Wonder of God Meditations 24: Discipline
2 Chron 33:11a “So the Lord brought against them the army commanders of the king of Assyria.”
There is a fact throughout Scripture that can upset the unknowing: it is that GOD raises up bad people to act as forms of discipline for His people. We see it throughout the book of Judges especially, the first sign being, “In his anger against Israel the Lord gave them into the hands of raiders who plundered them.” (Jud 2:14) Now we need to understand that God doesn’t make people evil, they just are, and so given half a chance people are nasty to people (understatement of the year!). There can be two sides to this.
First the Lord allows Satan to sow evil thoughts into the minds of evil men (see Job 1 & 2) and, second, the Lord lifts His hand of blessing off His wrong-doing people. The end result we see in Paul’s writings; “Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts.” (Rom 1:24) i.e. God lifted off His hand of restraint and just let people’s self-destructive sin tendency run amok. Paul used that phrase, “God gave them over,” three times (Rom 1:24,26,28). In every case God just allows sinful mankind freedom to sin in a way that chastises His people when they have gone astray. And so we find the same thing now: “So the Lord brought against them the army commanders of the king of Assyria.”
So here is this stubborn idolatrous king, totally abusing his position and he refuses to listen to God (v.10). If we were God we would probably have given up on him but God doesn’t, He knows what is yet possible, although it may take some extreme measures. So the Lord allows Satan (as we said, that’s how Job 1 & 2 shows it works) to prod the ungodly and unrighteous minds of the army commander of Assyria in the north to gaze south where easy pickings are on offer! So again, often the Lord just allows the world to rise against the nation to bring discipline. He just uses their godless & unrighteous attitudes to rise up and bite each other, so to speak. It looks bad but there is a glorious outcome. Be patient.
The ultimate expression of such activity, where the Lord just uses the wrong hearts and activities of sinful men and women, has to be in respect of Jesus and the Cross. As the apostle Peter preached on the Day of Pentecost under the revelation of the Holy Spirit, “This man was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross.” (Acts 2:23) So now, He does the same thing, using Assyria, using the hostile intentions of this neighbour to invade Israel to bring discipline to this godless people.