2 Kings 19:1-2 (NIV) 1 When King Hezekiah heard this, he tore his clothes and put on sackcloth and went into the temple of the LORD. 2 He sent Eliakim the palace administrator, Shebna the secretary and the leading priests, all wearing sackcloth, to the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz.
On verses 1-4: King Hezekiah’s officials deliver Assyria’s intimidating message to Hezekiah. In response, Hezekiah does a wise thing: (1) he pours his heart out to God, spending time in His presence; and (2) he seeks counsel from the prophet Isaiah. What can we learn from this? Whenever you are under great pressure or receive bad news, the best thing you can do is to go to God and spend time in His presence. If necessary, seek godly counsel too.
On verses 5-13: Isaiah gives Hezekiah an encouraging, reassuring message from the Lord, promising that the Lord will cut down Assyria’s king Sennacherib. Shortly after that, Hezekiah receives a letter from King Sennacherib trying to shake Hezekiah’s confidence in God’s Word and trying to show that Israel is no different from all the other nations that Assyria has laid to waste.
What can we learn from this? Sometimes you will be faced with two opposing voices and two opposite messages about the same situation. You need to have the discernment to listen to the Lord’s voice above and beyond any other voices that you may hear. And when you find that other voice particularly distracting, do what Hezekiah does in verse 14.
2 Kings 19:14-15 (NIV) 14 Hezekiah received the letter from the messengers and read it. Then he went up to the temple of the LORD and spread it out before the LORD. 15 And Hezekiah prayed to the LORD: “O LORD, God of Israel, enthroned between the cherubim, you alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth.
On verses 14-19: After Hezekiah reads Sennacherib’s discouraging letter, he spreads it before the Lord and invites God to hear and intervene. While not denying that Assyria has been unstoppable against other nations, Hezekiah prays to the Lord and says, “You alone are God over all kingdoms of the earth” (v15). He asks the Lord to deliver him and his nation (v19).
What can we learn from this? No matter how great a challenge or crisis you may be facing today, always remember that God is greater, that He alone is God over the all the earth.
Heavenly Father, like Hezekiah, when I am under pressure, may I focus on what You say more than what my enemy or circumstances say. May I turn to You and always remember that You are greater than any challenge I face. Thank You that just as You have faithfully delivered me before, You will deliver me with faithfulness again. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!