Mark 1:2-3“As it is written in Isaiah the prophet, “Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way, the voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight,’”
Jesus brings deliverance in the moments of our deepest need. As people with prepared hearts, we can ask, seek, and wait with expectation that rescue—redemption—is coming!
Genesis 14:14-16 “When Abram heard that his kinsman had been taken captive, he led forth his trained men, born in his house, 318 of them, and went in pursuit as far as Dan. And he divided his forces against them by night, he and his servants, and defeated them and pursued them to Hobah, north of Damascus. Then he brought back all the possessions, and also brought back his kinsman Lot with his possessions, and the women and the people.”
Abraham’s rescue of Lot and his household from the four Mesopotamian Kings in the middle of the night was an act of holy chutzpah! Israel’s first patriarch demonstrated great faith, courage, family loyalty, and military strategy during this successful rescue operation.
This example of courage and daring ought to inspire us in certain situations where evil should be boldly and radically confronted. There are times when we, too, can and should operate with holy chutzpah, surprising the enemy with fearless courage, faith-filled action, and laser sharp strategy. “Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you.” [Luke 10:19]
There is a time to wage war with holy chutzpah. When our cause is righteous and the goal is rescue and deliverance from evil then we ought not to be passive. In these situations we need the Lord’s strategy and the courage which comes with true righteousness. Perhaps it will require a strong word spoken in love; perhaps a day or a week of serious fasting and prayer. It may even involve addressing an evil spirit as the Apostle Paul did in Philippi [Acts 16:18]. There are times for radical action without fear that it can’t be done. Our Lord, on the cross, exemplified tremendous courage and heroism to rescue us from our sins and the devil’s power. In the power if His spirit we also can be instruments of dramatic deliverance – with Holy chutzpah!
2 Kings 19:14 “Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers and read it; and Hezekiah went up to the house of the Lord and spread it before the Lord.”
Here is one of the best pictures of prayer in the Bible. Hezekiah is king over Israel when the cruel and powerful Assyrian army marches against them. Rabshakeh, the army’s spokesman, sends a threatening letter and tells Hezekiah not to trust in his God for deliverance.
Here was an enormous temptation and a trial, all wrapped into one little scroll. There is the imminent danger of being razed to the ground by the Assyrian empire; then there is the verbal prompting not to trust in God for a rescue.
But how does Hezekiah deal with this letter? He receives it, he reads it…and then he takes it straight to the Lord and spreads it before Him. What a wonderful picture of prayer! It is the spreading of our problems, our temptations, our struggles before the Lord in the face of every temptation to do otherwise.
Are you today wrestling with a temptation to sin that is threatening to conquer you? Spread it before the Lord. Is your heart weighed down with some terrible worry, or sorrow, or pain? Spread it before the Lord. Have you felt the weight of your guilt before a holy God for the first time? Spread it before the Lord.
No one has ever come to the Lord and gone away disappointed. Hezekiah did not, and you will not.