“Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers and read it; and Hezekiah went up to the house of the Lord and spread it before the Lord. And Hezekiah prayed before the Lord and said: “O Lord, the God of Israel, enthroned above the cherubim, you are the God, you alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; you have made heaven and earth. Incline your ear, O Lord, and hear; open your eyes, O Lord, and see; and hear the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to mock the living God. Truly, O Lord, the kings of Assyria have laid waste the nations and their lands and have cast their gods into the fire, for they were not gods, but the work of men’s hands, wood and stone. Therefore they were destroyed. So now, O Lord our God, save us, please, from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you, O Lord, are God alone.”” – 2 Kings 19:14-19 (ESV)
One of the faithful kings of Israel, Hezekiah, was known for walking sincerely before God. However, he made a mistake during his 14th year of reign. When confronted by Assyria, he took the silver and gold from the temple of the Lord and gave it to the king of Assyria in hopes that the king would be appeased. But as we can see, the appeasement failed. At that time, Assyria was the most powerful nation in the world. Their military conquests were nothing short of impressive. They toppled nations and slaughtered powerful kings.
When the appeasement failed and the king of Assyria threatened to destroy Hezekiah, mocking the nation’s faith in God, what did Hezekiah do?
He went before the Lord.
I love that Hezekiah went to God. He recognized that his alliance with Egypt (no small power at that time) would not help.
There will always be many times in our lives when we face situations beyond our capacity and resources to handle.
Psalm 46:1 (NIV) declares: “God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.”
Hezekiah’s situation was impossible. The king of Assyria wasn’t full of pompous wind when he said that Egypt’s military alliance would not save Israel.
Despite Hezekiah’s initial mistake of trying to appease the enemy, God answered his prayer.
Why? Because Hezekiah completely gave himself and the fate of Israel up to the mercy of God. Hezekiah recognized the best course of action and took it. The world will always mock our faith in the Lord, but we need to stand firm.
When things in life bring us to the brink of destruction, when we feel like death is near, let’s remember God’s response to Hezekiah. And have faith.
Are you ready for His mercy?