The Village Church

Compline: The King and His Prayer

August 06, 2020 Pastor Eric
The Village Church
Compline: The King and His Prayer
Chapters
The Village Church
Compline: The King and His Prayer
Aug 06, 2020
Pastor Eric

2 Kings 19

Show Notes Transcript

2 Kings 19

Speaker 1:

I was, I was putting together , um, Michael's video or from his talk last week today, and I put it up so you can go listen to it. Uh , the , also the audio is on our podcast, but I just like the Michael was saying at the very beginning, all right , we're doing this by the seat of our pants. Okay . Guys , kind of figure that out. And I left that in because it just felt really human it's very , uh , you know , village like where, you know , we don't , we're not high production. You're seeing me in four 80, which is me, I'm blurry. And , uh, but that's the best screening at this point. Maybe we can negotiate cons at some point, but I don't know if it's worth the money, to be honest, to get better upload speed , but I'm going to pray and we'll get started talking father. I want to thank you for the opportunity to come at eight 30 and be able to communicate with people in the community and in the world and talk about you and talk about what you're doing and also just to be human and to be , um, I don't know, just, just to be our broken selves and to offer that to you and to the people around us. And I just ask Jesus that as I talk that your spirit would be in me, that you would give me words to say, you would help me to remember the things that I think are important. Um, yeah. Start that in your Holy name. Amen. So , uh, I think in 1998, I was leading a college ministry and through a whole bunch of circumstances, that ministry was going to have to kind of go out on its own. And 1998 puts me in my late twenties , um, maybe mid twenties and I'm leading a bunch of 19 to 21 year olds trying to figure out who they are and where we're kind of , we didn't know what we were going to do because the church we were at, we couldn't be at anymore. And I remember this, this for those , this would be very insider as in the sense of being a follower of Jesus, being a Christian. This is very insider Christian. So you might not know what I'm talking about. If you're not a follower of Jesus and you've just tuned in, but there was this band named Petra. And I really loved that band. And they have a song that , uh , was the title was this means war. And I got my little boom box and I played that following at the beginning of one of our services as was kind of introducing to everybody what we were going to do. I mean, and this was the beginning for those of you who know, and this is inside our village, but those of, you know, the Seneca house, this was the beginning. Cause we were going to move to the Seneca house. Our whole ministry was moving there. That's what we were going to have our services and that's where I was going to live and keep the jewelry and live. And so I kind of wanted to frame everybody this, this , this idea of us going out on our own as in the sense of we're going to war, but it's not war with , um, you know, the, the peop people would , it's a war against the , the spiritual darkness that was pervasive in Tucson. And I, I just felt like this is we're going to war and that I realized that theme and because it's in scripture, but that theme has always been part of my relationship and my life with God. And my time in prayer is that when I pray, I, it's not a passive thing. I really truly think that I am communicating with God, but then I'm also standing in a sense against darkness and saying, you know, you can't come any further in these spaces and also asking God to intervene. Like I really have always seen myself with that kind of light and also seeing the church that way. And I think to be really honest with you, it has been super hard since may. I mean, March, since we started, we stopped meeting together because for me, the gathered church is the point .

Speaker 2:

And I know

Speaker 1:

The church gathers and the God says are , Jesus says where two or three are gathered there. I am. I understand that. But there's some kind of sense that when the church gathers, then it sings in it, it listens to the word of God being read and it eats together. And it engages that it is a, it is a light force in the, in the world that says no to darkness and provides peace and a safe space for people , um, and encourages people to live and walk in the light. And a lot of that comes in our prayer together that like we fight together. Um,

Speaker 2:

And so, okay ,

Speaker 1:

