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NO ONE CAN FRUSTRATE THE PLANS OF GOD

Father Francis's picture
Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time

Kings 19:9-11, 14-21, 31-36 & Mt. 7:6, 12-14

Sennacherib, the king of Assyria, had destroyed the northern kingdom of lsrael and led the people off into slavery. He intended to do the same with Judah whose king, Hezekiah, knew that his people would be like an infant trying to confront a giant. So he did the best of all things and turned to God in earnest prayer.

That night a large section of the Assyrian army was mysteriously destroyed in its camp. This prompted Sennacherib to return to his capital. The Bible deliberately does not tell us why so many enemy soldiers suddenly died but I am sure its writer wants us to believe that it was God who had defended His people.

The poet Lord Byron has sculptured this scene in poetic images in 'The Destruction of Sennacherib' ...

'The Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold.
And the cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold.
The might of the Gentile, unsmote by the sword.
Hath melted like snow in the glance of the Lord.'

Most certainly Lord Byron believed that it was God who protected His people and smote the enemy.

What we can learn from Hezekiah is to have faith in the power of prayer. He knew that he alone could not stand up to the threat from Sennacherib and that only God could help Him, so he humbly placed the problem before his Lord. We need to have the same childlike faith and trust in God when we are faced with overwhelming problems. We must spread them out before the Lord, as Hezekiah did, knowing that He will solve them in His own way which will be for our best. Why tackle weighty problems on our own when we cannot solve them but God can?

Jesus tells us in the Gospel to “enter by the narrow gate” but have you noticed the tremendous emphasis that there is today upon broadness? There are people who would like to make the way so broad that, ultimately, everybody is walking in that way as long as each person expresses some kind of religious fervour in life.

But note that Jesus said this is not so - it is the narrow and hard way that leads to everlasting life. There are not many who walk it because most people are heading for the broad gate on the easy road that leads to destruction. If people are accusing you of being too narrow, praise the Lord; you are on the right path, and you have Jesus walking with you.

Lord Jesus let us have the mind of Hezekiah who turned to God when faced with overwhelming problems. We can be sure that our generous God will always look after us. We will never be losers for we know that God is all loving and powerful.

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