Monday, January 24, 2011

A Lesson From Hezekiah's War Room

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Sometimes you look up and all you can see is a tangle of details and circumstances and you can't begin to see a way through.  Ever been there?

Maybe for you it is the daily chaos of being a young mom with little ones, trying to cope with all the demands on your time and energy.

Or maybe your tangle is the pit-in-your-stomach-producing thought of your finances in this very uncertain economy.

Maybe you have big responsibilities at work and the expectations from above and the truth on the ground seem impossible to reconcile.

Maybe for you it is the weight of your own potential and the feeling that you don't know how to put it all together or that your resources don't match your dreams.

For Hezekiah, king of Judah, it was a threatening, taunting, mocking letter from Sennacharib, king of Assyria who was trying to undermine his leadership and take over Judah.  The threats were real, devastating attack was imminent and everything was at stake.  But Hezekiah, unlike so many kings before and after him, was a godly king and he knew what to do.
"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. And Hezekiah prayed to the LORD . . ."  Isaiah 37:14-15 NIV

Hezekiah turned his eyes from the looming threats in front of him and looked up . . . to the LORD!

As I studied this story, these pivotal events in Hezekiah's life jumped off the page!  Imagine with me in your mind's eye the moment when Hezekiah is given a scroll bearing the royal seal of his enemy. Watch as he opens the scroll to read words that promise doom for everything that matters to him and that mock the God of Israel as powerless to save him and his people.  Can you see it?  Now watch as Hezekiah goes immediately to the temple where he kneels and spreads that scroll out before the Lord, and begins to pray to the God he KNOWS is powerful to save.  I love that picture!

" . . . and spread it out before the Lord."

Hezekiah went to God as his primary advisor.  The temple was his war room where he went to consult with the One who could best tell him how to proceed with the enemy at the gate.  He did not want to see God's reputation damaged by this godless and arrogant king!

Do you know what God did?  He was so pleased with Hezekiah for consulting with Him above all others that He sent word through the prophet Isaiah promising that God Himself would defend Judah and that Sennacharib would not even enter Jerusalem or fire one arrow against her!  God fulfilled every one of the promises he made to Hezekiah in response to his prayer of faith over that spread out scroll!  I hope you will go read the whole story in Isaiah 37 to see how God miraculously and powerfully defended His people and the godly king who led them by following God!

Whatever it is that looms before us, appearing as an impossible obstacle to overcome, I pray that we will remember Hezekiah and that like him we will "spread it out before the Lord."  In looking up and consulting God as our primary Advisor, Confidante, Helper and Guide, our view will clear and the tangle will give way to God's promises too!


"He refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for His name’s sake."
How does Hezekiah's example help you?
What do you learn about God from His response to Hezekiah's prayer?
________________________________________

Joining Ann Voskamp for her Multitude Monday
I hope you'll join in if you haven't already!
In the counting of the endless gifts I say with C. S. Lewis,
"This also is Thou!"

#251-265

251. For prayers going up from close by and from across borders to help us through difficult days
252. The unity of this family, we four are privileged to be together in this life
253. The honesty that said the hard things and the Spirit who kept us from losing control
254. For one in the room who spoke with love
255. Drummer Boy who bowed low to stand tall in godly character
256. People who understood, people who expressed bewilderment like ours, people who were there when they didn't have to be
257. "This too shall pass"--the relief when it has passed!
258. Sweet Kim at Starbucks who made it fun and gave us free food =)
259. Drummer Boy's shifted focus and forward-looking, eagerly planning his way ahead
260. Solitude
261. For Hezekiah who shows us how to "spread it out before the Lord" and pray!
262. She So Sweet's love for cooking and the way she blessed us with a beautiful, delicious dinner that we ate all TOGETHER, around the table!
263. That She So Sweet and Drummer Boy are not only brother and sister, but best friends!
264. For time with Hero Husband at Peet's and for the great conversation
265. That we finally watched some football--together!!


Also joining L.L. Barkat for:
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