Pastor’s Bible Reading Schedule: 2 Kings 19-21
In 2 Kings 19-20 we find some very encouraging truths regarding prayer. I don’t know what you may be facing today or what you may face tomorrow, but we find great comfort in knowing that our great God does know and He cares! In chapter 19, Hezekiah hears of the potential attack of the King of Assyria. Verse eleven tells of the horrible and terrifying way that the Assyrians would destroy the cities and nations in their way. “Behold, thou hast heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands, by destroying them utterly; and shalt thou be delivered?” There did not seem to be anyone on the earth who could stand against or stand up to the powerful Assyrian army. Now Hezekiah had received a letter telling him that he was next. Do you feel that you are in a situation where your back is up against the wall? Are you feeling there is no way of escape? Hezekiah certainly felt that way. “And Hezekiah received the letter of the hand of the messengers and read it; and Hezekiah went up onto the house of the Lord, and spread it before the Lord.” (vs. 14) What a good lesson for all of us to learn. Hezekiah took the threatening letter to the temple and spread it before the Lord. It is interesting in his prayer to God that his motivation for the protection of his people and the defeat of Sennacherib was the exaltation of the name of God. Too often our prayers are amiss in that they are selfish. It is not God’s will or God’s name, or even the glory of God that motivates our prayers; it is often our own comfort, convenience, or control that we want. Because Hezekiah had prayed for God to be glorified and His name to be defended, God heard the prayer of Hezekiah. “…Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, that which thou hast prayed to me against Sennacherib king of Assyria I have heard.” (vs. 20) I am reminded what Paul told the church at Rome, “If God be for us, who can be against us?” Sennacherib woke up to find that God had come to camp and killed 185,000 of his soldiers. As Sennacherib returned to Nineveh and was worshipping his false gods, two of his sons came in and smote him with the sword. (vs. 37) In chapter 20, we find Hezekiah getting word from the Lord, “…set thine house in order; for thou shalt die and not live.” (20:1) Again, this would be tough news for anyone to receive. I have been beside a number of people who received such a word from the Lord through the mouth of a doctor. Hezekiah turned his face toward the wall and prayed unto the Lord. (vs. 2) He reminisced with the Lord about his life. How he had walked before the Lord in truth and with a perfect heart. How he had done that which was good in the sight of the Lord. Then Hezekiah wept sore! (vs. 3) It is such a comfort to know God sees our tears. The songwriter years ago wrote, “Tears are a language, God understands!” It is obvious that Hezekiah did not want to die. I do not think it was because he did not want to see the Lord, but rather he just did not want to die. I think that is very normal. How encouraging to see that God heard the prayer of Hezekiah. Before Isaiah could get out of the palace, God told him to turn around and tell Hezekiah that God had heard his prayer and had seen his tears. (vs. 5) God chose to add to Hezekiah 15 more years of life. Does God still answer the prayers of His children today? Of course He does! Just as he heard the prayers, during difficult times, from the heart of Hezekiah, God will hear our prayers today. Remember, God knows best and that He will always say yes if that is best.
• Lord, please help me to have the confidence that Hezekiah shows to come to you with everything. Thank you for the assurance that you see what is going on in my life and that you care.
• Lord, thank you for desiring to hear and answer the prayers of your children. Help me to always know that you know best. Help me to always submit my will to your will and to allow you to accomplish in my life what is best for me.
• Lord, thank you for seeing my tears. It is so encouraging to read how you heard Hezekiah’s prayer and you saw his tears. It brings joy to my heart to know the great powerful Creator God knows and cares about me.