Summary: Series on men and women’s prayers in the Bible that made a difference and how prayer truly is the difference maker in our lives. I borrowed the outlines from SermonCentral Pro Contributor Tim Byrd.
Hezekiah: Prayer for Protection
As I have said each week, these are very obscure prayers. Sometimes hidden in the midst of a story or an unusual event in the Bible we find these people of God crying out to Him in prayer and we see through these prayers the mighty power of God. Through these people we have seen that Prayer truly does make a difference. Church, these prayers are reminders to you and me that God is still a powerful God and He is still a God who answers prayer and if we really want God’s power to move in our lives and in our church then we must get down on our knees in prayer and pray to a great and awesome God. Pray that He will do great and mighty things with and in our lives as well as in our church. Tonight we look at another example of a prayer that made a difference. Tonight we will take a look at King Hezekiah.
Hezekiah was king of Judah for 29 years 716-687 BC. More space is devoted to Hezekiah in Scripture than to almost any other king since the time of Solomon. The parallel accounts in 2 Chronicles29-32 & Isaiah 36-39 should also be read to better understand the spiritual & political victories that this king gained through his faith in God.
The Bible says that of all the Kings who descended from David, he was the greatest. We read in II Kings 18: 5-7a, “He trusted in the Lord God of Israel; so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor any that were before him, for he stayed with the Lord and departed not from following him. He kept the commandments, which the Lord commanded to Moses. And the Lord was with him; and he prospered wherever he went.”
Hezekiah was great in many respects. He was a great political leader who delivered Judah from the chaos of the reign of his father Ahaz. He was a great builder and his aqueduct which brought water to Jerusalem can be seen today. He was a great man of letters, having gathered together much of the sacred writings in Books like Psalms and Proverbs. But most of all he was a great religious reformer, a mighty man of God. He had the courage to destroy the serpent Moses made because the people made an idol of it. He opened the doors of the House of God, closed by his wicked father. He reinstituted the long neglected feast of Passover. He destroyed the high places where pagan idols were worshiped.
So Hezekiah was a great King. So when you read about his life you realize that King Hezekiah faced four “Crises” in his reign. 1. He faced the crises of choice. Early in his kingship he chose to forsake the idols of his fathers. He tore down the idols & rebuilt the city of God. 2. He faced the crisis of invasion. The Assyrians came right to the walls of Jerusalem & threatened to enter the city & destroy it. Had it not been for the power of prayer it might have been conquered. 3. He faced the crisis of prosperity. Foolishly, he displayed all his personal wealth & treasures of the kingdom. 4. Finally, at the very height of his power, when he was only thirty-nine years old, when his nation was surrounded by the armies of Assyria, a time when they needed his leadership the most he is sick in bed with a severely infected boil. Tonight we see that God sent the Prophet Isaiah to Hezekiah with a message, Isaiah was fixing to be the bearer of bad news. This news that Isaiah brought him was the news of his impending death and so tonight we see Hezekiah is faced with the most personal crisis of all: the crisis of death.
WHAT MESSAGE OF ENCOURAGEMENT CAN WE FIND FROM THE WAY HE FACED DEATH??? (2 Kings 20:1-7)
I. The Message of the Prophet (v. 1)
Hezekiah has become ill and was at the point of death. Up to this time that had been treating him and taking care of him and Isaiah the prophet comes to him and tells him “This is what the Lord says…” In others words Isaiah was telling Hezekiah you don’t need a second opinion because God said. Note the harshness of the announcement. Isaiah was giving him a message that had no hope, no comfort. There seemed to be no way out because this was God’s Will. Then the second part of the message comes “Set your house in order, because you are going to die; you will not recover.” In other words, you’re going to die so get ready, take care of anything you need to take care of. So when Isaiah told him to set his house in order it literally meant to pick out a man to succeed you to the throne before you die.