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Summary: Taking a look at how Hezekiah dealt with adversity and a threat from his "enemy."

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Hate Mail”

II Kings 19:9-19 & 32-36

2KI 19:9 Now Sennacherib received a report that Tirhakah, the Cushite king of Egypt, was marching out to fight against him. So he again sent messengers to Hezekiah with this word: 10 "Say to Hezekiah king of Judah: Do not let the god you depend on deceive you when he says, `Jerusalem will not be handed over to the king of Assyria.’ 11 Surely you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all the countries, destroying them completely. And will you be delivered? 12 Did the gods of the nations that were destroyed by my forefathers deliver them: the gods of Gozan, Haran, Rezeph and the people of Eden who were in Tel Assar? 13 Where is the king of Hamath, the king of Arpad, the king of the city of Sepharvaim, or of Hena or Ivvah?" 14 Hezekiah received the letter from the messengers and read it. Then he went up to the temple of the LORD and spread it out before the LORD. 15 And Hezekiah prayed to the LORD: "O LORD, God of Israel, enthroned between the cherubim, you alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth. 16 Give ear, O LORD, and hear; open your eyes, O LORD, and see; listen to the words Sennacherib has sent to insult the living God. 17 "It is true, O LORD, that the Assyrian kings have laid waste these nations and their lands. 18 They have thrown their gods into the fire and destroyed them, for they were not gods but only wood and stone, fashioned by men’s hands. 19 Now, O LORD our God, deliver us from his hand, so that all kingdoms on earth may know that you alone, O LORD, are God."

2KI 19:32 "Therefore this is what the LORD says concerning the king of Assyria: "He will not enter this city or shoot an arrow here. He will not come before it with shield or build a siege ramp against it. 33 By the way that he came he will return; he will not enter this city, declares the LORD. 34 I will defend this city and save it, for my sake and for the sake of David my servant." 35 That night the angel of the LORD went out and put to death a hundred and eighty-five thousand men in the Assyrian camp. When the people got up the next morning--there were all the dead bodies! 36 So Sennacherib king of Assyria broke camp and withdrew. He returned to Nineveh and stayed there.

INTRODUCTION

• Hezekiah received some really devastating and threatening hate mail from his enemy in this passage

• I want to remind all of us this morning, that we are really no different…the enemy of our souls would like to use whatever means necessary to discourage us as we try to grow in Christ.

• Let’s take a close look at what Hezekiah went through here…I think we will be able to relate to him pretty well:

I. What He RECEIVED {vs 14}

• He received a message from his enemy which could have been very discouraging and very defeating

• What kind of hate mail do we receive from the enemy of our souls?

“You can’t be forgiven” “Things will never change”

“Your prayers are useless” “You’re not good enough”

• I need to remind you that the devil is a liar!

John 8:44 … He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

II. His RESPONSE {vs 14-19}

1. Where he PROCEEDED (vs 14)

• Immediately, Hezekiah went to the presence of the Lord

• Don’t underestimate the power of being in the presence of God!

In Your PRIVATE Life

In Your PUBLIC Life

2. What he PLACED (vs 14)

• He spread the letters/hate mail out before the Lord

• That is exactly what I am going to give you the opportunity to do this morning…place your “hate mail” before the Lord

1PE 5:6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

3. When he PRAYED (vs 15-19)

• This was Hezekiah’s line of defense. He prayed a powerful prayer to the Lord.

He mentioned God’s POWER

He mentioned the PROBLEM

He mentioned his POSITION

He mentioned God’s PURPOSE

The Mail Slot

Author Garry Friesen writes: When my friend Reilly told me about his first visit to our church, I learned something about prayer. Reilly says that after the service he lingered, talking to this person and that. When he stepped outside, his four-year-old daughter, Melody, did not come out. By then the building was empty, and the door was locked and could be opened only with a key.

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