Greetings in the name of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. (Galatians 6:9)
Doing good for God is not so easy on earth. It requires our faith, time and effort to do good. As doing good, we also expect good things in life. We often find this is not true while realizing that our world is not truly compatible with our expectation. Then our question becomes what we should do in this case. Of course, the first thing we need to do is to find an answer in Bible. Here is King Hezekiah, who was a faithful and humble king to God.
When He was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem twenty-nine years. He did what was pleasing in the Lord’s sight, just as his ancestor David had done. Yes, he did good before God. He removed the pagan shrines, smashed the sacred pillars, and cut down the Asherah poles. He even broke up the bronze serpent that Moses had made, because the people of Israel had been offering sacrifices to it. Thus, he eliminated all kinds of idols in his kingdom. He faithfully kept God’s first commandment: No other gods before me.
Not only kept he God’s commandments, he also trusted in the LORD, the God of Israel. He was so faithful. The Bible tells “There was no one like him among all the kings of Judah, either before or after his time.” (2 Kings 18:5b) He remained faithful to the Lord in everything, and 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. Everything was good. He also expanded his kingdom by conquering the Philistines, his kingdom’s archenemy, as far distant as Gaza and its territory, from their smallest outpost to their largest walled city.
To the faithful king, something unexpected came. One day, in the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah’s reign, King Sennacherib of Assyria came to attack the fortified towns of Judah and conquered them. Hezekiah had to give all silver and gold that he had to prevent further invasion. Even so, the Assyrians was not satisfied. The Assyrians sent a threatening message to Hezekiah. The message even included a justification of their invasion in the name of God while saying “What’s more, do you think we have invaded your land without the Lord’s direction? The Lord himself told us, ‘Attack this land and destroy it!’ (2 King 18:25). The message included the mockery of the very faith of King Hezekiah to God.
The Assyrians did not stop there. The Assyrian king’s chief of officer stood, and shouted in Hebrew to the people on the wall, “Listen to this message from the great king of Assyria! This is what the king says: Don’t let Hezekiah deceive you. He will never be able to rescue you from my power. Don’t let him fool you into trusting in the Lord by saying, ‘The Lord will surely rescue us. This city will never fall into the hands of the Assyrian king!’ “ The Assyrian staff stirred up the minds of the people, although King Hezekiah’s staff asked “Please speak to us in Aramaic, for we understand it well. Don’t speak in Hebrew, for the people on the wall will hear.”
When King Hezekiah heard their report, he tore his clothes and put on sackcloth and went into the Temple of the Lord. He also delivered his faithful message to his people against the threatening and blaspheming message shouted by the Assyrian king’s officer. Isaiah, the God’s prophet, delivered to King Hezekiah a message of God — His deliverance and the eventual defeat of the Assyrian army and the death of the Assyrian king invading Judah. What a comforting message to King Hezekiah!
However, the situation was not changed. It became even worse. King Sennacherib, the Assyrian king, personally sent a message to King Hezekiah:
“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?” (2 Kings 19:10-3)
The Sennacherib’s message was even more threatening. It was not an empty threat. What was told in the message was true. Other countries and their gods fell before Assyrian’s kings. If you were king Hezekiah, what would be your reaction? Here is what King Hezekiah did.
After Hezekiah received the letter from the messengers and read it, he went up to the Lord’s Temple and spread it out before the Lord. And Hezekiah prayed this prayer before 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.” (2 Kings 19:15b-19)
Let’s see what King Hezekiah did. He went up to the Lord’s Temple and spread it out before the Lord, and prayed. Yes, he prayed humbly, earnestly and faithfully. He listed out the facts that he knew, and his personal fear. Then he professed his absolute faith in God, the One and Only One True God, who was not like other gods destroyed by Assyrian kings, because they were not gods at all—only idols of wood and stone shaped by human hands.
King Hezekiah’s earnest and faithful prayer was heard by God. God sent His servant, Isaiah, the prophet, and gave His answer to King Hezekiah. And that night the angel of the Lord went out to the Assyrian camp and killed 185,000 Assyrian soldiers. The surviving Assyrians and King Sennacherib of Assyria broke camp and returned to his own land. After his arrival to his capital of Nineveh, and stayed there. One day while he was worshiping in the temple of his god Nisroch, his own sons killed him with their sword. The Assyrian king threatened died as prophesized as the God’s message answered through Isaiah, God’s prophet.
God is not deaf to our prayers as He did to King Hezekiah. God hears our earnest and faithful prayer as He did to King Hezekiah. Doing good before God is an evidence of existence of our faith in our heart, but our prayer in time of unexpected trial and hardship is a crucial proof of our faith. Thus, we don’t losing our heart. We continue pray and never give up. God never loses one word of our prayers, and we will find God through and in our prayers, because He is always with us. Praise the Lord, who loves to hear our prayers and answers our every prayer according to His Infinitely Good Will! God is our True and Ever-Loving Father. Praise His Name!
Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. 13You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. (Jeremiah 29:12-13)