Today I was reminded of the account of Hezekiah, the king of Judah. For me, it’s one of the most encouraging events in the Old Testament. 2 Kings 19
Being Told That You’re Junior Varsity
The Assyrians, led by Sennacherib, were preparing to attack Jerusalem. The enemy arrived at Jerusalem after having a winning season of attacks, having conquered Israel and many nations that were thought of as bigger and stronger than Jerusalem. However, none of them worshiped the one true God.
Now the Assyrians had a letter delivered to Hezekiah that told him all the reasons why Hezekiah and Jerusalem would be defeated. This was more than “trash-talk,” this was disrespecting All Mighty God. So, Hezekiah does what we all should do when paired against a top-ranked opponent; he sought help from God. For Hezekiah, he sent a message to Isaiah, the prophet, to hear from God.
Keeping it Personal
Isaiah tells Hezekiah’s servants to tell Hezekiah that God spoke, saying that God would send the Assyrians back from where they came; game over.
Here’s the critical part. After Hezekiah heard from Isaiah, Hezekiah took the letter from the Assyrians and laid it out for God to look at it. Then Hezekiah prayed, saying to God that the threat from the Assyrians was not against Hezekiah but against Almighty God! Hezekiah’s prayer came from a deep understanding of the relationship he personally had with God. So, the battle was not against him or Judah; the Assyrians were attacking God!
Why did Hezekiah pray after already hearing from God? Because, as Jesus taught during His earthly ministry, we are to ask. Hezekiah had been told; now, he needed to ask. Then God has Isaiah send a message to Hezekiah to say to the king that because Hezekiah had prayed, God would send Sennacherib and the Assyrians back to their home with, metaphorically, their tail between their legs.
Even a Good Report Needs Prayer
God saved Hezekiah and Judah. What we need to learn is that even when we are told that our enemy will be defeated, we still need to pray and ask God for victory. Maybe we are battling a medical problem, and our doctor tells us that we will be okay; we still need to pray and ask God for victory. Why? Because we need the victory that comes from God. It’s personal.
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. Matthew 7:7
Even when we are told that we will be okay, we need to ask, seek, and/or knock. This is the pattern that Jesus has set for us.
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