When Circumstances Don’t Match the Truth

One of the more dangerous things people do is to interpret circumstances as an indication of the truth. This is especially dangerous in areas of religion. People often interpret events as revealing what God thinks or feels about something. Pagan religions often do this, believing that the lack of rain indicates that their gods are displeased and things like that. Unfortunately, even followers of Jesus can fall into this trap. In Isaiah chapter 36 we jump into a narrative of the nation of Assyria surrounding the city of Jerusalem and threatening it with destruction. Three members of the Assyrian army are meeting with some leaders of Jerusalem and this is what they say: “But if you say to me, ‘We trust in the Lord our God,’ is it not He whose high places and whose altars Hezekiah has taken away, and said to Judah and Jerusalem, ‘You shall worship before this altar’?”’ Now therefore, I urge you, give a pledge to my master the king of Assyria, and I will give you two thousand horses—if you are able on your part to put riders on them! How then will you repel one captain of the least of my master’s servants, and put your trust in Egypt for chariots and horsemen? 10 Have I now come up without the Lord against this land to destroy it? The Lord said to me, ‘Go up against this land, and destroy it.’”

First, they say that God must be displeased with Hezekiah for taking down the high places and altars. Then they say that God has told them to destroy the land of Judah. Circumstances seem to indicate they might be right. After all, Assyria had captured other nations and they have over 180,000 troops surrounding the city. Could God be displeased…could God have told them to capture Jerusalem? All the nation of Judah needed to do was check with what God had already said. God was actually PLEASED with the taking down of the altars and high places by king Hezekiah. God also had not told the king of Assyria He would deliver the city to him. But if the leaders of Jerusalem did not know these things, how would they know how to respond? Unfortunately I see this all of the time. Phrases like, “He must be right for me because God put him in my life.” But if he is not a follower of Jesus, and often the relationship turns to sinful behavior, obviously God was not in this. In order to keep this post short, let me just say that circumstances do not always reveal truth. “Open doors” do not always mean God’s direction. Circumstances can be deceiving. By the way, in the next chapter God supernaturally kills the entire Assyrian army by Himself. In this case, and in many others, circumstances do not indicate truth. Trust the truth and not the circumstances.

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