23 June: Victim of Intimidation?
If you are, or have been, at the receiving end of intimidation, you’ll be familiar with the insidious nature of it that’s evident in today’s chapter…
READ 2 Kings 18 Make notes, if you’d like, of what stands out for you. Feel free to use the “Leave a Comment” box below to also write some of your thoughts.
A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
While working in finance for our charity’s North Europe Area, and as a member of our International Finance Committee, I was often expected to vote on strategic changes related to corporate policies and functioning, between our offices located in 110 countries. However, there were “unspoken rules” for appropriate conduct as a member of a group that operated with a democratic system. If, for example, I voted one way (and of course my strong personality meant that I was often passionate about where I stood on a particular vote), it would be childish of me to then “drag my feet” and highlight all the negatives, once the democratic process was concluded. After all, we would expect a fair response without negativity or intimidation (no matter how small), from the other half of the group, had the vote gone our way.
Whenever we exercise our two most basic God-given rights – to think for ourselves, and to make an informed choice – we can become victims of intimidation, especially if our choice goes against the crowd. Today’s chapter shows how insidious intimidation can be. After careful research, King Hezekiah of Israel made a command decision concerning the way he would lead. [v1-4] But even with the experience of past success to stand on [v5-8], intimidation came from several directions…
First, intimidation struck hard to undermine Hezekiah’s confidence in his “two legs” – the two things that work simultaneously to propel him forward: his ability to think and his ability to choose. [v19-20]
After this, intimidation attacked any other props that may be in place. [v21] Even if Hezekiah hadn’t thought of relying on Egypt, the potential props were attacked anyway!
Incredibly, even after almost three millenniums, the same tactic – using material gain or material loss – seems to be the greatest “carrot” used in intimidation to pressurize/terrorize people into choosing out of “the fear of the unknown” which is predicted (though often exaggerated) to be just around the corner. [v23, 31-32]
Whatever is said on the outside, the true nature of intimidation is to strike at the heart of where our thinking and free choice comes from. [v22] Although Hezekiah was a victim of intimidation, he refused to let go of the One who’ll never let us go. [v29-30, 32b]
Read More? …CLICK on “23 June – Additional Notes”
But what about your thoughts – can you tell me what today’s “breadcrumb” is? Leave a note in the “Comments” box below to tell me what you think of today’s chapter.
Wanting to speak directly with the Supreme Power in control of everything we see and experience? The rest of this webpage uses Jesus’ own prayer to help…[a]
THE LORD’S PRAYER:
1. Praise: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your Name. Your Kingdom come! Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven …”
Now You, Lord, the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, will I give honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen. [1 Timothy 1:17]
2. Ask: “…Give us today our daily bread…”
The World: Pray for the poverty in India[b]
Your Country: Persecuted Believers
Yourself: Spiritual Insight
Your concerns for today
You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek Your voice and Your intervention. I thirst for You, my whole being longs for You, in a dry and parched land where there is no water. [Psalm 63:1]
3. Admit: “…Forgive us our sin as we forgive those who sin against us…”
As I go about my daily choices today, Father God, help me to give careful thought to my ways. Without You at the centre of my decision-making process, I’ll plant much, but harvested little. I’ll eat, but never have enough. I’ll drink, but never have my fill. I’ll put on clothes, but won’t be warm and I’ll earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it. [Haggai 1:5-6]
4. Protect: “…Lead us not into temptation but delivers us from evil.”
At the right time You’ll gather us, Lord. At that time, You’ll bring us home. You’ll give us honour and praise among all the peoples of the earth when You release and restore before our very eyes. [Zephaniah 3:20]
“For Yours Lord is the Kingdom, the Power and the Glory now and forever. Amen!”
When questioned, tested, tricked or in His hour of great need, Jesus spoke what was previously written in God’s Word.[c] So, the final section on this page is about memorizing the script through 10 topics. Following these will help you learn 52 portions from the bible in a year! THIS WEEK’S MEMORY VERSE: Using our Gifting
“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honour one another above yourselves.” [Romans 12:9-10]
[a] Matthew 6:5-15
[c] Matthew 4:4,6,7,10; 11:10; 21:13; and 26:24,31