From Pain and Panic to Perspective and Prayer

As soon as King Hezekiah heard it, he tore his clothes and covered himself with sackcloth and went into the house of the Lord. And he sent… to Isaiah.., ‘This is a day of distress, rebuke, and disgrace; children have come to the point of birth, and there is no strength to bring them forth. It may be that the Lord your God will hear the words of the Rabshakeh,.. sent to mock the living God..; therefore lift up your prayer for the remnant that is left.’ [Sennacherib] sent to Hezekiah, saying..: ‘Do not let your God in whom you trust deceive you by promising that Jerusalem will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria. You have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands. Shall you be delivered?’ 

Hezekiah received the letter, and read it; [he] went up to the house of the Lord, and spread it before the Lord. And Hezekiah prayed to the Lord: ‘O Lord of hosts, 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 all the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to mock the living God. Truly, the kings of Assyria have laid waste all the nations and their landsSo now, O Lord our God, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you alone are the Lord.’ 

“‘Thus says the Lord:.. Have you not heard that I determined it long ago? I planned from days of old what now I bring to pass… I will defend this city to save it, for my own sake.'” Isaiah 37:1-4,9-11,14-21,26,35

King Hezekiah had every reason to panic. The mighty, cruel armies of Assyria were bearing down, Israel the chosen target in their hungry sights. His people and God had been ridiculed, he himself mocked and maligned by Sennacherib’s general. Then we see the blessed as soon as. Immediately, upon hearing of the enemy advance, the godly king entered the house of the Lord to pray, and sent for Isaiah to pray with him for their nation. He took his pain and panic to the only place worthy, placing them before the One he knew was enthroned above all. (Isaiah 36)

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It is in the place of prayer, exalting God alone, that we gain His perspective on the turmoil and battle that rages about us. As long as we live, there will be the ‘Rabshekah:’ rebel-rousers and opposition, those who accuse, taunt our faith, attempt to shake our confidence in God. Though buffeted, we need not be jarred from our sure foundation, God our Rock. In this world, we have trouble, but in the Lord, we know peace. (Psalm 18:1-2; Matthew 7:24-27: John 16:33)

Are we willing to make the climb, courageous enough to ‘take the letter’ of our concerns, confusion, heartache, and fears, and spread them before the Lord? Do we spend the time to pray and plead until God is finished speaking with us? (Genesis 17:22; 18:33)

Good Father, keep me bowing before Your throne above, even as the world here below encroaches. May I trust, and exemplify, Your Lordship.

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