The last few months, and this I think will be the third month, we've invited you on the second Saturday of each month just to fast and pray, but because we're disconnected right now, we don't gather , um, other than watching live stream or maybe getting together with a few of us in different spaces. You know, we're, we're actually pretty isolated , um, though more and more of us are trying to engage one another, but we're kind of isolated. And so this idea of us fasting and praying and following kind of the hours, so that we're, we're saying, Oh, okay . At six o'clock. I know that there are some other villagers who were looking at the scripture, answering the same questions and praying for them for similar things. And I'm joining them in this conflict against evil. And, you know, Paul kind of, I repeat this over and over again, but Paul in Ephesians six affirms this, that our battle is not against flesh and blood, but with Prince and principality, that there , that when you step into following Jesus, you are invited as a community to push out against darkness and to create safe spaces for people through your prayer. So this invitation is to join the community in doing that. This invitation of fasting this Saturday is come do that with villagers at six o'clock at eight o'clock and 10 o'clock and noon, and , and follow the day through enjoying me. Now, the reason that we've been fasting and praying is really connected to this time of compliment in a sense, and that we understand that one of the ways that you and I can bring our thoughts into submission is through prayer. We understand that when we dedicate time to pray and we set it aside, instead of doing other things, we begin the practice and discipline of changing how our mind encounters, the thoughts that come in it. And so that's the beginning point to being able to handle all the different things that have been coming at us and you , you know, what they are, but today what we're going to talk about is Hezekiah's prayer out a second Kings chapter 19. And I'm just going to , all we're going to do is look at his prayer. So I need to give just a tiny bit of context that, you know, what's happening. The Assyrians who were much worse than the Babylonians, the Assyrians , um, have taken the Northern kingdom, wiped them out, basically and taken on and scattered them all over the place. And all that is left is Judah and the Southern kingdom and King has Hezekiah and the Assyrians and kinks and NACA rib decide they're going to come down and finish off the Southern kingdom. And so they've come to destroy a Judah and they've pretty much mocked. Oh, Hey, Siri's talking to me.

Speaker 3:

Oh yeah,

Speaker 1:

Siri didn't understand what I was talking about. This is, this is not a good thing. We can talk about FAFSA the other time about technology. But anyway, the theories have come down and , um, which I could see that a Syrians , Hey theory. Ah, there we go. Anyway of the series of come down and basically the King has said, look, we've destroyed everybody else. We destroyed Israel. We destroyed everyone else with all their, their gods and their , um, and there , like they were no match for us. So why do you think your God is going to be a match for us? We're going to destroy you and we're going to destroy him. And so in chapter 19, EZQ now ZQ , I've spoken, but Hezekiah, he , he, he puts South cloth and ashes on. So he puts, he puts himself in a humble space. He invites all of his other people around them to do that. And then he goes and calls her the prophet, Isaiah, and then he prays. And yeah , I want to just look at his prayers . I'm going to read the whole prayer to you. And then I want to break it down because I think it speaks to how you and I might interact with the world and what's happening in it and how it might change who we are. So I'm going to just, I'll read the whole prayer too , and have the Kaia pray to the Lord. Lord, the God of Israel and throne between the cherubim. You alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth. Give ear Lord and hear open your eyes, Lord and see, listen to the words. So NACCRRA has sent to ridicule the living. God, it is true Lord that the Assyrian Kings have laid waste. These nations and their lands. They have thrown their gods into the fire and destroyed them for, they were not gods, but only wood and stone fashioned by human hands. Now Lord, our God deliver us from the his hand so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you alone. Lord our God. Then Isaiah eMAR sent a message that has a Kaia . This is what the Lord, the God of Israel says. I have heard your prayer concerning sin acronym, King of Assyria. This is the word that the Lord has spoken against him. And then there's this long thing about what God is going to do to Sinatra . But all I want to do today is really quickly look at this prayer and look at how it might help us as we advocate for people. As we begin to create a discipline of praying and clear clearing our mind, Hezekiah's prayer has three parts and I'm just going to kind of go through the parts. So the first part is that has a kind of acknowledges who God is. And when I was little kid like five, I thought that my dad, dad was the fastest runner. Like I would raise him from the car to the house and he could always beat me. And I fought my dad's the fastest, no one can run faster than him. When I got a little older, I think like second or third grade, we moved to Miami Arizona. And the thing was you're this. I remember these conversations about, Oh, my dad can drink the hottest salsa. I do not know why second and third graders are talking about this, but they were comparing their father's ability to drink salsa. And I thought, well, my daddy eats a lot of spicy food. For sure he can drink the hottest salsa. Not only that though, that my father was in Vietnam and sometimes he would show me some of his, his fighting stances and how to protect yourself. And I thought my dad is strong and he knows some form of karate and he could kill people. My dad can beat up everybody, right? That little kid approach that understanding of my father has actually helped me understand how to relate to God and how to engage God. In what I think is interesting here is that Hezekiah before he asks for anything, acknowledges God in four different ways. And I just want to look at them because I think they're instructed to us in the sense of us kind of using them to help develop a confidence in who God is in our life. So the first thing he says is Lord the God of Israel. So he acknowledges that there is an intimate relationship between Hezekiah and his people and God. And it's an intimate relationship that isn't between the Syria and God or any other nations that is theirs . It's God of Israel. Right? And that I , when I think about, you know, me like with my dad, it's my dad. Like there's just all that's really is what has the kind of thing. And in a really simplified form is that you're my dad, you're our dad. You're the one, you know , who has brought us here. The second thing though, he says is that you're enthroned between the cherubim. Now this is important because the cherubim and the, and the , um, are in the temple. And basically this is where the footstool of God is. And so this for Israel, the temple is where heaven and earth meet. That does not mean that God isn't everywhere else. But what it does mean is that in a significant way, God has said, my presence is going to rest in Israel. I'm going to Mark them as my people, by being present with them.

