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Call The Equalizer 8-20-06

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CALL THE EQUALIZER

 

2 Chron 32:1  After these deeds of faithfulness, Sennacherib king of Assyria came and entered Judah; he encamped against the fortified cities, thinking to win them over to himself.  2  And when Hezekiah saw that Sennacherib had come, and that his purpose was to make war against Jerusalem,  3  he consulted with his leaders and commanders to stop the water from the springs which were outside the city; and they helped him.  4 Thus many people gathered together who stopped all the springs and the brook that ran through the land, saying, Why should the kings of Assyria come and find much water?  5  And he strengthened himself, built up all the wall that was broken, raised it up to the towers, and built another wall outside; also he repaired the Millo in the City of David, and made weapons and shields in abundance.  6  Then he set military captains over the people, gathered them together to him in the open square of the city gate, and gave them encouragement, saying,  7  Be strong and courageous; do not be afraid nor dismayed before the king of Assyria, nor before all the multitude that is with him; for there are more with us than with him.  8  With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the Lord our God, to help us and to fight our battles.  And the people were strengthened by the words of Hezekiah king of Judah.

 

Introduction:  There are some shows on TV, that are considered old shows which still run because of either great acting, quality or content.  One show that happens to be a favorite of mine to this day is the show “The Equalizer.”  The Equalizer TV show is an action series about a private detective and former Secret Agent (played by Edward Woodward as Robert McCall) who takes on cases for people who haven’t gotten satisfaction from the police.  McCall starts by looking out for the little guy.  He runs an ad in the newspaper, “Got a problem, need help, odds against you, call The Equalizer.”  McCall usually took on these hopeless cases for little or no money.  Acting as both bodyguard and investigator, sometimes using his government resources, McCall usually managed to save the day.

This TV show was about a man, who played a part, but today I would like to talk to you not about an actor, not about a man, but about a God Who is “The Real Equalizer.” 

At times in our lives we struggle, we have difficulties and certainly we face problems.  We have come to realize that some trials are more difficult than others.  There are times when we as Christians face hardships which are at times major and sometimes minor.  When stuff happens it doesn’t seem to come in buckets, but by the truck load. 

That is exactly what Hezekiah faced when he and Israel were besieged by the king of Assyria.  Now Hezekiah name means, “Jehovah has made strong.”  Sennacherib name means, “Sin has increased the brothers or sin multiplied brothers.”

The kingdom that Sennacherib had inherited from his father was already beginning to fall apart at the seams so Sennacherib’s first duty was to build a powerful army of over 200,000 troops that could be used to put down any rebellion or civil unrest.  His kingdom stretched across what is now most of Iran, Iraq, Syria, Jordan, northern Israel, and parts of Saudi Arabia.  Every one of these nations was a hot spot of rebellion in his kingdom and Sennacherib was not about to allow them to go free without a fight.

His army was victorious first at Babylon as he destroyed the city, bringing that nation back under the control of his government.  

Then he turned westward and attacked the nations of Philistia, Phoenicia and others who were supported in their fight against Sennacherib by the Egyptians.  When the smoke cleared from these great battles, Sennacherib’s army stood as victors and these nations were securely under the powerful grip of Sennacherib once again.

Because of his great victories, Sennacherib felt unbeatable.  He had consulted his god, Assur, and had been convinced that he would be victorious.

As Sennacherib had defeated city after city of those nations who opposed him, he would slaughter and torture multitudes of their people.  He would place many of those he conquered upon sharp poles and allow them to hang in the streets as examples to any who would rise against him.  He would lead endless streams of captives into lifelong slavery under his cruel treatment.

After defeating all of his other enemies and then defeating the Egyptian army, Sennacherib then turned his attention toward Judea and prepared to take Jerusalem.

Today we are dealing with one man’s approach to facing a serious problem.  Hezekiah, King of Judah, rather than letting the enemy put him in fear and frustration, chose to face his problem by faith in God.  The problem Hezekiah and Judah faced was so great that only God could deliver them.  

Hezekiah said in verse 7 – 8; Be strong and courageous; do not be afraid nor dismayed before the king of Assyria, nor before all the multitude that is with him; for there are more with us than with him.  With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the Lord our God, to help us and to fight our battles.  And the people were strengthened by the words of Hezekiah king of Judah.

 

We will face problems and when our problems are bigger than our ability to handle them, that’s our reminder to call on “The Equalizer.” 

Psalm 91:1  He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High  Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.  2  I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress;  My God, in Him I will trust.  3  Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler And from the perilous pestilence.  4  He shall cover you with His feathers,  And under His wings you shall take refuge;  His truth shall be your shield and buckler.  5  You shall not be afraid of the terror by night,  Nor of the arrow that flies by day,  6  Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness,  Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.  7  A thousand may fall at your side,  And ten thousand at your right hand;  But it shall not come near you.  8  Only with your eyes shall you look,  And see the reward of the wicked.  9  Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge, Even the Most High, your dwelling place,  10  No evil shall befall you,  Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;  11  For He shall give His angels charge over you,  To keep you in all your ways.   

 

The word “Dismayed” in our text means “to break down.” 

Luke 22:31  And the Lord said, Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat.  32 But I have prayed for you; that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.     

