Reading through the Bible together

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

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After King Sennacherib’s taunting message via his spokesmen Rabshakeh, you can imagine the distress in the court of King Hezekiah in Jerusalem. In fact, King Hezekiah tore his clothes, and covered himself in sackcloth. However, rather than trying to rally his armies or turning to worldly wise men for help, he turned to God.

As we can see in this chapter, while Rabshakeh intended to frighten Hezekiah from trusting in the Lord ( this time through a blasphemous letter – see verse 14).  Instead these tactics turned King Hezekiah to hold on more tightly to the Lord. This should be a lesson for us today when faced with any difficulty, big or small.

I love Hezekiah’s prayer to the Lord. “O LORD of hosts, God of Israel, that dwellest between the cherubims, thou art the God, even thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth: thou hast made heaven and earth” (vs. 16). The way Hezekiah starts this prayer is so significant. Remember, the two cherubims cover the mercy seat of the ark in the Most Holy Place (Num. 7:89). By mentioning that God dwells between these two cherubims, Hezekiah is reminding God that He is a God of mercy. He’s also acknowledging that God is not just a great God, but the only God and He is the ruler of all the kingdoms of earth, as well as the creator of the world. Thus it would be no great thing for Him to deal with King Sennacherib and his Assyrian host.

Hezekiah’s prayer continues: “Listen Lord, open your eyes. Do you see what they are saying against you? It’s true; they’ve already destroyed many nations. But these nations trusted in gods of wood and stone. You are not like these gods. Hear my prayer and save us that all these nations (both Assyria and those nations they destroyed) may see that YOU are the only true God and you are the only God who can deliver.” (My paraphrase of verses 16-20).

How could God not answer such a plea? Psalms 50:15 tells us, “Call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.” And that’s exactly what God did, He delivered Jerusalem.  In the final verse of this chapter we see that the angel of the Lord single-handedly destroyed 185,000 of the Assyrian army. Not only did King Sennacherib return home with shame, but not long after, he was killed by his own sons.

When faced with insurmountable difficulties or challenges, prayer based on the promises of God’s Word should always be our first line of defense. Just like King Hezekiah spread that threatening letter before the Lord, so we should spread every burden (both large and small) before the Lord and claim His promises.

“Keep your wants, your joys, your sorrows, your cares, and your fears before God. You cannot burden Him; you cannot weary Him. He who numbers the hairs of your head is not indifferent to the wants of His children…Take to Him everything that perplexes the mind. Nothing is too great for Him to bear, for He holds up worlds, He rules over the affairs of the universe. Nothing that in any way concerns our peace is too small for Him to notice. There is no chapter in our experience too dark for Him to read; there is no perplexity too difficult for Him to unravel.” Steps to Christ, p. 100.

Melodious Echo Mason
ARME Bible Camp Ministries