Speaker 2:

So what has it ,

Speaker 1:

Hi , it is saying is you're our dad. And you have marked us as your own. You have identified that we are your people. So this is important. That's the , those are , those are the first two parts. The second part, third part is he says you were alone. You alone God, or overall the kingdoms of the earth. So it's not just, so it's not just that , you know, dad is faster and it's not just the dad can drink salsa, you know, better than every other dad . But it's also that he can, he's dominant over all other dads, right? That there isn't any King that, that is over God, right ? There is no kingdom that somehow falls outside of who God is. And so has a cause affirming now . But then he goes on and gets even more granted his sport part. And he says, you have made heaven and earth. So not only do you, are you over all the kingdom of the earth you made there ? So nothing can contain you. This is, it's a very, that all it is is Hezekiah in a sense, reciting his theology. He think, okay, you're our God. You've marked us. You are overall the other kingdoms. That means you're over Syria. And on top of that, you're over the entire earth because you created it. So nothing contains you. All right , he's, he's putting that forward. But what he's doing is he saying it out loud, he's praying it. And I think it's really, really important to pray out loud. Now, I know it's kind of awkward to do it with friends sometimes, but it's alone. It's important to pray out loud because something happens to your brain. The chemistry changes, you know, the more, when I was practicing this a little bit, the more I would say, my dad can drink [inaudible] my dad can do this. My dad I'm like, yeah, my dad is pretty awesome. Like, things are starting to change in my brain. I'm starting to have connections happen when you, and I say, God is our God. And he's enthroned above all things. And he is King over all things. And he created the earth. Our brain begins to say, Oh yeah, no, that's the way it is. And what happens is it changes our posture, right? It changes the way we understand who our relationship to God, because we're rehearsing. What is true, right. Um , we're practicing what is true by speaking it out loud. And , and what it does is it enforces our belief when we speak it out loud. And so I would invite you as, especially on Saturday, but also in all of your prayers to begin to practice the truth . You know about God, when you pray, when you start, when you begin, and maybe there's really simple for you, you know, God, you made the mountains, God, you made the sea. Maybe you're a very theological person. And you can remember some of these things about how you, you know, you're in throne between terrible . Maybe you remember that kind of thing. Um, but more importantly that you begin to repeat what you know, to be true about God now. So that's part one, it's really just saying, Hey, this is who you are. God, and I know how we're connected. The second part I think is really important. It says, give ear, Lord, and here , open your eyes board and see, listen to the words. It's the NAC rib has sent to ridicule the living. God, God already knows all of that. God is not like all of a sudden surprised that snacker is right outside of Judea. He's not like, Oh my gosh, how did they get there? That's not it. But what I think is important here, and that has a kind of understands to be true, is the God in however he does, it wants us to engage him in what's happening in the world. He wants us to speak and cause intention and invite him to be present in the things that we're concerned about and were anxious about and were worried about. And the crazy thing is that God acts on these things, right? Because they're clearly linked for Hezekiah to the fact that he's made heaven and earth and that he's God over all the kingdoms and that he is their God. And therefore he can call his attention to things. When I talked earlier about how there's, I really do understand my spiritual life as something that is warlike in Ephesians chapter six, verse 18, after Paul has explained how the church is supposed to put the armor of God on. He says that we're supposed to also pray and pray in the spirit and pray always for all the church and all the people. And then he says, and pray in particular for me that I would be fearless and preaching the gospel and the God that the spirit would come on me. And I would have words to say, this is, there's an image as followers of Jesus, right ? There's an invitation that we have to advocate for our brothers and sisters to advocate for the oppressed and the poor and those who are in places that are not good. So for Heather Kaia , a Syria, is that his doorstep? And he has no, there's nothing he can do. Part of prayer is thing we are, we don't know what to do, but you need to take a look at this. So I don't think we do this much, but my invitation is for you particularly this Saturday. And you'll have this invitation in the, in the worksheet is for you to say, okay, God, I want you to turn your eyes to this particular suffering in the world. I want you to turn your eyes to this particular issue in my husband or wife's life. I want you to turn your eyes on this and my child's life and this, when it comes to dealing with issues of the African American community, I want you to deal with I do you see this? And in particular, what I think we need to understand is that maybe the Assyrians are not coming to our door, but, but darkness is always coming to our door and everything that we see happening in the world, there is a deep and evil that is out to destroy our image, the enemy wishes to destroy the image of God and he will do it anyway . And our job is to say, God, you need to look at this. You need to do something. Do you see what's happening? Do you see what's happening? Because you know, I think a lot of times what happens is when we see