“Thus shall you speak to Hezekiah king of Judah: ‘Do not let your God in whom you trust decide you by promising…” (2 Kings 19:10)
Once upon a time, there was a great king named Hezekiah. The Lord wrote this about him: “He trusted in the Lord the God of Israel, so that there was none like him among all the kings of Judah after him, nor among those who were before him. For he held fast to the Lord. He did not depart from following, but kept the commandments that the Lord commanded Moses. And the Lord was with him; wherever he went out, he prospered. (2 Kings 18:5-7).”
Hezekiah trusted and held fast. As a result, the Lord was him and blessed him with His sovereign favor. Is that not incredible? 2 Kings 18 goes on to say that the Lord enabled him to whip some really tough armies that had repeatedly harassed Israel.
But one day, it is time to face Assyria–the nation that utterly destroyed the Northern kingdom of Israel shortly before. Now Hezekiah, king of the southern kingdom, is facing Israel’s greatest enemy to date. The brazen and belligerent manner of the king gives me chills. Rabshakeh says to them:
‘Has my master sent me to speak theses words to your master and to you, and not to the men sitting on the wall, who are doomed with you to eat their own dung and drink their own urine?…Hear the word of the great king of Assyria! Thus says the king: ‘Do no let Hezekiah deceive you, for he will not be able to deliver you out of my hand. Do not let Hezekiah make you turst in the Lord by saying The Lord will surely deliver us, and this city will not be given into the hand of the Assyria. Do not listen to Hezekiah…Make your peace with me and come out to me.’
Several other taunts are shouted out, poisonous seeds of doubt meant to sow distrust in the Lord in the hearts of the people of Israel. How does the good king of Israel reply as his people are being subject to such remarks, their brethren’s defeat fresh in their minds?
He says nothing.
Instead, at his command, he and all of Israel remained silent. And Hezekaiah went before the Lord and prayed:
“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.”
And the Lord God answered:
“Thus says theLord, the God of Israel: Your prayer to me about Sennacherib king of Assyria I have heard.”
In a God-ordained turn of events, the Lord sent an angel who struck down 185,000 men in the camp of the Assyrians. They awoke that next morning beside the dead bodies of their comrades. Not surprisingly, they retreated without a single sword being raised by Israel.
Then why don’t I trust Him? I hear this derisive shout:
“Thus shall you speak to Brennen, daughter of the Most High: ‘Do not let your God in whom you trust deceive you by promising…”
Don’t let Him deceive you…He isn’t safe…He’s secretly angry with you…He’s like every other person in your life…He will wound your heart…don’t be so stupid as to believe his promises…
And tragically, I often don’t. Oh yes, His kindness leads to me repentance, but what am I missing out on? What dragon was the Lord willing and waiting to slay but my distrust stayed His hand? What more is out there for those who fully trust Him?
Let us see…
“Many are the sorrows of the wicked, but steadfast love surrounds the one who trusts in the Lord (Psalm 32:11).”