Greetings in the name of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
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. (Isaiah 37:14)
King Hezekiah trusted in the LORD, the God of Israel. There was no one like him among all the kings of Judah, either before or after his time. He did what was pleasing in the LORD’s sight, just as his ancestor David had done. First, he removed the pagan shrines, smashed the sacred pillars, and cut down the Asherah poles. He broke up the bronze serpent that Moses had made, because the people of Israel had been offering sacrifices to it. Then he carefully obeyed all the commands the LORD had given Moses. So the LORD was with him, and Hezekiah was successful in everything he did.
In the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah’s reign, King Sennacherib of Assyria came to attack the fortified towns of Judah and conquered them. Then the king of Assyria sent messengers back to Hezekiah in Jerusalem with this message:
“This message is for King Hezekiah of Judah. Don’t let your God, in whom you trust, deceive you with promises that Jerusalem will not be captured by the king of Assyria. You know perfectly well what the kings of Assyria have done wherever they have gone. They have completely destroyed everyone who stood in their way! Why should you be any different? Have the gods of other nations rescued them—such nations as Gozan, Haran, Rezeph, and the people of Eden who were in Tel-assar? My predecessors destroyed them all! What happened to the king of Hamath and the king of Arpad? What happened to the kings of Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivvah?” (Isaiah 37:10-13)
Let’s put ourselves in King Hezekiah’s shoes. He eliminated all idols in the kingdom so that people stop worshipping those man-made idols except God. He did not stop there. He also faithfully followed all the commands that God has given to him, which became an example to the people in the kingdom. When they saw his example, they did faithfully follow God’s commands. Everything that he did was successful, and the whole nation was prospering. Thus, he must have thought that the peace and prosperity would continue. No, it was not. In the fourteenth year, King Sennacherib of Assyria came to attack the fortified border-towns, and captured them. King Sennacherib, then, sent a threatening message to him. . If we were King Hezekiah, what would be our immediate reaction?
King Sennacherib of Assyria opened his letter by saying, “Don’t let your God, in whom you trust, deceive you.” King Sennacherib attacked the very center of the heart of King Hezekiah and his people – the faith in God. Except the faith in God, what would make them different from other nations? The Assyrian King wanted to destroy what they believe with concrete and tangible examples. He listed out previous nations conquered by Assyria because their gods could not rescue their people. As the kings of Assyria matched through nations, and completely destroyed everyone who faithfully worshiped and prayed to their gods. Then the Assyrian king questioned, “Why should you be any different?”
After Hezekiah received the letter from the messenger and read it, he did not say anything, except going up to the LORD’s Temple. Then he spread out King Sennacherib’s fearful letter before the LORD filled with blasphemies to the creator and sovereign God. Hezekiah prayed to the LORD:
“O LORD, God of Israel, you are enthroned between the mighty cherubim! You alone are God of all the kingdoms of the earth. You alone created the heavens and the earth. Bend down, O LORD, and listen! Open your eyes, O LORD, and see! Listen to Sennacherib’s words of defiance against the living God.
“It is true, LORD, that the kings of Assyria have destroyed all these nations. And they have thrown the gods of these nations into the fire and burned them. But of course the Assyrians could destroy them! They were not gods at all—only idols of wood and stone shaped by human hands. Now, O LORD our God, rescue us from his power; then all the kingdoms of the earth will know that you alone, O LORD, are God.” (Isaiah 37:16-20)
King Hezekiah bring an earnestly and authentically prayer before God. It was a great prayer that pleased God, which is an great example to us — how to pray to God under a server distress and fear. King Hezekiah said in his prayer:
1. His faith to the sovereignty to God,
2. His troubling heart of hearing blasphemy of King of Sennacherib
3. His authentic fear of the power of the kings of Assyria, and
4. His absolute trust in Almighty God, who surely will provide deliverance.
God heard this earnest prayer of King Hezekiah. God sent a message to Hezekiah: “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: I have heard your prayer about King Sennacherib of Assyria.“ (Isaiah 37:21) After comforting the king with His Powerful Word, He told what He was about to do against the King of Assyria. Thanks to God! God has never put his children alone in danger, and He always takes care of His beloved children. What we need to do when we meet a great threat or an insurmountable problem is our earnest and authentic prayer. God hears our prayer in our distress, and answers our prayer word by word according to His infinitely good will.
That night the angel of the LORD went out to the Assyrian camp and killed 185,000 Assyrian soldiers. When the surviving Assyrians woke up the next morning, they found corpses everywhere. Then King Sennacherib of Assyria broke camp and returned to his own land. He went home to his capital of Nineveh and stayed there. (Isaiah 37:36-37)
God did hear the blasphemies made by the king of Assyria with his own word in the letter. One day while he was worshiping in the temple of his god Nisroch, his sons Adrammelech and Sharezer killed him with their swords. (Isaiah 37:38) The Assyrian king’s own son killed the blaspheming king while he was worshipping his god in the god’s temple.
“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; … (Isaiah 49:15-16)
Our God never forgets us. God has engraved us on the palms of His hands. He continuously watches over us especially we are under distress. He loves to hear our prayer, and he answers to us with His mighty and loving hand. Praise Him! He is worthy of our highest praise from now and forever! Let’s approach Him with our fullest confidence in the time of trouble.
Please feel free to submit your prayer request through web page.