things like, you know, well, let's just talk about our situation. We have gotten to a place where we see things in the, in , when it comes to the racial things in our community and the social things. And we , what are you going to do about the virus and wearing masks and not wearing masks and , and quarantine and gathering and the politics and the two presidential candidates and our , our president. And what we think is we need to do something. We need to figure it out. We need to have an opinion. We not , we gotta, we gotta act now, but as followers of Jesus, I'm not saying we're not supposed to act, but it seems to me that over and over again, the encouragement is not to act without fully inviting and pleading for God to act and for God to intervene. And that one of the most powerful ways that you and I can advocate for the poor is to get on our hands and knees and pray. And for the oppressed is to get on our hands and knees and pray. And not just God, would you please change, but would you change this thing? But would you open your eyes, open your ears? Would you see what's going on here? We need you to act in this space. I think this is really powerful. This is the place that you and I get to go to war the way we get to put into our emotion behind what is good and true is to hang onto what we know who God is and begin to plead for him to do things. You know, one of the funny things in my marriage is that I will routinely come to my wife and it's happened less over the years, but it happened a lot in our early marriage. And I'd be like, Oh, I I've figured this thing out about me. I am going to make this change in my life. And my life. My wife would just smile at me and say, Oh, well, I've been praying for that for a year. She's been praying this prayer, open your eyes, God , to the things that are happening in my husband's wife . But she never told me she just got her hands and knees and prayed that this change would happen. And then she, you know, and , and it's, and it did. Now . I'm not saying that, you know, you don't do things, but we , we have to understand that the God of the universe can powerfully, transform and engage the places where there's brokenness. If we'll invite him into them now for 17. So that that's part one part two, but then part three is just where he's basically saying, okay, well, this is what I want you to do. He says, it's true. Lord. At the Assyrian Kings have laid waste. These nations and their lands. They have thrown their gods into the fire and destroyed them for, they are not gods, but only wood and stone fashioned by human hands. Now, Lord, our God deliver us from his hands so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you alone. Lord our God. Now what I like first is the , he, he just asked her what he wants. You know , he's like, Hey, here's the context, God, but this is what I will. You deliver us. It's pretty simple. Straightforward. Will you see what's going on? Will you deliver us? Will you see what's happening in these people's lives? And will you change it? It's simple. But then he adds the reason for it. And that is that the earth may know that the kingdoms of the earth may know that you alone. Lord our God. On Sunday, we talked about how Israel have the job of being a priest, priest, a priest nation. And we talked about how, as followers of Jesus, we are to be priests. What do priests do? They make known who God is to everyone else. They tell the world who God is. And what has a Kaia thing is you can actually, you're the only one that can make our job work. You have to show them who you are because they , they think that you're just a stone, God, and you need to show them that, that Israel follows the one true God deliver us. And that will show them. I think that's , that's crazy because the thing that we're asking when we advocate for people is not, Hey, would you make my life better? Will you make very life better? Know what you're saying is will you intervene so that you are known, will you intervene in a way that so that you are shown to be the one true God who changes things, will you bring your light to bear on these things and point people to you? That that is what we are asking for. We're not just asking for life to be better for the oppressed to be less oppressed and the poor to be less poor. And for those of us who feel that we're, we're, we're struggling to not struggle anymore. We're actually praying that God will change things in a way that, that he's known that the miraculous will happen so that he's known. Now, I love what the message that Isaiah gives from God is I have heard your prayer concerning some accurate King of Assyria. So I love this part because it's I, the God of Israel and thrown between terrible man , who's over all the kingdoms and made heaven and earth. That me has heard you. I turned, I looked, I listened to your plea, and now I'm going to take care of the narrative . I'm going to do something and my glory will be shown. And you can read that in the rest of the passage . I want to just be really honest with you. Um, it hasn't been easy. I mean, I know it's been hard for everybody, but just to talk from my own perspective and my own place, it hasn't been easy to do what we've been doing. My I've been pastor of the village for 20 years, almost along with rod and now with Mark and in that, the thing that we have pounded over and over again, and the thing that's so important to me and the way I live out my faith is to live in community, you know, sandpaper, shaping kind of thing, rubbing up against each other sandpaper. And Roskin being shaped into the likeness of Christ. Gathering is important. The creative process that happens in the music and in the cooking and the way we care for one another and kids, and the way we pray, all this integrated stuff means a lot to me. And to have it pulled apart is difficult, but not only is that difficult. I mean, I think I could