Summary: Hezekiah prays and sees God as the One who is enthroned and rules over all kingdoms. He trusts God and sees the deliverance of God.
Hezekiah has a real crisis at hand. Jerusalem was under siege and fighting for her life.
• In chapter 18 they were confronted with a psychological warfare at the wall, bombarded by depressing words from the Assyrian field commander.
• Hezekiah commanded his people at the wall not to answer the enemy.
• That’s wisdom in the face of mockery and intimidation. We don’t always have to argue or debate with our adversary.
What could Hezekiah do? In chapter 19, we see him going into the Temple of the Lord twice, in verse 1 and then again in verse 14.
• That’s what we need to do in a crisis. Keep our focus right. Read 2 Kings 19:1-4.
The first thing Hezekiah did was to go into the Temple of the Lord.
• He sought God and refused to be distracted by the difficult circumstance and discouraging words. He directed his focus on God and prayed (most likely).
He needed to hear from God and so he sent his men to look for prophet Isaiah at the same time. God speaks through His prophet.
• For him, it’s Isaiah; for us, it’s the Scriptures today.
• Hezekiah related his plight and asked Isaiah to plead with God.
• He was without strength, like a pregnant woman who finally goes into labour but cannot deliver because all her strength has been drained by the long struggle.
Hear God’s response through Isaiah - 2 Kings 19:5-7.
Isaiah responded immediately with the Word from the Lord.
• God assures the King - 19:6b-7 “Do not be afraid of what you have heard - those words with which the underlings of the king of Assyria have blasphemed me. 7 Listen! I am going to…”
• You’ve been hearing these words of man and you are afraid. LISTEN to another voice. LISTEN! Pay attention to what the Lord says!
What are we allowing to enter our minds? If we listen only to the words of man and pay attention to them, we will be misled and afraid.
• LISTEN to what God says. “I am going to…” the Lord says.
• He revealed a plan. God has a plan! In a hopeless situation, God already has a plan. This is what the Lord will do, Isaiah declared.
It is a revelation of what is to come, and it’s quite unbelievable!
• God will step in and cause King Sennacherib to hear a certain report and he will retreat to his own country upon hearing it (19:7). Assyria will retreat on its own.
• And not only that, but the King Sennacherib will die a violent death when he reaches home.
This is entirely an act of God. Nothing that Hezekiah can do. He just has to stay put and watch it happen!
• Why didn’t God act earlier? Why didn’t God announce this at the beginning, before all the troubles?
• We don’t know. What we do know is that through the crisis Hezekiah learnt that God’s Word is true and he can trust God.
• Trust in God comes, not APART from trials, but THROUGH them.
See how God unfolds His plan - 2 Kings 19:8-13.
See map. While the field commander was at Jerusalem mocking Hezekiah, his King Sennacherib left Lachish and was fighting Libnah.
• It was at this time they heard a report that Egypt was marching out to fight them.
• The field commander has no choice but to leave with his men to defend his King.
And because this would look like the Assyrians are withdrawing from Jerusalem, the field commander issued his final ultimatum to Hezekiah, a written one.
• He added more places to the list of victories (totally 10) that the Assyrians had conquered in ALL the countries, adding 5 new names that he had not previously mentioned in his first threat (18:33-34).
• Again Hezekiah responded in the same way – he went into the Temple of the Lord.
• Listen to his prayer - 2 Kings 19:14-19.
Spreading the letter before God, Hezekiah prayed.
• And it turned out to be less of a petition but more like a praise of God. He was acknowledging how great God is.
• For someone in such a state, we expected him to plead with God and tell Him how BIG his problem is. Instead, we have him telling us how BIG his God is.
Hezekiah acknowledges the greatness of his God.
• He is the God of ISRAEL. He is enthroned between the cherubim (angels), which is the picture of the mercy seat above the Ark of the Covenant.
• Exo 25:22 “There, above the cover between the two cherubim that are over the ark of the Testimony, I will meet with you and give you all my commands for the Israelites.”