 

Luke 22:31 (Amplified) Simon, Simon (Peter), listen! Satan has asked excessively that [all of] you be given up to him [out of the power and keeping of God], that he might sift [all of] you like grain,  32 But I have prayed especially for you [Peter], that your [own] faith may not fail; and when you yourself have turned again, strengthen and establish your brethren.

 

As in Hezekiah’s case and ours, Satan is never after just one, he is after all of us.  That is why Jesus said to Peter that Satan wanted to sift all the disciples as wheat.  That word “you” in the Greek is plural.  But then the Lord said I have already been praying for you Peter; knowing that Peter would deny Him and the Lord said, when you recover yourself, strengthen your brothers.

2 Chron 32:9  After this Sennacherib king of Assyria sent his servants to Jerusalem (but he and all the forces with him laid siege against Lachish), to Hezekiah king of Judah, and to all Judah who were in Jerusalem, saying,  10  Thus says Sennacherib king of Assyria: In what do you trust, that you remain under siege in Jerusalem?  11  Does not Hezekiah persuade you to give yourselves over to die by famine and by thirst, saying, The Lord our God will deliver us from the hand of the king of Assyria?  12  Has not the same Hezekiah taken away His high places and His altars, and commanded Judah and Jerusalem, saying, You shall worship before one altar and burn incense on it?  13  Do you not know what I and my fathers have done to all the peoples of other lands? Were the gods of the nations of those lands in any way able to deliver their lands out of my hand?  14  Who was there among all the gods of those nations that my fathers utterly destroyed that could deliver his people from my hand, that your God should be able to deliver you from my hand?  15  Now therefore, do not let Hezekiah deceive you or persuade you like this, and do not believe him; for no god of any nation or kingdom was able to deliver his people from my hand or the hand of my fathers. How much less will your God deliver you from my hand?  16  Furthermore, his servants spoke against the Lord God and against His servant Hezekiah.  17  He also wrote letters to revile the Lord God of Israel, and to speak against Him, saying, As the gods of the nations of other lands have not delivered their people from my hand, so the God of Hezekiah will not deliver His people from my hand.  18  Then they called out with a loud voice in Hebrew to the people of Jerusalem who were on the wall, to frighten them and trouble them, that they might take the city.  19 And they spoke against the God of Jerusalem, as against the gods of the people of the earth--the work of men's hands.    

 

Sennacherib’s insults were followed by still other addresses and letters bearing the same theme…the Lord is just another powerless god unable to save His people.  He was saying that the God of Jerusalem was no different than the other hand made gods that he had faced before.  The Assyrians even spoke in Hebrew to the people on the wall, to make sure that even the common people would hear and understand every word and become discouraged. 

Isn’t that just how the enemy comes…he tries to get to your mind.  He tries to convince us at times that God can’t hear us or won’t hear us, that our God has turned His back on us and that this is too hard for God.  Have you ever been at the place that it seems the enemy’s voice is louder than God’s?  But have you ever cried out and God didn’t answer…didn’t come by your side…didn’t restore your soul…didn’t make a way out of no way…didn’t snatch you out of the fire…didn’t rescue…didn’t set you free…didn’t heal your body.  Our God is not a god of stone, He is not a God of wood…He is the Almighty God. 

Hezekiah didn’t have a Newspaper like the “Express News,” so he could locate the Equalizer, but he did know how to pray and God had a Prophet by the name of Isaiah who could get a pray through.

2 Chron 32:20  Now because of this King Hezekiah and the prophet Isaiah, the son of Amoz, prayed and cried out to heaven.  21  Then the Lord sent an angel who cut down every mighty man of valor, leader, and captain in the camp of the king of Assyria. So he returned shamefaced to his own land. And when he had gone into the temple of his god, some of his own offspring struck him down with the sword there.  22  Thus the Lord saved Hezekiah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem from the hand of Sennacherib the king of Assyria, and from the hand of all others, and guided them on every side.  23  And many brought gifts to the Lord at Jerusalem, and presents to Hezekiah king of Judah, so that he was exalted in the sight of all nations thereafter.            

Watch this…in 2 Kings 6:15–17, God sent a Host of Angels to protect Elisha and his servant couldn’t see them until God opened up his eyes spiritual eyes.

And when the servant of the man of God arose early and went out, there was an army, surrounding the city with horses and chariots. And his servant said to him, Alas, my master! What shall we do?  So he answered, Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.  And Elisha prayed, and said, Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see. Then the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.

 

But when it was time for God, the Great “Equalizer,” to fight for Hezekiah and the children of Israel, He only sent one Angel.  One Angel killed every mighty man, every leader and every captain in the camp of the king of Assyria.

CLOSE:

What ever has you sounded you today, call on the Great Equalizer.  In His Word there is a message, “Got a problem, need help, odds against you, call The Equalizer.” 

His name is Jesus!!  He is the “Great I Am,” He is the “Bright and Morning Star,” He is our Healer, our Deliver; He is our Salvation, our hope and joy.

He is the Prince of Peace; He is the Lion of the Tribe of Judah; He is the Lord of Host; He is the only Begotten of the Father; He is the King of kings. 

All I’m trying to say today is when it appears you can’t get level, nothing is balancing out, life just won’t even out…call the “Equalizer.” 

   

     

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