When We Are Helped and God is Glorified

Two scripture passages recently impressed me. One was 2 Kings 19 and the other was John 11. The thing that impressed me was that God was glorified in answering the prayers of his friends but in ways beyond their expectation. Let me try to explain.

In 2 Kings 18 and 19 the Assyrians lay siege to Jerusalem and taunt King Hezekiah and Yahweh. Hezekiah was a good and godly king who was brought to the very brink of destruction. It may have seemed to Hezekiah that all his obedience to Yahweh was for naught. The mighty Assyrian army was camped outside the gates of Jerusalem. Yet the prophet Isaiah assured Hezekiah that God would deliver him. Miraculously the Assyrians heard a rumor of another dispute and left the gates of Jerusalem. On the way home 185,000 of them were killed and the King who threatened Jerusalem was assassinated by his own son. God had won a mighty victory without Israel drawing a sword.

The second instance is when Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. He receives word Lazarus is sick and waits two days before he goes to help. Lazarus dies. Jesus however raises him from the dead and teaches the great lesson that he is the resurrection and the life. The people are in awe and God gets the glory.
In both these cases the situation for God’s friends was hard. In both these cases God came through for them and he received the glory. Why is God so interested in receiving the glory? He obviously does not have to be pumped up; he doesn’t have a self-esteem problem.

No, when God receives the glory people pay attention to him and people need to pay attention to him. We need God and answered prayer which glorifies God has the ability of making people stop and take a look. That is why when we ask God for help, help comes but not always as quickly or in the way we are looking for it. Hezekiah would have liked the Assyrian army to be stopped sooner. Lazarus’ sisters would have liked Jesus to show up sooner. But in both cases God’s friends were saved and people were amazed at how he had done it.

When you need help and ask God for it, be assured help will come. Also be ready for the help to come at a different time and a different way than you expect. God is so big he can help you and point to his greatness all at the same time. These times, then, serve as testimonies in our lives to God’s faithfulness to keep us going and as a witness to the world that is in need of God. Let God show his glory in your life. Keep looking for and telling about the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.

See you on Sunday!