By Not Known
Bullies come in many forms. They are sometimes physical, but often verbal or
psychological. A parent, spouse, teacher, work colleague or even a church
member can be a bully. Bullies threaten, intimidate and demoralise us from some
position of real or imagined strength.
Who bullies you?
Hezekiah faced a bully (Is 36-37). Hezekiah was Judah’s king and his bully was
Sennacherib, king of Assyria. Assyria had swallowed up Israel and then Judah’s
fortress cities. Jerusalem was next on the list. Sennacherib taunted Hezekiah,
ridiculed his strength and mocked his God.
How are you bullied?
Bullying is a battle of our heart. It easily provokes us to ‘flight or fight’. ‘Flight’
encourages the bully to persist, for s/he has just won another victory. ‘Fight’ is
surrender to the bully’s world and fosters a culture of even more intimidation.
Hezekiah did neither flight nor fight. He sought God. He sought God’s presence by
going to the temple. He sought God’s word by listening to the prophet. He sought
God’s provision through prayer. Notice the theme:Is there trouble anywhere..
take it to the Lord in prayer.
How do you respond to bullying!
Hezekiah’s prayer is worth close reading (Is 37: 13-20). He first reminds himself
and us that the Lord is bigger than the bully. After calling on God to see what is
happening, he notes that false gods cannot help. Then he asks God to deliver him
from this bully. But note the reason. Hezekiah asks God to do this so that all will
know that the Lord alone is God.
This prayer honours God to the max. Hezekiah honours God by depending on him to
rescue him from the bully. He further honours God by putting God’s name and
reputation at the centre of his prayer. It is a prayer that hallows God’s name and
not his own.
Let’s learn from Hezekiah. When we are bullied (or facÄ— any other trouble), we
most honour God by depending on him to meet our needs. When we pray, we most
honour God by putting his interests at the centre of our prayers.