Biblical Audio Commentary – Laughed Them to Scorn
Imagine, if you will, that a Godly man became President of the United States. I know, I know, this is such a far-fetched fantasy that it’s impossible even to conceive. What are the odds – right? But humor me.
So, a true follower of Jesus Christ makes his way into the Oval Office. Maybe he’d been a compromise vice-presidential pick that had been chosen to pull votes from a conservative state like Florida or Texas (that is, before Texas was overrun by California liberals fleeing their self-made hellhole). In our pretend world, the president dies and our Christian VP ascends to the position of Commander-in-Chief. Let’s give him a name, say: Hezekiah.
Upon assuming the reins of power, President Hezekiah does what he’s always done: he begins moving the chess pieces in his administration so as to honor the Lord. He replaces the Chief-of-Staff and all the advisors of the previous president – of course, to the vocal outrage of his party. But he gives them no heed and in the course of his duties begins to demonstrate his true faith, even going to a solid, Bible-believing church every week rather than the convenient liberal one across the street from the White House. Not only this, but he rolls back various anti-God initiatives that glorify abortion and gender dysphoria. In other words, he makes waves that ripple across the land.
Once he’s settled in at the historic Resolute desk, he surveys the landscape and sees how our nation has moved to new moral lows and has embraced the chaotic lawlessness of the Left. The nation is devolving into extreme depravity with seemingly no end in sight. Something must be done. In reading his Bible, which he does on a daily basis, the Lord puts on President Hezekiah’s heart that he should do even more than he has to date to turn the soul of the nation back to its Creator and the Source of all the many blessings it’s received over the years. He purposes to call for a national fast, a week of prayer, and for all citizens to repent for the sins they’ve committed against their family, neighbors, and against the nation itself.
Now, despite God having placed such an initiative within President Hezekiah, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it will be well accepted and followed. God has certainly changed the temperament on the ground in numerous past circumstances. If He chose to rend the hearts of the people to bow down and follow Him and His ways, He could surely do that. A response like that would probably depend on God’s overall timeline and the purposes He will accomplish when He wants them. If such an enterprise as this one from President Hezekiah were brought to bear in our current age, because of where we stand in the Bible’s prophetic history, it’s doubtful that many people would act positively. In fact, I can certainly picture much of this nations’ citizenry laughing, mocking, and scorning the president for being such a religious, fundamentalist fool. No, none of this would likely go over well, and America would continue to earn God’s wrath for spurning Him.
Something along these lines occurred in the Holy Land sometime after its division into two nations, i.e. that of Israel as the Northern Kingdom and Judah as the Southern Kingdom. Following their split after the reign of Solomon, both territories had a series of kings. The Bible describes all those in the Northern Kingdom as wicked. The Southern Kingdom had several kings that honored the Lord either partially or to a large extent. Israel, a.k.a. Samaria fell completely to the Assyrians and was lost. Not long after this, Hezekiah became king over Judah. Realizing the perilous state of his godless country, King Hezekiah began a clean-up campaign throughout his territory to restore the Name of Yahweh to its proper place of reverence. As part of his reforms, 2 Chronicles 30:1-10 describes the events that followed:
Hezekiah sent to all Israel and Judah, and wrote letters also to Ephraim and Manasseh, that they should come to the house of the Lord at Jerusalem to keep the Passover to the Lord, the God of Israel. For the king and his princes and all the assembly in Jerusalem had taken counsel to keep the Passover in the second month— for they could not keep it at that time because the priests had not consecrated themselves in sufficient number, nor had the people assembled in Jerusalem— and the plan seemed right to the king and all the assembly. So they decreed to make a proclamation throughout all Israel, from Beersheba to Dan, that the people should come and keep the Passover to the Lord, the God of Israel, at Jerusalem, for they had not kept it as often as prescribed. So couriers went throughout all Israel and Judah with letters from the king and his princes, as the king had commanded, saying, “O people of Israel, return to the Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, that he may turn again to the remnant of you who have escaped from the hand of the kings of Assyria. Do not be like your fathers and your brothers, who were faithless to the Lord God of their fathers, so that he made them a desolation, as you see. Do not now be stiff-necked as your fathers were, but yield yourselves to the Lord and come to his sanctuary, which he has consecrated forever, and serve the Lord your God, that his fierce anger may turn away from you. For if you return to the Lord, your brothers and your children will find compassion with their captors and return to this land. For the Lord your God is gracious and merciful and will not turn away his face from you, if you return to him.”
So the couriers went from city to city through the country of Ephraim and Manasseh, and as far as Zebulun, but they laughed them to scorn and mocked them.
Hezekiah knew that the Lord God was merciful and wanted to bless His people. He also knew that unless they truly changed their attitudes toward Him, they would continue to be oppressed and suffer because they’d be on the receiving end of God’s wrath. What’s remarkable is that – despite the land being divided into opposing nations – Hezekiah invited the peoples of the Northern Kingdom to join them in the Passover celebration. With his heart toward God, he understood that unity was important.
One would think that the people remaining in the tribes of Israel, who were left over from the Assyrian destruction, would realize their need for God and His forgiveness. A few did, as the following verse (v11) indicates, with some men of Asher, Zebulun, and (some portion of) Manasseh humbling themselves; but tellingly, those from Ephraim and most of Manasseh refused to hear the call of God on their lives. Not only did they turn from this plea to restore their connection with the Holy One of Israel, they went a step further when Hezekiah’s couriers came to them: they laughed them to scorn and mocked them.
Such was the attitude of far too many of God’s people back in that day. Because an unholy spirit was infectious, ultimately even Hezekiah’s reforms were forgotten, so that in the coming years, Judah – like her older sister Israel – was overrun by pagan invaders, in this case by Babylon. The people of God – when they decided not to be His people – abandoned all hope of His blessings and eventually suffered the complete loss of their land. Judgment came because it had to. God – being just, and in order to uphold His holy Name – unleashed His wrath as punishment that had to be imposed.
The analogy to our current time provides the picture of what soon must happen to America and the world. Yes, there is a believing remnant – God always makes sure that there is. However, when a nation crosses God’s red line and exceeds the tipping point, no amount of prayer will change the outcome that He has determined according to His prophetic schedule. When judgment is due, it will come. When the vast majority of people respond to the couriers and watchmen by laughing them to scorn and mocking them, what is there left to save? Why should God continue to extend His mercy upon those who have rejected Him time and again and want nothing to do with Him?
Those of us watching and aware of the times know that we are so, so close to the end. Even many in the secular world recognize this, yet they don’t understand its implications. We do. The Tribulation is coming like a freight train bearing down on a car stopped at a railway crossing with an unconscious driver. The collision will be catastrophic.
Thankfully, the Lord has given true believers in Jesus Christ an open door to avoid the collision. Romans 10:13 assures us:
For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
What a promise! What a blessing!