July 18 2023
Today, Tuesday July 18
God Wants Us to Trust Him
In Judah God is known; His name is great in Israel. In Salem also is His tabernacle, And His dwelling place in Zion. There He broke the arrows of the bow, The shield and sword of battle. Selah
You are more glorious and excellent Than the mountains of prey. The stouthearted were plundered; They have sunk into their sleep; And none of the mighty men have found the use of their hands. At Your rebuke, O God of Jacob, Both the chariot and horse were cast into a dead sleep.
When we remember the historical background to Psalm 76, it will come alive with meaning to us! The story behind this Psalm is probably God's judgment of the Assyrian army as recorded in Isaiah 37-38 and 2 Kings 18-19. The armies of the Assyrian King Sennacherib had surrounded Jerusalem and laid siege to it. The leaders of the army were demanding that King Hezekiah and the people surrender. Of course, surrender to the Assyrians would have meant a terrible and painful death!
For King Hezekiah and the people of Jerusalem it was indeed a “Mission Impossible” situation. Their army was no match for the Assyrians. They didn’t have any alliances with Egypt or any other country they could depend on to come and save them. It was an impossible situation! The prophet Isaiah encouraged King Hezekiah to put his trust in the name of the God of heaven’s armies and that is exactly what he did. And after Hezekiah laid his situation before the LORD, and put his trust in Him, God sent one angel and destroyed 185,000 Assyrian soldiers in one night. Mission Accomplish!
I couldn’t help but think how this story and Psalm 76 are a great illustration of Psalm 9:10. “And those that know your name will put their trust in You. For You, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek you.” Hezekiah and his people put their trust in the name of LORD God Jehovah! They remembered He is Elohim the Creator God! They recalled He is El Elyon, the Most High God. He is both sovereign and supreme, high over all the kings of the earth.
They remember their God was Jehovah, Yahweh! He was the personal God who led the enslaved people of Israel out of Egypt, miraculously opened up the Red Sea and destroyed the armies of Pharoah. He is Jehovah-Jireh, the LORD Who provides! He is Jehovah-Sabaoth, the LORD Of Hosts, the commander of heaven’s armies.
No wonder Asaph began this Psalm with, “In Judah is God known, His name is great in Israel” (v. 1). But God not only wants us to know Him by His name, He wants us to trust Him! (Remember in the Bible God has over 700 names and titles because one name is not sufficient to describe Him, His character and His attributes.) When you read in 2 Kings and Isaiah the account of Assyria's invasion of Judah, you see how difficult Hezekiah's situation was and how much faith he needed to trust God for victory.
But the God of glory, more resplendent than the brightest light and more majestic than the mountains, wiped out the Assyrian soldiers as they slept. Instead of Assyria plundering Jerusalem, Jerusalem plundered Assyria, and the Assyrian lion was defeated by the Lion of Judah (Isa. 14:24-27; Nah. 2:11-13).
“The God of Jacob” (v. 6; see Psalm 75:9) not only put an end to those soldiers and their chariot horses, but He took the weapons (v. 3) and put the fear of the Lord into their leaders (v. 12). Why? Because King Hezekiah, the prophet Isaiah, and the elders of Judah in Jerusalem all listened to God's Word and put their faith and trust in the Lord. "For I will defend this city to save it for My own sake and for My servant David's sake" (Isa. 37:35).
When you also remember who Jacob was and that God would often identify Himself as “the God of Jacob” (v. 6), you can believe that this same God can be your God too! Yes, my friend, when you know His name, God can become the “God of Mike Grooms”, the “God of ____________”. You can put your name in the blank!
Today we can put our faith and trust in our great God to do the “Mission Impossible”! "So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the Word of God" (Rom. 10:17).