handle it if it was just that, but in the midst of all of that, there's all this social unrest. And I sit with people and I, and I talk and I, I see that, that deep inside all of us, we have these opinions and we have these spots and we have these ideas and sometimes they burst out and everybody gets really tense and afraid and scared. And we don't actually know what's true. And we think that somehow we need to find it. And so there's this tension that as a leader, I feel like I'm supposed to say something to you , and I'm supposed to have all the answers for , um, as I watched my children who were young in 19 and 15, try to figure out what it means to live in this world. And I think about the world was like when I was 15 and 19 and it's different, it's scary. This is a different world than in that creates a certain sadness in my heart. And honestly, I will say that some days I get up and I think about a different job and a different life and a different place, like probably everybody else. Um, I get frustrated. I get anxious. Uh , I don't know what to do. I talk to elders, I pray with elders. Sometimes I'm in tears over all, that's happening in our community and in our world. And other times I'm just angry. And other times I'm just depressed and sad about all the changes. And I haven't come to terms with all of that. And , um, I feel like the invitation is to get on my hands and knees and pray. I think they have a tation in a lot of ways. Maybe the shaking up of things has confronted me with the fact that, that whatever, all your thoughts and all your philosophical, you know , ponderings and things that you, political things that you think and all the ways you think the world should be and how church should be and how relationships should be. And all those things can easily crumble because in some ways they're just iron and wooden idols certainly there's truth in many of the things, but they often become idols for us, things that are going to give us life, things that are, that are the answer. And yet I think the invitation from this passionate and Hezekiah and why I chose it a month or so ago, is that it really does illustrate the position that we truly are in. And that is the Assyrians are at the door. And no matter what you think you can do to fix it, just like Hezekiah tried earlier to kind of fix it by stripping the gold off of his temper of God's temple and sending it to the Assyrians, hoping that they just would leave him alone. And it didn't work. Um, we sometimes are too fixed on what, you know, my freedom and wearing a mask and, and the right ideas about systematic racism and the right thoughts about who should be president and, and what we have rights to and what should be happening and what our pastors should be doing. And what I could go on and on. And the reality is the only way that you and I are going to have any effectiveness, the only way that we're going to be any hope in this, this time that I actually think is pretty tumultuous and is not going to get better overnight, is that we have to be a community that gets on our hands and knees and says, the Assyrians are at the door. They are set a ton of stuff about you, and they're going to destroy us. Can you open your eyes and do something? And that we don't just do it on Saturday this week, but that it becomes a habit. And as Michael was talking earlier today on the video here about my sermon and about the illustration of getting our feet under us as a fighter and being ready to take on something, that's come out of the blue. I think being a people who is confident in who God is and is willing to fervently and fearlessly, ask God to act on his strength and power and on the behalf of people that we love and care for and our world, and to pour out our longings for him to transform things and to make himself known in new ways. I think that's when things change, that's when we can have philosophies and theories, that's when we can truly have conversations about the right and wrong of things. Um, because I think there's a humbling of us when God goes before. And , and so I guess my invitation is to take up your sword with me today. And, and to know that your pastor is not necessarily handling all of this well, yeah, lots of you see me and you think, Oh, it seems like he's doing okay. Am I am sometimes. But a lot of times I don't even have words for the anguish that I feel. Um, and in this time and , uh, the village over the last year or two, it's taken some hard hits with our elders and just sickness and, and struggle and emotional things. And , um, and we've taken, you know, it's , it's not all been easy in a lot of other areas. And so, you know, maybe we kind of have our , that stumbling around, caught off guard fighter, and God is saying, all right, it's time to get up. It's time to get your feet under you. And to actually, you know, I think what Michael said in the very beginning of the series, maybe four weeks ago, about how the website and how the village has developed a lot of good things to underpin it. We forget that, that we have anchored ourselves well into God and to who he is and who Jesus is and what the gospel is for us. And we have to hold onto that and get our feet set in it. And one of the things is we have to step into being a people of prayer. And so that's why we're inviting you to do that. And with that, I'm going to pray father, thank you for the video and thank you for the opportunity to at least talk to Michael , um, and to talk to the people on the other side of the screen. And I just pray that as people listen to this on the podcast, and as people listen to this , um, on the video, I just ask that you would give them a heart to be priests who, who just lay out what they want you to do and know . So deeply the power of the wind , the prepayment. So I asked that from my community, they bless them and protect them. And thanks to the [inaudible]

Speaker 4:

[inaudible] .