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. (2 Kings 19:14 NLT)
How do you react when you receive bad, hard news? If you’re like most of the human race, your first response is an increased heart rate. Fear kicks into high gear, sent straight from the enemy of your soul. Then, different personalities deal with bad news in different ways. Some of us call our seventeen closest friends. Or our mother. Some of us bury ourselves in work and try to forget. Others sit. Paralyzed and frightened.
I was recently blindsided with bad news, but this time … I made a decision: I don’t want to walk down my well-worn fearful path. I’m pretty much tired of the increased heart rate panic mode and that fear thing. Nope. This time I tried the Hezekiah approach—so glad I remembered his name so I could look him up in my Bible. Reading his story filled me with hope.
As king of Israel, Hezekiah was responsible for an entire nation. One day he received a letter from the king of Assyria demanding surrender and threatening annihilation. Seriously bad news! Especially considering that the Assyrian king, Sennacherib, had already decimated just about every nation he fought. The threat was very real. Terrifying. And this enemy was definitely too strong to be resisted by Hezekiah’s armies.
Hezekiah’s response? Now that was something. He took that threatening letter and marched himself up to the temple of the Lord, God of Israel, and basically laid it out before God and declared, “Here. Please take care of this.” And guess what? God did. Yup. Against all odds, Israel came out triumphant—and in the entire army, not a man had to even lift a finger. One hundred and eighty-five thousand fighting men surrounded Jerusalem, but in one night … they all died, struck down by the angel of the Lord. And that was that. No one fought Israel because no one was left alive to fight. Hezekiah and his army did nothing … except …
This wise king actually did the most important thing of all. He remembered who was in charge. He went straight to the top and “spread out” his praise, his problem, and his petition before the Lord.
And what an answer he received! No historical documents record that Sennacherib ever conquered Jerusalem, although records state his army was there. Something happened that night that sent the super star king scuttling back to Assyria, where he was assassinated by his own sons. So much for that enemy.
This time when my hard news hit, I looked up Hezekiah’s story in 2 Kings 19. Figuratively, I spread it out before the Lord. I had no idea what to do or how to solve this problem. But that act of giving it over to God filled me with joy! The late Eugenia Price used to remind us that “God is responsible for me,” because He is my Father. So, His little Sharon gave Him her big problem and there it sits. No, it’s not yet solved. In fact, I still have no clue how to “fix it.” But I’ve given it to the One who knows and is able.
Today, I read Hezekiah’s prayer in 2 Kings 19 and make it my own:
“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! …” (v. 15a-16b NLT)
I read and am comforted. I am reminded that I can safely entrust all difficulties to my great and good God. Today, I told fear to take a hike. My God’s got this. I may not know how it will be solved, but I know I’ve brought it to the right place. I can rest in that. Thank You, Lord!
You are loved,
Sweet Selah Ministries
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