also.
Paul tells us in Romans 8:28 that “we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him…” In Romans 8:38 Paul says “I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons…will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
How can we “know” and be “convinced” of such things?
The answer is found in Romans 8:29-30 – “For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his son…”
Predestination is why we know!
It was Hezekiah’s pillow, Joseph’s pillow, it is our pillow!
God determines the beginning and the end and everything in-between.
God is sovereign working out his perfect will.
Don’t fight predestination.
Let it be the pillow for your faith.
When you lay down tonight in your nice warm beds and put your head on your nice soft pillow say a little prayer of praise and thanksgiving to God for predestination!